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Books Games Meta Stores TB.Grafico

Kodansha’s Pop Culture Family of Books

I was happy to see that top shelf pictured at the Junkudo book store in Ikebukuro, bringing together that great little collection of Japanese pop culture books from Kodansha International. I remember that when Arcade Mania came out, because we were the first, it was actually challenging for bookstores to place the book, as it wasn’t obvious where it should go. But with the addition of all those other books that ended up using the same format — Matt Alt and Hiroko Yoda’s Yokai Attack and Ninja Attack, Brian’s Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential, and Patrick W. Galbraith’s The Otaku Encyclopedia — it now makes sense to display them together. I think the next step is the creation of a box set — how great a Christmas gift would that be!

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Art Cafes Stores TB.Grafico Tokyo Walking

Opening of Diesel Concept Store in Shibuya

Thursday night I was out in Shibuya for the opening reception of the new Diesel Concept Store, which opens to the public today (November 20). Like the Diesel Denim Gallery in Aoyama, the store features a gallery space, and the opening show is Simon Henwood and Fannie Schiavoni’s “Black Sun” (until February 23). I rather like the diner-like cafe/bar area, but I have no idea what the regular menu will have to offer.

The party itself was a bit too packed for my taste, although I did get a kick out of seeing Takashi Murakami waiting in line to get in when I was on my way out.

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Magazines Technology

Eureka on iPad

I’ve been meaning to do a write-up on The TimesiPad version of its monthly Eureka science magazine for way too long now, and please don’t think that it’s because I don’t think it’s good. In fact — and as Jeremy also quite plainly stated in his review — quite the contrary, as I think it’s one of the best iPad magazine releases so far.

What’s especially impressive is that I find this magazine to be interesting even though I normally would not be inclined to pick up a magazine about science. But Eureka on iPad does so many cool things with the digital format that it’s worth picking up for that fact alone — and it’s ridiculous not too, since it’s also priced at a mere $1.

It all kicks off with a graphically pleasing table of contents that lets you quickly zoom into the different sections of the magazine, using an atomic structure-like layout that suits the theme perfectly. You can also move around to different sections with a pop-up guide on the bottom, which is similar to the ones used in the Times iPad app, but with a graphical touch up.

It also does an amazing job of using imagery to enhance articles, and as with more and more iPad magazines these days (and to be fair, it was something I first saw in the Times app), it uses the landscape mode for extra content, like detailed slideshows and the like. I wonder why so many UK-based publications are doing this, but so far it’s not really happening on the US side.

Without going into too many details, let’s just say that you’ll find beautiful layouts and fun interactive features throughout, and so it’s well worth picking for a look at what a true graphic-heavy iPad magazine can look like (as opposed to the farce that is the New York Magazine app). Sure, there are still certain issues — still no text manipulation, and no sharing tools — but there’s still a lot to like, and as I said earlier, at $1 you can certainly check it out for yourself.

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Magazines Technology

Esquire Too Sexy for iTunes App Store?

Remember when there was a lot of ruckus around Apple’s decision to start refusing apps they deemed too sexy for the App Store? Well, now it’s hitting iPad editions of mainstream magazines, as it appears that the reason it’s taken so long for the latest issue of Esquire to come out on iPad — the “Sexiest Woman Alive 2010” issue — is because of said sexiness. The inclusion of this video of Minka Kelly was too hot for Apple?

The issue is now out on the App Store, but no word on what was censored or removed in order to get it approved. Certainly doesn’t make me want to get it (nevermind that I wouldn’t pick it up anyway, since I still think $5 is too much of an asking price). (via @twitsplosion)

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Magazines

Little White Lies is Tronerific

Beautiful cover for the new issue of Little White Lies, which of course is the Tron: Legacy issue — and here’s also a gallery of every cover. Don’t know Little White Lies? It’s by far the best movie magazine out there, with each issue focusing on one movie. You can even read issues for free through Issuu, but I’d happily pay for a nice iPad edition.

One thing that has been bugging me though is that it changed its logo recently, and although everyone seems to celebrate this change, I have to say I preferred the old one.

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Meta Music Web

Codex Now Has Its Own Home

Last night I decided to put together a quick and dirty website for Codex — as you’ll probably notice, it’s a simple mod of the SNOW Magazine site. Should make it easier to keep up with what’s going on with the show, instead of having to search for appropriate posts here.

Also, I already have my playlist decided for the next episode (03), but trying to be patient and wait a week before recording it.

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Books Technology

The Humument App

Now this is a very cool idea for an iPad book-related app:

In 1966 British artist Tom Phillips set himself a task: to find a second-hand book for threepence and alter every page by painting, collage and cut-up techniques thereby creating an entirely new version. He titled his altered book A Humument. The first version of all 367 treated pages was published in 1973 since when it has been continuously revised and there have been three new editions. The Humument App has just been developed for the iPad by Tom Phillips, it combines the most recent 367 full-colour pages with an entirely novel interactive feature, The Oracle.

The Humument App was released today on the iTunes App Store, and sells for $8. (via @craigmod)

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Magazines Meta

Gym Class Magazine 07

As I teased last week, Gym Class Magazine 07 is now out, and can be purchased online from the GCM online shop. Lots of great content in this issue, including a terrific cover story on George Lois, and a short interview by me with composer Shigeru Umebayashi. Steven — the man behind the magazine — even created a nice little video (above) to show off some of it.

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Magazines Technology

National Geographic to Team Up with Adobe for Updated iPad Edition

I was reading this piece at WWD on Adobe’s digital magazine initiative and the release of the new iPad edition of Martha Stewart Living (which uses the Adobe platform), and found this bit near the end rather interesting:

Adobe is now moving on to National Geographic.

When I reviewed the current National Geographic iPad app a while back — which is nothing more than a wrapper for its Zinio edition — I mentioned how disappointed I was that a magazine of that stature wouldn’t try to release something a bit more ambitious. Sounds like we’re going to get something along the lines of Wired after all.

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Meta Music

Codex 02

It’s no secret, I can be an impatient guy, and after I was done recording the first episode of Codex and released it — something that happened just last night — I was already really looking forward to doing a second one. And so here we are, the next day, with episode 02 of this “weekly” podcast.

About the cover images, that logo was something I just put together quickly in a couple of minutes because I wanted an image to accompany the post where I announced the launch of the show — for me, a project isn’t really a reality until it has some sort of visual component to it. I kinda still like it now, and my plan is to just change the color scheme every month, but keep the same basic layout (at first I was thinking of moving the letters around each time, but I think I now prefer having a proper logo).

You can download the show below, or even better, subscribe to the RSS feed.

Codex 02 (33.3MB)

1. Caribou – “Odessa”
2. The Books – “A Cold Freezin’ Night”
3. Four Tet – “Sing”
4. Brian Eno – “Dust Shuffle”
5. Das Racist – “Puerto Rican Cousins”
6. Mark Ronson – “Tomorrow feat. Devi Nova & Q-Tip”
7. Guided by Voices – “Kicker of Elves”
8. Pas/Cal – “Grown Men Go Go”
9. Pavement – “Heckler Spray”
10. Belle & Sebastian – “I’m Not Living in the Real World”