MIST1117 infofile by nail / happyfish / c
MIST1117 infofile by nail / happyfish / c
We come in peace!
MiSTiGRiS November 2017
23rd anniversary extravaganza
The artpacks of Now and Forever
Cthulu here, Mistigris founder. Thanks for
joining us on the next phase of our little foray
into the world of computer art. Though a month off,
as that header suggests, this release marks a full 23 years since our
establishment. And granted, that hasnt been 23 continual years -- four
at the start, then 15 off for good behavior, and now three more back in the
saddle again. If we continue at this pace, well have been active in our
revived form for as long as we were ever active initially... but despite a
slow first couple of revived years, weve really picked up the pace over the
past year, releasing an uninterupted spree of monthly artpack releases longer
than any streak we ever managed to pull off back in the 90s. Not by design,
its just a happy accident that things worked out this way. I dont fully
understand how it happened myself, but a few factors can probably account
for it. But first... instruments suggest that we have a transmission incoming.
Up on the main screen please!
Rigel Planet I
Zot: Attention, human! We are the Zoq-Fot-Piq! We were first introduced to
the populace of your planet in November of 1992, upon the release of the
video game Star Control 2: The Ur-Quan Masters.
Piq: 25 years ago to the month!
Zot: Since then, our intellectual property has largely lain dormant, being
invoked once in 1996 for Legend Entertainments Star Control 3...
Piq: ... Which was recategorized by the series creators as not even canon!
Zot: ... and not much has been seen of us since then. But 2017 was different!
Stardock Entertainment bought the Star Control license from Accolades
creditors and got hard at work making Star Control: Origins!
Piq: For a company with such oldschool cred, established during the OS/2 era,
its a shame that its management has drunk the Gamergate Kool-aid!
Zot: In any case, as a prequel, we wouldnt be appearing in that game anyhow.
But things got better: the series original developers, Toys For Bob, also
began work on a spiritual successor to the series: Ghosts of the
Piq: Best of all, this trove of unfinished Star Control 2 ANSI art drawn by
Happyfish of Mistigris in 1997, 20 long years ago, has finally been
completed in a sense thanks to John Ernests Image2ANSI program reuniting
our hand-drawn sprite art with machine-generated ANSI art conversions of
our original backgrounds.
Zot: Its true: Cthulu was shopping these pieces around to prospective
collaborators back during the Mistigris World Tour of 1997, and since the
re-awakening of the ANSI artscene, weve been passed around to several
currently-active artists, including one avowed Star Control fan and indeed
another who actually released different StarCon 2 ANSI art in a Mistigris
Piq: ... and to no avail. So its incredibly gratifying to finally see some
species of resolution.
Zot: ... even if we dont look our best in the same textmode aspect ratio as
the ANSI art logo Nail generously graced Mist with in order for use atop
this infofile.
Piq: Were grotesque, otherworldly alien life forms: looking our best is kind
of beside the point.
Zot: Anyway, we dont have much business here in the infofile, we just thought
wed duck in here and explain the significance of our appearance here.
Piq: Also, we thought wed get your opinion about this seasons Frungy lineup.
Zot: For crying out loud, Im not going to tell you again: human beings dont
know anything about your dopey sport and dont want to discuss it!
Piq: Im sorry, Captain, were experiencing some static in our transmission,
and the signal is --
Well, that was really ... something! Where were we? Oh yeah, a little bit of
speculation into what happened in 2017 and we were able to manage to release an
artpack every month when that had historically never been possible, even when
there was a large pool of active artists in the underground computer artscene
and monthly releases were desired and indeed expected! The short answer can be
accounted for in the simple assertion that ANSI artists have never sat well
with Mistigris. It may be that they require their medium to enjoy a position
of primacy in any project they sign on to, whereas in Mist it was always merely
one medium among many including hirez, programming, music and literature, or
that perhaps they needed the validation of being taken seriously by a kindred
spirit -- that to commit to an artgroup it needed to be one also run by someone
with at least hypothetical formidable ANSI art chops. I have drawn ANSI art,
but nothing that has ever rated being released anywhere outside an April Fools
collection. Its not that I have chops so much as plops. But I digress. In
the classic period of the 90s, this constant revolving door of ANSI artists
was a liability that lent us instability and a sporadic release schedule. How
did we change that in the 21st century? After reviving in 2014, we learned
that though many things had changed in the interim, that eternal constant had
not. In any case, given the new climate for textmode art, it was unfair to
expect anyone to release ANSI outside of a Blocktronics pack -- why sabotage
your own audience exposure for your extremely niche nostalgic activity by
committing to release anywhere other than the specialty collective with the
most eyes on it? We washed our hands of it: wed have been quite a bit happier
and longer-lived in 1998 if wed realised that despite tradition, we didnt
need ANSI art in our artpacks to still find making releases to be a rewarding
and worthwhile activity.
