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Back when Ellery James Roberts still counted himself a member of the Manchester outfit WU LYF, the band's online presence consisted of only an immersive, video-heavy, and slightly mysterious website. Since WU LYF disbanded, we've heard new music from his former bandmates in the form of Los Porcos, and a track from Roberts's own solo album back in June, "Kerou's Lament."

In advance of the release of his first solo full length, Roberts has stared to keep an eponymous Tumblr, with massive photos and videos of digitally manipulated faces, analog photography of bleak office buildings, and a textural goat image posted yesterday morning. If you've got questions about any of the visuals, Roberts has a pretty active "Ask" section.

Follow Ellery James Roberts on Tumblr.

In the world of LiarTownUSA, Pat Boone recorded a live album at Jonestown, Mila Kunis is perpetually “80% upset,” ankle scarves are the latest fashion trend, and raccoons have a Pope (and sometimes they’re called “toilet bears”). Created by Sean Tejaratchi, the graphic designer behind the legendary Crap Hound series of anthologies of scavenged vintage line art, LiarTownUSA is a next-door universe where the banality of late-capitalist existence is amplified to a sinister (and hilarious) extreme, fleshed-out with expertly faked cultural detritus like romance novels (Juggalo’s Surrender by Jeffrey Anne Durango), Netflix listings (Ghost Puncher: Spirits of the Old Plantation), and Yankee Candle scents (“Summer Jorts”). The consistency and uncanniness of Tejaratchi’s vision is matched only by its ability to send creepy, Lovecraftian feelings up and down your nervous system even as you ROFL.

Follow LiarTownUSA on Tumblr.








1907 cartoon about the “Chicago Gait”

The phrase “Calumet 412” once stood for the phone number of one of Chicago’s most famous brothels, but these days it just refers to one of our favorite Tumblr pages. Calumet 412 is run by ­­an amateur historian, and it’s one of the best visual histories of “the city that works” that we’ve found. You’ll find ancient photos from the 1893 Columbian Exposition, Vivian Maier street photos from the 1960s, early 20th century ads, and even old cartoons complaining about how quickly Chicagoans walk. 

All images from Calumet 412

Untitled, 1957, Chicago, Vivian Maier

The Lagoon at the 1893 Columbian Exposition

Subway construction at Milwaukee and Ashland, 1943

Southbound view of Lake Shore Drive at Bryn Mawr, 1954

You know that feeling when you see a great typeface on an old stove or a vintage book, and you can't do much to resist snapping a quick photo? Designer Jonathan Lawrence's Type Hunting Tumblr collects those impulsive images documenting anything from vintage marshmallow cans (?) to gas stations, and just about every foodstuff ever packaged with a great typeface. The majority of the posts feature bygone lettering, but sharp eyes can pick out modern brands that haven't updated in decades. Lawrence lives and works in Atlanta, so there's a good chance most of the artifacts were found in Georgia.

Follow Type Hunting on Tumblr. 

The photo above is of the 38th President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford, greeting a troupe of mimes in the White House. Turns out, this group from the Claude Kipnis Mime Theatre was hired for a performance at a state dinner to entertain esteemed guests from Poland. While the circumstances for the picture are not so odd, the image is a reminder that strange stuff happens in the White House almost daily. The Tumblr Our Presidents, run by the National Archives, collects some of the lesser seen moments of Presidential life, including Richard Nixon's last meal in the White House (below), and a speech prepared in case Apollo astronauts were unable to leave the Moon (also below).  

Follow Our Presidents on Tumblr for a feed of more serious moments in history, too.


Vascular bundles of a Yucca leaf

While the Beauty of Nature Tumblr might have a name that sounds like a "natural souvenir" outpost in the mall, the scientific cross sections and microscope images posted there daily are more visually compelling than typical chain store offerings. The images come from an unnamed biology student, possibly studying Life Science at the University of Las Vegas, where many of the images link back. 

Follow the Beauty of Nature on Tumblr.

Graphic designer Zaven Najjar is a massive hip hop fan. On his Tumblr, Rap Posters, Najjar isolates single lines from new and old rap songs, and illustrates the lyrics in a bold graphic poster using a single image and a consistent typeface. He posts a new one every day, working in equal parts with silly lines from tracks like Lil Wayne's "Lollipop", more ominous verses from Mobb Deep, and French language rap verses from the Malian rapper Oxmo Puccino.

Follow Rap Posters on Tumblr.

Will Laren's down-and-out characters have a tendency to deliver dark comedic monologues. His illustrations, which appear in his three-color silkscreen zine Slurricane, in Vice, and his own posters, feature highly active colors, usually bright blues, purples, and greens made to intentionally clash. The resulting work, especially his fluorescent outlines, shouts at us to be seen.

Keep up with Will Laren via his Tumblr and Facebook.

"Youth Tooth"

At one point in time, we took them for granted. Payphones were a must—if you were running late, lost, or traveling and needed to make reservations—or perhaps didn't have a home phone. The eventual affordability and popularity of mobile phones wiped them out, destroying the market for their use and making payphones, it seems, not worth the time or money to maintain. Some still exist, sometimes in the oddest of places, and we're sure that some of us still need them in a pinch. By now, their increasing rarity makes them ripe as a photographic subject. #payphoneography is a bit like a chronicle of the last days of a connected, cheap public communication network—with the occassional shot of an exotic callbox from a far-flung locale. Particularly sad, we think, are the "carcasses" of ripped-out phones.

A book club worth its salt should turn one onto something one otherwise wouldn't have found. While the volumes posted to the Visual Book Club are limited to a cover and a few images, and the discussions consist simply of likes and reblogs, the Tumblr has the same curatorial spirit. The posts lean heavily toward zines and comics, but every once in a while something like a vintage Kafka paperback makes an appearance. 

Follow Visual Book Club on Tumblr for some new zines in your dashboard.