OmegaFirst it was the actors; then it was the directors and musicians and TV show staff writers. Now it’s the famous novelists who think comics are the bees knees, as the AP reports. Clues as to state of the loooonnnnggg brewing OMEGA THE UNKNOWN by Jonathan Lethem and Farel Dalrymple (left) are also dropped:

“It was an interesting challenge,” Lethem said. “One of the things I concluded very quickly was that it’s not a written form. My primary task was to provide amazing things for artists to draw.”

The first six issues are in the can, and the series will have a total of 10, like the original, which debuted in 1976. No official release date has been given.

Greg Rucka, Brad Meltzer, Jodi Picoult, Stephen King and Michael Chabon. Meltzer sums up the trend:

Meltzer and his publishers also put excerpts of “Justice League” into the paperback edition of “Book of Fate,” the first time a comic book has appeared in a novel, he says.

He believes the medium shouldn’t matter, as long as the story is good.

“There has just been so much snobbery that has existed with comic books,” he said. “We’ve got to prove that these things are equal.”


  1. Which comics did King write? Creepshow?
    And for every Meltzer there’s a Lustbader…
    Did Ray Bradbury ever write for EC, or was his work adapted? And what about Harlan Ellison? hmm?
    Are we seeing the comics equivalent of the writers migration to Hollywood in the 30s?

  2. Farel’s art is so complimentary to Lethem’s style, especially FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, which makes multiple reference to OMEGA. There’s something undeniably outer-borough Seventies about that image. I can’t wait until this surfaces.

    BTW, you can count Douglas Rushkoff as a sometimes novelist who’s heavily invested in comics now, too: he wrote ECSTASY CLUB and EXIT STRATEGY (known as BULL in some markets) before trying his hand at CLUB ZERO-G and now TESTAMENT.

  3. First time in what way?

    I think they had a few JLA preview pages in the back of Book Of Fate.

    Don’t rightly know if that’s the first time it’s happened, but there you go.


  4. A video of Jonathan Lethem’s recent talk at Google is up at
    It mostly deals with open source art and the public domain per a recent magazine article of his, but I get in a couple of comics related questions during the Q&A period.

    Part of the Authors@Google series, whose Youtube “homepage” is at
    Lot of interesting talks by interesting people in there.

  5. Bradbury’s EC stuff were all adaptations, unofficially until he contacted them, as I understand it. But he loved what Al Williamson and others were doing and sanctioned further adaptations.

  6. >>” ‘Book of Fate,’ the first time a comic book has appeared in a novel”
    >First time in what way?

    I suspect that the reporter may have misrepresented the details of the BOOK OF FATE / JUSTICE LEAGUE cross-promotion. As I recall, the comic book included an excerpt from the novel and the paperback edition of the novel included a few back-of-book ads for–but not actual comics excerpts from–Meltzer’s Justice Leage & Identity Crisis comics/graphic novels.

    (I recall flipping through the paperback at a bookstore and remember taking note of the backads, but not seeing any actual comics pages. Also, the PW coverage of the promo at talks about ads, not comics content, being placed in the paperback edition of the novel.)

    As the PW piece says, “ the best of [Meltzer’s] knowledge, this is the first time comic books have been cross-promoted in a prose bestseller.” Which may very well be true. Still, though it is of course fantastic that DC participated in this cross-promotion, it’s also true that paperback editions of books often contain backads and often those backads are for related products not from the publisher. So this this cross-promotion is indeed great, but it’s not necessarily a fundamental, paradigm-shifting ground-breaking development either.

  7. Plus, it now occurs to me that the BOOK OF FATE paperback actually might not be the first prose bestseller to include advertisement/promotion for a comic book–or if it is, it’s no longer the only one.

    I believe the paperback edition of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake novel DANSE MACABRE includes a backad for the Marvel Comics starring Hamilton’s character. BOOK OF FATE includes *more* advertising pages for comics, but there is indeed comics advertising in DANSE MACABRE, too. (I don’t know if there was similar reciprocity where Marvel excerpted the novel in one of its comics, as BOOK OF FATE was done in JUSTICE LEAGUE, so the Meltzer cross-promotion may indeed be more extensive than Hamilton’s.)

    The paperback editions of DANSE MACABRE and BOOK OF FATE were published, I think, around the same time, so although one can certainly work to figure out which came first, it may not be worth getting too invested in doing so.

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