Friday Things: 04/19 - Yet more books to the pile, and my, what a nice swimsuit!

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[Another week flew by! This is going to be a chunky one, so for those of you browsing from the front page, the rest of this post is hidden behind a "Read more" button!

This was my first actual week teaching in a classroom, even though I've been working at my school since last week, so I can now say that I survived my "real" first week, and my students are pretty rad. I think I can handle this. At the very least, they actually know a surprising amount of English, not limited to just vocally; they can also write their names in English along with other words, like their favorite foods. I'm just blown away by how advanced these kids are compared with where they're "supposed to be."

Enough of that, though. Onwards, to the links!]

On Disney:

Take a look at some of these absolutely lovely Disney-themed wallpapers by DeviantArtist 'alicexz.

Both PlayStation and SEGA are talking about a remake of the classic SEGA Genesis 1990 title Castle of Illusion  being released this year with Disney Interactive. I, for one, am absolutely thrilled. It'll see a digital release this summer.

On Books:

Rachel Rostad performed a poem called To J.K. Rowling, From Cho Chang. She makes some good points there, and I enjoyed listening. She got plenty of criticism over it though, and instead of being aggressive about it or just not answering at all, she released a response video; a mature, well-thought out response to the criticism she received and further discussed the problems that she aimed to point out with her poetry, which chiefly had to do with stereotyping Asian women in media. Both videos I linked here are worth your time.

Alright, TOR, go on home; you've convinced me that I need this anthology of fantasy stories selected by Neil Gaiman featuring totally rad creatures that we don't see much of these days. And by that I mean, we never see them, because they're awesome fantasy creatures, like unicorns and griffons. Check out that link for an overview so you, too, can be convinced.

Jen Campbell  wrote a hilarious book called Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores, and it was apparently successful enough that she got the green light to put together a sequel! I read the first one, and loved it, and I just ordered the sequel from Jen herself since it isn't seeing a US release for now. She's even going to ship it to me all the way over here in Japan! I'm looking forward to this like whoa.

I've been considering making a Little Free Library for my village since before I even moved here, and it's articles like this that make me lean very heavily towards constructing one after all. I think it's about time I asked my principal where would be the best place to install such a thing.

Sometimes, books just kind of demand your attention - not in the way that makes you want to quickly devour it, but in the way that you'd need to take it slow and really enjoy the words on the page.

If there's one big thing I learned while reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, it's that we don't give teens nearly enough credit. 

This article by my fellow Quirk Books blogger Laura Crockett reinforces that YA books are good for teens, because it helps them understand tough situations without having to experience them first hand. She lists a few winning titles, including the one I mentioned, and discusses why these are so good, and why "adults" feel like they need to ban them so kiddos don't read them. It's just silly, and I have to agree with Laura -  they aren't giving teens enough credit. More than likely, they'll already be familiar with many of the themes in those books, to varying degrees. The books simply help them escape from it, or cope with it, or help some understand the situations of their peers that might be experiencing something similar.

Laura says it best:

It’s interesting to note that these books -- frequently banned, frowned upon, or discouraged because of their content -- are in fact winning awards, turning into movies, and making it on bestseller lists. They are praised by young adults, critics, and authors. The brutal yet pure honesty behind the topic touches readers. Why ban a book that a teenager can learn from safely and enjoy?

On Comics:

The next time I decide it's time to buy another Batman shirt, this will probably be it.

[Copied from a press release:] "A heartfelt story of friendship and heart-pounding adventure, the Image Comics/Shadowline comic book series, PETER PANZERFAUST, has captured readers' imaginations." [Alright, so I've never heard of Peter Panzerfaust. Here's where it gets interesting, though:] "Now the fantastic independent series by writer Kurtis J. Wiebe and artist Tyler Jenkins is set to engross an even larger audience, with Adjacent Productions' and Quality Transmedia's fully animated motion comic adaptation, featuring the voice talents of Elijah Wood, Summer Glau, Ron Perlman, and Dante Basco." [Emphasis mine. Alright, so you've got this alternate-world version of Peter Pan's story, and this great voice talent behind the motion comic? I think I will be giving this a try.] (via Comic Book Resources)

Um, yes, I will take one of each of these in print format for my collection of beautiful super heroine art  and frame it on my wall. Thank you! (via The Mary Sue) (More wonderful art at the artist's Deviant Art page)

John Parker over at Comics Alliance delivers a sparkling overview of the New 52 Dial H for Hero  comic, and of course, describes a few of the myriad ways in which it's the book is awesome. I'm a fan for sure, even though I'm two issues behind at the time of writing, but it nonetheless makes me happy to see that other people love it like I do. And this guy is actually familiar with the older series. I'm not -- this is my introduction to H-Dials. Hardcore.

Mark Ruffalo discovered the Science Bros fanart based on his and Robert Downey Jr.'s characters in the Avengers, and got a total kick out of it. I'm so happy that besides being the best Hulk ever, he's got an amazing sense of humor.


Ron Gilbert muses, "If I Made Another Monkey Island..." (Though I have enjoyed all of the entries to the series, a girl can dream, eh?) I personally like the point he made about not giving away advance review copies. It's not that I'm against them (I enjoy advance review copies every now and then), it's just that with this genre I would prefer not to give critics the head start, yanno.

This amazing video, courtesy Dove US, has been making the rounds lately. In it, a forensic artist gets a group of people to describe themselves to him for a drawing. After that, in order to make a comparison, he'll call someone else in to describe the first person and make a second drawing. Then he shows the subject the two drawings, side-by-side, to literally illustrate the difference between their self-perception (often awful) and how others see them. The message is overwhelmingly positive.

A boy with muscular dysrtophy wants to do all the things he can't. So photographer Matej Peljhan made it happen with these charming photographs! (via PetaPixel)

New apparel by Black Milk Clothing! Among the new things are Lord of the Rings-themed limited stuff, and a sunflower swimsuit. Gah.

Starting August, Farscape (among other shows) is going to be back on TV! A new channel, called Pivot, is set to debut in August, and will be included in standard cable packages.

[Alright, that's it for today. Phew! It really was a chunky one. Enjoy the bonus links this week! See ya next time.]