NEWS | Introducing ChronOtomo BLOG

Today is the first anniversary of ChronOtomo: Katsuhiro Otomo Chronology facebook page. For the past year we have been collecting and publishing as much information about Katsuhiro Otomo's works as we could, and even we are still a long way from completion, we've already published more than 500 posts and 700 images. Facebook has been a nice platform to start with, we have reached a big audience and all, but we have always had in mind that all this material should be collected in a more convenient way, making use of links and tags so that the exploration of the many books and illustrations would lead to a much pleasing user experience.

To celebrate this first anniversary we are glad to present the blog version of this growing chronology. From now on we will be updating both the Facebook page and the blog with the latest Otomo news as well as past publications.

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For more than three decades and to this day, Katsuhiro Otomo has created a vast work in the fields of manga, animation, illustration and film. Otomo's world-renown came in the late 80's with the worldwide release of his manga AKIRA and the homonym animation film that he directed. Despite the international success of AKIRA, today few of Otomo's previous manga works and illustration books have been published outside Japan, remaining unknown for a big audience that we believe would probably love to know more about his artistic trajectory.

With this chronology we want to establish a timeline of Otomo's works as a manga artist, illustrator and director as well as highlight the release of the many books and diverse media related to his works and projects. The goal of this chronology is none other than providing a comprehensive collection of the published works of Katsuhiro Otomo and present an extensive view of his creative work.

We have organized and classified every post in this chronology with the most relevant information available, presenting the illustration works and the many manga episodes cover art as they were published for the first time in the respective magazines, posters, book sleeves etc. This way, the images are shown in the context of the graphic design in which they were published originally while we reference them to the various books in which they are collected in their raw form.

The primary sources for this chronology have been the many books we own and the extensive deepness of the Internet, specially the following websites:
Apple Paradise: Otomo Katsuhiro Data Base
Otomo Free
Mashed Room

We hope you enjoy ChronOtomo as much as we enjoyed making it since we started on November 24, 2012.

Kaze Tachinu (風立ちぬ)

Today it was released in Japanese theaters the latest film directed by Hayao Miyazaki: Kaze Tachinu (風立ちぬ) know outside Japan as The Wind Rises. Here some of the books that have accompanied  the release of the film in Japan:


Video info: 
Entrepreneurship on Khan Academy: Personal lessons and insights from accomplished entrepreneurs are the basis of this interview series produced by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Khan Academy. 
About Khan Academy: Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. We tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. Our math missions guide learners from kindergarten to calculus using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps. We've also partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content.

HP workstations

I own an HP 6710b laptop since summer 2007 and it's incredibly amazing how, more than five years later , still works so well. I must say I have upgraded it over the time. I first upgraded its Hard Drive in 2010 from the original 160GB one to a bigger 500GB one. Finally on summer 2012 when Solid State drives became  affordable I jumped into  a 128GB SDD that made my laptop run as never before. This make me externalize all my  Data to bigger 1TB and 2TB portable HDD's, making my data management  much more convenient.  The good part of upgrading a Hard Drive is also that the old one can be re-used as an external drive with a proper case, so you can still use it to keep your external data. This way you don't need  throw away or sell this component. 

In this period I also doubled  the RAM of the system from 2GB to 4GB. Luckily this laptop came with a Intel dual core processor that supports 64bit Operating Systems. Even it came from factory with the recently released windows Vista, I had been using Windows XP until 2010 when Windows 7 came out and made the upgrade, becoming the OS I am still using today.

With new SSD hard drive, the 64bit OS and the newest Adobe Creative Suite software, my computer can handle RED camera's RAW video files negatively without even have to trans code them. That is something mind blowing specially as I still remember how a few years ago when I couldn't even install Adobe's Premiere Pro CS4 because I was  running 32bit Windows XPin this same machine. I even remember perfectly the troubles I had running my CANON 550D's native h.264 videos to play them smoothly back in 2010. Now everything seems to flow  much better just with some minor hardware upgrades (150€ in RAM and the SSD Hard Drive). But to be true what really marks the difference is undoubtedly the Software, The OS and the Applications running that take a better advance of the  hardware in the systems, new or old.

It's weird nowadays to find something that works better when its older that when it was brand new. Everything seems to be designed  in a way that when broken or worn out you better throw it and buy a new one instead of trying to fix it or upgrade it. Computers, cars and cell phones just to mention some expensive products we use in the daily basis are the ones that made us realize how true is this programmed obsolescence reality in which we live. It's particularly sad that this happens with technology products so much. Technology evolves everyday so even you own an old computer that works well, there would always be a new one, lighter, with higher resolution screen and faster that you would like to buy in case you can afford to. SO why make it hard to people to fix their old stuff? What if you cannot buy a new one? In many cases you hardly can upgrade your old machine to make it work decently for a couple of years more because the manufactured designed it in a way you can't do so.

In this sense it's great to see the way the engineers of the HP workstations keep on developing their products. You just have to compare the video above with the iFixit teardown manual of the Retina Macbook to upgrade it or fix it. Maybe is because they are different computers, one more focused for the unprofessional world and the other one more for the home consumer. It's confusing because, the Apple product has a 'Pro' in it's name but anyway, in my opinion everyone should be able to open it's stuff with certain easiness, even it's just to clean the dust that gets in it, something I do twice a year with my laptop thanks it's been designed cleverly to do so. Just open some cover and voila!. the battery too is easy to change, last week I bought an inexpensive Anker battery (30$ in Amazon) that works fine and gave me no trouble and an iGo multylaptop charger ($38 in Amazon), as the original charger started to fail. I hope I can keep on making my projects in this computer for a long time. And when I need more computing power I hope to find one as reliable as this.

I think design is much more than  aesthetics, ease of use, materials, quality, price etc...Desing it's about trying to think almost every parameter related with the consumer and the product and came up with the better solution for the user. After all it's up to the final user of the product to decide if the designer has done a good job designing a certain product or not and will decide to come back and buy again.

SHORT FILM | The Last Dunk

Puerto Rico | 2013 | 1 min | Color | 16:9 | English

A performance by
Jhalon T. Cherry

Photographed & edited by
Ioannes Busca

Shot in Rio Piedras, Puertor Rico.
on March 8, 2013.

A dunk, is one of the most physically demanding moves in Basketball, and if performed properly, is greatly enjoyed by the fans.

This improvised performance was shot with a phone in Torre Norte student dorms’ basketball court in the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras.

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Inside the ILM Headquarters

Video info:

Grantland takes you into the storied confines of George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic headquarters to marvel at the art and relics from Lucas's films, including the Yoda fountain, original 'Star Wars' character sketches, Slimer from 'Ghostbusters,' and much more.
Produced and directed by Joe Braswell

Stuart Freeborn dies at age 98

Stuart Freeborn, the man behind the creation of the puppets and any type of creatures we saw in movies such as 2001: Space Odyssey and Star Wars passed away today at age 98. In the picture above we see Yoda, Stuart and Irvin Keshner director of the second installment of Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back. On June 1997 when Star Wars Episosode I was on production, the guys from the creature workshop showed Sturat who was already retired, what were they working on a quarter century after the creation of Yoda. This short was included in the DVD of Episode I.

American Experience: Silicon Valley

American Experience is a series of Documentaries by PBS that has been running for 25 seasons now. This episode aired on february 5th  brings an inside view to the first days of Silicon Valley. Here a 16 min preview.

American Experience: Silicon Valley directed by Randall Maclowry

Format: Color, NTSC
Language: English
Studio: PBS
DVD Release Date: March 12, 2013
Run Time: 90 minutes

Available in Amazon US / JP / ES

House of Cards

Today it was released in Netflix the complete first season of House of Cards which first two episodes were directed by David Fincher.