Everything old is new again

In another case of nostalgia gone horribly weird, I’ve started perusing the old Angry Carrot vs. Quirky Bastards comics I did a quarter of a century ago and realized that the images are super tiny because back in 2000 everyone still had 15-inch monitors. Observe a random panel from Episode 6.5:

Squint to see the filly.

This shot is shown at its full resolution–a whopping 375×281 pixels. It’s like a Diablo II postage stamp.

I decided to super-size all the images to 1920×1440 using the Super Resolution™ feature in Pixelmator Pro for the main comic panels (which are 640×480, so large postage stamps) and it worked surprisingly well, even preserving the text balloons decently. But some have required more fiddling and none of these panels were made with fancy layer technology, so it’s a bit like fixing up an old painting–you need to be careful to not muck it up.

This is mucking it up.

What I have found is in some cases I need to actually redo pretty much the entire panel. For example, here’s the Diablo II panel above in its shiny new 2024 version:

Even shrunken down for the post, it’s still four times bigger than the original.

Upscaling the original panel looked grossbuckets. The shot above is from Diablo II Resurrected, which offers much better graphics than the original, though I could have toggled on the original 2000 era graphics for maximum fidelity, but that many giant pixels would look very chunky at 1920×1440. I also changed the font to one more befitting a comic. This means I have to change the font in every panel now. Whoops.

And while it’s a bit silly to go back and do all this work for something very few people will see, I’m enjoying it, and it’s fun to revisit the old comics and make them a little more presentable for our shiny modern age.

Is it weird to want to time travel back to 1977?

In 1977, I was 13 years old. Now, I don’t want to be 13 again, particularly. In fact, for this bit of time travel, I’d want to time travel back while in my 23-year-old body. Hey, if it’s my time travel fantasy, I get to make the rules. And the rules are simple:

  • Travel back to a specific year
  • Be whatever I’d consider the optimal age for when I arrive

Why would I want to be 23 in 1977? To better appreciate the peak of disco? Well…sort of. Let me explain.

I went down one of those inevitable YouTube rabbit holes and ended up watching an Andy Gibb video of him performing his song “I Just Want to Be Your Everything”, which was a huge hit in 1977 (I remember it well, the song was constantly on the radio. Kids, ask your parents what a radio is). This was a live performance from Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert and is actually pretty good. The fashions are, of course, extremely 70s and Gibb has that beautifully feathered mane that was the style at the time. Band members unironically wear suspenders. There are two keyboard players, one on each side of the stage, both also doing backup vocals. The one on the left is wearing very 70s shades, but the one on the right is wearing a red flannel shirt, which looks positively anachronistic. He also has that medium-length but big mound of hair (helmet hair?) that covered the ears. While this was also very 70s, it doesn’t look as dated to me. That, combined with his clothing choices, make him look a bit timeless.

And also adorable.

And that is why I’d like to be 23 in 1977. To admire his…keyboard playing. Without feeling like a dirty old man.

To answer the question in the title: Yes, it is weird. I am weird.

Here is the video (complete with incorrect, Enrgrish-style title):

Here is the keyboard player, caught from the 240p or whatever it was video. Apropos of nothing, I always liked the style of microphone shown in the still below. Very 70s, yes, but not in a bad way. It’s stylin’.

The hair also formed a protective layer for the skull.

Genesis in 1974: Very Serious Art

Yes, another Midnight Special video is posted below. Apparently, YouTube’s algorithm is pretty simple:

- Watch Video A
- Get recommendations for anything remotely like Video A for the rest of your natural life

So I now get a lot of Midnight Special video recommendations.

Genesis of the 1970s is a very different band than Genesis of the 1980s, which is probably what most people think of when they think of Genesis. In the 80s, they were led by Phil Collins and produced a string of pop music hits. When Gabriel was the lead singer, they were about Art.

There is a lot of Art in the performance for “Watcher of the Skies”. Peter Gabriel, dressed as a kind of sad space clown vampire, is soaking in it. On the one hand, you have to admire the dedication to the act. They bought into it, and played it to the hilt. And it was the early 70s. People were into prog rock. Everyone took it Very Seriously.

But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that when Peter Gabriel picked up the tambourine and starts holding it over his face, I lost it. I laughed harder than I have in a long time. It felt good.

My apologies to Peter Gabriel, sad space clown vampire.

The video:

The tambourine in question:

“How do I play this thing?!”