Welcome to Buzz Worthy News where the stories are awesome and not at all well-written. Need your YA industry news? Never fear, Kate Copeseeley is here to give it to you straight.
In this week’s Buzz Worthy News: Archie Casting News, Jungle Book Teaser, Ellen Oh Speaks Out, Marley Dias Update, and more!
Buzz Worthy News is Cuddlebuggery’s weekly news post bringing you all the best information about the book and blogging world, particularly for the venn diagram of people who overlap between the two.
Jungle Book Teaser
Archie Casting News
So, last week we mentioned the Archie show (dubbed Riverdale) that CW has ordered a pilot of, and now we have casting news!
Luke Perry—who was once caught in his own Betty and Veronica situation with Kelly and Brenda as Dylan McKay on 90210—has been cast as Archie Andrew’s dad Fred on the CW’s sexy adaptation of the Archie comics, Riverdale.
“Usually easygoing, Fred Andrews is the owner of a construction firm who is hoping his son, who worked for him all summer, will someday take over the family business,” reports Deadline. “Perry joins previously cast Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper and Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones.”
As for our star, Archie:
After a four-month worldwide talent search, 18-year-old New Zealand-born actor KJ Apa has been cast as Archie Andrews in Riverdale, the CWpilot from producer Greg Berlanti.
Apa’s Archie Andrews is an intense, conflicted teen, a boyish high school sophomore who got pumped up over the summer working construction and is now juggling the interest of several girls, as well as trying to balance his passion for writing and performing music — against the wishes of his father and his football coach.
Lastly we have Josie, from Josie and Pussycats (not sure why she’s in the pilot, but I’m sure we’ll get a good reason?):
Also cast in the pilot, based on the Archie Comics characters, is Ashleigh Murray as Josie of Josie and the Pussycats fame.
Murray’s Josie is a gorgeous, snooty and ambitious girl who is the lead singer for popular band Josie and the Pussycats. She has zero interest in recording any songs written by fellow teen Archie.
Supposedly this show is supposed to be a “subversive take” on Archie, with like darkness and weirdness to go along with the iconic small town feel. I dunno guys. If they can get the whole dark comedy idea going, it might not be too bad.
Wonder Woman Movie News
Any and all Wonder Woman news will be posted on this blog and this week is super good news! Thanks to stalkerish fans on the internets, we have pictures of Lucy Davis in costume as Wonder Woman’s best buddy Etta Candy (the 1940’s version, which is even more great!!)
The images feature Gal Gadot, Davis (with Etta’s classic red hair fully on display) and a host of extras filming scenes celebrating the end of the First World War in London earlier today—and while it’s pretty cool that we’re going to get to see Diana during the end of the Great War, the real highlight here is seeing Davis in all her glory as Etta Candy.
The Office star Lucy Davis is unrecognisable on the London set of Wonder Woman https://t.co/gtTwwnQ5YO pic.twitter.com/T7cmSledCr
— Metro Entertainment (@Metro_Ents) February 22, 2016
Lucy Davis from The Office is unrecognisable in the new Wonder Woman movie https://t.co/SCheoA9nlB pic.twitter.com/gxf2Hb0Eov
— Yahoo Movies UK (@YahooMoviesUK) February 22, 2016
In the New 52, Etta is African American, and initially Steve Trevor’s secretary, before she becomes a full-fledged agent of ARGUS. Even before that, Etta was updated as a svelte blonde woman who was a secret agent for the U.N. and a plethora of other organizations to help out Wonder Woman out on her globetrotting adventures. Neither of them really hold up to the fantastic original iteration. Not only is Etta and Diana’s friendship an iconic aspect of Wonder Woman’s Silver Age legacy, the classic Etta is also an absurdly fantastic brawler who can pretty much rival Diana when it comes to badassery—and that is saying something.
Guys, if you haven’t guessed yet, this is fantastic news! It makes me even more excited to see the film!!!!!
There Will Be A Gambit VS. Deadpool Series
In the most coincidental happening since I just so happened to mention The 100 again in a Buzz Worthy Post(see what I did there), Marvel Comics announced Deadpool vs. Gambit: a series that will reveal a secret history between the two characters.
Writers and Ben Acker & Ben Blacker (Thunderbolts) and artist Danilo Beyruth (Gwenpool) will tell tales of Deadpool and Gambit’s time as conmen working together on jobs just long enough to stab each other in the back. While details remain under wraps for now, it turns out Wade and Remy have known each for a long time.
