List of all columns

Archives of Book News Roundup

Book News Roundup: City Arts wants you as a member

There are over 300 services listed in the guide. The print run of 40,000 copies will be available at over 75 locations around the city including through human service agencies, first responders, and the Seattle Public Library. Both the Seattle Police and King County Sheriff’s Departments will receive copies to assist people in finding needed services. Real Change vendors will also have access to a few copies per day to share with people in need.
  • CROWDFUNDING ALERT: City Arts magazine is shifting to a nonprofit, and they're running an Indiegogo campaign to make the leap. The monthly magazine is seeking members to help support a "more robust digital footprint" and "more events." This city is seriously lacking in multidisciplinary arts coverage, and losing City Arts would be a disaster. If you can, kick in.

  • CROWDFUNDING ALERT, PART DEUX: In more fun crowdfunding news, Emerald City Comicon founder Jim Demonakos is Kickstarting an updated version of those old-school spinner racks that drugstores used to sell comics from. "The Classic Comic Book Spinner Rack" will come in black and white, it will hold all types of comics, and it will be "whisper-quiet." This project has already been funded, but you can buy your rack over here.

  • El Diablo Coffee, the delightful coffee shop right next to Queen Anne Book Company, has to move. Read the whole frustrating tale at Seattle Eater. No trip to QABC is complete without a short, sweet Cuban coffee from El Diablo.

  • At Library Journal, Matt Enis offers a librarian's perspective on Amazon's creepy always-on Alexa devices.

Contois does acknowledge that these devices also present privacy and security concerns that new adopters may not fully understand. “We make them aware that they may want to become more knowledgeable about that,” he says. “We do ask patrons, before returning them to the library, to reset everything to the factory settings.”
  • Every year at this time, comics shop retailers gather to discuss how their industry is doing. Heidi MacDonald at The Beat reports that this has been a tough year for the industry:
Every retailer I chatted with knew of a shop that had closed, often down the road. The reasons aren’t always simple, though. This shop had its lease raised. This shop expanded too fast. That one’s owner just decided it was time to pack it in.

Book News Roundup: Double your donation to Hugo House

Book News Roundup: Tired of writing? Try writing near tires.

  • Did you know that you can help young users of the Seattle Public Library "regain access to the Library's resources by paying for borrowed materials that were misplaced or lost?" Yep! Help a kid get a fresh start through the Seattle Public Library Foundation's Fresh Start page.

  • Last week, the National Book Foundation announced the judges of their 2018 National Book Awards. This year, the Foundation is introducing a new award for translated literature, and there's a Seattle connection to the new category. Elliott Bay Book Company events coordinator Karen Maeda Allman is one of the five translated literature judges, which means she's going to be reading a whole lot of work in translation over the next few months. Congratulations to Karen!

  • Donald Trump is good for the feminist bookstore business.

  • Readers are more creative and successful, according to a new study. But you already knew that.

  • Here's a great look at gender equality and cartooning from New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly:

  • The AV Club looks back on the big mystery that was the secret identity of the anonymous author of the Bill Clinton roman á clef Primary Colors. For one brief moment in 1996, all of America was trying to figure out who wrote a novel about politics, of all things.

  • This tire shop that helped a writer overcome writers block really ought to consider making a title of "Official Tires Tires Tires Writer in Residence."

Book News Roundup: A correction, a cabaret, and a circle of critics

  • First, let's begin with a correction. In this week's Event of the Week column, I credited the Dock Street Salon solely to Dock Street Press publisher Dane Bahr. In fact, Bahr co-hosts the salon with Seattle author and publisher Heather Jacobs. And this week's edition of the Salon was entirely curated and coordinated by Jacobs, not Bahr. I sincerely apologize to Jacobs for getting that wrong, and I've amended the listing to give her proper credit.

  • Here's a last-minute event you ought to know about: The Bell & Battery Cabaret is a variety show that's happening at the Rendezvous at 8 pm tonight, and twice on both Saturday and Sunday. Performers include Markeith Wiley and Ade, and the show also features Seattle poet Shin Yu Pai, who says she will "read a commissioned poem about nightclub singer Pat Suzuki and also sing a song." You've got five chances to see this one, so get to it.

