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Category: Comic Books

Stephen King-Peter Straub’s TALISMAN coming to comics

The aging novel co-authored by horror icons Stephen King and Peter Straub, 1984’s The Talisman, is being developed as a comic book by SFF publishing powerhouse Del Rey Books. Not bad for a 25 year old novel that most people had forgotten about. After a run of 24 issues it will then be released in a hardcover edition. Talk about cashing in.

But if that sounds snarky, I really should show more respect. Anything that helps good publishers stay afloat these days is fine with me and since I grew up reading comics I obviously have no problem with the format. So here’s hoping Del Rey makes loads of money on the project so they may then publish some new but promising authors.

Peter Straub & Stephen King come to comics again

Comics come of age

Good morning bookies!

Your friendly neighborhood bookseller is a fan of The University of Memphis Tigers. This would usually have no bearing on a blog devoted to books, however, it’s relevant because today’s blog praises the University Press of Mississippi, the publishing arm of The University of Mississippi at Oxford. Ole Miss.

Memphis Tiger fans don’t like Ole Miss. Thus, my conflict.

And yet one has to give credit where it’s due. Memphis State University once had a flourishing press and if Mississippi still does, and if it makes a valuable contribution to the study of comics, a field that yours truly once found obsessive, well, I have to give them a shout-out.

So today’s link takes you to a nice article about UPM’s contribution to the study of comics, a scholarly study. And yes, comics deserve a scholarly study or three. As one who grew up having his reading habits questioned by authority figures, and who is still traumatized by his history teacher confiscating the X-Men issue he was reading during class, I recognize just how important comics can be in developing the reading skills of the young person.

Comics in the classroom, on purpose

Back in the saddle

Good morning bookies! Stand by for news and comment.

Wow, this whole not-blogging for a while thing is getting out of hand. My only defense is that I’ve been busy with Life. Yeah, I know, not much of an excuse, but I still think this is the best blog-for-your-buck on the net. Where else do you get so much bang for your (non) money?

*** Elmore Leonard. For those of you familiar with this icon of American letters, the first book that comes to mind is likely Get Shorty, given the success of the movie starring John Travolta. And rightfully so. Leonard is very well known as the author of quirky crime novels featuring lowlifes and almost-lowlifes living on the fringes, characterized by witty dialogue and devious plots. All well enough.

But before (and in between and since) the crime novels came the Westerns. And now the Western Writers of America are rewarding Leonard with a very well deserved Lifetime Achievement Award. So the next time you need a gift for someone who likes Westerns, think Leonard.

Elmore Leonard gets his due

*** Comic books have long since become part of the traditional publishing culture (as opposed to their outcast status when I was a kid. And yes, the printing press had been invented when I was growing up. Smart-aleck) but they have not ceased evolving. To wit, the new hybrid format ‘Motion Comics.’ Basically these are part animation, part comic, using voice actors for the various characters. I haven’t seen one yet but I’ve got to admit the idea is pretty cool. Makes me wish I was a kid again. (No! There weren’t dinosaurs then, either.)

Marvel bringing comics into the 21st century

*** As a follow-up to the above, here’s a nice article featuring photos from the New York City Comicon. This gives a pretty good idea of what it’s like to attend any large comic or SFF convention.

New York City Comicon Photos

Have the mice been playing?

Good morning bookies! Stand by for news and comment.

Wow, have I been dogging the blogging. Sorry about that. The cat’s been away, I hope the mice have taken advantage. The other night, just after 10 pm, three 8′ bookcases decided to topple over in the home office of the BBG Cave, smashing this, that and just about everything in their path. The cleanup continues, but along with all of the other stuff one deals with in everyday life, it hasn’t left much time for bringing you book news. For which I apologize. Let’s get to it.

*** As Ebay continues to flounder about like…like…well, like a flounder gasping for air on a boat dock, Bonanzle continues to grow at a pace not seen before in ecommerce. I was one of the first few hundred to join, as of today the membership stands at over 28,000, with over one million items listed. BBG at Bonanzle. A number of articles have been published lately documenting their rise.

Bonanzle growing faster than a largemouth bass in a pond full of minnows

*** And yet, with ebay’s idiocy well documented by now, there are still so-called journalists out there that are so far behind the curve they still give credence to ebay’s press releases. Seriously, for those who follow this on a regular basis, you read articles like this and wonder if the person who wrote it even knows how to turn on their computer, they are so far out of the loop. But I guess somebody has to write a fluff piece and this doofus volunteered.

Kissing the ebay toad

Contrast that fluff piece with this much better thought out look at the dying ebay. It’s amazing what happens when someone who actually understands ecommerce and is familiar with the details of what Donohoe has done to destroy his company writes about it.

Gigging the ebay toad

*** Okay, maybe a catalogue is stretching the news about books thing just a little, but not so much that it bothers me. When the Nazis overran Europe, one gets the sense that is was more to arrange a shopping spree than for any other reason. Most of the bigwigs gobbled up collections of this or that, but the most voracious collector of them all was Hermann Goring. Now a catalogue of his ill-gotten gains has been compiled. I wish I knew how many of these had been returned to their rightful owners.

Goring had good taste, anyway

*** Forrest Ackerman has long been considered the greatest collector in SFandom. When he died he vowed to take it with him but, so it would appear, that really isn’t possible. Thus, the bulk of his collection is being auctioned off and is expected to bring a cool half mil. Having once met him I can say that I found him a gracious and genuinely kind man. One of the good ones.

Forry’s stuff is going on the block

*** Not long ago I profiled The History Press, a publisher that whose mission I greatly admire. They are in the news now, in a good way. It seems they felt obligated to pay back royalties to some authors, even though they were not legally libel for them, and have now done so. The CEO who oversaw this operation has stepped down now that the job is done.

So let me get this straight: a company does the right thing even though they don’t have to. And the man whose job it was to accomplish this moves on when his job is finished. Can this be true? Do ethics and morals still exist in business today? I guess they do. Who’d a thunk it?

The History Press shows the way

*** Let’s put this under the category of ‘Laughing so you don’t cry.’ It seems that Bill Ayers, the terrorist who tried to kill people as a member of the Weather Underground, a group that did its best to kill people, good friend and mentor of the new president, is getting his own graphic novel. That’s right, a member of a group of would-be murderers not only gets to walk the streets, he also gets illustrated editions of his books. Too bad they failed, he probably would have gotten a bigger advance. Nice gig.

He tried to kill people, failed, and now gets paid for it

*** I guess most bookies know that I was once an avid comic book collector. And, like every other collector, I drooled at the thought of stumbling on a copy of Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman. And before you ask, no, it didn’t happen. But it did happen to someone else, even if it was 59 years ago. And when a cherished comic like this finally leaves its owner’s hand and comes on the marketplace, it’s very big news indeed.

The first linked article explains how and where this comic comes from. That’s interesting. But what’s even more interesting to me is that, while the comic will be auctioned online, the word ‘ebay’ is nowhere in the picture. Instead, the auctioneer will be using their own website. Ha! For those who follow such things this spells doom for ebay, because when they are no longer attracting this sort of high profile rarity you know things are turning south. Oh, and by the way, the original Superman didn’t fly, he could just leap a really long way.

Action Comics #1 Found

Wanna see what it looks like?

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