Clippings

Apologies on the age of these.

The tide turns for graphic novels – Nathan Alderman, San Antonio Current, December 9, 2004.

Not quite on topic (and those who know more may read it differently than I did) but it looks to me like the best researched, most complete article I’ve seen on graphic novels outside of the trade press, detailing both their history and future, and giving new readers numerous entry points.

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From a December 6, 2004 Publisher’s Weekly article on the “graphic” trend in picture books:

…With graphic picture books introducing a range of artistry to all ages, such perceptions seem likely to change. Where older U.S. generations expected to outgrow picture books or comics or move on to the more mature material of the graphic novel or memoir, younger readers now can feed a fascination with visual storytelling. Graphic picture books, properly distributed, could present a new direction in literature for all ages. “We’ve got young customers interested in cutting-edge design the way they’re interested in cutting-edge music,” [Michael] Russo [manager of St. Mark’s Bookshop] says. “I’m seeing work that is formatted as a children’s book, but graphically much more compelling. Dave McKean will do one page [in] watercolor, then the other page use a laser photocopier to deconstruct and reconstruct. I think about children looking at that, and I wonder, where is the imagination of an eight-year-old going to go with this?”

–Op de Beeck

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From the November 20, 2004 Winnipeg Sun:

Where’s Batman when you need him?
A comic store in Brandon was the target of a smash-and-grab late last Tuesday night, likely the work of a burglar with some very specific tastes.

The only thing taken? Several volumes of the popular Sandman series, graphic novels worth between $25 and $32 each.

“They took volumes three to eight of the graphic novels, plus one related book,” said an Eye Opener staffer who identified himself as John.

“They would have had to have known what they were looking for, otherwise it was a pretty bizarre and random grab.”
The culprit or culprits used a lead pipe to smash through the glass in the store’s front door but didn’t take anything besides the Sandman books, John said.

“The change remained in the till, and there was nothing rifled through or destroyed,” said John, who’s heard of nothing similar taking place since he started working at the Eye Opener last spring.

Penned by acclaimed fantasy author Neil Gaiman, the Sandman books chronicle the exploits of seven siblings named The Endless — Destiny, Death, Dream, Desire, Despair, Delirium (once Delight), and Destruction.

Originally launched in 1989, the DC series remains extremely popular among fans of comics and literature alike.

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From the November 12th Chicago Tribune:

Griffin Theatre Co., which vacated its jewel-box Andersonville theater after 13 years in the space, is still looking for a new home. But it has secured some office and rehearsal space at 3711 N. Ravenswood Ave. And that means it is at least continuing to exist.

According to artistic director William Massolia, Griffin still is working with Ald. Patrick J. O’Connor (40th) to find a new place in Edgewater. In the meantime, Massolia says, the company is working on a new theatrical adaptation of Stardust the graphic novel series by the British novelist Neil Gaiman. It’s expected to premiere in the spring. We just don’t know where yet.

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From the October 7, 2004 PR Newswire:

…The new children’s book news channel, KidsRead (http://www.kidsread.tv), streams seventeen new videos, including clips of award-winning writers, Ursula K. LeGuin, Neil Gaiman, and Cornelia Funke. The new channel for cooks and foodies, CooksRead (http://www.cooksread.tv), features forty-six new videos of food writers, critics and cookbook writers, including Calvin Trillin, Mimi Sheraton, and Vogue critic, Jeffrey Steingarten, discussing the craft.

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From the October 2, 2004 Courier Mail:

Poppy Z Brite, Neil Gaiman and Richard Harland are to be guests of honour at Melbourne’s Continuum convention in July next year.

Brite has steered away from her trademark New Orleans gothic (Lost Souls, Exquisite Corpse) with her latest tale, Liquor, about gay chefs running a cafe (it’s still set in the Big Easy, though).

Gaiman has endeared himself to readers with his Sandman comic series and the novels American Gods and Coraline, among others. He has also scored three Locus awards this year — for novelette, short story and nonfiction/art.

Aussie Harland has a follow-up to his Vicar of Morbing Vyle due out later this year.

Gaiman and Brite are serious overseas drawcards on a crowded 2005 calendar…

Details: www.continuum.org.au

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From the September 3, 2004 Advertiser:

For too long, the three little pigs have had all the good press. Splash Theatre redresses this with the wolf’s side of the story – the hapless predator who prefers a free-range diet. He’s victim of a media beatup.

In this latest Children’s Book Week Theme production, Doorways to Stories, Splash introduces Al, the wolf, in a feisty rap song and then presents his tale of accidental pig-slaying in TV documentary style.

It is interrupted by breaking news, a nifty segue into another book, this one Neil Gaiman’s The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish. It’s a delicious absurdist tale, albeit hard on dads who sit about reading newspapers. The Splash cast, Nick Bennett, Nick Martin and Margot Politis, leap through the panoply of characters at the swap of a cap, using four simple panels as myriad scenes and, of course, the very important doors which link the story choice.

After a spot of properly Anglo Pooh Bear, they rap back to the final instalment of Mr Wolf and then present That Pesky Rat, adapted from the Lauren Child picture book. It is another multi-character saga, a sweet story which the young audience clearly adores. But not as much as Paul Jennings’ Lucky Lips, the tale of a boy whose magic lip gloss enchants everyone except the girl he is dying to kiss.

In its usual style, Splash is economical on the trappings and generous on the entertainment value. The cast, directed by Phil Parslow and Ali Goron, is high-energy and highly able and the Chris John scripts distil the books to nice little dramatic entities.

Old stories and new, Splash is putting its finger neatly on the contemporary pulse.

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From the September 27th Badger Herald (U. Wisconsin), from an article by Kat Kruger about Banned Book Week:

Neil Gaiman put it best when he recently said, “Whenever I notice that my name isn’t on the list of banned and challenged authors, I feel faintly like I’m letting the side down. Although I suspect all I’d have to do to get on the list is to write a book about naked, bisexual, hard-swearing wizards who drink a lot while disparaging the Second Amendment, and I’d be home and dry.”

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From the September 1, 2004 American Libraries:

Neil Gaiman, author of the Sandman comic series and American Gods (William Morrow, 2001), is the latest celebrity in the ALA Graphics Author Poster Series. Gaiman joins librarian and author Nancy Pearl and poet Sherman Alexie on posters that als
o includ
e recommended reading lists designed for library programming. The posters are $ 12 each and are available from the ALA Online Store at www.alastore.ala.org.