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1. Peter S. Beagle fans take note: The Last Unicorn is being released in a six part comic mini series from IDW Publishing this spring. The first issue is due out in April, (for $3.99 - I imagine it will be collected into a single volume by the end of the year though if you want to wait), and Beagle was completely onboard with the project:

Originally published in 1968, The Last Unicorn has sold more than five million copies around the world, and in 1982 was made into a hugely popular animated film that has now captivated four generations. In this engaging tale, Beagle created some of the most wondrously real and delightful characters in modern fantasy fiction: the Unicorn herself, Schmendrick the Magician, Molly Grue, Prince Lír, Mommy Fortuna and her threadbare Midnight Carnival, and of course the implacably threatening Red Bull and its master, King Haggard. Fans all over the world have treasured The Last Unicorn since its debut, revisiting the story repeatedly and finding new things to explore each time. This first-ever graphic treatment is bound to please them.

2. Am I the only person who reads a book and immediately thinks "summer, bologna sandwich, chips, backyard in the sun"? I don't mean a beach book because honestly that is a much different thing (for some reason I always think of Jackie Collins in that context). I recently finished Susan Patron's Lucky Breaks (sequel to The Higher Power of Lucky) and thought it was a perfectly decent although not exceptional story (a bit formulaic actually) BUT - give it to a 9 year old on the way outside with nothing to do and this book was perfect. Add a ball game on the radio or some decent tunes and a dog lounging on the deck in the shade and you've got a Rockwellian moment. I would say all this is old fashioned and impossible except my son spent enormous amounts of time in the yard with the dog digging holes last summer, so I know such book reading visions are possible. So anyway, Lucky Breaks has some slight adventure, some slight friendship dramarama, lots of small town charm and everything works out in the end. Add a glass of lemonade and it's pretty much a cure for what ails your average preteen.

3. I neglected in my recent "Judge Me" post to mention the gorgeous new covers for Madeleine L'Engle's classic novels Camilla and And Both Were Young from Square Fish. These books are a bit dated - they certainly read as more old fashioned then A Wrinkle in Time, but they work if you approach them with that in mind. And Both Were Young succeeds also as it is a boarding school novel, which never really goes out of style. But the covers are outstanding - they really elevate the books far more than any covers they have had in the past (and some were really really bad). A plaid coat and boots and holding hands in the snow - could anything be more schoolish and romantic? Lovely and timeless and most welcome and they stand out wonderfully from current cover trends.

4. I could not possibly be more annoyed about this whole "Captain America dissed the Tea Party Movement" scandal. CBR rounds up several links so you can get the whole low down. I don't know what is more annoying - the crass comments about adults reading comics or the fact that Marvel felt compelled to apologize for this when there are so many other things over the years that have been completely ignored. (Case in point - name an African American Marvel superhero right now - do it, I dare you. I'm waiting.....and no, Luke Cage and Storm do not count as they are part of ensemble casts and don't have their own titles. I'm waiting.....yeah, you get my point.)

5. What I'm reading right now: For Booklist - a book about feminists around the world which included mention of Metis, Zeus' first wife. I've never heard of Metis, so color me royally pissed off about the whole patriarchal way of teaching Greek mythology. (I felt the same way when I learned about Lilith from Sarah McLachlan.) He swallows her so he can give birth to their daughter and not her. He SWALLOWED his wife! And then you never hear from her again.

If that doesn't say something about men and women and power than I don't know what does.

Also reading, Runaway Dream: Born to Run and Bruce Springsteen's American Vision. It was suppose to be just for fun but has ended up giving me some more to think about for the wilderness myth book. Plus it's Springsteen which is always a good thing....The Thoreau You Don't Know by Robert Sullivan for the myth book...Every Bone tells a Story, nonfiction for the April mystery column and Shadowed Summer which has a cover I do not like but a story I'm enjoying the heck out of. Great YA mystery with all sorts of appropriate creepiness and BONUS - a ghost. Very cool and will be in the April column also.

Oh - and I also just finished reading issues of New Avengers and the Siege mini-series and the New Avengers Annual. And JSA and Fables and I have a new Battlefields mini series on deck. Want to make something of it? Go ahead - I dare ya. :)


Wow, the L'Engle covers are gorgeous. Those books are dated and old-fashioned and angsty, but so sweet.

