Thursday, October 30, 2008

Recommended Reading:
Comixology's Later On, Maybe We Can Talk Sometime. You Know, If You Don't Hate Me.

In this brief blog post, self-described 'Arrogant Comic Book Pundit' Tucker Stone uses his long-lasting love of a 'guilty pleasure' comic -- Batman: A Death In The Family -- to illustrate the magical moment we all felt as kids when we discovered the artform, sport or hobby that would change our adolescent lives for the better...

It's fun when you're a kid, to find that comic—or piece of music, or skateboard, or, if you're really awesome, bottle of Boone's Farm—and remember how pure it was to enjoy something with such zealotry and relish.

...and then the way that relationships and the responsibilities of adult life eventually eclipse that love, but never diminish it...

Excerpt, again:
It's not that comics aren't exciting to read anymore—obviously, I wouldn't be writing about them for comiXology if they weren't—but no, even the best comic can't emotionally compare to the excitement of being an adult...If anything, that sense of perspective makes that time period that I fondly look back on now that much better.

It's a funny, charming, self-effacing and semi-sentimental piece -- and it's well worth the three minutes it'll take you to read it.


Click here

Book News, In Brief

Channel 7 in Denver, CO hedges its editorial bets: Economic Downturn Good, Bad For Used Bookstores

In an effort to promote youth literacy, The Bucks County Courier Times states the obvious: The More Children Read, The Better They Become At Reading, then resorts to scare tactics: Reading Difficulty Could Land Your Kid In Jail!

Doubleday lays off 10% of its employees, blames 'conspiracy.' No, wait -- they blame 'the lack of a conspiracy': The delayed delivery of Dan 'Da Vinci Code' Brown's next novel. (Note: no presidents', vice-presidents' or board members' jobs were affected. Phew!)

I'm usually on the side of the nerd, but this here's ridiculous: Taichi Takashita launched an online petition aiming for one million signatures to present to the government to establish a law on marriages with (comic book) characters.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Blog-Jacking: The Guardian UK

Ooh, that looks better
Originally posted on 10/29 by Aida Edemariam
In response to fears that publishers are trying to dumb down literary fiction, one blog asked readers to take it that little bit further and redesign their favourite classic as a trashy bestseller. Here are a selection of some of the entries.

To see the rest, click here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

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

News item, care of
Oddly, Americans Fear Snakes More Than Disease
Diabetes affects 24 million Americans and an increasing number of children. It can lead to limb loss and heart attacks. Yet people are more afraid of snakes and flying.
In an online survey by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), conducted in August and released today, people revealed far greater fear of events that are much less likely to affect them. Percentage of respondents who fear:
* Being in a plane crash: 16 percent
* Snake bites: 13 percent
* Being hit by lightning: 5 percent
* A shark attack: 4 percent
* Getting a disease: 5 percent.

Story Idea:
Title: Snakes on a Plane...Crash!
Plot: A group of diabetic reptile wranglers are flying across the Atlantic when their jet is struck by lightning, stranding them and their snakes in the middle of shark infested waters. Carnage ensues....and a love story is awkwardly shoe-horned in...copious flashbacks are used to try and flesh out one dimensional characters...footnotes detailing unusual trivia about various marine animals are used to try and bring the book to 'proper novel length'...oh, and Sam Jackson is in there somewhere, dropping eff-bombs like autumn leaves. The end.

Book News, In Brief

A new book, The Dracula Dossier, speculates a link between Jack the Ripper and Bram Stoker. This is, of course, complete and utter horseshit, but kudos to the author for finding an effective hook. If only he'd chosen to feature a pouty, pale, teenage Dracula on the cover, TDD would've been a bestseller for sure.

November 1 marks the start of National Novel Writing Month. The ridiculous idea behind this shameless software sales gimmick is this: Write a novel -- from start to finish -- in just one month. Then spend the next eleven months sending unread query letters to uninterested agents, editors and publishers.

And I thought Obama was geek-chic. Via AFP: Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso complained on Sunday he cannot find enough time to devote himself to his lifelong hobby -- reading comics. Aso, who takes comics on trips abroad, said he finished reading two weekly magazines last week but has yet to find time to read two others.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Book News, In Brief
(a.k.a.: Are You There Oprah? It's Me, Inkwell)

Et tu, Oprah? It's official. Amazon's e-book, the Kindle, is Ms. Winfrey's "favorite gadget". And over at her Oprah's Book Club website, she's giving out $50 off coupon codes to all interested parties.

But wait -- didn't Oprah see that article in the LATimes about listing their Obama mask under the heading "terrorist"? Well, if she didn't, someone really oughta spam her about it. There's a reason liberals shop locally, O!

While they're at it, would this unspecified, spamming someone also whisper into the Big O's ear that she needs to bug Simon & Schuster for an advance readers copy of Chis Cleave's Little Bee? This fictional account of a young Nigerian refugee in modern day London contains everything Oprah looks for in one of her book club picks: social/political relevance for today's readers; a fresh literary voice; a lead character who overcomes hurdles without and within; and a role for Danny Glover in the inevitable film adaptation. Inkwell's own Kathleen says, "This is going to be the book of the year. I know it."