  • Did you see the Pew poll about American reading habits? Turns out one in five Americans regularly listen to audio books, almost 75 percent of Americans read a book last year, and print books aren't going anywhere:

Some 39% of Americans say they read only print books, while 29% read in these digital formats and also read print books. Just 7% of Americans say they only read books in digital formats and have not read any print books in the past 12 months.
  • This year's National Book Critics Circle Award winners include Improvement by Joan Silber, Whereas by Layli Long Soldier, and Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser.

Book News Roundup: Rise of the machines

All that autumn and winter she tended the flower. After the petals faded and fell, slender leaves speared up, glowing with life and green throughout the cold winter. She fed the flower her secrets, burying them one by one, and watered it with drops of her blood, red as the flower had been, because there was no death in the garden, and the flower, her grandmother had said, needed death to live.
The automated store even features a robot who is touted as a key feature of the store. Although she didn't find the store's prices to be competitive, customer Mrs. Zhang commended its automated worker, saying that "the interaction with the store's robot is something worth experiencing, especially for the children."

Book News Roundup: Get ready for a sci-fi reading (with beer)

  • Next Tuesday, outstanding sci-fi writing organization Clarion West is hosting a reading and open mic at Naked City in Greenwood. First, the open mic will encourage people to share short works, and then local sci-fi authors Randy Henderson, Seanan McGuire, Evan Peterson, and E. Lily Yu take over the stage. Tickets are ten bucks, and it benefits the Clarion West Writers Workshop. I hope you'll consider coming out and supporting emerging sci-fi writers.

  • At Seattle Magazine, Erica C. Barnett wrote about a Seattle Public Library employee who was stuck with a needle in a library bathroom. Unlike other library systems, SPL doesn't provide sharps containers — and for the most maddening reason in the world:

[SPL Spokesperson Andra] Addison says there’s a simple reason that the library doesn’t provide sharps containers for drug users: “We don’t allow illegal drug use in the library. It’s against our rules of conduct.” Providing sharps containers would be a tacit acknowledgement that people are using drugs at the library in violation of those rules.
  • Okay, look. In a perfect world, nobody would suffer from opioid addiction. But we do not live in a perfect world. This dumb head-in-the-sand policy is endangering our librarians, and SPL needs to reassess their responsibility to their employees immediately. Thanks to Barnett for the great reporting.

  • Great news! We told you a couple months back that West Seattle coffeeshop C&P Coffee, home to the Words West readings series, was in danger of closing unless they could raise the funds to save the site from development. They have successfully raised the money, which means C&P isn't going anywhere. Thanks to all who helped.

  • Last week, Capitol Hill Seattle Blog talked with Elliott Bay Book Company manager Tracy Taylor about the bookstore's upcoming SeaTac outlet.

Book News Roundup: Did you need another reason to love Dolly Parton?

  • Emerald City Comicon is coming this weekend! The fantastic Sarah Anne Lloyd at Curbed compiled a handy list of Seattle-area comics shops to visit over the weekend. I have to admit, I had never heard of Burien's Ancient Comics until I read this list and now I can't wait to check it out.

  • The Seattle Public Library's Shelf Talk Blog is celebrating ECCC with a list of worldbuilding comics, including Faith Erin Hicks's excellent Nameless City series.

  • Applications close tomorrow for Clarion West's summer workshops. If you're an aspiring sci-fi writer, you should get involved with Clarion West; they're an amazing resource.

  • Ta-Nehisi Coates is writing a Captain America series. The first issue will be published on July 4th.

  • Fantasy author Terry Goodkind became an internet villain this week when he encouraged his fans to mock his most recent book cover, which was illustrated by Bastien Lecouffe Deharme. I've literally never heard of an author shitting on his own book cover in public. Goodkind is known as an Ayn Rand acolyte; it's not too surprising that he has no idea how to act like a decent human being.

  • But let's not dwell on the horrible people in the world. Let's celebrate the truly great human beings out there, like Dolly Parton. Why am I talking about Dolly Parton on a book site? Because of this story from the Washington Post: Parton just donated her hundred millionth book. Yes, her 100,000,000th book.

Parton is the founder of Imagination Library, a nonprofit that started out donating books in Sevier County, Tenn., and grew into a million-book-a-month operation. Families who sign up receive a book per month from birth to kindergarten. The singer donated her organization’s 100 millionth book to the nation’s library on Tuesday.

