Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Dieselpunk Manifesto: Art Deco, Bond and the Cool Curve pt 4.

Send in the Spies...

In previous posts I’ve argued that the Art Deco movement was part of a process that saw the cultural authority of the upper classes shift to middle class producers. These middle class producers would dictate taste for the vast majority of society in the Post-War middle class consumer-nirvana. In this way the Art Deco movement not only illustrates the changing of the guard but, for many, embodies a set of ideals and qualities associated with a completely different era and way of thinking. An era with its own symbols and cultural practises that provoke this very different ideology.

To frame it in a controversial light – the previous era was the last era of elitist culture. To frame it in another ‘less provocative’ light – the previous era was the last era of meaningful class and style.

A previous era of cool...
So in the face of this new rise of middle class cultural practise – complete with its new youth-driven cultural movements – there were many who resisted what was happening across society. Although the changes were new and exciting they were also troublesome and potentially dangerous. In the face of this cultural chaos, people needed a new breed of heroes to make sense of it all.

One of those new heroes arrived in 1962. Mister Bond, James Bond...

James Bond wasn’t the first spy to make it to screen. Far from it. The spy genre had been percolating away in the background of Hollywood for decades with plenty of World War 2 war films and Detective pulp stories segueing neatly into and out of the genre. This was often built on a healthy diet of popular pulp characters, especially in Britain where characters like The Saint and Bond himself proliferated. But none of these had the cultural clout of the film version of the MI6 agent with an obsession for mixing his martinis just so.
The Saint in New York, a 1938 film and series that proceeded Bond.
The genesis of the Bond series was however boosted by the British penchant for spy television series. Being an English-speaking market located so close to the Cold War hub of central Europe probably helped, and saw the creation of several series that while successful, weren’t break out hits in a global sense, lacking the market clout of an American audience. Two of the most famous were The Avengers and Danger Man, two series that while attracting a decent local audience and slowly filtering out to become cult classics across Europe and other markets, didn’t really take off because they didn’t attract enough American attention. They were, however, good examples of the unique British spin on the gentleman spy that would provide the unique pattern by which Bond would capture the world.
The Real Avengers.
But in 1962 James Bond swaggered onto cinema screens in the break out hit Dr No and the spy genre would never be the same again. A dashing gentleman spy like those who had gone before him, Bond also added a wry sense of humour and more than a few lashings of adventure, sex appeal and cheeky bombast to create what would become the archetypal spy movie.

The character quickly grew into a phenomena, not only spawning an endless run of sequels but also its own genre as film, television and pulp producers started churning out spy fare for the hungry masses who couldn’t get enough. By the mid 1960s not only did Bond have several sequels but television shows like The Man from U.N.C.L.E, The Saint and Mission: Impossible were springing up everywhere while shows like The Avengers and Danger Man were called back for encores. A mark of the health of the genre was that not only did these new shows gain their own rabid mainstream fan bases but other characters and stories sprung up to try and refute the stereotypes put forward by the Bond films, examples such as the Flint series of films. Flattery doesn’t always come in the form of a copycat, a jealous backlash often works just as well.

And like vampire/werewolf stories today, the stories kept proliferating.

Popular genres often have a half life by which writers use up every possible scrap of storytelling available to a genre, exhaust the supply, then move on to the ‘next big thing’ in a storm of parody. The appearance of these parody versions often marks the end of a genres ‘Golden Age’ as writers no longer take the genre seriously. The few genres that escape this process become meta-genres that become so vast and portable that they often show up across a range of other genre stories whenever they can be useful, watering down the genre tropes to their bare essence. A good example of this would be the action or adventure ‘genres’ which are so broad you usually need another adjective to define a movie, such as ‘it’s a sci-fi action/adventure movie’ or ‘it’s a spy action/adventure movie’.

Not really taking the spy genre seriously...
It could be argued that the spy genre well and truly reached this phase with the popular spoof series Get Smart, which parodied the genre mercilessly as the genre died down at the end of the 60s. In its brief but influential heyday the spy genre had held audiences in thrall on both sides of the Atlantic, providing a hero that audiences wanted to see over and over again in many different guises. This new hero saved the (Western) world from vast government-based conspiracies launched by foreign powers, while enjoying the thrills and spills of action and adventure that went with the urbane and global jetsetting of the ‘spy lifestyle’. It was classy, it was cool, and it provoked a Euro-centric style that refuted current youth lifestyle trends for the upper class refinement and sensibility that was once the height of fashion. But the rise of Get Smart signalled that the spy genre was becoming just another television genre and much of the steam had been used up, the genre drifting back into obscurity or blending with other genres, such as the spy/heist combination of the long running Mission: Impossible. The genre was there in the background but not the dominant force of storytelling it once was.

With one exception: Bond himself.

Still going strong.
In a world where Hollywood and the television industry would move on to different headlining heroes and different genres of action/adventure storytelling the Bond series would go on to be the most successful (inflation adjusted) and longest running movie franchise of all time. And with the current box office success of the latest Bond film Skyfall, that run doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon.

So why has the Bond series not only outlasted its contemporaries but gone on to be a phenomenal cultural success? Why is Bond a staple of Hollywood action/adventure storytelling, a British gentleman spy in amongst a sea of American military hardware toting gunslingers and revenge-seeking policeman or gangsters?

The heroic competition...
Stay tuned for the final episode of Bond, Art Deco and the Cool Curve...

Art Deco Poster of the Week - Monaco Grand Prix, 1933.

GoodReads ePulp Review of the Week- The Last Adventure of Dr Yngve Hogalum by D.L. Mackenzie.

The Last Adventure of Dr. Yngve Hogalum (The Magnetron Chronicles, Vol. 1)The Last Adventure of Dr. Yngve Hogalum by D.L. Mackenzie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*E-pulp warning* All of my reading and reviewing is focused on e-pulp. So all reviews are skewed in that direction. Reader beware :) *E-pulp warning*

Overall: 4 stars (Recommended)

A fantastic start to what should be a great pulp series. The narrator's voice is brilliant and the steampunk sci-fi whacky and fun, making up for what may be (for some) a lack of action. But the short length of the story ends up being its undoing, suggesting that either this should have been grouped together with two other stories in the series or the reader should buy and read three of them at a time.

Pacing and Action: 3 stars.

This isn't the fastest or pulpiest story you will ever read. In fact, there's not a lot that happens. But the slow pace of the story actually reflects the more genteel nature of the main characters, helping to build the world from the perspective of the narrator. Written in the style of an H. Rider Haggard adventure story or a Sherlock Holmes mystery the plot is relatively slow in the face of other pulp offerings but like thriller or horror or hard-boiled suspense stories the slower pace is appropriate to what is happening with excellent use of cliffhangers to keep the reader turning the page at pace, even if the stakes are more social than physical.

If you've ever read a story written before World War 1 you will also marvel at how the author has been able to capture the cadence and pacing of those old stories. That, along with the sheer wackiness of all the steampunk sci-fi, more than make up for any perceived lack of fisticuffs or chase scenes. All activities such cerebrally-minded gentlemen such as those illustrated here would look down upon as unseemly, unnecessary and more than a little vulgar...

The real problem with the pacing is to do with the length of the story. It's only 15,000 words and before you can get your teeth into the story world it has come to an abrupt halt. At the end. That in itself would not be a problem if you could just go onto the next story but The Last Adventure is sold on its own as an individual book. This isn't just because it's the first free title in the series, either. I've checked and all ensuing titles are the same length. It makes me wonder why the author didn't package three stories together at a time as it would be a more fulfilling reading experience.

Pulp Concept: 5 stars.

Fantastic. The narrator's voice clearly captures not only the whacky steampunk happenings but also the class and characters of the era in a way that makes you want to know more and more about what is going on in this crazy new world. It's fun, it's quirky and all done with a charm that immediately lends the series its own character. Very memorable and great pulp.

Character development: 4 stars.

The narrator is clearly a man of his class and clearly unreliable in a way that illustrates who he is and what motivates him. It's very well done. All the other characters in the story are also well drawn with their own personality quirks and foibles and all fitting in magnificently with the world that has been created. Again, the only problem is that we haven't spent enough time with them to get beyond simple caricatures. They're unique but we will have to wait until later stories to see if they are well rounded.

Production: 4 stars.

Great cover and no editing problems of note. Very professional. And as the first story in the series it is also free which always helps you get good marks.

