AMC

“The Gentlemen’s Guide to Cocktails” from Hardie Grant Books.

As we roll forward toward February I am beginning to have “Mad Men” withdrawal symptoms. I know the 2013 season is just a few more months away, but…

To help me get through it all I have been checking out “The Gentlemen’s Guide to Cocktails” from Hardie Grant Books, written by Alfred Tong and illustrated by Jack Hughes. The illustrations really make the book. They draw from a retro period that feels like it crawled off the set of Mad Men, yet they have an updated and contemporary air to them.

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Hughes work seems to be influenced by illustrators like Joe Bowler, Howard Terpning, Al Parker, Bernie Fuchs and so many other masters from the 1950’s and 1960’s. I love the muted tones, soft color palet, the simplification of detail, and the layouts of each frame. There is a machine like precision to the pieces, and yet they create a feeling of familiarity. Like you have seen them somewhere before, which is a possible nod to illustration styles of the mid 1980’s featuring props and styling a decade or more earlier.

Now I need to go make a Manhattan, or two.

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Mad Men, The 8-Bit YouTube Game.

If you are a Mad Men fan, you know that last night marked the return of the highly acclaimed series after a year off. The show debuted with a two hour show, that kicked the season off in true Mad Men fashion.

To help promote the return of the series, have developed a YouTube based advergame for AMC. “Choose Your Own Adventure” is an 8-Bit game where you play Don Draper helping to rescue the agency after Lucky Strike betrays Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Price. At the end of each level you choose the path you want to take to play the game out. There are 40 videos that play out three different endings depending on your choices.

The game is less than a week old, and it has already generated more than 370,000 plays. The concept is fun and engaging, and the 8-Bit feel gives it a strange retro feel, that is oddly compelling.

Watch It Mad Men.

This year for my birthday my wife bought me a very, very nice timepiece. There was nothing wrong with my Tag Heuer Monaco, she simply wanted to give me something a bit more significant to commemorate a milestone birthday. Now I wouldn’t want to trade in my new watch, but I also wouldn’t mind owning the Jaeger-LeCoulture Mad Men watch that will be released this month.

Why would I want this? Well it is going to be a true collectors piece since only 25 will be made. That means that it is also an investment since it’s value will do nothing but increase over time.

The Jaeger-LeCoulture Mad Men watch is  aspecial edition of the Jaeger-LeCoulture Reverso, that is engraved with the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce logo. Each watch comes in a custom-designed walnut commemorative box featuring the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce logo embossed on top, with a copy of “Sterling’s Gold” autographed by Matthew Weiner.

As a Mad Men fan, this would be a very sweet watch to own, although I doubt I’d ever wear it.

Radio does Mad Men.

Lately I have been watching Mad Men seasons 1 through 4 on Netflix. With Season 5 delayed until January 2012 I’ve been jonesing for the show just a bit, and I decided to watch the first for seasons over. I’m actually really glad that I have. I am catching all sorts of things this time around that I either missed or forgot over the last 4 and a half years.

The real reason I am posting about Mad Men has nothing to do with my TV viewing habits. What it does have to do with are these great posters from Cape Town-based design studio Radio. I have no idea if these are going to be used to promote Mad Men for the AMC network, but if not they should. The posters have a really nice retro feel to them without being to period. At times they feel older than the decade that Mad Men is set in, but that doesn’t bother me that much. They have a great illustrative style and the execution is really well done.