Archive for the ‘books’ Category

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Publishing is doomed

by Warren

At least, according to the latest obituary for the book business in the NY Metro. It seems a tsunami of problems, including the fact that the publishing world is beginning to resemble Hollywood with its reliance on a few overly expensive mega-hits instead of a solid midlist. Not good for a book lover such as myself.

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Back from Comic Con….

by Warren

…and pretty much spent. This was my first time at the San Diego Comic Con, and I have to say it was something of an experience. Over 100,000 people, most of them in costume, hit the San Diego Convention Center every year, and both Hollywood and the comics and games industries show off their latest wares at what has become possibly the most important entertainment event of the year.

I spent most of my time lugging a tripod (I have the bruises on my arms to prove it), coordinating our three crews, and conducting interviews. Amongst the people I got to interview were Dave Gibbons, the artist responsible for the Watchmen, Walking Dead writer Robert Kirkman, the people behind the Spectacular Spider Man cartoon, Dana Snyder (the guy who plays Master Shake on ATHF), the cast of Eureka, and Tori Amos. I also coordinated us interviewing the cast of BSG, which was pretty cool.

Myself and my buddy Rich (cameraman for our unit) only had 20 minutes in the whole con to hit the floor and buy anything for ourselves, but I managed to snag a bunch of graphic novels, a “Con exclusive” Domo-Kun for Mel, another “Con exclusive” (say it with a nerdy sniff in your voice) action figure pack of the 10th and 5th Doctors, and this sweet-ass shirt:


All in all, a fine four days.

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

How America got the Nixon it deserved

by Warren

Nixonland,” a new book by Rick Perlstein, looks like an interesting tome about how Nixon was both a reflection of and answer to the state of America in the late Sixties. It also points out that Nixon did succeed in calming an incredibly tumultuous time in the US, when the country was tearing itself apart from within. Compare that to today, when we have an arguably worse president but a relatively stable social and political atmosphere.

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Mad great Al Jaffe profiled in NYT

by Warren

When I was a kid, I used to ravenously consume my dad’s old Mad magazines. It’s fair to say that a lot of my love of both reading and recent history comes from Mad (my knowledge of the Nixon administration, for one), and I’m glad that my collection has now been passed on to another young guy with an appetite for satire and sarcasm. One of my favorite Mad writer/artists was Al Jaffe, and it turns out he’s still kicking at 87, and still drawing amazing fold-ins for the back page of the magazine.

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Amazon tries to redefine the book

by Warren

Good luck with that, Amazon. The Kindle e-book reader the online titan is getting ready to trot out is a good try, but at $400, I don’t think I’ll be picking one up soon. Why spend that kind of money when you can just buy a book for far less? I also don’t think a dedicated reader is the answer. Apple’s iPhone is a step in the right direction…if you have a device that’s your phone, your media player, a web device, and also carries your entire library around, then I can see the e-book taking off. In fact, that’s the direction magazines and newspapers probably should head in. But the Kindle? No thanks.

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Mobile novels all the rage in Japan

by Cam Cavers

Although it hasn’t been widely reported in Western media, the fact that novels for mobile phones outsold print books in Japan in the past year did briefly hit the news this past summer… the fact that people in Japan regularly read books on their cell phones is a story in itself though.

After Wired (still the usual outlet for tech stories to break into the mainstream) wrote it up early in 2007, there was a similar story a few months later in the Economist, and finally just a month or two ago, The Wall Street Journal did a small piece on it. However, surely the fact that the country showing us where mobile technology is headed shunning print books for e-books deserves a bit more media attention.