STL Team Debuts Blaze Brothers at Comic-Con International; Read Special-Edition Issue Now

Categories: Books, Nerdgasm

Courtesy of Matthew Scott Krentz

When we launched the annual Riverfront Times MasterMind Awards in 2008, we set out to seed a few innovative projects that would help shape St. Louis creatively and culturally. And even though all of our award winners have been talented and successful, we had no idea that one of the first MasterMind recipients would go on to conquer film and comic books on such a noteworthy scale.

But that's exactly what 2008 MasterMind winner Matthew Scott Krentz has been doing. With his writing and production partner, Vernon Whitlock III, Krentz has his fingerprints all over Hollywood. From the critically acclaimed, award-winning film Streetballers to scripts for major studios, the team already has made its mark on the film industry.

But Comic-Con International? That's a whole new level of success.

See also:
- Wizard World Inc.: A roving comic con looks to corner the geek market
- Slideshow: Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con 2014

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The Best Fan Freak-Outs From Chris Colfer's Book Signing in St. Louis

Categories: Books, Twitter

@chriscolfer | Twitter
Smile, St. Louis -- you're on Chris Colfer's candid camera.

With the gorgeous weather St. Louis has been having, it certainly feels like life is a song here in the Gateway City. Recent visits by Glee cast members simply add the grace note.

St. Louis had its first taste of Glee when Alex Newell served up a saucy headlining set during this year's PrideFest downtown. But Newell, who plays Wade/Unique on the hit FOX television series, was just the beginning of the city's obsession with the show.

On July 15 hundreds of adoring Gleeks filled the St. Louis County Library headquarters, where Chris Colfer signed his new book The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning and answered questions about his life on Glee. The author and actor, who plays Kurt on the series, name-checked vocalist Adam Lambert and political figure Hillary Clinton before signing books for more than 800 fans.

And that's when all hell broke loose. The good kind of hell. The hell that's full of squeals and hugs and selfies.

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Half Price Books Opening in Chesterfield Is Rare Good News for Book Lovers

Categories: Books

Brewbooks via Flickr
Half Price Books is opening in Chesterfield.
The Archive is gone. So is A-1 Book Exchange. The Book House was thrown out of its gorgeous, historic location and is valiantly making do in an originally decrepit space. Even Left Bank Books had to close its downtown location.

It's been a rough seven months for St. Louis' readers of non-ebooks.

So Daily RFT took it as a wonderful sign from the literary gods that Half Price Books, the discount-book and -music seller, has opened a store -- a real, live, bricks-and-mortar store -- in Chesterfield.

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Publisher of Tea Party Coloring Book Thinks Propaganda Should Be Part of MO Classrooms

Categories: Books

Really Big Coloring Books
If you ask Wayne Bell, it's never too early to expose your kids to the Tea Party, Ted Cruz or the 9/11 attacks.

Bell's company, Clayton-based Really Big Coloring Books Inc., has pumped out a diverse selection of politicized coloring books for the past five years, and he thinks it's high time schools and human rights groups get in on the propaganda action.

"Our products are very accurate and very pure. We want to be included in the daily lives of children across America," says Bell, who tells Daily RFT he's petitioning the Missouri Department of Education to include his books as standard texts in official school curricula.

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Amazon Names St. Louis the 11th Most Well-Read City in America

Categories: Books

Hey, kids books are good, too. Keep reading, St. Louis!
Way to go, bookworms. Your fervent page-flipping and e-book ingesting has put St. Louis high on's list of the most well-read cities in America.

St. Louis comes in at No. 11 on the list, between No. 12 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and No. 10 Columbia, South Carolina. Alexandria, Virginia, tops the list of bookish cities for the third year in a row.

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Left Bank Books Closing Downtown Location (UPDATE)

Categories: Bidness, Books

Google Street View

The lovely downtown location of Left Bank Books is closing.

In an e-mail message to its listserve this morning, owner Kris Kleindienst confirms that while they are departing downtown, the flagship location in the Central West End will soldier on. She adds there are no current plans for layoffs.

The last day open will be May 31st. We've left a message with Kleindienst and will update when we hear back. Click through for her message to customers in its entirety.

Update: Daily RFT just spoke with Kleindienst, who did her best to console us.

"It's OK. It's going to be OK," she said. "It's kind of a relief actually to be a decision we're acting on, as opposed to something we're agonizing through."

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The Code of the Hills: HarperCollins Picks Up Legal Thriller From Missouri Prof

Categories: Arts, Books

The first thing one notices about Nancy Allen is her Missouri twang.

"My mother had a very pronounced Ozark accent, and I'm told I sound like her," says Allen. "I am stubbornly and defiantly Ozarkian."

Yet as proud as she is of her Southern Missouri heritage (Allen traces her family's Show-Me-State roots back to the 1850s), she's no apologist for the region's shortcomings.

"Just because I'm a card-carrying Ozarkian does not mean I'm blind to the way the Ozark hills need to be improved," adds the 57-year-old attorney and mother. It's that statement that may best summarize the theme of Allen's first-ever novel -- the one HarperCollins scooped up earlier this year with a sequel already in the works.

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St. Louis is America's 9th Most Literate City

Categories: Books

Book House
A look back at the Book House's old location in Rock Hill.
St. Louis is the ninth most literate city in America, between No. 8 Boston and No. 10 San Francisco, according to a new study from Central Connecticut State University.

River City has ranked in the top fifteen since 2005, usually hovering around eighth or ninth place. We reached our peak at No. 6 in 2007.

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Bookworms Mourn as Rock Hill Book House is Demolished: Photos

Photos courtesy of Michelle Barron
A bulldozer demolishes the Book House's old home in Rock Hill.
Every day Book House owner Michelle Barron drove past the shell of her old Rock Hill storefront wondering, "Will today be the day they tear it down?"

Tuesday, she got her answer. As she drove past in the morning, construction crews were already halfway through demolishing the 161-year-old home that once housed a bookstore beloved by St. Louis County readers. The two-story gothic revival house was torn down to make way for an EZ Storage.

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St. Louis Booksellers Close Up Shop After Half Century Selling Novels, Bibles And Porn

Categories: Books

Danny Wicentowski
A-1 Book Exchange is the last of more than dozen of bookstores run by Francis Pfeiffer and his son, Ken, over the last 54 years.
A-1 Book Exchange is closing next week. All books are 99 cents till Tuesday, but after that the store will shutter, signaling the end of the bookstore chain Francis Pfieffer started in 1959.

Ken Pfieffer took over management for the family business from his father in the mid '90s.

"We're the only place in the world that I know of where you can buy a Hustler and a Bible and put it in the same bag," he says, cracking a smile. "And I have done that. More than once."

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