Alien: Isolation concept art by Callum Watt

Digital artist Callum Watt did a bunch of concept art and storyboards for Sega’s Alien: Isolation game. Callum doesn’t seem to have a storefront, so…hire him, I guess? Browse his hopelessly awesome portfolio here.

I like how there’s barely any linework to these, mostly shadows and light.

I’ve played about 20% of Alien: Isolation so far. It borrows a lot from the original Alien film and in that sense it makes for a terrific steath game. That said, the real downer is that you die a lot. Make too much noise, you die. Run, you die. Spend too long hiding in one spot and the Alien will yank you from your refuge and you die. I can’t imagine playing this with a VR rig.

Mutate, Baby! The new album from Kirby Krackle is here!

Today’s a big day in Kirby Krackle land. Our new album Mutate, Baby! is out today!


Holy crap we worked hard on this, and that goes double for Kyle, who not only writes and sings all the tunes, but does it while keeping the KK Patreon Fan Club going with two extra songs per month and organizing our annual KRACKLEFEST show which coincides with Emerald City Comic Con.

Nothing makes spring feel better than a new album release! So, grab the album, join the fan club, get tickets to our big annual blowout show and enjoy the nerdy fruits of our long winter labors.

Color Thief: create color palettes from images with JavaScript

Lokesh Dhakar’s Color Thief is a clever JavaScript library that uses the Canvas API to create RGB palettes from source images. You can use it to find the dominant color of an image, or extract any number of colors into a palette. Cool!

I used Color Thief over the weekend to create a new header graphic for my webcomic Neat Hobby. I extract up to eight colors from the first comic image on the page, then randomly choose one as the background color for the header graphic. Go reload some pages to see the colors change out.

The End of Guitar Center

A jaw-dropping article on the gloomy future of the big box music giant:

Citing a bloated cost structure that keeps the company from achieving historical profitability, new CEO Darrell Webb fires 42 corporate executives, including the last remnant of Mike Pratt’s team, as well as 28 regional managers. Music Trades reports that the company is down to $10 million in available cash after Christmas.

The constant, smarmy mantra of impenetrability and infallibility has finally been dispelled. Their new executives have, at long last, ceased the comedy routine about how Guitar Center’s stores are always profitable no matter how many times Standard & Poor’s declares them technically in default, or that a billion dollar of debt is totally normal and wonderful and manageable. In a recent email, Webb explains the firings with the dry rationale of needing to be profitable, and foreshadowed that the company will “continue to seek efficiencies.” We seem to be hearing much less about that $3 billion in future revenue and much more about the jobs yet to be cut.

It sounds like a lot to you and me but in the scope of a business like Guitar Center, $10 million is nothing. Crippling debt and a business model that only made sense in the pre-internet era. As the author elsewhere describes it, a charmless “catalog with walls.”

The End of Guitar Center (thanks Patrick).