Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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42 Responses

  1. Avatar Aaron W says:

    Editable comments? Can’t we have edible comments instead? Just don’t eat the trolls.Report

  2. Avatar Chris says:

    My girlfriend’s father was Ray Charles’ valet back in the early 60s, and his manager after that. They were lifetime friends, and he (my girlfriend’s dad) spoke at Charles’ funeral. You should hear some of the stories.Report

  3. I probably liked the old formatting better, although I should confess that I haven’t donated any money to the site. I might, but I’ll say that whether I do or not will have to do with whether I can afford the (very small) amount I’d likely donate than whether I like the formatting.

    In other words, it’s probably better to heed your paying customers and not me.Report

    • I’ll just add, I like the fact that there are more “off the cuff” comments visible. Sometimes I want to go back to one of those threads but have difficulty finding it because I forget the author and there hasn’t been a comment recently.

      I just discovered this feature of the new formatting.Report

  4. Avatar Snarky McSnarkSnark says:

    It’s looking pretty good!

    Just for the record, if you go look at past OPs, many of them are missing their comments altogether. This could be because the links from the Google search used to find them are no longer valid, and will be fixed next time the site is spidered. But it’s something to watch out for…Report

  5. Avatar James Hanley says:


    Here’s my two cents.

    1. The man at top left has part of his body cut off with a hard line; that looks weird. On my wife’s Ipad, using Safari, his body is obliterated and all that remains is his top hat hovering above the title.

    2. The loop in the g hanging down over “gentlemen” is really distracting. It looks like you’ve put a magnifying glass over the t in gentlemen, and it draws the eye there, to no good purpose.

    3. What’s the image in that bar? An industrial city in the pre-Clean Air Act era? I can’t really make it out, but it’s damned depressing.Report

    • Avatar Erik Kain says:

      1. This depends on screen size entirely. I’m working with it so that he disappears on smaller screens entirely, but if that doesn’t work I may just include him with the logo.

      2. You don’t like that? I kind of do, but I’ll blame Mr. Truman who came up with it (and a bunch of other ones) and only me a bit for saying this one was the best. We may tinker some more if it bugs people.

      3. Still trying to find the perfect one, but I’m going for the bowler-hat aesthetic and something Dickensian felt right.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        Ah, nobody listens to Will Truman! But my wife the graphic designer says having text-over-text is tricky because of the tendency to be distracting. To be fair, at first glance it does look kind of neat, but then I realize my eye kept gravitating to it, and focusing on just that point instead of on the title as a whole.

        I get the bowler hat aesthetic, but Dickensian (and you nailed that), just seems…dour, dismal. It just smacks–to me–of deep Marxist seriousness, a place where jokes are frowned upon as being too bourgeois. Obviously the blog’s anything but that. Unless you’re really going to enforce Mark’s ban on puns.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater says:

          but then I realize my eye kept gravitating to it

          “Does the “G” go over “gentlemen”, or under it? It looks like it’s going over… wait, now it’s under …”Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          If the bottom part of the “g” were not a circle, do you think that would make it less distracting?Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            The bottom part of the “g” should be a monocle.Report

            • Avatar James Hanley says:

              Spouse says you might be able to pull that off, if you made the t and l a little bigger (magnified by the monocle), because then it looks intentional.

              P.S. to Erik. Dude, I know you’re working hard on this, so I feel bad being critical. And I know you can’t come up with something that will please everybody, so if you blow me off I won’t be resentful. Personally I can’t design for sh*t, but watching my wife work has taught me to notice a few things here and there.

              And to make sure I mention the upsides (which we so often forget to do), my wife said all along that the title needed to be bigger, and I think you’ve hit the right size for it now; perfect.Report

              • Avatar Erik Kain says:

                Oh I love feedback, and I know Mr. Truman appreciates it as well. I just hope that the *overall* feel of the site (and the many more subtle changes) work to make the site more readable and enjoyable more broadly.

                Re: the Dickensian feel. Well. I’ll keep looking around, but it’ll do for now, bleak or no.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                Heh… I just commented to Erik that I thought it was too large (which wasn’t a criticism of him, it was the size I envisioned it being but just didn’t look like I thought it would look when applied to the template).

                Unfortunately, as good as the monocle idea is, it’s not in my realm of capability.Report

            • Avatar Erik Kain says:

              I really like the monocle idea with the enlarged letter(s) inside the lens.Report

          • Avatar James Hanley says:

            Graphic Design spouse says, yes, probably.

            Also says, if the guy’s going to be cut off slightly, move him up just a titch so that his shoulder is even with the top of the serif on the capital T, which will give a better appearance of the guy’s body continuing, flowing into the text rather than being cut. But if he gets more and more cut off as the screen gets smaller, that may not do much when the cut line is around his chin. So she thinks he’d be better as part of the title.Report

      • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

        I’d go more for Bertie Wooster than Dickens. Or think Eustace Tilley.Report

  6. Avatar James Hanley says:

    P.S. On Safari, the bar doesn’t go all the way across the screen, but only halfway across the far right column.Report

  7. Avatar Kazzy says:

    HATE!!!! the new logo, fyi.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      Any criticism more specific than hatred? I don’t mean to criticize your taste, but I could use things to keep in mind if I go back to the drawing board.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Oh, of course. Sorry ’bout that…

        Too busy. Three different fonts is too much. All lowercase on subheading looks cartoonish. LoOG should be crisp and clean… Refined. This is not that, IMHO.Report

  8. Avatar Kazzy says:


    Would it be possible to have post specific Gifts of Gab? Form instance, the main page, we see all the recent FP comments via GoG. But if I click on an actual post, I can get a separate GoG for just that article. For instance, the GoG for this post right here would only have comments for “Tinkering”, even if they are older than comments on ther FP posts. Clicking back to the main page returns me to the traditional GoG. Just a thought….Report