12.06.2006

Wiggle From The Lavender Grave

At some point, a long-running secret weapon becomes an inside joke. So it is with the FreeDarko Book Project, which has run through several incarnations and provided the excuse for at least one summer of unemployment. Much of what we've done now belongs to some outmoded vision of the whole, fragments of a beast cut down in the womb. But rather than leave all these good works to rot on the bottom of the ocean, I've decided to post the absolute highlight of it all. For all the world to see, here are Big Baby's studies for what we affectionately referred to as "The Gallery of Clicks and Madness." Truly, I came up with the idea, but Big Baby made it into a thing of proto-historical steam.

STYLE GUIDE_Color

DUNCAN_COLOR


ARENAS_COLOR



BONUS: For the truly strong of stomach, here are the deeply conceptual sub-sketches I gave Big Baby earlier in the process:

ONE

TWO

THREE

FOUR!

93 Comments:

At 12/07/2006 12:36 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

since i had absolutely nothing to do with this, i can say it's fucking genius.

wv: laxjr = what byron scott used to say all the time; or what would have happened if jr smith had taken up lacrosse

 
At 12/07/2006 12:52 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

who would be a thumb?

snowflake?

 
At 12/07/2006 1:01 PM, Blogger Rob I said...

My mind is not deeply conceptual enough to imagine Raja Bell using Nazi powers in sub-sketch three.

Most brilliant FD post since birth. I am merely a casual observer/fan of the Association and your pictograms explained more than Craig Sager ever could.

 
At 12/07/2006 1:10 PM, Anonymous TheHype said...

Wow, that about owns the internet right there.

 
At 12/07/2006 1:19 PM, Blogger T. said...

those sketches are many different types of awesome. I'd buy a t-shirt.

 
At 12/07/2006 1:21 PM, Blogger Unsilent Majority said...

holy shit, the office wants to know what's so funny. i showed them the diagram of the suns offense...now they keep taking the sharp objects off my desk.

 
At 12/07/2006 1:23 PM, Blogger whitefolks said...

It is now officially a fact that I would definitely purchase these characters and interchangable heads.

If anyone is a shoe/streetwear head, I'm thinking it would be like one from Original Fake or the like.

Get these made!

 
At 12/07/2006 1:42 PM, Anonymous megapickles said...

My life just changed. I will never watch basketball the same way. Nor observe total strangers without associating them with such iconic nomenclature.

Who drew these? Shoals? This shit is amazing. Somebody contact Nintendo.

wv: cdevrd- chris duhon v. roald dahl (supreme court case heard in the year 2029)

 
At 12/07/2006 1:46 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

I was just thinking that, Pickles. FreeDarko: The Videogame.

 
At 12/07/2006 1:46 PM, Anonymous SK said...

Brickowski - re: snowflake = the cheap double pun is Micheal Ray Richardson

 
At 12/07/2006 1:48 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i came up with the plan, tried to explain it to big baby, and ultimately made those shitty sketches below when words failed. he's the one who turned up the heat and expanded it into a symphony.

 
At 12/07/2006 1:49 PM, Blogger Captain Caveman said...

This is making waves in the Kissing Suzy Kolber daily email thread...

Monday Morning Punter:
Holy shit, that is excellent. Like a comic book from the 50s that decided to be interesting.
If he did every player in the league like that and put it in a book, I would buy it, and I don't even like the NBA.


I concur with everything said to this point. I want the video game. The book. The action figures.

A new day has dawned. It's morning in the NBA.

 
At 12/07/2006 1:49 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

Wow. Those might more clearly define FD than anything heretofor posted. I especially like that they could be used for in-game, style of play analysis; for describing the narrative arc of a player's career; and for analyzing that career at any given point in time.

Thumb: KB8 during the Diesel era.

Snowflake: Len Bias.


sv: cranrng--new phone from motorola

 
At 12/07/2006 1:50 PM, Blogger Brian said...

AMAZING -- The diagrams are instant classic. I am almost dumbfounded with the creative ingenuity involved in this.
This will take some time to digest.

 
At 12/07/2006 1:53 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

I think my favorite thing about this is the need for both a regular and short string yo-yo. That's totally some Shoalsian attention to detail.

 
At 12/07/2006 1:53 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

oh, and since this is proving to be such a hit: i also went through youtube looking for representative plays and then writing out descriptions of each one. bb was ultimately in charge of assigning the icons.

