Thursday, August 19, 2010

Spiders on the wall

I love poking around to see what's around the corner. Scripts optioned, Comics bought, deals signed, as new fresh talent break through the glass ceiling and into the public radar.

Who, what, where and when?
There is so much promise... with David Fincher signing on to both 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' and '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea', or Alfonso Cuaron's next feature 'Gravity', there's a strange buzz in the air. Hype hype hype. It worked for Inception but fell flat for Scott Pilgrim.

What happened to Ang Lee's try at 'Life of Pi'?? It sounds like an impossible feat, but if anyone can pull off a difficult self contained drama... it's him.

Kids sometimes need a kick in the pants during summer months. Glued to their monitors, playing endless videogames or hopefully outdoors getting some exercise. Lately it's been reported that students perform poorly in school if they are given longer than a month off during summer. Surprised? Why should anybody be? Who gets that much time off anyhow??

Best way to inject some grey matter into the summer sluggish months is to read a book. I usually read the book first, so I can recommend a series without any reservations. It leaves the conversation open, did they like it? What did they find frustrating, confusing, interesting, smart, funny...?

I couldn't get through The Thief Lord and wasn't too hot on Inkheart... and guess what? None of the kids liked it either! There's certainly a tier level when it comes to young adult fiction. There's the campy popular drivel that satisfies your basic cravings (Twilight, City of Bones, Magyk etc. etc..), and then there are the rare and heart wrenching, novels that catapult a teenager into the wide array of adult fiction (Bartimeaus Trilogy, The Book Thief, Lord of the Rings, The Chysalids, Sabriel, Watership Down, The Ousiders).

It's all about careful selection. Ask the kid what they like, what they watch, and ease them in slowly. Some take an instant liking to books of all sorts, some see reading as "uncool, or nerdy" and never crack open a book. Sometimes manga/comics are a better fit.

Manga (It's all strange and foreign to some... but sometimes that's the appeal)
Fullmetal Alchemist, Naruto, Bleach, Hana Kimi, Vampire Knight, 20th Century Boys

Comics (well manga means comics but I refer to 'manga' for Asian books)
Scott Pilgrim, Y the last man, Persepolis, Tin Tin, Watchmen (not for me), Spiderman etc.. etc..

It's a wonderful world that no one should ever miss.