Wednesday News: Walt Stone, 2018 books, owning a comic book store, and the best fan letter ever
Alison Kent’s husband and co-author, Walt Stone, dies unexpectedly – Author Alison Kent has been in the Romance community for many years, and in addition to her own books for Harlequin and Amazon imprints, she also co-wrote speculative fiction (under the name Mica Stone) with her husband. Walt Stone had also been a fixture in the community, helping his wife in a number of ways and going to conferences with her. Many Romance readers knew both of them, even before they began co-writing. The Stones, who reside in Texas, were already hit hard by Harvey, and were just rebuilding from that tragedy (Walt was apparently doing much of the work himself). Mica/Alison’s daughter created a crowdfunding page (linked above) in the wake of her stepfather’s unexpected and untimely death. The page was the first I had heard of Walt’s death, so if you have any other links, please feel free to share them. We send our deepest condolences to the Stone family.
60 Books We Can’t Wait To Read In 2018 – I’m not usually a Huff Po reader, but SIXTY books?! It’s an impressively long list, organized by month, with blurbs to help you choose. Anything look good to you? I have to admit I’m interested in Rainbirds, despite the pervasive marketing and hype. – Huffington Post
Iowa native details the ecstasy and agony of owning a comic book store – For anyone interested in the evolution of of the business of comics – or anyone who has fantasized about starting a comic book store – this article may be for you. Although there is some promo here for Dan Gearino’s new book, Comic Shop: The Retail Mavericks Who Gave Us a New Geek Culture, it’s still an interesting piece. The difficulties of sustaining even a small store are significant, not only because running a small business is difficult, but because of the vagaries of the comics business itself.
Until the early 1970s, comic books were distributed like other magazines and periodicals.
In the 1970s, the distribution model started to change, and the first shops specializing only in comic books started to appear.
“For your first month’s rent and whatever you had in your own collection, you could start your own store in the 1970s,” Gearino said. “The cost of entry was incredibly low, and that resulted in some great shops and some terrible shops.”
Within 20 years, though, the specialty comic shop model became a more expensive enterprise. The comics market boomed on speculators who thought of the books as investments rather than stories and artwork to be consumed. – Des Moines Register
Read the “Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down” Letter That Albert Einstein Sent to Marie Curie During a Time of Personal Crisis (1911) – When news broke that Marie Curie was having an affair with married physicist Paul Langevin, it upstaged the announcement of her SECOND Nobel Prize (for the discovery of radium and polonium), and made Curie a target for, well, you know what happens to women when they step too far out of their patriarchally prescribed sphere of influence. Anyway, it was ugly, much of the blowback grounded in bigotry and lies, prompting Einstein to offer Curie his support and good opinion. Under any circumstances, getting fan mail from Albert Einstein would be amazing, and this letter does not disappoint:
I am impelled to tell you how much I have come to admire your intellect, your drive, and your honesty, and that I consider myself lucky to have made your personal acquaintance in Brussels. Anyone who does not number among these reptiles is certainly happy, now as before, that we have such personages among us as you, and Langevin too, real people with whom one feels privileged to be in contact. If the rabble continues to occupy itself with you, then simply don’t read that hogwash, but rather leave it to the reptile for whom it has been fabricated. – Open Culture