Monday News: Deadpool, National Book Foundation, “blind date with a book,” and an unusual millionaire
[Note: I put the quoted portions in bold in the hope that it would make them easier to read. Please let me know if this is the case – thanks!]
Why ‘Deadpool’ May Not Open Many Doors For R-Rated Comic Book Movies – An interesting argument that basically views Deadpool as an outlier in comic book adaptations, the success of which is not fully understood or easily replicable. Paul Tassi also argues that “Marvel and DC want their Justice League/Avengers/X-Men universes kept relatively family friendly,” despite the amazing success Deadpool has already registered. On the one hand, I think it’s always a mistake to try to replicate the success of another work, but we also see this outlier principle in highly popular books, as well, suggesting that some works just seem to break out big, and their success cannot always be anticipated or understood.
The exception to this is 300 (2007), which many forget was adapted from a graphic novel, and had a $70M opening weekend and a $450M box office total. But that didn’t exactly spawn some sort of R-rated comic book movie renaissance, despite being a hit (nor is it a traditional “superhero” film). Now we have Deadpool putting up numbers that would make any PG-13 superhero film jealous, which just hasn’t happened before. But people don’t seem to understand why this is happening. Deadpool is violent and crude, yes, but it’s also clever and funny and weirdly romantic. It’s a star + concept vehicle with Ryan Reynolds as the titular assassin that works better than almost any other superhero film out there. And I’m not sure that’s something that’s going to be easy to replicate, outside of the obvious Deadpool sequels that will now be on their way. – Forbes
Lisa Lucas Takes The Reins At The National Book Foundation – This is pretty exciting news. Lisa Lucas, publisher of Guernica Magazine since 2014, has been appointed third executive director of the National Book Foundation and the first woman. Guernica is an extremely well-respected, volunteer-run, free magazine, so Lucas has experience fundraising and building reader networks, both of which will be important in expanding the Foundation’s focus on literacy and diversity.
“How do you leverage the resources that the foundation has — the voice, the platform, the awards themselves, the relationships with readers — to reach even more audiences?” she says. “How do you take that and build a bigger core of readers who engage with the work that the foundation does?”
These are the questions that will drive her, she says — and they’re questions that have taken on added dimension with renewed scrutiny on diversity in the publishing industry. The #WeNeedDiverseBookscampaign, for example, drew attention to the lack of color in kids’ literature, opening new programs and forcing change at the industry’s annual convention, BookExpo America. – NPR
Local bookstores add mystery to reading with ‘Blind Date with a Book’ – What a cute idea; books that have been wrapped in plain paper and illustrated by hand with mere “hints” as to title and plot/subject. While Valentine’s Day provided a convenient context for the event in several Boston-area bookstores, this could certainly work at any time of the year. Check out the pictures to see how creative some of the “covers” are.
Harvard Book Store, Brookline Booksmith, and On the Dot Books are each displaying books that have been selected by staff members and wrapped up so the covers are hidden. Clues, or blurbs, are then written on the book’s new outerwear to give readers a hint of what might be contained within the pages.
Katherine Fergason, a bookseller at Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, said she’s seen the event—Blind Date with a Book—done by many libraries and indie bookstores.
“[It’s] something that actually has been growing in popularity between indie bookstores and libraries,” she told Boston.com. – Boston.com
Zappos’ multimillionaire CEO explains why he lives in a trailer park with his two pet llamas – The title of this story definitely does not reflect the reality of Tony Hsieh’s $350 million Las Vegas Downtown Project (DTP), a “trailer park” comprised of Airstream Trailers and Tumbleweed Tiny Homes. Although Hsieh sold Zappos to Amazon in 2009, for more than a billion dollars, continues to run the business, which is located close to DTP. Hsieh’s story is a great reminder that billionaire Romance heroes don’t have to be white beefcake alphahole capitalists with no discernible social conscience.
We recently interviewed Hsieh in Vegas, and he explained why his minimalist lifestyle has enhanced his creativity. “I did it because I wanted to maximize serendipity and randomness in my life,” he said.
He was inspired by the minimalism and creativity of Burning Man, the annual event where people from around the world gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for a week to work together to create a bizarre, artsy community.
Since he’s moved into the park, he’s been embedded in the neighborhood he is helping rebuild, and can more easily develop relationships with its entrepreneurs. – Business Insider
Thank you – bolding the quotes makes them much easier to see.
Yes, the bolding makes it much more obvious when you’re quoting. Thank you.
Deadpool was gross and violent, but really funny and enjoyable. I can’t see the Deadpool thing working for any other superhero, though.
Although not the same medium (or as raunchy), Daredevil and Jessica Jones must be the equivalent of R-rated and they’ve done really well for Netflix. So I think there’s an audience for R-rated superhero movies. I just don’t think they can use the big name characters to do it.
I don’t see any comparison between 300 and Deadpool — just because it started as a graphic novel doesn’t make it a superhero tale. So I don’t know how (if we’re talking about superhero movies) that 300 fits into the argument at all. Of course it didn’t start a trend of R-rated superhero movies because it wasn’t one.
Ugh, sorry — my Internet connection is going wonky, and I meant to add: the argument actually reminds me a lot of arguments I’ve heard against women being the headliners in films (especially superhero films.) “It didn’t work before, so don’t expect it to work again. This [insert successful film] is a one-off.”
But I also think the audience is changing, thanks to properties like those Netflix is developing. There are different expectations going in and the water-cooler aspect adds to the momentum of these newer films. A lot of Deadpool’s success can of course be laid at the feet of its writing and the marketing (which has been so fun). And of course it’s hard to make a GOOD superhero film. But I also don’t think there’s any real comparison to be made between the market in which Kick Ass or Jane’s Punisher (or even Blade) debuted and today’s market. I mean, before the Marvel renaissance hit, who the heck goes to see Karl Urban’s Judge Dredd? Comic fans. Now a lot more mainstream viewers are willing to take a chance.
And for that…I’d almost say goes back to Guardians of the Galaxy. Who expected that film to be received as it did? Yet there are a ton of similarities between it and Deadpool in tone (Deadpool just ups the sex/violence quotient.) GotG seems to be the relevant comparison to make, not any of the other R-rated films. It just feels that now there’s an entirely different audience than there was even five or six years ago.