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Taylor Swift

TAYLOR SWIFT PRODUCTIONS // Artist 

”My reputation’s never been worse,” Taylor Swift sang on her latest album. But the lady doth protest too much, for if anyone can prove album sales aren’t dead, it’s the singer whose “Reputation” sold 1.2 million in its first week. A bigger indication of that still solid rep might be Swift’s tour stats: Her first stadium trek has higher initial price points than ever, but Pollstar reports 100 percent sell-through (with grosses from $5 million–$9 million a night). And she pulled those numbers with no media interviews this cycle and limiting her partnerships to the more offbeat, like UPS first-day album deliveries and Swift-branded Fuji cameras. She’s about to be a free agent as a recording artist, and the industry can’t wait to see what she’ll make suitors do.

What is Variety500?

Welcome to the second annual edition of Variety500, an index of the 500 most influential business leaders shaping the global $2 trillion entertainment industry.

Updated Oct. 30, 2018, the Variety500 reflects the accomplishments of its members over the previous 12 months. They were selected by the Variety editorial board, which conducted extensive research for its selections.


Check out Taylor’s profile on Variety500 HERE.

Exclusive Preview of ‘Anthem’s’ New Comic Mini-Series, Issue #2 

“With writers Mac Walters (Mass Effect: Foundation) and Alexander Freed (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) at the helm as the new series’ writers alongside artist Eduardo Francisco (Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse), the newest narrative will follow a young boy named Kismet. According to the publisher, he was rescued during an ambush by Yarrow, who is one of the Freelancers suited up in those epic javelins seen in-game. Suddenly orphaned, the new comic series will follow both he and his adoptive sister Jani in a fight for a better future both for themselves and humanity.”

– comicbook.com

billboard.com
The Price Is Right: Touring Sector Sees Growth by Finding What Fans Are Willing to Pay
The biggest mistake that StubHub made in recent memory was putting out a year-end list in 2015 saying Taylor Swift’s 1989 Tour was its No. 1 seller.

[Excerpt]

The biggest mistake that StubHub made in recent memory was putting out a year-end list in 2015 saying Taylor Swift’s 1989 Tour was its No. 1 seller.

“When I saw that, I thought, ‘They’re basically bragging about how much money they made off of us,’” says Louis Messina, Swift’s longtime promoter and one of AEG’s biggest earners. That claim by StubHub and other secondary sellers, detailing how quickly they were able to buy up - and mark up - tickets for Swift’s tour, served as the partial impetus for Swift’ s decision in 2018 to price tickets more aggressively and utilize a program like Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan to stump scalpers.

It was a gamble that drew plenty of scrutiny, with many pointing to slow-selling tickets and a lack of sellouts leading up to the tour opener in Glendale, Arizona. But once representatives from State Farm Stadium announced that the first show had sold out and broken an attendance record, the trajectory began to shift.

theguardian.com
From Bake Off's Rahul to Love Island's Adam: TV heroes and villains of 2018
By Kate Abbott

Villains

Modesto Cunanan, American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace

If you came away from The Assassination of Gianni Versace conflicted about Andrew Cunanan, a vain void of a serial killer wonderfully humanised by Darren Criss, then you almost certainly came out of it hating his father. At least as portrayed here, Modesto Cunanan was a man who promised his child everything and ran away when things got difficult. The best thing you could say is that he was just another immigrant crushed by the American dream. The worst is that he helped create a murderer.

How BTS Is Taking Over the World

It’s early on a Monday night in September at a lavish top-floor suite of the Ritz-Carlton in Los Angeles, and Jimin, one-seventh of BTS, the most popular boy band in the world, is napping upright in front of an illuminated dressing room mirror.

You can’t blame him for being exhausted. Exactly 24 hours earlier, Jimin, 22; Jin, 25; Suga, 25; J-Hope, 24; RM, 24; V, 22; and Jung Kook, 21, were warming up backstage at L.A.’s Staples Center, prepping to perform their fourth and final show of a sold-out stretch at the 20,000-seat arena. Each night is a marathon of sharp dance choreography, music-video interludes and indoor pyrotechnics—all backgrounded, of course, by the roars of screaming fans. “It’s a real honor,” says J-Hope, via a translator. “We’re proud that everything we do is giving off light.”

