Apr 6 2012

#342 “Totally Radical”

From Jack in Phoenix, Arizona

With it’s wildly erratic lettering and comically presented subject, along with the use of the word “rad” and some DayGlo-colored paper, this illustration is an obvious throwback to the 1980′s. And as a child of the 80′s, my appreciation for Jack’s nod to the decade of excess couldn’t be more thoroughly appreciated. It was a complex time of intemperance and innocence that produced some of the most unique pop culture phenomena in existence. And nothing was more interesting and intriguing than its slang. If you weren’t “gnarly” or “tubular” then you might as well have been “grody to the max.” But don’t worry, bro, if you’re not hip to the lingo, just take a chill pill and hit the link below to brush up on some classic 1980′s slang:

Like Totally 80′s Slang


Mar 29 2012

#334 Music Month (29)

From Eva in Phoenix, Arizona

Today’s Song/Video: “Hungry like the Wolf” by Duran Duran


Mar 10 2012

#315 Music Month (10)

 From a stranger in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Today’s Song/Video: “Full Moon Fire” by Walter Egan


Nov 17 2011

#201 “Wolf vs. Wolf”

From Andrew at the University of Missouri

The cyclical nature of interest in the wolf is a phenomenon that any true wolf enthusiast will find terribly fascinating. In many ways it seems that we are currently residing in a sort of “Wolf Renaissance” that is reminiscent of that of the early 1980s. I’m not sure about the rhyme or reason behind it, but the early 80s were a time when the wolf was center stage in a variety of media entertainment outlets. Taking just popular movies as an example, all of the following titles were all produced between the years 1980 and 1985: Teen Wolf, Silver Bullet, Wolfen, The Howling, Never Cry Wolf, The Night of the Werewolf, The Company of Wolves, and An American Werewolf in London. Now, in the last ten years, we haven’t necessarily had a full-blown resurgence of interest in the wolf, but there are signs that a fresh rebirth of lupine enthusiasm is rising like a full moon. Notice the following bits of wolf phenomena as examples: The striking success of the “3 Wolf Moon” t-shirt (seen here), the current obsession with the character of Jacob from theTwilight series, the creation of the Teen Wolf television show on MTV, the cultural phenomenon that is Shaun Ellis and the lifestyle he lives, as well as a variety of other pop culture references to wolves that are beginning to appear everywhere from The Hangover to songs by Let’s Buy Happiness, Bon Iver, The Good Natured, My Chemical Romance, and on and on. Also, going back to movies for a second, all of these titles were released in the last few several years: Dog Soldiers, The Ginger Snaps Series, Underworld, Big Bad Wolf, Blood and Chocolate, The Werewolf Hunter: The Legend of Romasanta, Werewolf: The Devil’s Hound, A Mexican Werewolf in Texas, Rid Riding Hood, and the list could go on…

But all of this makes me wonder what might happen if some of these famous wolves and wolf warriors were to meet upon the field of battle. Andrew’s illustration also seems to bring this idea to mind and causes us to speculate would might happen if these characters were to face off. What could one expect from a battle between the preacher/werewolf from Silver Bullet and Selene from Underworld? Who would you place your bets on in a battle to the death between Marsha Quist from The Howling and Sgt. Harry Wells of Dog Soldiers?

But the pièce de résistance of any discussion of wolf battles throughout the ages would no doubt come down to Scott Howard from the original Teen Wolf and Jacob Black from the Twilight series. Andrew really nailed it with this epic match up, and in the end, I’m not sure if there is a clear victor in this battle of lobos. While Jacob may be downplayed by modern wolf enthusiasts for taking center stage in a series that commands mostly teenage girls as fans, no one can deny his physical prowess. Also, in reference to Scott Howard, he certainly has the cool factor in his back pocket, but is this alone enough for him to steal the victory? Who’s to say? Maybe no one could accurately predict what might happen if these two teenage werewolves were to ever cross paths, but one thing’s for sure: it would be a battle you wouldn’t want to miss.

Thanks, Andrew, this epic matchup has certainly given us some food for thought.


Sep 10 2011

#133 “Eye of the Wolf”

From Devin in Lyford, Texas

Whenever I gaze upon the profiled bust of this impressive wolf specimen, I can’t help but pick up on a clear and palpable sternness. But along with this keen sense of seriousness, there is a discernible fairness that is also evident here. There is a sense of pride here, a lupine virility that speaks of this wolf’s impressive strength and prowess.

I know that when Survivor released their biggest hit on May 29, 1982 that they were singing about the infamous tiger, but I can’t help but to think that the song is better suited to the wolf and that this illustration perfectly exemplifies the tone and mood of this song. It’s the perfect physical representation. Just look at the eye of this marvelous wolf. Notice that piercing gaze, that furrowed brow, that concentrated stare. There’s no denying it: eye of the tiger vs. eye of the wolf? Wolf wins every time.

In honor of this breathtaking illustration, I encourage you reexamine the lyrics to this famous song. And of course, all instances of the word “tiger” have been changed to “wolf.”

