Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sneaking In The Back Door?

As a writer of licensed property tie-in projects both famous (most recently Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar: Back 2 Africa), and obscure, I find the tone and quotes in this article insulting (please click the link and go read before continuing to enjoy my rant).

"Sneaked in the back door of publishing as a writer-for-hire," is how Judy Blundell categorized her career as an author before the publication of her first non-licensed novel. I'm not disputing the merit of the book (after all, it did win the National Book Award for Young People's Literature), but apparently she doesn't look upon the 100 or so books written up to this point favorably, choosing to use a pseudonym instead of her own name to sign the work.

I imagine doing so has hurt me at times, but I've always used my real name on projects. The only time a pseudonym has been on the cover of something I've written is due to the publisher (as in the case of the Deathlands novels I wrote under the house name of "James Axler"). I do agree with Blundell about "losing your writer's voice" by continually toiling in the creative houses of licensed properties, but I hardly see shame in the work done there either. Good work is good work, and should be recognized as such.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Six Degrees of Ron Howard's Hairpiece

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

The Many Humiliations of Illya Kuryakin Part 1

... See the glum expression being worn by our pal Illya in the cover photo? Perhaps he is sad at having his head confined in a tiny box, while fellow agent Napoleon Solo gets the full body glory shot, but I think it is because he read the script for this issue and wonders what fresh indignities will be thrust upon him next within the U.N.C.L.E. organization.

Don't feel bad, Illya. James Bond also has clown make-up on his resume (although I think you remain the only member of the 1960's spy fraternity to be shot out of a cannon). As witnessed in both story and cover blurb of Gold Key's The Man From U.N.C.L.E. #13.