Like The Beatles and One Direction before them, BTS serves up a mania-inducing mix of heartthrob good looks and ear-worm choruses, alongside dance moves in the vein of New Kids on the Block and *NSYNC. But the band—whose name stands for Bangtan Sonyeondan in Korean and Beyond the Scene in English—is also breaking new ground. Not only is BTS the first Korean act to sell out a U.S. stadium (to say nothing of the records they’ve set across Asia), but they’ve done so without catering to Western audiences. Only one of their members, RM, speaks fluent English, and most of their songs are in Korean—even more proof that music “doesn’t have to be English to be a global phenomenon,” says Steve Aoki, a U.S. DJ who has collaborated with BTS. The group is also preternaturally adept at leveraging social media, both to promote their music and connect with their fans.

But for now, at least, they may need sleep. “I’m still trying to get over my jet lag,” deadpans Suga, one of the group’s three rappers.

Since its genesis in the ‘90s, Korean pop—or K-pop—has become synonymous with what studios call “idols”: a cadre of young, polished, perfect-seeming pop stars whose images are often rigorously controlled. (They’re often discouraged from discussing their dating lives, so as to seem available to fans.) But even as K-pop matured to a nearly $5 billion industry with fans around the world, its biggest stars—including Rain, Girls’ Generation and Big Bang—largely failed to gain traction in Western markets. The outlier was Psy, a South Korean rapper whose “Gangnam Style” became a viral hit in 2012, though his comic, outlandish persona was an unlikely (and some critics argue, problematic) herald for the genre.

When BTS arrived in 2013, it was clear they would play by new rules. They were formed by Bang Si-hyuk, a K-pop renegade who left a major label to start his own enterprise. He chose young stars that appeared to have an edge, beginning with RM, who was initially a part of Korea’s underground rap scene. And although BTS has idol elements—the slick aesthetics, the sharp choreography, the fun-loving singles—they also embrace their flaws. Their first release, “No More Dream,” took on the ways Korean kids feel stymied by societal expectations; RM recorded a song with Wale that alludes to the importance of activism; Suga released a mixtape addressing his depression. “We started to tell the stories that people wanted to hear and were ready to hear, stories that other people could not or would not tell,” Suga says. “We said what other people were feeling—like pain, anxieties and worries.” They convey these messages in their music videos, loaded with metaphors and cultural references; in their social media updates; and in the lyrics of their music, which fans translate and analyze on message boards, group chats and podcasts. “That was our goal, to create this empathy that people can relate to,” Suga continues.

It helps, too, that their sound is broadly appealing, fusing hip-hop with EDM and pop production. Recent collaborators include Desiigner and Nicki Minaj, who added a verse to their latest single “Idol,” whose lyrics wink at their place in the K-pop firmament. “You can call me artist, you can call me idol,” they sing. “No matter what you call me, I don’t care… you can’t stop me lovin’ myself.” RM says that mantra—love yourself—is core to BTS’ identity; it’s even incorporated into their most recent album titles. “Life has many unpredictable issues, problems, dilemmas,” says RM. “But I think the most important thing to live well is to be yourself. We’re still trying to be us.”

This combination of traits has resonated with fans, especially on social media, where BTS has amassed millions of devoted followers. They call themselves ARMY, which is both an acronym for Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth and a nod to their organized power. In 2017, BTS fans made headlines for lifting the group to the top of Billboard’s Social Artist chart—which incorporates streams, social-media mentions and more—and besting the likes of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Since then, the ARMY has catapulted both of BTS’s latest albums, Love Yourself: Answer and Love Yourself: Tear, to the top of album charts in the U.S., South Korea and Japan. “Even if there is a language barrier, once the music starts, people react pretty much the same wherever we go,” says Suga. “It feels like the music really brings us together.” Adds Jimin: “We give energy to our audience members and listeners, but we also draw energy from them.”

Back at the Ritz, a makeup artist wakes Jimin from his nap. Nearby, V sings a bar of music as his bleach-blond hair gets blown out. Jung Kook stretches his neck as a makeup artist applies concealer. RM chats with a manager. Suga slips into loafers. Jin, who goes by the fan-given moniker of “Worldwide Handsome,” lets a wardrobe assistant tie his necktie. J-Hope’s laughter filters through the door.

It’s a rare moment of downtime for the boys. Over the coming weeks, they will perform another 11 sold-out shows, appear on Good Morning Americaand even help launch a youth empowerment initiative at the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, at which RM spoke about self-acceptance: “No matter who you are or where you’re from, your skin color, your gender identity, speak yourself.”

A schedule like this might seem daunting. But for BTS—and their ARMY—it’s an encouraging sign of what’s to come. “I’m just throwing it out there,” Suga says, “but maybe we could perform at the Super Bowl someday.”

© Raisa Bruner @ TIME

About the all important 5%

We often wonder what makes good pieces of art (may they be illustrations, comics, animations or anything else really) different from only competent work. What makes them stand out. With Kana we discuss it a lot, trying to figure out what is the compelling aspect that makes us save some art to be studied, enjoyed and learned from later.

Currently, after a lot of debating our theory says that we like art that is “gorgeous” in a way. We like pieces in which extra effort has been put to make them not only good but outstanding. Not necessarily visually - it also can apply to the idea, contents, story, richness of the setting etc.

This is where our “important 5%” way of thinking started.

Let’s say there is a sketch of an old house that you really want to make. You are looking forward to using your favorite method of painting to make it, you even have the perfect photo for reference. But by creating the sketch as you always do, only paying so much attention to the process will only take you to the top 95% of the quality. Even if you are good at it, focus on what you are doing and everything goes to plan.

For me, when I do a live stream and sketch or paint while talking to you on YouTube or Instagram I can only paint something that (for me) when I look back at the result looks OK. When I focus and REALLY try to use my abilities and experience I can sometimes produce works that to me look GOOD. They are at the 95% mark - with my current “artistic sense” I can not see anything obviously wrong.
But there is still the 5% that could make the piece exceptional!

This is the “5%” that makes your art special and can make it “gorgeous”. This is also the 5% that will be the hardest part of your work that you really don’t want to do and will try to avoid if possible. You will even pretend to yourself not to see it, so you don’t have to do it.
Doing it will be really tiring, difficult, bothersome. It requires going outside your comfort zone or worse, making something you already completed again (gasp!) to make it even better this time.

It’s good to have then someone you trust to push you into doing it (or you have to find the courage yourself). For me, Kana always acts as my art conscience telling me to think deeper about what I do to get the important 5% done!
Even though it’s sometimes really annoying to hear “you can do it better” when your brain tries with all it’s cunning to deceive you otherwise, but I’m grateful for it in the end.

But here comes the really crucial part: the important 5% that makes your work so much better is NOT the last 5%. It’s included all along the way! From the first idea to the last touch of your brush:

It might include things like going to the library to find what people living in the house you wanted to sketch ate or what did they wear. Researching what the beams of the roof looked like - and even going to some similar houses to check it out by yourself. Looking at thousands of old photos to find the perfect bicycle or teapot that you can use. Making additional sketches and thinking about things that will not even be in the finished illustration but will make the setting more real and full. Fixing mistakes or even redoing the whole piece if necessary until you feel like you are really doing things for the first time.
The important 5% often takes you places or makes you do stuff that you did not expect. If you feel like you are walking a dark road with no map having to make difficult decisions all the time, that’s good!

After finishing art that really took me outside my comfort zone, where I did everything I could to include the important 5%, I always find myself thinking: “I really did not know anything before I started this, but look where I am now! Who would have thought that one can do THAT!”. If you are a little surprised that you were able to make what you did, that’s also a sign that you are going in the right direction.

