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Nowadays they call 'em graphic novels. Which is a fancy way of saying "big thick trade paperback or hardcover comic books sold in bookstores instead of comic shops," really. When I was a kid we called them "funny books," but I don't think anyone but me and Howard Waldrop still remembers that. Never mind. I ramble.

The point is, I have all sorts of cool news on the funny book/ comic book/ graphic novel front. Which I am not going to spill here all at once, because, well, it's more fun to torment you guys with one announcement at the time.

Here's the first: MEATHOUSE MAN, the graphic novel.

Those of you who know me only from A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE may be wondering, what the hell is MEATHOUSE MAN?? The short answer is, "one of my old SF short stories." (Actually, a novelette).

The long answer is, "the darkest, bleakest, sickest, most twisted thing I ever wrote."

I wrote it back in the late 1970s, in response to an invitation from Harlan Ellison, who wanted something of mine for THE LAST DANGEROUS VISIONS. Most of my own visions, back then, were more romantic and melancholy than dangerous, but I wanted in that book, so I took up the challenge, opened a vein, and with my very own blood (no, not really) wrote this disturbing tale of zombie necrophilia, and... well, it was a painful story to write, and painful to read as well. When I sent it to Harlan, he rejected it... but Damon Knight bought it, and it was published in ORBIT 18. I've reprinted it a few times since. I really cannot say I "like" the story (it is not the sort of story that lends itself to liking), but it is a powerful piece.

And now it is going to be a funny book... er... graphic novel.


For that, blame must go to Raya Golden, my talented (and somewhat twisted) Second Minion, a terrific young artist. Raya wanted to adapt something of mine as a comic, so when I offered her the choice of all the stuff in DREAMSONGS not already under option, she surprised the seven hells out of me by choosing "Meathouse Man." (And she seems so sane and happy). Then she took the ball and ran with it.

Raya broke down the story, adapted it to comic form, wrote the script, did the pencils, the inks, the coloring, the covers. This is her MEATHOUSE MAN as much as it is mine.

Amazon's publishing arm 47 North will be bringing it out in October... as an e-book for Kindle for sure. Raya and the gang at Amazon have done some interesting and innovative stuff to marry the medium to the format; this whole e-comic thing is a brave new world. (E-funny books? Who woulda thunk it?) A print edition is also possible, but not definite, waiting on final word on that.

So that's the first of my funny books making its way toward you. Raya's done an an amazing job on it, I think... I hope you'll check it out, and... well, "enjoy" may not be the word, the story is kind of a punch in the gut, but...

That's MEATHOUSE MAN. Coming this October to a Kindle near you.


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Apr. 30th, 2013 01:17 am (UTC)
Last night's Game of Thrones was stellar. Two particular scenes were among the most beautifully shot I've ever seen on TV. The scene between Tywin, Tyrion and Ceseri and the "hot tub" scene with Brienne and Jamie. This Alex Graves dude knows his stuff!
Apr. 30th, 2013 01:21 am (UTC)
Congratulations to Raya! "Meathouse Man" is quite the story to adapt.
Apr. 30th, 2013 01:33 am (UTC)
I can testify to the awesomeness of both Raya and this, not actually that fucking funny book.
Apr. 30th, 2013 01:38 am (UTC)
(E-funny books? Who woulda thunk it?)

Actually, nowadays there's also webcomics - online-funny books? - that sort of jump the border between "story written for the public" and "story written to be sold"; a lot of them take advantage of the internet's ability to have long and short pages, and use layout that's too-long/oddly-shaped/strange on the printed page. There's a lot of really good ones out there, and if you liked funny books as a kid, you'd probably find webcomics you'd enjoy as well. If you need any recommendations I'd be happy to add some.
Apr. 30th, 2013 02:02 am (UTC)
Sounds cool.

