6 Important Works By Famous Artists Hidden In Easter Eggs
You ever get frustrated because your favorite TV show is only available on one of the hundred streaming services that you don't subscribe to? Or when an upcoming game is announced as a permanent exclusive on a console you don't own? The same question always comes up: Don't artists want us to see the thing they make? Why not just release it everywhere?
But the truth is if you're a superfan who wants to see everything a particular creator has made, you're often in for a strange trip indeed. That stuff tends to turn up in the weirdest places. Like ...
You Can Find Neil Gaiman's Work In SimCity 2000 And On Chipotle Cups (If You Look Hard Enough)
Even though he hasn't really written anything that can be referenced among non-geeks, Neil Gaiman is probably one of the most versatile authors of our generation. So far, he's written comics, movies, short stories, television shows, songs, picture books, video games, and essays in video games. Yes, there's a difference between the last two. For example, this is writing in a video game:
Where's the damned "Accept" button?!
That is a short essay written by Neil Gaiman that appears in SimCity 2000, a video game that allows you to design and build your own city before ultimately destroying it with the Incredibles robot. However, if you built a library in the game, clicked on it, and then selected "RUMINATE" you'd be taken out of your apocalypse fantasies and into Gaiman's mind where you'd learn about how cities are sort of alive and will totally eat your face. "Don't ever take a city for granted. After all, it is bigger than you are; it is older; and it has learned how to wait ..."
It's not exactly a new novel, but it is original Neil Gaiman writing that virtually no one saw. And that, oddly enough, brings us to Chipotle.
You all know it as the chain of restaurants for people craving faux-Mexican but with too much self-esteem to set foot in Taco Bell. For the past year or so, they've been running their Cultivating Thought initiative where they print inspirational, original prose on their cups and bags for customers to read. Or rather, to completely ignore, since their best chance to see the text is while it's partially obscured by their own greasy thumb. If you did happen to look through the guacamole stains you'd see that Neil Gaiman wrote for one of their cups, and it was even more haunting than his Cthulhu-esque musings on cities.
We'd make a diarrhea joke about that title if Chipotle wasn't so goddamn good.
Gaiman's Two Minutes To Run is a disturbing read about people in Syria abandoning their homes and escaping into a refugee camp, with only two minutes to decide what they should carry with them. If that sounds like the last thing you'd want to read while enjoying a burrito, fear not, as other, slightly less depressing big-name authors have also contributed to Chipotle's Cultivating Thought, like Malcolm Gladwell, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Pulitzer Prize-winners Toni Morrison and Jeffrey Eugenides. What percentage of customers would you say actually noticed and read the text, versus those who just assumed it was a bunch of meaningless slogans that no one has time to read during their 30-minute lunch break? The very existence of these writings either speaks very highly about Chipotle, or very badly about the post-Pulitzer job market.
You Have To Join A Shitty Website To Learn How Harry Potter REALLY Ended
Even if you aren't a fan of the dramatic story about a little orphan who suddenly finds out he's a super-talented millionaire magician with tons of friends, you have to admit that Harry Potter succeeded in convincing an entire generation of attention-deficit kids to read several thousand pages of books. The announcement of a new Harry Potter novel would make even bigger headlines than the Star Wars sequels. Entire forests would be razed just to handle the preorder volume alone.
But you probably didn't know that J.K. Rowling has been cranking out tons of additional Potter material for years ... it's just that you can only find it on Pottermore, Harry Potter's official website that, true to the spirit of the books, was clearly designed by someone with only a passing knowledge of Muggle technology.
To get inside Pottermore, you have to take a personality quiz that'll sort you into one of the four houses. Once there, you'll have access to point-and-click chapter summaries with hidden additional info about the wizarding world. The site also features exclusive new writing from Rowling about stuff like Professor McGonagall's life before Hogwarts, or a Quidditch World Cup report that bizarrely serves as the true epilogue of the whole Harry Potter saga.
The report, written by Rowling as one of her characters, makes a couple of mentions about Harry, Hermione, and Ron, who attend the cup. Thanks to it, we learn that, for example, Ron has started to go bald, but not enough to hide the fact he's ginger. What else? Well, Hermione is doing great at her job, and Harry is now sporting a new scar, which is never explained but we think clearly hints at a future Harry Potter spin-off about Wizard Fight Club.
Wait, we were just kidding, but HOLY SHIT, this could actually work!
Universal Studios Florida Is The Only Place Where You Can See The Sequel To E.T.
Kids these days may not remember it simply because it didn't spawn decades' worth of sequels, but Steven Spielberg's 1982 blockbuster E.T. was once the highest-grossing movie of all time -- it beat the record held by Star Wars and wouldn't be dethroned until Spielberg himself did it 11 years later with Jurassic Park. Try to imagine a mega-blockbuster like The Avengers, times two -- that's how much E.T. grossed.
Which brings us to the question, does Steven Spielberg hate E.T.? We kinda get the feeling that he does.
After all, he digitally replaced all the guns in the movie with walkie-talkies, told Atari to go ahead and make the E.T. game that almost destroyed the American video game market, and even worked on a weird-ass E.T. sequel. Oh, we're not talking about the idea he had for a follow-up to the original movie where a bunch of evil aliens torture Elliott. We mean the E.T. Adventure ride at Universal Studios Florida.
Which, to be fair, could be used for torture.
During the ride, guests fly on the iconic bicycles from the movie finale, avoiding NASA personnel and police officers along the way. Finally, they are transported across the galaxy to the dying Green Planet where they come across E.T.'s teacher Botanicus. E.T. himself soon arrives and heals the entire planet, thus proving that he was Super Space Jesus this entire time.
Obviously this is an officially licensed E.T. "product" but is it really enough to call it a "sequel" to the movie? Well, the ride does feature an original score by composer John Williams, notorious for not normally making scores for tired tourists too poor to afford Disney World. Oh, and Steven Spielberg once said that he considers the ride "the only sequel to the movie," but what the fuck does that hack know?
"Also, the only true sequel."
And speaking of geniuses who were oddly devoted to seeing their work on amusement park rides ...
Ray Bradbury Wrote And Designed Part Of Disney World's Epcot Center
Ray Bradbury mainly gets remembered these days for Fahrenheit 451, but he actually cranked out 27 novels and an astonishing 400 short stories. But it's likely that none of those have reached the same massive audience as the stuff he wrote for a Disney World ride.
Spaceship Earth is the official name of that giant golf ball at Epcot, which you're forgiven for not remembering, as it's located at the only place in Disney World where you can get shit-faced. The attraction is meant to be a time machine that briefly takes parkgoers through the history of human communication using simple visuals and animatronics, and the whole thing was partially developed by Bradbury.
"And definitely not originally conceived as a status chamber for frozen Walt clones. No, sir ..."
As a matter of historical fact worthy of its own comic book series, Bradbury was actually a good friend of Walt Disney. After working with him during the 1964 World's Fair, he was hired by the man to design an Epcot attraction about communication, and came up with the basic framework of a ride that showed how humanity went from caveman grunts to making the Moon our bitch. He went full at it, too, writing the script that was to be read by the narrator during the ride, and collaborating on which scenes from history should be showed along the way. The guy just had a gigantic boner for Disney.
Not pictured here, hopefully.
What we mean is that Bradbury firmly believed in Disney's ideas of allowing oneself to dream of a better future, and his storyline for Spaceship Earth was meant to reflect that. His script has been updated since then, though, and now actually mentions things like the Internet, for which Bradbury had even less respect than the people who told him that he didn't know the meaning of his own book.
William Gibson Once Released A Book On A Self-Destroying Floppy Disk
If the name "William Gibson" doesn't ring any bells for you, here's all you need to know about him: He's the official writer of the Internet.
"Oh yeah? Why does he have all of his clothes on then?"
Now, we're not just saying that because he coined the term "cyberspace," and described the modern Internet in his 1984 novel Neuromancer, but because he's constantly trying new and bold things with his art, some of which also happens to be disturbing as balls. Enter Agrippa (A Book of the Dead), Gibson's 1992 poem/short story which was released on a 3.5-inch floppy disk that was only readable once before irreversibly encrypting itself like Ethan Hunt's search history. So ... hope you were paying attention?
Agrippa is apparently semiautobiographical and deals with the nature of memories, but don't go asking Gibson about it because, appropriately, he's long forgotten what the book's about after deleting it from his computer years ago. Your second best shot might be artist Dennis Ashbaugh, who designed the physical book that came with Agrippa. You probably won't get any answers from him either, though, because he's the kind of guy who printed etchings of DNA nucleotides on the book, some of which appeared when exposed to light, while others were destroyed by it. Did we mention he is an artist?
Do we even have to?
There were only 455 copies of Agrippa "published," with prices ranging anywhere from $450 to $7,500 for the deluxe edition, which raises many important questions like: Who's the target audience for this "book"? Will all future literature be an expensive pay-per-view experience like this one? How many more clues does Gibson need to drop before we realize he is just fucking with us at this point?
But when it comes to denying the audience access to your work, nobody beats this ...
Wu-Tang Clan Will Release Only One Copy Of Their Secret Album
During the past six years, legendary hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan has secretly recorded 31 songs totaling more than two hours of music, after which they put them on a single album titled The Wu -- Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, and destroyed all of their backups.
"They looked at us funny."
The only existing copy of the album and proof that the artists didn't actually spend all their recording time secretly training to be secret agents like in that story we've been shopping around Hollywood, currently resides in a vault outside Morocco. It will stay there until one lucky buyer purchases it at an upcoming private sale for millions of dollars. That's right: One buyer, as in less than two but more than zero -- that's how many people are going to listen to Once Upon A Time In Shaolin.
Boy, the reviews of this album are going to be horribly one-sided.
Well, OK, fine. A lucky few will get to hear the new songs on headphones during a special tour of the album (after being cleared by armed security), but only one soul will be able to truly own it. And that's the point: to create a one-of-a-kind musical experience, the likes of which the world has never seen. But there's good news, music fans. The Wu-Tang Clan have shown pity and announced that they will release the album ... in 88 years. Yeah, although Wu-Tang Clan ain't nuthing ta fuck wit, their fans are apparently a whole different story.
When Tara Marie's not writing for Cracked, she's reading comics. You can reach her at email@example.com.
Did you know that chances are good your favorite creator did some shit you probably never heard of? To see what we're talking about, check out 6 Famous Artists You Didn't Know Were Perverts and 7 Celebrities Who Had Badass Careers You Didn't Know About.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel learn about your favorite chains dipping into the secret inkwell as well in 7 Popular Restaurants With Secret Menu Items You Need To Try, as well as watch other videos you won't see on the site!
Also follow us on Facebook because we love Taco Bell and know you do too.