CLOSE
Original image
Erin Bried

New Magazine Wants To Show Young Girls They Can Do Anything

Original image
Erin Bried

A new print magazine called Kazoo is uniting top female artists, chefs, writers, and scientists for a single purpose: to inspire young girls to be true to themselves. Kazoo Magazine is the creation of writer and editor Erin Bried, who is currently raising money for the magazine on Kickstarter. According to Bried, if funded, Kazoo will be published quarterly and feature sections on everything from art and science to emotions, citizenship, and critical thinking targeted to girls ages five to 10. 

Bried has already brought some truly impressive talent on board. MacArthur Genius Alison Bechdel, New York Times bestseller Lucy Knisley, artist Mickalene Thomas, James Beard-nominated chef Fany Gerson, Caldecott Honor winner Doreen Cronin, National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson, and cosmochemist Meenakshi Wadhwa have all promised to contribute to the nascent magazine. Each contributor is creating a unique written or artistic work just for Kazoo. Bechdel, for instance, is creating a drawing tutorial called “How to Draw a Cat”—her first original, full-length comic in a year. Gerson, meanwhile, is contributing a recipe for Mexican ice pops called paletas, while Cronin is submitting a short story. 

Bried told mental_floss that she was inspired to create Kazoo during a disappointing shopping trip with her daughter. "I started Kazoo because, after browsing the newsstand with my 5-year-old daughter one day, I was upset—and honestly—kind of angry at what I saw. I don’t think there was a single title for young girls that didn’t include a story on pretty hair,” she wrote in an email. “What’s more, every cover I saw featured a princess, a doll or a little girl wearing makeup. Since my daughter happens to prefer pirates to princesses, we left the store that day empty-handed.

Bried was frustrated with the limited (and limiting) print media available for young girls, and wanted to create something truly expansive, a publication that would show girls their options in life are unlimited. “This sort of messaging that we see in the media (and in the toy aisles)—that there’s only one right way for a girl to be—has real and negative consequences,” wrote Bried. “We’ve got to let our girls know that they have other options. They can be loud. They can be messy. They can be strong. They can be adventurous. They can be silly. They can be intellectually curious about science, art, engineering—anything. Everything! That’s why I wanted to create Kazoo.”

Interested in showing your support for Kazoo? Visit Bried's Kickstarter page.

Original image
Ape Meets Girl
arrow
Pop Culture
Epic Gremlins Poster Contains More Than 80 References to Classic Movies
Original image
Ape Meets Girl

It’s easy to see why Gremlins (1984) appeals to movie nerds. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Chris Columbus, the film has horror, humor, and awesome 1980s special effects that strike a balance between campy and creepy. Perhaps it’s the movie’s status as a pop culture treasure that inspired artist Kevin Wilson to make it the center of his epic hidden-image puzzle of movie references.

According to io9, Wilson, who works under the pseudonym Ape Meets Girl, has hidden 84 nods to different movies in this Gremlins poster. The scene is taken from the movie’s opening, when Randall enters a shop in Chinatown looking for a gift for his son and leaves with a mysterious creature. Like in the film, Mr. Wing’s shop in the poster is filled with mysterious artifacts, but look closely and you’ll find some objects that look familiar. Tucked onto the bottom shelf is a Chucky doll from Child’s Play (1988); above Randall’s head is a plank of wood from the Orca ship made famous by Jaws (1975); behind Mr. Wing’s counter, which is draped with a rug from The Shining’s (1980) Overlook Hotel, is the painting of Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters II (1989). The poster was released by the Hero Complex Gallery at New York Comic Con earlier this month.

“Early on, myself and HCG had talked about having a few '80s Easter Eggs, but as we started making a list it got longer and longer,” Wilson told Mental Floss. “It soon expanded from '80s to any prop or McGuffin that would fit the curio shop setting. I had to stop somewhere so I stopped at 84, the year Gremlins was released. Since then I’ve thought of dozens more I wish I’d included.”

The ambitious artwork has already sold out, but fortunately cinema buffs can take as much time as they like scouring the poster from their computers. Once you think you’ve found all the references you can possibly find, you can check out Wilson’s key below to see what you missed (and yes, he already knows No. 1 should be Clash of the Titans [1981], not Jason and the Argonauts [1963]). For more pop culture-inspired art, follow Ape Meets Girl on Facebook and Instagram.

Key for hidden image puzzle.
Ape Meets Girl

[h/t io9]

Original image
Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
arrow
presidents
Barack Obama Taps Kehinde Wiley to Paint His Official Presidential Portrait
Original image
Kehinde Wiley
Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Kehinde Wiley, an American artist known for his grand portraits of African-American subjects, has painted Michael Jackson, Ice-T, and The Notorious B.I.G. in his work. Now the artist will have the honor of adding Barack Obama to that list. According to the Smithsonian, the former president has selected Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait, which will hang in the National Portrait Gallery.

Wiley’s portraits typically depict black people in powerful poses. Sometimes he models his work after classic paintings, as was the case with "Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps.” The subjects are often dressed in hip-hop-style clothing and placed against decorative backdrops.

Portrait by Kehinde Wiley
"Le Roi a la Chasse"
Kehinde Wiley, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0

Smithsonian also announced that Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald has been chosen by former first lady Michelle Obama to paint her portrait for the gallery. Like Wiley, Sherald uses her work to challenge stereotypes of African-Americans in art.

“The Portrait Gallery is absolutely delighted that Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have agreed to create the official portraits of our former president and first lady,” Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said in a press release. “Both have achieved enormous success as artists, but even more, they make art that reflects the power and potential of portraiture in the 21st century.”

The tradition of the president and first lady posing for portraits for the National Portrait Gallery dates back to George H.W. Bush. Both Wiley’s and Sherald’s pieces will be revealed in early 2018 as permanent additions to the gallery in Washington, D.C.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios