On the second page of the new Graf von Faber-Castell catalog there is an interesting image: a black version of the Perfect Pencil along with a black pocket pencil.
What’s more, considering the size of the lead this appears to be the magnum version of the Perfect Pencil:
This is the “anthracite” version, and according to the catalog it will be available this autumn. It has a PVD coating (physical vapor deposition) of titanium.
Along with the excitement and interest that accompanies the announcement of a new product, there is a sense of poignancy found in the first few pages of this catalog as well. All of the Graf von Faber-Castell catalogs, issued yearly from 1993, featured a photograph and a personal note from Anton-Wolfgang Graf von Faber-Castell—eighth in an unbroken line of Fabers and Faber-Castells, going back to 1761. With the Count’s passing in 2016, his son Charles assumed the mantle of the Graf von Faber-Castell line. This catalog, then, is the first without the familiar photograph of Count Anton.
The two-page message addresses the notion of change by alluding to the time when Baron Lothar von Faber took over the family firm in 1839. And rather than that time being one of instability, Lothar would go on to transform the company by producing much higher-quality products than his predecessor.
So in our own way and in our own time we are witnessing a change of era within writing culture, one whose kind hasn’t occurred since 1978, and worth pausing to consider.
Anton-Wolfgang Graf von Faber-Castell (1941-2016)
Filed under: Pencils Tagged: Anton-Wolfgang Graf von Faber-Castell, Graf von Faber-Castell, Perfect Pencil, Perfect Pencil Magnum
It is my hope that when my life stops being such a badly-tuned hold pattern, I can actively follow people on the internet again. I'm not in the city at the moment, but I feel more prepared to go outside my comfort zone and make new friends in person, too.
I have more thoughts I need to process about socialisation and my own self-enforced isolation not being healthy but being incredibly necessary at this stage, but gosh, I'm bored writing about it.
I've been sketching weird monster/centaur women. I think I will try polishing one of these sketches tonight.
Of course, I was on the road for three days early in the week (my husband, cat and I made our way from Austin, Texas, to Madison, Wisconsin), but I've hardly run myself ragged in the last four or five.
Something I've managed to fit into my currently far-from-busy schedule: a bit of quality time with my trusty 3DS. Specifically, I've put a good number of minutes, if not hours, into the following demos and games:
Ever Oasis demo (3DS)--Of the four 3DS demos and games I'll discuss here, this is the one I've enjoyed the least. Which is a shame, as every aspect of the Ever Oasis demo is at least "nice."
I especially like the art style, although the character-switching gameplay is pretty appealing, too. The thing is, I didn't find the latter to be as appealing as I expected it to be before I started my way through the (disappointingly short) demo.
If I were forced to describe Ever Oasis' gameplay with a single word or phrase, I'd probably go with "by the numbers" as far as Secret of Mana-ish titles are concerned. Which is too bad, as I thought that component of the game would help set it apart from other action RPGs that've been released for the 3DS.
On a more positive note, I've read that after a slow start, Ever Oasis eventually hits its stride in impressive fashion, so my current plan is to find a way to pick up a copy of it by the end of the year.
Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters (GameBoy)--Although I've been a fan of the original Kid Icarus since it was first released in North America back in 1987 (I even included it in my "10 Most Influential Games" series of blog posts), I've long avoided this 1991 sequel.
Why? The main reason is that it never looked very appealing to me. Playing a Kid Icarus game in black and white just seemed wrong to me after basking in the beautifully colorful--and weird--landscapes of the NES title. Plus, Pit's sprite here has always looked a little off to me.
After a Twitter friend recently heaped praise on Of Myths and Monsters, though, I decided to finally give it a go. And you know what? I've had a blast with it so far. I can't say I prefer this GameBoy game's sprawling stages to the comparably straightforward ones found in the NES offering, but I'm enjoying them all the same. A similar comment could be made about Of Myths and Monsters' soundtrack, which is acceptable but never approaches the brilliance of the Hirokazu Tanaka tracks that fill the original.
Still, I'm loving this handheld Kid Icarus overall--to the point where I'm now hitting myself for giving it the cold shoulder for so long.
Metroid II (GameBoy)--Here's another portable sequel to a console classic I'm only now playing for the first time. Again, that fact boggles my mind as much as it probably does yours. After all, I was obsessed with both the original Metroid and Super Metroid for the SNES as a youngster (beating both multiple times, I should add).
