Friday, October 05, 2012

Sometimes I have thoughts about books that aren't comic books.

So apparently "Teen Paranormal Romance" is now popular enough a genre of fiction that it has its own section in certain book stores. Thanks, Stephenie Meyer!

The lady on the cover above, Karen Gatt, apparently lost a ton of weight on something called "The Clothesline Diet," and by "a ton of weight" I simply mean "a lot of weight," not an actual ton of weight—as in 2,000 pounds—because that would be pretty much impossible.

When I first saw this book, I only saw the title of it on the spine, and imagined that the word "clothesline" might refer to the first thing I think of when I hear that word: A professional wrestler slamming his arm into another professional wrestler as he runs past him. Or, as the Wikipedia entry on "Professional wrestling attacks" defines it, "A clothesline is a move in which one wrestler runs towards another and extends his/her arm out from the side of the body and parallel to the ground, hitting the opponent in the neck or chest and knocking him/her over." (By the way: Holy shit! Did you know there are seven different and distinct varieties of clotheslines? Or that Wikipedia had an entry on "Professional wrestling attacks"...?)

So, what I imagined was that anyone on the clothesline diet would, like, hire a professional wrestler to hang out with them 24/7, and whenever the dieter tried to eat something that was too sugary or too fatty or whatever, the wrestler would straight up clothesline them to the ground.

That's simple psychology 101, right? If any time you tried to eat a Hostess snack cake a big sweaty dude in tights rammed his arm into your face and knocked you to the kitchen floor, you'd eventually associate Hostess snack cakes with the experience of being clotheslined, and stop eating them.

Without testing it, I'm 100% sure that is a diet that would totally work. Hey, maybe I should write a diet book extolling it! The only problem is, it only took me like one paragraph to explain the concept, so it might be hard to stretch it out into a book. I suppose if I got creative and included diagrams, I could push it to 20 pages, but I'd never make it all the way to 100.

Well, there's that, and the fact that readers might want personal testimony verifying that it does indeed work as a weight-loss method and, in order to do that, I would need to a) hire a professional wrester willing to devote his or her time to hanging around me and an extremely overweight person for however long it would take the overweight person to lose an astonishing amount of weight via the getting-clotheslined-constantly method and b) hire an extremely overweight person who is willing to get busted in the chops repeatedly for weeks until they lose an astonishing amount of weight.

Maybe if the publisher ponied up a big enough advance for me to hire a wrestler and an overweight person...?

Oh, the actual Clothesline Diet? Well, once I saw the cover, which you see above, I saw a clothesline—that is, a line of rope upon which clothes are hung, not a form of professional wrestling attack—and I knew that it wasn't what I originally imagined. Rather, the name comes from the fact that the lady on the cover started her weight-loss program by walking around her clothesline in the backyard or wherever. Not nearly as exciting as my version, but probably better for your teeth.

This is the latest from Anna Dewdney, author and illustrator of Llama Llama Red Pajama, Llama Llama Mad at Mama, Llama Llama Home With Mama, Llama Llama Misses Mama and Llama Llama Holiday Drama.

It's called Llama Llama Time To Share.


That doesn't even rhyme!

I really like the title of Laurie Keller's "A Book About Manners." It's a decent read, in which a rabbit named Mr. Rabbit discovers his new neighbors are a family of otters. He panics, declaring "I don't know anything about otters...What if we don't get along?"

The title, a play on the first half of The Golden Rule, is the second funniest part of the book. The first is the part when a wise old owl interjects, "Mr. Rabbit, I know an old saying: 'Do unto otters as you would have otters do unto you.'"

The rest of the book concerns Mr. Rabbit going through what he would like the otters to do unto him, with author/artist Keller filling the explanations of various positive neighborly behavior with various gags. But the best gag is definitely the otter pun.

Hmmm, Matt Melvin's Dracula is a Racist came out in 2010, one year after Chris Sims promoted his "Dracula's Greatest Comics Appearances" article on ComicsAlliance by referring to the Buffy The Vampire Slayer Dracula as "Racist Dracula." Sims also referred to both Marvel's Dracula (as he appeared in Captain Britain and MI-13) and the Buffy comics version of Dracula as "Racist Dracula" in 2008 and 2009, when those comics featuring those racist Dracula's were originally published.

Now I'm not accusing Melvin of anything, as the idea that a centuries-old European aristocrat might be a little racist isn't exactly such a unique idea one that more than one or two or ten or 200 people couldn't come come up with a joke about it independently of one another. Still, it was pretty weird for me to see Dracula's racism being called out on the cover of a book after seeing it on Sims' blog so many years ago.

I don't care how much money anyone involved with this movie (I don't know any of them, and neither do you), it can't possible be enough to make it worth hearing "Oh, like that Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter movie....?" over and over again for the rest of their lives. (Er, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was based on a book, which is why I bring this up here at all, in case you were wondering).

I would be ashamed to tell you how much time I actually spent considering this author's name the other day, and trying to come up with a rationale reason why someone's name might actually be "Robotham" before realizing that it's probably not pronounced "robot ham," like, the name of a mechanical automaton and the name of a popular type of meat, but that the t and the h probably sound like the t and the h in the word "the." But it was probably a longer time then you might guess it was.

1 comment:

Anthony Strand said...

My local Barnes & Noble (Columbia, MO) not only has three shelves dedicated to "Teen Paranormal Romance," one of them is "New Teen Paranormal Romance."