Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Book Club

Book Club last night was so damn much fun. It came on the heels of a letter from DC Comics saying that they've sold over a million -- one million -- copies of Watchmen since the trailer was released. Brilliant. So to sit there and watch my wife's overeducated book club argue over utilitarianism vs. retributivism (Adrian vs. Rorschach) was just beautiful. They didn't even complain about the giant squid. Best part was certainly picking apart Chapter V and all the symmetry references -- and the moment when they realized that the little kid reading Black Freighter (and seeing it's reflection in his real world) was a meta-signal of why it's important that we're reading Watchmen and seeing the reflection in our world. Heads exploded. Dr. Manhattan was right. Nothing ever ends.


And super best part? They picked my pal Junot Diaz's Oscar Wao for their next book (and actually think it was their idea).


The revolution is on.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why I Married My Wife

Tonight is the night: when all of my wife's friends come over to our house to have their bookclub and discuss Watchmen. I can't tell you how excited I am. For the past two weeks, I've been watching my wife sit in bed, with Watchmen in her lap. I freeze this image in my mind as it brings me the perfect nerd-gasm. My wife. Reading my favorite book. Is that hot or what?


But what's truly hot is this (spolilers ahead): after I mentioned that a few friends who had seen the movie reported back that we'd love what they get right and kill them for what they get wrong, we started compiling a list of all the things that they CAN'T get wrong. The Watchmen untouchables. And in the midst of this frenzy with my pal Jason, my wife said simply to me:


The only thing that has to happen is Rorschach dies.


blink, blink.


"Marry me!" I screamed again.


In conclusion, I've prepared for tonight's book club. I've prepared better for this than most (okay, all) of my law school classes. I've got a list of great themes, from the ultra-obvious (deconstruction of the superhero), to the dangers of nostalgia and longing for the past, to the value of identity, to the discussion of the triangle with Laurie ultimately choosing Dan (Man beats Superman).


But I want more.


So send them in now. Best concepts and ideas and themes and cool things in Watchmen (and don't tell me that issue five runs backwards in perfect symmetry (scoop of chocolate, scoop of vanilla -- don't waste my time)).


The End is Nigh.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

UK Pub Date And Watchmen Reaction

For all those (hi, Cliff!) who wrote and asked when The Book of Lies would be published in the UK, well here you go.


Today's the day -- England, Ireland, Australia and loads of other countries that carry English language books. And we didn't even change all the elevator references to lifts (I used that joke in 1997).


Here's the cover, which I'm fascinated by. Love seeing how other countries interpret it.







Also, after talking to a select few who have seen the movie early, let me pass on the one comment in common: we'll love what they do right. We'll kill people for what they get wrong. That is all.


PS - Also saw a sneak peek of the Zatanna costume for Smallville. Best. Best.

After Watchmen

First and foremost, my wife just finished reading Watchmen. Was miraculous to sit and talk to her about what is...um...what's been arguably the most important book in my life. I could literally talk for hours on it, and even though I usually know to keep it in check, my inner 15 year-old kept leaping out with geek-glee (trandemark!). The amazing part was how much she loved the book -- got the depth and nuances and all the goodies -- but really didn't like the kill-all-NY ending. In post-9/11, it's just not what we read in 1985. And totally fair point by her. (See more on this in tomorrow's blog about what I heard from people who saw the movie).


Second, see below for DC's new "After Watchmen...What's Next" program. Brilliant. Really. And yes, I know everyone tends to put out more books when the Spider-Man or Batman films hit, but this is different (and not just because we're a part of this one). In truth, I thought this was genius and only after, did I realize we were in it. Watchmen isn't just a movie right now. It's a publishing phenomenon. And I know John Cunningham and the DC crew were the key reason for that. They saw the wave and were ahead of it with this one. So for all those people who ask, what should I read next, see below (or better yet, buy them something YOU love (Y, Ex Machina, Scott Pilgrim, etc).


http://www.newsarama.com/comics/020918-Watchmen.html



DC COMICS ANNOUNCES “AFTER WATCHMEN, WHAT’S NEXT?” PROGRAM


The excitement surrounding the upcoming WATCHMEN feature film has brought new readers to the graphic novel format. Now that they’ve read WATCHMEN, where do they go next? Help point them in the right direction with DC Comics’ “AFTER WATCHMEN, WHAT’S NEXT?” program.


