Lots of Fun With Finnegan’s Wake

Peter O’Brien is currently illustrating the 628 pages of Finnegans Wake by James Joyce. Here’s a page from an article in the Globe and Mail:

Joyce used grist for Finnegans Wake from wherever he found it: the Bible, drinking songs, the morning paper. I likewise use images from various sources. These two trees are side-by-side at the cottage of a friend, and I thought they would be appropriate on a page where Joyce invokes Lucien Lévy-Bruhl and his work in the growing fields of sociology and ethnology.

Visit Peter’s site for more sample pages and links to other articles about the project, Lots of Fun With Finnegan’s Wake. He hopes to be finished by 2022.






My font was in a movie

My font, Plastic Tomato, appeared briefly in Despicable Me 3.

I get a huge kick out of this, mostly because I made it twenty years ago while I was still in high-school. Grunge design was popular and there was an indie font scene happening on the early web. I churned out a bunch of fonts over the span of a year or two, released them all online, but didn’t take it much further. They managed to make it through several site migrations, and are still tucked away in the dusty type section of the site.

All of the fonts were freely available and had a note attached saying to get in touch if you want to use them commercially. I still get the occasional email, mostly people using them for smaller personal projects. So, I was a bit surprised to get a message from a movie studio asking for clearance to use it.

I wanted to reach out because I’m working on Despicable Me 3 and production is interested in using your Plastic Tomato font for a 1980’s style action figure commercial in the movie. The font would be seen on screen (along with other fonts) stating the action figure’s features. If you’re okay with the use, we’d appreciate it if you could sign the attached clearance request.

I signed the request, but wasn’t sure if it would actually make it into the movie. Never got around to seeing it in the theatre, but grabbed a copy when it was released digitally.

And there it is, the font I made in high-school, on-screen (gif) for approximately two seconds!


Connection versus competition

From an article on mansplaining by Erynn Brook:

In competition (male) style communication the person who talks the longest and the loudest “wins”. Topics shift more frequently as speakers try to move conversation to their area of expertise/comfort, so that they can talk more, and thus “win”.

In connection (female) style communication the speaker “wins” by deepening connections with others. People tend to stay on topic longer in order to explore those connections and will pass the mic around/ask questions.

If you’ve ever done any teaching/speaking/group leading/camp counsellor-ing, you’ve probably used both styles, competition when you need to get everyone’s attention and connection when you’re leading.