Favorite articles roundup for the week of September 6, 2019

Here’s my weekly look at, and comments on, news stories of interest.

Media

Scholastic and Marvel team up on graphic novels

“Shuri” #4. Art by Sam Spratt.

Marvel’s finally launching its own line of young adult graphic novels. To do so, it’s teaming up with the dominant publisher of kids’ graphic novels, Scholastic. The first two volumes announced are “Shuri: A Black Panther Story,” and “Avengers Assembly.” Other volumes will be announced in the near future; Scholastic VP Debra Dorfman mentioned her company’s interested in Ms. Marvel, Squirrel Girl, and Miles Morales, along with Shuri.

This is good news for Marvel. It seems odd (and an oversight) that the owner of the biggest superhero movie franchise doesn’t have any real presence in the growing young adult graphic novel area. They’re also working with Scholastic, whose own graphic novels are pretty much blowing away the Big Two in the book channel market. (Scholastic’s sales there are nearly double those of Marvel.)

We’ll see how well Marvel does in this new venture. Meanwhile, longtime rival DC Comics is moving forward on their own aggressive graphic novel initiative.

The NHL takes notice of “Check, Please!”

The NHL’s website has an article about LGBTQ-friendly comics “Check, Please!” and “Breaking the Ice.” The site carries the article (by William Douglas) under the category “Hockey Is For Everyone,” featuring articles about hockey’s appeal to LGBTQ folk, people of color, and other groups.

I hadn’t heard of “Breaking the Ice” until now. But if “Check, Please” is winding down, I might want to check it out at some point.

Technology

Apple Music is finally getting a web player

Headphones
Photo by stevepb (Pixabay / CC0)

On the heels of iTunes finally meeting its end comes another bit of major news: Apple’s music player finally has a web player.

This has been something way overdue. One of the annoying things about iTunes, and Apple’s media strategy until now, is that it’s tied to the iTunes app. Spotify, Google Play Music, Amazon, etc. all offer web players, which lets anyone regardless of platform use their services. Now, it looks like Apple’s joining that group.

This is also good news for Chromebook users, as well as Linux users. That said, trying the web player’s beta reminds me it is, well, a beta, though imagine things will improve.

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