Robert Kirkman proved just how strong his will and courage are yesterday when he survived an appearance on The View — not just any appearance, but one where the hostesses were all in their Halloween costumes, including Sherri Shepherd dressed as Frankenstein’s Flava and Elisabeth Hasselbeck as…a pregnant wicker basket full of maple candy? What was that. Proving that he has the poise for the big time, Kirkman not only did not burst into screams — or laughter — but patiently answered all the biddies’ nosy questions about where zombies come from, how they live, what they eat (rugula, maybe?), and whether the zombies are seeing anyone right now and if not how are they going to settle down?

Although The Walking Dead’s origin as a comic was mentioned, the audience giveaway consisted of a Walking Dead Season 1 DVD and a copy of the new novelization. Sniff. Guess The View’s audience just isn’t ready to read a comic book.

Despite that, we have to cheer for Kirkman, The Beat’s 2010 Comics Industry Person of the Year. He’s handling the spotlight very, very well and staying true to his comic roots, too.





    “Meanwhile, “The View” hopped on the zombie bandwagon. Each host dressed as a zombie version of a different reality show personality/premise. We have to admit, most of them were lame. We’re with Joy Behar, who thought the idea was kind of goofy. We don’t blame her since she had to dress as a Zombie Hoarder. Whoopi Goldberg’s Zombie Steven Tyler just seemed wrong somehow given the “American Idol” judge’s recent shower face plant. And Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s Zombie “Bachelor” — totally phoned in. The only woman worth paying attention to was Sherri Shepherd, who was dressed as a Zombie Flavor Flav and stayed in character throughout the show.”

    So that was a hot tub, and she was a “Bachelor”. That looks like a bespoke costume, so she (or the designer) gets points for creativity.

    Was Mr. Kirkman also zombified? What’s that on his forehead?

  2. The book Rise of the Governor is not a novelization of the TV show or comic. It’s an original story.

    No, the novel is based on the Walking Dead universe — in other words, a novelization.


  3. Theo’s right. As a term novelization is specific to taking an extant story and turning it into a novel.

  4. Just as we wonder why all comics are called “graphic novels” (even non-fiction), or why we call them “comic books” even though most are grim-and-gritty, it’s because that’s what the general populace recognizes.

    If you ask the average person-in-the-bookstore, “novelization” would be defined as an adaptation from another source, most likely a movie screenplay.

    Otherwise, fan-fiction could be called novelization.

  5. Otherwise, fan-fiction could be called novelization.

    People make assumptions about what words mean, based on common usage, and they’re often wrong. A writer wouldn’t novelize a single issue of a comic book, or a half-hour TV episode; the sources wouldn’t provide enough material. And, unless he dumped the dialogue onto paper, he’d be writing material that didn’t appear originally anyway. So, arguing that writing a novel based on a TV series or another source isn’t a novelization relies on a very specific interpretation of the word “original.”


  6. Not to jump on you, Synsidar, but I have never seen the word “novelization” used in as broad a context as you’re using it.

    That’s probably because people are accustomed to seeing movies novelized, not TV series and definitely not comic book series. The word “original” isn’t appropriate, since the writer is using characters, settings, etc., which already exist. The word “tie-in” is too nonspecific; “novelization” refers both to the source material and the length of the work.


  7. A prose novelist writes: “Novelisation” implies the conversion of a story that has already been produced in another medium. A Doctor Who graphic novel, say, wouldn’t be a “novelisation” if it was an original storyline, but would be if it retold episodes from the show. Perhaps the Walking Dead book would be better called the new prose novel.

  8. “but patiently answered all the biddies’ nosy questions”

    Wow. I’ll remember this quote the next time the Beat is banging the gender wars drum. Sheesh.