Friday, February 27, 2009

The mind boggles

I cannot BELIEVE they're going to do this, but The Hollywood Reporter assures me it's true:

Hollywood is looking to remake The NeverEnding Story.
Scarier still, the article linked above suggests that this might be the start of a whole mess of eighties fantasy remakes, which has me all a-flutter. I mean, I don't really care about The NeverEnding Story (I found the book terrifically boring) or The Dark Crystal or Legend, but if they even suggest messing with Labyrinth I'm starting a letter-writing campaign to my senator.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sticking with what works

Variety is reporting that Juno's Diablo Cody will be producing an adaptation of S.G. Browne's upcoming novel Breathers: A Zombie's Lament.

That's a fun cover, and I respect Cody's commitment to the dark-humor genre, but isn't she already involved with a zombie-type comedy? Shake it up a little, woman.

Note: I can't believe we have to have a "Zombies" category, but it has clearly become a necessity.

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Pinching pennies

Judith Levine, author of the Wordcandy-approved (albeit with reservations) nonfiction book Not Buying It, posted an essay in Salon on Tuesday about the questionable virtue of thrift.

I'm not sure if I buy her premise, but it was a very Mardi Gras-appropriate statement.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Ugly Guide to Being Alive and Staying That Way, by David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim

For a book that looks like a glorified advertisement for Ugly Dolls, David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim's The Ugly Guide to Being Alive and Staying That Way actually boasts some pretty great advice.

The Ugly Guide covers a lot of ground: Where are Uglys born? What are their schools like? How do they feel about their love lives, careers, hobbies, and eventual retirement? Horvath and Kim's goofy text and vivid illustrations whip through a surprising number of life's milestones, and they slip in several solid suggestions along the way:

Bullies are bullies because they are afraid. Unfortunately, they are not afraid of you. So run.

[If] you really think about it, eating lots of veggies instead of sweets means you get to eat far more birthday cakes.
And (this one's my favorite):

Just remember to save your money.
That way it won't be gone.
See? Advice for the ages! And while $5.99 might seem like a lot to pay for a book with a mere 64 pages, it's less than you'd pay for something by, say, Dr. Phil. The information in Horvath and Kim's guide is just as valid as anything else on the self-help shelves--and their illustrations are way cuter.

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A little look-see

I didn't watch the Oscars, but apparently they featured a bunch of clips of upcoming movies during the ending credits, including some first-glimpse looks at several Wordcandy-friendly movies:


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat (and lazy) Tuesday

In honor of Mardi Gras, we'll be taking the day off from book blogging and stuffing ourselves with donuts instead. See y'all tomorrow, okay?


Monday, February 23, 2009

There and back again

TV and movies are constantly looking to comic books for inspiration, and now the ABC Family show The Middleman is returning to its roots. The show was originally scheduled for a 13-episode run, but the series was reduced to 12 episodes due to low ratings. However, ABC Family has announced that the story for the un-produced 13th episode will be turned into a graphic novel and released in July 2009.

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MTV's Spoilers has some never-before-seen material and news up from both Watchmen and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, for those of us who don't believe in delayed gratification.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Life of Pi, the movie

According to Variety, Ang Lee is in talks to direct Life of Pi, an adaptation of the Man Booker Prize-winning novel by Yann Martel. The book, which I have not read, is described as the story of "a youth who is the lone survivor of a sunken freighter and winds up sharing a lifeboat with a hyena, an injured zebra, an orangutan and a hungry Bengal tiger".

Man. That sounds like the set-up of a bad joke, doesn't it?

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TV vs. Books: score one for TV!

I'm sorry, but the television version of Gossip Girl is so very, very much better than the books:

If only I spoke Polish....

P.S. There's another one, but it's about Dan and that teacher, so who cares?

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Literary hipster bargains

I was in Urban Outfitters earlier this week, and it was positively bursting with bargain-book goodness. There were piles of those Hard Case paperbacks for $1.99, fun-looking kids' books for around five bucks, and $10 "Reading Rainbow" t-shirts. I picked up this truly creepy-looking copy of The Wizard of Oz for $4.99:

The cover art doesn't really do it justice, so I'll stick up one of the internal images, too:

The story is unabridged, and Graham Rawle's pictures are amazing, so I'm stoked.

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Downward Spiral, Part II

NPR's All Things Considered mentioned the Austen + Predator story, too. I particularly enjoyed their audio editing job, which combined samples from the 1995 TV version of Pride and Prejudice with, uh, crazed evil roaring.

Note: If I had even one iota of picture-editing skills, I would put a bonnet on the figurine at left. As it is, please use your imagination.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Downward Spiral

Please, movie gods, tell me this is a joke:

Elton John's Rocket Pictures hopes to make the first Jane Austen adaptation to which men will drag their girlfriends.

Will Clark is set to direct "Pride and Predator," which veers from the traditional period costume drama when an alien crash lands and begins to butcher the mannered protags, who suddenly have more than marriage and inheritance to worry about.

Shooting will begin in London later this year. John exec produces, and his Rocket partners Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish are producing.