I have finally come around to the term Graphic Novel mostly because of Scott McCloud and Reimagining Comics where he talked about Will Eisner's struggles to make sure that the medium was taken seriously (against fans and writers)

Sounds cool. So when do you think that Last Dangerous Visions will be coming out? :)

And darn it - I thought I was being all innovative when I wrote my Zombie Porn story. And I find out that this story has been around since before I was born. Oh well.
Apr. 30th, 2013 02:11 am (UTC)
Meathouse Courtesy
Glad there is a lot of sick people out there. Look forward to cringing to your story again.
Apr. 30th, 2013 02:15 am (UTC)
Hmm, my Kindle does words, does pictures in b&w, doesn't do colour. Do more recent Kindles (mine's from 2010) do colour pictures? Do I need to upgrade already???? Sadly clueless about that - and I thought I'd read pretty much all your work, Mr. Martin, but "Meathouse Man" doesn't ring a bell and it sounds like I'd remember it! I guess it's time to save the (now non-existent in Canada) pennies for an upgraded Kindle by October!
Apr. 30th, 2013 03:38 am (UTC)
They will have an app for other devices as well as a kindle, so if you have an iPad, iPhone, or even your laptop will be able to download a free app and check out the comic if you dare ;)
Re: Kindle - themountaingoat - Apr. 30th, 2013 10:19 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Kindle - xraytheenforcer - Apr. 30th, 2013 11:43 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Kindle - parsleigh - Apr. 30th, 2013 01:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 30th, 2013 02:39 am (UTC)

This is the first I've ever read of Harlan rejecting a story for The Last Dangerous Visions.

Apr. 30th, 2013 03:06 am (UTC)
The more interesting stories are the stories that were accepted for Last Dangerous Visions and never saw the light of day.
(no subject) - Mark Stackpole - May. 3rd, 2013 12:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 30th, 2013 03:10 am (UTC)
E-funny book
Well, I'm excited. Thank you for the heads up. I will await in anticipation (the usual).
Brandon Butler
Apr. 30th, 2013 03:16 am (UTC)
On the MEATHOUSE MAN as a graphic novel... I think.

I like the "open vein" reference to Harlan's writing. However, looking at my own scarred wrists now from just reading both your stories, I really wonder if there hadn't been an easier way...
Apr. 30th, 2013 04:19 am (UTC)
Oh. My. God. I love your short stories as much as I love ASOIAF but I could not get through that story. It's one of the few things that disturbed me too much to continue reading. I cannot even imagine it as a comic.

Thinking about it makes me shudder. In a mostly good way. But still...
Apr. 30th, 2013 04:29 am (UTC)
The other graphic novels in the works will be quite different in tone, rest assured... watch this space...
(no subject) - miguels_ma - May. 2nd, 2013 04:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - May. 2nd, 2013 05:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 30th, 2013 04:56 am (UTC)
Despite how macabre "Meathouse Man" was, I kinda actually liked it. If it came out in print, I'd definitely buy it... but barring that, maybe I'll finally jump on the e-book bandwagon - after all, being able to carry ASOIAF with me all the time certainly has it's allure
Apr. 30th, 2013 05:33 am (UTC)
Very cool. I, however, would like to see less attention paid to this silly A Song of Ice and Fire distraction, and more attention paid to your best work, Tuf Voyaging. The world needs more Haviland Tuf.
Apr. 30th, 2013 11:06 am (UTC)
funny books
I also remember "funny books". There was a candy store around the corner of where I lived that sold "funny books". I remember haggling with my dad to give me 10 cents (remember 10cent comics?) to buy one. He would always say, "Why do you want another funny book?", but eventually he'd give me the 10 cents. That nostalgia makes me resistant to Kindle and all its ilk. There is nothing like the feel and smell of a "funny book", new or old. My first graphic novel was the first Superman annual which cost 50 cents, a small fortune at the time (1950's). My mother promised me the two quarters if I passed 4th grade. I did, ran home through the projects yelling "I passed, I passed." Those were the days!
It's nice to see that you have a dark side as well, although it comes through in some scenes of a Song of Ice and Fire
Apr. 30th, 2013 11:42 am (UTC)
Raya is an amazing talent and I am so effing excited to see her tackle the project. Despite the gnarly aspects of the story itself, it's still one of my favorites (for various values of "favorite" because it isn't a story one can "like") of your short fiction.

Congrats to both of you!
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George R.R. Martin
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