Category Archives: Videos

Why Early Cartoon Characters Wore Gloves

Why Early Cartoon Characters Wore Gloves

Ever since I first read it, historian Jason Steinhauer’s excellent 2017 essay “History is Not There to be Liked” has been rattling around in my head. His point of perpetuated myths often becoming more potent than reality has stuck with me. What we think of as normal can often have an unpleasant past obscured by more palatable lore or legend. It can be difficult for a culture to decouple the truth from its feelings toward a beloved myth.

Those thoughts cropped up again (around a less sober topic, surely) after I watched this excellent video from Vox on the reasons why so many cartoon characters wear gloves and the unfortunate connection between early animation and minstrelsy. It’s a nice bit of investigation around the craft of animation and the historical connations therein—worth checking out.


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The Faux-Language of Piracy

The Faux-Language of Piracy

Ahoy, matey! I know we’re still a few months away from International Talk Like A Pirate Day, but I came across this great video from Cheddar examining the dialect of the foul-mouthed buccaneers from the Golden Age of Piracy.

While we have all heard of walkin’ the plank and dead men tellin’ no tales, the stereotypical language we often associate with those scurvy sea dogs is more myth than reality and heavily influenced by popular culture. You can find out more by watching the video below.

Cthulhu Mythos 101

Cthulhu Mythos 101

If you’re looking for a decent primer on H.P. Lovecraft’s work and the Cthulhu mythos in general, this video from TedEd and author Silvia Moreno-García is a solid start. It’s surface level—but an easy entry into the world of cosmic horror and not a bad way to spend five minutes.

If you enjoyed that and now want a deeper dive into the man and the mythos—tragedy and all. I highly recommend checking out Frank H. Woodward’s 2008 documentary Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown. It’s fantastic and quite a bit longer. Plus it features a ton of interviews from a variety of authors and artists working in the subgenre.

I’d personally love to see a fresh take on the documentary going into 2020. While Fear isn’t that old—just over ten years—so many more amazing and talented creators have spent time in cosmic horror and added so much over the last decade. Today, the genre as a whole is stronger than it’s ever been and I think their take on the lore and legends would be most welcome.


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Watch Roxanna Walitzki's Stunning "In der Fremde"

Watch Roxanna Walitzki’s Stunning “In der Fremde”

My friend and mezzo-soprano vocalist Roxanna Walitzki is currently touring Europe with her sibling Redd (who I’ve featured in the past.) While they journey, Roxanna has begun to record classic acoustic performances in urban ruins wearing ethereal fashions created from found materials sourced on site. The results are as evocative as they are beautiful. You can see her acoustic performance of Robert Schumann’s In der Fremde (In a Foreign Land) below recorded in an abandoned paint factory in Pula, Croatia.

This is a small part of a broader ongoing collaboration between the siblings that pushes us to confront what we consider trash and disposable with the intent of encouraging us to reevaluate our own impact on the natural world. You can find out more about the project here and read the statement behind this video here. It’s a unique and thoroughly fresh approach to raising environmental awareness. I’ve enjoyed watching it come together and it’s made me pause and think about my own impact.

As an artist, Roxanna is quite prolific, and you can watch more videos and listen to more of her previous work on her official site. I recommend buying some of her music from her Bandcamp as well. She’s also a fantastic photographer so follow her on Instagram.


Support this work

Want to journey with the Walitzki siblings across Europe? Redd has set up a Patreon where they share insights, artwork, and experiences from their adventures. It’s very much worth checking out (and the perfect use of the platform.) You can find out much more over on Patreon.


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How to Understand the Image of a Black Hole

How to Understand the Image of a Black Hole

I thought this quick video from Veritasium was an excellent explanation on the “why” behind yesterday’s historical announcement. Being able to present such a complex topic so simply is a talent that I admire. So sit back, watch, learn, and join me in staring in awe.


Looking for more?

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