Not be all clutch-the-pearls about this, but SERIOUSLY, PEOPLE, TORTURE A DIFFERENT AUTHOR.


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Larry Doyle book to hit the big screen

The trailer's up for the movie adaptation of I Love You, Beth Cooper, and it looks, well, totally painful:

I couldn't really get past the opening scene, where the main character (a high school senior) makes a snide comment about grown men hanging around high schools because they're unable to get an adult girlfriend. Unfortunately, the actor saying the line is visibly in his late twenties, while his love interest is being played by a real teenager, 19-year-old Hayden Panettiere.

Kind of ruins the joke, you know?

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dan Simmons news

The Denver Decider* has posted a great interview with Wordcandy favorite Dan Simmons. In addition to being chatty and charming and generally awesome, Mr. Simmons mentions in passing that director Guillermo Del Toro has optioned the film rights for Simmons's new book, the just-released Drood.

*Is that a George Bush reference? Seriously, I have no idea.

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Watchmen: the game

I'm not totally clear why the expectations for the upcoming adaptation of Alan Moore's Watchmen are so high (I mean, it's not like he's had good luck with film adaptations in the past), but I'm really enjoying the promotional efforts for the movie, like this awesome--and free!--arcade-style online game based on the book.

[Via SF Signal]


Friday, February 13, 2009

The Maltese Falcon: a prequel

I'm torn on this one--is a prequel to The Maltese Falcon (even one with a great cover, written by Edgar Award-winner Joe Gores) a brilliant idea, or sign of the apocalypse?

Oh, well. At least it makes a nice change from ripping off Jane Austen.

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Boys Before Flowers contest

If you're a K-drama fan with video-making skills, Dramabeans is having a Boys Before Flowers-themed giveaway. Submit your fan-made parody video for your chance to win one of three prizes.

Good luck!

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Hunger Games sequel gets an update

There's fresh news about the sequel to Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games. Previously, the book was listed under the name 12, and was scheduled to be released in early May. Unfortunately, that's all changed: the book is now titled Catching Fire, and it won't come out until September 1st. So now, in addition to having to wait four additional months to find out what happens next, I have to go change the information in our calendar, too.

...sigh. Insult added to injury, you know?

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Them's fightin' words

The List Universe has made a list of the 10 Most Overrated Novels, and number one is Jane Austen's Emma, which they describe as "light summer reading for teenage girls".

Emma is my least favorite Austen novel, but... the most overrated novel of all time? Really? Have they never read anything by D. H. Lawrence?

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Literary fundraising

The Shirley Jackson Awards, honoring outstanding work in the genres of psychological suspense, horror, and the "dark fantastic", is currently holding an online lottery to raise money for their award.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the name, Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) was the author of several horror novels, including such classics as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle. She also wrote one of the most unforgettable* short stories of the 20th century: 1948's "The Lottery" (thus the lottery-style fundraiser).

This event is running through February 23rd, so be sure to check out the prize list soon--there's some good stuff on there!

*Seriously. You might want to forget it, but no dice.

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Jane Austen + zombies = comedy gold?

Coming soon to a bookstore near you:

Man... couldn't they have started off with a book that actually would have been improved with a few zombies? Like, say, Wuthering Heights? Just the thought of this little charmer makes me tired, but there's more discussion--much, much more--over on AustenBlog, if you're interested.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Woot! (Part III)

Seriously. Today is a very good day, guys.

Last but not least: Wordcandy favorite Nodame Cantabile will resume, starting in the March 10th issue of the magazine Kiss. The series has been on a several-month-long hiatus (due to creator Tomoko Ninomiya's maternity leave, followed by a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome), and we've really missed it, so this is awesome news.

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Woot! (Part II)

And the good news keeps coming! Viz Media has announced that they've picked up the new, as-yet-unnamed Rumiko Takahashi title (as expected), AND they've licensed Boys Over Flowers: Jewelry Box, a 70-page-long, two-installment story featuring Rui Hanazawa in the lead role.

This is the second HYD "epilogue" written by series creator Yoko Kamio (the first one came out in 2006), and--as far as I know, anyway--it hasn't been scanlated yet, so I'm pretty stoked to read it.

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Woot! (Part I)

It is a day of wondrous anime- and manga-related news, dear readers. At its New York Comic Con panel, North American publisher Yen Press announced on Saturday that it has picked up the license for the sixth volume of Kiyohiko Azuma's Yotsuba&!.

Yen Press already endeared themselves to me by rescuing the many titles abandoned by ICE Kunion, and now this! That's it: they are definitely going on the Wordcandy Christmas card list this year....

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Monday, February 09, 2009

'Bloom County' fans rejoice

Thanks to the fine people at IDW Publishing, fans of the classic comic strip Bloom County are about to have a dream realized: a high-quality, five-volume-long collection of nearly two years' worth of daily and Sunday strips.

From the press release:

“Fans have pestered me for years,” said Berkeley Breathed, “for this ultimate Bloom County collection in that polite, respectful badgering way that only fans can manage. Thank God I can now tell them something better than just ‘please remove your tent from my lawn.’ I can say, ‘It’s coming!”
Hmm. As a lifelong Bloom County fan, I'm sorry to say this, but the honorable Mr. Breathed comes off as a bit smug, doesn't he?

