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by Lara Killian

4 Dec 2009

What would you pay for an original work of Edgar Allan Poe? How about a first edition of his very first book?

Would you care if his name wasn’t even on it? Friday December 4th, CBC reports, a slightly tattered, stained, well-loved copy of Tamerlane and Other Poems will go on sale.

Christie’s Auction House in New York estimates that the rare 1827 text will go for more than half a million dollars. The copy is believed to be one of only twelve still in existence, out of an original print run of 50.

Also being auctioned today are lots including interesting editions of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and Charlotte Bronte. Oh, to be a book-loving fly on the wall…

by Karen Zarker

4 Dec 2009

This series of anthologies is a perennial favorite at PopMatters. The 2009 editions of The Best American… Travel / Science / Short Stories / Mystery Stories / Science and Nature / Comics / Sports / Essays and the playfully titled Nonrequired Reading (excerpts from current works by authors such as Philip Connors, Nathan Englander, Denis Johnson and others, ed. by Dave Eggers and Marjane Satrapi) are brilliantly curated collections. The reputable series’ editors and guest editors (who are leading writers in the field) are sharp readers who cast their net widely then pull it in slowly to capture the finest representation of essays and stories for the pleasure and edification of the discerning generalist. Between these pages you’re likely to find an article from, say, The New Yorker that you were absorbed in earlier in the year, but you’ll be happy to find the quality pieces you missed—that the editors didn’t. See the list of the entire series here on Amazon.

by Kevin M. Brettauer

4 Dec 2009

To say that Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s All Star Superman feels like the culmination of the character’s history is not to slight those who are working or will eventually work on the world’s first superhero. If anything, it should show what can be done with the character, and serve as maybe the start of a second chapter in his history. Calling the series a heartfelt, masterful work is like saying Citizen Kane is “a good movie” and that Bob Dylan is “a clever poet”. In other words, it is a massive understatement, the kind usually reserved for sarcastic comments.

Morrison has carefully crafted the depiction of each important character in the Superman mythos, amalgamating various Lex Luthors, Jimmy Olsens and Lois Lanes into the definitive version of each icon. References are made to stories, characters and places from a number of disparate sources, including Curt Swan, Alan Moore, Smallville and, yes, Morrison himself. Moreover, a number of new concepts are introduced—among them a tyrannical dinosaur overlord and a wacky, Willy Wonka-esque scientist named Leo Quintum—that fit right into the world and tone of this essential Superman.

by Bill Gibron

4 Dec 2009

In combination with the qualities director Henry Selick typically brings to the party—passion for stop motion, an attention to detail, a true love of the overall artform—Coraline can’t help but be charming. It’s like a trip back in time, to the moment when you first realized that a giant ape could actually climb to the top of the Empire State Building, or a creature from Greek mythology could ‘come alive’ scare you to your core. It’s a flawless illustration of why pen and ink cartooning (and its modern computer-based companion) just can’t compete with the painstaking approach of this old school medium. Perhaps audiences will finally understand and appreciate what Selick and his cohorts have been championing for decades. This kind of animation is truly amazing, and Coraline is a perfect example of its remarkable, resplendent wonders.

by Arun Subramanian

4 Dec 2009

Rather than a map pack or simply a new set of vehicles, this is essentially a game unto itself, and as such it stretches the boundaries of what downloadable, add on content can be. Even if you never played Grand Theft Auto IV, as long as you have the game disc, this story stands alone.  It is a measure of how accomplished The Lost And Damned is that you could realistically play it and the main game in either order, and still come away satisfied. All that would change would be the direction in which the nods and winks acknowledging the other side of the story were perceived.

While the vulnerability of racing bikes makes them difficult to handle, the Harley Davidson inspired choppers are remarkably fun. In many ways, The Lost and Damned is one of the most ambitious pieces of downloadable content yet on the console market.  Many games that cost twice as much as this title don’t contain half the content, and it’s easily worth it for series fans.

//Mixed media

//Blogs

Treasuring Memories of Paul McCartney on 'One on One' Tour

// Notes from the Road

"McCartney welcomed Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt out for a song at Madison Square Garden.

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