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Friday News: Eyebrow raising things

anne of green gables as a sexy blonde

Marvel Book

She-Hulk, Marvel’s much-beloved comic book heroine who shares her cousin Bruce Banner’s ability to transform into a hero of incredible power, comes to life in a page-turning novel. In The She-Hulk Diaries, Jennifer Walters, aka She Hulk, juggles climbing the corporate ladder by day and battling villains and saving the world by night—all while trying to navigate the dating world to find a Mr. Right who might not mind a sometimes-very big and green girlfriend.

The second novel, Rogue Touch, features one of the most popular X-Men characters, Rogue, a young woman trying to navigate the challenges of everyday life and romance—except that her touch is deadly. After accidentally putting her first boyfriend in a coma, she runs away from home where, she meets the handsome and otherworldly James and sparks fly. Like Rogue, however, James’ life is hardly simple. To elude his mysterious and dangerous family, James shaves his head, dons all black. Stealing a car, they head out on the highway and eventually, Rogue has to decide whether she will unleash her devastating powers in order to save the only man alive who seems to truly understand her.

Christine Woodward is writing “Rogue Touch” and Marta Acosta is the author of “The She-Hulk Diaries.” I know that there are some super talented writers who have done fan fiction of Marvel Comic book heroes and heroines, but a chick lit version of the She Hulk and Rogue’s angst ridden “I can’t touch anyone without killing him” isn’t going to attract the crossover crowd that Marvel hopes for. Will these books be in or out of the existing universe?  Rogue has an existing, albeit crappy, love interest – Gambit.

These books demonstrate that Marvel and Hyperion understand little about the romance reader and maybe even less about the comic book reader.

I’ve tried Acosta many times in the past, but her writing doesn’t resonate.  Marjorie Liu actually writes for Marvel and writes romances.  Why wouldn’t they get her to write one of these? Or maybe they asked and she wisely refused.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

32 Comments

  1. Liz H.
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 06:12:44

    I think I prefer The Oatmeal’s grammer lessons- http://theoatmeal.com/tag/grammar
    There’s one on apostrophes just for you Jane- http://theoatmeal.com/comics/apostrophe

  2. CG
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 06:21:08

    ‘An hotel’ and ‘an historic account’ are 100% correct because of an ancient rule about French silent ‘h’s, but if you’re writing web copy it sticks out a bit and makes you look like a boorish pedant, so go with what sounds right in your head.

    /waves hand/ Boorish pedant here. I think the world as I know it would end in a fiery explosion if I attempted to use ‘a’ instead of ‘an’ before a word beginning with ‘H’.

  3. Angela
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 06:40:09

    @Liz H.: I love the Oatmeal’s grammar lessons. I go read them every once in a while just for the chuckle.

  4. Kati
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 06:47:06

    OK, I physically recoiled from the screen looking at the Anne of Green Gables cover. WHHHHHY??? Why did that happen?

  5. Deb Nam-Krane
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 06:51:05

    That Anne of Green Gables cover- just… no. Does everything have to be sexed up?

    Yes- those Marvel things will be awful.

  6. rebyj
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 06:53:42

    Our local morning news team were exclaiming in horror over the Anne of Green Gables cover. I read it in 5th or 6th grade. We should YA parody cover public domain books for fun.

  7. Mary Anne Graham
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 07:05:10

    To that Hachette commentator – For the love of all the ducks in all the ponds in all the world — don’t bring back the print books. I have shelves and shelves and boxes and boxes. We have a small house. I think the advent of the ebook saved my family from being evicted by all my print books.

    Now, I’m trying to decide what to do about all the print books. I’ve only replaced a few in ebook form and I love lots of my “oldies” that aren’t available – yet – in ebook form. I hate to throw them away but I’d love to reclaim the space.

    What to do? I’ve no idea yet. I haven’t read a single one of them since I got my first ereader. But how well I recall my full scale searches through all the shelves and the boxes tucked away in closets and the garage – searching, looking for that one book. I didn’t always remember the title. Usually, it was a particular thing from the plot I recalled. Finding it finally felt like having a new visit with an old friend.

    So, please, don’t bring back the printed books. If I start buying them again, I’ll just add to my collection of things to feel guilty about. Keep ‘em…. don’t keep ‘em…. how can I throw them away?