That said, nothing added that particular period flavour quite like ANSI art, so
we resolved... if we cant get ANSI art, lets get as-close-as-you-can-get by
requesting guest submissions from practitioners of other fellow traveller
textmode art forms: shake down Commodore refugees for PETSCII art, go on safari
for some ShiftJIS, and ... are you sure this isnt ANSI? Well, its very
similar. Teletext, you call it? OK, lets invite Illarterate to take part.
Illarterate made a very respectable showing in MIST1015. A year later, he made
a nice return guest appearance in MIST1116. But something happened over the
course of those 12 months: whereas in 1015 he was one man representing an
extinct tradition, in 1116 he was holding the door open for one of his heroes,
stepping out of retirement -- Horsenburger, returning to teletext after nearly
a 20-year absence. We thought that Illarterate was the whole of it, but turns
out he was merely the tip of the iceberg! Horsenburger showed us a handful of
illustrations which we gladly ran, and we figured that would be the end of it.
But then he began drawing one every day for a Christmas advent calendar. We
had released our anniversary collection with no plans for any regular releases
before that moment but suddenly we had another artpacks worth of contents on
the table, at our disposal from an affiliated artist. What were we supposed to
do, not release it? So we scraped together a handful of supporting seasonal
pieces and got MIST1216 out the door, dusted our hands off, and... what? Steve
Horsley has kept drawing more of these? It became an unspoken game of chicken:
as long as he provided us with the admittedly virtuosic bombast needed to
respectably fill out an artpacks worth of computer art every month, wed
continue packaging, promoting and doing our bit to provide a few side courses
so it wouldnt painfully betray its fundamental nature as a one-man show. And
then... oh hey, whats this? Another transmission? Up on the screen!
Gamma Krueger Planet I
Pkunk: Welcome back! Our turns on the cosmic wheel of reincarnation have
taught us well a thing or three about coming back from the dead! In
short, human, you found yourself manifesting your intention! Of course,
it wasnt an intentional intention, but more of a ... subliminal one.
But as a road to ruin will deliver you inexorably to the Palace of
Wisdom by way of the path of excess, so you found that by merely keeping
steady in your spiritual travels you found yourself brought to the very
place of your deepest desires!
I know, you find yourself so amazed by these cosmic revelations that you
dont know how to process them. Come, let us align our chakras by
taking a deep breath and reciting our gurus master mantras:
Pootworm pootworm trolly bazoo
Hobgoblin, Wrinkle Dog, Swollen Moon!
Now, repeat after me... twenty-seven thousand times!
Pootworm pootworm trolly -- Squawk! Human, our harmonic vibrations
are telling us that you are growing spiritually disenfranchised!
What are you reachi--
OK, so where was I? Our Potemkin village of an arts community? In addition to
the Horsenburger Express, we also tapped into a small crew of artists who
created new work at a gradual but consistent pace many of them fellow teletext
artists, eg. Jellica Jake, TitaniumDave, TeletextR, Alistair Cree, Uglifruit
Polyducks -- all discovered via Illarterate as well as a mass of artists
who authorized our slow tapping of their extensive back catalogues so as to
provide a constant drip of new content into each months /incoming/ directory.
