First of all, I don’t do Pinterest. Or Tumblr. (Never say never, but not right now, at any rate.) But I do like to keep track of pictures I enjoy. The end of the year is a time for solemn list-making by critics and fans alike. By its very nature, this blog isn’t focused on movies, music, or books alone, so I won’t pretend to sum up the year in depth. Making lists is fun, however, so here is a (hopefully) fun list: some of my favorite images from 2013. Some of these have been around for a while, but they were new to me in the last year.
5. Super Lil Bub!
Everyone knows Lil Bub, the google-eyed cat that has taken the Internet by storm. This 8-bit style retro design by Drew Wise was available as a tee shirt earlier this year. I didn’t get one–I have a lot of tee shirts already–but this needs to be commemorated. Even if it was just Lil Bub flying her saucer around space, who wouldn’t want to play this game?
4. Cookie Monster Cupcakes: Nailed It
Yes, these are everywhere. But so help me, I laugh at this one every time I see it. Never not funny.
3. Injustice: Gods Among Us: shocked Batman
I haven’t read Injustice: Gods Among Us, and frankly I doubt I’ll bother. Although I have a documented interest in stories that put familiar characters in extreme situations, a graphic novel tied into a video game (from the makers of Mortal Kombat, in case that wasn’t obvious), and in which Superman is tricked into killing Lois Lane–and then goes on a rampage and kills pretty much everyone else–doesn’t grab me. I’ll grant that Injustice has been polarizing: depending on whom you ask, it’s either the best or worst thing to happen to comics in years. But what I like about the above illustration (from artist Jheremy Raapack) isn’t Superman disemboweling the Joker with his bare hands, but the look on Batman’s face in the background:
If someone wanted to put this on a tee shirt, I’d seriously consider it.
2. Platypus Venn Diagram
This one has apparently been around for some time as well–as far as I can tell it’s the creation of Tenso Graphics, but I first saw it on this They Might Be Giants Tumblr.
1. Sleeping Tyrannosaurus Rex
This illustration, by artist John Conway, just tickles me. It’s from the excellent book All Yesterdays by Conway, C. M. Kosemen, and Darren Naish, which I may write about in more detail in the future. The book is subtitled “Unique and Speculative Views of Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals,” and the artists are deliberately trying to avoid the clichés that often define paleoart. As Naish writes in the accompanying text,
Most hunting animals spend long days resting, either in order to conserve energy, or while digesting the food acquired from a fresh kill. Like most warm-blooded predators, the fearsome T. Rex may have spent most of its time asleep.
Fearsome, yes, but just look at it: it’s almost as cute as Lil Bub.