Monday, January 19, 2015

Blender Magazine: The Tick and Ben Edlund on CD-ROM

I picked up a Tick oddity a few months back: a copy of the the CD-ROM magazine, "Blender", from back in the mid-'90s.  The date explains why in the world anyone would try to publish a CD-ROM magazine, I suppose...I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time but it comes off as a little ridiculous now.  Were you supposed to save every one?  Imagine a shelf full of these next to, say, National Geographic or something.

The content for this, uh, issue, was just about as '90s centric as you can get ("that Minnie Driver is the next big thing!!"), but it's interesting to see that among all of these real-life people, The Tick gets the cover and top billing on this second issue of volume two from 1996.  The technological limitations - the CD is pretty obsolete almost twenty years later - kept me from reading the issue as it was meant to be read.  Luckily, I was able to go in and pull out some files that looked relevant.  I didn't feel like going through the same hassle to learn about Gwar, for some reason, so I don't know just all that was included on this disc, but the image on the back cover gives us some clues:

So apparently this issue of Blender Magazine covered such diverse topics as sex, death, politics and religion.  I'm sure the writers gave a definitive take on each subject and that's why there's no more to be said in their regard.  Thanks for getting the heavy topics out of the way for us all, writers of Blender.

The CD itself is probably as detailed as 1996 could offer.  It's like a dang spin art wheel.

At the center of the CD is a tiny Tick symbol.  The Blender staff really must have been fans.

The problem with computer technology from this period is that it's been obsolete for so long that it's difficult to recover any of the files.  When I put the CD in my iMac's drive (an external drive to boot, as Apple is phasing out CD/DVD drives on their new models), I found these files, with what must have been super awesome graphics back in '96:

I have to admit that I was a little worried about putting in the disc in the first place.  I kind of thought that my computer might blow up just from trying to read the disc.  But then I'm confronted with a skull and crossbones icon and two "blendme" icons (one for PowerMac!) and I felt even more trepidation.  But I had got that far so I figured that I might as well keep going.

Clicking on the "Blender" icon took me to a list of files, each labeled by subject.  I found a handful of short videos that contained interviews with a young Ben Edlund, and in each he talks about one aspect of The Tick (yes, there's one file titled "".  I was almost too terrified to click on it), both the cartoon and the comic.  I think Edlund would have been about 27 in these videos.  His sweater is pretty rad.

It seems apropos that an electronic magazine's articles would consist of video clips.  Perhaps there was also a text feature that went along with it, but I didn't stumble upon any nor did I poke around too much.  But I was able to take the various video clips and slap them together.  I uploaded them onto YouTube afterwards and voilà, now it's preserved on the Internets for generations to come, or at least until YouTube becomes as obsolete as Blender Magazine.

Take a peek:

No comments: