Books

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens Its important for people to tell you what side they are on and why, and whether they might be biased. A declaration of members interests, of a sort. So, I am going to be talking to you about reading. Im going to tell you that libraries are important. Im going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do. Im going to make an impassioned plea for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve both of these things. And I am biased, obviously and enormously: Im an author, often an author of fiction. I write for children and for adults. For about 30 years I have been earning my living through my words, mostly by making things up and writing them down. It is obviously in my interest for people to read, for them to read fiction, for libraries and librarians to exist and help foster a love of reading and places in which reading can occur. So Im biased as a writer. But I am

Dark knight rising: why Ben Affleck’s Batman is the key to DC’s movie future

Last years Batman v Superman almost trashed the Batmobile, but DC needs to harness the Batflecks potential to connect its slate of Extended Universe films If the Marvel Cinematic Universe really does come to a close following the events of 2019s as-yet-untitled Avengers: Infinity War sequel, The Incredible Hulk? it might just be possible for fans to rewatch more than 20 movies, stretching back to 2008s Thor: Ragnarok and beyond, and they will all be wearing capes cut from the same vivid cloth. Sadly for Warners rival DC Extended Universe, it has already lost any chance of hitting such heights of consistency. Rather than setting the tone for future episodes, last years Suicide Squad, a movie with an offbeat premise that the studio clearly never had enough time to make sense of, and the rush of sweet relief that was Patty Jenkins Warner might cash in its chips by removing Ben Affleck as the new Batman, as if getting rid of the DCEUs most famous face would instantly solve all its problems. That rather seems like throwing the baby out with the bathwater, if a hulking 6ft 4in Hollywood behemoth can ever be described in such terms. It also rather

Suicide Squad director joins Margot Robbie for female DC villains movie

Actor will reprise Harley Quinn role for film-maker David Ayer in Gotham City Sirens, inspired by recent comic about murderous women from Batmans past Margot Robbie is set to reprise her role of Harley Quinn for an all-female DC villains movie. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Gotham City Sirens will reunite the star with her Suicide Squad director, David Ayer. Robbie will also act as executive producer. The project will be scripted by Geneva Robertson-Dworet, who is also behind the forthcoming Tomb Raider reboot. The film will take its inspiration from a recent comic series about murderous women from Batmans past. Quinn is the only confirmed character as yet but other potential villains include Catwoman and Poison Ivy. Im so not done playing that character yet and theres so much more to do with her, I think, and as anyone whos read the comics knows, theres a million different storylines to explore, Robbie said in an interview earlier this year. Theres just so much you can do in the DC Universe, so I think it would be cool. Despite a troubled production and negative reviews, Suicide Squad was a big hit for Warner Bros, making $745m worldwide. Robbies character had

Love and Rockets to Wonder Woman: 20 comics and graphic novels to look forward to

From the return of an underground classic to the rebirth of a superhero, here are some of the titles to pick up in late 2016 and early 2017 Exits by Daryl Seitchik (Koyama Press, September)Seitchik follows up her Ignatz award-nominated Missy comics with a debut graphic novel focusing on mirror-store clerk Claire Kim, who hates herself and the world she lives in. Claire spends her days showing customers their reflections while dreaming about erasing her own: a wish that ends up coming true. ZA Photograph: Drawn and Quarterly Cheap Novelties by Ben Katchor (Drawn & Quarterly, September)Subtitled The Pleasures of Urban Decay, this collection of one-page strips featuring real-estate photographer Julius Knipl was originally published in 1991. Twenty-five years on, its observations of what is lost as cityscapes evolve and shift due to gentrification and changing demographics are still fresh and relevant. DB Equinoxes by Cyril Pedrosa (NBM, September)The second of Pedrosas books to be given an English translation, Equinoxes promises to be another work of watercoloured gorgeousness. Divided into four sections (to correlate with each season), it follows several unconnected people who, as they seek equilibrium and meaning, begin to cross paths. ZA Mooncop. Photograph: Drawn & Quarterly Mooncop