But you can't go past the fact that these stories could be packaged together in groups of three in order to have a more fulfilling reading experience. You can always buy them individually but it would be so much simpler if they were collected together.

Series Potential: 4 stars.

Strong. Very strong. In fact there's already four books in the series although each is 15,000 words each. The reader has been introduced to a world of vast, quirky potential in which anything could happen. And enough has been set up to suggest a strong series going forward. As a reader I definitely want to see what happens next.

Wrap Up.

A great start to what should be a fantastic pulp series, I highly enjoyed The Last Adventure but recommend that if you don't mind paying the extra $4 you should get the equivalent of a full novel's worth of story to experience the full potential.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Pulp Cover of the Week - Planet Stories, Spring 1947.

She looks like she's having way too much fun.

Dieselpunk Song of the Week - Chattanooga Choo Choo by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra.

Not to mention some fantastic dancing by the Nicholas Bros.

It is simply insane the way the Nicholas Brothers could tap synchronise a back flip, and the jump to splits over the balcony hand rail at the end was just showing off. Simply amazing.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Dieselpunk Manifesto: Art Deco, Bond and the Cool Curve pt 3.

Depression era aspirations – the beginning of a habit.

One of the most enduring images of Depression era film is the rise of the musical, a somewhat bizarre cultural artifact trend for such a horrendous time if you only take it on face value. Musicals, in general, are considered a celebration of life. That’s what they do – take life and give it song and dance, no matter how mundane the topic actually is. So why were they so popular in the years of the Great Depression?

The easy answer is escapism and the ability to teleport into another world for a few hours. Moviegoers, through the lens of the musical, could experience the decadence and splendor of a lifestyle none in the crowd could actually attain, all for the price of admission. There they could sing and dance and indulge themselves, projecting their ideas of the high life and what it would be like up onto the silver screen. The creators of these films therefore became accomplices in shaping what it was that people aspired to.
There were many culprits responsible for the glamour-in-the-midst-of-hardship escapism of the film musical during the 1930s but perhaps the most culpable was a bloke by the name of Fred Astaire. One of the most enduring images of the era, not to mention Art Deco itself, is this bloke gliding around on the screen in top hat and coat tails, an image that was burnt into the consciousness of movie goers in the 1935 smash hit Top Hat. It wasn’t the first time Astaire would inhabit that famous persona, and certainly not the last, but the film established Astaire and his dance partner Ginger Rogers as top billing performers and created an archetype that still resonates with movie lovers today. He would glide around the screen effortlessly, she would appear to be having a ball wearing those stylish gowns, and together they not only saved RKO with some of the biggest box office hits of the decade but also helped define the era, the genre and set the bar for elegance and style.

All this deep in the Depression.

My argument in this series of posts is that the Astaire/Rogers films and others of a similar ilk created in the minds of cinema goers an idea of ‘living the high life’ that took on an aspirational life of its own. In a world where people were starting to reach for and adopt Art Deco style for themselves, it was brutishly ripped from their grasp by the stock market collapse, leaving a longing that turned into an oft sought Art Deco wonderland in the minds of cinema viewers everywhere. A world of fancy suits, ritzy places to hang out in exotic locations, glamorous women of a sparkly dress-wearing persuasion, all set to an Art Deco design palette. The sort of world the upper crust apparently existed in. And it was a set of ideas that spent the better part of two decades simmering and seeping into the collective cinema vocabulary.

But with the easing of the Depression and the rebuilding of the middle class in the late 1930s (neither projects being completed before the outbreak of World War 2) the early adopter cycle restarted with a vengeance. The march of Art Deco continued but now people weren’t content to simply add decoration to their Modernism. Technology had continued to develop in that lost half decade of consumer stasis and the most Modern thing you could do now was streamline things, a natural progression of the ever-present ‘speed lines’ of Art Deco. This streamlining craze thus marked the ‘late phase’ of the descent of Modernism from the elitist pursuit of academics just as the rise of the middle class was changing the face of consumerism for the next fifty years. Passing via the rich and fashionable young decodents, Modernism had morphed down to the upper middle class via an aspirational technology-based consumption that then reached its final stage with people streamlining everything they possibly could, including toasters, radios and other middle class objects adopted by an enthusiastic new middle class after the War.
The humble radio: an object that (technically speaking) does not require an aerodynamic profile.
 By the 1940s Art Deco was finally starting to reach middle adopters, now that it had been synthesised down into something palatable for wholesale mass consumption, but it is was also in the 1940s that Art Deco would cease to be a force in design.

