Friday News: The Rap Year Book, that tea video, Jewel v. NSA, and Prufrock comic
How One Man and His Twitter Army Stormed the Bestseller List – An interesting chronicle of Shea Serrano’s quirky social media campaign, and the way it pushed his graphic novel on rap music to the point of selling completely out, before it was even released. What is perhaps most telling here is the way the campaign grew “organically” — not really planned out, but constantly evolving and driven by Serrano’s genuine appreciation for his prospective readers. One of the most unique aspects of his campaign was a Twitter “war” with Books-A-Million’s Brand Content Coordinator, which apparently made demand for the book crash the website.
More and more authors are using social media to reach a broader audience, and many are getting published largely on the promise of their online presence, like YouTube personalities PewDiePie and Shane Dawson. But neither Searcy nor Serrano’s editor at Abrams Books, Samantha Weiner, have ever seen a book—let alone a graphic anthology about a specialized genre of music—gain traction with new readers through social media as rapidly as with The Rap Year Book. “Normally, if we see a specific book move so quickly, it can be related back to a more established author or series,” Searcy explains.
Notably, Serrano has invited the personalities behind book-sellers themselves into the conversation. “What’s incredible is that it’s not just with the readers, it’s also with the retailers,” Weiner says, speaking to the organic movement of Serrano’s feud with Books-a-Million. “He’s had a direct impact on sales.” – Wired
The campaign has been launched by police alongside the Thames Valley Sexual Violence Prevention Group.
Christina Diamandopoulos, co-director of Rape Crisis in Wycombe, Chiltern and South Buckinghamshire, said: “For too long there have been myths around the subject of consent, particularly that it is a ‘grey’ area.
“In reality it has never been a ‘grey’ area, and this campaign, which we are proud to be part of, makes that clear.” – BBC
Watch recording for case: Carolyn Jewel, et al v. NSA, et al, No. 15-16133 – Romance author Carolyn Jewel (also a friend and an all-around swell person) is one of the plaintiffs in a case against the US government’s internet and phone surveillance, specifically of AT&T customers, which began in 2008 and is still crawling through the courts. San Francisco’s Electronic Frontier Foundation is representing the plaintiffs. Last week a hearing was held in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and you can watch the 35-minute video at the link above. The government, of course, is invoking the “state secrets” defense and has been trying to shut down the case for years now, so I kind of enjoyed the way two of the three-judge panel (both female judges) grilled the government lawyer, particularly on the Constitutional claims.
The Obama administration moved to dismiss Jewel in 2009, claiming that litigation over the wiretapping program would require the government to disclose privileged “state secrets” and that it was immune from suit. The court instead ruled that the case should be dismissed on standing grounds. Fortunately, in December of 2011, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Plaintiffs’ allegations were sufficient to provide standing and Jewel could proceed in district court. – 9th Circuit and EFF
Read the Entire Comic Book Adaptation of T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” – And back to compelling comic book renderings, here is the completed version of TS Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, illustrated in comic form by Julian Peters and posted on his website (apparently he’s also looking for a publisher). One of the first things that struck me was how easily Eliot’s lines translate into comic book frames, which made me wonder how naturally suited poetry might be for this type of visual adaptation. Also interesting to see a contemporary interpretation of a Modernist poem that takes as its subject the perceived irrelevance (and the vanity of his aging masculinity) of its narrator.
If you’re not familiar with “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” I’d strongly encourage you to revisit a post in our archive where you can hear “Prufrock” being read by T.S. Eliot himself and also Sir Anthony Hopkins. There you can learn more about Eliot’s modernist masterpiece. – Open Culture