Intergalactic Collision: Star Wars & Day of the Dead

A long time ago in a country a lot like Mexico… computer artist John Karpinsky created a perfect mix of traditional culture and the galactic phenominon that is Star Wars. His gorgeous illustrations are so spot on it seems like this is how George Lucas originally intended them. His inspiration:

“Star Wars was a large part of my childhood, which sadly passed long ago. This is my tribute to characters of my youth, an invitation to the celebration of that cultural phenomenon that shaped my life so long ago.”

For more of Karpinsky’s work, see his flickr or purchase prints at Etsy. If you liked these images, you’ll really dig our posts “Star Wars Depicted with Traditional Mexican Art,” “The Softer Side of Star Wars” and “Star Wars: Not So Long Ago After All.”

Visual Bits #28 > Dare to be Different

After the jump: your unique daily links

An LA Traffic Story: Visualizing the Commute

For all that live in the LA basin, this informative animation will be far too familiar. Long distances between all the great things to do in the area, combined with quickly stopping traffic on freeways like the 405 and 5, create roads that are often at a standstill. Waze, in collaboration with Gray Area Foundation and artist Nik Hanselmann, created this animation of hazards and traffic as reported by Waze users. Beginning at 5pm and ending 24 hours later the data really begins to explode as people rush to work around 7am. It’s a sobering look at driving conditions in the City of Angels.

Waze is “a social mobile application providing free turn-by-turn navigation based on the live conditions of the road.” It’s available for most mobile devices.

The Gettysburg Address in Motion

This moving example of motion graphics revisits one of the best known speeches in United States history, the Gettysburg Address. Coming after a decisive turning point in the American Civil War (in which the North took superiority) the speech is now considered one of the finest examples of oration in history. Abraham Lincoln was able to summarize the entire war in just ten sentences and in the process redefined the war as a struggle not merely for the Union, but as “a new birth of freedom” that would bring true equality to all of its citizens.

This video with it’s clever transitions and ominous war-like mood does the speech justice.

Flashback: Replay Vintage Handheld Games

Donkey Kong JR. – Nintendo Game & Watch (1982)

Ok, hold on to your hats, because we’re about to blast you back through the 80’s on an internet adventure! It was a time when handheld gaming was black and white and the only sound was a simple beep… and it was still a blast. Ready to go? Hipopotam Studio has been swiftly creating Pica Pic: retro handheld games with complete playability right here on the net. Classic and rare titles are included, from Donkey Kong JR. and The Terminator to Search Light and Thief in Garden. Just scroll across the screen to find a vintage game, select it and follow the clever diagram to figure out keyboard controls. After you’re fingers are sore, be sure to check out Hipopotam Studio’s outstanding website… but be careful, you could get sucked in for weeks!

Visual Bits #27 > Stormtrooper Icon

A blessing of links after the jump

An Animated Introduction to Genetics

This short film explores the history and science behind genetics and genomics. Starting in the early days with Gregor Mendel’s observation of genes to todays understanding of DNA and the genetic code the film is packed full of data and worth a number of viewings. Luckily with the nice motion graphics work, it’s as easy to watch as listen.

Vintage Design With a Swiss Touch

Born in 1919, Swiss designer Max Huber took to graphic design early in life, studying under such notables as Walter Roshardt and Alfred Willimann when he was just 17. He received his first job in Milan when he was 21, getting the attention of his future boss, Antonio Boggeri with his precicely hand-drawn calling card. Working frequently as a freelance designer, Huber enjoyed experimentation and would often do so even on client work. Much of his work combined un-framed photographic elements with exploritory typographical details, using bold linear splashes of color to give his images a sense of speed.

“He was a splendid mix; he had irrepressible natural talent and a faultless drawing hand; he possessed the lively candour of the eternal child; he was a true product of the Swiss School; he loved innovatory research; he boasted a lively curiosity, being quick to latch on – not without irony – to the most unpredictable ideas, and he worked with the serious precision of the first-rate professional.”
– Giampiero Bosoni

Mysterious Tiny Rooms

Marc Giai-Miniet builds tiny, exactingly crafted rooms that look swiftly deserted by evil scientists. Painted predominantly monochromatic gray, his libraries, laboratories, sewers and submarines draw the viewer in, arousing curiosity at what events have passed in these grim spaces. To see his other work, cruise by

Visual Bits #26 > Just One More!

Capture some links after the jump