 
At 12/07/2006 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you guys have got to finish this. i would definitely pay to see the fd top 50/bottom 50 or whatever all done up in this fashion.

 
At 12/07/2006 2:16 PM, Blogger dOctorGriZick said...

that really is the best thing ive seen on these here internets in a long effin time.

 
At 12/07/2006 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wooah. i just printed these out on the good thick paper in the supply closet, added a cardstock cover and bound them. coffee table here we come.

if there was a book with sketches from 50 greatest players ever, i would buy 23 of them.

 
At 12/07/2006 2:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the awesome in so many ways...

 
At 12/07/2006 2:46 PM, Blogger R.G. said...

That's one of the dopest posts you have ever had. I can't wait to see the Antawn Jamison's breakdown, you all might have to invent a new element to characterize his moves.

 
At 12/07/2006 2:55 PM, Anonymous booth said...

ditto all the compliments. that was sick. more please.

 
At 12/07/2006 3:03 PM, Blogger Trey said...

This is so fantastic. Make it into a book.

Or vinyl figures (a la Kaws x Original Fake from above) would be siiiick.

 
At 12/07/2006 3:05 PM, Anonymous SK said...

In sketch 2, Dwyane Wade is a bunny rabbit (looks cute, hippity-hops), a frying pan (some high-heat cookery), then death on a rocketship to the tin?

I'm sure he'd rather be that than mere Sportsman of the Year.

 
At 12/07/2006 3:08 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

Just wanted to add that I find the image of Agent Sand Dollar dunking particularly beguiling in its ambiguous evocation.

 
At 12/07/2006 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading this made me a better basketball player. Thank you.

 
At 12/07/2006 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading this made me a better person

 
At 12/07/2006 3:48 PM, Blogger GentleWhoadie9000 said...

wait wait wait.

i think this should be made into a book about jr smith being the comptroller of outer space. there can be a sand dollar in that too.

now there's an idea.

 
At 12/07/2006 3:50 PM, Blogger Unsilent Majority said...

Kaws X Original Fake would have nothing on these. Shoals and Big Baby are the next Pharrell/Nigo team

 
At 12/07/2006 4:09 PM, Blogger whitefolks said...

It warms my heart to see the sneakerhead references. I'll take these from the Kaws x Original Fake that was recently on a bunch of sites (hypebeast for me, thank you) and even though I'm not into Pharrell's stuff lately, I wouldn't care if these figures were wearing the most retarded BAPE/BBC/Ice Creams SB's or AF1's.

Shoals, please please send those sketches off to a toy designer because they are killer.

Then again, I couldn't afford them at collector prices if I wanted the FD collection in its entirety.

 
At 12/07/2006 4:19 PM, Blogger Unsilent Majority said...

I'd happily display some exclusive toys next do my autographed beeper editions.

4Real

 
At 12/07/2006 4:43 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

More please!

 
At 12/07/2006 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I immediately thought of Rashard Lewis for the giraffe, but then I realized it's more because he looks like a giraffe and not because he plays like one.

Excellent stuff, kids. Thought provoking to the utmost. Plus now I can practice Tim Duncan's moves in the driveway despite the fact that I'm 5-foot-9.

 
At 12/07/2006 4:56 PM, Blogger Trey said...

FD Figurines >> Kaws x Original Fake

These need to be made!

 
At 12/07/2006 5:15 PM, Blogger doublenicks said...

Great stuff. These icons make for great shorthand in describing a play. Like Jordan going short-string yo-yo, bowling pin, nuclear to win a game. Charles Barkley is one of my all-time favs but I'm having a hard time associating him with anything other than "Bull."

 
At 12/07/2006 5:27 PM, Blogger T. said...

doublenicks - there's an awful lot of bowling ball in Chuck's game too.

to the masters - if you're truly interested in exploring figurine development - hit me on the email. It's not cheap though.

 
At 12/07/2006 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is definitely some sort of genius being stoked here and I'd definitely buy a book.

 
At 12/07/2006 5:36 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

Chuck also had the octopus, submarine, lock & key combo down long before Duncan came around. Bowling pin, too.

 
At 12/07/2006 6:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are based out of Chicago right? Was that Chris Ware who did that? It looks like his work.

 
At 12/07/2006 7:17 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

couple points of clarification:

freedarko is actually a worlwide operation. chicago is just the only city where more than one of us lives.

i do see some traces of chris ware in the sketches, but big baby is a graphic artist/cartoonist in his own right. hopefully he will chime in some time soon.