Because Im serious about my frivolity, Ive actually been tracking our
activity on spreadsheets. In descending order, the following artists have made
our continued appearance of a bubbling community possible: Melodia,
Horsenburger, Crowkeeper, the Mythical Man, Theresa Oborn, Kalcha, Starstew,
Nick Lakowski, Awesome Angela, Etana, TeletextR, Illarterate, Maeve Wolf,
reNM8r, Redeye, xer0, bryface, Dubaiwalla, Jellica Jake, Jordan Lyric, Nail,
ldb, Morgan Lee, Pinguino, and Whazzit. Not including this release, whoops!
all of those artists have appeared five times or more in Mistigris releases
since our reunion / revival in October of 2014. Another bakers dozen made
three appearances, and two dozen appeared twice -- but at that rate, theyre
not even averaging an annual check-in, so I cant gush about them overly
effusively! That said, however authentic our activity, it nonetheless attracts
inquiries and further outside activity and, in short, it seems that we have
been faking it until we made it. Note: if you want to be part of a vibrant,
thriving arts milieu, probably it would be easier to simply join an existing
one than to undertake a year of monthly subterfuge to give the appearance of
yours being buzzing enough to eventually yield enough momentum for
Oh, hang on, Im getting another transmission. Up on screen!
Falayalaralfali 613.4:590.0
Arilou: Of course, my child, it will make you feel better to attempt to
construct histories and rationales allowing you to take credit for
forces beyond your influence and, frankly, beyond your understanding.
All these confusing and seemingly disjointed experiences are of course
building toward the culmination of some grand plan, the nature of which
may never be fully realised in your lifetime.
Which one of these names do you want to gamble will steer the course of
your next 23 years? All of them appear here for the first time:
Ackport, Alistair Cree, Bliss, John Ernest, Leah Nilson, Max Mouse,
Melissa Grimm, Naknak, and Zeus II? Of course, it wont be Mistigris
in 23 years in which they rock the vaults of the heavens, but ... I
overspeak. Here, peer deeply into this fascinating yellow orb I hold
in my hands, and in mere seconds, all memory of this conversation, as
as with all our previous exchanges, will evaporate like dew at the
break of day. Sweet dreams, my beloved amnesiac monkey.
Sorry, I must have gotten distracted -- where was I there? Something something
momentum for self-sufficiency... oh well, whatever, it must have seemed
important at the time. Theres a lot of keen and nifty stuff in this here
collection! While I dont think Ive gone as over the top as in previous
years years in which I spent 12 months stockpiling art for one big artpack,
we here feature nonetheless a great deal of curious and compelling artwork.
Some highlights include: Arielle Olivier returns from retirement with some
fresh, painfully on-topic collages BhaalSpawn doubles down on the
gaminghaikus, venting nearly a dozen of them from the old back catalogue so
as to bring us closer to the present day Creonix and Freddy43 both share
with us their entries to the Deadline 2017 demoparty representing us
Crowkeepers creative world has been rocked, with Twitter unilaterally
doubling the size of the canvas on which he composes his succinct
word-compositions... will his literary practice ever be the same? I suspect
he has grown into the shape of his constraints, and no amount of freedom will
be sufficient to compel him to unfold. But where was I? The illustrious
Horsenburger drills down rigorously into a few fandoms with voluminous
supporting casts: Doctor Who, Futurama, Labyrinth, Star Trek and
Thunderbirds, plus forays into the world of classic album sleeve art and the
standard memorial portraits Nick Lakowski switches creative gears, leaping
lightly from one inaccessible virtuosity to another to yet another we
feature perhaps our widest ever selection of Polyducks offerings, a fan
favorite on social media Ranbahol makes lightning strike twice with another
post-modern Super Mario needlepoint masterpiece Uglifruit doubles down on
pop culture themes in teletext screens and Wasabim continues portraying
Atari ST video game box art in the enhanced contexts in which they were
always seen in the imaginations of period Atari ST video game fans.
Sorry, Id better take this call:
Sol Pluto
Fwiffo: Quick, hide me! They hate me, Im sure of it! You know who Im
talking about, your elite ANSI art friends! I bet theyre firing up
torches right now and getting ready for a good old fashioned clam bake
I CANT COPE... oh dear, I think I just soiled myself. Considering
how many mollusks just look like a wad of phlegm out of their shells,
I think Im actually presented pretty handsomely here, but I just know
that the haters are sharpening their knives over these tool-generated
backgrounds behind us. NO KNIVES ARE CALLED FOR, Im a delicious
invertebrate whose tender flesh you could cut with your finger!