DC Comics has developed a marketing campaign that spotlights several award-winning, best-selling titles from our various imprints. Each book reflects an aspect of WATCHMEN’s broad appeal — including other works by Alan Moore, science fiction tales, post-modern super hero action and sophisticated titles for mature readers — and is a great entry point for both new fans just discovering graphic novels and established readers looking to try something new.


The program is supported by an extensive marketing campaign including five promotionally-priced reprint Specials which are rush solicited below.


The marketing campaign includes:


Five “AFTER WATCHMEN, WHAT’S NEXT?” Specials featuring a cover price of just $1.00:



    • SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING #21 SPECIAL EDITION
    • TRANSMETROPOLITAN #1 SPECIAL EDITION
    • PLANETARY #1 SPECIAL EDITION
    • PREACHER #1 SPECIAL
    • IDENTITY CRISIS #1 SPECIAL

Please see below for more information on these Specials.

Print:




  • 32-page booklet to be given away at conventions, comics shops and book stores
  • House ads in the DC Universe, Vertigo and WildStorm titles
  • Editorial page promotions in Vertigo: On the Ledge, DC Nation and WildStorm Stormfront columns
  • Trade ads

Online:




  • E-mail Blasts
  • National Consumer Online Banner Advertising Campaign
  • Retailer Tools on DC Comics retailer page on diamondcomics.com
  • Checklist, Header Card, Shelf Talker and Bag Slick
  • Bag Stuffer for DC Retailer page for Direct Market retailers

Social Networking:




  • AFTER WATCHMEN, WHAT’S NEXT? MySpace Group
  • AFTER WATCHMEN, WHAT’S NEXT? Facebook Group

Conventions:




  • Ad pages in Convention Program Guides
  • 32-page Booklet distribution at DC booth
  • Bookmark distribution at DC booth

DCCOMICS.COM:




  • Website at www.readwatchmen.com
  • Showcase titles on the homepages of DC, WildStorm and Vertigo throughout February, March and April to capture new WATCHMEN readers
  • Articles on DC, Vertigo and WildStorm homepages

Co-op:


  • Co-op Movie Slide
  • Co-op Ad Slick

**********


DC COMICS RUSH SOLICITS FIVE “AFTER WATCHMEN, WHAT’S NEXT?” SPECIALS


Tying into the new “After Watchmen, What’s Next?” program, DC rush solicits five key titles priced at just $1.00 each!


These titles will arrive in stores weekly beginning March 11, and prominently feature the “After Watchmen, What’s Next?” branding and trade dress. Each is offered to all Diamond retailers at a special “C” discount code of 60% off.


Retailers may order these issues by contacting their Diamond Customer Service Representative or DC Sales Representative, or by email at reorders@diamondcomics.com.


The “AFTER WATCHMEN, WHAT’S NEXT?” Specials are:


SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING #21 SPECIAL EDITION (JAN098009)

Written by Alan Moore

Art by Stephen Bissette & John Totleben

Cover by Tom Yeates

On sale March 11; 32 pg, FC, $1.00 US • MATURE READERS

Final Order Cutoff date: February 19


TRANSMETROPOLITAN #1 SPECIAL EDITION (JAN098010)

Written by Warren Ellis

Art by Darick Robertson & Jerome K. Moore

Cover by Geof Darrow

On sale March 18; 32 pg, FC, $1.00 US • MATURE READERS

Final Order Cutoff date: February 26


PLANETARY #1 SPECIAL EDITION (JAN098011)

Written by Warren Ellis

Art and cover by John Cassaday

On sale March 25; 32 pg, FC, $1.00 US

Final Order Cutoff date: March 5


PREACHER #1 SPECIAL EDITION (JAN098012)

Written by Garth Ennis

Art by Steve Dillon

Cover by Glenn Fabry

On sale April 1; 48 pg, FC, $1.00 US • MATURE READERS

Final Order Cutoff date: March 12


IDENTITY CRISIS #1 SPECIAL EDITION (JAN098013)

Written by Brad Meltzer

Art by Rags Morales & Michael Bair

Cover by Michael Turner

On sale April 8; 48 pg, FC, $1.00 US

Final Order Cutoff date: March 19


Monday, February 16, 2009

Scarlett Johansson's New Role

Don’t care if it's not true. Don't care if it never happens. In my fantasies, it's now permanent.



