• Elliott Bay Book Company owner Peter Aaron recently held a staff meeting to announce that he's moving to New York City on August 1 to live with his longtime girlfriend. In an interview with The Stranger, Aaron confirmed that he'll continue to be closely involved in the day-to-day operations of the bookstore, including book buying and financial decision making, and he plans to come back to Seattle at least once a month, and more often during busy seasons to help around the store. Does this mean that Aaron is looking to sell Elliott Bay? "No way," he says emphatically.
• Two weeks ago, the nation's nerds assembled at San Diego Comic-Con to celebrate the year gone by and look forward to the year ahead. SDCC is home to the Eisner Awards, the comic-book Oscars. Local comics team David Lasky and Frank M. Young won an Eisner in the Best Reality-Based Work category for their musical biography The Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song, beating out formidable comics including Stranger Genius Ellen Forney, whose memoir Marbles was nominated in the same category. (Forney didn't go home empty-handed; the day before, she won the Inkpot Award, given to "individuals for their contributions to the worlds of comics, science fiction/fantasy, film, television, animation, and fandom services.") Congratulations to Forney, Lasky, and Young. You made Seattle look good at Nerd Central.
• Soon, Jane Austen will be spent. Last week, the Bank of England finally agreed to feature her on its 10-pound note, responding to protests about removing Elizabeth Fry from banknotes (the only other woman on British paper money, besides the Queen). Fry's still being phased out, to be replaced by Winston Churchill (snooze). Leading the protests was feminist blogger Caroline Criado-Perez, who received up to 50 rape and death threats an hour via Twitter—and Twitter wanted her to fill out a complaint for every one. (Um, punishing the victim? Caroline, if there were such a thing as Stranger money, we'd put you on it.) And guess what? Only one woman has appeared on paper money in the U.S.: Martha Washington, in 1886, 1891, and 1896. We've got slave-owners represented, though, so there's that.
• Congratulations to Seattle's Jinkx Monsoon, whose musical cabaret show The Vaudevillians morphed from a would-be one-night NYC showcase into a sold-out extended run at the Laurie Beechman Theater, continuing through August 29. Among the forces that made The Vaudevillians "off-Broadway's hottest ticket": passionate tweets of support from Joan Rivers.
• Walter De Maria, the artist who created The Lightning Field way out in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico (his motto should have been "Leading Art People Astray for 30 Years") died Thursday at age 77 after a stroke. De Maria's other major enduring work is The New York Earth Room on 141 Wooster Street in New York, a white-walled spot full of dark and dirt-smelling dirt. Former Stranger theater and film editor Annie Wagner tweeted: "In college, NY for the 1st time, was stressed by all the honking. Dirt helped." Proposed epigraph for De Maria's tombstone: "Dirt helps."