Wait, it’s August? When the heck did that happen? Wasn’t it, like, Easter two weeks ago? I guess as we haven’t really had a summer as such it’s easy to lose track of time. One event you can depend upon is the Saturday drop of your favourite internet compendium. It may come down to the wire sometimes (our editor is putting this issue to bed less than ninety minutes before hitting the go button) but we strive to be there for you. A little structure in wobbly times.
In this week’s ep, we start and end with comics, take in some bread and rice and consider the lightning.
Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.
The Phoenix carries on the great British tradition of smartly written strip comics for kids. The staff know their market and understand the best way to get and keep the attention of their audience is not to talk down to them. The Phoenix hit issue 500 this week, a significant achievement and a milestone too few British titles have reached. In celebration, they’re offering that issue for free, so you can all see what the fuss is about!
We are, it’s commonly perceived, in a golden age of telly. So much to choose from, such high-quality offerings! Of course, the hungry maw of production has to get its raw material from somewhere, and the literary world has benefitted from the slew of adaptations. From Game Of Thrones to The Queen’s Gambit, the net is cast ever wider in the hunt to snag the next big fish. The question is, are modern books being written in a way which makes them more attractive to the TV execs?
It’s never too late to start something. We’ve always been inspired by the artists, musicians and writers who have chosen a path late in life and strode down it proudly. It’s also never too late to start something again, as this lovely New York Times piece shows.
We hate to worry you, but the old tale about how rare it is to get struck by lightning isn’t quite as true as you’d like. OK, you’re still more likely to get run over by a car but a bolt from the blue is not the one in a billion event everyone thinks it is…
Danny Whitty was diagnosed with autism and apraxia at an early age. Unable to communicate in the usual way, he has turned to food as a way to show how much he cares for his family and community. Honestly, this is the one piece we urge you to read this week.
We’ve given up on sourdough bread. The bakers in the Cut Kitchen have returned to regular service after struggling through most of lockdown with stubborn starters that refused to play nice and delivered mouth-puckering results. We are not alone, and were charmed to see writer Robin Sloan’s paean to the stuff this week. He’s even included a playlist for your starter! His novel Sourdough is a fabulous flight of fancy on baking as a balm for a weary soul. We recommend most highly.
The Food Desk is stirring back to life after months of inactivity. Three whole articles for you this week! A veritable cornucopia! We loved this cautionary tale about a San Francisco restaurant whose chef put an over-priced super-complex item on the menu as a joke. They expected no-one would go for it. Boy, were they wrong…
We are very big fans of Simon Hattenstone, feature writer for The Guardian. His big interviews seem to go deeper than most, transcending the usual celebrity puff pieces to get to a truer place. This long profile of musician and author Baxter Dury is a good case in point. It’s a long read, but worth taking your time to enjoy.
There are some shelves in the Cut’s Reading Room filled with the works of a single author who is no longer with us. Terry Pratchett is one. Iain Banks is another. His accomplishments in fictions both literary and science are remarkable. It’s a real sadness he was removed to a higher plane so soon. Here’s a piece from 1999 which gives a great sense of the man and the places in which he grounded his writing.
And finally. James Gunn’s big loud gory adaptation of The Suicide Squad drops in America this weekend after a week in UK cinemas. We are yet to see it but plan to very soon. It’s good to see James given the opportunity to properly cut loose in true Slither-style fashion. He’s been very open about how closely the script sticks to the core texts—the comics series written by John Ostrander. Here’s a history of how the strip came to be.
We took a trip to Reading’s excellent new art hub The Biscuit Factory this week. It’s just what our town needs and we wish it every success. We caught the brilliant documentary Summer Of Soul, a history lesson in every sense of the world. The pill is sweetened with a heaping double handful of amazing music. We could have chosen any of the featured tracks from the film for our Exit Music, but have plumped for the same tune director Questlove chose to roll out on—‘Have A Little Faith’ by The Chambers Brothers.
See you next Saturday, brothers and sisters.