Of course, it’s impossible to get the 5% right each time (there are deadlines, costs, fatigue) but we can always try to get as close as we can!

rollingstone.com
Shawn Mendes: Confessions of a Neurotic Teen Idol
He has three Number One albums, legions of fans and amazing hair — now, if he could just chill out
By Patrick Doyle

[Excerpt]

Last Christmas, he was reading YouTube comments about his sexuality when he decided he’d had enough. “I thought, ‘You fucking guys are so lucky I’m not actually gay and terrified of coming out,’ ” he recalls now. “That’s something that kills people. That’s how sensitive it is. Do you like the songs? Do you like me? Who cares if I’m gay?”

So he recorded a frantic Snapchat story. “I noticed a lot of people were saying I gave them a ‘gay vibe,’ ” he told his millions of followers, sounding a little choked up as he stared wide-eyed at the camera. “First of all, I’m not gay. Second of all, it shouldn’t make a difference if I was or wasn’t.”

But the video only made people talk more. Mendes mentions a text he got just the other day from Swift. They’ve been friends since she took him on her 1989 tour, when he was 16. He remembers those shows fondly — how she showed him the ropes of performing at arenas and stadiums, how she’d line up her trucks in the shape of a diamond and throw huge barbecues inside with soccer games and flip-cup. (“I wasn’t drinking,” he says. “I was just playing with water, obviously.”)

Swift was texting Mendes a cellphone video of them together, just to make sure he was cool with her posting it — a short clip of the night they were hanging out backstage at her Reputation tour and she put her glittery eye makeup on Mendes’ face, to his delight. He told her it was fine without thinking, but later that night, he woke up in a cold sweat. “I felt sick,” he said. “I was like, ‘Fuck, why did I let her post that?’ I just fed the fire that I’m terrified of.”

In the end, Mendes says, he’s happy about the side of himself shown in Swift’s backstage post. As a kid, he’d put glitter on his eyelids to make his parents laugh; he grew up with 15 female cousins, “braiding hair and painting nails. Maybe I am a little more feminine — but that’s the way it is. That’s why I am me.”

How BTS became the world's biggest boyband

BTS arrive for their first ever UK shows by private jet. They have been using it on the US leg of their world tour, which culminated in a show to 40,000 people at New York’s Citi Field on 6 October, three days before playing to as many people again across two nights at the O2 Arena in London. They have racked up two US No 1 albums and billions of global streams, and were recently invited to the UN as Unicef ambassadors, where their charismatic leader, RM, made a speech, in English, on self-acceptance. Milestones such as these are monumental for any artist, but in reaching them BTS – rappers Suga, RM and J-hope and vocalists Jimin, V, Jin and Jungkook – have changed the face of pop, as the first Korean group to reach the upper echelons of the western music industry.

Ethereal-looking Jimin broke down at the end of the Citi Field show. The band have played similar-sized shows in other countries, but the US has always been the final frontier for K-pop – a market that has been attempted many times with only minor successes by acts such as Big Bang, EXO, and 2NE1’s CL. “We feel it all the time,” says Jimin. “On this tour we played some very large venues, and it makes us see that people really love us. Being inundated by all these emotions, it kind of got to me.”

In a hotel in London, ahead of the UK shows, security stake out the hallways. Burly men accompany band members to the toilet. BTS have reached that dissociative level of stardom where they are handled like china dolls. “We know that popularity is not for ever,” RM says with a smile. “So we enjoy the ride, the rollercoaster, and when it ends, it just finishes. We’re on the jets and in the stadiums, but I don’t feel like it’s mine. It’s like we just borrowed it from somebody.”

BTS are the brainchild of veteran writer and producer Bang Shi Hyuk, who formerly worked at the K-pop entertainment giant JYP, then formed Big Hit Entertainment and debuted BTS in 2013. The normal practice of K-pop is to oversee every element of the life of young “idols”, as they are known in Korea. However, Bang gave BTS autonomy to run their own Twitter and vlog from their studio, and for the rappers to write alongside Big Hit’s in-house production team. Their lyrics are emotionally vulnerable and socially conscious, sometimes bordering on angry, and go against K-pop’s grain: Baepsae, which translates as “silver spoon”, defends their “cursed” generation.

