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Tuesday, January 04, 2021

Will Eisner, the grandmaster of comic book art, died yesterday at the age of 87.

His work was a testament to the beauty of sequential-art craft and the elegance of graphic storytelling. He leaves behind a legacy that’ll be hard to match.

If the only “Eisner” you’ve ever heard of is Disney CEO Michael, then do yourself a favor and pick up one of Will’s graphic novels. Personally, I recommend “Life on Another Planet” (aka “Signal From Space”), “The Building”, “A Contract with God”, and “The Dreamer”. And you can’t go wrong with the Spirit collections.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 01/04/2021 11:00pm
Category: Creative, Publishing
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Are there any cheesier pieces of advertising than those for male pattern balding cures? The granddaddy of them all, those Hair Club for Men president Sy Sperling’s “I’m not only the president, I’m also a client!” TV spots in the 1980s, set a tone that still typifies the industry’s approach.

But let’s face it, it’s a touchy subject. It’s probably even more sensitive than that other bastion of male products marketing: Erectile dysfunctional medicines. At least you can easily hide your limp weiner problems (until it’s go-time); the balding pate demands active measures to conceal.

Medical Hair Restoration is taking the self-parody approach to pitch its follicle fix: It’s recruited ’80s tribute hair band The Hair Dudes to star in three television spots that spoof the infomercial genre.

From the press release (not available online):

The three 60-second spots feature a 1980′s tribute hair band — The Hair Dudes from the New York/New Jersey area. The creative concept of the ads revolves around a spoof structure that parodies other products and services that men and women use to try to make them feel more confident and powerful. One focuses on how to make more money buying real estate foreclosures; another on developing tighter abdominal muscles; and the other on a sexual dysfunction. Just as the balding men in each of the spoofed infomercials is making their pitch, The Hair Dudes — with the band members sporting heads of long, thick hair — appear after a rock n’ roll pyrotechnics explosion and declare that the only real way to achieve greater life-style satisfaction and feeling one’s best is to re-grow hair with a permanent hair transplant from MHR. The band members rock out to viewers: “It’s the HAIR, Dude!”

“Obviously, these spots are tongue-in-cheek,” said Dr. Matt Leavitt, founder and medical director, MHR. “At the same time, every day our patients tell us stories about how they finally got in shape, got the job, or even the girl after they grew their hair back with our personalized hair transplant program.”

I figure Motley Crue, Poison and those other long-tressed refugees are due for some transplant treatment by now. And if they are, then so are their former and (more pathetic) current fans. So this pitch comes at just the right time.

The campaign is being produced with the help of Tampa Digital Studios. Rock on, dudes!

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 01/04/2021 09:09pm
Category: Advert./Mktg.
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I think I may have stumbled upon a good representation of dadaism in blog form:

I am Him

In keeping with the dada-esque structure, it’s updated on an unpredictable schedule. Which means I won’t blogroll it. But it’s compelling, nonetheless.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 01/04/2021 08:00pm
Category: Bloggin', Media
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I found the above animated GIF banner ad earlier today while surfing through BlogExplosion. It wasn’t on a blog; rather, it was situated within the BE control panel frame’s advertising space.

Provocative, no? I’m wondering how long it’ll take for the BlogExplosion management to remove it. Even if they don’t consider it too hot to handle, they’ll doubtless get enough complaints to compel them that it is.

I didn’t bother to click through to the actual blog it represents — not because I was offended, but just because it didn’t occur to me at the time. If I run across it again, I’ll see where it goes.

UPDATE (1/5/2021): Came across again it just now, and clicked on it. It leads to The Front Line, home to a South African Muslim. That gives the Apartheid description a bit of focus…

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 01/04/2021 07:43pm
Category: Bloggin'
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Yesterday, a co-worker asked me if I was still habitually writing “2004″ on my checks. I said that, since I only write one check a month nowadays, and wrote that one out on the first, it really hasn’t come up and isn’t likely to.

But then, Poynter’s reminder about updating copyright notices on your websites reminded me: I hadn’t changed the copyright notice on this blog to 2005! It’s always something.

So I did it. Make sure you do too. If you’re wondering why you should bother, read up.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 01/04/2021 07:29pm
Category: Bloggin', Business, Media
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So I’m strolling down Central Avenue, on my way to No. 9 Bangkok Thai Restaurant, one of my favorite workday lunch spots.

Directly in front of me are a couple of suits, older guys. They’re matching my pace, which is unusual because I tend to be a faster-than-average walker. The whole time, one of them is talking to the other a mile a minute, loud enough to notice but not enough to really comprehend.

We keep walking down the block, and as it happens, the two of them are also heading to No. 9. They get to the door, walk in, and the chattery guy holds the door open for me on the way in. He turns around a bit, and I get a look at him.

And lo and behold, it turns out he’s Rick Baker, the honorable Mayor of St. Petersburg. The height should have tipped me off; he’s a big bird, at least 6 foot 4.

You wouldn’t expect to just bump into the mayor of a good-sized city (population 248,232) at random. But City Hall is only a couple of blocks from my office, so we’re in the same neighborhood. And Baker makes an effort to be as accessible as possible, so it’s not unusual to see him out and about in downtown. Fact is, I’ve run into him a couple of times over the past year.

As soon as we were inside, he started glad-handing with a table full of police or fire officers. The place was packed, even moreso than usual, and I lost track of him after that.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 01/04/2021 06:57pm
Category: Florida Livin'
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