Thursday, October 23, 2008

Grant Morrison Reflects Upon His Recently Completed All Star Superman

Click here and here for parts one and two of a soon-to-be ten part interview.

Need more? Click here for what is arguably the best review/dissection of the series thus far.

Book News, In Brief

The publishing world gasps as the inevitable occurs: The internet drives book sales in China.

A new study shows that the Teen Lit sales boom is not the product of page-turning pubescents, but of Forever 21-shopping adults who wish every night was prom night.

Libraries, worried that they're becoming nothing more than a pit stop for stingy internet users and DVD borrowers, are preparing to try something drastic. They're going to stock the books that people actually want to read. Via The NYTimes: Urban Fiction Goes From Streets to Public Libraries

Speaking of libraries, have you heard about the librarian who was fined $500 for promoting a Shakespeare comic book that his daughter did? S'true. Via Robert Grandt was forced to admit he violated the city's ethics code when he placed copies of his daughter's book on a library display table at Brooklyn Technical High School and recommended it in a newsletter. Silly librarian. You need to quit that public service job and join one of the many branches of the publishing industry. Nepotism is de rigeur here!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Why Do I Want to Hump J.K. Rowling?
Let Me Count the Ways...

1. Because for every corny thing she does: "J.K. Rowling will help launch The Tales of Beedle the Bard by hosting a tea party." she then goes and does something infinitely cooler: "Rowling has waived her royalties for the book, with net proceeds from the sale to go to the charity she co-founded, the Children's High Level Group, which works with vulnerable children in eastern Europe."
2. And then there's the glasses. Hot!

(Quotes lifted whole from the Shelf Awareness daily email.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tuesday's Tip for Flailing Writers:
A Story Idea -- Ripped From Today's Headlines!

News item, care of WAPT, Missouri:
White Women Push Suicide Rate Higher
The suicide rate in the U.S. is on the rise, according to a report from Johns Hopkins University. Researchers found that the overall rate rose 0.7 percent from 1999 to 2005. But the rate for white women ages 40 to 64 rose 3.9 percent.

Story idea:
Title: Suicide and the City
Plot: Four professional, narcissistic, middle-aged, White women jump Manolo Blahniks first into this season's crazy new fad: killing themselves. (Okay, so this one's going to need a bit of padding out if it's going to fill a mass market, but how tough could it be to script twenty-some-odd chapters of their sex, booze and shopping exploits?)

Starf**king: Cinematic Bookstores

From TheStarOnline:

We walk past the Fairmont and down two steep blocks of Mason Street to enter the Argonaut Book Shop, at 786 Sutter St. Based on their study of production notes from the film, Leventhal and Kraft are certain that this shop was the inspiration for the Argosy Book Shop in "Vertigo," where Scottie meets old Pop Leibel, proprietor, California history buff and explainer of Madeleine's family secrets.

"My dad knew Hitchcock," explains Argonaut owner Robert Haines Jr., who, like Pop, specializes in rare books on the Gold Rush and old California. He says his father, Robert Haines Sr., who founded the store on Kearny Street, was the director's model for Pop Leibel.

"There's a scene where Pop pulls out a Zippo and taps a cigarette - and that's just what my father did," he says. "For the last 40 years, I've had people coming in here, asking, 'Is this the shop where Alfred Hitchcock' did so and so?' "

"And it is," Leventhal says. "Hitchcock once said, 'This is what a bookshop should look like,'" referring to the original shop on Kearny.

To read the entire article, click here.

(A tip of the cyber chapeau to for the initial heads-up.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Comic Book News, In Brief

Derik A. Badman (please tell me that's not a nom de plume!) lists The Seven Pleasures of Reading Comics. Unlike the usual lists of this ilk, this is one that you could use to convince your parents/lovers/professors of the artistic value of four color floppies.

Has Craig Thompson's Carnet De Voyage opened the door to a new breed of American comics: the travelogue? According to The Comics Reporter's interview with French Milk author/artist Lucy Knisley, it has. Oh, and in the very last paragraph of the interview, Knisley drops a hint as to the untapped genre door she plans to kick open: the cooking comic.

Over in the NYTimes, Douglas Wolk (author of last year's esteemed Reading Comics) has a nice write up of two new Hernandez Bros. comics -- The Education of Hopey Glass and Love & Rockets New Stories Vol. 1. Bonus gift tip: If you have a special someone embarking upon a career in the teaching profession, get them The Education of Hopey Glass, a.s.a.p.! They'll thank you for it.

Book News, In Brief

Nothing sells like success catastrophe. Via The Guardian UK: The publishing deals struck at the Frankfurt Book Fair set the tone for the books trade all around the world...Publishers may still be bullish about their prospects, but the credit crunch is already driving big deals for books with a financial flavour.

The title of the piece is 'Locally and nationally, public libraries are searching for new ways to stay relevant,' but The Star-Telegram buries the reason for this way down in paragraph seven: Libraries are increasingly shifting their focus to new services that can entice younger users, many of whom are less interested in all those shelves of books. Kids: Just one of the many reasons I'm pro-choice.

Semi-related, via The Chicago Tribune: The percent of 17-year-olds who do not read for pleasure has doubled in the past 20 years, according to a recent study by the National Endowment for the Arts..."We're talking [about reading] a play, short story, novel or poem in the last 12 months...It's a low bar. We're not even saying you had to complete the book," said Sunil Iyengar, the group's director of research and analysis. (Editor's note: To have your faith in children magically restored, click here.)