Book News Roundup: Elliott Bay Book Company goes to the airport

  • Buried in this South Sound Magazine story about new additions to SeaTac International Airport by Kirsten Abel, there's a piece of news that Seattle Review of Books readers will be especially interested to hear. A ton of local restaurants are opening in SeaTac over the next few years, but SeaTac will also be home to an outpost of the Elliott Bay Book Company. This move has a local precedent, of course: Portland indie bookstore Powell's has an airport outpost, too. I'm incredibly excited to see bookseller-approved selections at SeaTac, rather than the usual Hudson News monotony.

  • Yesterday, I chatted on Facebook Live with Evergrey cofounder Monica Guzman about three spring books I'm looking forward to reading over the next three months.

  • West Seattle Blog's Tracy Record wrote an excellent post about Pulitzer Prizewinning novelist Colson Whitehead's visit to a West Seattle high school.

  • We're very excited to hear that civil rights legend Representative John Lewis has announced a second comics trilogy to pair with his March series. The new trilogy, about his life in politics, is cleverly titled Run.

  • Fuck off forever, Milo.

Book News Roundup: Tacoma park honoring Frank Herbert to open this year

  • We first told you about this seven months ago, and now it's officially a reality: Tacoma has named a new park after the life and works of sci-fi author Frank Herbert. "Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance Park" is an 11-acre park featuring "Frank Herbert Trail." Tacoma Metro Parks commissioner Erik Hanberg told the News Tribune that Herbert's “experiences in Tacoma shaped his appreciation for the delicate balance of nature, so it feels right to attach his name to a park that reclaims toxic land.” The park is set to open by late summer or fall. We'll let you know when it opens, and we'll take a field trip down to check it out.

  • Susan Fried at the South Seattle Emerald writes about how the Somali community in south Seattle got together with Seattle Public Libraries, Seattle Public Schools, and the Seattle Housing Authority to create a children's book that celebrates Somali culture and language. The book will soon be available in libraries and schools around the nation.

  • A stronger man than I would be able to resist the urge to refer to this post as "Poetry in Motion:"

Book News Roundup: Opportunities including Fellowship Awards, a coworking space, and a book club

It is with a heavy heart that I must report THE FAMILIAR has been paused. There’s no denying the intense readership that showed up for this endeavor: bright, ambitious, inspiring, inquisitive, compassionate, rare, energetic, involved, brave, funny too, and most of all beautifully aware. Unfortunately, I must agree with Pantheon that for now the number of readers is not sufficient to justify the cost of continuing. If there is solace, find it with her: Xanther remains our new storm, VEM’s as real as any sky, and Redwood depends on no book by me to harrow this world. Read well and live well, then you will love well. The rest is in the wind. . . . . . . . . . #thefamiliar #seasonone #beahymnforgood #markzdanielewski #houseofleaves #onlyrevolutions #thefiftyyearsword

A post shared by Mark Z. Danielewski (@markzdanielewski) on

Book News Roundup: Support a cartoonist, say goodbye to Zanadu, and read the fast-food Fire and Fury

  • Seattle cartoonist Sarah Glidden launched a Patreon. For just a buck a month, Glidden will give you access to her diary comics. Glidden notes that her personal comics lately have been about her pregnancy and impending motherhood, and "I thought it would be nice to have a little more of an intimate space for posting comics of such a personal nature." Glidden has already produced two books of excellent comics journalism, and these personal strips give her an opportunity to share a different kind of story.

  • Over at Seattle Refined, William Harris mourns the slow passing of downtown comics shop Zanadu Comics. The store closes on January 28th.

  • At City Arts, Margo VanSynghel interviews Seattle author Ijeoma Oluo, whose book So You Want to Talk About Race was published last Tuesday.

  • What happens if you load Fire and Fury and a bunch of fast food advertising copy into an artificial intelligence? You get sentences like: "As the Russia investigation seemed to be a problem for Donald, he told Priebus to get fifty more chocolaty-chip cookies shaped like the White House to try to create confusion over which was the one with the President in it."

  • This, via AbeBooks, is simply stunning:

Book News Roundup: Dune Night redux, Seattle Public Library gets nerdy, and more

  • If you follow comics in Seattle, you probably know about Dune Night, the comics jam that happened regularly at Cafe Racer. Since the future of Cafe Racer is in doubt, Dune Night has been on hiatus. But there's no room for a hiatus in our hearts! Tomorrow night, the Leary Traveler in Ballard presents an art show of some of the best Dune Night pieces from 6 to 9. Expect many Duners (Duniacs? Dunes and Dunettes? Artists who have created work at Dune Night?) to be in attendance. The show will be up at Leary Traveler for at least a month.