Johansson Tipped To Take Black Widow Part (IMDB)
16 February 2009 4:15 AM, PST


British actress Emily Blunt is set to miss out on a coveted role in the forthcoming Iron Man sequel - Scarlett Johansson is reportedly in talks to play femme-fatale the Black Widow.


Blunt was widely tipped to take on the part of Russian spy Natasha Romanoff in the follow-up of the 2008 blockbuster.


But The Devil Wears Prada star faces a scheduling conflict, after signing up to act alongside funnyman Jack Black in a new movie version of Gulliver's Travels.


And Johansson is now close to agreeing a deal to step into the breach on the forthcoming Iron Man sequel, according to Entertainment Weekly.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Cause Yourself Blindness!

Just got the below sent to me by the publisher: The Book of Lies is now available for your iPhone. Must admit, haven't tried it yet, since I'm waiting for a new Blackberry (still can't believe with all the stuff we get sent, no one has a connection for me at RIM), so have no idea how the reading experience is. But a free book of your choice to the first person who tries it out and actually reads. As usual, email me through the site and I'll send goodies. If you get no goodies, you weren't first. Or I think you cheated.



Book of Lies For Your iPhone



Have a great weekend all. And to all those with no Valentine (curse it for being on a Saturday night), be mine. My wife says it's cool as long as it's impersonal and internety.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Candy From Youth And A Thank You

First, a huge thank you to everyone who has responded to this and sent in their personal stories about their parents. What amazed me isn't just that people have written -- it's the honestly of what you're writing. I continue to maintain that we have the best readers of any author (suck it, JD Salinger!) -- and it's because there's such a true humble honestly that radiates from you all.


In return (beyond trying to do justice with some of the stories), I share these candy-bar commercials, which I found while looking for info on Chunky candy bars. The $100,000 Bar orgasmic reaction is particularly fantastic (plus, corded phones!). Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Lego

For any conversation about how awesome Legos are. This is the awesome.


I LEGO N.Y. (New York Times)



And this is the spaceship Lego I was OBSESSED with when younger. By the end, I could build it by heart.

Violinist

Kinda hate the Washington Post for doing this (sinply because they can be exactly the kinds of snobs who’d walk right past this guy). But also gotta love them for doing this.



A Violinist in the Metro (Washington Post)


A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.


During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousand of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk. A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work. The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on. In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition. No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars. Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100. This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Be in the New Novel

Yes, it’s that treasured time again: when I offer to cast your life in a book, in the hopes that you’ll share something private, real, and most important, honest about your personal life for the benefit of this imaginary character I’m working on. In the past, some of the best details for characters have come from friends and readers, so before we go forward, let’s go through the usual disclaimer: if you reply to this (whether you post or send me a private message), I actually may use it in a book, so you waive your rights to sue me, hate me, or give me Indian burns. In fact, at least three readers/friends from this blog were in the last book (see the Acknowledgments, though a few more asked their names withheld).


Now onto the personal question:


Are you (or have you ever known) someone who grew up with an absent parent -- or more specifically -- without knowing who one of your parents was? (could be by death, abandonment, divorce or because they left or you never knew who they were) If so, how did it affect your life? (And I mean that specifically. Not just, “It made me insecure, or strong, or whatever.” HoW did that insecurity or strength actually manifest?) As always, personal examples (incidents/dreams/fears/stories) are always best. And if you want to send something private, please send to bradmeltzer27 [AT] gmail [dot] com. And again, thanks for the honesty -- that’s easily the most vital and appreciated part.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Ghost Photos

Thanks to Warren Ellis, who of course should be the one to find these:



War Haunted


Favorite Tour Interview

This may be my favorite interview from the entire book tour.


Love to KCRW for doing it — it mixes my top 5 songs with 5 points in my life. And you’ll hear how I got a gun pulled on me, and had Blues Traveler play in our kitchen.


Listen (don't just read the transcript) at: http://www.kcrw.com/music/programs/gd/gd090128brad_meltzer