I kinda owe Shannon Hale an apology. I read The Actor and the Housewife: A Novel several months ago and then didn’t write a post about it.
That’s actually not why I owe her an apology. I wouldn’t presume to suggest that I should say something about everything even slightly Mormon related that hits the public eye. Rather, it’s that I did post a few comments here and there expressing major discontent with the novel. Those criticism are valid (in brief, they are that she pulls the punches when it comes to the unique Mormon content (I think she could have pushed things about 15-25% more without losing the national audience), she totally martyrs the husband (who is not The Actor, by the way) and doesn’t make him as interesting as he should/could be (and actually shows hints of being), and she totally muddles up the ending. Continue reading “Why I haven’t posted about The Actor and the Housewife”
Though this post is by it’s very nature heavily self-indulgent, I am going to try to spin it as more altruistic than it is. Continue reading “Looping through the Mormon Arts, from me to me”
As Motley Vision‘s newest Official Contributor, I feel an obligation to have my first post explain something of my experience within and attitude towards the Mormon arts.
Several months ago, I plotted out a post called “Hero’s Journey of the Mormon Artist” which I had intended to submit to William. I’m glad I never finished it however as further reflection has suggested to me that I was implying that that my proposed version of the hero’s journey was a necessary part of being a good Mormon artist. As if being an Orson Scott Card or a Dean Hughes is more admirable than being a Heather Moore or an Anita Stansfield (no sexism intended). And so I continued refining the idea and now I feel that it is not Mormon artists who are on a hero’s journey, but the Mormon arts entire. I will not be going into all seventeen stages of the monomyth, but I will deal with the three major groupings and hit on the secondary levels when they seem helpful.
* Continue reading “The Hero’s Journey of the Mormon Arts”
Wm writes: Every year since 2000, Andrew Hall has put together a Year in Review for all of the major genres of Mormon letters. AMV is pleased to bring you Andrew’s Year in Review for 2008, continuing in this post with the second part of his look at Mormon authors being published in the national market. Also see Part Ia.
Andrew Hall’s Mormon Literature Year in Review — Part 1b: National market books continued
In the wake of Harry Potter, Deseret Book’s Shadow Mountain imprint has made a big push into the national young adult fantasy genre. They had four authors producing five novels in 2008. The most successful is Brandon Mull, whose Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague was the third in his series. The series reached #3 on the NYT Children’s Chapter Series bestseller list. Obert Skye released two novels, Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra, the fourth in a series, and Pillage, a stand-alone humorous novel. Shadow Mountain also brought in two authors who have previously published in the Mormon market. James Dashner published a successful fantasy series for the Mormon publisher Cedar Fort. Shadow Mountain contracted with him to write a national middle reader fantasy series, The 13th Reality. It tells the story of a contemporary 13-year-old who is presented with a series of letters and clues drawing him into a adventure. A reviewer at Kirkus wrote, “Though there are chunks of text that are overwritten, the telling is generally laced with a strong sense of humor and a sure hand at plot; the author is plainly in tune with today’s fan base.” A reviewer at School Library Journal wrote, “This book had great potential. The beginning of the adventure starts with a bang, but by the middle of the story things begin to drag. The immediacy gets lost in the daily struggle to figure out the riddles and the unending descriptions of Tick’s life as he awaits the next one.” J. Scott Savage has written several mysteries in the Mormon market. Through Shadow Mountain he published the fantasy Water Keep: Farworld. Meridian Magazine reviewer Jeannie Hansen wrote, “There’s enough magic and strange creatures populating the book to please the most avid fantasy reader, but there’s an added dimension of mystery and philosophy that marks this fantasy as a cut above many fantasies currently being marketed to young adults.” Continue reading “Andrew’s Mormon Literature Year in Review: National Market 2008, Part Ib”
Several months ago my lovely wife Anne and I had the privilege to go to a retreat hosted twice a year by the Mormon Artists Foundation. Founded by James Christensen (rightfully famous for his art of fantasy and his fantastic art) and Doug Stewart (playwright of the groundbreaking Saturday’s Warrior), it’s always one of the chief highlights of the year for my wife and I. An uplifting experience, not because of the number of recognizable names on the roster (which was a little intimidating at first, until their relaxed manner and cheerful comradery told me that they were only human and weren’t looking down on my comparatively pitiful contribution to Mormon Arts), but because of the focus it brought to the spiritual aspect of our art, and the complicated ways our religion informs and doesn’t inform our Art. It was a true inspiration to see all of these gifted Mormons from the visual arts, literature, film, drama and music band together for a weekend of reminding each other why they’re artists and why they’re Mormons, and what a wonderfully strange and beautiful mixture that is. Continue reading “The Art of Friends, Not Rivals: Shannon Hale and Stephenie Meyer”
When I asked Theric Jepson to write a bit about Mormon graphic novels, I didn’t expect that he would launch a full on bibliographic project. But he did — and even though the results make for a very long post, it’s very much worth a read. Indeed, it’s quite the amazing project and must have taken quite some time to put together. Thanks, Theric. ~Wm Morris
I’m also going to make you click through for the full post because the “more” tag seems to be causing some problems with the special formatting for the post.
Continue reading “A Survey of Mormon Comix by Theric Jepson”