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Jason Kottke's Match Preview

A Good Friday

Welcome to today’s Layer Tennis Match between Jillian “not Jill” Tamaki and “Sir” Jennifer Daniel. I’m Jason Kottke, your resident gumflapper for the match; think of me as the Scott Hamilton or John McEnroe of the proceedings: once capable but now resigned to commentating rather than participating, hairline and skills receding in equal measure.

In doing the least amount of research possible -- i.e. using the internet -- here's what I've learned about today's contestants:

Jennifer Daniel's site has an amusing URL that's difficult to give out over the phone: http:// httpcolonforwardslashforwardslashwwwdotjenniferdanieldotcom.com/. Her bio also appears to be mostly in lorem ipsum. Let's label Jennifer hilariously mysterious. (Argh! Jennifer totally just got me with the fake bug crawling on the screen trick!)

Hailing from Alberta, Canada, Jillian Tamaki conducts her illustration empire from Brooklyn, NY. She's already talking trash about today's match but forgot to lord her straightforwardly named web site over Jennifer's head.

Jennifer did not send me one of her nifty calendars. Some may notice a certain malice bias on the part of this commentator as a result. (It was a really neat calendar... I'm not made of stone!) Email me if you'd like to buy one of the TEAM TAMAKI tshirts I'm having printed up.

Both of today's competitors are trusted to turn the ideas of large media concerns into pictures. Among them, Jillian and Jennifer have done work for companies like the NY Times, New York magazine, the New Yorker, Business Week, National Geographic, and Spin. But the thoughtfulness and joy I see in the work they produce makes me think that illustration may well be what they do in their spare time as well. Not to mention that they both signed up to do this crazy tennis shit in public for little reward. 15 minutes to volley? Are you nuts? (No pressure. I'm sure it's easy. I'll just be over here with my lemonade watching for signs of failure.)

Stylistically, these two women are really different. While Jennifer goes for the cheap thrills with her illustration -- fornicating bicycles! -- Jillian's style is more elaborate, weightier, sometimes melancholy, and, if I'm not mistaken, influenced by comics. Ok, Jennifer, not cheap thrills...more like spare and simple (but not simplistic). It's almost like Jennifer designs logos for the ideas she's attempting to capture. I really enjoy both styles and can't wait to see how they mesh/clash during the match.

But really, the work is all you need to know about our two competitors, so cast an eye: Jillian & Jennifer. Jillian has won the coin toss and will go first while Jennifer will have the last word. I encourage you, the wise crowd, to follow along with the match and Twitter your observations...just include #lyt in the message and I'll use your comments to spice up my commentary. Let's go!


Play by play commentary for this match is provided, as it happens, by Jason Kottke.

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