I was rolling with the assumption that Berkeley Breathed's new Bloom County strips weren't appearing in major newspapers because they were being produced on an intermittent schedule, but now I'm thinking that Breathed might just be enjoying the opportunity to produce racier jokes. His strips are available via his Facebook page, but examples like this, this, and (my favorite) this probably wouldn't fly with most newspapers ....more

Dark Ages soap

Deadline recently posted an update on ITV's upcoming Beowulf miniseries, which they describe as a "Dark Ages Western". My hopes that this adaptation will be a hokey delight are high (the creators also produced Primeval, which pretty much rang the hokey delight bell, IMO), but my favorite part of this story is the expressed hope that this drama will be a natural next step for Downton Abbey fans. I, for one, am hoping for a crossover ....more


According to the Guardian, there will be an exhibition of photographs in honor of the 125th anniversary of Agatha Christie's birth. The previously unseen images are allegedly a "world away from how most people picture [Christie]," and depict the author roller-skating and surfing. I'm fine with checking out personal photographs, but do the English really picture Christie solely as "a friendly older woman at work on a battered Remington typewriter"? ...more

Marvel's sound and fury

Last week, Pajiba posted an article called "The Life of Marvel Marketing and the Death of Marvel Story Telling", which presents the persuasive argument that Marvel is mostly concerned with hyping its larger universe, not the quality of its individual films. Future installments, the author suggests, will just get "soulesser and more voidy". (A beautiful description that gives my spellchecker fits, by the way.) ...more

We'll see...

Since we're a few years past the last one (which was what, Death Comes To Pemberley?), we are clearly past due for another rush of Jane Austen-inspired movies. In addition to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Love and Friendship and yet another Pride and Prejudice adaptation, there's an upcoming movie called Jane By The Sea, a film that promises to "explore the encounters and relationships that inspired characters and scenes from [Austen's] iconic works". The film is based on Carolyn V ....more

<i>The Water Knife</i>, by Paolo Bacigalupi

For a book blessed with interesting characters, a compelling conflict, and an absolutely spectacular hook, Paolo Bacigalupi's The Water Knife isn't actually fun to read. I don't mind violence, but there's a fine line between suffering that serves the plot and straight-up disaster porn, and too much of The Water Knife feels like the latter. Bacigalupi's novel is set in a near-future version of Phoenix, a city in total social collapse ....more

Weekly Book Giveaway: <i>The Water Knife</i>, by Paolo Bacigalupi

This week's Book Giveaway is Paolo Bacigalupi's The Water Knife. My family owns, like, three copies of Marc Reisner's Cadillac Desert (one signed! Because we're nerds!), so I have both high hopes and high expectations for Bacigalupi's book ....more


According to Deadline, Warner Bros. plans to make a film version of Dante’s Inferno that will focus on the poem's "epic love story", which the article summarizes as "Dante [descending] through the nine circles of hell to save the woman he loves." I am so confused about this. I'm no Dante expert, but is Beatrice even in Inferno? ...more

One of many

This November will be the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and publishers are looking to mark the occasion with some truly gorgeous new editions. As an Alice mega-nerd, I'm particularly excited about this upcoming reprint of the 1969 edition featuring artwork by Salvador Dali. Sadly (for the health of my finances, anyway), it's only one of several ridiculously awesome-looking reprints, more of which we'll feature in the weeks to come ....more


In honor of Virago's newly-published collection of Joan Aiken's The Serial Garden: The Complete Armitage Family Stories, the Guardian has created a slideshow of images from the author's life. My enjoyment of said slideshow, alas, was dampened by the discovery that this is yet another instance of U.K. readers being offered prettier and far more modern-looking cover art than readers here in the States ....more