Critics have tried to unravel the secret of their US success: many credit social media with spreading their message, but BTS’s fans, known as Army, flag the music and lyrics as the reason they have connected so deeply. It’s this, plus the end of One Direction, the growing interest in K-pop in the US, and BTS’s endless stream of visual content (from behind-the-scenes footage to reality shows) that reel in the curious and hook them with the force of the group’s personalities. In time-honoured boyband fashion, they offer something for everyone.

Like all pop stars with gigantic, powerful fan bases, BTS tread a delicate line between celebrating their admirers and potentially alienating them. “Fame is like a shadow,” says Suga, their most serious member. “There’s light and there’s darkness; it’s something that follows you constantly and not something you can run away from. But people tend to respect our privacy. We go to art galleries a lot and people don’t really bother us, then after we leave they’ll make a [social media] post.”

“If it gets too much and it crosses a line, then it can be a source of stress but for me, at least, it’s a sign of their love,” says J-hope, a former street dancer. On a recent album cut, Pied Piper, they playfully admonished the obsessives: “Stop watching and start studying for your exams, your parents and boss hate me … You already have plenty of my pictures in your room.”

That surprising honesty – in K-pop terms – underpinned the concept of their recent Love Yourself album trilogy (Her, Tear and Answer), which charted a narrative around, unsurprisingly, learning to love oneself. RM’s speech at the UN echoed this theme: “No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin colour, your gender identity, just speak yourself.” This relatively anodyne statement resonated in South Korea, where the president publicly opposes homosexuality.

During their career the band have used Haruki Murakami, Ursula K Le Guin, Jung, Orwell, Hesse and Nietzsche as inspiration. The latter figures notably in the theory of fate that is woven through Her, whereby love is destined and must therefore be unshakable (only for it to fall apart on Tear). As 80s indie fans did, BTS’s Army now read these writers in order to fully understand the band’s vision, while spending serious money on Bluetooth-programmed light-up sticks for their concerts.

For many, however, BTS symbolise an industry that is little more than a high-functioning bubblegum machine. K-pop is perceived as cruel for its intensive training system, which can start when artists are seven years old and last for 10 years with no guarantee of a group debut; and for its harsh approach to idols who struggle with exhaustion and their mental health. Many have fainted onstage, while Super Junior’s Leeteuk quietly set up a now-defunct peer group, Milk Club, for idols dealing with depression. Meanwhile, fans are portrayed as mindless teenage girls. “It’s pointless to argue or fight about it,” Suga says, gruffly. “Frankly, I can’t understand people who want to put down a certain type of music, whatever that might be. Classical music was pop music in its own age. It’s a matter of taste and understanding – there’s no good or bad, there’s no highbrow or lowbrow.”

BTS’s music began as old-school R&B and hip-hop, but has since incorporated a myriad of genres, from EDM to South African house. The lyrics, too, have become increasingly complex, closer to prose than simple moon-June-soon pop. In many respects, BTS fit the mould of a classic boyband – they look and sound great – but they are also grown men who cry, embrace and expose their vulnerabilities and failings even as a culture of toxic masculinity thrives on- and offline. It strengthens their messages of strength, love, hope and acceptance beyond what boybands have offered before.

K-pop idols work intensively, in a world where a few careers will last more than 10 years, but many are over in just 12 months. This year BTS have released three albums (two Korean and one Japanese), toured the world and produced a third series of their travel reality show, Bon Voyage. Their schedule is planned down to the minute. “I think there were times we were pretty close to burning out,” admits Suga, “but it’s inevitable and it’s the same for people in any profession.”