Kevin Wada (She-Hulk) will provide covers for each of the five issues.
Simon & Schuster Founds Muslim Themed Imprint
Ms. Zareen Jaffery is an executive editor for Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers and will now head a new children’s imprint called Salaam Reads.
As a young Pakistani-American Muslim girl growing up in Connecticut, Zareen Jaffery used to devour novels by Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume, hoping those stories would offer some clues for how to fit in.
“I remember looking at books to try to figure out, ‘What does it mean to be American? Am I doing this right?’” Ms. Jaffery said. “The truth is, I didn’t see myself reflected in books back then.”
The imprint will release 9+ books per year, everything from board books to young adult titles.
So far, Salaam Reads has acquired four books that will come out in 2017, including “Salam Alaikum,” a picture book based on a song by the British teen pop singer Harris J. Others planned for release next year are “Musa, Moises, Mo and Kevin,” a picture book about four kindergarten friends who learn about one another’s holiday traditions; “The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand” by Karuna Riazi, about a 12-year-old Bangladeshi-American who sets out to save her brother from a supernatural board game, and “Yo Soy Muslim,” a picture book by the poet Mark Gonzales.
Banned Books Week Focuses On Diversity
In what appears to be a depressing sign of the times, the American Library Association will be focusing on the why of books being banished for Banned Book Week 2016, in this case, because of race issues, sexuality, or other diverse reasons.
According to ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, more than half of all banned books are by authors of color or reflect issues of diversity. This year’s Banned Books Week global event will celebrate banned literature and will also deal with why diverse books are disproportionately challenged.
“It’s alarming to see so many diverse voices facing censorship,” stated Charles Brownstein, chair of the Banned Books Week Coalition. “2016’s Banned Books Week is an important moment for communities to join together in affirming the value of diverse ideas and multiple viewpoints. By shining a light on how these ideas are censored, we hope to encourage opportunities to create engagement and understanding within our communities, and to emphasize the fundamental importance of the freedom to read.”
Here are some of the diverse books in question:
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
- And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
- The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
- Saga, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
- The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
- Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
- Banned Books Week will be from Sept. 25-Oct.1, 2016.
Ellen Oh Says: Dear White Writers
After feeling some dissatisfaction with the state of diversity in books and (in her own words) the tendency of white writers to use diversity as “a new hot trend for you all to jump on and write about because you think it will help you get published” she took to tumblr and wrote the following (this is an excerpt, but you should totally go and read the full post):
White writers can write about whatever they want, they have that luxury. Whether or not they do it well is of course subject to debate. White writers don’t have to worry about writing main characters that are white and being told “Oh we have a white story already so we have to pass.” There is no arbitrary quota of stories for you all. We get 1 maybe 2 books allocated to Asian stories – so when it is taken by a white author writing about Asian stories – guess what happens to the Asian writer trying to write their own stories.
As the number of Asian culture, mythology, character, orientalist-themed books by non-Asian writers rises, I am more and more aghast at the lack of support for Asian authors. Just what about Asian culture makes it so appealing for cultural appropriation? Why must it continually be used to exoticize and other our people? Having just seen a review request for a book that looks like an exotic female Asian fetish fantasy wet dream, I’m feeling disturbed and anguished.
Don’t write a POC’s story unless you need to tell it with such a burning desire that it will eat you alive and so you will come into our houses and walk in our shoes to get it right, and that way it isn’t written ONLY from a white lens. Don’t do it unless you are willing to invest in a whole lot of time and commitment and get into some heavy conversation about what it is like to live our lives, deal with racism and micro-aggressions and fear and hate. Don’t do it because you think it is a hot trend. Don’t do it because you think it will help you get published.
The reception was positive and negative:
I thought about it a lot.I don't think it's ok for Ellen Oh to advocate censoring what anyone's writing, not matter how well-intentioned.
— Rori Shay (@RoriShay) February 26, 2016
In response, Oh’s friend Libba Bray took to her own blog to address the issue:
She’s not saying that white writers can’t write characters of color, but she is asking us as white writers to take responsibility, to ask ourselves very honestly why we are writing those particular characters and then to do the work necessary to make those characters real people rather than diversity placards. Because truth: It is infinitely harder for the creative work of POC to be heard/seen/recognized in the marketplace, and white writers get swag bags of advantages and passes they aren’t even aware of.
