Wednesday News: Royal engagement, Amazon imprint, and comic creation
Meghan Markle, the Hallmark Star Set to Marry a Prince – Romance Twitter was very excited on Monday, when news of the royal engagement between Prince Harry and US across Meghan Markle was finally announced. Someone tamed the bad boy – how much better can it get for the Romance HEA? Despite Markle’s stated intention to become a British citizen upon marrying Harry, she is still being touted by both US and British media as the American princess (duchess?). And many are excited at the significant ways in which Markle breaks the royal fiancee mold, especially in the fact that she is bi-racial. This short piece from Sarah Larson discusses some of the racial whitewashing that Markle has been subjected to as a Hallmark movie actress (a sad hallmark of Hallmark movies is that they are primarily about white-people love) and Larson’s hope that Markle’s real-life marriage might broaden the persistent (and persistently destructive) stereotypes about whiteness, royalty, and romance. Although this piece arguing that the royal family will not allow Markle to be black does not bode well.
In her engagement to Prince Harry, Markle is subverting that folksy, anti-cosmopolitan Hallmark trope, which is born of and caters to certain white American fantasies. But she’s embodying another Hallmark trope, catering to another American, often white fantasy: the unlikely royal romance. Generally, in Hallmark movies, the royals are in disguise, à la “Roman Holiday,” and the Americans are the lovable sneakers-and-sensibility types, like Anne Hathaway in “The Princess Diaries.” The countries are normally Luxembourg sorts of places, so tiny and eccentric that nobody’s really heard of them. But we know what these little principalities really represent: the U.K., and thus the big leagues of the British Royal Family, the ultimate retrograde American dream, in which people—white people—wear crowns, carry sceptres, and live in castles, and the masses cheer for them. – New York Magazine
Amazon Publishing Launches New Imprint – So Amazon is joining the short fiction trend with Amazon Original Stories, which will have a word count of 5k to 20K and are intended to be read in one sitting.
The imprint’s first titles are The Sign of the Beast by Joyce Carol Oates and Crown Heights by Colin Warner and Carl King. Forthcoming 2018 titles from the imprint include works by W. Kamau Bell, Jade Chang, Eddie Huang, Janice Y.K. Lee, Walter Kirn, Dean Koontz, Wednesday Martin, Nick McDonell, Harold Schechter, Dan Slater, Dodai Stewart, and Susan Straight.” – Publishers Weekly
How Art Spiegelman Designs Comic Books: A Breakdown of His Masterpiece, Maus – Nerdwriter’s Evan Puschak breaks down just one page of Spiegelman’s Maus, and it is amazing to catch the details that you may not pay attention to if you’re reading the book casually or as part of the whole. Even if you’re not a comics fan, this is really worth a look, because of the way all the small details come together to produce layers of meaning in the whole narrative.
Drawing on interviews in MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic, taped conversations with Neil Gaiman, and the University of Washington’s Marcia Alvar, and other sources, the Nerdwriter pans an eight-panel page from the first chapter for maximum meaning. – Open Culture