Thursday, July 26, 2007

Crooked Little Book...

A lot of people ask me if I've read Kaviler and Clay, well I've tried I have this edition which is quite bulky and I can't carry it around and, mmm, the dog ate my homework, and when you're writing a PhD do don't get to read fiction, as much as I have fond memories of keeping up with likes of Coupland and Auster. I mean the only paperback I've literally read cover to cover in recent years is this great piece of literature . I think they're gonna have to release a revised edition to include her, ahem, appendix. Anyway, as good as Kaviler and Clay is (the 100 or so pages of it I've read anyway) what niggles me is the sense that Chabon gets a Pulitzer for a story inspired by Siegel and Shuster yet the real Jerry Siegel was working as a mail clerk where the secretaries almost thought his claims of co-creating Superman were the demented ravings of a senile old man. With literature's comfortable poaching of popular culture ideas for shits, giggles and prizes, (as much as is it is well-meaning and from lit-comics-geeks) it's going to be interesting to see what the reviewers are going to make of:

Warren Ellis's book Crooked Little Vein (Ellis makes up like 47 percent of the Internet as if you didn't know)

The updates about the publication of Ellis's debut novel on his site and through his mail out bad signal have been an interesting look at the differences between the comic and book industries. The way in which some comic buyers with monthly subscriptions for comics would bitch if the book wouldn't be out in time for their monthly waddle down to Bilbo's Bumhole Bonanza Bobbins megastore, like it was the first book they ever bought and they don't know how bookstores work:

I'm not in charge of shipping. I don't know when CLV will reach your country. I don't know when Amazon will send it to you. I'm getting a stupid number of questions on these topics. Listen: I'm Not The Publisher.

This is Not Comics: this book is not released on a Wednesday cycle.There is no "late." If a local supplieris telling you they don't get thebook until August, well, that's when they're getting the book, and it's nothing to do with me.

The cover is from a political cartoon by Benjamin Franklin. It has nothing to do with any band, any poster, or Skrulls.

Amazon have put up the first chapter as a pdf and it had me laughing a lot, it's very good, with elements of urban legends, film noir, X-Files-like consiracies, gonzo journalism and paronoid sleepless mania.

There's also some great hardboiled one liners from the private eye protagonist:

It was one of those unusual moments where I couldn't think of a swearword bad enough

And right there is where I needed a time machine, so I could go back and shoot myself

I had fears that literary critics would have the knives out for a comics writer, but I can see it being a huge hit, but not in the recently annoying 'don't tell me don't tell me' Harry Potter way, but I'd much rather see Borders open for 35 hours to sell Warren Ellis paraphanilia and people acting more like people in Ellis' writng.

Interview with Ellis at Publishers Weekly

Listener, his second novel is already delivered

P.S. People going on about Superhero themes in books and TV, rather than comics, it's like Wild Cards never happened.

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