♦ Prior to seeing the image below on Terri Windling’s blog, I’d never heard of Kelly Louise Judd before. How is that possible? Her work is exquisite and reminds me a little of Remedios Varo and other artists I love, plus her art has a touch of the weird fairy tale. Do check out her site, Swan Bones Theater, to see more of her paintings, illustration, and dolls (she also has an Etsy shop). Just wonderful.
♦ Book Nook.
Roz Kaveney wrote Endymion, a lovely sonnet in honor of Neil Armstrong.
This past week AlphaBooks, an alphabetical tumblr exploration of fictional characters curated by Ben Towle, has moved to the N’s. As you might suppose, Nancy Drew was a favorite character to illustrate. My favorite Nancy comes from Marc Basile (embiggen by clicking the image):
Some fine online reading for you this week:
Awesome people reading: check out how Darren Criss multi-reads. For my friend Vicki, here’s Steve McQueen reading. And for everyone, below him is Harry Potter reading Harry Potter on the set of Harry Potter.
Christopher Barzak will be posting about his writing process and inspirations for his new collection, Birds and Birthdays, on his blog, so readers and writers alike take note. In his post “The Birthday of Birds and Birthdays,” he describes what he’s going to do:
For the next few weeks, I’m going to be occasionally blogging here and in some other places about the book, its conception, the process I went through in researching and writing of each of the stories, the artists whose paintings inspired these stories, and how I went about organizing the book itself. It’s a small book, just a little over 100 pages, which seems as small as a grain of sand in a world where hugely huge epic page-turners pound the pavement around it. But I’ve always been fond of small things, the contained and hermetically sealed worlds of snow globes and dioramas, and I know there are folks out there who like things like this too. So I’m hopeful this small book might reach their attention, despite the clamor and bustle of the giants lumbering around it.
I share Barzak’s view about small things, and I can’t wait for some time to dive into Birds and Birthdays. So far he’s written about the inspiration of Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington, and both posts were illuminating.
♦ The Ninth Art.
One of the biggest controversies in comics last week was that in Justice League Superman and Wonder Woman are going to start dating. Or start having sex. Not necessarily in that order. This news was all over everywhere. Of course, this idea has been toyed with before, usually in series set in the future, like Kingdom Come and The Dark Knight Strikes Again, though John Byrne did some teasing in his run on Superman. I haven’t been reading the new Justice League, but I don’t see how this storyline will mesh with what Azzarello’s doing with Wonder Woman in her own series. Also, this cover just seems silly to me.
Speaking of Wonder Woman, this list of 9 Wonder Woman villains explains why nobody talks about Wonder Woman’s villains.
Tansy Rayner Roberts continued her Where the Wonder Women Are series with Fire.
Here’s some comic-book cosplay I can get behind: a very inventive take on The Corinthian from The Sandman series. (An image from the comic book is provided below for comparison.)
Abuse of Playback, the technologically-derived drug made from distilled human memories, is sweeping the world – and Special Agent Fox Mulder learned too late that Playback was put forth on this planet by the Purity, seeking to condition humanity to their rule so as to better combat the Deadite incursion threatening the aliens’ homeworld. Now Mulder is missing, and it falls to his partner, Dana Scully, to re-activate secret protocol LXG-71, the “League of Extraordinary Gentlepersons” (protocol renamed 1993 for “sensitivity reasons”).
Scully swiftly collects Hong Kong Detective-Inspector “Tequila” Yuen, hyperviolent Wiccan practitioner Nancy Downs, the biological experiment/walking weapon known only as “Edward,” and a young high-functioning sociopath named Zack Morris who has the strange ability to stop the flow of time itself. Perhaps it is this last who attracts the attention of an enigmatic man who answers only to “Rufus,” and who asks Scully to “set history right” and see that two young musicians – that, so far as she can tell, never existed – be born anew, so that peace may flourish on Earth. But the Purity have never shown any signs of temporal travel capability… so who, then, altered history?
♦ More Art.
Flavorwire listed 10 great artists’ famous calling cards or “trademarks that they either slip into their works on purpose or that just tend to crop up time and time again in their work.” The list includes artists, authors, and directors, and it’s a fun thing to think about. I’m aware of a few concepts, themes, and phrases that reappear with some frequency in my own work; I wonder if someone else would identify the same calling cards I do?
Thomas Allen has a new exhibition opening on September 9th, Beautiful Evidence. Check out his blog for more images from the show, and feast your eyes below on Cloudburst:
I enjoyed mental floss‘s list of 13 disturbing pieces of art from history, though none of them particularly disturb me (but most do delight me). Here’s one of my favorites from that list (that demon smiling in the background gets me every time):
♦ Viewers’ Paradise.
I saw Beasts of the Southern Wild on Friday with Emily and Molly (we were the only ones in the theater!), and it was a wonderful film. Being who I am, I loved the magic realist elements, but the characters were delightful and the acting fantastic. Plus the film is just beautiful to watch. Do yourself a favor and go see it: you’ll laugh and you’ll cry (well, Emily and Molly cried at several points which I did not, but one moment would have made me teary-eyed if it had been any longer).
12 fall movies based on books. How many will be any good, even as their own creatures?
Oh my goodness but I’m excited about this conceptual trailer for Song of the Sea, a new animated film from the creators of The Secret of Kells (check out more concept art at Cartoon Saloon). Selchies, people!
♦ She Blinded Me … with Science.
Natural, Social, and Funeral.
Men, who needs them? (A NYT op-ed and not, strictly speaking, science, but interesting to think about, nonetheless)
♦ Around the World.
Courtesy of my former student Lauren on Facebook: what school lunches look like in 20 countries around the world.
The Mafra National Palace library in Mafra, Portugal (via).
♦ Writers’ Corner.
BookRiot has a feature called Write Place, Write Time, in which “writers reveal their work spaces and reflect on the relationship between writing place and writing process.” Check out Joe Hill’s fun post about his writing space and process, which I thought was fantastic and wished I could see more photos of his writing space. Plus I want to hang out with him. (Have I mentioned how much I love Locke & Key?)
Justine Larbalestier on what to study to become a writer.
Good, if familiar, advice from Lisa Hannett on knowing what you write.
China Miéville fans, here’s one Guardian article about his view of anti-piracy and another Guardian article by him on the future of the novel. Also check out this video of Miéville’s talk about the future of the novel at the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference.
♦ Via my friend Bonnie on Facebook (her cousin Vernon made the video), a short about the Espresso Book Machine at Bookshop Santa Cruz.