The Fantastic Four Omnibus Vol. 3 – Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

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There’s a certain argument you’ll hear in comics circles that The Fantastic Four, after the famous Galactus trilogy (issues #48-50) , had nowhere to go but down. Think about it. Galactus, an all-powerful being who must eat and digest planets in order to live, has come to Earth and he’s hungry. The FF have to find a way to stop him, but it’s like your grandmother trying to stop a Terminator. (No offense to anyone’s grandmother.) Galactus is the closest Marvel – or any other comics publisher – has ever come to putting God on the page, and who can fight God?

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Still Recovering from SPX

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The Small Press Expo (SPX) last weekend was a real blast, but I still haven’t completely recovered from it. Derek and I had a great time there, but we also interviewed and spoke with a lot of people and discussed the Ignatz Awards at length. Derek did the majority of the interviews including a great interview with Bill Griffith about his new book Invisible Ink: My Mother’s Secret Love Affair with a Famous Cartoonist and more.

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A Walk in the Woods (2015) Ken Kwapis

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A Walk in the Woods (2015)
Directed by Ken Kwapis
Produced by Chip Diggins, Bill Holderman, Russell Levine, Robert Redford, etc.
Based on the book by Bill Bryson
Screenplay by Rick Kerb, Bill Holderman
Cinematography by John Bailey
Edited by Julie Garces, Carol Littleton
Broad Green Pictures
Rated R for language
(color; 1:44)

When people begin discussing the new film A Walk in the Woods, the elephant in the room (or the bear in the woods, if you prefer) becomes obvious to anyone familiar with the popular Bill Bryson travelogue: Why make this into a movie 17 years after the book was published?

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A New Podcast About Comics for Young Readers!

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As many of you may know, I’ve been reviewing for and podcasting with The Comics Alternative for a couple of years. Several months ago I approached Derek Royal about the possibility of a monthly podcast within The Comics Alternative, one devoted to comics for young readers. Not only did I feel such an addition would fit in well with the other recurring monthly shows (webcomics and manga), I also felt that as a librarian I could perhaps bring a unique perspective to the table. Add to that, a university professor who teaches children’s and young adult literature for a living and loves comics. Derek thought it was a great idea and here we are with our first podcast!

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In this first episode, Gwen Tarbox (professor of Children’s and Young Adult Narrative at Western Michigan University) and I not only looked at two books – Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola and Emily Carroll, and Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm – but also gave adults some good information and resources about comics and graphic novels and how libraries can help young readers.

Our monthly shows will feature a discussion of one YA book, one book for younger readers, and discussions on a wide variety of issues related to comics, young readers, tips for parents, and much, much more. Gwen and I had a great time recording this show and are very excited about the future. We hope our show will be informative, entertaining, and helpful. Please spread the word!