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.