After The Last Stand, there's nowhere to go but up, right?
I don't know why the full-length trailer for this summer's X-Men: First Class looks so low-budget (although it probably has something to do with January Jones's "diamond form" look), or when James McAvoy got so jowly, but I totally don't care: I'm gonna be there June 3rd with bells on.
And the award for grossest-looking book tie-in I've seen for some time goes to these Peter Rabbit Gummy Candies, reviewed by the always-fascinating Candy Blog:
They look repulsive, and that was before I read the reviewer's take on the way they smell (like "styrofoam packaging, cinnamon breakfast syrup and flip flops") and mentioned that they left a "burning sensation" in the mouth. Charming!
AustenBlog informs me there's another Sense and Sensibility update in the works, this one apparently destined for TV Movie-of-the-Week status. The whole production looks pretty bad, but I was particularly concerned by three things: one, the "brooding into buckets of ice cream" scene appears to feature off-brand ice cream (what, they couldn't shell out for Ben and Jerry's?); two, the voiceover sounds almost comically low-budget, like they just asked the camera grip with the clearest voice to read it through; and three, why did they wait to introduce the whole "scents" pun until the last ten seconds of the trailer?
Seriously, why don't the various publishers of Yotsuba&! ever seem to love us back? Volume ten came out in Japan last November, so why the wait? Is it because Azuma himself is slow to release new material, so Yen would rather space out their releases to match his pace? If so, I really wish they'd stop. If these books are out in Japan, I'd like the earliest possible opportunity to read 'em in English. I know I'll still have long waits between volumes, but trust me: I am way more likely to forgive Azuma himself than I am the American publishing house that sat on the series like Horton hatching the egg.
According to The Comics Beat, you can check out Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca’s Eisner Award-nominated comic book Afrodisiac for free. The book is currently between printings, so its publisher has posted it online. (Clearly, they know "free" is the easiest way to court my vote.)
Salon has an interview up with Penguin art director Paul Buckley, the man behind the recently-released Penguin 75, a collection of stories about the work that went into creating the 75 most memorable cover designs in Penguin's history. Now, I love great cover art, but I wince at the mere idea of paying $25 for a paperback book... so maybe as a gift?
Note the relative sizes of the title and author name...
NPR has an interview up with Marcia Clark, the former Los Angeles deputy district attorney best known for her work on the O.J. Simpson trial. 15-plus years later, she has shifted her focus to fictional crime: her first novel, Guilt by Association, has just been released, and while I have my doubts (about both that cover art and the featured excerpt), it's been garnering some decent reviews.
I made it most of the way through this Times article about plans to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Gone With the Wind, but I had to stop when one of the devoted fans described the novel's setting as "a precious time to enjoy being a lady".
Sure, this is a book about war, slavery, poverty, gold-digging, and nearly dying in childbirth... but, hey, it also features coquettishly twirled parasols!
HBO's new take on George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy series Game of Thrones is about to descend upon us, and the reviews are mixed. I can't say this makes me want to watch it (although the line "[The series] proceeds in a style that bears all the most punishing hallmarks of close fidelity to its literary source" made me laugh), but this and this are more enthusiastic. Those so inclined may judge for themselves this Sunday, April 17th, at nine PM.
They're not out in the U.S. until the beginning of May, but the Moleskine "Le Petit Prince" notebooks are adorable. The books will come in two different sizes and layouts, both of which will display an image of the Little Prince debossed on the cover. Inside will be drawings and quotes from the story, as well as some miniature pop-up paper reproduction to cut out, mount and stick in the book. At roughly $20 per notebook, they're really not cheap... but I still totally want one.
There's a trailer out for the upcoming horror film The Woman in Black, which is based on a 1983 horror novel by Susan Hill and stars Daniel Radcliffe. Behold:
I don't know about that "most chilling ghost story of our time" thing (uh... whatever), but it looks creepy enough, and I'm glad to see Radcliffe's patented Harry Potter-stumbling-back-in-terror shtick is still getting him work.
If you're looking to buy the latest 39 Clues book (which was pretty awesome, by the way), you might want to pick it up at a Barnes and Noble. My local store was offering a deal where if you bought Vespers Rising, you also got a free copy of the 39 Clues Agent Handbook. I'm not sure what non-game-playing readers (like me) would DO with an agent handbook, but it might make a nice Easter gift for somebody...?
