Friday, December 7, 2007

Book News, In Brief

Hachette Book Group USA’s graphic novel imprint, Yen Press, has acquired world rights to a graphic edition of James Patterson’s young adult series Maximum Ride, and plans to make them into manga. When will American publishers learn that the kids absolutely do not want non-Asian manga. (All of the big comic book companies have tried. All have failed.) Hell, I'm not even sure if it really even is manga if it doesn't come from Asia. Isn't it just digest-sized comics with bigger than usual eyes? Honestly, it feels sort of like Al Jolson cartooning. Mammy-san.

Harvard professor Khaled El-Rouayheb will discuss his book, Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500–1800, on campus Wednesday, December 12, 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. In case he runs long, allow me to tell you my favorite part of the time spent I touring my amateur drag act in Iran: eye makeup only, and I never had to shave!

The LA Times tries to make up for dropping their Books section by coming out against the Kindle. Some of their reasons as to why it doesn't meet or exceed regular books are sentimental crap:
"Anyone who first read Treasure Island at age 11 could still tell you whether the cover illustration on that copy had Long John Silver in a red pantaloon or a black one."
(Yeah, and people who first heard Sgt. Peppers on vinyl have fond memories of staring at that album cover. But guess what? That wasn't nearly enough to stop the music biz from becoming 99% online -- and unpaid for.)
But other reasons are irrefutable:
"There's no way you could read...a book like War and Peace...or John Richardson's multipart biography of Picasso...on a screen. You've got to be able to concentrate on it, to go back, and go ahead, and look at the footnotes."
(Of course, this doesn't address the fact that most people only read pop-lite, bestsellers, but hey, I'm on your side.)