With all this talk of comic books being turned into movies (I’m looking at you Scott Pilgrim and Green Lantern and countless others), how about one that’s being turned into…a play? And no I’m not talking about the expensive Spider-Man musical.
I’m talking about Cheapjack Shakespeare, a comedy about a summer Shakespeare company that’s falling apart as they’re “beset by infidelity, egos, ambition and a particularly ill-timed lightning strike.” Shaun McLaughlin, a reknowned comic book writer (Aquaman) and TV producer (Batman Beyond, Static Shock and various incarnations of Justice League), created the online graphic novel that debuted earlier this year. “It’s like Glee with booze and Shakespeare,” McLaughlin says.
Cheapjack Shakespeare: The Non-Musical has finalized its casting, begun rehearsals and set its premiere date for September 9th at the Alt Theatre in Buffalo, NY. Additional performances will be on September 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25.
Our pals over at iLounge have gotten a few iPad-related tibdits from one of their sources, and we thought it was interesting enough to pass on. They are hearing that, in conjunction with the regular September ipod event that Apple conducts each year, that the company may announce a smaller version of the iPad. They say it’ll have a 7-inch display, making the screen closer to that of the Amazon Kindle (Amazon released a new Kindle last week.) We’ve also been hearing that a smaller iPad was on the horizon, but we didn’t hear anything about a date. Other sources are claiming that the next iPad will definitely ship with a front-facing camera as well, turning them into Facetime devices (the next iPod touch will likely include similar functionality.) Even if it doesn’t happen in September, we fully expect to see a smaller iPad by January.
If Apple wants Facetime to catch on, they definitely need to get it into more devices than just the iPhone 4, and this would be a good way to accomplish that. A smaller iPad with increased functionality launching so soon after the original could result in buyers remorse for some, but it’s not like Apple hasn’t made similar moves in the past, especially with the iPod a few years ago.
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This evening, Amazon introduced us to their new Wi-Fi Kindle ebook reader, and we’ve gotta say, we think they’ve done it again. Hot on the heels of the release of the newly redesigned Kindle DX, the new Kindle is 21% smaller and 15% lighter than the Kindle 2. You don’t lose out on screen real estate though, since the Kindle keeps its 6-inch display size, although the e-ink screen now sports 50% better contrast and 20% faster page refreshes. It now packs 4GB of storage space, which can hold up to 3,500 books. Even better, though, is that Amazon is pricing this at just $139. That’s a significant price drop from the Kindle 2. If you want the new Wi-Fi model, but also want the free 3G connectivity, Amazon will be selling a 3G model for $189, which is still a huge savings from what the Kindle 2 sells for. Here are the links for those who want to pre-order:
The new Kindle will be released on August 27th, and if you pre-order, you’ll receive it that same day. It’s available in both white and graphite.
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Keeping true to their word, Amazon has started shipping their new graphite Kindle DX to customers who pre-ordered the device. Even better though, if you didn’t get the opportunity to pre-order, Amazon still shows the Kindle DX as being in stock, so you should be able to order one today and have it shipped pretty much immediately. Don’t forget, the Kindle DX price was slashed from $489 down to $379 about a week after the smaller Kindle went from $259 to $189. You can purchase the Kindle DX and the smaller Kindle now:
Hot on the heels of the Amazon Kindle price drop, the company has just released a new and improved Kindle DX. The most obvious change is the new color, as the Kindle DX is now darker than its littler sibling, sporting a graphite hue. The display is greatly improved, with 50% better contrast, making everything nice and sharp. It still rocks free 3G wireless, allowing you to download books just about anywhere you are, and the display is still 9.7-inches in size, which is a ton of real estate.
Even better than all the new features, though, is the price. Amazon has slashed the price of the Kindle DX down to $379 from the previous $489 price point. That’s even cheaper than the original 6-inch Kindle when it first shipped, and the Kindle DX is a far superior product. You can pre-order the new Kindle DX now—it ships on July 7th.
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Amazon is continuing their Kindle strategy—that being focusing on Kindle content sales in addition to Kindle hardware—with an update to the Kindle iPad and iPhone apps. The update brings Kindle Editions support, which allows books to embed audio and video, playable from right in the app. The first books to incorporate Kindle Editions multimedia features include Rick Steves’ London and Rose’s Heavenly Cakes which is a cookbook that shows you how to…bake awesome cakes. As of this point, there are only a handful of books that Amazon is classifying as “Kindle Edition with Audio/Video” but we are sure that Amazon is looking to make this a differentiating feature, so we expect we will see much more of this in due time.
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Welcome to the weekend on the internet. Let’s get it started with Mr. Joe Kubert.
I had the pleasure of working for a company that published one of Mr. Kubert’s books (Abraham Stone) and got to hang out with him a little at Comic Con International one year. Just a great, great guy, as well as a fantastic artist. Marty Pedler at Bookslut has a new interview with him, and if you haven’t read it yet, get over there. Here’s a little snip: “I still feel that if it’s not a children’s medium, it’s at least a young person’s medium—despite the fact that the average person who reads comic books is now, I’m told, probably in their early twenties. Maybe it’s because I’m an old fogey, I don’t know, but I still feel a little strange and awkward when I see stuff that’s so blatantly sexual.”
The ebook reader wars are kicking into high gear today, as earlier Barnes & Noble announced a price drop for the nook, and now Amazon has responded with a big price drop on the Kindle. The same 3G-powered Kindle that sold for $259 this morning is now available for just $189. That’s $10 less than the 3G nook, and $40 more than the Wi-Fi-only nook model. Competition is always a good thing. Here are the links:
It’s about time that quality ebook readers dropped below the $200 mark.
According to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal Google Editions—Google’s attempt to elbow its way into the ebook market—will launch sometime this summer. When it does become available, Google Editions will launch with some 400,000 to 600,000 titles available. When you compare this to the 330,000 titles available on Amazon.com for Kindle supporting devices, it is clear that Google means to be a major player in the ebook market right from jumpstreet. With Google Editions, not only will people be able to buy books via multiple devices—including the iPad—using Google’s book search service, but independent shops will also be able to sell Google Editions copies of books via their own personal websites. With the availability of titles coming directly from their search engine, and not from a typical store-based website, Google is betting heavily on its massive web-presence to make Google Editions the standard of the ebook market. Cry ‘havoc’ and let slip the (ebook) dogs of war!
My buddy Shaun McLaughlin was a producer at Warner Bros. and responsible for some of their best Bruce Timm-related toons like Batman Beyond, Static, and various incarnations of Justice League. It adds up to over 400 episodes of prime animated entertainment, so he knows how to make something with mass market appeal.
He’s moved on to freelancing, pushing several projects through the development wormhole, including both an animated feature (with Omens Studios) and a live-action one. But when you’re in development, you get a lot of down time while you wait for people to make decisions, give notes, and update their social networks.
You could watch a lot of TV or surf the web or blog about your cat, but Shaun’s put his thumb-twiddling time to good use and come up with a nifty little project with his biz partner Gabriel Benson: Cheapjack Shakespeare.