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Ron Williams
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Ron Williams

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I just realized something about the comics code that I wrote to a friend about; the email follows.
 
Hi XXXX -
 
I'm slowly getting things back in order after the holidays. While browsing a bit this morning I looked at my google blog on ONYX and found a list of followers I didn't realize was there until now. As I began to look through it I saw Alex Jay's blog. He has sketches there for the logo for X-Factor comics and sample covers. Looking at the covers I realized that I am responsible for an image that has probably been seen more than any other ever seen by comics enthusiasts. I've largely forgotten this story and when it does come up, it's only in passing but here it is:
 
Back in the 1950s a year or three out of high school, I landed a job as an artist's assistant at a company called Consolidated Lithography, in Carle Place on Long Island, NY. I was the gofer, running into the City every other day or so to get stats or pick up type or retouched photos. The art department did work on Consolidated's customer's jobs, the art director was one of the world's experts on cigar band art, and we did labels for liquor companies as well as the occasional point of purchase ad or package design. 
 
Occasionally we'd get a commission to design a liquor label and the boss would set up an in office competition. The winner's prize was usually a bottle of booze that was sent to us for a label mock up. I won once for the design of a label for "PM" rye whiskey. The letters had always been in an ellipse or circle and I submitted a design with the letters in a shape like a TV screen of the time, sort of a Piet Hein rectangle. The prize, a bottle of PM of course, was horrible - really rot gut. The label lasted for many years but nowhere as long as my next success.
 
An organization that was formed in reaction to a furor about the bad influence of comic books decided to establish a code of standards for the comic book publishing industry; I guess I don't need to tell you much more - just look at the cover of any American comic book published in the years since. I won a bottle of J&B Scotch Whiskey for that one. Little did I realize how long that would last, probably 60 years now and how ubiquitous it would become. If someone asked me today what I thought of it if I didn't design it, I'd probably sound like a real snob. Knowing that I designed it doesn't help; I'm still the snob in my reaction to it but there it is.
 
We do our art and want as many eyes to see it as is humanly possible. Here I am doing paintings and looking for reactions and viewers, getting all excited about the ONYX stuff, having my indoor book enjoy a rejuvenation and then I see that little thing on a comic cover and realize - whew! that's really something and boy have a lot of eyes seen it. All I can do is laugh . . . 
 
I just googled "comics code" for the first time and opened google images - WOW!
 
Now I are a success.
 
Ron (Williams)
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Hey are you on it? I'm @sosipatra, I only have 1 friend so far... 

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LOL .. when you pulled the fly rod out I nearly pee'd myself

thanks for the laugh
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http://beatty-robotics.com/about-us-ii/

Scroll down for a picture of the roboticists.
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Some of the more figurative-seeming ones have the feel of Mexican muralism, in a way I have a hard time pinning down. (The one in the bottom row, 2nd from the left, is a good example of this: it somehow reminds me of one of Diego Rivera's famous "urban" images - I'm thinking specifically of one that has to do with New York, though I probably saw it in Mexico City - can't find the right painting on Google though. It's the composition, not the content, of course, that brings the DR work to mind: a single linear element (to my eye, in your drawing, the thing that looks kind of like a thermometer) cutting across a field of more horizontal elements. And I guess the colors, and the evocation of a thermometer - that is, a mass-produced modern technological obejct - against a much more organic-feeling context.

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For a while my newly expanded mind was on the desk-top. 

Then it moved over to my lap-top.

When I got it into my pod-ket I was still not satisfied.

But #ifihadglass we'd be making real progress.

Now it gets exciting,

My head would be in the cloud(s).
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Ron Williams

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Smithsonian Institution at The Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum. 

http://shop.cooperhewitt.org/p/4521/Building-and-Flying-Indoor-Model-Airplanes

I feel better already.
Building and Flying Indoor Model Airplanes Book. Shop Cooper Hewitt, Always Tax Free.
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Woa....

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We're on Wikipedia. Check out "ONYX (architectural collective)"
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Further to adding value to an #ifihadglass winner: 

Google just announced that it would forbid reselling of Glass as part of the sales agreement. 

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/04/google-glass-resales/

However, they are probably in for some lawyerly expense since the U.S. Supreme Court decided last month that "if you bought it, it's yours":

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/03/you_bought_it_does_that_make_i.html

The important part of the Harvard article regarding Glass, is the last two paragraphs. It will be interesting to see how all this turns out.
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How to add value to an  #ifihadglass winner:

Make a documented piece out of it by saving every possible thing related to the process. Start with screen dumps of the winning entry, printed out on decent quality paper, dated and signed, then a screen dump of the notification of winning, etc., etc. Save and sign the instructions for paying up and screen dumps of the process, treated as above or the credit card receipt or check (photo), all also signed and dated. Save, also, any prep work that was done to develop the entry if there was any.

Save the notification of the pick-up event, travel tickets and receipts, lodging if required and photos of the event. All signed and dated (S&D). Then photos of the item and its container and instructions, S&D.

Record of first use with photos of winner wearing/using the Glass (S&D of course).

Quit when it feels like the package is complete, devise a presentation (binder, display, artifact box, whatever . . .) of the documents and the Glass that tells the story. A signed, dated limited edition work of art has been assembled with value beyond the basic price, increasing with the years.

The Google resale rules will be resolved over time, either in the courts or by the device becoming outdated but the document created, whether it works or not will be of considerable value. It's coming from a limited edition of 8,000 and most of them will be beat up and a mess in a few years or less.  
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Now that the ifihadglass thing is over I edited my entries. Stuff like that written in a rush is always rough and maybe word choices could be better; now they are.

The experience told me something about my paying attention to rules since I missed making my entries public and so disqualified myself. I also gained some perspective on outfits like Google and the internet that I might just attempt an essay on the subject real soon now.
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Have him in circles
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