When the Book is Better than the Movie

When the Book is Better than the Movie

This summer, PBS launched The Great American Read—a show about the best-loved books in America. You can see the top 100 list over here. Along with this series, you can also vote for your favs, which you should. (Sadly, none of my Bell Forging Cycle made it, sorry folks.)

Along with the launch, PBS Digital Studios—creators of some of the best content on YouTube—released a Great American Read-themed video on the comparison of films to the books they were based upon. It’s good. Watch it here:

The narrator is the very talented Lindsay Ellis. I’m excited to see her work with PBS and hope this is the start of more collaborations. I’ve been following her work since her Channel Awesome days, and I consider myself a fan.

For those who don’t know Ellis runs a channel where she does longer-format deep-dives into specific films or movie concepts. Her observations on storytelling are wonderful—a big reason why I am drawn to her videos. Some of my favs:

You can find Ellis on Twitter, Patreon, and of course YouTube.

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last...

What’s in a Name?

Naming a project can be a complicated affair, and when you have a series with an enormous fan base, I am sure it’s even tougher. As expected there has been a lot of discussion around the internet regarding the announced title for Star Wars: Episode VIII. The subtitle has a pretty common motif, and it got me thinking, we have…

The Last…

Airbender (Anime, but also a movie, card game, and video game.)

Picture Show (Movie, also a book.)

American Hero (Movie)

Guardian (Game)

House on the Left (Movie… twice.)

Unicorn (Book, also a film, album, song, and EP.)

Question (Short Story)

Starfighter (Movie — thanks, Miguel! Can’t believe I forgot this one.)

Witch Hunter (Movie and Vin Diesel’s personal D&D Campaign)

Supper (Painting, but so much more…)

Act (Short Story)

Castle (Movie)

Boy Scout (Movie)

Waltz (Concert)

Time (Movie, also a pair of albums and so many songs.)

Man on Earth (TV Show, also three films and a book.)

Olympian (Book)

Voyage of the Starship Enterprise (SNL skit)

Uniform (Manga)

Valley (Book)

Year (Movie)

Yankee (Play)

Confession of Alexander Pearce (Movie)

of Us (Game)

Word (Cocktail, also so much more…)

Tycoon (Unfinished Book, also two movies, album, and a tv series.)

Detail (Movie)

Emperor (Movie, also an actual person, album, and documentary.)

Gangster (Movie)

Five Years (Musical, also a movie.)

Juror (Book)

Vampire (Book series, also an anime.)

News From France (Song)

Lion (Horse)

Empress (Book, also an actual person, musical, movie, and biography.)

Song (Movie, also another movie, two novels, and a lot of actual songs.)

Ninja (Game)

Knight (Book, also another book, and a terrible Transformers movie.)

Temptation of Christ (Movie, also a book.)

Exorcism (Movie)

Lecture (Book)

Remnant (Game)

of the Mohicans (Book, also many films, tv shows, and a pair of albums.)

Judgment (Tynpanum, but also so much more…)

Outlaw (Movie, also 3 other movies, a Miniseries, and a Pro Wrestler.)

American Virgin (Movie)

Flight of Noah’s Ark (Movie)

Mimzy (Movie)

Kingdom (Book, also a Miniseries.)

and now: …Jedi (Star Wars: Episode VIII)

There is so much more I could have added. (The list could easily double in length.) Does this mean The Last Jedi is a bad title? No, but it’s fair to say it’s not the most original in the series. It’s safe, informative, and inoffensive which seems to be Disney’s strategy with the Star Wars franchise. Besides, I’m not sure it matters.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Juliet CapuletRomeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

Juliet’s right, a rose by any other name would still smell good. In the end, The Last Jedi will still be Star Wars. It’ll most likely be as enjoyable as The Force Awakens. Fans will flock in droves to the theaters. But in a universe of Rogue Ones, New Hopes, and Empires Striking Back, I found myself wishing for something more.

Post Punk Icons Reimagined As Marvel Heroes

Friday Link Pack 03/27/2015

Friday is here. That mean it’s time to share a few links I’ve found over the last few days. Some of these I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Have a link I should feature in the upcoming link pack? Click here to email me and let me know! (Include a website so I can link to you as well.) Enough prattle! Let’s get to it…


30 Times The Novel Has Been Declared Dead Since 1902
The more things change the more they stay the same.

The No-Stilettos Rule: My Approach As A Woman Creating Scifi Book Covers
Loved this post from Lauren Panepinto on her thought process in cover design. Some great advice here. [Thanks to August for sharing this.]

Six Famous Authors Who’ve Written Fanfiction
I really love seeing the openness that is happening in the industry right now. It’s encouraging to other authors to know that even famous literary types write things like fanfiction. So often that sort of behavior was veiled behind some strange secrecy or scoffed at by the industry. Pretentiousness is dumb.


Post Punk Icons Reimagined As Marvel Heroes
Illustrator Butcher Billy takes some of the famous faces from the 80’s post-punk/new-wave scene and renders them as Marvel superheroes. Make sure you check out the DC Comics version as well.

Pixar Artist Turns R-Rated Films And Into A Children’s Book
Those iconic scenes that weren’t meant for the eyes of the little ones? Well, yeah… Josh Cooley has taken those scenes and reworked them, and they are adorable. These and more are now collected in his new book: Movies R Fun!: A Collection of Cinematic Classics for the Pre-(Film) School Cinephile (Lil’ Inappropriate Books).


Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence
My friend Nick, a hella talented designer and incredible musician, has moved to a remote cabin in northern Wisconsin to live by himself. Lucky for us, he has been documenting his experiences.

Massive Ancient Underground City Discovered In Turkey’s Nevşehir
Underground cities aren’t actually uncommon, especially in the Cappadocia region of turkey. However this recent find is special as it could be the largest underground city ever found.

Isoscope — Exploring Mobility
A neat little tool that “creates aesthetic visuals about locations that are reachable by car in a chosen time from a chosen location.” Would love to see this for more than just cars. Would be interesting to compare walking, public transportation, and biking as well.

Oldest Footage Of New York City Ever
I love stuff like this, plus pairing it with a map so you can see where the film was recorded is a huge plus. It’s always neat to see how much doesn’t change.

Random Wikipedia Article of the Week:

American Redoubt
“The American Redoubt is a political migration movement first proposed in 2011 by best-selling survivalist novelist and blogger James Wesley Rawles which designates three states in the northwestern United States (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming), and adjoining portions of two other states (eastern Oregon, and eastern Washington) as a safe haven for conservative, libertarian-leaning Christians and Jews.”

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

The Slaying of the Monster
“Great was the clamour in Laen; for smoke had been spied in the Hills of the Dragon.” Thus begins this tiny tale with a tiny (and pretty obvious) twist.

Gif of the Week:

haters gunna hate