Current and former idols have shifted towards acting, appearing on South Korea’s variety TV shows, and explored solo careers. Suga’s interests include architecture and lighting. Jungkook, the youngest member at 21, has taken up documentary-style film-making, his most recent short capturing the extremes of his life – the intensity of the stage and the stillness of the aftermath. He says he feels “a lot of happiness when I think about things I can do in the future”. He has energy to burn – he will later give himself a minor heel injury before the first London show and spend it confined to a stool, tearfully apologising for not fully participating.

During a recent live session on streaming platform VLive, V, whose slightly hoarse voice gives the group a soulful edge, played snippets of solo work to much buzz. BTS’s rappers have already released self-written and produced solo mixtapes, but the vocalists have yet to follow in their footsteps. “I’m working on it,” offers Jungkook, when J-hope begins laughing.

RM weighs in, amused, “He’s getting ready for too many things! Films, boxing – he’s planning so much that no one knows when it’s coming out.”

A good-natured squabble breaks out. “When J-hope gives me the beats, maybe I can get started on my tape,” deadpans Jin, the oldest member at 25.

J-hope feigns indignation. “I gave him beats! He liked what I gave him!” he says as Jin cackles at the ceiling.

“On all the songs I make,” V chips in, having sat back for most of the interview, “I feel there’s something that’s just not there. I have a shortcoming, I can’t finish a song, I need someone to help me. When I come up with something I can put out, I will.”

Suga jabs back. “It’s going to be about 20 years then.”

For their fans it’s this kind of playful teasing and natural camaraderie that makes BTS so appealing. For the band, their connection helps support their frenetic work pace.

Openly ambitious, Suga has repeatedly stated that a Grammy win is his next goal and recently added playing the Super Bowl halftime show (71,000 people in the arena; 120m watching at home) to the list. Either could be the thing that cements BTS’s status as household names. Right now, neither seems unreachable. “We want to show as much as we can,” says Jimin, his gaze unwavering. “We only want to be able to show our best.”

© Taylor Glasby @ The Guardian

forbes.com
Forbes Announces 15th Annual World's 100 Most Powerful Women List
By Forbes Corporate Communications

“The 2018 list spans more than six generations of influential women, with Taylor Swift the youngest honoree at 28 and Queen Elizabeth II the oldest at 92.”

  • Swift’s 2018 ‘Reputation’ Stadium Tour is officially the highest-grossing tour in U.S. history, grossing $266.1 million.
  • She has inked one of the most significant deals in history with Universal Music Group, negotiating ownership to all of her master records.
  • As part of the deal, Universal Music Group is required to share proceeds from the eventual sale of its $1bn stake in Spotify with its musicians.
  • She has boycotted Spotify over low artist royalties and criticized Apple’s streaming music service, provoking the company to change its policy.
  • Swift has leveraged her fame to encourage voting, with 65,000 registrations in the 24 hours after she urged fans to vote in the November mid-terms.
washingtonpost.com
For foreign-born NHL players, Thanksgiving can be a little awkward
Capitals players are getting into the holiday spirit, even if some of them aren't familiar with some of the traditions.

Washington Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky sat in his dressing room stall and turned to his left, giving a sheepish grin to forward Tom Wilson. It was Wednesday morning at the Capitals’ practice facility, and the Swede had been talking about his still-to-be-decided Thanksgiving Day plans when he thought it was best to casually drop a hint in Wilson’s direction.

“When I live in America I guess I have to follow the traditions and the holidays, so I haven’t really planned anything yet,” Burakovsky said. “We will see. We will see if I get an invite from Wilson.”

Wilson, who is Canadian, didn’t seem to pay any attention.

“I like the holiday,” Burakovsky continued, before Wilson immediately interjected: “Of course you do. You can eat lots of food!”

… For Burakovsky, his first Thanksgiving celebration was with the host family he was staying with at the time, and he immediately took away one essential thought: “It can be a little unhealthy if you treat yourself, but, yeah, I like the holiday.” He claims he doesn’t have a favorite Thanksgiving food, opting for a more political response: “I just eat anything.” 

OH MY GOD, TOM, JUST INVITE HIM TO DINNER ALREADY.

