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Maurice Sendak, a giant of children’s literature, passes away

Maurice Sendak, the trailblazing author and illustrator whose books enchanted, inspired and terrified generations of children, died this morning in a Danbury, Connecticut, hospital following a stroke, The New York Times reports. He was 83.

Best known for his 1963 dark fantasy Where the Wild Things Are, Sendak defied convention, rejecting the innocent subject matter that marked saccharine picture books of the era and instead embracing sharp-toothed monsters, unruly protagonists and childhood fears.

“I don’t write for children,” the outspoken author said in his memorable January appearance on The Colbert Report (watch the two-part interview below). “I write, and somebody says, ‘That’s for children.’ I didn’t set out to make children happy, or make life better for them, or easier for them.”

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Straight for the art | Jeffrey Brown’s Haruki Murakami

Jeffrey Brown’s Haruki Murakami

Jeffrey Brown’s Haruki Murakami

Hey Oscar Wilde! It’s Clobberin’ Time!, the blog that posts portraits of authors by comic creators, recently posted one of Haruki Murakami by Jeffery Brown. You can see the back story on it, also by Brown, over at Kevin Church’s blog.

Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes

The Book of Genesis Illustrated

The Book of Genesis Illustrated

Sales charts | R. Crumb’s The Book of Genesis Illustrated climbs seven spots to No. 2 in its second month on BookScan’s list of top-selling adult graphic novels in bookstores. It’s bested, as most are, by the latest volume of Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto. But it’s another story on USA Today’s bestseller chart, where Crumb’s book drops 49 places in its second week to No. 129. [ICv2.com, USA Today]

Passings | Tom Spurgeon, NPR’s Mark Memmott and Ina Jaffe, and Michael Cieply of The New York Times have obituaries for Comic-Con co-founder Shel Dorf, who passed away on Nov. 3 at the age of 76.

Libraries | The Yoshihiro Yonezawa Memorial Library of Manga and Subculture opened over the weekend at Meiji University’s Surugadai campus in Tokyo. Users can become one-day members of the library, where they can have access to about half of the 140,000 manga for about $1.10 per copy. The books can’t be removed from the library. [The Japan Times]

Internet | Tom Spurgeon points out that the review blog Guttergeek will move to the expanded TCJ.com, joining a stable of hosted blogs that will include The Hooded Utilitarian. [Guttergeek]

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Douglas Rushkoff writes X, a graphic novel for new video-game franchise

From "X"

From "X"

Author, media theorist and sometimes-comics writer Douglas Rushkoff (Testament, Life, Inc.) has penned a graphic novel to promote an as-yet-unnamed video-game franchise from Smoking Gun Interactive.

Illustrated by Cheoljoo Lee and Younger Yang, the comic — it’s simply called X — is being previewed on this marketing site in installments that roll out over the next four weeks. The full graphic novel will be released next year. More stories are set to follow.

As you might expect from the mysterious title, the story of X involves secrets — specifically, “the secret history of mankind.”

So says the press release: “As a small, scattered group of people stumble onto the truth, they find that they are too late: every great power on earth has already aligned itself against humanity. The war is all but over. Their struggle to discover the truth will lead them into a massive conspiracy that predates humanity itself — from the world’s most ancient sites to the global centers of power.”


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