  8. Brie
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 07:05:26

    Decades never use apostrophes? So it’s the 50s? I’ve been doing it wrong my whole life, but I wonder if use will change that rule.

  9. Anne
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 07:14:42

    I am HORRIFIED by the Anne of Green Gables cover. This is going to make no one happy! If you’ve read the books, you know how awful that cover is. If you haven’t they’ve totally misrepresented the content. I want to go look at my Anne paperbacks just to erase this one from my mind!

    As for the Marvel romance novels… I think they could possibly do chick lit, but not romance. To me, romance means HEA, and if they give these characters an HEA, then they can’t really write another romance about them. So, maybe they could pull off chick lit, but I can’t imagine anyone writing a good romance about those characters. Which is kind of a shame, because I’d LOVE to read a GOOD romance with either of those set ups.

  10. Kala
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 07:41:51

    “Hyperion And Marvel To Release ROUGE And SHE-HULK Novels”

    ROGUE not ROUGE! :P

    And that Anne of Green Gables cover is horrid. Ugh!

    As far as ebook sales going up… I think that will keep happening! Getting a Kindle was the best thing ever for me. I’ve since gotten one for my daughter too. Saves us SO much space!

  11. cead
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 07:41:59

    Some of the grammar suggestions sound more like style and voice than grammar but in technical and non fiction writing, perhaps these are more universal rules?

    Meh, speaking as a linguist (my current job is imposing grammatical trees on lots of text), most of these are purely stylistic. Even the ones that are actually about a grammatical phenomenon rather than an orthographic one are more or less stylistic. It’s not an “error” to use the passive voice (and if you’re doing academic writing, it’s often preferable). Also a couple of these are just made up. Her quibble about the who/that distinction is as artificial as the split-infinitive rule, and the only sin of the “try and” construction is its relative novelty and colloquialness. (I mean, yeah, it’s idiomatic, and if you read it literally, it’s weird, but language is full of things like that.) The only one she lists that I’d count as a genuine grammatical error is the “Disagreeable Sentences” one, and the third example under that one is just orthographic again.

  12. Evangeline Holland
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 08:50:14

    The X-Men movies already screwed Rogue up enough (she is so bad-ass in the cartoons), so how could this chick-lit version of her story be any worse?

  13. Emily
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 09:35:31

    It looks like the cover image for Anne has been taken down. I am so disgusted. I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough for us to read novels together at night. She’s going to love them, even if I have to make her :)

  14. Tamara
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 09:36:19

    After a slew of one-star reviews, the reprehensible cover is no more.

    I hate to see all those one-stars for a Montgomery novel, though I understand the need to vent. I wish Amazon provided a way to do it without the one-stars.

  15. Isobel Carr
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 09:50:33

    @Emily:

    It looks like the cover image for Anne has been taken down

    Anyone want to bet it returns after her hair is photoshopped red?

  16. Anne V
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 10:23:46

  17. beccadi
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 10:28:19

    If you’re interested in the complete works of Lucy Montgomery, may I recommend the Delphi Classics version, for $2.99?

    http://www.delphiclassics.com/?product=l-m-montgomery

  18. Lucy Woodhull
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 10:42:10

    I guess Jane’s mileage varied, but I think Marta Acosta is a brilliant, funny writer, and I can’t wait for this She-Hulk book. If you enjoy very clever, witty comedies with a strong heroine of color, I highly suggest her Casa Dracula series. I guess a lady Hulk is definitely “of color,” too!

  19. pooks
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 10:43:27

    @Mary Anne Graham:

    My escape from the prison of print happened when I bought my first e-reader. I just ditched all my TBRs that I’d had for years and years w/o ever reading them. I figured if I’d gone that long without reading them, I could afford to actually buy one again if I ever changed my mind. That meant a lot more boxes than I wanted to admit. Then I ditched all except the ones I want to possess and caress on my bookshelves (and I continue to add to those when I read a digital book or listen to an audiobook that is that special, and buy print). And the ones like you mention–the others that I still want to revisit–I do own in a couple of boxes in a closet. I am just chomping at the bit, waiting for the Martha Grimes Inspector Jury novels to come out in digital so I can ditch those old tattered MMPB. Go ahead, start culling. You won’t regret it!

  20. Gillyweed
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 11:01:42

    @Brie: That’s a style thing, so you might not be wrong. The Chicago Manual of Style doesn’t use the decade apostrophe, but other style manuals (AP maybe?) could prefer the apostrophe.