(would be pretty ill if chris ware took on an alias like "big baby belafonte" and did graphics for an off-kilter hoops site though...)

 
At 12/07/2006 7:22 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

wow, chris ware....

big baby's identity is known only by a few, he's the blog's super secret weapon. euro guide plus this....you can see why.

 
At 12/07/2006 7:56 PM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

Ok Ok Ok...

A whole multi-platform market is opening up for this.

The videogame. The figurines. The book.

The trading card game?

The 20 varieties of:
energy drink?
cologne?
top shelf liqueur?

20 Polo shirts with the symbols subtly embroidered on the chest?

Do it all.

 
At 12/07/2006 8:17 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

Chuck also had the octopus, submarine, lock & key combo down long before Duncan came around. Bowling pin, too.

And he was pure bottle rocket on the break.

Diagrams I'd like to see:

1. Rodman getting a rebound, particularly one of his infamous "box unders" (i.e. pushing the opposing player under the backboard and thus out of contention for the board).

2. Mourning on-ball and/or weak-side defense, the latter resulting in a block.

3. Pippen in his mid-90's prime defending both the post player and his own man simultaneously.

4. LBJ's last second lay-up in Game 5 of the Playoffs vs. the Wiz.

wv: pyias--a legend on the Machu Pichu courts

 
At 12/07/2006 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wowee zow. The best shit you guys have done in years. I hope that AOL is giving you guys some money for the Fanhouse and that you are all rich soon. I am a big fan of death, as I have always thought of Kobe as the angel of such.

 
At 12/07/2006 10:29 PM, Blogger GentleWhoadie9000 said...

it's only a matter of time before an internet internation incident arises from the pedantic misdirection of describing cuttino mobley's stop-dribble as "chickenheadish."

 
At 12/07/2006 10:56 PM, Blogger T. said...

161-157 - everyone goes nuclear.

WV: senks - the sound the new ball makes through the net

 
At 12/07/2006 11:26 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

The Phoenix Suns may be the coolest team of all time.

 
At 12/08/2006 1:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is Raja Bell considered a nazi(3rd drawing)?

 
At 12/08/2006 10:13 AM, Anonymous bfnh said...

this shit is incredible.

 
At 12/08/2006 10:23 AM, Blogger shoefly said...

There is, no praise lavish enough. I thank you.

 
At 12/08/2006 11:35 AM, Anonymous blindblue said...

T-Mac - snowflake.

This was a spectacular post. Props.

WM: wlmrltii (the Chargers defeat the Weimar Republic, improve to 11-2)

 
At 12/08/2006 12:37 PM, Anonymous J.E. Skeets said...

I can't stop looking at these.

WV: lmrscfp -- Lamar's clouded faux pas.

 
At 12/08/2006 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I smell Saturday morning cartoon.

Really good stuff, guys.

 
At 12/08/2006 1:38 PM, Anonymous mutoni said...

major, major props, fellas!

 
At 12/08/2006 1:41 PM, Anonymous James said...

Amazing and hilarious. Forwarded to everyone I know who has a remote interest in basketball.

 
At 12/08/2006 1:42 PM, Anonymous ronald james davis said...

before i die, all i wanna see is a breakdown of ricky davis trying to artifically create the final rebound in his triple double. this post is outstanding

 
At 12/08/2006 2:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nigo is a punk. If you turned this into merchandise you'd set the NBA on fire.

 
At 12/08/2006 2:25 PM, Anonymous TVBrain said...

I'm really busy right now, so I'll read this when Scoop Jackson writes it.

 
At 12/08/2006 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, since when were falcons and ospreys one and the same? Unless in Gilbert Arenas' metaphysical subconscious they are.

Otherwise, pure genius.

 
At 12/08/2006 2:42 PM, Anonymous Medium Height Israeli said...

This whole thing is fantastic, but I too have to express confusion at the Raja Bell as a Nazi thing.

Also, I think Jose Calderon's randomly unstoppable drives to the basket, relying not on pure speed, or Manu-like shifts in speed, but just purely striding, are worthy of an icon. I'm thinking maybe something that inevitably gets to its destination, without any real hassle. A Stork delivering a baby?

 
At 12/08/2006 2:49 PM, Anonymous Hilton Armstrong's Mother said...

Great work, but I really am sad that "mind gamz" didn't make the final cut.

