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Designer Milton Glaser dead at 91



June 27 (UPI) — Milton Glaser, a graphic designer remembered for brightly colored posters, magazines, book covers and record sleeves — and the iconic “I NY” logo — died on Friday, his 91st birthday.

According to Glaser’s wife, Shirley, he died of a stroke, but had also suffered from renal failure.

Glaser also made his mark in publishing as part of a small team that reinvented the Sunday edition of the recently-defunct New York Herald Tribune as New York magazine.

“If they’re talented and they’re lucky, designer-artist-creators get to lob an icon out into the larger culture – Leo Fender’s Stratocaster guitar, say, or Shepard Fairey’s Obama poster. If they’re great, maybe they create two. Milton Glaser, though, operated on another plane – he just kept hitting the bull’s-eye, again and again, throughout his seven decades as an illustrator, graphic designer, art director, and visual philosopher and paterfamilias,” said the magazine’s obituary for Glaser.

Born in 1929 to Hungarian immigrants, Glaser took drawing classes with Raphael and Moses Soyer, the social realist artists, then enrolled in the High School of Music & Art in Manhattan (now the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts).

He then worked for a package-design company before enrolling at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

Glaser graduated in 1951 and won a Fulbright scholarship to the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, Italy

In 1954, Glaser opened Push Pin Studios with several Cooper Union classmates in and launched a promotional publication called the Push Pin Almanack, later renamed Push Pin Monthly Graphic, credited with opening up design to a wider range of influences and styles and grabbing the attention of magazines and advertising agencies.

“We were excited by the very idea that we could use anything in the visual history of humankind as influence,” Glaser said.

For one of his best-known designs, a colorful 1967 poster included in “Bob Dylan‘s Greatest Hits,” Glaser created an outline of the singer’s head that was inspired by Marcel Duchamp as well as Islamic art.

In 1977 Glaser — working pro bono for the New York State Department of Commerce as part of a campaign to bring tourists to New York State — drew “I NY” in crayon on the back of an envelope in a taxi cab.

He expected the campaign to last just a couple of months.

Instead it became a widely recognized symbol of New York City, enjoying enduring popularity throughout the 1980s and a revival after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks felled the city’s Twin Towers.

“I’m flabbergasted by what happened to this little, simple nothing of an idea,” Glaser said in 2011.

Notable deaths of 2020

Eddie Kasko

Former St. Louis Cardinals Eddie Kasko is seen in 1957. The All-Star infielider, manager, and executive died on June 24 at the age of 88. Photo courtesy of Jay Publishing/Wikimedia Commons

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Watch: Elle, Noah struggle with long-distance romance in ‘Kissing Booth 2’ trailer



July 6 (UPI) — Netflix is giving a glimpse of The Kissing Booth sequel.

The streaming service shared a trailer for The Kissing Booth 2 on Monday featuring Joey King as Shelly “Elle” Evans and Jacob Elordi as her boyfriend, Noah Flynn.

The preview shows Elle and Noah struggle with their now long-distance relationship. Noah has started his freshman year of college at Harvard University and urges Elle, a high school senior, to apply so they can be together.

Elle and her best friend, Noah’s younger brother, Lee Flynn (Joel Courtney), reopen the Kissing Booth at school. Elle meets a new student, Marco (Taylor Perez), and is sucked into a love triangle.

The original Kissing Booth is based on the Beth Reekles novel of the same name and premiered on Netflix in May 2018. The Kissing Booth 2 is based on Reekles’ book The Kissing Booth 2: Going the Distance and premieres July 24.

The Kissing Booth director Vince Marcello returned to direct the sequel. The new film co-stars Maisie Richardson-Sellers and Molly Ringwald.

Netflix also released a video of King and Courtney giving an official recap of the first movie.

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‘Hamilton’ causes spike in Disney+ app downloads



July 6 (UPI) — Hamilton’s recent release on Disney+ has bumped up downloads of the streaming service’s app.

A filmed version of the Broadway blockbuster featuring the show’s original cast, was released onto Disney+ on Friday.

The Disney+ app was downloaded 513,323 times worldwide from Friday to Sunday including 266,084 downloads in the U.S., Variety reported, citing analytics firm Apptopia.

The downloads, in the U.S., were 72.4 percent higher than the average of the four weekends in June 2020 over comparable time periods.

The app, over the week of June 29 to July 5, saw a 64 percent increase in downloads from the week before, Yahoo Finance reported, citing app download research firm Sensor Tower.

Disney announced in May that 54.5 million subscribers had signed up for the Disney+ streaming service.

Hamilton offers a reimagining of the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Jonathan Groff, Christopher Jackson, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos and Phillipa Soo star with Thomas Kail serving as director.

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James McAvoy voices Morpheus in ‘The Sandman’ audiobook trailer



July 6 (UPI) — Audible is teasing its audiobook adaptation of The Sandman.

The Amazon audiobook producer shared a trailer for the adaptation Monday featuring James McAvoy as the voice of Morpheus, aka Dream of the Endless, an ancient and powerful being who personifies dreams.

“I am a passenger. I am moving through your dreams — all your dreams — and you never knew,” Morpheus (McAvoy) says in the preview.

The Sandman audiobook is based on Neil Gaiman‘s comic book series of the same name. The adaptation also features Kat Dennings as Death, Taron Egerton as John Constantine, Andy Serkis as Matthew the Raven and Michael Sheen as Lucifer.

Gaiman serves as narrator, creative director and executive producer for the audiobook. Dirk Maggs directed the project, which features an original score by James Hannigan.

“This is a rich audio adaptation of The Sandman graphic novels, brilliantly crafted by Dirk Maggs, with an all-star cast,” Gaiman said in a press release in May.

Audible will release Part 1 of The Sandman audiobook July 15. Part 1 adapts volumes 1-3 of the graphic novel series, Preludes & Nocturnes, The Doll’s House and Dream Country.

The Sandman comic series had a 75-issue run from 1989 to 1996 with DC Comics and Vertigo. Several efforts have been made to adapt the series for film or TV, with Netflix reportedly pursuing a TV adaptation in 2019.

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