  • Shelf Talk, the Seattle Public Library's blog, interviewed new Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda about the book that has been most influential in her career.

  • Emerald City Comicon is teaming up with the Seattle Public Library to bring comics education-themed programming to the library on Thursday, March 1st, including a number of panels on how to incorporate comics into literacy programs. ECCC says "An ECCC Professional Badge is required to attend ECCC at The Seattle Public Library. Pro Badges are free of charge to educators and librarians."

  • Bookselling Without Borders is now providing a scholarship to "send booksellers on all-expenses-paid trips to the world’s premier book fairs, including the Turin Book Fair, the Frankfurt Book Fair, and the Guadalajara International Book Fair." They are accepting scholarship applications between now and February 28th. If you're a bookseller and you'd like to connect to the larger international bookselling community, you should apply.

Book News Roundup: A King of Joy, a book bunker, and a chance to win a Washington State Book Award

  • Congratulations to You Private Person author Richard Chiem, whose debut novel, King of Joy, has been bought by Soft Skull Press. According to the press info, it's "a story of survival and revenge, which follows a woman whose grief for her dead husband leads her to a pronographers underground studio in the woods."

  • On their site today, Capitol Hill Seattle blog highlights newly reopened used bookstore Horizon Books. Tonight from 5 to 9, Horizon is featuring a spoken word reading with music and art from Rani Laik. CHS reports that Horizon's goal is to build "the most strange & unique book bunkers in all of Seattle."

  • If you're a Washington state author who published a book in the year 2017, you should submit your book right now to the Washington State Book Awards. The deadline is February 1st, so get down to it.

Book News Roundup: A new Seattle-area magazine! A new book from Ellen Forney! The same terrible old president!

  • It's not very often that a new media outlet debuts in Seattle, so let's pay attention to Unite Seattle, which went live today. They publish coverage of arts and news in Seattle with an eye toward LGBTQ issues — and they have a dedicated books page!

  • The president of the United States of America is still whining about how he should be able to ban a book because he doesn't like it.

Our current libel laws are a sham and a disgrace and do not represent American values or American fairness so we’re going to take a strong look at that... We are going to take a strong look at our country’s libel laws so that when somebody says something that is false and defamatory about someone, that person will have meaningful recourse in our courts.
  • The year 2018 is not entirely a loss, friends. Seattle cartoonist Ellen Forney is publishing a book in May! From her Instagram, we get a sneak peek at the mockup of the cover:

Book News Roundup: Restaurant suggestions from David Sedaris

PageBoy Magazine is now accepting submissions for our upcoming (tenth!) issue. We are following our Writers on Writers issue with an issue devoted exclusively to 17 word poems, or "17s" ... Please send 5-10 of your best works in prose or poetry - as long as each is exactly and only 17 words short - to pageboymagazine@hotmail.com by March 15, 2018. We are open to any style, any voice, as long as it "works," so do whatever you like with the form. We're curious to see what you come up with!
  • The submission request goes on to explain that "17s are an old form, invented at Harry's Bar on 15th Ave E in Seattle during the fall of 2016." They "consist simply of 17 words, that is their ONLY constraint." I can't wait to see this issue.

  • The South Seattle Emerald interviews Alvin “LA” Horn, a self-described "grown and sexy" novelist from South Seattle who's reading at Third Place Books Seward Park on January 15th.

  • If you have a high tolerance for internet slideshows, the Seattle PI has a slideshow of the Seattle Public Library's most checked-out books of 2017 and it's very interesting.

  • There are a handful of tickets available to see David Sedaris read at Broadway Performance Hall tonight and tomorrow.

  • Speaking of Sedaris: earlier this week, he visited Poppy, a very good restaurant on Capitol Hill. They posted his suggestion card, which is packed with good advice. The real question is: why doesn't David Sedaris run a restaurant?

Book News Roundup: Join the Push/Pull book club, apply for sweet gigs at Hugo House, and submit to Spartan

  • Push/Pull, the art gallery and comics shop in Ballard, is launching the 2018 edition of their book club tomorrow at 11 am. Their first book club selection, Everfair, culminated in an art show with an appearance by Seattle author (and SRoB contributor) Nisi Shawl. This year's selection is Nick Joaquin's The Woman Who Had Two Navels & Tales of the Tropical Gothic, and the book club will again conclude in an art show in May. The book club will meet twice a month through March and there will also be an online component for people who can't make it to every meeting. Find more information and sign up for the book club on Push/Pull's site.