Remember that and please be merciful when you swallow me whole! ANSI
art purists may sniff and proclaim that, well, theyre not very good
backgrounds. Please, you must point out to these hungry hungry
hypocrites that regardless, they were the best backgrounds these
pictures were able to attract over a 20 year period. Theyre probably
also going to turn up their noses at Ackports and Jellica Jakes
PETSCII conversions in this collection there are no purists quite like
Commodore 64 purists, as Galza can attest to but we hope that the rest
of you are able to stomach your outrage and enjoy the pieces on an
aesthetic basis at least, even if you secretly know in your hearts that
the sweat, blood and tears that went into their creation were a
programmers rather than an artists. Programmer tears: worthless
artist tears: priceless! Wait, I think I smell smoke! It may be too
late for me, but remember our fearless sacrifice. WHERES THE ESCAPE
Its taken longer than we hoped to get this artpack out the door, so there were
plenty of events going on out there in the world where you could catch artists
from the Mistigris stable exhibiting their artworks out there in the real
world but it seems that most of these moments have come and gone you can catch
Theresa Oborns total conversion reskinning of the Seattle goth bar the Mercury
through to the end of November in a week, as well as Maeve Wolfs paintings
at the Melbourne City Library Gallery... and similarly Etanas exhibition at
Can You See Us at the Pendulum Gallery in Vancouver hangs until Dec. 1st.
Tonight the Vancouver Chipmusic Society presented an eminently worthwhile
workshop on chipmusic and live visuals, but not only could I not advise you to
go there in time, I was stuck at home writing this ridiculous infofile instead
of attending. Well, do stay tuned for their future productions!
Huh, thats odd -- theres another message incoming. Up on the screen, please!
Rigel Planet I
Piq: You cant go yet, you have some vital unfinished business to attend to!
We havent yet found out which Frungy team you root for! What do you mean
you dont have a local Frungy team? Then you cheer on the team in the
nearest league system to yours. What?? Dont understand the rules?
Nothing could be simpler, stop making excuses. Well, fine then, if youre
not yet a Frungy enthusiast due to your own cultivated ignorance of lifes
finer things, then how do you occupy your time? What, computer art ...
groups? I dont follow! Which one visits the others arena? How do you
determine who gets possession... well you do have away jerseys, dont you?
Well I dont know how they would fit in the standings, but Ill take some
notes: you say the ones worth watching are Amish... Blocktronics... Break,
Fuel... Galza... and Impure? If I manage to decode a broadcast of one of
their bouts across sub-space, Ill know who to root for. Now, let me tell
you about this seasons Frungy picks... hey, why are you pressing tha--
What can I say: Mel Farr Suppastars infofile in Fuel 23 was tough to beat, so
we had to try for something truly extraordinary. Im not entirely sure that
fan fiction was necessarily the way to go in the end, but its too late to back
down now!
If you mistakenly believed you had better things to do back in 1992 when Star
Control II was released and somehow managed to avoid playing what some might
describe as the best game ever released, you have a golden shining
opportunity before you to go and play an enhanced version of it now, in 2017,
for free: the fan port of the multimedia-enhanced 3DO version of the game is
available at sc2.sourceforge.net and is well worth the time. After youre done
playing the game you can come back and read this infofile and then tell me
whether any of my conversations were the least bit funny or true to form. Even
if time spent reading infofiles is rarely rewarding, time spent playing SC2 is
never wasted.
for the low price of the location of only one
of the rainbow worlds that fascinate us so,
we will give you 100 units of fuel,
specifications to built a planetary lander
immune to squirtgun attacks, and the location
of the elusive Mistigris homeworld in the
Kessa--err, the 604 quadrant.
Thanks to Happyfish for the artwork and the patience -- bet
you never thought that these would see the light of day! --
and as for everyone else, well be seeing you next month.
Cheers from Cthulu and Mistigris 2017.