Meet the newest hero of the First Amendment: a coloring book.
More accurately, The Satanic Children’s BIG BOOK of Activities.
The children’s amusement book was balanced against the Bible in a pitched battle in Florida’s Orange County school district — and made the book some consider holy back down.
In honor of Religious Freedom Day in January, the school district had regularly allowed the Christian group World Changers to distribute Bibles to students. (The board allowed the Central Florida Freethought Community to hand out atheist materials last year after the group won a lawsuit.) But when The Satanic Temple wanted to hand out coloring books, the school district delayed Religious Freedom Day in order to rethink its policy.
In a move that surprised absolutely no one, Summit Entertainment has announced that the final book in Veronica Roth‘s Divergent trilogy, Allegiant, will be split into two movies.
The first installment of the film series — Divergent, starring Shailene Woodley — has done solid if not spectacular box office, and the first sequel, Insurgent, is in preproduction on track for release on March 20, 2015. Look for Allegiant — Part 1 on March 18, 2016, and Part 2 on March 24, 2017. Summit is owned by Lionsgate, which pulled a similar expansion trick with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1 and Part 2 in 2011 and 2012, making five movies from Stephenie Meyer’s four novels. And right now, the third book in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy is being filmed as two movies, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 and Part 2, due for release this Nov. 21 and Nov. 20, 2015. Continue reading
Today marks the 108th anniversary of the birth of pulp author Robert E. Howard, the creator of Conan the Barbarian and one of the most prolific, influential and successful authors from the era of pulp magazines. I usually post an ode to the Man From Cross Plains on this date, and this year I decided to do something a bit different: Taking a page from pulp mags like Weird Tales and Fight Stories, which used to publish Howard’s tales, I’m posting a reprint of a “classic” REH post (one I penned in 2010) with some slight editing. If you want to read what I wrote about REH last year or in 2011, follow the links. Enjoy! — Joe 01/22/14
The date Jan. 22 has been important to me since I was a lad, because it marks the anniversary of the birth of pulp author Robert E. Howard in 1906. One of my true favorites, Howard is most famous for creating Conan the Cimmerian, but his oeuvre also included such colorful characters as King Kull, Cormac Mac Art, El Borak, Sailor Steve Costigan, and another particular favorite, Solomon Kane, a Puritan adventurer. This was evocative stuff for a youngster, and Howard was the first writer I ever tried to emulate. I loved writing my own Conan stories, even though I was the only one who read them.
If you feel like you really, really, really, really must see the movie adaptation of Ender’s Game but don’t want to hate yourself afterward for supporting the work of the vile, hate-spewing troglodyte who wrote the original novel, here’s something that might make you feel slightly — but only slightly — less self-loathing about buying a ticket: author Orson Scott Card will not be getting a dime from this movie.
According to TheWrap.com, when Card sold the movie rights to his novel a decade ago, the deal included no backend. None. So the author doesn’t see any additional money, no matter how much (or how little) the movie rakes in at the box office. Not a penny. The Wrap cites film distributor Summit Entertainment, visual effects company Digital Domain and the rights-holder of the book, OddLot Entertainment, all as saying Card has already been paid everything he’s ever going to see from this film.
REH in a pensive mood
Today marks the 107th anniversary of the birth of Robert E. Howard, the quintessential American pulp author best-known for creating Conan the Barbarian.
REH, as he known to fans, had an incredibly prolific and all-too-short career lasting from roughly 1929-’36. His powerful, evocative writing has always been an influence on my own writing, almost as much as H.P. Lovecraft. Like Lovecraft, Howard had a talent for painting lush, detailed scenes in only a few evocative words — although literary critics like S.T. Joshi dismissed REH’s prose as “subliterary hackwork that does not even begin to approach genuine literature.”
But, hey, Howard did much more than unleash a barbarian on pop culture. He helped shape modern pop culture by fathering the “sword and sorcery” subgenre of fantasy and contributing to Lovecraft’s horror mythos. Howard came up with a number of other vivid characters, including Solomon Kane, Kull the Conqueror, Sailor Steve Costigan, Cormac Mac Art, Bran Mac Morn, El Borak and James Allison — notable for being disabled. I have previously looked at REH’s life, which tragically ended in suicide, so now I turn to his literary output.
What we have here are two TV commercials promoting a two-volume graphic novel that adapts The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson’s runaway best-selling prose novel and first installment of the “Millennium Trilogy,” originally released in 2005. The graphic novels are being published by Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics that concentrates on material that is more mature than run-of-the-mill superheroes and adolescent power fantasies.
Take a look, and then we’ll discuss after the jump…
After all this time, all this hemming and hawing, tossing around names and rumor-mongering, the best the-powers-that-be at The Hunger Games: Catching Fire could come up with is casting Sam Claflin in the important role of Finnick Odair?
Seriously? We waited all this time for… Sam… Claflin?
You might remember Claflin for his small role as the replacement pretty boy when Orlando Bloom skipped The Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, or as the prince in Snow White and the Huntsman. Oh, who are we kidding — he wasn’t the least bit memorable in either role. I thought his character was weird in the pirates movie — a missionary who kinda sorta falls in love with a mermaid, and the only thing I can recall about his prince in Kristen Stewart’s movie was that he played the grown-up version of the kid who grew up with Snow.