These pictures are taken from illustrations in the book "12 Years a Slave". I found this book very moving and I highly recommend it, it has recently been adapted to a feature film.
Another drawing from a book I recommend: This caricature from Punch, 1905, depicts King Leopold of Belgia complaining about all the bad press from his exploitation of Kongo, to Sultan Abdul Hamid of the Ottoman Empire. Abdul was also nicknamed the Red Sultan or Abdul the Damned, due to the massacres committed against minorities during his rule. I saw this caricature in the book Kind Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild. It documents the atrocities commited by Europeans in Belgian Congo. It is a largely forgotten story today, yet what happened then explains much of the problems the African continent is facing now. (Especially in light of the theory presented in the book Why Nations Fail by Acemoglu and Robinson - namely that societry structures that exploit its citizens tends to persist)
These drawings are inspired by the artwork from the book Alternate Histories of the World by Matthew Buchholz. In his book Matthew gives his pictures the following comments:
• AMERICA •
ON MAY 24, 1883, a hearty cheer went up from citizens and laborers alike when the East River Suspension Bridge (or Brooklyn Bridge, as it is commonly known) was finally opened to traffic. The building of the bridge took almost thirteen years, and various obstacles were encountered along the way, including the death of principal architect John Roebling, decompression sickness in the mighty caissons, and the near-daily assaults by Rosie the East River Monster.
After many significant refinements, the final structure was deemed to be "Monster-Safe," with Mayor Franklin Edson remarking at the opening, "At last shall our great city be connected to our sister Brooklyn without fear of reprisal from Rosie." The construction would later form the basis for the now-universal guidelines on how to build monster-proof structures.
• CHINA •
THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA is actually a series of many walls built over the course of centuries, although the bulk of the existing wall was constructed during the Ming Dynasty. Throughout its long existence, the Great Wall has served as a bulwark against various enemies.
Initially built along a roughly east-west line to protect the empire from incursions by foreigners and warring nomadic tribes, the structure was later expanded in an attempt to keep non-indigenous dinosaurs from mingling with the local monster population. Most recently (as pictured), the wall has served to keep China's dwindling dinosaur herds safe from poachers.
• AMERICA •
OFFICIALLY TITLED Emperor Krygyyx Threatening the World, this grand statue at the entrance to New York Harbor has become known around the universe as the Statue of Tyranny. A gift from the citizens of Mars, it was intended to dominate and subjugate the American peoples until Krgyyx himself would arrive for world domination sometime in the twenty-first century. The statue was delivered in one piece on the evening of October 27, 1868, and the mayor of New York received dedication instructions the next day.
The statue was created long before the Martian Peace Accord of 1962, and the prophesied Coming of Krgyyx is a point of contention among many interstellar scholars. The fact that, as of this writing, numerous saucer crafts and heavy invasion cruisers were observed massing in orbit around Mars is probably just mere coincidence.
Then a plaque representing the famous engraving at the foot of the statue says:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to
The wretched refuse of your teeming
Send these, the homeless,
tempest-tost to me, I will destroy them!"
Cirno is the 9front. mascot, an operating system forked from Plan 9 from Bell Labs. The character is originally from the Touhou gaming franchise. According to Wikipedia Cirno is an ice fairy that resides in Misty Lake. Although she is weak from the players perspective, she is one of the strongest of her kind in Gensokyo (she proclaims herself to be the "the strongest"). Her hobby is freezing frogs and watching them revive as they thaw, but she tends to shatter them instead by accident. Fans often call her ⑨ (pronounced "nineball"), and the character "⑨" is often regarded by them as a symbol for "Baka" (Stupid in Japanese).
You might think that choosing a "stupid" character from a slightly ridiculous Japanese gaming franchise is a weird choice for an operating system mascot, but then again the Plan 9 mascot, Glenda , was an obscure reference to the 1953 Z-movie Glen or Glenda by Ed Wood. A docudrama about cross-dressing and transsexuality, it is widely considered one of the worst films ever. The name of the operating system itself is a reference to Ed Woods most notorious movie; Plan 9 from Outer Space , which has repeatedly won the title "worst movie ever made".
At this point you might be thinking that these operating systems are some weird silly things created by some teenagers in a basement. Not so, Plan 9 was created by the original makers of UNIX at the highly prestigious Bell Labs, a place that has been awarded eight Nobel Prizes for their research. This is the birthplace for such programming languages as C and C++. Brian Kerrnighan and Dennis Ritchie, the authors of C, contributed to Plan 9, and Rob Pike and Ken Thompson two of the authors behind Go led the Plan 9 development among others.
In terms of serious computer science, it doesn't get better than this. Even the horrific Windows operating system would not exist if it hadn't been for the work of these men! Nevertheless there is no denying that these people have very peculiar humor. I don't know what it says about our world when possibly the greatest operating system ever created is made by a bunch of lunatics. Anyway, if you are still unconvinced I dare you to see this 5 second 9front promo video.
One of these drawings is a spoof of an iconic scene. from the movie Plan 9 from outer space, Cirno_3, the parody drawing, has a lot of details; The characters from left to right are Glenda the Plan 9 bunny, Beastie the BSD mascot, Tux the Linux mascot, Puffy the OpenBSD mascot and finaly Cirno the 9front mascot. Beastie is working on a PDP-11 which UNIX was originally written for in 1969.
There are some insane details in this drawing that are too poorly drawn to recognize; There is an anacronistic bookshelf in the PDP-11 containing four books lying horizontaly, they are from top to bottom: The C Programming Language by Ritchie and Kernighan, The AWK Programming Language by Aho, Kernighan and Weinberger, The UNIX Programming Environment and finally The Practice of Programming both by Kernighan and Pike. Next to the coffee pot is a paper partialy showing the meme "URIEL was right" and a coffee stain next to it partially forms a ⑨, both refferences to 9front.
Most of the Donald Duck motifs have been taken from Don Rosa. What sets Don Rosa apart from other Donald Duck artists is the quality and depth of his stories. He is often thought of as the second generation Carl Barks, but in my opinion Don Rosa surpasses his own idol. Comparing for instance his 12-chapter work The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, which he received an Eisner Award for, to a random Donald Duck magazine at your local comic book store, is like comparing vintage wine to cheap beer.
I frequently copy other comics in my drawings such as M, Spirou and Fantasio, Calvin and Hobbes and Pearls Before Swine.
From time to time mysterious people can be seen in town...
These drawings are taken from various literature produced by Jehovas Witnesses
These drawings are taken from The Great International Math on Keys Book. This is a fantastic book that helps you get the most fun out of your calculator. Wait, fun you say? With a calculator?? You bet!
I drew this shirt for a dress-up party, it has quite a few references on it so I will just give a brief description and list all the references quickly: