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17 posts from December 2011

December 13, 2011

Flatiron Snacks: Eataly


(photo ganked from here)

For those of you who don't live across the street from Eataly (as we do), it is a combination grocery store-restaurant, and yes, that's exactly as complicated as it sounds.  Eataly is a grocery store with different little restaurant-lets inside where you can eat dessert, pizza, vegetables, meat, etc.  That makes navigating it a bit of a challenge, but it's worth it to get the fresh pasta.

However!  As fresh pasta does not make an excellent snack, today I recommend to you the bread.  Eataly offers an entire bread counter, with at least ten different types of fresh bread every day -- and different types for different days.  My favorite so far?  The black olive baguettes, best eaten with Eataly's green olive tapenade. 

December 09, 2011

Princely Limericks


There once was a prince in a far-away land;

Nothing went quite like he planned

The wheel turns

Lessons are learned

Life won't give what you demand. 

This book is a lot of fun; you should check it out!

December 08, 2011

Brain Routers

(from the desk of Derek Kirk Kim)


When I was re-reading Same Difference in preparation for the new hardcover edition, it occurred to me how rooted the story is in the time of its creation. I don’t mean the art style or the writing or the human story of the book -– although others might feel differently -– I mean how much the world has changed in just the last 7 years since the original release. It struck me how much of the story would have to be re-written if I were to write the story today. For example, a major plot thread involves letters being delivered to one of the protagonist’s apartment addressed to the previous resident. That whole story element would have to be replaced today since no one writes letters anymore. It would have to done with email or something similar, which -- let’s face it -- isn’t quite as interesting or dramatic

I actually ran into a similar problem in my newest project, “Mythomania,” in which Andy, the main protagonist, receives a rejection letter from a publisher to whom he has submitted a manuscript. Immediately, one the most frequent complaints I received was the fact that no publisher mails letters anymore. But all I remember during that stage of my own life trying to break into publishing -– from which time I am drawing this story –- are rejection letters. Email existed when I was in my early twenties, but it wasn't the dominant form of communication yet. So to update the story, I made sure to include printed email rejection letters in Andy’s collection as well as letters, but that wasn’t enough to suspend the viewers’ disbelief. Just the inclusion of a single paper letter was enough to take the viewer out of the story. The world has really changed.

But there are some things that never change. Like the gnawing ravages of guilt, and the swatches of cruelty so haphazardly slapped around when we’re young. Which is what Same Difference is really about. And I hope that will be relevant whether it’s read on tree pulp between vinyl covers or having the pages streamed directed into the router in our brains a thousand years from now.

Although I have to admit –- and if you don’t mind me channeling Andy Rooney a little bit since he’s no longer around to grumble about this for me –- I feel a little bit wistful that future generations, maybe in 50 years, will never know the joy of cracking open a new book and smelling the paper. Or the thrill of opening your mailbox to a long letter from an old friend on foreign stationary or a zine from a distant admirer. Oh well, that’s a small price to pay for every single book you could ever possibly read in your lifetime and endless videos of cats playing instruments magically stored in a phone the size of a Pop Rocks packet, I suppose.

December 07, 2011

MUSH! on the Colbert Report!

Much MUSH! news to report!


Just out in stores is a new First Second gem from the pen of Glenn Eichler and the artistic wizardry of Joe Infurnari—MUSH! (Sled Dogs with Issues) looks and reads like no other comic you've ever seen. Or have you ever enjoyed a visit with a pack of sled dogs in the Alaskan wilderness, and followed the crackling dialog of their joys and sorrows, heartbreaks and longings like this? Plus, Joe Infurnari's astonishing characters and color look like nothing else out there.


And what's more, here is an endorsement from the mighty Stephen Colbert—look for it at about 20:10!


It All Happened So Fast

(from the desk of Glenn Eichler)


The whole story is so well known by now that I feel kind of silly rehashing it, but since you asked:  I first got the idea for Mush!  Sled Dogs With Issues in a dream, when a talking Weimeraner named Berkowitz appeared before me and commanded me to kill time.  He suggested writing a graphic novel about dogs with interpersonal problems.  It seemed like a better idea than the book I’d been planning, a romance novel about the square root of pi, so I went with it.  With the help of awesome editor Tanya McKinnon I finished the manuscript and turned it in to First Second, and they got me together with even awesomer illustrator Joe Infurnari, who not only drew the book but also gave it its name.  We hit a little bump in the road when some JPEGS of Joe’s initial sketches somehow found their way onto WikiLeaks; the buzz around them became so fierce that an assistant curator from the Tate Gallery broke into Joe’s loft and tried to steal them.  Luckily, Joe is handy with his antique Mauser.  The judge ruled it justifiable homicide.

Sensing the potential of the finished book, First Second immediately put it on their fast track to publication.  In less than a decade it was in the stores.  I wish they’d waited a little while longer, since I’ve always wanted to be published posthumously, but you can’t have everything.

We had the publication party in Madison Square Garden.  Yankee Stadium had been suggested, but I didn’t want to be a showoff.  I regret that decision now, because when it turned out the Garden couldn’t accommodate everyone who wanted to come, a bloody fistfight broke out between Doris Kearns Goodwin and Taylor Swift.  Luckily the reporter from TMZ was so entranced by the live dolphin birth that he never even noticed.

You know the rest.  American Book Award, Pulitzer, PENCIL/Faulkner Award (not as well known as the PEN/Faulkner Award, but it has the advantage of being erasable), Booker Prize Short Hairs List, Neurotic-Dog-A-Day Calendar, Golf Channel docudrama.  I’ve now had so many people approach me to say Mush! changed their lives that I’ve had to have business cards printed up reading I’M SO FLATTERED, NOW PLEASE MOVE ALONG. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate my fans; I cherish every one of them.  Now please move along.

So thank you to everyone who helped make  Mush!  Sled Dogs With Issues one of the bestselling books of last Tuesday afternoon between 1:15 and 1:16 (especially you, Mom).  And to those who have pleaded with Joe and me to turn it into a Harry Potter-style epic series featuring a 10,000-page finale, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but that’s just not my style.  I can’t stand repeating myself.  Besides, I’m too busy working on my next book, Meow! House Cats With Problems.  I think it’s really going to make the Nobel Committee sit up and take notice.

December 06, 2011


When I was a wee thing (that is to say, in my mid-twenties), I read a graphic novel. It looked like this:


Same Difference made a strong impression on me. It was a comic, yes, and boy howdy do I love a comic. But I'd never read one that seemed as though it had been written for me, personally. Simon and Nancy are characters that any twenty-something-year-old will find relatable, and better than that: Same Difference is not only funny, beautiful, and highly entertaining: it is literary. This is a story I could hand to my snobbiest friends and say, "See? You can do this with comics." Derek Kirk Kim raised the bar with Same Difference.

I've talked to a lot of people who had the same experience with Same Difference: a moment of profound - and profoundly satisfying - epiphany. I'm so glad First Second is bringing this beautiful story back into print...and in a gorgeous new package that raises the bar just a little bit higher.


December 02, 2011

Math Limericks


There once was a boy who had a sister

He generally thought that she was a blister

Then one day

She was taken away

In the end, he found he missed her. 

This book!  So fun.  Go read it. 

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