Friday, September 25, 2009

Gift Tips for the Bookish: Jaime Hernandez Tees

Love and Rockets writer/artist Jaime Hernandez has partnered with surf clothier Stussy for their Fall '09 collection. According to Stussy, the series of shirts designed by Jaime "showcase Hernandez’s love for Rock n’ Roll and old Horror films."
For purchasing information and a brief video interview with J.H., click here.

Via: The Comics Reporter

Bookstore Burglaries & Police Briefs

An armed robbery at an adult bookstore in Iowa perfectly illustrates Sigmund Freud's old axiom: "Sometimes a gun is both a gun and a penis."

Taking advantage of our industry's 100% literacy rate and abnormally advanced ability to picture in our minds whatever it is we read, a criminal in California held up a bookstore using only a note saying, "Gun."

A man wearing a 'Silence is Golden' t-shirt held up a Kansas City bookshop Tuesday afternoon. Police believe the shirt to be a poor choice in clich├ęs & clothing and not an attempt to suppress witness testimony.

Remember when I told you about that popular, new, 'textbooks only' approach to bookshop shoplifting? Well, one such shoplifter, while fleeing store security, accidentally fell off a cliff. Here's hoping this EPIC FAIL ending also becomes a fad.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

When will they take their fandom to its logical conclusion and test their undead status?

Twilight fans have descended like a swarm of sparkling, lip balmed bats on the small town of Forks, WA. Click here to read The New York Times' tale of the tween-based tourism boom.

Adaptation News

Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody is writing and producing a film based on the Sweet Valley High books. As much as I'd love to hate, this actually sounds like a promising pairing.

Hollywood hearts Stephenie Meyer. Variety reports that the screen rights to Meyer's non-Twilight book, The Host, have been bought, and that Gattaca writer/director Andrew Niccol has been hired to write and direct.

IndieWire has a nice interview with John Krasinski about his adaptation of David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews With Hideous Men. Lest it get your hopes for the film too high, The Village Voice has panned the final product.

If you're planning on catching a matinee of Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs while visiting Israel, you may want to keep in mind that its title has been altered to reflect regional diets. In the Holy Land, it's known as Geshem shel Falafel, or Rain of Falafel.

The first three books of Lynn Flewelling's award-winning Nightrunner series have been optioned for adaptation. The fantasy series is particularly popular with gays, who have been promised by the producers that no genders or relationships (read: nothing gay) will be effed with in the transition from the books to the big screen.

X-Men producer, Lauren Shuler Donner, has dropped a hint as to the comic book being cribbed for next film in the X-franchise: The New Mutants. The series, created by Uncanny X-Men mastermind, Chris Claremont, dealt with the third generation of teen-aged mutants to pass through Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, and featured much of the same adolescent melodrama and mutant vs. mutant violence that made the original series so popular.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

B is for Bezos...and Braggart...and Bullsh*t

Despite Jeff Bezos' (unsubstantiated) claims that Amazon's first day sales of The Lost Symbol were better on the Kindle than in print, the book's publisher reports that the actual number of e-books sold comprised only 5% of the total number of copies sold.
Question for the number crunchers out there: From this news, can we conclude that (a.) Bezos is a bullsh*tter, (b.) Amazon's portion of the world's book sales is a tad bit less than has been previously reported, or (c.) I'm coming off as awfully bitter with my anti-Amazon bias today?

(Actually, I'll take 'c' as a given. But can I get some opinions as to the other two options?)

2 Lists, 2 Links

National Geographic proclaims, "H.G. Wells Predictions Ring True, 143 Years Later." (via)

Simple and sweet (and slightly sinister), comics critic Joe McCulloch recommends some Odd Manga.

The Book Hoarder discusses how bookstores can use social media to seduce their customers to spend more money. (via)

Jack Kirby's kids are suing Marvel for their share of the trademark to the characters that the 'King' created. Here's a list of all of 'em (including those Kirby created for DC and assorted indies). The man was prolific.

Book News, In Brief

Cuz I'm a jealous, spiteful, nervous-for-my-livelihood bastard, I love it when I come across a national newspaper article with a title like Will Amazon become the Wal-Mart of the Web?

In the world of high stress, focus intensive, detail oriented jobs, copy editor at The New Yorker falls somewhere between bomb maker and bomb defuser. At least that's the way that Mary Norris makes it sound in her interview with Ask The Agent.

Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol has already sold over 2 million copies. While I should probably use this opportunity to criticize the watered down brand of popular fiction that the corporate publishing houses are manufacturing to further dumb down the masses, the truth is, sales here have been gooood.

James Ellroy has already spoken freely of his teenage forays into window peeping, his nights spent breaking and entering (and then ejaculating into his female classmates' panties), and having a semi-sexual obsession with a murdered woman who looked like his murdered mother. So when NPR advertises an audio clip as "James Ellroy Divulges A Few Dirty Secrets," you kinda have to click the accompanying link.

