Mark Millar’s superhero rise from comic book nerd to Netflix winner

How Scotsman made multi-million pound leap from page to screen with sale of Millarworld titles to US streaming giant

Like many comic book writers and artists, Mark Millar’s love of comics began as a young child when his older brother would take him to comic book shops. But now the Scottish author has become the latest beneficiary of the global obsession with bringing the stories to life on the screen, after his publisher Millarworld – whose titles include Kick Ass, Kingsman and Wanted – was bought by Netflix this week.

The price paid has not been disclosed but experts estimated it would be between $50m and $100m (£39m-£77m). It is the first company acquisition in Netflix’s 20-year history and an indicator that superheroes, old and new, will be on our screens for a long time to come.

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Philip Larkin exhibition in Hull offers fresh insights into poet’s life

Hundreds of personal items gathered for City of Culture show that does not shy away from darker sides of his personality Philip Larkin is many things to many people; to some a bleakly beautiful poet with a razor-sharp wit, to others a womanising misogynist whose casual racism is unforgivable. It is into this morally complex minefield that a new exhibition, held in Hull’s Brynmor Jones library where he was famously the librarian, has waded, offering a new perspective on Larkin, one of the city’s most treasured cultural figures. Continue reading...

Naomi Klein to rush out new book taking on Trump administration

Canadian activist, who only began writing No is Not Enough two months ago, says book will put forward manifesto for action Naomi Klein has revealed she is to publish a new book taking on the Trump administration, arguing that a corporate political takeover got him elected and that a rise in activism can be utilised to resist his policies. No Is Not Enough is the most rapidly written book by the acclaimed Canadian writer and activist, a respected political thinker with a huge following since her 1999 book No Logo. She only began writing it two months ago and it will be published in June. Continue reading...

Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory reanimate Frankenstein for Keats-Shelley prize

Seven winners share £4,000 for works inspired by Frankenstein as the award marks 200 years since the novel’s inception

The winners of the Keats-Shelley prize for essays and poems have been announced at a ceremony that saw Damian Lewis and Helen McCory perform a reimagining of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

The Homeland actor, who is hotly tipped to be the next James Bond, said it was still important to celebrate the influence of Mary Shelley – but admitted his own poetry writing skills were lacking.

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Is this the final chapter for Swindon’s libraries as locals denounce 60% cuts?

Community fears story won’t end happily with proposals in place to withdraw funding from 14 of Swindon’s 15 libraries and council looking for volunteers It’s 4pm on a Tuesday and the toddlers gathered in Swindon’s Old Town library are all pretending to be lobsters. Their small hands pincering the air, the children shriek with excitement as the page of a book is turned. A moment later, they are all flapping dolphins. The weekly event of Rhyme Time is one that would pass by most residents of Swindon. But for the dozen or so parents who come every week with their children – some as young as three months – it is one of the simple yet essential services offered by their local library. And, as such, it is under threat. Continue reading...









The Peanuts Movie: classic cartoon strip gets a 21st-century revamp

Charles Schulz’s much-loved cartoon, once read by 355 million people, is hitting the big screen, 65 years after it was born

“Be yourself,” Charles Schulz once wrote. “No one can say you’re doing it wrong.” It was such moments of understated wisdom that ensured Schulz’s coterie of put-upon cartoon protagonists, from Charlie Brown and Snoopy to Peppermint Patty and Linus van Pelt, their status as some of the most beloved comic strip characters for more than half a century.

First published in October 1950, the Peanuts comic strip became the most influential and popular in the world: at its peak, it was read by 355 million people in 75 countries. The final strip was published on 13 February 2000.

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