  • I asked Maxx, the director at Push/Pull, how she selected that particular book for the book club, and she said she encountered Joaquin through this New York Times article last year. "It's a book that has changed the way that I see the world and I'm eager to discuss it with other people," she writes. I'd never heard about this book before, but it sounds fascinating.

  • The Hugo House has a pair of opportunities that you should know about. They're now accepting applications for their Made at Hugo House Fellowships, which is a fantastic support program for emerging young Seattle writers. And they're also looking for their next prose Writer in Residence. Applications for both these opportunities are due on March 31st. Don't procrastinate, okay?

  • Spartan, a very good local literary magazine, is now accepting submissions for its spring issue. I shouldn't have to say this, but please read an issue or two before you submit; Spartan is a free magazine so there's really no reason for you not to do your research.

Book News Roundup: While you were on holiday break...

  • Over at the South Seattle Emerald, librarian Maggie Block published a spectacular roundup of radical books for young readers. You should read all three parts.

  • Aside from the sad news of Sue Grafton's passing, the biggest book news of last week was the publication of editorial notes for Milo Yiannopoulos's book. An increasingly exhausted editor from Simon & Schuster left a series of increasingly angry notes on a draft of Yiannopoulos's book, and now that whole document has been entered into the public record. (Simon & Schuster dropped the book after several of Yiannopoulos's pro-pedophilia comments came to light; the author is now suing the publisher because he is a massive bore.) The editorial comments are funny and satisfying to read, but you must remember that at the heart of it all, what the editor was trying to do was to make a racist shitbag palatable to as wide an audience as possible. I read the editorial comments as their own separate narrative: that of a man who hired a monster and then slowly realized exactly how monstrous the monster was.

  • Barack Obama released his list of favorite books from 2017 on Facebook, and it's great. I especially love that President Obama agreed with me about Janesville, which is one of the most underappreciated books of the year. Obama also read Evicted, which wowed the Reading Through It Book Club about five months ago.

  • Marvel Comics released an official fanfiction creation service, but the restrictions are so dumb that nobody will ever use the thing.

Marvel Create Your Own reserves the right to revoke access to the service for any content including — to name a few — “Content that could frighten or upset young children or the parents of young children,” “contraceptives,” “bare midriffs,” “noises related to bodily functions,” “misleading language,” “double entendres,” amusement parks other than Disney parks, movie studios not affiliated with Marvel, animated movies not made by Disney or Marvel and depictions of tobacco, nudity, gambling, obscenity and “proxies” for obscenity such as the comic book shorthand of bursts of punctuation instead of curse words.
  • In Canada, the works of Langston Hughes and Dorothy Parker entered the public domain yesterday. In America, we continued our shameful public domain drought. The public domain needs to be continually refreshed with new works, because the creepy Ayn Randian ideal of an artist who makes everything up in her head is a fiction. Without a wellspring of ideas to inspire new artists, the collective creative unconscious will wither and die. Copyright control is creation control.

Book News Roundup: Big money

  • Congratulations to Seattle poet Jane Wong, who won the 2017 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award. The award is $50,000 — one of the biggest available to writers in the area — and Wong will have the opportunity to present her work at the Frye Art Museum. We'll have more news about that exhibit when it gets closer to happening.

  • Former Gawker writers are now running a Kickstarter campaign to bring Gawker back as a nonprofit. They need half a million bucks to get the site going again. This is a big deal, because Gawker was a very important website, when it wasn't busy being a very bad website. For me, the good far outweighed the bad. You should do your own math, and if it works out in the positive, you should donate what you can.

  • A paper manufacturer named Northern Pulp convinced a Nova Scotia bookstore to uninvite an author of a book that's critical of Northern Pulp. Pretty fucking sketchy.