Jakub Vrana, who is Czech, will be enjoying his first Thanksgiving with his father, who is in town ahead of the Capitals’ annual Dads’ Trip. Vrana said the festivities will mostly just include him and his dad, with the chance that other players such as forward Dmitrij Jaskin and defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler will stop by. Vrana said his Thanksgiving plans also include cooking his first turkey.

“Yeah, I think it’s pretty simple, no?” the 22-year-old said. “You just put it in the oven and it takes a couple hours.”

While Vrana enjoys the American holiday, he was still learning the exact terms for all the Thanksgiving essentials: “I think we want to make mashed potatoes and some what is it called? Like a raspberry sauce?”

Cranberry.

“Ah, yes, cranberry sauce,” Vrana said. “I mean, I have never celebrated. I normally get Uber Eats or something. I don’t have my family here or anything. I am not going to cook cold turkey by myself and just enjoy Thanksgiving by myself, so I’ll try for the first time. I saw pictures last year of the families and it was really nice and had lots of food and looks like a good national day for it. People like it a lot here, right?”

OH MY GOD VEE YOU PRECIOUS BEAN THIS IS GOING TO END SO BADLY. OR WONDERFULLY. HARD TO SAY.

Pressure vectors


Recently I have been struggling a bit with my art. Not exactly with actually making something (I completed a difficult commission just yesterday) but with my overall attitude to making stuff. You may call it an artist’s block but I decided to call it vector stress. Let me explain:

Not so long ago I finished all my big projects: my “Tokyo Storefronts" book, “Yuragi” comic, a short animated movie and the “Tokyo at Night" illustration series. I had a blank, long-term schedule, with nothing I could just go and do.  Gradually I became weirdly stressed and “touchy" about my work. I could not complete a thing without stressing out few times on the way.

I started to think about things like my motivation and the directions of my creative drive. I thought and analyzed hard. And here is what I discovered:

For me there are two main aspects that drive me when I’m doing something creative:

Keep reading

[ARTICLE] EXID admits they have many complaints with their company

EXID shared the complaints they have for their agency Banana Culture.

During the show, the members went through a lie detector test. To the statement, “I am satisfied with my agency,” Hyerin replied, “No.” Her answer revealed to be true.

Hyerin commented, “This is accurate,” and explained, “I was always dissatisfied at how we weren’t able to show varying sides of us throughout the 7 years.” LE also said, “They can make mistakes, but they don’t offer any apology.”

On November 28, EXID made a full group appearance on MBC Every1’s ‘Weekly Idol’ for the first time in 2 years.

Pirate Flags (Jolly Roger)

( Flag Edward Englands († 1720))

The Jolly Roger or “the pirate flag”, often also skull flag, is the black flag of pirate ships. It is also called Black Jack, in reference to the British Union Jack. The origin of the name Jolly Roger is unknown. Some believe it is a corruption of the Indian pirate Ali Rajah, whose name was pronounced by the British Olly Roger, but it may also derive from the French joli rouge (pretty red), as the first pirates hoisted a blood-red flag as a sign that they would all kill if the crew of the booty ship did not surrender immediately. It is said that Calico Jack Rackham

(Flag Calico Jack Rackhams (* 1682; † 1720))

used a black flag with a skull for the first time (variant with crossed cutlasses), but this is not certain. The classic motif of the Jolly Roger, a skull with two crossed bones, was first used by the Breton pirate Emanuel Wynne around 1700.

(Flag Emanuel Wynnes (late 17th century, early 18th century))

The flag of Henry Every, who sailed for the last time in 1696, is depicted with a skull in profile, bandana and earring, over crossed bones.

( Flag Henry Every (* 1653; † 1696))

However, neither a skull in profile nor bandana or earring can be found elsewhere on flags or other heraldic symbols of the time. And although earrings, especially made of gold, were not uncommon among sailors (the wearer hoped that he would be paid a Christian funeral from the proceeds of the earring), it was not until the late 19th century that bandana and earring became popular details of artistic pirate depictions, starting with the illustrated stories Howard Pyles (1853-1911).