WV: kozonque - eight foot prospect courted by the Dallas Mavericks

 
At 12/08/2006 2:53 PM, Blogger crazylegsjackson said...

I'ma go out on a limb and guess that the Raja-Nazi is a joint reference to Kobe's identification with the Jewish faith and Bell's diabolical and deplorable extermination of his drive in Lakers-Suns game 5.

 
At 12/08/2006 2:56 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

I would buy this if this was a book. Make it happen!

Raja is a Nazi because he's the blitzkreig offensively, right? He just hits you hard and fast and quick, but fails if he goes in too deep (i.e. strays too far from the 3PT line) and if he gets cold (i.e. Russia-style).

 
At 12/08/2006 3:10 PM, Blogger Koos said...

I love this. It makes me wish I watched basketball.

Just a little bit, at least.

{ k }

 
At 12/08/2006 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am i missing a link to see all of them? Where is it?

 
At 12/08/2006 3:46 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

these are all there are...so far...

 
At 12/08/2006 4:14 PM, Anonymous J.E. Skeets said...

. . . full video of 161-157 . . .

 
At 12/08/2006 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

good lord. that was amazing.

 
At 12/08/2006 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow. might have to change our blogger crush from skeets to shoals...

 
At 12/08/2006 8:29 PM, Anonymous JTexperience said...

That shit is the best stuff I've ever seen. I've tried analogies for certain moves and players for years but to no avail. This is superlative in every aspect.

 
At 12/08/2006 8:33 PM, Blogger 8hrdrive said...

damn, am I late on this shit or what?

a coffee table book, PLEASE!

and before Christmas

 
At 12/08/2006 9:05 PM, Anonymous erahh said...

On a tangent, did I really just hear some espn guy say that AI is going to be traded to Minnesota?

 
At 12/08/2006 9:44 PM, Blogger T. said...

I am watching the Sixers/Wizards game right now - and I can't watch without seeing little protractors, bottle rockets, giraffes, etc. on players heads as they make moves.

Revolutionary.

WV: gxgwybw - new catalonian nba draft choice in 2010

 
At 12/08/2006 10:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't really add anything to what's been said, but damn....fan fucking tastic work.

 
At 12/08/2006 11:04 PM, Blogger The Assimilated Negro said...

I think this sucks.

 
At 12/08/2006 11:04 PM, Blogger The Assimilated Negro said...

(couldn't resist - both the quip and the parenthetical)

 
At 12/08/2006 11:58 PM, Anonymous writersblock said...

J.R.Smith...
...Really

 
At 12/09/2006 12:13 AM, Anonymous fips said...

I want this to be a full fledged glossy magazine/book

 
At 12/09/2006 2:40 AM, Blogger Stumbleweed said...

I witnessed the J.R. Smith explosion in person tonight. Definitely nuclear in the 2nd quarter. That shit was phenomenal.

 
At 12/09/2006 3:28 AM, Blogger Rick said...

Dear God ...

T-shirt, coffee table book, condom iron-ons - I'm buying.

 
At 12/09/2006 7:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how about special animals? possum for iverson? shark for wade? can of mase for brian scalabrine?

 
At 12/09/2006 9:56 PM, Blogger T. said...

yao ming giraffed his way to 38 tonight.

 
At 12/09/2006 10:55 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

dirk is the only liquid giraffe, but duncan and yao certainly giraffe on their own. maybe it's a Texas thing?

i grew up near a zebra ranch in san antonio, but that's a different species altogether.

 
At 12/09/2006 11:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

are there more of these somewhere?

 
At 12/10/2006 10:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

STUNNINGLY COMPREHENSIVE, and yet completely illustrative of why the current NBA bores me to death.

 
At 12/11/2006 7:49 PM, Blogger El Huracan Andreo said...

where the fuck is my portrait?

 
At 12/12/2006 3:43 AM, Anonymous Aleksander said...

I would tattoo that on my girlfriend's tits.

 
At 12/12/2006 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It gets better every time I look at it.

 
At 12/12/2006 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It gets better every time I look at it.

 
At 12/14/2006 12:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simply genius...
Wow.

 
At 10/25/2007 12:22 AM, Anonymous Johnny Kilroy said...

even now, months later, these little pictureguys still bring a single tear of joy to my eye

 
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At 4/13/2009 5:37 AM, Blogger 平平 said...

^^Thanks!!

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