Wallpaper of the Week: Paul Cézanne

March 20, 2009

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FROM JASON’S DESKTOP — I’ve had an itch lately for colorful impressionist paintings. I don’t know why. My tastes normally run to art deco (see: Batman The Animated Series), but in the past couple of weeks I’ve gained great contentment from heavily-daubed European country-scapes.

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Now, I’m no real art nerd, though I do love both versions of The Thomas Crown Affair. So I really have no eye or authority to comment on paintings; I’m a groundling, here. But to me, Cézanne is different because of his use of color.

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Sure, other 19th century painters (especially Cézanne’s French compatriots) had already experimented with shape being the most important element of a work; what I like is his ability to use bright, active colors further define those shapes.

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So enjoy these desktop wallpapers. As usual, I’ve touched them up with a couple of Photoshop filters to reduce fading and fuzziness, and resized them to the 1024×768 standard. I know there are better monitors out there, but again I am a groundling, trundling away with my pitiful 4:3 display*. Enjoy.

*That will change come Christmas, won’t it, Lisa? Yes. Yes it will. You know it’s true. Buy me a big LCD widescreen monitor. You know you want to. Do it. Everybody is doing it. You want to be like the cool kids. C’mon. Do it. Do it. DO IT. DO IT NOW.

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Week of Cartoons – Day 4: Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors (1985)

March 26, 2008


Part 2 | Part 3

jayce.jpgFROM JASON’S DETACHABLE CIRCULAR SAW — From the golden vineyards of France came Jayce et les Conquérants de la Lumière. You probably didn’t see it, even when it was imported to the US and translated to English in syndication.

Imagine taking He-Man and Transformers, putting them in the Large Hadron Supercollider in Switzerland, and bashing them together. Ta-da. You’ve got Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors.

This is more than just a little coincidence. Executive producer J. Michael Straczynski was a former Masters of the Universe writer and went on to do The Real Ghostbusters and Captain Power. The ‘toon’s writers also had hands in Inspector Gadget, She-Ra, MASK, and Centurions.

The premise has some pretty familiar elements: In Eternia a universe where sorcery is used alongside interstellar travel and advanced battle machines, an experiment goes wrong and radiation from a supernova mutates plants into sentient beings known as the Monster Mind. The leader of the Monster Mind, Skeletor SawBoss, drives the plant people toward galactic conquest.

The only thing standing in his way are the Masters of the Universe Lightning League, led by Prince Adam Jayce. With help from a space smuggler known as Han Solo Herc, a wizard called Obi Wan Gillian, a telepath named Teela Flora, and a wisecracking magical robot living suit of armor named C3-PO Oon, Jayce tries to defeat the forces of darkness.

Opposing him are Saw Boss’ henchmen, who can Transform change into a tank, Megatron a giant gun, a flying flail, and an AT-AT a four-legged transport.

Luckily, Jayce and company have all kinds of cool vehicles to help fight the Monster Mind. And guess what? The toys were for sale! You could own them! I had four of them! Wow! Who’s ever heard of a cartoon that has merchandising tie-ins? It was revolutionary.

The toys were amazing, though. Their schtick was that they disassembled and you could switch the parts out — all kinds of wheels, treads, buzz saws, lasers, torpedoes, grappling hooks, drills — you name it. The more you bought, the bigger and cooler custom Wheeled Warriors you could build. Mattel executives, you are geniuses. The toys didn’t really morph, though; that was left to Transformers and MASK.