Tuesday News: RIP Jo Beverley, copyright irony, Sherman Alexie, and comic book movies for grown-ups
In Memoriam: Jo Beverley: Jo Beverley, one of the most beloved and respected authors of Historical Romance, died yesterday, felled by cancer she had previously defeated. Her co-authors at Word Wenches wrote some wonderful tributes, noting Beverley’s humor, intelligence, numerous RITA Awards, and many fans (authors and readers alike). Like Roberta Gellis, Beverley had a strong influence on Historical Romance, particularly Regency novels, and she wrote a number of now-classic books. Feel free to discuss your favorites.
Jo had quietly been through a very dangerous bout with cancer about five years ago, and had come through with flying colors. The cancer was discovered to have returned some weeks ago, and it moved very quickly. We all hoped for another miracle, but it was not to be. Jo died very peacefully in a lovely care home in Yorkshire that used to be a convent, with her husband and her pal Charlie, the Cabbage Patch Kid, by her side. – Word Wenches
Fox In The Henhouse: Uses Someone Else’s YouTube Clip In Family Guy, Then Takes Down The Original – So imagine this: a television exec argues for stronger copyright authority for corporations with the power to censor content and advocating for robotic filtering mechanisms that assume things like duplicate titles signal copyright infringement. In the meantime, her company uses someone else’s content for their own television show and then censors the original version of the content. Because when it comes to copyright, might makes right. Just ask Disney.
Yes, of course, after TorrentFreak posted about this late last week and the news started to spread, the takedown was lifted — either by Fox or by YouTube itself — but it again highlights the problems with these demands for automated filtering or notice-and-staydown systems. They don’t work very well in many, many situations. And they create complications like this one — and not everyone will get a site with a large following to write a story about it, getting enough attention to get the situation fixed. So many people on the copyright legacy side of things keep insisting that it’s “easy” to just take down actually infringing stuff. Yet, time and time again, that’s been shown to be wrong. There are lots of mistakes, and when you’re talking about expression, we shouldn’t tolerate systems that allow someone to automatically censor speech. – Techdirt
Sherman Alexie On His New Kids’ Book And The Angst Of Being A ‘Jr.’ – A lovely interview with Sherman Alexie and his musings on family, including the “alternative father” he created for his new book.
Alexie tells NPR’s David Greene that he found inspiration for the book in a surprising place: his own father’s funeral. “As they lowered the coffin into the grave, his tombstone came into view and on the tombstone is Sherman Alexie — his name, my name,” Alexie says. “And I’d always struggled with being named after him, but the existential weight of being named after your father really, really becomes clear when you’re looking at a tombstone with your name on it.” . . .
“I was really interested in creating a picture book with a healthy Native American family where they respond to big questions in healthy ways,” he says. “And what’s the bigger question than, you know, ‘Who am I?’ ” – NPR
No ‘Joke’: Comic book movies aren’t for kids anymore, and studios embrace it – The success of “Deadpool” has definitely helped fuel plans for more “adult” comic book movie adaptations, although there is some concern that darker films will spoil or be a bad influence on kids whose introduction to superheroes is decidedly lighter. Still, there’s clearly money in the R-rated market, and an aging audience who were similarly introduced to superheroes as kids, and who are now making films like “The Killing Joke:”
. . . Based on an iconic graphic novel published by Warner Brothers’ DC Comics in 1988, “The Killing Joke’s” dark tone and decidedly adult content earned it a place in the pantheon of avant garde storylines. To date, many fans and experts consider it one of the best Dark Knight stories ever written. . .
The last decade has turned comic book movies into creative goldmines, as fanboys who came of age reading the source material flock to relive childhood memories on the big screen. Yet the somber tone and violence has more people questioning whether the entertainment should be more kid-friendly, because many fans were first exposed to characters like Batman, Superman and the X-Men as children. – CNBC