I took my little brother (who falls on the autism spectrum) to see Guardians of the Galaxy and after this scene he lit up like a Christmas tree and screamed “He’s like me! He can’t do metaphors!” And for the rest of the film my brother stared at Drax in a state of rapture.
So for the last 6 days I have heard my brother repeatedly quote all of the Drax lines from the movie verbatim (one of his talents), begin studying vocabulary test words, and tell everyone he knows that people with autism can also be superheroes.
Now I am not saying that Drax the Destroyer is, or was ever, intended to be autistic. All I am saying is that it warmed my heart to see my brother have an opportunity to identify himself with a character known for his strength, badassness, and honor. And that is pretty damn awesome.
So while I adored Guardians of the Galaxy as a great fun loving film with cool characters I can do nothing but thank Marvel Studios and Dave Bautista for finally bringing a superhero to the screen that my little brother can relate to.
Toby Cypress offered $100 Kirby character commissions yesterday to celebrate Jack Kirby’s birthday. I hope you signed up for one. If not, maybe you can catch Toby at SPX in a few weeks and get something.
Paul Maybury has been hard at work on his new book, Valhalla Mad, and hasn’t been posting much, so here’s a MODOK commission he drew a couple of years ago to stay with the Kirby clelebration theme.
Logan Faerber did a Flash Gordon commission for some lucky person.
Ming Doyle reached 10,000 followers on Tumblr and drew an awesome lady to celebrate.
Nathan Fox did the cover artwork for a new book called The Camelot Kids by Ben Zackheim available on amazon.
Greg Ruth did the cover for Where the Train Turns on Tor.com. The cover art is all ink and graphite with no Photoshop trickery, btw. Amazing! Read about the process HERE.
Andrew MacLean’s debut graphic novel, ApocalyptiGirl, from Dark Horse was announced this week. Check out some preview pages HERE.
Chris Visions did some illustrations for MLS Insider for an article on soccer youth development.
Liz Suburbia is wrapping up Cyanide Milkshake #6 just in time for SPX in a few weeks. I’ll have some copies at the OOSA booth if you want one. You all are going to be there, right?
Stay tuned, folks. There’s going to be a lot happening in the next few weeks!
During the Bubonic Plague, doctors wore these bird-like masks to avoid becoming sick. They would fill the beaks with spices and rose petals, so they wouldn’t have to smell the rotting bodies.
A theory during the Bubonic Plague was that the plague was caused by evil spirits. To scare the spirits away, the masks were intentionally designed to be creepy.
Mission fucking accomplished
Okay so I love this but it doesn’t cover the half of why the design is awesome and actually borders on making sense.
It wasn’t just that they didn’t want to smell the infected and dead, they thought it was crucial to protecting themselves. They had no way of knowing about what actually caused the plague, and so one of the other theories was that the smell of the infected all by itself was evil and could transmit the plague. So not only would they fill their masks with aromatic herbs and flowers, they would also burn fires in public areas, so that the smell of the smoke would “clear the air”. This all related to the miasma theory of contagion, which was one of the major theories out there until the 19th century. And it makes sense, in a way. Plague victims smelled awful, and there’s a general correlation between horrible septic smells and getting horribly sick if you’re around what causes them for too long.
You can see now that we’ve got two different theories as to what caused the plague that were worked into the design. That’s because the whole thing was an attempt by the doctors to cover as many bases as they could think of, and we’re still not done.
The glass eyepieces. They were either darkened or red, not something you generally want to have to contend with when examining patients. But the plague might be spread by eye contact via the evil eye, so best to ward that off too.
The illustration shows a doctor holding a stick. This was an examination tool, that helped the doctors keep some distance between themselves and the infected. They already had gloves on, but the extra level of separation was apparently deemed necessary. You could even take a pulse with it. Or keep people the fuck away from you, which was apparently a documented use.
Finally, the robe. It’s not just to look fancy, the cloth was waxed, as were all of the rest of their clothes. What’s one of the properties of wax? Water-based fluids aren’t absorbed by it. This was the closest you could get to a sterile, fully protecting garment back then. Because at least one person along the line was smart enough to think “Gee, I’d really rather not have the stuff coming out of those weeping sores anywhere on my person”.
So between all of these there’s a real sense that a lot of real thought was put into making sure the doctors were protected, even if they couldn’t exactly be sure from what. They worked with what information they had. And frankly, it’s a great design given what was available! You limit exposure to aspirated liquids, limit exposure to contaminated liquids already present, you limit contact with the infected. You also don’t give fleas any really good place to hop onto. That’s actually useful.
Beyond that, there were contracts the doctors would sign before they even got near a patient. They were to be under quarantine themselves, they wouldn’t treat patients without a custodian monitoring them and helping when something had to be physically contacted, and they would not treat non-plague patients for the duration. There was an actual system in place by the time the plague doctors really became a thing to make sure they didn’t infect anyone either.
These guys were the product of the scientific process at work, and the scientific process made a bitchin’ proto-hazmat suit. And containment protocols!
they also though birds carried the plague, so the mask was superstition as well.
the beak was used to keep patients from leaning up toward their faces.
many of them were not doctors at all, but instead volunteers, as the real doctors had fled.
some of them believed it was God’s will to spread the plague, so theyd burn pieces of infected flesh in lanterns to spread it, when they thought it was airborne.
Anime jeans by Kirameku
Hand painted with water-based textile paints.
Ancient Art of Stone by Andreas Kunert & Naomi Zettl