By the late 1940s America and the rest of the world had changed. What had started as a gradual process of the rising middle-class became a veritable stampede with the post-War boom in America and the new popular culture it began to produce. Cultural products were no longer being produced from the top down. In a remarkable historic shift, culture was now being set by the middle class and a previously invisible cadre of leisure-lifestyle beings, the ‘teenager’. Where the upper classes previously dictated fashion, now the middle class with their casual wear and popular music were setting the cultural zeitgeist. It was new world, the affects of which cannot be understated.
Paris had little influence on the fashion choices of these gents.
 So the Diesel era was a transitional period which marked a remarkable shift in power from the upper class taste that dictated the cultural vanguard at the start of the century, only to lose their cultural authority to the middle class who from the 1940s took on the mantle of trend setters for the rest of the nation and the world. By the 1950s music no longer came from the music hall, now it came from young guitar-wielding fiends ceaselessly playing a four beat bar. Fashion innovation was no longer solely from Milan or Paris, now it was funny boy band haircuts from England or bell bottom jeans from America. Academic disciplines were now dominated by enthusiastic middle class kids pouring into these once exclusive institutions, bringing with them ideas that originated in their own lifestyle and class. Now everyone had an automobile and no one went to the opera because they could stay home and watch Gunsmoke or The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Soaking in some culture.
 But ideas don’t die, they just get reused. Although the mantle of cultural authority shifted to the middle class in the 1950s it didn’t kill off the ideas formed in the 1930s. In fact, in a world dominated by casual wear and popular music, the past with its upwardly-focussed aspirations could be quite appealing for those who were not completely sold on the idea of rock music or t-shirts worn without a shirt. Some people preferred ‘Easy Listening’ music and a well dressed man with class. In a world beset by all sorts of problems, both at home and abroad, some people were looking for a different sort of hero, one that not only embodied the old-school values that rejected all this crass nonsense that immature, ignorant people were indulging in at the time but a hero who would focus on the real dangers facing society, namely those pesky Soviets. What they wanted... was someone who drank dirty Martinis, not someone who smoked pot.
Hard to believe, but many people in the 60s didn't think people like this ^ were taking the 'Soviet problem' seriously enough.
 Did the people get what they want? Did someone step up to save the nation from both the Russians and a descent into casual wear hell? Stay tuned next post as our hero is revealed... and it might not be who you think it is...

Art Deco Poster of the Week - Ships, a classic Art Deco motif.

GoodReads ePulp Review of the Week: The Myth Hunter by Percival Constantine.

The Myth HunterThe Myth Hunter by Percival Constantine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*Pulp Warning* All of my e-reading skews towards the pulpy side of the prose spectrum. As such, my reviews are pulp skewed. Reader beware :) *Pulp Warning*

Overall: 4 stars.

The Myth Hunter is the pilot episode for what could be a very strong pulp series. It's a cinematic piece of modern tomb raiding e-pulp that moves along at a cracking pace. It is unapolegetically pulp. But it would hope to cut back on the exposition, add some more unique elements and give the characters more depth if the rest of the series is to really capture an audience. But at $1 on Kobo and the potential for a really fun series in the works I think it's well worth checking out to see for yourself.

Pacing and Action: 4 stars. (3 stars if you have no intention of reading further stories in the series)

This story moves at a truly cracking pace. With its frantic jetsetting, exotic weapon laced fights and several different sets of bad guys all crammed into a rather modest page count the action never stops. And it has a real cinematic feel to it that is crisp and clear with larger than life action never being marred by unnecessary detail.
Until we're set to learn something new about each character. Chalk it up to first story cobwebs or something but the story throws the reader straight into the deep end of the action (which is good) but then makes up for the frenetic start by regularly stopping for exposition heavy dialogue between various characters concerning either the next important plot point, or the way they knew each other back in the day and what they were like. In any other story the level of exposition is fine but in a story moving this fast 'fine' is slow.
But this is most definitely pulp fast. And pulp fast is good.
Oh, and the end is a little anti-climactic. It would suggest that there's a bigger story in play, which is good for a series, but it would be a little annoying if you were only interested in reading this one story in the series.

