The week that was…

There was a sore head, some groggy phone calls and more than a few silents nods in the wake of the bank holiday. But it didn’t stop the final week of Bookfest. Asterix turning 50, Marvel Comics turning 70 or the loss of DEAF, the first casualty of looming budget cuts.

Deep breath folks - this a biggie:

To start out - John Connolly (fast becoming my hero /gush/) talks scary stories, Stephen King and terrifying the toddlers. Charlie Higson reads a menacing, zombie-filled, extract from The Enemy on the Guardian Book Podcast, Meg Rosoff reads from The Brides Farewell and Malorie Blackman has a short story in the Times UK.

Topping the ‘oddly unexplainable category’ - artist Nikhil Singh, illustrator of Walker Books’ Salem Brownstone: All Along the Watchtowers, has been stranded in South Africa for five months, unable to return to the UK (and missing launch of the book).

In the papers at home Terry Pratchett’s Unseen Academicals gets the once over - a new Discworld novel by Sir Terry, huzzah! (Sir Terry will be in Cavan next weekend for the first Pratchett Symposium - go see!)

Edgar Allen Poe and Lewis Carroll both get a revisit - all in the name of Hallowe’en - and the Irish Independent has a deserving pop at Mary O’Donnell and defends book clubs across the country.

Further afield - Asterix turned 50. And the ancient Gaul got everyone’s attention again. Enid Blyton’s granddaughter brings Noddy back to the shelves with an all-new story.

Marvel Comics turns 70 this year - now doesn’t that make ye feel old? The Times UK features ‘70 things you didn’t know about Marvel‘ (such as Martin Goodman tellin Stan Lee that Spider-man was a rotten idea for a superhero. Or Michael Jackson once trying to buy the company) Owen Vaughan talks to X-Men writing legend Chris Claremont and Spider-Man artist John Romita Jr.

Other reviews in the UK papers - Nicholas Tucker reads Unseen Academicals, Terry Pratchett’s new discworld novel. Patrick Ness reads Dave Eggers’ The Wild Things (an adult adaptation of Sendak’s book). (The Independent UK has some footage on the making of the movie to boot)

Nicolette Jones reads Jeanette Winterson’s The Battle of the Sun and and Amanda Craig has a look at Jacqueline Wilson’s Hetty Feather and Geraldine McCaughrean’s The Death-defying Pepper Roux

Alison Flood checks out Stephen King’s first forray into comic books and the Observer announces this years winner of the Observer/Cape Graphic Short Story competition. Michael Rosen reads New and Collected Poems for Children by Carol Ann Duffy.

Scholastic come under fire over censorship in Lauren Myracle’s new book Luv Ya Bunches - after they reportedly asked her to rewrite the book and remove ‘”offensive” language and a same-sex couple if she wanted it to be included in the company’s school book fairs.’

Amelia Hill celebrates the rise and rise of chick-lit in the US and Michael Morpurgo talks about his hero, Ted Hughes.

Publishers Weekly announces the top titles of 2009 (apologies to any books that have yet to be released!)

Andrew Pulver reviews The Butterfly Tattoo - adaptation of Philip Pullman’s Romeo and Juliet - and is unconvinced.

Caitlin Davies talks to Marc Ellis (of Disney Fame) about a career in animation.

The Twilight film sequel has started to generate some headlines - with Forks, Washington coming under the spotlight. CGI and the impending werewolves debut aren’t saved from going under the knife.

In other movie news - James Carmeron’s Avatar has a new trailer and Adam Sandler is going to play both Jack and Jill in the nursery rhyme adaptation. Diablo Cody (the lady behind Juno) is a busy, her new movie has failed to wow anyone but the building rumours of a Sweet Valley High movie is what has most us talking…

And finally - some more links, just because:

The New Yorker cover looks very goooood | Mark Lawson talks to Stephen King about everything | Eoin Colfer hits the headlines in the Salt Lake Tribune | Some Twitter-folk worth reading | 50 things on the web

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  1. David Maybury | Blog » Marvel-ous - November 3, 2009

    [...] As mentioned earlier - Marvel Comics are turning 70 this year and to mark the occasion the Times UK have a series of interviews and other what-nots. I missed this doozey with Stan Lee: Martin [Goodman] hated the idea. When I told him I wanted to do a superhero who was not only a teenager but who had a lot of problems and was named Spider-man, he said, ‘You’re out of your mind. You can’t call a hero Spider-man. People hate spiders, nobody will buy the book. And you can’t make him a teenager, teenagers can only be sidekicks. And you can’t give him a lot of problems - he’s a superhero. Superheroes don’t have problems.’ He didn’t like anything about it but I managed to sneak the strip in anyway. The book sold very well, it proved to be very popular. So Martin came to see me after he got the sales figures and said, ‘Hey Stan, you know that character Spider-man, that idea of yours that we both like so much? Why don’t you do a series about him?’ [...]

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