“Eye of Wolf”

Risin’ up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet
Just a man and his will to survive

So many times, it happens too fast
You trade your passion for glory
Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive

Chorus:
It’s the eye of the wolf, it’s the thrill of the fight
Risin’ up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night
And he’s watchin’ us all in the eye of the tiger

Face to face, out in the heat
Hangin’ tough, stayin’ hungry
They stack the odds ’til we take to the street
For we kill with the skill to survive

It’s the eye of the wolf, it’s the thrill of the fight
Risin’ up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night
And he’s watchin’ us all in the eye of the tiger

Risin’ up, straight to the top
Have the guts, got the glory
Went the distance, now I’m not gonna stop
Just a wolf and his will to survive

It’s the eye of the wolf, it’s the thrill of the fight
Risin’ up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night
And he’s watchin’ us all in the eye of the tiger

The eye of the wolf (repeats out)…


Jul 21 2011

#82 “The Night is Young”

As a child of the 1980s, a strong sense of nostalgia pulls me towards almost anything that represents that decade. Fashion, music, television, celebrities, it doesn’t matter. If it’s from the 80s, it holds a special place in my heart. I believe that is why I love this particular illustration so much. There is simply something about this picture that takes me back to those Saturday mornings spent watching A.C. Slater call Zach Morris a “preppy” which would then transform into afternoons practicing hopelessly on my neon yellow skateboard and then morph further into nights of listening to REM on my Walkman.

The skateboard, shades and t-shirt slogan are the elements that speak most clearly to me, and while they may not necessarily be designed to intentionally suggest an 80s vibe, I feel that the spirit of these items undeniably reference that decade of pure excess in an understated (if not overt) manner.

Also, though, when I look at this wonderful illustration, I am reminded of a very modern video that I ran across just recently. The name of this viral vid is called “Carving the Mountains,” and it features a group of very talented young ladies called the Longboard Girls Crew. I know very little about this group of hardcore skater chicks except for the fact that they have completely mesmerized me with their breathtaking performance in the beautiful Madrid Mountains.

As you can see, the connection between the illustration and the video is somewhat obvious. The wolf appears to be riding a longboard, just like the “foxy” girls in the video; and based on the fact that the wolf is wearing high heals, we can only assume that she is female. Besides this, the fashion sense of the wolf and the ladies seems somewhat congruent, and clearly no one can argue that both are just about as “boss” and “radical” as they come.

The night may be young, but alas, I am not as young as I used to be. I guess my vicarious life begins now. Skate on, wolf. Skate on, ladies. Skate for me while you still can. Skate for me so I can remember…


Jun 4 2011

#35 “The Fox/Wolf Connection”

 

From Dan in Utah

Many people may be staring at this picture in bewilderment this very second and asking aloud, “What the heck does a wolf have to do with Back to the Future? I asked this same question when I first received this illustration in the mail, but then it dawned on me… there is in fact a common link, and that link is none other than the acclaimed actor Michael J. Fox. How could I have overlooked it? It’s so obvious… For you see, Michael J. Fox not only starred in Back to the Future, but he also played in perhaps the most well-known werewolf movie in popular culture in the last 30 years: Teen Wolf.

When I discovered this connection, a smirk of pride passed over my countenance. I was pleased to have solved this little riddle, but after a little time a trickle of uncertainty began to seep into my brain, and before long a deluge of doubt had flooded my mind. As it turns out, after poring over mounds of Michael J. Fox related literature, I discovered that the relationship between the “Fox” and the wolf runs deeper than most would imagine. Peruse the information below if your curiosity is piqued, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. These correlations may be too profound for those who lack a strong mental fortitude. Head to the kitchen and grab a napkin if you must; you may start bleeding from your ears.

  • Michael J. Fox was born in 1961. This same year, the French film The Miracle of the Wolves was released in France and the world was forever changed.
  • Fox was born in Canada, a nation that is second only to Russian in its number of wolves. Coincidence?
  • During the 1990s Fox starred in the television show Spin City which featured the actor Scott Wolf in several episodes as well as the actor Maurice Godin who played a character known as Trevor Wolfe.
  • Michael J. Fox and the actor Scott Wolf bear a striking resemblance to one another.
  • Michael J. Fox voiced the character of a dog (canis lupis familiaris) in the movie “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.” Anyone else see a connection here to the wolf (canis lupis)?
  • The horror film The Company of Wolves was released on DVD in 2002, the same year that Fox released his memoir, Lucky Man. Also, the original version of the film as released in 1985, the same year that Fox starred in Back to the Future.
  • In 2007, Fox was listed by TIME Magazine as one of 100 people “whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world.” If this set of characteristics doesn’t remind you of a wolf, I’m not sure what will. This is also the same year that the short drama Wolf was released, starring Max Moody, Burton Cox and Corine Samwel.
  • In March of last year Fox was given an honorary doctorate degree by the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. Just last month, roughly one year later, in the same county in Sweden a 45-year-old woman and her child were confronted by a wolf on a wooded path. The wolf attacked the family dog and carried it into the woods as his prey. Just happenstance, you say? Don’t be naive.
  • Fox starred in a campaign ad for Claire McCaskill in 1996 in which he openly supported the use of stem cell research. Some might say this is a result of Fox’s being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. I say this is just another covert attempt by Fox to generate a master race of wolves in Missouri in order to take over the USA and allow Canada to absorb our nation.

In conclusion, I’ve never been one to support conspiracy theories, but when the evidence is overwhelming, sometimes there is simply no other conclusion to be reached. To strive for the deeper meaning, though, takes courage, heart, and a sense of adventure. So let this be a lesson to you: Don’t tread on the monotonous highways of the dull-minded and unsophisticated, but seek to stride upon the paths of the scholarly and cerebral, because “where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”