Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Howiezine 11 - Ambigram Alphabet

This is my page for Howiezine 11 - Alphabet. I dug deep to challenge myself with this one, for it was not enough merely to create some sort of ambigram for the zine, no! I wanted to something special. So, let's do one half of the alphabet on each side of the page! Yes! Wait...no! Let's do half on each side of the page such that it's the same graphic, just flipped over, but you see the other half of the alphabet! Yes! Wait...no! Let's make it even more challenging, let's make it so it's a cut out and you won't have alignment issues, YES!

Ok, wait a sec, cutting all that out by hand is going to take for-freaking-ever! So I scaled it back to the flip-over ambigram. The cut-out would have been really cool, though.

The E/N and the G/V combinations were really tough, so work with me when you notice the N is sideways. ;-)

This is A-M:

and N-Z - I think if you know the N is sideways, the rest falls into place.

I would have liked to do more stylized lettering, but it took so long to get to this point and trying to cut it out - I just ran out of time. Still pretty cool, though!


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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Legend of the Club-Tusked Walrus

club-tusked walrus

Here we find the very rare skull of the ancient club-tusked walrus on an arctic ice floe. Referred to jokingly by scientists as "an evolutionary mistake," this walrus was at a distinct disadvantage for both fighting off predators and climbing out of the water, which modern walruses are better equipped to do.

However, in addition to being extinct, the club-tusked is also notable for it's eyes. Unlike most mammals, indeed most animals, the eyes do not completely decompose. Not bone, but a substance closer to a metal in consistency, it is highly unusual to find an intact set such as this specimen. It is not known if the X in the eye was visible when the animal was alive or only after it died.

The species was discovered in 1906 when a large block of ice broke away from a glacier. Unlike most paleontological finds, scientists didn't have to dig deep to find it, it simply floated by them as they were on their way to unearth a Woolly Mammoth.

Astounded with their discovery, much fanfare surrounded the curious-looking creature. Inspired by the coverage, a young Charles Schulz, who worked for a Minnesota Newspaper as an editorial cartoonist, studied the photos of the animal and then made a decision that would affect the cartooning world forever. He used the distinct X shape in the eye to indicate a character in his cartoon that was either dead or passed-out drunk.

The trend soon became an expected convention in all manner of cartooning. Shows you how even the most unlikely and unintentional connections can have far reaching effects.

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