- When You Wish Upon a Radioactive Spider: On Monday, the Walt Disney Company announced that it was buying Marvel Entertainment for about $4 billion — making the team-up of Spider-Man and Mickey Mouse one of the most expensive in history.
Publishers Weekly breaks down the details of the acquisition:
The greatest skepticism over the new Marvel deal was expressed by fans worried that Disney might meddle with Marvel characters — after all, one of Marvel's most popular characters is a tough guy who slices people up with razor sharp claws. [Disney president and CEO Bob] Iger pointed to the Pixar deal as the model here, stressing that Marvel knows what it is doing and will receive minimal intrusion. "The goal here is not to rebrand Marvel/Disney, in fact, the opposite, to put an even brighter spotlight on Marvel as a brand and to really work with the Marvel team to help grow it more," he told stockholders.
The website Comic Book Resources has a round-up of reactions from comic industry insiders.
If you're already conjuring mash-ups — Donald Duck with Wolverine's claws is a favorite of mine — check out the dozens of suggestions on this Twitter thread. (And see some visual representations here.)
- Back In Black: Joyce Carol Oates — whose acclaimed novel Black Water is a not-so-thinly-veiled account of Ted Kennedy's infamous Chappaquiddick scandal — pens an appreciation of the late senator:
[I]t might be argued that Senator Kennedy's career as one of the most influential of 20th-century Democratic politicians, an iconic figure as powerful, and as morally enigmatic, as President Bill Clinton, whom in many ways Kennedy resembled, was a consequence of his notorious behaviour at Chappaquiddick bridge in July 1969.
Yet, ironically, following this nadir in his life/ career, Ted Kennedy seemed to have genuinely refashioned himself as a serious, idealistic, tirelessly energetic liberal Democrat in the mold of 1960s/1970s American liberalism, arguably the greatest Democratic senator of the 20th century.
- Hungry Fire: NPR's All Things Considered looks at the "edgy, violent" novels of YA author Suzanne Collins — namely, The Hunger Games and its just-published sequel, Catching Fire.
As a child, Collins remembers being obsessed with Greek mythology, particularly the story of Theseus, in which the Cretans forced the Athenians to send seven young men and seven maidens to be thrown into the labyrinth and devoured by the Minotaur each year.
"Even when I was a child I was blown away by how evil that was. Crete was sending a very clear message: If you mess with us we will do something worse than kill you; we will kill your children," says Collins.
Who says kids never learn anything useful in school?
Book News Round-up:
- Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago has announced he's given up the blog he started a year ago to concentrate on writing his next novel.
"I have started another book and want to dedicate all my time to it," he wrote in his final blog entry.
Hmm, he may be onto something there...
- Germany doesn't like Google's whole books thingee any more than the rest of the world.
- You read it here first: "The future of digital reading...is the cellphone, not dedicated reading devices like the Kindle and the Sony Reader."
- The PBS children's show Reading Rainbow ended its 26-year run last Friday.
It's just tragic to think that future generations will know LeVar Burton only by Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- Perhaps the only part of the Bush administration that hasn't yet been purged from our collective memories.
÷ ÷ ÷
Brockman is the head writer for the daily Book News posts on the Powells.com blog. In his free time he's hard at work on his fictional memoir, which changes titles daily.
The views and commentary posted by Brockman are entirely his own, and are not representative of the whole of Powell's Books, its employees, or any sane human being.
Books mentioned in this post