COMIC RIFFS, TO THE BEST of our recollection, rarely ever recommends something as a “must-see.” That term is to be reserved for sights that truly wow.
Well, if you are a true fan of line drawings and cartoon animation — to say nothing of sci-fi — then today’s Google Doodle targeted to some European viewers is, indeed, a must-see.
While the States get a fun Thanksgiving hand-turkey logo today, the Euro-Doodle is on a whole other level as child’s play:
It’s a puzzle! It’s a multi-level game! And yes, it’s a tribute to one of the world’s most popular sci-fi authors.
The logo is an eye-popping animation that celebrates Polish science-fiction novelist, philosopher and satirist Stanisław Lem upon the 60th anniversary of his first book publication.
The writer, who has reportedly sold more than 25-million books translated into 40-plus languages, died in 2006. He is perhaps best known in North America for his 1961 work “Solaris,” thanks partly to its cinematic incarnations (most recently by Stephen Soderbergh).
And for such a literary name, but hoo-boy did Google up its game. Literally.
The Lem animation is a HTML5-powered game that features Sophia Foster-Dimino’s cartoon style as inspired by Daniel Mroz, whose beguilingly quirky artwork populated many Lem books. The robot scenario itself is inspired by his ‘60s book “The Cyberiad.”
By solving puzzles — such as those on the monster robot posing math equations — the viewers can reach new levels.
And given the length and ambitiousness of the game, Google itself is aiming to reach new levels.
(Some of Google’s most popular interactive logos were “Pac-Man” and the Les Paul guitar, but neither was truly a cartoon animation.)
And for bonus fun, you can try to spot some of the game’s Easter eggs.
After all, they make for a great second course after you’re done with Google’s Thanksgiving turkey.
Comic Riffs’ TOP TEN GOOGLE DOODLES OF 2011:
1. LES PAUL: THE PLAYABLE GUITAR
2. MARTHA GRAHAM: THE ANIMATION DANCE
3. LUCILLE BALL: CHANNELING THE HIGHLIGHTS
4. FREDDIE MERCURY: THE MUSIC VIDEO
5. JIM HENSON: THE CLICKABLE MUPPETS
6. ART CLOKEY: THE “GUMBY DOODLE”
7. JULES VERNE: DEEP-SEA DOODLE
8. MARY BLAIR: THE DISNEY DOODLE
9. THOMAS EDISON: THE ILLUMINATING DOODLE
10. LUNAR ECLIPSE: THE MOON DOODLE