  • A good short story by Kristen Roupenian in the New Yorker has gone viral. The story, titled "Cat Person," caused a stir on Twitter over the weekend. It seems that people — men, to be clear — love to judge the protagonist, a young woman who has sex with an older man. Plenty of men online are accusing the protagonist of being manipulative, without realizing that they're maybe telegraphing some of their deeper-seated neuroses about women for all the world to see. The Twitter account "Men React to 'Cat Person'" is one of the most delightful single-serving social media accounts I've seen in a long time. Megan Garber at The Atlantic sums up the situation quite well:

So many of American culture’s creaky misogynies have a way of leaking into fiction. There’s the wearying, and longstanding, mandate for writers to create female characters who are likable. (Claire Messud: “If you’re reading to find friends, you’re in deep trouble.”) And the common tendency to dismiss the literary products of women writing about women’s lives as “chick lit.”
  • Happy Hanukkah to all! Here's a delightful celebration of the holiday:

Book News Roundup: Wrath can be fun!

  • Town Hall Seattle is looking for artists and scholars in residence. But because Town Hall (the building) is being renovated this year and Town Hall (the organization) is branching out into other neighborhoods, they're doing something a little different. Each of the four neighborhoods that Town Hall is using as home bases during their Inside/Out Program — Phinney/Greenwood; University District/Ravenna; Capitol Hill/Central District; Columbia City/Hillman City — will have its own artist in residence. Those residents will then program Town Hall events within their communities, in exchange for a $5000 stipdend. This is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. Submit to Town Hall by December 10th, okay?

  • Penguin childrens' book designer Giusseppe Castellano left the publisher under a cloud after being accused of harassing comedian Charlene Yi, who was pitching projects to the publisher. Castellano then released a statement claiming that Yi's complaints were "false." But Yi brought receipts:

  • Related: if you have experienced harassment in childrens' book publishing, here's a survey that's intended to help "get a handle on the scope of the problem."

  • Don't fuck with Joan Didion, because she will murder you with two words.

  • And Eileen Myles is taking none of your bullshit, either:

Book News Roundup: Head to Redmond for an animated poem this weekend

  • This Saturday, December 2nd, Redmond Poet Laureate Shin Yu Pai will be presenting new work at the Redmond Lights holiday festival. Pai has written a special poem for the occasion recounting Redmond's logging history and celebrating the city's attempts to regrow its gorgeous tree canopy. Additionally, Seattle designer Michael Barakat has animated the poem, and it will be projected on the side of City Hall as part of the festivities. Pai is an estimable talent who always gives her all to every project, and this looks to be a capstone on her incredibly fruitful tenure as Poet Laureate of Redmond. (And if you're into holiday festivities, the full itinerary of Redmond Lights looks like a lot of winter-themed fun, with popcorn and facepainting and a city walk and a tree lighting and ice carving.)

  • You should read David Lasky's first blog post about the Georgetown Steam Plant comic that he and Mairead Case have been commissioned by the city to create. The post really highlights how wonderful it is to live in a city that takes art seriously, and I also learned something cool about finches while reading it so, you know, it's a win-win.

  • You probably saw that our idiot president was a big racist in front of some heroic Native American veterans of World War II earlier this week. If you'd like to honor those veterans by learning more about their heroism and sacrifice, you should consider purchasing this comic book history of the Code Talkers. If I told you Donald Trump didn't want you to read this comic book, would you be more likely to buy it?

  • Today in "But You Knew I Was a Snake When You Picked Me Up" news: GoodReads, the bookish social network purchased by Amazon a while back, is now charging authors for the right to run book giveaways on their own pages. The "standard" giveaway price is $119, and the "premium" price is $599. If you took the news that Amazon bought GoodReads in stride, this is your wakeup call: Time to find another way to talk about books online! This is just the first step toward a new pay-to-play GoodReads model; Amazon is going to choke authors and publishers for every cent they can, starting right now.

  • Yesterday, Bleeding Cool broke the news that incoming Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski once freelanced for the company under the name Akira Yoshida. This is problematic on several levels. First of all, Cebulski, who is white, portrayed himself as a Japanese comics writer, even giving an interview in character to a comics news outlet and generating interest in his work based on the supposed cultural identity of "Yoshida." (He created Japanese-inflected comics for Marvel under the pseudonym.) Second of all, Cebulski was employed on the editorial staff of Marvel at the time and was not supposed to work as a freelancer. Many Marvel staffers claim to not have known about the Yoshida ruse, but that does raise some interesting questions: I've done a lot of freelance work in my day, and I always have to supply some proof of identity. How did Cebulski convince Marvel of "Yoshida's" authenticity? Seems like this story has some more layers to it that will be unpeeled in coming days.

  • Just so you don't think that things are only terrible in America: 10 libraries in the UK will be permanently closed down by December 20th due to a serious budget crunch.