    The blogger’s which/that explanation was odd. Yes, “who” is always for people and “that” is for things. But saying that “which” is used in plural situations sounds crazy to me. “Which” is used for nonrestrictive clauses and “that” is used for restrictive clauses. When the clause limits the meaning of the sentence, you always use “that” whether something is plural or not. Grammar Girl explains it better: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/which-versus-that.aspx

  21. Darlynne
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 11:03:29

    I never knew there was a female counterpart to Bruce Banner and my life was OK. My first thought on reading about She-Hulk (forget the books, I still haven’t wrapped my head around the visuals) was to wonder whether she would retain a scrap of bra and panties when she transforms. Further research indicates she does. I can’t keep my bra straps up under any circumstances, but Jennifer Walters turns green and keeps remnants of strategically placed clothing. That expand as she does. It’s a miracle. *sigh*

  22. sao
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 11:04:56

    A lot of bad writing uses passive voice, but that doesn’t mean passive voice is bad, merely that people use it badly. Compare “He was murdered” (passive) with “Someone murdered him” (active). The first puts the emphasis on the victim, the second on the murderer. That’s a choice, not an error.

  23. Ren
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 11:55:59

    ‘An hotel’ and ‘an historic account’ are 100% correct because of an ancient rule about French silent ‘h’s

    Ancient Latin rules are stoopid, but ancient French rules about silent letters (which are not silent in American English) are a must.

    Okeedokee.

    Once upon a time, an hippopotamus had an hankering for an hamburger. He hired an hansom cab to visit an haberdasher…

    Yeah. It seems there’s an error (or perhaps merely a stylistic choice) in my jaw that causes me to grind my teeth whenever I hear “an historic.”

  24. Courtney Sheets
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 13:33:07

    My only concern with the She-Hulk novel, and I am big old comic book nerd, is that she never changes back into Jennifer in the comics. Unlike Bruce Banner, She-Hulk is always big and green.

  25. Little Red
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 13:37:18

    @Darlynne: Well, the Hulk manages to keep his pants on through the transformation otherwise we’d all know what he had going on below the waist. ;)

    @Courtney Sheets: Really? Do they ever explain why?

    I saw the story about this new cover for the Anne of Green Gables novel and it’s just sickening. That cover is so completely inaccurate, there are no words.

  26. Ridley
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 14:09:32

    She-Hulk is already pretty chick-lit as it is. I mean, the Avengers kicked her out of the house for partying too hard and her having car trouble was a running gag.

    She’s always amused me, and is one of the few superhero comics I followed. I think she would make a great chick-lit heroine, but can’t see her ever setting for one guy to be a romance heroine.

  27. carmen webster buxton
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 16:24:57

    OMG! If you listen carefully you will hear the quiet whirring sound that is Lucy Maud Montgomery revolving in her grave!

  28. Susan
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 18:42:39

    @Gillyweed: And if you do any writing for the Federal Government (caps, please), you need abide by the GPO Style Manual.

    Not very impressed by Hayes’ rules.

  29. Wahoo Suze
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 19:12:32

    @Courtney Sheets: Really? Do they ever explain why?

    It was preference, until she and her boyfriend got kidnapped onto the S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters ship in the sky, and there was some hideous accident in which it crashed (apparently caused by evil sentient cockroaches). She smooshed ALL the cockroaches and saved the world, but exposure to further radiation stuck her as big and green.

    (It was a Marvel graphic novel, back when they started playing with them in the late 80′s, I think. My memory’s fuzzy.)

  30. Wahoo Suze
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 19:20:31

  31. Kitten
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 21:41:55

    Love this site and the news on it, but I must say that I adore Gambit and dislike that Marvel seems to be doing away with his role as Rogue’s man.

  32. Suleikha Snyder
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 07:05:57

    I’ve been rooting for Gambit and Rogue since their first scene in the comic books, though I tend to ignore and hand-wave a lot of the stranded-in-Antarctica nonsense and what came after. If they’re doing a series of books about her, I would only hope that he’d pop up as the real “only man she’s ever loved” eventually. To ignore him entirely is like leaving Mary Jane out of Spider-Man stories or killing off half of Cyclops and Marvel Girl…oh, wait, Marvel’s done that, too… [/bitter]

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