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  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Lit Up

'Django Unchained' Original Screenplay and 'Sex Criminals'

This week's book reviews.

Photo: Courtesy Photo, License: N/A

Courtesy Photo


Django Unchained Original Screenplay
by Quentin Tarantino; adapted by Reginald Hudlin (featuring art by R.M. Guera, Jason Latour, Denys Cowan, Danijel Zezelj and John Floyd)
$24.99, Vertigo

Did we ever live in a world without on-demand video? Sure. It was called the 20th century. In those days, all you had was the theatrical experience and, perhaps (if you were lucky), the literary adaptation. Maybe it was in prose form or comics, but in its way, it kept the movie alive for you. Heck, sometimes there wasn’t even a video release.
But times have changed.

You might say movie adaptations simply don’t have the same urgency they used to, and when the title in question is a Quentin Tarantino film, in this case the Oscar award-winning Django Unchained, a comic book adaptation seems dreadfully redundant. But in the foreword, Tarantino name-checks some influential Western comics he grew up reading, such as Kid Colt Outlaw, Tomahawk, Kid Cassidy and others, setting the stage for why this collected edition exists. But there’s not much new here.

Based on Tarantino’s first draft, the graphic novel plays out pretty much the same as the film: Django, a slave in the deep South, is given an opportunity by a bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz to avenge himself against the Brittle brothers, and rescue his wife, Broomhilda, from a plantation called Candyland. The graphic novel ends just like the movie. It’s the in-between stuff that’s actually fascinating. Tarantino’s crackling screenwriting seems strange squeezed within the confines of word balloons (which, sadly, isn’t nearly as fun as hearing it), but you’ll find some snatches of dialogue you won’t catch on the Blu-ray release, and if you’re interested in a fuller realization of Broomhilda’s backstory, you get it (you could say it’s the graphic novel’s centerpiece)

Sex Criminals
Matt Fraction (writer) and Chip Zdarsky (artist)
Cover price $3.50; digital price $2.99
Image Comics

Banned publications are always worth considering, especially if they’re full of sex, time suspension, and a couple of lovebirds on the run from the law. If you’re looking for something that stretches good taste to the farthest reaches of pretty much any galaxy, Sex Criminals is as filthy a title as you’ll ever encounter. So filthy, in fact, that Apple has banned the serial comic from the Apple Store. Though you can get it directly at the Image Comics website, your local comics store, or download it digitally at Comixology, Apple’s not directly selling Sex Criminals via its iOS platform.

Don’t let the title fool you, Sex Criminals is a postmodern love story. Jon and Suzie are truly two of a kind — a really weird kind. The two have supernatural abilities (triggered during sexual intercourse in which both have the power to freeze time), and when they find each other, the fun really starts. (Particularly, when they plan their first bank robbery and the Sex Police show up.)

That said, there’s something tender and personal about Sex Criminals. The story brings to mind all the embarrassing sexual escapades you might have experienced in high school, college and later. More importantly, it examines how these relationships, however brief, stay with us for the long haul, shaping us into the adults we end up becoming.
It’s a groundbreaking work, an honest discussion about human sexuality packaged as a tale that’s sci-fi, romance, coming of age. What more could you ask for?

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