The Literator: new comic; Berger's back; Barenboim's power

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The Independent Culture

* Most of us remember the childhood excitement of the weekly arrival of a favourite comic. Perhaps technology has made kids blasé, but publisher David Fickling thinks not for, in May, he will launch DFC, a new weekly comic for boys and girls which will feature work by some of children's publishing most revered figures, among them Philip Pullman who, with artist John Aggs, will write a comic strip entitled "The Adventures of John Blake". Pullman is thrilled to be involved with "this wonderfully fluid and exciting form". The content is still a closely guarded secret – but there's a sneak peak at

* As an eclectic panel (Victoria Glendinning, Mariella Frostrup, John Mullan) prepares to announce the 40th anniversary shortlist of the Best of the Bookers, with the final victor chosen by a public vote in May, the most controversial winner is back. John Berger, who won with G in 1972 and donated half his money to the Black Panthers, is to release his first novel for nine years. From A to X (Verso) is set in a community besieged by imperialism, and tells the story of a couple torn apart by life and politics .

* Daniel Barenboim has just wowed London Southbank audiences with a series of recitals of all 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas. Now comes the good news that, despite the seeming impossibility of making a success of any serious music book, Weidenfeld has signed up his latest opus – which has already sold 60,000 copies in Italy, where he is Director of La Scala. Everything is Connected: The Power of Music, scheduled for the summer, propounds the notion that music cannot be separated from other realms of intellectual pursuit, that music should be integrated into everyday life, and that the universality of music can bring us together. The founder, with Edward Said, of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Barenboim certainly knows what he is talking about.