Funny Girl: The New Nick Hornby Novel

Nick Hornby has written some of the best portraits ever of obsessive fandom in Fever Pitch and High Fidelity, but I haven’t read many of his newer works. When I heard that his most recent novel, Funny Girl, was about a beautiful young woman who wanted to make people laugh in 1960s Britain, I thought that sounded like a great book for me to try. I love pop culture, pop history, and women struggling to break through artificial entertainment barriers. […]

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Bruce Campbell to Host Last Fan Standing

Earlier this week, I wrote about Wizard’s upcoming digital streaming network CONtv. Now comes news that the project will launch next month, and one of the original programs will feature Bruce Campbell hosting a game show. Last Fan Standing will also be produced by Campbell. It will film live at comic conventions, beginning today at New Orleans Comic Con. The audience will play along, competing for cash and prizes, until the top four players battle for the title. More shows […]

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Some Like It Hot-Buttered

Since I enjoyed Jeff Cohen’s The Question of the Missing Head, I thought I’d check out another comedy mystery he’d written. Some Like It Hot-Buttered is the first of three in the “Comedy Tonight” series, named after the theater the protagonist runs that only shows comedies. (The other two are It Happened One Knife and A Night at the Operation.) It’s the story of Elliot Freed, a divorced Jersey guy who wrote a book that became a bad movie. He […]

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Wizard Launching CONtv Digital Network in 2015

2015 appears to be the year of direct-to-consumer TV network offerings, whether from established networks, movie studios, or specialty outlets (like the WWE, which sells its own network of nothing but decades of wrestling programming for $10 a month). Now Wizard World has announced CONtv, planned to launch early this year as a digital network sold direct to consumers and geared towards “fans in the Comic Con community”. It’s a joint venture with independent content distributor Cinedigm. Programming will include […]

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New Magazine ACE Wants to Bring Back the Price Guide

In the latest Previews catalog, there’s a new magazine announced. ACE stands for All Comics Evaluated, and the two folks behind the project — Comic Book Artist editor Jon B. Cooke and retailer Robert Yeremian (oddly, both names are left out of the catalog ad) — are promising “a thorough and accurate price guide” that will be “amazingly comprehensive and real-world”. It’s not just about the money, though. They promise to cover the “aesthetic and critical” as well as financial […]

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Prophecy Volume 1

Sometimes reviews work! I hadn’t taken notice of Prophecy until I saw Ash Brown’s review, which made it clear I would find the topic fascinating. The figure on the cover of Prophecy is “Paperboy”, a vigilante who covers his head in newspaper when he goes online to promise revenge through underground video postings from internet cafes. All his victims were previously brought to public attention online, whether a company that caused a number of food poisoning cases or a guy […]

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Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels

Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels is a bit of a specialized book, focused on writing comics for businesses run by other people (instead of self-publishing or drawing your own work), but it’s full of great advice for those who want to go into that aspect of the industry. More importantly, the enthusiasm Brian Michael Bendis conveys for the job is infectious. Similarly, Joe Quesada’s foreword hits the “don’t give up, push through […]

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Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma Volume 3

The cooking competition manga Food Wars kicks into high gear with all the students heading out to a luxury resort hotel for a training camp and a new challenge. The “Friendship and Team-Building Cooking Camp” in Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Volume 3 has big consequences for the aspiring culinary students — if they don’t pass the assignments, they will immediately be sent back to school to be expelled. The challenges are set and judged by school alumni, making for […]

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