Pulp Concept: 3 stars.

The unapolegetic, big-picture zaniness is there and the use of unique elements like the Japanese mythology is very well done. The concept of the myth hunters also works with a great showdown between more than a few parties making the story even crazier. But the let down is that a lot of the story feels like a poor knock off of Tomb Raider, right down to the lack lustre imitation Lara Croft. Imitation isn't a problem in pulp - in fact resuing cool ideas is kind've encouraged - but the end result should be something unique. A failure to do so leads to fan fiction. The Myth Hunter rarely feels like anything less than a Tomb Raider clone, one that adds little to the idea, whether it be the characters or the way in which the internal logic of the world operates. As a first episode in the series it may be working up to those points of difference but there was little to foreshadow such a thing in this book.

Characters and Development: 3 stars.

Fairly two dimensional. As I said above, the lead is a Lara Croft knock off and the rest of the cast are fairly cliched Bond villains or henchmen. There's a few mythical characters who give themselves a point of difference but they never really get beyond superficial motivation etc. The story is very cinematic but the problem with typing out a movie is that you lose the storytelling the actors bring to the movie. And while these characters told you a lot about themselves and each other they were never really convincing. Something you can fix in a series but it certainly wan't satisfying in this particular episode.

Production: 5 stars.

Very good production. Properly editted and well set out, there was nothing to take away from the story. The cover also stands out even if it communicates little about the story within. A very professional product that would suggest you can trust the author to always provide a well crafted e-book.
But the really outstanding part? $1 on Kobo as I bought it. That's a pulp price if ever I saw one. It also means that you have no reason not to try it for yourself. Probably makes it hard to make a living for the author but at that price the first issue can be a guilt free experiment. If you don't like you haven't lost anything from the experience. And with the high production values you won't have wasted your time. A very very good thing.

Series Potential: 4 stars.

And here's the rub. With its fast, exciting start and the general mythology of the world set up this could be one hell of a pulp series. The exposition is out of the way, the bad guys and the general conspiracy are explained, and the whole Tomb Raider clone concept has been well established. Now we can get on with the rest of the series, where all the weaknesses of this particular episode can be addressed. And, with a sequel already out (Dragon Kings of the Orient) I'll be sure to check it out to see if this be the case.
But, if these things aren't addressed and the series continues with the same shallow characterisation and 'Tomb Raider lite' concept then it will not rise above fan fiction and that would be a shame.

Wrap up.

At such a cheap price this series is well worth a look if you're in any way interested in this whole e-pulp thing. You'll definitely get your money's worth and a fun, fast read that could lead to a new pulp series to follow. Check it out.

View all my reviews

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Dieselpunk Manifesto: Bond, Art Deco and the Cool Curve pt 2.

 (The following is Art history watered down for normal people. Art history students will be offended by my generalisations. Normal people wont.)

Put on your retronautical goggles (Steampunks dial it back to its lowest setting, Dieselpunks to its highest, and you others just try to ignore the warning lights) and let us return to the turn of the century. The 20th century that is.
Take a pair of these...

... and connect to one of these.
 Amazing things were happening at the turn of the 20th century across Western society. A whole new set of exciting ideas was bleeding out into the way we did everything, from mundane everyday technologies that made our lives easier, to the more rarefied air surrounding Scientific and Art theory. And one leading strain of this epidemic of change we today call Modernism.

Modernism was a move by artists, designers, architects and other intellectual boffins to embrace the new century and its new ways of living by embracing a new set of ideals, especially in the fields of architecture and the emerging field of consumer design. Rejecting the past (especially the absurd Victorian need for gratuitous ornamentation) Modernist designers embraced a future of almost scientific purity, creating furniture, architecture and other cultural products where form followed function, materials were left without facade and mathematical geometry was king.
This new mode of thinking led to many astounding breakthroughs and positive changes to the way human beings lived but the triumph of Modernist thought is perhaps best summed up in the words of one of its leading lights, the architect Le Corbusier. He was one for manifestos, both artistic and architectural, and it was he who coined the term “A house is a machine for living in.”

And therein lies the rub.

