It must be the sense of anonymity that compels people to share secrets with strangers. I was having a conversation with a woman in a bookshop when she decided to tell me something I could tell was troubling her about her nine-year-old son. "The thing is," she said (she had a twitch in her lower lip), "he's a bright boy, but... he still likes books with pictures in." As a children's bookseller, I hear things like this all the time. Proud parents like to tell me that their children no longer 'need' pictures in their books, as though they had just collected their children from a clinic specialising in the treatment of visual withdrawal. Sometimes it's the children themselves that need reminding: "You don't need books with pictures in- remember?" In either case, the message seems clear: pictures are mere training wheels for text, and the sooner we're done with them, the better. … [Read more...] about Picture books and video games: a backdoor into childhood
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This world feels a little surreal right now. While some countries are gradually easing out of lockdown, many people are still spending the majority of their free time at home. Netflix has been a form of salvation – hours of content ready to keep subscribers entertained. And, thankfully, the streaming service keeps releasing new series, including Space Force, a comedy from the team behind The Office. … [Read more...] about John Malkovich and Ben Schwartz take us on a slight detour
Vampire is a “mortal word”, I am told by Stéphane Beauverger, Vampyr’s narrative director. “A word created by writers” which doesn’t do the real thing justice. Vampyr’s night-dwelling, blood-loving creatures are “so much more”. The RPG from Dontnod (creators of Remember Me and Life is Strange) puts you in the shoes of a recently-turned vampire Dr Jonathan Reid, finding his feet in 1918 London as its ravaged by the Spanish flu. A mysterious outbreak of flu-ridden vampires has hit its streets, so you’ll have to dodge them and vampire hunters alike to find out exactly where the pandemic came from. … [Read more...] about Stop it Vampyr, you’re bloody spoiling us: 4 types of vampire (so far) and 3 ways to rip people apart?!
For something that’s caused the world (mutants and non-mutants alike) so much grief, you’d be forgiven for wondering why anyone - in both the comics and the movies - would want to find a cure. But when you’ve lived your entire life being able to, for example, read people’s minds or conjure up flames, it ends up defining you in more ways you thought possible. That’s not even factoring in the fact that mutants are an entirely different species who have existed throughout history, with their own rights, culture, and political turmoils. Their sudden absence is sure to ruffle some feathers in the pro-mutant-rights movement - after all, if an entire nation of people started to die out, you would hope something would be done to help. … [Read more...] about The secret to saving the X-Men movie franchise is hidden in the comics – here’s how to do it