An Essay in Images

Foreword

Like so many others, I adore the films of Hayao Miyazaki. Despite having a considerable distance from his own childhood for most of his career, he has always understood how to capture a sort of childlike whimsy. This is due in no small part to Miyazaki’s enthusiasm for airplanes, which began during his childhood and went on to inspire the namesake of Studio Ghibli in his adulthood, with the studio’s name partly inspired by the nickname of a World War II-era reconnaissance plane (the plane’s manufacturer, Giovanni Caproni, would later appear as a mentor figure to the Miyazaki-esque Jiro Horikoshi…


The 1980s was perhaps the dawn of the TV action star. Between Magnum, P.I., Knight Rider, and MacGyver, it might have felt like there was no room for anyone else. However, as much as Thomas Magnum, Michael Knight, and Angus MacGyver kicked ass, Dr. Rick Dagless M.D. kicked just a little bit more.

Dr. Rick Dagless M.D. is the protagonist of Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, a show from the mind of visionary horror author Garth Marenghi. Set in the Darkplace Hospital, Dagless (Marenghi) must fend off the hospital’s supernatural happenings with the help of his buddy, Dr. Lucien Sanchez (Todd Rivers)…


Semisonic, All About Chemistry. MCA, 2001.

Did you know Semisonic released a new EP this year? I sure didn’t! That makes You’re Not Alone — released September this year — the first new music released by the band in nineteen years. That’s not to say that the members of Semisonic walked away from the industry in those nineteen years, however. Bassist John Munson has been playing in bands The Twilight Hours and The New Standards since the early 2000s, drummer Jacob Slichter wrote a book on his time with Semisonic, and Dan Wilson has been writing and producing some of the last decade’s biggest hits. Remember…


Sufjan Stevens, The Ascension. Asthmatic Kitty, 2020.

Sufjan Stevens is a hard artist to pin down. His popularity began to surge in the early 2000s with folky pop tunes about his home state of Michigan and the neighbouring state of Illinois. Since then, however, he hasn’t really managed to maintain a consistent tone, and that’s not meant as an insult. It very much feels like an intentional choice, to not just be that guy with the banjo who sings about obscure Americana. He’s largely succeeded on that front, with seemingly nothing to inhibit his boundless ambition, along with an eclectic range of albums over the past decade…


Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is an excellent return to form for a franchise I’m sure many of us thought was dead. If you’ve read a review of the game, you probably know that already. People really like this game, and that’s great. I really like it too, but I can’t say I was going into it expecting to be surprised by anything, and I especially wasn’t expecting to be surprised by its lax views on gender.

I’m not going to make a grand statement saying that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is some super left-leaning…


There is always a man, a sledgehammer, and an inordinate mountain of stuff to climb.

My first time playing Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy, I put in twelve minutes before getting frustrated and deciding to do something else with my time. A few hours later, I came back to it and put in eighteen minutes before deciding the game had kicked my ass enough. I did this many times, and I’ll probably do it many more times with presumably similar results.

If Getting Over It were a lesser game, I probably wouldn’t have touched it again after those first twelve minutes. What made me come back to it was a sense of encouragement. The…

gwen venn

Gwen likes to write about a number of things that interest them, but mostly video games and music.

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