David Mitchell: I have no reason to have these apocalyptic musings

He has a happy home life, two sitcoms on the go and a new book in the offing so why is the comedian still so crotchety? An empty canteen trailer on a sports field in Chiswick is the rather sterile setting for my interview with a collection of his columns from the past three years, Mitchell has reached a more macro-scale judgment. His ire is aimed not at film-set canteens but at the world at large, or at least the British part of it. In his opinion, he writes, Britain is now a country where things are generally getting worse. Thats not an exceptional observation. Perhaps the majority of people, Robert Webb (whos actually a couple of years older), like …

Flea on life before the Chili Peppers: ‘I grew up running around naked’

The bassists new autobiography lifts the lid on a difficult, violent childhood and a conflicted relationship with Anthony Kiedis In his new memoir, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea recalls a Halloween night of genuine horror. At 13, he was trick-or-treating with friends when word spread through his neighborhood that a madman was firing a gun randomly in the street. The terrified kids scattered to find safety in their homes, but when Flea approached his parents house he noticed that all the front windows had been blown out and debris strewn all over the lawn. Once inside, he found his step-father, Walter, with blood smeared over his face and torso, a smoking pistol dangling by his side. He was the …

Find Me by Andr Aciman review an intriguing sequel to Call Me by Your Name

Chance encounters hint at great romance, and Oliver dreams of Elio, in a stylised yet frustratingly unrealistic novel of love In Richard Linklaters film Call Me By Your Name, Andr Acimans 2007 novel that became an Oscar-winning film, and it begins in the same way as Linklaters movie, but rather than the protagonists being a couple of twentysomethings, Samuel and Miranda have a greater disparity between their ages. The former, the father of the young pianist Elio from the earlier novel, is at least 30 years older than the latter. Its a brave conceit in 2019, when any suggestion of impropriety between an older man and a younger woman is generally given short shrift, but theres no touching or hand-holding …

From Baba Yaga to Hermione Granger: why we’re spellbound by ‘witcherature’

Vengeful, seductive, feminist, misogynist … witches have appeared in many forms in literature. Now a new generation of novelists are falling under their spell A witch is a woman who has too much power. Or, to quote the novelist #MeToo world, where Donald Trump a fan of the term witch-hunt is US president, it is really no surprise that female writers are examining the role of the witch in new ways. Since Trumps election, which inspired mass spell-casting by thousands of resistance witches (the selection of judge Circe, Millers reimagining of the story of the witch from the Odyssey. Shortlisted for the Womens prize and soon to become an HBO series, the novel sees Circe, a victim of rape, turn …

8 Essential Books in the Queer Comics Canon

More than a decade ago, when Batwoman was reimagined as a gay character, it was a big deal. She was a woman in comics who dated and danced with other women, experienced heartbreak, and went through many of the mundanities of relationships that queer people aren't often afforded in mainstream media. Katherine "Kate" Kane was revolutionary. She was, and is, also not alone. LGBTQ+ people are now featured in a lot of comics. In fact, when it comes to queer representation, the Marvel and DC movies and television shows are pretty far behind their paperback counterparts. Batwoman is only just now getting a her own show, and Marvel is promising that a gay character is coming, but such a character …

Andy Warhol’s friendship with Jean-Michel Basquiat revealed in 400 unseen photos

Book offers voyeuristic glimpse into the two artists lives with hundreds of Warhols images and diary entries A voyeuristic glimpse into the world of two of the late 20th centurys greatest artists is to be revealed in a book that finally brings to light some of the 130,000 photographs that Andy Warhol took to document every aspect of his life. More than 32 years after Warhols death, hundreds of his photographs are set to reveal the minutiae of his friendship fellow artist published for the first time in a new book. Theirs was a complex relationship, which began in 1980s New York. Warhol with his depictions of movie stars, soup cans and Brillo-pad boxes was already one of the worlds …