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Friday, April 18, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 55.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Daily

BOOKS

Star-struck

All the excitement about Johnny Depp's filming of Public Enemies in Wisconsin and the Madison casting calls for extras and vintage cars has me thinking about our continuing ability to be star-struck here in the Midwest, even in a supposedly urbane outpost like Madison. >More
 Badger creator Mike Baron talks comics

Badger is a comic book character and series created by Mike Baron back in 1983. The star of this series is Norbert Sykes, a regular guy who suffers from multiple personality disorder, and one of Norbert's personalities is Badger, a costumed superhero who battles evil on a regular basis. What's particularly fun, though, is that much of the action is visibly set right here in good ol' Madison. >More
 Badger returns to Madison in comic-book relaunch

What might bring a comic-book neophyte into cozy Capital City Comics on a cold winter day? There's a new superhero in town. Again. >More
 Five questions for novelist Manil Suri

The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri emerged from a crowded pack of first novels in 2001 to win praise from The New York Times ("Deft and confident") and be nominated for the PEN/Faulkner award. Suri, who is also a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Maryland, has just published his second novel, The Age of Shiva. >More
 Wisconsin Vets Museum marks a signal moment in the Vietnam War

There are echoes of Vietnam in today's Iraq war coverage. Then, as now, complaints came that reporters focused too much on bad news. "But it turns out," says Ohio University historian Chester Pach, "that if you look at the coverage, there's variety. On the same evening, the same newscast, there's a report that talks about the heroism of Marines in Hue, but also someone saying that what the U.S. government tells us isn't working." >More
 Ode to Wisconsin Academy poetry contest winners

Let all within earshot cheer proud and attest!
Ring the bells and chime loud for Mad City! No jest!
News from an annual Wisconsin Academy contest:
Three Madison poets have won. We're the best! >More
 Private Soldiers show Iraq photos at Wisconsin Historical Museum

What does the war in Iraq look like? When I conjure up snapshots in my mind, I think of dramatic images: The toppling of the Saddam statue, a Humvee blasted to bits by a roadside bomb, Iraqis weeping in the street. But there are calmer moments, too, and some of them are captured in Private Soldiers: A Year in Iraq with a Wisconsin National Guard Unit, an exhibit at the Wisconsin Historical Museum on the Capitol Square. >More
 All things SCTV with Jeff Robbins

In television comedy, few shows have been more influential than SCTV. So says Jeff Robbins, and he would know. The Cottage Grove resident is the author of Second City Television: A History and Episode Guide, a new, exhaustive handbook to the Canadian sketch-comedy show that ran, in various formats, from 1976 to 1984. The book features summaries and analysis for each of the 135 episodes of SCTV, which spawned comedy luminaries John Candy, Martin Short and Eugene Levy, among others. >More
 Read all about it

This marks a year in which two Madisonians cracked the national bestseller lists -- Jackie Mitchard with her novel Still Summer and Kevin Henkes with his picture book A Good Day. Jennifer Chiaverini published her 15th quilt-related book, The New Year's Quilt, in November. Lodi resident James Campbell attracted good notice with The Ghost Mountain Boys, the nonfiction story of a nearly forgotten World War II battle. >More
 Too much coffee, man? Heck no!

Jeff Hagen has plenty of time to talk about his new book, Brewed Awakenings: An Illustrated Journey to Coffeehouses in Wisconsin (and Beyond) from Blue Mounds'Itchy Cat Press. He's recuperating from a recent surgery. Unfortunately, it's a recovery period during which he's allowed only one cup of coffee per day. "Down from two or three," Hagen says. "It's my black gold." >More
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