Sunday, February 10, 2019

"Noir-thern Lights"

Riffing off an older idea that hinges on phonetic wordplay, along with some bonus trivia on the Maltese Falcon: not just the quote but the street sign has a double meaning too - that's the establishing shot of the crime scene, which incidentally turned up in a Google Image search while looking for reference shots of Nick Danger's Sam Spade's hat. Because, details. And yeah, that's another swipe courtesy of NASA for the starfield.

And while I'm geeking out on obscure connections, author Dashiell Hammett also has some history with the state of Alaska:
“Wind Blown & Dripping – A Book of Aleutian Cartoons” 1945 “Dashiell Hammett, age 49 enlisted in U.S. Army in 1943, editor of camp newspaper on the island of Adak in the Aleutians, recently liberated from Japanese occupation. Hammett edited and financed this book of cartoons by soldier artists (the "Adakians") on his staff.” This little book of cartoons, drawn in wax stencils, is probably the single most coolest discovery I ever stumbled across during my frequent digs in the Rasmusen library’s Polar Region collection, captures the essence of arctic life beautifully.

Just the idea of illustrating the magnificent aurora in black & white is amusing to me, partly on account of being burnt out on seeing so many pictures of it on social media. Folks who live and work in Denali probably at some point are like "yeah, yeah, the mountain's out... okay let's move people I'm late for work." Oooh, wait... that gives me yet another idea...

And just for comparison's sake, here's what was originally going to be the finished print version, but on a lark I experimented with using the mezzotint filter in Photoshop to add some textural noise, and just like the advice I'm forever doling out to students, push the value! Knowing full well the effect of printing the panel on newsprint will have it can only enhance the ambient aesthetic.