Round-Up June 28 2013

Star Trek byrne

This website has a lot of Star Trek screenshots. John Byrne got inspired to try his hand at photonovels to see if he could construct a “missing” episode. And this resulted in a new project from IDW.

25 bike cops doing a practice run came upon a couple having sex in a little league baseball stadium.

Katie Arnold-Ratliff looks at the decline in sales of the paperback.

Which raises the question: As long as print exists, why wouldn’t paperbacks exist? They’re cheaper than hardcovers. They’re just as portable and inexpensive as they were when Allen Lane made them available to his fellow riders of trains. And there’s no question that printed books are still a big part of our lives, however staggering e-book sales may be.

In fact, Richard Nash, head of alternative publishing formats Cursor and Red Lemonade and a general shaker-upper of publishing paradigms, isn’t convinced that the fate of paperbacks is appreciably different from that of hardcovers. “Technology doesn’t really disappear or get vanquished,” he says, “but its purposes migrate. The purpose of a horse in the 19th century was transportation; nowadays the purpose of a horse is entertainment and gambling.”

The purpose of print books will evolve, too, Nash believes. They will become art objects imbued with nostalgia, akin to vinyl records and Polaroid cameras. As e-books increasingly become our main means of digesting literature, print books of every binding will stop being mass-produced and start becoming more “bespoke,” Nash says. But he hastens to add that it’s at least another decade before that happens. “Physical books have a tremendous hold on our imaginations. The changes will be quite slow and incremental.”

Lifehacker has a good primer on the most versatile cooking ingredients: rice, potatoes, ramen noodles, bananas and peppers.

Something I was hoping to do in a story was just done as an Onion story.

Akash Nichols laments the lack of flawed female protagonists in television dramas.

The only recent villainess in a dramatic lead role was Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) on Damages. She was every bit as monstrous as Tony Soprano, but her series garnered attention for exactly one year before trailing off into is that show still on?territory and finally dying on Direct TV. Also, the lead role was shared by good girl, point-of-entry character Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne), as if viewers couldn’t handle an unlikable woman running the show by herself, even though they have no problem identifying with unlikable men. Finally, Glenn Close was a bona fide movie starwho brought the considerable cultural weight of femme fatales and bunny boilers to her role–the audience expected her to be a bitch. She was a typecast exception to the rule.

The women headlining drama series post-Tony Soprano are strong and kick-ass but still traditionally heroic like Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife), Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos, The Killing), Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp,Revenge) and Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington, Scandal). The only one who breaks tradition is Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) in Homeland because of her mental problems and her lusting after a terrorist. But see, there is a terrorist and he shares lead credit with her, thereby establishing Carrie as the law enforcement good girl to the bad guy. He is the prototypical antihero, not her.

In the era of leading antiheroes, there is the co-leading antihero wife, who is allowed to be bad, but only when her male lead is at least as worse. Nothing casts a girl in a better light than proximity to an even shadier guy.

In addition to paving the way for a different type of character to lead a drama series, James Gandolfini also paved the way for a different type of actor to lead a drama series–specifically an unattractive, regular-guy, character actor. This includes heavyset men like Gandolfini and Michael Chiklis or unpretty men like Bryan Cranston and Steve Buscemi. Indeed, consider Buscemi with his fish lips, bug eyes, crooked teeth, receding hairline and pasty skin–would an actress with those features ever be the lead of a prestige drama series? Or any series for that matter? Like the woman who works twice as hard as a man for half the credit, even talented character actresses have to be considerably better looking than Steve Buscemi for non-lead dramatic roles–think Allison Janney and Patricia Clarkson. The aforementioned dramatic female headliners are all attractive stars who can slip into sexy clothes (or out of them) when the script demands it.

Brian Heater of boingboing recommends some recent comic books.

Tom Spurgeon looks at the career of Fantagraphics Co-Publisher Kim Thompson.

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Bleeding Cool has an interesting piece on DC’s relationship with writer-artist Adam Hughes.

Reviews for White House Down have been pretty good.

Heidi Macdonald writes about the whisper campaign against the upcoming blockbuster Pacific Rim.

A discussion about the subtleties of twitter at the George Zimmerman trial doesn’t go over very well. I like this description: Long story short, nobody in court knew a damn thing about Twitter, and they spent a few more minutes making Abe Simpson sound like Mark Zuckerberg, before forgetting the whole thing.

There’s probably going to be a movie about it when this mystery is solved.

The woman in question was known as Lori Ruff. A 41-year-old wife and mother, she never quite fit in. She was a vegetarian in East Texas. A pretty brunette who dressed like a matron. A grown woman who wanted a child’s Easy-Bake oven for Christmas.

The strongbox was Lori’s. For years, she kept it tucked in a bedroom closet, among a long list of items her husband, Blake Ruff, knew he was never to touch. Blake being Blake, he obeyed.

Lori died in 2010. That’s when Blake’s relatives found the box. Its contents told an astonishing story: The woman they knew as Lori was someone else entirely. She had created a new identity two decades earlier.

That brings us to our mystery. If Lori wasn’t really Lori, who was she? And why would she go so far to hide her past?

Velling’s investigation has taken him from his office in Seattle to an oil-boom family in Texas, from a mail drop in Nevada to a graveyard in Puyallup. He’s used every trick at his disposal, followed every lead. Finally, as a last resort, he called the newspaper.

“I might have a story for you,” he began.

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About Thomas Mets

I’m a comic book fan, wannabe writer, politics buff and New Yorker. I don’t actually follow baseball. In the Estonian language, “Mets” simply means forest, or lousy sports team. Currently, I’m writing a few comic books about my grandparents’ experiences in Soviet Estonia for Grayhaven comics. You can email me at mistermets@gmail.com
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