April 23


RIP Peter Parker

Sara Pichelli's cover art for Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #1Spider-Man, one of America’s most popular and well-recognized superheroes, is dead.

Well. Kind of. Not really.

This month, Marvel Comics’ Ultimate line is re-launching its flagship title, Ultimate Spider-Man, with a new hero under the mask. Miles Morales, a half-black, half-Latino teenager from Brooklyn will be taking the place of Peter Parker, who was killed off earlier this summer in Ultimate Spider-Man #160.


It's murder

Sifting through my 5,000 Facebook friends, deciding which ones to delete to make room for cooler people, I come across a message from an actress of my acquaintance seeking one male actor to play a role in the murder mystery A Fistful of Meatballs at the Spaghetti Warehouse. My vanity, a big, green monster named Phil, stops dead in his tracks, turns his head, and raises a wiry eyebrow. I've done a variety of things onstage – operas, musicals, straight plays, cabarets, corporate gigs, stand-up comedy, street theater, sketch comedy, improv, one-man shows – as well as radio, television and film. But I'd never taken part in this thing they call murder mystery theater. I'm suddenly vexed by its absence from my resume. I "reply all" with a brassy, "i'll do it" – no capitalization, no punctuation.


A Borderless world

Thank you for calling Borders. This is Gregory. How may I help you?

The loss of a bookstore, no matter how large or small, is a tragedy for readers everywhere. Don’t speak ill of the dead or those on life support, my mother used to say.

I am not the one to tell you why Borders left 10,000 people without a job. Nor can I tell you why the auto industry in Detroit dried up or why MTV no longer plays music videos. You either know these things or you don’t. Expert Wall Street analysts and savvy business reporters have been working overtime to explain Borders' demise even before its last store is liquidated. On the internet, disgruntled ex- employees are bitterly recounting why Borders was a financial accident waiting to happen.

Haters, please!


Ortiz takes 'Carmen' to the streets

A few years back, Amalia Ortiz worked as a stage manager for a San Antonio production of Georges Bizet’s classic opera, Carmen. During moments of production stress, Ortiz – a gifted performance poet who was a mainstay for three seasons on HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry – and assistant stage manager Maria Ibarra joked about how cool it would be to take the Carmen story and set it in a San Anto bar.


Out of the cameras of babes

Casually dressed in a Chicano-flavored fedora, George Cisneros mingles with the crowd during intermission to make sure spectators are enjoying themselves at the Josiah Youth Media Festival, a three-day showcase of 40 films by filmmakers 21 and younger. As the music and media director of URBAN-15 Studio on South Presa, he feels he has a "social contract" with San Antonio to offer cutting-edge, thought-provoking cinema. He also enjoys putting audiences and artists together that normally wouldn't find one another. Judging by the fresh mix of demographics, which included patrons from Floresville, Pleasanton, Boerne and New Braunfels, one might surreptitiously grab a score card, give a quick look around and scribble, Cisneros 1, skeptics 0.


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