First, I’ve learned about a couple of cool Kickstarter projects. We received an email telling us about a documentary about “Monster Kids”- the kids who grew up on classic creature features and horror movies and became the next generation of artists, moviemakers, writers, and actors. From Rose Fox at Genreville, I learned about Nightmare Magazine, soon to be presented by Creeping Hemlock Press, and edited by John Joseph Adams. The lineup for the first issue is impressive- it includes original short stories by Sarah Langan and Jonathan Maberry, among others. Both of these projects are still in need of funding, so if you’re intrigued I encourage you to check them out.
Not that long ago, I wrote about an excellent reason to read the classics– Harry Clarke’s illustrations of Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination At the time, I had seen them only in an article from io9, but now, those who would like a full scale experience (and don’t have the book) can go here to the book design blog 50watts.com and see how disturbing they really are when they fill the entire screen.
And, over at Agnostic, Maybe, Andy Woodworth discusses why the Brevard County Library System’s quandary over Fifty Shades of Grey should lead to pairing Banned Books Week with “National Update Your Collection and Challenge Material Policies Because You Probably Need To (No, Seriously, Do It)” week. Apparently the Fond du Lac Library in Wisconsin declined to purchase it as well, but at least they made the decision, based on their selection policy, BEFORE purchasing the book. Not that the average person who wants to check out Fifty Shades of Grey will care whether the reason it’s not there is because of selection policy or because of censorship, but librarians are going to have to take a position, because it affects them now, on a practical level. It’s going to be an interesting Banned Books Week this year, no matter what.
Finally, Maurice Sendak and his impact on children and children’s literature (and me) can’t be summed up in a couple of paragraphs here. When I went to Amazon.com to look at children’s bestsellers, up at the top was Higgelty Piggelty Pop! I was a little surprised, since I don’t think of it as being as well known as many of his others. It’s an odd little book, with a lot of story devoted to eating (and being eaten, by a lion). This afternoon one of my kids said “I don’t care” in response to something, and the other said “Well, you’ll be eaten by a lion”. They were referring to Sendak’s Pierre, in which a little boy who only responds to his parents with “I don’t care” is, in fact, eaten by a lion. And then there are the Wild Things, who scream to Max “Oh please don’t go! We’ll eat you up, we love you so!” And so I was glad to have this article come my way. It does an excellent job of expressing why Sendak’s nightmares and bizarre fantasies are so powerful for so many. And maybe also why he wrote so much about being eaten.
And that’s all for now! Whew!