Friday, August 6, 2010
* Please indulge me this week as I start by complaining briefly on how the book publisher PR machine has failed me. As a lot of you guys may have noticed, I'm a HUGE fan of children's and YA author M.T. Anderson – who's books are so smart, compelling, scary and affecting that I feel no reservations in calling him my favorite working writer today. No qualifiers about subject matter or intended audience needed. He's that good.
Over the past week, I've been re-reading Anderson's excellently creepy 2004 fantasy novel The Game of Sunken Places after replacing my lost copy on a trip to Austin with Rickey last month. A mix of steampunky clockwork fantasy tropes, '80s computer adventure gaming homages, twists on traditional kid lit fantasy and truly original world and character-building, that book still struck me as exceptional six years after I first read it. And when I finished, I thought, "Damn, I wish he'd get back around to writing the sequel to this volume sooner or later." Little did I know that, SCHOLASTIC PUBLISHED THE SEQUEL IN JUNE!
Thanks to an afterthought reference to The Suburb Beyond The Stars in a Publishers Weekly article, I've now got a weekend plan of tracking down a book I've been waiting over five years to read, but am I wrong in assuming that something has not been done right somewhere in PR to lead to this situation? I mean, I'm as much of the target audience for this thing as any nerdy 11-year-old boy in America, and I subscribe to e-mails lists and read blogs and check news on children's publishing constantly, and I hadn't seen hide nor hair of this book's existence until yesterday. Whose fuck up is that?
Luckily, even though his own personal website is a bit hard to navigate (particularly the blog), Anderson has some of his own press materials available on the book, including a fun Blair Witchy promo video. Check it out!
* I don't know if there's anything on the comics internet I like reading about more than profiles of the folks – known or unknown – who worked in the industry during its earliest years, so this profile of Golden Age cartoonist Lily Renée Phillips in Newsweek hit me like whoa. (Via Blog@)
* And you know, probably a close second fav of mine are stories online about folks accidentally discovering comics worth a fortune in their homes. This week, we got two such stories with the widely circulated tale of a Batman #1 found in an old dresser and the similarly heart-warming story of a family saved from foreclosure on their house after stumbling upon Action Comics #1. Don't you think we're at the point where we'll hear fewer and fewer of these awesome stories? Isn't that a bummer? (Both links via Robot 6)
* Speaking of things we don't see as often anymore, CNN had a brief profile up of Ray Bradbury this week. God, I really, REALLY want to meet him.
* I love how from now to eternity, every time Joel Schumacher gets interviewed about his career, one of the questions will invariably be some form of "What the hell were you thinking with 'Batman & Robin'?" The New York Times did their version of that tune this week!
* Man, fan sites that are passionately dedicated to one character always find the bestest, weirdest shit imaginable. Example? The Man Without Fear blog's unearthing of Scott McDaniel's unused costume designs from Daredevil's "Fall From Grace" period in the '90s. I bought all the comics from the launch of that "era" in some weird package at a Value City when I was younger. Glow in the dark covers!
* I'm not super familiar with SVA alum and comics/kids book illustrator Paul Hoppe, but his comic for this NY Times story about deciding how best to label a generation that I probably would've skipped otherwise because...well, most days I think generation labeling is bullshit, really.
* HEY! Kate Fitzsimons of PW Comics Week and The Beat has a new blog! I love it when people have blogs! It's called Geekiferous! Read it! (Via)
* Folks, I've gotten to the point with Linko! where I feel I'm not serving you best by ONLY posting links to stories about my hometown or Wikipedia pages I stumble upon while hungover. To that end, I'm going to start wrapping up our link round up each week with some highlights from my comics journo peers that I think you might dig/may have missed – starting this time with Sean T. Collins' excellent interview with Grant Morrison and director Adam Egypt Mortimer about their upcoming film collaboration "Sinatoro." I love how Sean doesn't take the easy route on what could be a pretty rote "tell me about your awesome project" story and launches the whole conversation on comparisons to Morrison's widely-publicized methodology for modern comics making to the film process, eventually expanding that discussion out into the real specifics of what the pair have to do to make their smaller movie stand out in modern film.
* I'm still chewing through this meaty Jonathan Hickman interview as well as chewing through my feelings on the writer's current SHIELD comic. It surely is ambitious in its ideas, I'll say that much.
* I know most of the CBR readership and even most of the CKT readership doesn't care to read about kids comics news as much as me, but luckily for the times like Comic-Con when I'm super busy juggling the big mainstream news, Brigid Alverson is CRUSHING it on stories I only get a chance to follow up on later. This week, she's got a fun chat up with one of my favorite kids comics creators J. Torres about his plans for reinventing Archie's Lil' Jinx as a property that tweens can relate to.