On “Blackbeard” Edward Thatch’s flag is a skeleton holding an hourglass and a spear in its hands, with a bleeding heart next to it. This means that the soul now belongs to death (skeleton). The hourglass is supposed to show the victims that their time has expired. The spear promises a quick end, the bleeding heart a particularly cruel/painful death.

(Flag Blackbeards (* 1680; † 1718) )

The skull with the crossed bones and the hourglass were - taken from older Vanitas and Memento Mori representations - widely used motifs in cemeteries. A proof can be found in the graphic cycle “The four stages of cruelty” by William Hogarth, published in 1751: On the third picture the skull motive with the crossed bones is found, which decorates a grave.

In 1724 Jolly Roger was first mentioned in Captain Charles Johnson’s biographical collection A General History of the Pyrates.

Other Flags are:

(Flag Thomas Tews († 1695))

(Flag Stede Bonnets (* 1688; † 1718))

(Flag Bartholomew Roberts (* 1682; † 1722) his first flag)

(Roberts second flag)

The blood-red flag (guess)

There is an assumption that before the Jolly Roger a blood-red flag was used as a pirate symbol. This is supported by the fact that, until piracy arose in the 16th and 17th centuries, the red flag was considered a quarantine flag and had the meaning “Attention, we may have a disease on board that will kill anyone who approaches us”. And the pirates wanted to be deadly on approach. In addition, the quarantine flag received a swallowtail in almost every seafaring nation in the 17th century, according to the thesis, in order to rule out confusion with pirates. In any case, the British navy prohibited the flying of exclusively red flags in the Arabian Sea, ships with such flags were treated as pirates; therefore the flags of Bahrain and Qatar still have their jagged shape today. In 1694, the Admiralty had ordered British buccaneers to fly the red flag. When the war against Spain ended in 1714, many of the then superfluous buccaneers went into business for themselves and hijacked British ships on their own account while retaining their red flag. According to other sources, the early pirates carried two flags, one of which they hoisted as needed: the red flag was the sign of not taking prisoners (i.e. killing them all) and the black flag of taking prisoners for ransom. Therefore, the red flag was even more feared than the normal black flag, so joli rouge was a euphemism.

Asian pirate flags

The Jolly Roger, on the other hand, was unknown to East Asian pirates. Around 1810 there were six large groups of pirates in the South China Sea who marked their ships with red and black, but also white, green, blue and yellow flags.


A. Konstam, R. M. Kean, Pirates. Predators of the Sea (New York 2007)

www. cosmosmith.com/jolly_roger. html

BoJack Horseman Renewed for Season 6 at Netflix 

BoJack Horseman will ride again at Netflix.
To little surprise, the streaming giant has renewed its critically adored adult animated comedy for a sixth season. The news comes after the fifth season returned Sept. 14 to glowing reviews. Season five currently has a 100 percent fresh rating on RottenTomatoes.com, with the series as a whole averaging an impressive 92 percent among critics and 94 percent among viewers.
Created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg, the animated comedy from Michael Eisner’s Tornante Co. features Will Arnett as the voice of BoJack, the legendary ‘90s sitcom star from Horsin’ Around navigating life with his human sidekick Todd (Aaron Paul) and feline agent Carolyn (Amy Sedaris).
BoJack is one of a rapidly growing slate of adult animated comedies at Netflix. The streamer continues to make a heavy investment in the space, recently renewing Paradise PD and handing out a two-season pickup to Disenchantment. Other recent Netflix series deals in the genre include Jake Johnson’s Hoops and Tuca and Bertie, the latter of which also hails from BoJack'sBob-Waksberg and Lisa Hanawalt. Bob-Waksberg has three adult animated comedies overall, with Amazon’s Undone — which he co-created alongside BoJack’s Kate Purdy — joining the Netflix pair.
BoJack is exec produced by Bob-Waksberg, Steven A. Cohen and Noel Bright, Arnett and Paul. BoJack was designed by graphic artist Hanawalt and is animated by L.A.-based ShadowMachine.

(THR)