Unlike Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters, I can't say I've avoided Metroid II because of what I considered to be below-par graphics. In fact, I've always thought Metroid II looked pretty awesome. Regardless, I dragged my feet on playing it until late last week.
So far, I think it's a better game than Of Myths and Monsters. Although Metroid II is a black-and-white affair, it still feels like a visual upgrade to its NES-based predecessor--something that can't be said of Kid Icarus' GameBoy follow-up. Also, I love the way Metroid II twists the gameplay of the first Metroid and Super Metroid just enough to make it feel unique. (I'm talking about this game's "track down and kill X number of Metroids" focus, of course.)
Despite the above, I'm not entirely convinced I'll stick with Metroid II until its end credits, but I'll certainly do my best to finish it.
Miitopia demo (3DS)--After reading a few impressions of the Japanese version of Miitopia, I fully expected to dislike this Tomodachi Life-esque RPG--to the point that I canceled my pre-order for the North American release. After putting nearly three hours into the demo that just hit my region's eShop, though, I'm back aboard the Miitopia hype train.
Chiefly responsible for that change of heart: the aspects I thought I'd hate--no real overworld to explore, battles that are mostly hands-off--don't bother me at all. Hell, I actually find these tweaks refreshing after playing a number of overly traditional RPGs in the last year or so. On top of that, Miitopia sports a surprisingly bold art style, a soundtrack that's more charming than it has any right to be and a gloriously subtle sense of humor. I've heard the full game isn't overly long, but that's OK with me--especially if it ends up being a short-but-sweet experience.
Have you played any of these games or demos? If so, share your thoughts on them in the comments section below.
See also: previous 'Shall We Do It?' posts
Content warnings: None, just some good old-fashioned fluff.
Notes: Special thanks to Annie for being my beta!
( The marketplace was as colorful and bustling with life as it had been when she first visited it with Jack. )
On the plus side I got put on another therapist's waiting list, and I have an appointment on Monday for potential intake/placement. Whee! And I have most of the next two weeks essentially off, which means I'm gonna have fuckall ability to get shit done, of course, because no routine.
Sometimes I can't tell whether I'm being depressed or realistic and it's annoying as hell.
Anywho, a quick todo list for the next few days:
TMC minutes, Pinewoods costuming and packing, apply for all the jobs, maybe work some? Work on my room for suresies. I should probably make some Active Effort on getting my place into some semblance of livable --I'd like to have access to a desk again (especially because then I could reinstate the rule where I'm not allowed to use the lappy in bed which might be good.)
Last night's dance was _really good_. It was solely dances from books 1-3, which means among other things we got to do the SCD version of the Virginia Reel. (People get annoyed by this sort of thing, which means I go up to both the teacher and the teacher-coordinator and explicitly anti-complain about having weird historical stuff to try).
There were some other really (physically) hard dances too, and the whole thing ended off with Mari's Wedding. This is great, except that my legs hurt and I have a billion hours of squares and rounds today and then highland tomorrow. I look forward to continuing to torment my body (I should do my pushups).
I have made a new friend! It's a new internet friend, which is the _best kind_. His name is Quads (well okay, technically it's something about quadrilaterals, but I started calling him Quads and then he changed his nick to match so I'm going with it) and he's into musical theatre and used to dance. I met him through the most recent incarnation of The Pie Shop, which let me tell you it is so important to my brain to have access to an IRC-like, apparently. Not enough for me to actually get into IRC (because honestly, at least half of the desire is a place to chill with mek), but having a general chatroom to harass people and the like is great.
I should really get into Slack, shouldn't I?
I've also _finally_ put together my Dreamwidth friends list, so I can actually come read over here. This is a good thing! This means I'ma read LONG FORM BLOGGING! And then maybe someday I will comment on LONG FORM BLOGGING and even get more people to do it, damnit.
Dunno. Not too much else to say, but glad to be saying things. This has been a bad year for writing AND LET'S NOT TALK ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DEPRESSION GETTING WORSE AND NOT WRITING NOPE.
Hearts and stuff.
I'm legit worried I used up what little creative juice I had today on the rude email I sent to an office full of jackasses who deserved it.