Thursday, June 19, 2008

Spike Lee Options Ronald Mallett's The Time Traveler: One Man's Mission to Make Time Travel a Reality

Spike Lee's been in the news for the wrong reasons lately, but the Miracle at St. Anna trailer is interesting enough to help everyone move on. Now the announcement that Spike has optioned the book The Time Traveler: One Man's Mission to Make Time Travel a Reality, by one of America's first black Ph.Ds in theoretical physics, might wipe the slate clean. While a memoir, not sci-fi, the book has certain fantastic leanings. Author Ronald Mallett's father died when he was ten, and young Ron soon decided he'd build a time machine to save his father. Following through became a lifelong obsession; he's still working on it (and funded on the project!) now.
For the rest of the story, as well as a link to an episode of This American Life featuring Mallett, click on over to the original CHUD article.

5 Travel Writers Pick Their Favorite 'City Films'

Rolf Potts (Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel), Heidi Julavits (co-editor of The Believer), Pico Iyer (Video Night in Kathmandu), Tony Wheeler (creator of the Lonely Planet travel guides), and Ayun Halliday (No Touch Monkey! And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late) all weigh in.

Make sure you have your passports ready, then click here.

Book News, In Brief

First an author had to worry about maintaining a MySpace, then the filming of their online ad, and now the rights to their tie-in video game?! When does a writer find the time to sit and write?

Tired of using that 'eye crusties' line from Neil Strauss' The Game? The New York Observer has an article on how to pick up chicks using ARCs. (Sorry ladies. Y'all are still stuck taking your cues from Sex in the City.)

Tom Farley, author of the recently released The Chris Farley Show and brother of said book's subject, is touring the country, doing promotion. Check his Facebook for local appearances, and then channel Chris' ghost by falling face first into the signing table, smashing it to pieces.

At last, a little good news from the Tokyopop implosion: Tokyopop is giving back the rights to some OEL to its creators. Sure, this 'good news' only comes as a result of the 'bad news' we spoke about earlier, but it's still a damned fine thing for a publisher to do.

I haven't made a single red cent from ads or bribes since I started blogging this b*tch. It's been strictly a labor of love. But now I want to try and redeem my time spent online (in your service!) for a favor. Would one of our readers attending this Saturday's Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC please -- puh-lezze! -- hook me up with a copy of Jim Rugg's Afrodisiac mini comic? I promise I'll make it up to you with more pictures of Carla Bruni in wet, white outfits (consistently our biggest click-through) and updated links to free Death Note scans (a close second).

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sam Raimi To Adapt Lehane

William Shakespeare? Who dat? If you want to be somebody these days, you've got to adapt Dennis Lehane. Since Clint Eastwood popularized his stuff with Mystic River, the author's material has become fodder for Scorsese and given Ben Affleck a bridge back to respectability.
Now Sam Raimi is eying one of his books. Columbia picked up the forthcoming novel The Given Day for Raimi to develop as a directorial project.
For a summary of The Given Day, finish CHUD's article here.

OMG! He's Totally Hot!!

Dash Shaw is this year's Craig Thompson, this year's Paul Pope, and maybe, just maybe, next year's Adrien Tomine. Not content to rest on his dreamboat good looks just yet, Shaw has released the year's most talked about autobiographical comic, Bottomless Belly Button. BBB is the story of a group of adult siblings coming together during the divorce of their parents. As naval gazingly meek and melodramatic as one would expect a book whose title has the words 'belly button' in it to be, Shaw's opus also possesses enough wit to keep the cringe factor to (nearly) nil. To wit, the book is available in two different covers: one of his mom, the other of his pop. He's forcing you to choose between them, too!
For a peak at random pages, click here.

Book News, In Brief

To Kill A Mockingbird has been voted The Greatest Novel of All Time. Fun fact about this book: Harper Lee and editor Tay Hoff worked together for three years, writing and rewriting TKAM. How long does the average writer/editor touch-up take today?

The New York Times published a piece yesterday analyzing's bullying power, and what it means for the future of the book industry. The Times describes the online monolith's newest method of dealing with rebellious publishers as "nuclear" -- as in, instant annihilation.

C is for Criminal! Via The Huffington Post: Bill Clinton, who entered Family Circle's 5th Presidential Bake-Off against Cindy McCain and Michelle Obama, appears to have stolen his recipe for oatmeal cookies from Betty Crocker. Click here to compare.

We've recently started dealing in used books at The Inkwell. The two things you learn real fast are that everybody has old Harlequin Romance novels, and that most of the other books you're offered are total crap. Not so with the Bethlehem Area Public Library in PA. At a recent book drive, an anonymous donor dropped off a first edition of Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea. Heck, we'd have given them a least a dollar for it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

(More) Bad News From Tokyopop

Considering last month's layoffs, it was only a matter of time before the cut-backs at America's #1 manga publisher started trickling down to the books themselves. This blog post from Steady Beat author Rivkah dishes the newest dirt:
Just got off the phone with my editor, and it looks like not-so-good news for Steady Beat. In fact, it looks like not-so-good news for anybody who's working with TP right now. I'm not sure how much I should say for fear of causing an outright panic with other creators, but essentially, nearly all of Tokyopop's future books will be going straight to web. This wasn't a case-by-case scenario. Neither I nor any other single creators were singled out. It looks like the whole line of non-licensed material will cease printing and be promoted online only.
Thanks to The Beat for the heads-up.

Book News, In Brief

Are the buying public lemmings, buzzards, or both? Tim Russert's books are #1 and #2 on

Perhaps he's disappointed that George Bush is contemplating an autobiography. I mean, why else would former Bush biographer and conservative evangelical Stephen Mansfield announce that his next book will be a pro-Obama tome?

Hey, maybe Mansfield's book can be the next pick in The Progressive Book Club, launching today. The PBC is an insular online book club, and the perfect choice for those of you afraid of ideas unlike your own.

Does a similar fate await us all? Via Anime News Network: Miyagi Prefectural Police officials in northeastern Japan have announced on Monday that they discovered a man dead in his apartment underneath several hundred manga volumes and magazines. They are investigating the cause of death and whether the 37-year-old male company employee is another casualty of last week's earthquake in Miyagi.