So if, as white writers, we are taking up one of the coveted, few spots at the publishing table for books about POC and A) we’re not POC and B) we do it wrong? Well, that’s doubly galling—and gutting.
An Update On Marley Dias
A couple weeks ago we linked a tumblr post about Marley Dias, an 11 year old girl who was tired of reading about white boys and dogs in her school. She wanted to read about black girls like herself.
What she was noticing is actually a much bigger issue: Fewer than 10 percent of children’s books released in 2015 had a black person as the main character, according to a yearly analysis by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. And while the number of children’s books about minorities has increased in the last 20 years, many classroom libraries have older books.
Last fall, Marley decided to do something about it. She set a goal of collecting 1,000 books about black girls by the beginning of February, and #1000blackgirlbooks was born.
She has far exceeded her goal, with almost 4,000 books and counting. Now, she wants to set up a black girl book club and pressure school districts to change what books are assigned to students. Morning Edition’s David Greene spoke with Marley about her campaign and how she’s handled her success.
I wanted to put this story last so we could all have a little hope. It is possible to support each other, like human beings. It is possible to make a difference in your world, and one of the easiest things you can do is buy books for a little girl. We can do so much better if we work together and we just freaking TRY.
Interesting Links(Stuff I didn’t get to write about):
Teens & Reading: Don’t worry, People!
How To Bring Diverse Books Into Publishing
Egyptian Author Jailed For Sexual Book Content
La Coccinelle @ The Ladybug Reads...
White writers can’t win, it seems. If they populate their stories with only white characters, they get accused of not being diverse enough. If they write about a non-white culture, they get accused of cultural appropriation. If they throw in a non-white minor character, they get accused of tokenism.
Briana @ Pages Unbound
I think this is a problem, as well. While I’m definitely on board with the idea there are good and not good ways of writing POC characters, and all authors should be mindful of that, it does seem difficult to for white writers to do anything without someone complaining. First white writers weren’t writing diverse books; now they’re being accused of doing it for publicity and not doing it correctly. I’d like to know what Oh thinks the answer is. I can see Libba Bray explained her statement for her, but I don’t think either of them addressed the question of how white writers are expected to both write and not write diverse characters.
I also disagree with the idea there’s a quota for diverse books (and particularly with the implications someone directly said something like, “Sorry, we only publish one Asian character a year”). While I can believe there were implied quotas in the past, publishing is changing and doing so relatively quickly, Oh’s statement in fact acknowledges that publishers want diverse books, and people think writing them will get their book published. That sounds like the opposite of “We already have a black character.” It sounds like there’s growing room for diverse books.
Briana @ Pages Unbound recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (125): Religious Diversity
Ohh, lots of amazing news 😀 Thank you for sharing it all, as always, Kate. <3 You are the bestest 🙂 Ahhh. The Jungle Book movie looks like it will be SO AWESOME 😀 I simply cannot wait to see it. <3 And sigh. Deadpool. I don't read comics, but I love the Marvel movies. I have wanted to see this for a long time, but sister went without me, ugh, so might not get to see it until blu-ray release. Hmph. Either way, I do think it will be awesome 🙂 Anyway. Lovely post sweet girl. <3
Carina Olsen recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #229
As a white writer currently working on a series that will include characters of color in prominent roles, I always feel more than a little unsure of myself when I read posts like Ellen Oh’s. Especially because I get it. She must be sick to death of seeing book after book full to the brim of appropriation, inaccuracies, and plain old racism. So I research. And research. And research some more. I read everything I can get my hands on. I talk to people, and I listen. And then I see–well, wait a minute, if you get published, you’re still going to get more attention because you’re white! You’re taking attention away from a POC author who might be more deserving! I don’t want that. Every author deserves recognition for their work, and I don’t want to take what should belong to someone else. So what should I do? Shift focus onto the white characters? No, because that’s the whole problem, the whole reason there’s a dearth of diverse books. But now I’m super nervous about writing this story about a POC character, because I’m white and it seems like people are waiting for me to get it wrong. And now there’s the implication that if this story gains a wide audience, I’m stealing attention from a POC author who deserves it more.
I know Ellen Oh meant to push white writers away from appropriation and toward respect and accuracy, but she made me afraid to begin.
Oh has pissed me off in the past with her anti-review stance, but I 100% agree with her. It is sickening to see white authors latch on to someone else’s culture, take it for a joy ride, make money off of it, and then roll their eyes when someone from that actual culture points out the problems with their POV.
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