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Quentin's Weeknotes 1/19/19-1/25/19

This Week:

Ninety percent of anything is mostly garbage and that remaining 10 percent is not only excellent but worth dying for. The only way to get there is to try to be excellent with your art.

  • I discovered the website Fonts in Use, which provides font names for a whole host of historical magazines, books, albums, and other pieces of media. As someone whose job involves a bit of graphic design, I appreciate having a good repository of fonts for inspiration or assistance.
  • I have been reading Viroconium,  M. John Harrison's masterful series of novels. While reading up on Harrison, a vitally important figure in the modern speculative fiction, I ran across this long post by illustrator Jonathan Coulthart entitled "Covering Viroconium", analyzing the (mostly failed) attempts to make decent cover art for his genre-bending, enigmatic books. Here's the example I've been reading from, which is, at best, loosely representative of the contents--as Coulthart points out, it makes the novel look Steampunk (which it's not, in any meaningful sense), and also depicts the hatching of a mechanical bird, an event that is not present in any of the text.
  • I put the finishing touches on the syllabus for my Hartwick College Course "Collections Management." It's a two-credit practicum course designed to give students the basics of Museum object handling, inventory management, and on-going collections maintenance. I tweak it a bit every year, and this year, have front-loaded more practical stuff, while leaving more abstract questions towards the end.

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