We talk through a webcomic - Emma Vieceli and Malin Ryden's Breaks. Plus, we pick through the results of a recent Vue survey about comic-to-film adaptations. Which were the best? Which were the worst? There are some... surprises.
Saying or hearing or reading those words will send chills down the arms of fans across Kansas City and beyond. This is the kind of thing that always happens somewhere else. Not Kansas City, where they tailgate hard because they know that might be the best part of the day...
So much of the joy is that they’ve done this here, in Kansas City, where this is appreciated and celebrated in a way that perhaps no other place in baseball could. Celebrations run hotter and harder when fueled by a generation of pain.
This is the organization that lost a game when the first baseman was hit in the back with a throw to the plate and the next day announced him as their All-Star. This is the franchise that literally flipped a coin to decide if Runelvys Hernandez or Jeremy Affeldt would be the opening-day starter, lost 310 games in three years and didn’t bother with a team picture one year because, and this is a direct quote: 'Who would want a picture of this team?'"
Second episode of the One Comic Podcast is now up - Jon and Bex discusses the new series Wytches, by Scott Snyder, Jock and Matthew Hollingsworth. Continuing the show's tradition of talking (a little too much) about the animal-related panels, there's a lot of chat about a deer.
The very first episode of One Comic, the podcast in which we (over)analyse a single issue of a comic, is out now.
To mark the occasion, we've tackled the first issue of a brand new series - Thor #1 (Marvel). We talk a lot about goats. Bex is surprisingly unsweary, Jon is unsurprisingly knowledgeable and all three of us say "problematic" a lot.
Saturday's Big Book Drop - an effort to get books for the great people at English PEN and Give a Book - gathered in a whopping 471 books. That's a lot of readers hauling a lot of carrier bags on a warm September day!
Two dozen raffle prizes all went off to new homes as well. Thanks to publishers Newcon Press, Hodder & Stoughton, authors Lauren O'Farrell, Rebecca Levene, James Dawson Frank Westworth and Lavie Tidhar, and the many folks that donated cool books from their personal collections.
Plus, big thank yous to our friends at English PEN and our glamorous and vociferous partners at The Book Smugglers.
And the biggest thank you of all: everyone who came out and donated books. You're awesome.
We're hosting, alongside The Book Smugglers (our close friends and deadly rivals!), 'The Big Book Drop" - an afternoon at a central London venue where folks can swing by and drop off their unwanted books.
It'll be a nice chilled out afternoon - we'll find a venue that serves snacks and drinks, and it'll make a pleasant post-crazy-summer chance to see one another and hang out.
All the donations will go to Give a Book and English PEN. You may remember tables supporting PEN at WorldCon and Nine Worlds, we want to continue showcasing the generosity of our literary community.
As book lovers, many of us have a massive stack of books that need to find happy new homes. Getting rid of books can often be a heart-breaking activity, but this is a chance to do it all in one fell swoop - guilt-free and for a great cause. (We're especially thinking of our fellow bloggers - review copies have a tendancy to pile up, and there's often no discreet way of moving them on to new homes.)
We'll be at the Seven Dials Club (42 Earlham Street, WC2H) between 2 and 6 pm on Saturday 27 September. If you have books - new, used, unwanted, unloved, finished, whatever - please bring them along.
We'll be updating the Facebook page with more information as we have it.
To make things exciting - each book is worth one raffle ticket, and we'll be holding a drawing for some of the more exotic donations. We've got a few rarities of our own to start the pile - and if anyone has anything else that is fancy-shmancy, that sort of donated prize would be great. Signed stuff, proofs, collectibles that don't quite fit your collection, that sort of thing...
Here's what you can do:
Come along, have a drink and say hi - we love meeting our virtual friends in person
Bring books - new, used, first- or second- hand
Donate something fancy for the raffle
If you can't make it, you can still help:
Donate something fancy for the raffle (possibly something intangible, like a service? Or that you are ok to post to the winner?)
Spread the word
Support English PEN and Give A Book in their other initiatives - there are lots of petitions to sign, ongoing fundraisers or perhaps even a membership!
This is all - in case you can't tell - rather hastily improvised. But let us know if you have any questions - and please spread the word!
Tonight, four intrepid authors will be playing a game of Call of Cthulhu for the entertainment of the masses.
The player characters are all affiliated with a group called The Rational Society, based out of Miskatonic University in Arkham, Massachusetts. Not an official University organization, the society developed partly as a reaction to the increasing acceptance of parapsychology as an academic subject, starting with Stanford’s experiments in 1911. The Rational Society, which includes faculty and staff as well as outsiders who share its views, operates on the basis that everything is explicable, even if the explanation is bizarre or outré.
The Rationalists Involved
Professor Dora Eaton (Rebecca Levene - @BexLevene), middle-aged Professor of Child Psychology at Miskatonic is an expat Englishwoman with some challenging views on childhood development.
Nelly Blythe (Kim Curran - @KimeCurran) is a local journalist known for going to extreme lengths in pursuit of a story. She recently had herself committed to an asylum to expose the unnecessary institutionalization of women, a rouse that she was very nearly unable to extract herself from.
“Reggie” Fermier (Scott Lynch - @ScottLynch78) in his guise as “The Great Roderick Royal” is a moderately well-known stage illusionist and slightly better-known debunker of mystics, psychics and other charlatans, which is what brought him to the Society.
Dr Bernard Chambers (Jonathan L Howard - @JonathanLHoward) of the University’s Chemistry department. A leader in his field, and aware of the peculiarities allowed by quantum theory; of them all, Bernard is probably the most likely to allow that explanations may come from outside that which is currently known.
One of the highlights of 2013’s inaugural Nine Worlds Geekfest convention was the Good vs Evil debate.
Full disclosure: I moderated the Good vs Evil debate – with the help of an Eye of Sauron talking toy – and the debate became so raucous that we got complaints from the Doctor Who panel going on next door. (Sorry, guys.) Good won out in the end, thanks to a not-at-all arbitrary point-scoring system which I instituted and maintained in secret. And explained to no one. (Which might suggest that, in fact, evil actually won the day. As you see, the debate rages on.)
In any event, the debate was popular enough that we’re doing more this year. And since we can’t do good versus evil again, we’ve moved along to two new and fruitful topics: science fiction versus fantasy, and dragons vs werewolves vs vampires vs warlocks.
And both will be moderated by a completely impartial, eminently* qualified** judge: me.
On Saturday we’ll be hosting the ultimate deathmatch smackdown between dragons, werewolves, vampires and warlocks. Each panellist will be arguing for their team: Elizabeth Bear will be counsel for dragons, Gail Carriger will be on deck for werewolves, Joanne Harris will be making the case for vampires, and Scott Lynch will be representing warlocks. Audio-visuals will be encouraged, as will funny voices and pantomime. You won’t want to miss it.
On Sunday we’ll decide the eternal debate between science fiction and fantasy. Blasters or bastard blades? Spaceships or sorcery? No middle ground will be tolerated (although, if anyone switches sides halfway through the debate… well, Her Honour will take the betrayal into consideration before rendering her verdict.) Daniel Polansky and Liz Bourke will be counsel for Fantasy, while Geoffrey Ryman and Zen Cho will be representing Science Fiction. As before, funny voices and sound effects will be encouraged.
Your completely impartial judge, jury and executioner will also be taking audience participation into account before rendering her verdicts. So, if you’ve got a horse in any of these races (or just like shouting about science fiction, werewolves, and mangled judicial processes) please come along!