The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
- Chris Sprouse, the illustrator slated to work with author Orson Scott Card on an upcoming issue of DC Comics' "Adventures of Superman," has dropped out of the project because of controversy over Card's views on gay marriage. Card has said in the past that homosexuality is "deviant behavior" and that same-sex marriage could lead to the end of civilization. In a statement, Sprouse said, "The media surrounding this story reached the point where it took away from the actual work, and that's something I wasn't comfortable with." The project will be put on hold.
- A 9-year-old Australian boy saved himself and two friends from sinking into quicksand after reading a kids' travel book called Not-for-Parents: How to Be a World Explorer: Your All-Terrain Manual, which he got for Christmas. The Lonely Planet guidebook written by Joel Levy also includes tips about fighting bears, building igloos and climbing volcanoes.
- The New Yorker's Jon Lee Anderson on the death of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez: "[Chavez] acknowledged that he had come to [socialism] late, long after most of the world had abandoned it, but said that it had clicked for him after he had read Victor Hugo's epic novel Les Miserables."
- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush caused a stir this week with his shifting stances on immigration. Bush's new book, Immigration Wars, came out Tuesday, and in it, he writes that "those who violated the laws can remain but cannot obtain the cherished fruits of citizenship." But in an appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe the same day, Bush said his views had changed and that "we wrote this book last year, not this year."
- "Nobody writes like Nabokov; nobody ever will. What I would give to write one sentence like Vladimir!" Schroder author Amity Gaige on literary influences, in an interview with The Millions.