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TV vampires strike again

GYAH! The CW has given the green light to a pilot of one of our favorite teen-girl vampire series from the mid-90s, L.J. Smith's slightly-hokey-but-still-delightful Vampire Diaries!

Sadly, the pilot was written by Kevin Williamson, creator of the dread Dawson's Creek, which does cause considerable concern, but we'll hope for the best.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

Reading between the lines

Publishers Weekly has posted a list of the winners of the 2009 "Off the Cuff" awards, and it's worth taking a gander at--for the publishing gossip, if nothing else. (Blueberries for Sal went out of print this year! And Hachette screwed up the print run for the Twilight books!) The winners are selected by children's book retailers, and I think they give a much more accurate reflection of what books will actually enter into the realm of "classic kid books" than some of the more high-falutin' awards out there.


The critics (heart) Coraline, but I have my doubts.

Lots of good reviews coming out about the film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Coraline, due out in theaters today. But what's with this new character, "Wybie"? I hate it when they stick in completely new characters--particularly ones described as "a figure of eventual dramatic importance but questionable comic value".

Scary words for fans of the original book...


Thursday, February 05, 2009

Two upcoming King Lear movies?

Ugh. Just what the world needs.

According to Cinematical, the first adaptation will star Anthony Hopkins, Keira Knightley, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Naomi Watts, and the second one is a "brilliant adaptation" starring Al Pacino.

I'm not much of a King Lear fan (I'm not into any story that features the words "vile jelly" in that context), so the biggest thing I took away from this story was the fact that we're going to have to suffer through Gwyneth Paltrow's English accent again.

Why, Hollywood gods? Why?

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New work from Rumiko Takahashi!

AnimeNewsNetwork has posted a news item from Shogakukan's Shonen Sunday manga magazine. According to the post, it was announced on Wednesday that manga goddess Rumiko Takahashi (Urusei Yatsura, Maison Ikkoku, Ranma 1/2, Inuyasha) will launch her newest work this spring. More details about the project are expected in future issues of Shonen Sunday.

In other Takahashi news, the final compiled volume of Inuyasha and Inuyasha: Inuyasha to Kagome, a one-volume collection of short romantic stories will both be shipping in February 18th.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Tokyopop cancellations (yet again)

There's more news (confusing news, but news nonetheless) on which series the distressed manga publisher Tokyopop has actually cancelled, and which series they've only delayed.

Sadly, as far as I can tell, the only Tokyopop series that *I* cared about--Ciel and I Wish--appear to be firmly in the "cancelled" camp.


Keepin' it classy

Oooh, even more Twilight figurines--and this time, they come as a two-pack!

These little charmers are priced at the equivalent of more than thirty dollars. Aren't we glad to see that the Twilight marketers are continuing the proud trend of vastly overcharging for their products?

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Dan Simmons movie moves forward

According to the SCI FI Wire, Warner Brothers has picked Scott Derrickson (director of the recent The Day the Earth Stood Still remake) to direct the film adaptation of Dan Simmons's Hyperion series. I have no idea how the producers of this project are planning to condense two complex, zillion-page-long books into a single feature film, and their choice of director isn't filling my heart with confidence, but who knows? Maybe it'll all work out...

...but it probably won't.

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Okay, I love these.

Check these out:

Dude, I would buy that Japanese edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in a heartbeat... sadly, it's not a real book.

According to Cinematical, artist Mitch Ansara created these images for his "Make Something Cool Every Day" project. They're a collection of fake, 1960s-style book covers for an imaginary series of literary adaptations of popular movies. Head over to Ansara's site to see better versions of the above covers, as well as several more titles.


Monday, February 02, 2009

YALSA's list of great graphic novels

The Young Adult Library Services Association has assembled a list of over fifty great graphic novels for teens, and they've included several Wordcandy-approved titles, including one of our recent Featured Books, Osamu Tezuka's Black Jack, and Holly Black's Kin.

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It Started With a Kiss manga licensed

At long last, somebody has picked up Itazura Na Kiss, the classic 1990s shojo manga that has been made into two enormously popular Taiwanese dramas and a anime. Digital Manga Publishing has acquired the rights to Itazura Na Kiss, with the first volume appearing in November and the second in March of 2010.

A word of warning, guys: I've read every chapter of this series I can get my hands on, and I've watched sizable chunks of the T-drama, but 95% (er... maybe 98%) of Itazura Na Kiss is totally painful. It's one of those stories about an impossibly smart, handsome, competent hero pursued by a stupid, plain heroine whose only redeeming feature is her pigheaded devotion to a guy who appears to despise her. Most of the plots involve the heroine getting injured, ignored, and/or humiliated, with the hero slipping in at the last minute to drop the heroine a crumb of affection, which just serves to jumpstart her obsessive devotion all over again.

So... yeah. I've read it, I've enjoyed it, but it's not something I'm proud of.


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