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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Deja Lu

  • There’s a great round-up over at Publishers Weekly about a recent debate regarding women superheroes and their current status in terms of film and publishing.  Can I put in my two cents?  I want a good female superhero movie, sure.  But you know the only way that that’s going to work, don’t you?  Think about it.  Who are the best female superheroes out there?  Don’t say Wonder Woman either, please.  Wonder Woman had camp, but she’s essentially uninteresting.  Like She-Ra, we dressed up like her once, but she was cute.  Not butt-kicking.  No, the best superheroes in my book are Xena and Buffy.  Why?  Because they friggin’ had a sense of humor!!  Until Hollywood realizes that we want women who can kick AND be a bit wry, we’re going to get the same sad characters over and over and over again.  And the boys will say we don’t really want to watch superhero movies, and around the debate will go.  Failing that, I’ll settle for the great storytelling.  I’m easy.  Heck, just make a Supervillain movie if that’s what it takes.  I’ll watch Harley Quinn.  I’m not picky.

  • A marketing blog, eh?  I’d heard of Shrinking Violets and their marketing site for introverts.  But a new blog I’d not yet heard of that also covers the marketing sphere is Market My Words.  It’s primarily YA (hence why it has never come to my attention before) but it offers plenty of good advice for any kind of author, regardless of age range.  I was particularly taken with the blogroll.  To my mind, a good blogroll is worth its weight in gold, and this one looks particularly well tended.

  • This happens less often, but have you ever found yourself staring at an image from a book from your youth that you had completely and utterly forgotten about?  I like to call it deja lit.  Already read.  Or would that be deja lire?  These past few years I have been systematically finding and tracking down those picture books that I read as a child, allowing myself to indulge in re-enjoying a couple odd and wonderful titles.  But when I went over to Vintage Kids’ Books My Kid Loves I was shocked to find this image staring me in the face:

I had no idea I read something called The Together Book as a child, but I definitely had this when young.  As a kid I was mildly obsessed with food, as portrayed in picture books.  Cupcakes usually, but anything this big and chocolaty was bound to retain my interest as well.  Amazing.  Sidenote: Why aren’t there more books with luscious drawings of food in them these days?  Seems everything I read is trying to gross kids out instead.  Bring back the gigantic chocolate milkshakes!

  • Do you ever want to warn someone that they’re in for a world of pain?  Take a look at this contest coming from New York’s McNally Jackson bookstore.  I cannot help but think that they have no idea what they’re in for.  New Yorkers love this type of thing. Thanks to Brian Floca for the link.

  • Ron at Galleycat recently reported on Hollywood Scribes Staking a Kid-Lit Claim.  You may have heard something about this earlier last year.  It’s just your standard Hollywood screenwriters creating a children’s literary imprint story.  I’ll keep an eye on them to see how they do.  It’s an interesting experiment in any case.  Can a new imprint make it if all the authors are children’s literary unknowns?  And who the heck are their illustrators?  Hm.

  • The New York Times attempts to get all snobby on our favorite Wimpy Kid but Lisa Von Drasek is having none of it.  Particularly when they started talking about visual images.  Go, Lisa, go!

  • I don’t suppose I ever noticed it before, but Edgar Allen Poe really needed that moustache.  I mean look at the man’s face.  The moustache really holds the whole thing together.  Otherwise he’d just look like your average last 19th century schlub, and where’s the fun in that?  My two moustached cents.  Thanks to Bookninja for the link.

  • Daily Image:

Life is too short not to enjoy a good Hermione Granger mouse once in a while. 

This comes via The House of Mouse, so you may purchase her if you’ve half a mind to.  I wonder if they have a Desperaux?  I suppose that might defeat the point.  Thanks to Children’s Illustration for the link.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Jaime Temairik says:

    I second your motion to have more giant chocolate shakes in picture books.

  2. OMG she also has a Hannibal Lecter mouse and a Frank N. Furter mouse. I am in love.

  3. Until corrected, I’m going to state (with delight) that it would be “deja lu.” Bless the French.

  4. Betsy, when are you going to figure out that the children’s book world is still a man’s world. I was told recently that in the past the men were favored upon because there were so few in the business. Nowadays, that illogic spoken by women who are more mommies than equals still stands. Except for the hardworking unheard of kidlit women out there who think male favoring has jumped the shark and afraid to give it voice. Do the mommies want to do the laundry for these men too? Why would Hollywood show an intelligent (takes smarts to be funny) female superhero when they can carry on the status quo of females as Non equals, Not as good as, Beneath, Under, Lacking skills? Great way to bring up a child, without strong intelligent women who can win prizes for the best in things. Let’s teach those young girls to keep their place. This is especially frustrating in the kid book world where it’s mostly women. Why do the women give over their power so easily and become mommy and not equal?

  5. I have faith. Faith in the market, that is. Buffy and Xena were profitable on television. Cinematic types need only transfer that profitable funny female vibe to the cinemas. It won’t be easy, of course. The temptation will always be to go with the old (failing) super-women standards and not the new vibe so successfully tapped on television. But as the Junos of the world make money, eventually that’s going to spill over into other genres. And when it does, we’ll be ready.

  6. Oh, and thanks for the deja lu, mom. I corrected the title accordingly.

  7. Speaking of pulling out books from the past, remember, “Mrs. Katz and Tush”? I actually went into the Harold Washington Children’s Library just to check out this book. I had completely forgotten how many Jewish traditions and Yiddish there was! I showed it to my Rabbi and the first thing he said was, “I love the colors!”

  8. Wow, as soon as I saw that milkshake picture from The Together Book I realized I must have read it too when I was little– and that illustration must have made quite and impression!

  9. Why can’t WW have a sense of humor? I want to see Gina Torres play Wonder Woman! Maybe with Rosario Dawson as a young WW.

  10. Oo. Good choices. I’d want Ellen Page. Talk about a funny WW.