The Inevitable

***UPDATE: The items in question have been removed. Please don't e-mail the seller. We've removed all references to her and her shop in this post but will keep it up to foster discussion. Thanks for doing the right thing.***

Hello Internet. We need your help.

Last summer we introduced some posters to our Sparkle Power shop and it's really been a blessing for our family. Our biggest seller's been the La La Love You poster. It's been featured on a ton of great blogs like ohdeedoh (Apartment Therapy's parenting blog), Babygadget, Tangled and True, Creature Comforts and c jane. We've literally sold reams of the things. Like I said, it's been a boon to our family and has gotten a lot of eyeballs directed toward our fledgling enterprise.

So I guess it was only a matter of time until we were ripped off.

We were checking the Etsy front page before bed last night and had a little déjà vu hit us in the "Recently Listed" section there. How we managed to hit the front page at the exact right time to catch it is beyond me, but we did. Seems that a seller named [redacted] has produced a series of prints that bear more than a passing resemblance to our beloved and popular posters.

But, like the man says, you don't have to take our word for it:

There's a pink one. We have a pink one.

And an aqua one. We have an aqua one.

Reeeeeally sketchy, right? I mean, imitation's the sincerest form of flattery and all, but this is just ridiculous. If you look at either of her shops her other prints aren't even close to the simple, bold and elegant design of our original. And to add insult to injury, she's got the gall to copyright her posters in their descriptions. Seriously?

Plus, she's asking more than double what we're asking for a letter-sized print. (Hers are $22 for a letter-sized print. Ours are $8 for letter-sized, $10 for tabloid ... buy yours today!)

Last night we sent a friendly but firm e-mail asking that she remove the listings. As of this evening, the listings still stand. We ask that if you believe these posters to be knock-offs of our posters that you take the few minutes it will take to set up a free Etsy account (if you don't already have one) and send an e-mail to the operator of the shop, letting her know that stuff like this just isn't cool. And if you'd like to go further, you can link to this on your blog, Twitter, Facebook or Flickr. Solidarity, people.

We really hate to do this, but at the same time, these posters represent a lot of hard work and to see them blatantly plagiarized is really heartbreaking, insulting and infuriating.

We love Etsy. We believe in Etsy. It's a culture made up of people - like us - who love to create beautiful, original things. We have made a lot of friends through our work there. Please do what you can to make sure that this kind of stuff is not tolerated.

Thanks in advance for your help,
Team Sparkle Power

Mother Boxx/The Love Below

The indomitable Chris Haley (of Let's Be Friends Again fame) and myself made another Ping mix. This one's entitled Fourth World Blues, and features the New God Orion pledging to destroy his dad, the totally evil Darkseid. Chris provided the illustration, I colored it and added the yell bubble and dialogue.

It started with me mentioning to Chris that after reading Kirby's Fourth World omnibuses (which are awesome), I really wanted to write some FW fan fiction and maybe I could work that into the cover somehow? Chris, of course did not do the right thing and condemn this behavior. He, in fact, enabled it.

So I wrote this imaginary panel from a comic that exists only in my mind. For now. I imagined that Darkseid, during a skirmish with his estranged son, Omega Sanction-ed him to some weird prison world where Orion's continually confronted with false realities that serve to remind him that at his core, he's a bloodthirsty beast whose ultimate destiny is to rule Apokalips in his fathers' stead. Sort of like The Prisoner with Orion as Number 6 and Darkseid's sadistic lackey Desaad as Number 2. Only instead of outsmarting his opposition at every turn, Number 6 just tears the Island to shreds, leaving a bloody, burning wake of destruction behind him.

Good times.

We originally wanted the mix to drop on Friday in honor of what would have been Jack Kirby's 92nd birthday, but real life got in the way of that, so you're getting it today. I dropped the ball. Anyway, here's the cover:

As usual for our Ping Pong mixes, we traded songs back and forth, trying to link these songs together with some sort of logic. Hopefully it's as fun to listen to as it was to make. But if not, well, it's free, right, so why are you complaining?

Download it here.


And if you're interested you can download the rest here:
Ping 1: Ping Of Pong
Ping 2: Return Of the Ping
Ping 3: The Man Who Would Be Ping
Ping 4: & Away We Go

And check back tomorrow for September's mix, 10000 Year Increments.


Big Baby

So, I hate Glenn Beck. But you knew that, right? And no, I'm not going to talk about how sponsors are pulling their advertisements from his show in response to his bigoted and wrong-headed comments about how our president is a racist. You know, our half-white president who was raised by white people? That guy?