You see, it’s one thing to build a house to Modernist spec, it’s another thing to create a home using the same idealist fervour, which is a dynamic that can be applied across the Modernist thought-scape. When done well Modernist architecture and design is cool, sophisticated, pure and timeless. But when it’s done badly it’s the bizarro version of ergonomics: a science devoted to seeing just how far you can contort human cultural practise via their urban environment before fell repercussions ensue. The bad version is lifeless, stark, cold and void of character – machine-like – and a good example of how an ideal can never be completely realised lest it break the fallible creatures that are inevitably at its centre – human beings.

The Cool Curve of Modernism/Art Deco.

In steps our hero – Art Deco. 

To put it in terms that would get me strangled at a university, Art Deco is ‘Modernism one step down the early adopter chain’, or in cultural trends, the ‘Cool Curve’. Now bear with me. I brought a picture with iPhones on it:

Early adopter curve, in this case focusing on technology.
 This graph is used by all sorts of people when they’re talking about the adoption of trends, whether they’re technology innovators or fashion designers, but the process is always the same. Essentially, there are people out there who have to be different. Psychologically they just can’t stand being like everyone else, or they just love the risk of being beyond the cutting edge. Out there and outrageous, they stand away from the crowd on purpose, happy to be extreme and different, wearing a four-foot lime green Mohawk when everyone else is getting a number three all over.

Keep in mind: not all trends take hold.
Now what these people really are is fashion ‘innovators’. They’re called innovators because they’re on the leading edge of the curve, rocking out a fashion trend BEFORE it’s actually a trend. What they’re doing is too extreme for mainstream tastes and the vast majority of consumers or thinkers, so they fit square into the middle of the ‘weird’ category. But they’re innovating all the same.

This is where the early adopters arrive. Early adopters aren’t beyond the cutting edge like the innovators, but they are ahead of the rest of the pack and enjoy leading the curve. Early adopters in fashion actually inhabit the cool sweetspot – the space where they get the maximum social credit from the rest of society for their cultural choices. But they keep ahead of the public by taking what the innovators do, watering it down to an acceptable level, then taking credit for it.
A watered down mohawk. Comfortably ensconced in the Cool sweetspot.
 This process plays out a few more times (aspire, water down, adopt) as you work your way down the curve until you reach the laggards who for whatever reason are a bit slow on the uptake, probably because they don’t care. By the time laggards get a fashion product it has been watered down to its most mass markety and the innovators have long ago moved onto something completely different (probably been through several different new styles by then) and the early adopters are waiting to rip them off and start the process all over again, everyone always trying to remain one step ahead of the group behind them.

Why am I explaining the ‘Cool Curve’? Because the ideals of Modernism can be seen as the innovators who dress too extreme for the mass market, sticking to strict design rules that the rest of society just won’t accept. As amazingly different and powerful as those ideas are, they’re just too extreme for the people at the middle of the curve to take seriously. At least, not until the early adopters take those ideas, water them down a little and make them really really cool (ie extreme but acceptable).

Enter Art Deco. Art Deco took the ideas of Modernist architecture and design but baulked at taking them to the extreme. Instead, where Modernism rejected the past completely Art Deco snuck the past in the back door with its shout outs to mythic figures and iconic imagery (such as the Egyptology craze and the numerous examples of lightning-holding titans). Where Modernism rejected all ornamentation, Art Deco was into deco-ration, staying to the Modern side of things with lots of geometrical lines and shapes, but decorating things regardless. Where Modernism was about purity, Art Deco was about the speed and exhilaration of the contemporary age. Where Modernism was about facade-less material, Art Deco was about new materials made from new technology and taken to the luxurious nth degree.
Art deco, baby. Modern... but mythic.
 Art Deco was in many ways the upper crust and the rich Bright Young Things taking the purified academic theory of Modernism and giving it some fun and luxury. Watering it down enough to be fun, fast and exciting rather than stilted and serious. And, as the ‘cool version’ of Modernism, it also became the style that the growing middle class of the 1920s would aspire to. Right up to the crash of ’29.

What happened next to our intrepid Art Deco pioneers? Did the Crash of ’29 destroy the new aspirational movement? Did the adaptation of Modernist ideas revert to their obscure academic ways? Stay tuned next week post for the next episode of ‘Bond, Art Deco and the Cool Curve’!