You guys should know by now how I feel about artsy-fartsy video games. Botanicula follows the adventure of five botanical creatures (named Mr. Lantern, Mr. Twig, Mr. Poppy Head, Mr. Feather and Mrs. Mushroom) that are trying to save the last seed of their home tree from evil parasitic creatures that have infested their home (summary from wiki because I AM that lazy). Botanicula creates a really cool, interesting environment from its visual style to the soundtrack to the sound effects. It’s pretty relaxing too since it’s really just point and click – plus all the little characters and settings are so charming. If you buy it directly from them you get the soundtrack as well.
Amanita Design also did Machinarium, another adorable game (with a great soundtrack as well!).
Today I stopped by Pile of Craft, a Baltimore craft fair sponsored by the Charm City Craft Mafia. I’ve always liked this event in particular because, in addition to the usual crafters, there’s always a strong contingent of illustrators and artists. I was just going to browse a little and didn’t expect to buy anything but then I saw this:
And was immediately drawn to the table. Turns out it was Jaime Zollars and I highly recommend you go check out her site and portfolio. For serious. It’s the sort of stuff I would do if I had any imagination or patience/talent for drawing and painting.
I don’t have a lot of extra money kicking around so I was restricting myself to one print and after much debate I actually ended up with this:
The Maze, She Breathes
Omggzz. I also really liked these two and it was a very painful decision. But I guess I can order prints from her site later.
Came the yellow days of winter, filled with boredom. The rust-colored earth was covered with a threadbare, meager tablecloth of snow full of holes. There was not enough of it for some of the roofs and so they stood there, black and brown, shingle and thatch, arks containing the sooty expanses of attics – coal black cathedrals, bristling with the ribs of rafters, beams, and spars – the dark lungs of winter winds. Each dawn revealed new chimney stacks and chimney pots which had emerged during the hours of darkness, blown up by the night winds: the black pipes of a devil’s organ. The chimney sweeps could not get rid of the crows which in the evening covered the branches of the trees around the church with living black leaves, then took off, fluttering, and came back, each clinging to its own place on its own branch, only to fly away at dawn in large flocks, like gusts of soot, flakes of dirt, undulating and fantastic, blackening with their insistent cawing the musty yellow streaks of light. The days hardened with cold and boredom like last year’s loaves of bread. One began to cut them with blunt knives without appetite, with lazy indifference.
From Bruno Schulz’s The Street of Crocodiles, which it taking me forever to get through because I keep having to stop and savor what I just read.
Although Schulz is “regarded as one of the great Polish-language prose stylists of the 20th century”, I had only heard of him through The Quay Brothers film, Street of Crocodiles, which is conveniently available on youtube and well worth a watch: