(Belated) BTC: Yep, Douglas Wolk is Still Totally Rad

Have you guys been keeping track of Ignite? Such an invigorating concept: give a sharp-minded, silver-tongued, unabashedly geeky speaker five minutes on stage to present a “speedy presentation” on a topic of their choosing.  Said speaker gets 20 slides which rotate automatically after 15 seconds. “Enlighten us, but make it quick” is the motto.

In the three years since Ignite was founded in Seattle (by Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis), hundreds of these speedy presentations have been given. Ignite communities are cropping up in major cities worldwide. Earlier this year, the lovely Zoe Keating gave a chat titled “Should You Quit Your Day Job and Join a Rock Band?” at an Ignite event in Sebastopol. Just last week, Coilhouse’s favorite Eisner Award-winning culture journalist, Douglas Wolk, dropped this bomb on an appreciative audience in Portland:

Click Wolverine to watch the video.

His talk, titled “Kant’s Critique of Aesthetic Judgement: Drastically Condensed Awesome Version“, is illustrated with a dazzling array of comic book panels. It is 100% pure Douglas, and 100% pure BADASSTICAL. Enjoy.

9 Responses to “(Belated) BTC: Yep, Douglas Wolk is Still Totally Rad”

  1. Fritz Bogott Says:


    I gave an Ignite talk a few months ago that fell down platsch based upon stage fright and inadequate/misdirected practice. Anybody have suggestions how best to gear up for one of these?

  2. rickie Says:

    this was totally geeky but awesome at the same time!

  3. L Says:

    Hm, so basically like a TED talk. Really enjoyed the Zoe Keating!

  4. Mer Says:

    Um, sure, I guess it’s like the scrappy little sibling of TED? But there are some major differences, too.

  5. Kale Kip Says:


    Stage fright… well that’s something you just have to overcome. You can do it the hard way by speaking audiences so many times that you hate yourself so much you get indifferent. You hate yourself after a failed speech, right? Well, you haven’t suffered enough!

    But there is an alternative: Get on a stage, do a five second silence to build anticipation (it is the optimum time) and then pull your pants down or something the like. Right after that, you will actually notice that nothing has happened, that it is really not so bad to make an ass out of yourself. After that, speaking for audiences is a push over. It’ll take only one minute of precious ignite time, and you will have four minutes left to speak about anything you want.

  6. Jon Munger Says:

    Douglas is smart like Dr. Doom. When I met him, he sent Nadya and I back with an armload of graphic novels. I was as happy as Tony Montana in a coke factory.

  7. Mer Says:

    Yeah, Douglas has that effect on people. :)

  8. Fritz Bogott Says:

    Thanks @KK. For my next Ignite talk I’m planning to role-play a compulsive liar I used to know. His need to top anybody else’s story (no matter what the story was) was belligerent bordering on the violent. I’m figuring that type of madness might serve me well.

    I dig the open-mic-y-ness of Ignite. I can’t think of another easy opportunity to bomb in front of 750 people. It’s a pretty damn good self-knowledge exercise. And the talks that rock, rock!

  9. foxtongue Says:

    Less a mini TED talk and more a younger, americanized, more bit sized PechaKucha.