And I'm not going to talk about how the Birthers are a bunch of (possibly racist) ding-dongs who just need to bite down and deal with it for the next few years like all us Democrats had to do during the last administration. I'm not going to link to this great Let's Be Friends Again strip where Hawkman calls out Superman for his lack of a birth certificate. I'm not going to "go there," if you will.

And I'm even not going to address the violent nutjobs at the town halls meetings who don't know their socialism from their Nazism and tote firearms while holding signs (like this one, that touches on issues that are actually important) and yelling about killing old people and stuff. The health care reform debate and the circus of partisan insanity it has become can be left in more capable hands than mine.

No, I'm going to elevate the political discourse around here ... by talking about how Glenn Beck looks like a baby. Classy, I know. I mean, we all know he's a crybaby, but it seems like whenever I point out that Beck looks like a baby in a suit, people have a hard time visualizing what I mean. Then I'm like screaming at them, going, "No, it's like if you took a baby and dressed him up in a man's clothes and gave him a microphone and he said whatever goo-goo gaa-gaa poo-poo pee-pee stuff that popped into his baby head and OH MAAAAAN! I HATE GLENN BECK! HULK SMASH!!!"


Well, citizens, now I have photographic proof of my theorem. Behold:

Boom. Shakka. Lakka.

The image on the right is Glenn Beck. The image on left via the venerable Manbabies.com.


A Little Taste of What I Do

Today, we're gonna do some show and tell:

So yeah, here's a little taste of what I do. Or at least where I do what I do when I do the dew. Anyway, I decided to take some photos of my office and workspace this morning so you can get a little peek into the nucleus of the man this is me. So let's take a walk, shall we?

Here's the exterior of our building. It's a million years old and was built as a flophouse for laborers on the nearby Carnegie-Hope bridge. That's our new exterior sign. It's cool.

Our front door and buzzer.

Our mission statement.

Heading up the stairs to our second/main floor. Film Fest season posters on the right.

Second/main floor landing.

My Film Fest poster. I work on the third floor. My work has a built-in stairmaster.

I sit here. All. Day. Long. It's the one part of this job that I've found really hard to deal with, sitting all day, staring at a computer screen for hours on end. It gets a little grueling some days.

My main, big monitor. He's the hero.

And this is his sidekick.

To my left, I have a collection of ephemera, doodles from myself and Sadie, a picture of the Flamingo Hilton that my brother Bryan sent to me a long time ago; basically just cool stuff I thought was interesting.

Big hot dog. Which, interestingly enough, was also my nickname in High School.

Robert Pollard screenprint from Aesthetic Apparatus.

My buddy Brandt gave me this weird inflatable guy. It really creeps out the lady who works at the desk next to me, so when she goes on vacation, we find places to hide him in her desk.

My Polaroid grid. I'm still really bummed that they're discontinuing their film.

My menagerie of fun friends. There's a tagged up photo of it over in my Flickr stream.

So yeah, that's where I work. It's a really cool place full of really cool people making really cool stuff.

And also me.


Space Cowboyanous

And the Bronco love just keeps on coming:

"All you did was change the character's names and turned Bronco into a tranny." LOL.

I'll be there.

Echidna On Wire

Cassidy, a friend of mine from school, has a shirt in the running over on Threadless and it's really very cool. See for yourself:

Cassidy describes it thusly: "Everyone's favorite monotreme Ernie the Echidna proves once again that he will do anything for a sandwich. This shirt hearkens back to the day when I was a wee little boy and I knew that all animals perform, just like in the circus even if we don't see them, all of them being manipulated with sandwiches."

So click here and go vote on it. I'm told by reliable sources that there may be a giveaway involved if this shirt gets enough votes to be printed. No promises, but that's the word on the street.

And while you're at it, check out Cass' blog and Flickr stream, where he's been posting his great daily character doodles and some equally great mini canvasses. And lastly, but certainly not least, become a fan of his work over on Facebook by clicking here.

Keep an eye on this kid. He's going places.


Cyborg Donkeys

Click for bigness. I'm pretty excited about this movie, but so are you, right? (Via)


That's how many days it's been since I last blogged. Lame.

So anyway, in honor of my 12 day absence, here's a list of 12 things that have crossed my mind over the last almost-fortnight:

1. Congratulations, Ganglians on making my favorite album of 2009 so far, Monster Head Room, a collection of breezy, stoned, folky pop. Good job, weirdos.

2. I read Jonathan Lethem and Farel Dalrymple's Omega the Unknown a little while back and man, that is some *really* good stuff. Disembodied hand people, fast food clones, crazy robot parents, sentient statues, bizarre aliens and branded celebrity superheroes abound. I wish more superhero comics published by the Big Two had the guts to be this bonkers. For those of you interested in comics, this one comes highly recommended.