Well, in Greek mythology, there was always a whole lot of swallowing going on. Zeus' father tried to swallow him. I always thought it worked out nicely that Zeus gave birth to Athena through his forehead; served him right for swallowing his wife. I hope he had a migraine.

I adore L'Engle and love, love, the new covers that may bring new readers to her books.

The dated stuff in L'Engle's books are interesting. In the Austin Family books, mother met father during the war & I think any reader will just think, the recent war, when at the time it was probably WWII or Korea. In the camping book (A Moon by Night, 63, Mad Men, anyone?), there is a line that kills me every. time. about mother not wearing pants because father doesn't like women in pants. These throwaway lines, that would never go unchallenged in historical fiction set when the books where written, fascinate me and show more about how things really where then historical fiction ever could.

It's a shame that HOUSE LIKE A LOTUS is known primarily as "meet a lesbian, run screaming from the room" so probably won't be reprinted because it's much more than that, and I love it's coming of age storyline and a heroine that loses her virginity to someone she doesn't love. I would love to see what a new cover for that book looked like! (And yes, to other house like a lotus lovers.... I know that description is not what the book is about, but it's how I've often heard the book described and the reason offered as to why its not found in reprints).


i think it's a little unfair to say that you have to have your own title in order to count as a marvel super hero! spider-man, wolverine, captain america and MAYBE iron man are pretty much the only marvel heroes who CONSISTENTLY have solo books. others come and go but they usually get cancelled sooner rather than later. marvel is and always has been much more about the team books, so it's not really fair to exclude ensemble members. that said, i guess storm still doesn't count because she, like black panther, is technically african-african, rather than african-american. (though she did spend some time in NYC during her childhood, I'm fairly sure she was born in either egypt or kenya?) i would count luke cage, though, especially since I think he sometimes has had a solo book. anyway, there are plenty of others but everyone else is pretty B-list which means the actual substance of your point is obviously totally right.

Storm is from Somalia, I think (although I would have to check as well to be sure on that score). The point I was trying to make with though was a Black superhero that is treated as a standalone by Marvel and yeah, Luke Cage did have a comic for awhile but it was along with Iron Fist (Power Man & Iron Fist). Personally, Luke is one of my all time favorite characters, period - he's sort of Wolverine without the crazy if that makes any sense. I just find it annoying that Marvel would get all apologetic over a stupid thing like this when they haven't done much to address other long standing issues with their readers.

(And I guess we should point out that Ultimate Nick Fury is Black and I totally see him as Samuel L. Jackson in the movies.) (And could I be anymore of a comics fan??)

Liz - I totally get you on the "Lotus" issue. I loved that book but it seems it is always discussed in the context of the "run from lesbians" storyline although I always felt like Polly was just shocked and overwhelmed by a lot of things and that revelation was icing on the cake. I'd have to read it again to see if it still stands up but man - the fact that sex didn't have to be the culmination of some big huge romantic love moment that had to last forever was HUGE for me.

It might even have changed my life - and I turned out okay! ha!

I read Camilla just three weeks ago and so loved it--read it wondering hoe I hadn't known about this book when I was a teenager starving for books about unhappy girls who are exploring the great mystery of identity, especially as it applies to flawed and ineffective parents. It is dated, yes, but for me there is the thrill of the beautiful writing--Camilla's voice--poised, urbane, stalwart, but still poignant. How ahead of her time L'Engle was to create such a narration--the integrity and honesty it holds! The original publication of Camilla was near when I was born, but it never came into my hands while a teenager, despite my need for it and my love for L'Engle's work--I consider her a great influence on my early YA novels, along with Rumer Godden and J. D. Salinger. And yes, the covers are indeed fabulous, such a nice mix of retro and modern. Sometimes you CAN tell a book by its cover!

Thanks for pointing out those beautiful new L'Engle covers. And Both Were Young in particular has a timeless and romantic quality.

Oh, that line, in The Moon by Night, about how Dr. Austin hates women in pants; if I ever met Dr. Austin I would strangle him with the belt from my jeans.

Ah yes, the Austins - they really age all over the place in the books. "Endless Ring of Light" almost seems to be a whole different family as it was written so much later and is much modernized.

I loved Camilla also and I think that one would stand up fairly well also. The new cover is gorgeous as well - perfect for romantic, bookish, thoughtful girls everywhere.

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