And speaking of Jane Austen, did they really need to write a sequel (as well as a prequel, and a comic book book adaptation, and an upcoming movie version) to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? Like zombies themselves, WHY WON'T THIS TREND DIE?
Hmm. I am not the Amanda Grange fan that the fine people at AustenBlog are (mostly because I found Captain Wentworth's Diary a sad disappointment), but their review of her newest book, Wickham's Diary, does make it sound intriguing. Plus, it seems that she has finally scraped the bottom of the barrel when it comes to Austen's heroes, and has moved on to the inner lives of her less-noble characters. I, for one, can hardly wait for Mr. Collins's Diary.
Kevin Keller, the first openly gay character in the Archie 'verse, is getting his own miniseries. According to the New York Post, the four-issue series will
"[Explain] how Keller arrived in Riverdale, where he's become close pals with Archie and the gang. But it will also deal with heavier fare than the typical Archie comic-including how the character struggled with coming out to his parents, and bullying."
Pretty cool, huh? Full props to Archie Comics for keeping up with the times.
I had no idea these didn't already exist, but The Hollywood Reporter informs me that J.K. Rowling is considering releasing digital versions of the Harry Potter books. Apparently, this is Big News because the later books in the series are, like, really heavy, and offering ebook versions will spare Potter fans years of back pain*.
*Oh, and it might make Rowling up to $100 million richer.
Fans of Carrie Ryan's zombie-apocalypse series The Forest of Hands and Teeth take note: Random House released Hare Moon yesterday, an ebook prequel written by Ryan. The story is only available in digital format and costs $1.99.
Here's the official plot description (which is really poorly written, by the way):
HARE MOON: An Original Forest of Hands and Teeth Story is set in the barricaded village of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, but takes place years before the novel began. Tabitha, an adult character in the first book, is a teenager who dreams for there to be more to her world. This desire pushes her to sneak past her village gates and into the Forest of Hands and Teeth where the undead reach for her from beyond the fence. And where she meets Patrick, who proves there is life beyond her village. HARE MOON answers questions about how Tabitha the teenager became Sister Tabitha of The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Readers will live through the gruesome moment when she realizes just how much she’ll have to give up to live and love among the Unconsecrated.
Gruesome, plus a built-in depressing ending? How can I resist?
Meg and I went to the bookstore last night and encountered this:
According to Lynsay Sands's promotional blurb, this novel is an "absolute delight". I don't know about that, but Meg and I certainly agreed that the cover is an absolute delight. It looks like a fantasy-themed 90s anime re-imagined as low-budget porn.
The Times has posted an article about the final typescript of the last four chapters of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind. The chapters—which were mistakenly believed to have been burned in 1949—have turned up in the Pequot Library in Southport, Connecticut, and have gone on display in honor of the novel's 75th anniversary in June.
Note: And even if, like me, you can't stand Gone With the Wind, check out that library! It looks awesome! My local public libraries both look like barns, so I'm totally jealous.
A new musical from singer John Mellencamp and horror writer Stephen King will make its world debut next year at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. Ghost Brothers of Darkland County is described as a "riveting Southern gothic musical", and is based on the real 1957 deaths of two brothers and a young girl. Mellencamp will handle the score, King will write the story, and legendary producer T-Bone Burnett will be the music director. Here's the plot description:
"In the tiny town of Lake Belle Reve, Mississippi in 1957, a terrible tragedy took the lives of two brothers and a beautiful young girl. During the next forty years, the events of that night became the stuff of local legend. But legend is often just another word for lie. Joe McCandless knows what really happened; he saw it all. The question is whether or not he can bring himself to tell the truth in time to save his own troubled sons, and whether the ghosts left behind by an act of violence will help him – or tear the McCandless family apart forever."
Not my kind of thing, but the combination of Americana, sentiment, and horror sounds like it will be right up King's alley. I'm picturing The Shining blended with Stand By Me, with maybe a little Dolores Claiborne thrown in.
I don't know who Houghton Mifflin Harcourt thinks they're fooling: you can dress up a Catherine Jinks novel with all the scowling hot guys you want, but nobody who's read five pages of her writing is going to confuse her with Stephenie Meyer.
While I'm still totally bummed over the death of Diana Wynne Jones, I was pleased to note that her publishers are sitting on two yet-to-be released books. According to the author's official website, HarperCollins is publishing a novella for younger readers called Earwig and the Witch this summer, and sometime in 2012 David Fickling Publishers will be offering a collection of Jones's articles, lectures, and talks, as well as an interview with the author.