3. I've been taking a buttload of pictures lately. You can check them out over in my Flickr stream.

4. I've been splitting my TV time between finishing up my rewatch of season 2 of Lost as well as the first season of The Mighty Boosh. So basically, my nights are so full of awesome that I am forced to fall asleep on my couch in incredibly uncomfortable positions at approximately 11:15 every night because I am old and my body can't process that much cool TV.

5. Curt and Chris from the always entertaining Let's Be Friends Again were recently interviewed on the People You Don't Know podcast. As a reserve member of the LBFA team (I'm like the D-Man to their two-man Avengers team), it is my duty to inform you that you can listen to the interview here or download it on iTunes. Also, I was a little disappointed that both of these Memphians didn't have thicker Southern accents. I was expecting some serious Foghorn Leghorn stuff. Very disappointing, guys. Also also, keep yr eyes peeled for some new merch over there sometime in the near future.

6. HOBODARKSEID is really making life like a billion times better. It's occasionally a little racy, but if you're on Twitter and like hobos, Darkseid or both, you should probably be following this cat. The idea of the lord of Apokalips rooting through a dumpster for Anti-Life and/or bits of discarded taco meat is probably the funniest thing I've come across in a while.

7. Any time you feel all contented, like you're really good at your job or whatever, and you're a totally productive member of society, think about this: by the year's end, Robert Pollard will have released 6 albums. How many did you release?

8. Still scared of being mauled by bears.

9. My cutie wife and I went and saw (500) Days of Summer this past weekend and, well, it was alright. Everybody, it seemed, was falling over themselves to praise it (Entertainment Weekly gave it a solid "A," and it is currently 89% fresh over at Rotten Tomatoes), so we figured, "why not?" Like I said, it's a decent "Magic Girlfriend," movie (see also Garden State, or Elizabethtown for other films in the genre), even though I felt like the whole thing was done better 30+ years ago in Annie Hall. And for all the squawking about how great the soundtrack was, again, I was less than impressed. I know I'm a music snob, but it was like a Pandora channel where somebody typed "Indie" into the search bar and walked away to flip through an Urban outfitters catalog. Though I will say that it has the best use of Hall & Oates in a film since that one Ryan made that had his brother-in-law in it. Ryan, you know the one I'm talking about.

10. If you think health reform is unnecessary, you should try and get your insurance - which you pay good money for - to cover, well, anything out of the ordinary, really. Also, despite what the fearmongers may be saying, a public option is just that: an option. Nobody's talking about taking over anything. Let's all just chill out and stop yelling.

11. I've started and quit two "real books," over the last few weeks. I really want to read Haruki Murakami's Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World but will have to wait until Labor Day when my brother's kindly sending me his copy. In the meantime, it's comics (I'm on volume four of Urusawa's manga series, Monster), and, if I'm feeling brave, maybe that new Pynchon book? We'll see.

12. In hindsight, I don't think Jar Jar was all that bad. In fact, I kind of like that guy. Discuss.


You Know I Ain't Lion

Well, it's that time. New mix. And yeah, it contains a track from the Monkees and a track from Captain Beefheart. On the same mix. Ladies, and gents, say "hello," to Flyin' Lion.

Like I said, we have the Monkees and Captain Beefheart on here, but we also have tracks from Ganglians, Blind Pilot, America, the Raveonettes, Chuck Berry, Robyn Hitchcock, Harpers Bizarre and Harlem Shakes. It'll cool you off as you're sweating your you-know-what's off in the August blazes.

1. "Look out to sea, find a small island."
2. "My trigger finger's itchin'."
3. "You're beside yourself."
4. "Some day I may see the truth of what you told me."
5. "I think I slipped. I think I fell."
6. "Three roses were born with you in mind."
7. "You'll be having my head, big as a birthday."
8. "Wait for our worlds to collide."
9. "Singin' 'Kai-kai-yippie, kai-kai-yippie-yippie-yay.'"
10. "Someone tell me what's goin' on."
11. "Hallucinate, my love."
12. "I get a strange feeling when I hear you talk."
13. "Summer's here and the time is right."
14. "To see you baby in the same old lovin' way."
15. "Makes my pulse go! Go! Go!"
16. "Always run behind the sun."
17. "I don't run around with no mob."
18. "Blame dad."
19. "They wanna know what really means the most to you."
20. "If you came back as the deep sea, I'd come back as the salt."

Download it here. It's added to the Master List along with any BRR Mixtape Brigade mixes made over this month. Anybody else get one done?