The British Fantasy Society has copped to 'lazy sexism' as the reason their new horror anthology neglected to include any female writers. But the way I hear it, it was actually an intentional, vengeful, 'eff you' to all of the hot chicks who snickered at their trench coats and replica swords back in secondary school. (This was in the pre-Harry Potter 1980's, mind you. Back then, nerdy British boys were only considered cool if they acted fey and listened to The Smiths.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Before the Buzz Wears Off...

...allow me to link you -- free of charge -- to Flashlight Worthy's list of 9 Booze-Soaked Books.

(Isn't it great to know that there are folks out there with similar interests?)

Tuesday's Tips for Tipsy Writers

Today's Tips are dedicated to all of the dedicated drinkers-slash-scribblers out there. Some may call you drunks, lushes, alcoholics and inebriated no-good-nicks, but I call you Mom and Dad. And baby sister. And older brother. And disheveled, teary-eyed motherf*cker staring back at me in the monitor's reflection. Anyway, enough about me and mine. This post is for you! Knock back another one and enjoy the blurry bon mots below!

I drink when I have occasion, and sometimes when I have no occasion. -- Miguel de Cervantes

God made yeast, as well as dough, and he loves fermentation just as dearly as he loves vegetation. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I decided to stop drinking with creeps. I decided to drink only with friends. I've lost 30 pounds. -- Ernest Hemingway

An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools. -- Ernest Hemingway, again.

It is a fair wind that blew men to the ale. -- Washington Irving

I'm Catholic and I can't commit suicide, but I plan to drink myself to death. -- Jack Kerouac

I work until beer o'clock. -- Stephen King

He was a wise man who invented beer. -- Plato

Quaintest thoughts, queerest fancies come to life and fade away. What care I how time advances; I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish. Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. -- Proverbs 31: 6,7

I would give all my fame for a pot of ale, and safety. -- Billy Shakespeare

Work is the curse of the drinking classes. -- Oscar Wilde

The problem with some people is that when they aren't drunk, they're sober. -- William Yeats

Here's where you come in. If'n you're partial to any other alcohol-related quotes from the world of books and sonnets, please send them to me via the comments section below. I'll add them to the main list as they arrive.

Update: that the Kahlua in my Cocoa Krispies has worn off, I'm beginning to notice a teensy-tiny problem with today's tips. Namely, that they're not tips at all! They're hastily cribbed quotes! That's why, in a half-assed attempt at an equally rushed remedy, I attached links to a handful of the inebriated author's names. If you can steady your hand long enough to click these links, you'll be directed to random bits of writing advice from the accompanying authors. Cool, no? And as an added bit of filler content, I'm also gonna point you towards, where the anime-eyed posters are furiously debating How to Write Drunk Characters. Surely this will come as some someone...some day. Until then, may all your toasts be brief.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cool Covers Categorized by Color
(wait a minute -- isn't that sorta racist?)

Part 1: White Power!

Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009
edited by Dave Eggers
Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman

The Food Wars by Walden Bello
The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T.R. Reid

Part 2: Kill Whitey!

The Humbling by Philip Roth
The Original of Laura by Vladimir Nabokov

The Hallowed Seam (Process Recess, Vol. 3) by James Jean
Justice Society of America: Black Adam & Isis by Geoff Johns & Jerry Ordway

Part 3: Can't We All Just Get Along?

Fables Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 by Bill Willingham & Mark Buckingham
Cutting Up Playgirl: A Memoir by Ellen Carrie Jones

Pattern Factory by Ayako Terashima
Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys: Professionals Writing on Life, Love, Money, and Sex by David Henry Sterry & R. J. Martin Jr.

Book News, In Brief

First the bad news. Analysts predict that 400 U.S. bookstores will close this year. That's a 500% increase from 2008, and a helluva lot of semi-social pseudo-intellectuals vying for magazine aisle positions at Wal-Mart.

Now the good news! With the release of Ted Kennedy's autobiography, Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, and Oprah finally announcing her new book club pick, last week was a cash cow for the publishing industry. Hell, even the normally cash-strapped NPR agrees.

Want to milk that cash cow a little longer? The Bookshop Blog has created a list of 10 Books to Give Your Customers After They've Read The Lost Symbol, The Book Launch Cafe has a Fall to Winter Reading List, and has compiled their 2009 list(s) of The Most Sought After Out of Print Books. refuses to spare the rod in their review of Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman's NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, immolating the illusions of play-date parents by informing them that limiting kids to two hours of PBS is b.s., and that 'baby genius' toys may actually make the dumb brats dumber.
(Related: Reading Kafka to your kids, on the other hand...)

Being the cynical sonuvabitch that I am, I'm surprised I didn't see this one coming: Google will partner with On Demand Books to offer the Google digital library for print-on-demand sale via the Espresso Book Machine. This, along with last week's news that the Espresso can also be used for print-on-demand vanity projects, sorta makes the book-birthing monstrosity seem like a sensible, albeit super-expensive, investment.