I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx


by Chris Martin
Aug. 20, 2017

Graphic design as an art form rests on a very precarious ledge between form and function. To lean too far to either side of this theoretic fulcrum defeats its purpose. This balancing act makes the immense and accomplished work of Tadanori Yokoo that much more impressive, as he is able to have immense success in design as a satisfactory product to his client but also genuinely express himself and push the boundaries of visual expression...

Christopher Martin recently graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in English and a specialization in Film Studies. Shockingly, he is currently underemployed. In his free time Chris likes to read old science fiction novels, enjoy what little nightlife Western Massachusetts has to offer, and watch as many films as possible. He also spends too much time on Tumblr.

by Cory Gross
Aug. 20, 2017

The name of Kenzo Masaoka is practically synonymous with the early development of Japanese animation. Born in Osaka in 1898, the same year that Japan's first movies were produced, he rose to ascendancy in the 1930's. Amongst his accomplishments are the introduction of cell animation to Japan and the release of the first Japanese animated talkie,Chikara to Onna no Yo no Naka in 1933.

Now sadly a lost film, “Within the World of Power and Women” broke with tradition in certain critical ways. First of all it utilized sound, dispensing with the role of the benshi (live film narrator of the silent era) in direct follow-up to the first Japanese talkie film Madame and the Courtesan in 1931. Well-known actors and actresses were hired to voice the parts, including Ranko Sawa of the Takarazuka Kagekidan...

For Cory Gross, the past is a lifestyle choice. Native to the ranchlands of Western Canada, he works as a museums and heritage professional in Calgary, Alberta, teaching science, nature, history and art. He also volunteers with a number of science and history organizations in the city, holds a graduate degree in theology, and enjoys travelling at home and abroad. His love of Victorian science fiction and antiquated adventure stories is on display at his blog Voyages Extraordinaires: Scientific Romances in a Bygone Age

by Network Awesome
Aug. 12, 2017
Dave Taylor, curator for Network Awesome, is a totally interesting guy. He's been a colorist and editor for The History Channel, A&E and Discovery, assistant editor on Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man, and currently teaches at The Academy of Art University in San Fransisco. He also works as a video producer for UC Berkeley's Art Museum, and -- most importantly -- curates the Network Awesome original series, Trailer Trash, dedicated to the unsung form of movie trailers. We got to pick his brain for a bit about the show and about what it's like to make trailers themselves...

Questions by Network Awesome writers and editors. We're a lot of fun - you can find us at apocalypse-themed parties, museums of science and industry, and snarky media-obsessed websites. 

by Joe DeMartino
Aug. 12, 2017
It wasn’t terribly easy to get something to go viral back before YouTube, Facebook, and other meme distributors. Most viral videos came in the form of full websites (think the Hamster Dance) or e-mailed .mov files (think the dancing baby) -- odd little accidents that look a bit embarrassing today, like a pair of bell-bottom jeans. One early viral sensation that has held up, however, is the series of GI Joe public service announcement parodies produced by Fenslerfilms. The parodies were an absurdist take on the original PSAs -- exhortations to stay safe and never talk to strangers were warped into a world where heavily armed and armored super-commandos harassed and confronted kids who were playing on construction sites or riding without a helmet. Series creator Eric Fensler talks about the creation process, the legal trouble with Hasbro he narrowly avoided, and what he and Fenslerfilms are up to these days...

Joe DeMartino is a Connecticut-based writer who grew up wanting to be Ted Williams, but you would not BELIEVE how hard it is to hit a baseball, so he gave that up because he writes words OK. He talks about exploding suns, video games, karaoke, and other cool shit at his blog. He can be emailed at jddemartino@gmail.com and tweeted at @thetoycannon. He writes about sports elsewhere. The sports sells better.

by Jason Forrest
Aug. 12, 2017
“Girls got balls. They're just a little higher up, is all.” - Joan Jett, 1978

And there she was, singing “I love Rock N Roll” to me and my friend. It was 1982 and it was my first concert.  I was writing my own musical history and the honor will always go to Joan Jett for corrupting my 10-year-old psyche. There was a guy dancing when the music didn't play. I recall nudging my friend asking “is that drugs?” – it was. She was dressed in a leather suit and it made us feel a wide range of feelings that our hormone filled bodies was just starting to process.  I recall knowing at the time that she was from some other band that was harder, darker, and more weird.  And that’s how it all started, my first concert in a long life of music. I didn't even know enough to buy the T-shirt.
Us Gen-Xers had the gender doors partially knocked down for us when we started. Bowie was singing about Ziggy when I was born in 1972 and The Stooges Raw Power’s came out the year after.  1973 also saw the debut hit “Can The Can” by SuziQuatro and black leather was never be the same.  From there rock & roll and gender would continue to be quarreling lovers so much so that ten years later, back to 1982 again, Blondie was already on the decline and with it the drunken hopes and realistic fears of Punk rock with it...

Jason Forrest is CEO and Creative Director of Network Awesome. He's been an electronic musician for over 11 years and has traveled almost everywhere in the world.  He invented and developed the iOS app Star6 and aided in the development of both Buddha Machine apps. In addition to that he runs 2 record labels, Nightshifters and Cock Rock Disco - so he's a busy guy.  His new album "The Everything" was released in April 2010 on Staatsakt. Grab it here and Follow him on Facebook here and contact him via the Network Awesome About page!