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MEATHOUSE MAN Is Coming

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.

mhmcov_Web

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.

Comments

( 44 comments )
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racebannon42
Apr. 30th, 2013 02:22 pm (UTC)
Awesome. Congrats to Raya!
darkswordjim
Apr. 30th, 2013 05:37 pm (UTC)
Raya was kind enough to show me previews of some of the panels while I was visiting down in NM the other week and they were impressive/creepy at the same time. This of course is a good thing given the source material.

Rock on Raya!

Jim
montydelrogue
Apr. 30th, 2013 08:47 pm (UTC)
Very cool!

While I wouldn't categorize you as a pure Splatterpunk author, MEATHOUSE MAN certainly fits in the vein of that particular subgenre of horror. Definitely a well written piece. Personally, as much as I love fantasy, my true love is horror. Especially well written short horror stories such as MEAT MAN.

I find it interesting that you frequently feature stories in your anthologies that you edit by Joe Lansdale who is considered one of the masters of extreme horror. NIGHT THEY MISSED THE HORROR SHOW is one of the most disturbing examples of extreme horror that I've ever read. In reading the story, you get the impression that Joe had a lot of fun writing it, as twisted as it sounds. That's a testament to Joe's skills as a writer. He wrote another story called INCIDENT ON AND OFF A MOUNTAIN ROAD that was pretty cool.

Edward Lee is another prolific author in the Splatterpunk vein. While I find him intriguing, he frequently bludgeons readers with so much sex and violence that you eventually become numb to it. THE BIGHEAD is a perfect example. Way too over the top.

Richard Christian Matheson, son of the great Richard Matheson, also is renowned in the Splatterpunk movement. His short story RED is only two pages long but definitely hits you like a punch to the stomach.

Of course the greatest writer considered part of the Splatterpunk genre would have to be Clive Barker. While some of his work could be considered extreme, his creativity and fantastic imagination could almost be considered Lovecraftian in that he created entire worlds and myths that are horrible and stunning at the same time (see THE HELLBOUND HEART (what the HELLRAISER movies were based upon) as well as WEAVEWORLD).
grrm
Apr. 30th, 2013 11:51 pm (UTC)
Joe Lansdale is amazing, yeah.

And I was the editor who first bought and published "The Hellbound Heart," way back before anyone knew who Clive Barker was.
(no subject) - montydelrogue - May. 1st, 2013 01:33 am (UTC) - Expand
ext_1690566
Apr. 30th, 2013 09:02 pm (UTC)
I may be only 26 years old, but I couldn't take a comic to my grandparents' house as a child without questions being asked about my 'funny book'. I literally thought that was what they were called by everyone until I was in my early teens.

Personally, I kind of like the term still. Up with funny books, I say!
MynameisDrake
Apr. 30th, 2013 09:07 pm (UTC)
Looking forward to this. The story is certainly not fun or easy to read, but it explores some interesting themes and is VERY well written (not that that's unusual for George). I read it in the Dreamsongs collection a couple of years ago and it's one of the stories that has stuck with me longest (the other jewel in that collection, apart from The Hedge Knight, has got to be Sandkings, which I hope also gets a comic).
grrm
Apr. 30th, 2013 11:49 pm (UTC)
SANDKINGS had a comic years ago, from DC. The late great Julie Schwartz was the editor. You can probably find a copy easily enough, I don't think it's rare or expensive.
adrenalinitris
Apr. 30th, 2013 10:15 pm (UTC)
Where could one find Meathouse Man today? Is it part of any anthology currently in print?
grrm
Apr. 30th, 2013 11:48 pm (UTC)
It's in DREAMSONGS, my short story collection. Also in some zombie anthologies... though my zombies aren't true zombies.
cyberalien
Apr. 30th, 2013 11:35 pm (UTC)
Great story! Yes, definitely a bit disturbing, but original, engrossing, and memorable!
stdharma
May. 1st, 2013 01:05 am (UTC)
That
is most excellent, good sir. 'tis a shame I have no Kindle in which to read it.
Amaresh Datta
May. 1st, 2013 07:45 am (UTC)
on comic book and graphic novels
I think 'comic book' in the US is a complete misnomer. There is nothing comical in (almost) any of them. The whole genre is monopolized by picture format stories of violent (not even slapstick and quite often gory) adventures of skimpily dressed bulging-muscled super-heroes (gender neutral). In that respect 'graphic novel' is a much more appropriate name. One can call it 'cartoon book' (simply 'cartoon' being reserved for cartoon movie/strips).

European comics are still true to the nature/genre ... I have seen a bunch of recent French and German comics that have pun, humour and other comical aspects. Even their adventure graphic stories are much better than their US counterparts ... in terms of drawing style and more importantly, content wise ... much more historical or fantasy based rather than one-dimensional super-hero stories.

Speaking of 'comic' and good book, I would promote 'Cartoon History of the Universe' all the volumes ... an exceptionally entertaining ans immensely edifying work. Anyone who likes comic books and EVERYONE who likes history (of the human race as a whole) should read/buy it.

attilathepbnun
May. 2nd, 2013 02:10 am (UTC)
I remember them being called funny books!
Well, actually, I remember other (older)people calling them funny books ...
infinite_hiatus
May. 2nd, 2013 04:01 am (UTC)
sounds intriguing!
Sean Hall
May. 3rd, 2013 06:58 pm (UTC)
Sounds interesting
Wow, this certainly sounds fascinating. Will definitely have to check it out!
sharpelynoted
May. 5th, 2013 09:49 am (UTC)
Tremendous news!
I'm so happy to hear about this. When I first read DREAMSONGS I instantly fell in love with this story. Strange thing to say, what with the horrific and disturbing subject matter, but I couldn't help but enjoy the dark beauty of the story. George, you created a story with so much depth and feeling that I can't help but read it on a regular basis. I can't wait to get my hands on this and see how the artist has interpreted the images within. Congratulations, George. I'll be sure to suggest this (among your other works) to more of my friends. Hopefully we get to see more of your work receive the recognition it deserves. Cheers, sir.
karma_xan
May. 6th, 2013 09:40 pm (UTC)
YAY!
rir Mr Jnsson
May. 9th, 2013 09:56 pm (UTC)
Meathouse Man
Ohh! Meathouse Man as a graphic novel. What great news. My absolute favourite story from Dreamsongs. Macabre, dreary and grim, yes, but very enjoyable nevertheless (or perhaps therefore). Looking forward too it, and will try to hunt down a copy of Sandkings while I wait.
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