Thursday News: Comic book news, book blurbs, kid lit recs, and the Star Wars Kama Sutra
10 BIGGEST COMIC BOOK NEWS STORIES OF 2015 – With all the ‘best of’ and ‘biggest of’ and ‘favorite of’ and ‘bestselling of’ lists around, here’s one for comic book news from IGN. Note that there are many spoilers in this list, so I’ll just give you number ten on the list, since we covered that one in the DA news:
10. New Thor’s Identity Revealed to be Jane Foster: With Odinson made unworthy, a mysterious woman picked up Mjolnir and took on the name Thor to battle all manner of Dark Elf and Frost Giant. Writer Jason Aaron and artist Russell Dauterman kept her identity a closely guarded secret, which was going to be revealed in the final page of issue #8, but just before its release, it leaked on the Internet, forcing Marvel Comics to make the reveal themselves. It was a crummy way for Jane Foster’s identity to be revealed, but it had a big impact nevertheless. People debated how a character so closely associated with masculinity could be a woman, and fans were particularly irked by her taking on the name of Thor, an argument put to bed when Odinson himself gave her his blessing to use the name. – IGN
Malcolm Gladwell Hands Out Book Blurbs Like Santa Does Presents – An interesting article on book blurbing, and more specifically, on celebrity blurbers like Malcolm Gladwell, who appears to blurb anyone who asks. Which raises the question of value for the blurb in general and for Gladwell’s blurbs more specifically. Another prolific blurber, Gary Shteyngart, has given it up completely, noting that authors are afraid to write bad blurbs, diminishing their value:
Good blurb writing, Mr. Shteyngart said, is akin to performance art. In 2012, his ubiquitous blurbery was collected on a Tumblr account subtitled “a catalogue of promiscuous praise,” and, the next year, a 15-minute documentary that discussed it was released. “The market is so devalued right now, I don’t think anyone cares when I do blurb,” he said in a recent interview.
Kathryn Court, the president and publisher of Penguin Books, said authors should not be chastised for supporting their peers. “Some people like Malcolm Gladwell are very generous,” she said. “It is a lot to ask these people to read a book of ours.” Seth Godin, whose “Unleashing the Ideavirus” included a foreword by Mr. Gladwell, did acknowledge, “I think it means more to the author than reader.” – New York Times
50 Feminist Book Gifts For Your Nieces and Nephews This Holiday Season – I kind of hate the title of this piece, because I know a lot of people are going to dismiss the list because of it. And it’s not that I object to the word feminist at all – it’s that the list of books is so much more than that. It’s really a list of books that don’t simply retell the same old stories with white characters in traditional gender and class roles. From Ballerino Nate to Tar Beach to She’s Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!, there really are some interesting books on this list. My favorite description might be that for Piggyback: An overworked and underappreciated mother sticks it to her husband and sons in this Anthony Browne tale.
When you go looking for great children’s titles, you might be surprised to find just how many of the picture books you grew up with are actually feminist. And the number of such books grows with each passing year, as more and more authors seek to be inclusive of all children and families, and mindful of various environmentalist and economic causes. Those may seem like heavy issues for a kids’ book to tackle, but trust me, these titles do a great job.
This list of 50 feminist picture books isn’t exhaustive by any means. With a mix of classic and contemporary titles, both fiction and biographical, you’re sure to find something here to share with your nieces and nephews. – Bustle
Star Wars Kama Sutra Book Is Surprisingly SFW – But would it matter either way? The Extremely Unofficial and Highly Unauthorized Star Wars Kama Sutra has to be the best Star Wars-related product to date:
The name says it all. This is a book on sex positions. But instead of featuring creepy fan art, as I’d first feared when clicking on the images, instead it uses action figures to recreate the action. So it’s surprisingly SFW. – Kotaku