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Mulholland Authors at San Diego Comic Con

San Diego Comic ConAre you headed to San Diego for Comic Con this week? So am I! (It’s my first Comic Con, so forgive me for leaning on the exclamation marks in this post.) On my SDCC agenda are panels and signings with three Mulholland authors: Austin Grossman, Duane Swierczynski, and Charlie Huston. I’ll also be making appearances at the Hachette Book Group booth (Booth 1116) to give away limited edition pieces from JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst’s forthcoming book, S. And I may have a few copies of a certain detective novel to give away, but you’ll have to follow @mulhollandbooks for the details on that. Here’s where to find Mulholland at the Con:

Thursday, July 18: 11am-noon
Duane Swierczynski
Author of Fun & Game, Hell & Gone, and Point & Shoot
Signing at the Hachette Book Group Booth (#1116)

Thursday, July 18: 1:45-2:45
Ode to Nerds Panel
Everyone knows that published science fiction authors reign on the Geek Heirarchy charts because the Internet tells us so! (See, The Brunching Shuttlcocks.) Join us on this epic panel as the genre’s top names in publishing celebrate all things geeky and nerdy with Charlie Jane Anders of io9.com! Geek out with Charlie Jane and Cory Doctorow (The Rapture of the Nerds), Chuck Palahniuk (Doomed), Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind), Austin Grossman (You), DC Pierson (Crap Kingdom) and Robyn Schneider (The Beginning of Everything).
Room 6A

Thursday, July 18: 3:15-4:15
Ode to Nerds Panel signing
Room AA09

Thursday, July 18: 4-5pm
Keep ‘Em at the Edge of Their Seats Panel
The gory, gruesome, and paranoia-inducing elements in these novels will take readers on a jet-fueled ride to the dark side. These writers spare no expense to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up with stories that will surprise you at every turn. Their protagonists solve crimes, kick ass, and don’t let anyone—or anything—stand in their way.  Thrill to the discussion with James Rollins (Eye of God), Duane Swierczynski (Point & Shoot), Stephen Blackmoore (Dead Things), Charlie Huston (Skinner), Jeffrey J. Mariotte (Season of the Wolf) and Roger Hobbs (Ghostman), led by David Mariotte of Mysterious Galaxy.
Room 25ABC

Thursday, July 18: 5:30-6:30pm
Keep ‘Em at the Edge of Their Seats Panel signing
Room AA09

Friday, July 19: 12:30-1:30pm
The Pole with Soul: Spotlight on Duane Swierczynski
Comic-Con special guest Duane Swierczynski writes violent, bloody, pulpy comics (Judge Dredd, X, Bloodshot) and violent, bloody, pulpy novels (Fun & Games, Point & Shoot, Severance Package). But deep down inside, he’s a sweetheart. Which is why he’s inviting you to hang out with him for a special afternoon of prizes! Surprise guests! A soul-searching Q&A! And a hug. Okay, maybe not a hug.
Room 8

Friday, July 19: 1:30-2:30
Austin Grossman
Author of You
Signing at the Hachette Book Group Booth (#1116)

Friday, July 19: 3-4pm
Charlie Huston
Author of Skinner
Signing at the Hachette Book Group Booth (#1116)

Friday, July 19: 6:45-7:45pm
Science Fiction that Will Change Your Life Panel
What science fiction stories from the past year made you think, as well as entertaining you? Panelists talk about the year’s smartest books, comics, movies, and TV with io9 staffers Annalee Newitz, Charlie Jane Anders, Meredith Woerner, and Lauren Davis, joined by Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Middleman), Marc Bernardin (Alphas), Austin Grossman (You), Phil Plait (Bad Astronomy), and Jose Molina (Vampire Diaries, Sleepy Hollow).
Room 5AB

Update: Denise Mina Will Be Writing the Remaining Two Graphic Novels in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy

When we last checked in with Denise Mina, she had just finished working on Vertigo’s graphic novel adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In a recent conversation, she revealed that she’s already working on the next two books featuring Lisbeth Salander:

Will you be working on the rest of the Millennium Trilogy graphic novels?

Denise Mina: Yes! I’m writing the rest of them too! I’m halfway through the script for The Girl Who Played With Fire and moving on to The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. I’m loving it. It’s great to be writing comics again and with an adaptation I can worry more about the visuals and less about the narrative arc. The books are so dense it’s a matter of cutting back and cutting back. The second part of Dragon Tattoo will be out soon.

Hooray for us! And while you’re waiting for those volumes to drop from Vertigo, we can’t recommend Mina’s Gods and Beasts enough. Check out the opening pages for yourself.

Standing in Another Man’s Grave with a Gun Machine: Warren Ellis and Ian Rankin In Conversation

Ian Rankin has called Warren Ellis’s GUN MACHINE “hellish fun.” Warren Ellis has called Ian Rankin’s  STANDING IN ANOTHER MAN’S GRAVE “a magnificent read.” Figuring the Rankin and Ellis might have a thing or two to say to one another, we put the two in touch and watched the fireworks ensue. Their conversation follows…

Warren Ellis: In STANDING IN ANOTHER MAN’S GRAVE, you make returning to John Rebus look like putting on a comfortable old suit, but I wonder if it was. Was there ever a point where you assumed you’d never talk to Rebus again? Or were you waiting for the right story with which to go and see him again?

Ian Rankin: I retired Rebus because the real world demanded it. At that time (2006-7) detectives in Scotland had to retire at 60, and that’s how old I reckoned he was. But I knew that given the chance he would apply to work as a civilian in Edinburgh’s Cold Case unit. It really exists and is staffed by retired detectives. So when I got a notion for a story that involved a cold case…

Now let me ask you something, Warren: as a novelist, I found it hard the one time I wrote a graphic novel. I think authors of graphic novels work harder than novelists, who have all the time and words in the world. How different is it, approaching a novel to a graphic novel? What are the pros and cons of each?

Ellis: Writing a novel, for me, is always having to learn again when to stop describing.  You have to be so blunt and specific, for an artist, to achieve the image and narrative step you’re looking for, and doing that in prose is dull and thudding and takes away the possibility of the image growing and breathing in the reader’s head.  It’s like that art trick where someone draws three lines and a dot but yet everyone can see a face in it.  Not the same face, sure, because no-one sees everything the same way, but definitely a face.  But if you drew that face in detail, many of your readers would say, “huh, I didn’t think they looked like that,” and they’re kicked out of the book.  It’s that specific effect of evocation I have to try and find again.

The pros of writing a novel are about having space and time.  Graphic novels are limited containers of information, especially so in the amount of information one can radiate off a page, and books aren’t.  But there’s an atmosphere you can conjure in six words of text and a simple drawing that books simply can’t capture.  Comics are a hybrid form: they are semiotics and slogans and theatre and iconography and a dozen other things.  Like all hybrids, they have some weird weaknesses, and there are workings and effects in the prose novel that the graphic novel can’t really approach. But there are things in the graphic novel that the prose book simply cannot do.  They are pure visual narrative. Continue reading “Standing in Another Man’s Grave with a Gun Machine: Warren Ellis and Ian Rankin In Conversation”

A conversation with Denise Mina

Call me mildly obsessed: I can’t get enough of Lisbeth Salander. I devoured The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo back when it was an advanced reader’s edition, I saw David Fincher’s film the day it came out (and could not stop imitating Rooney Mara’s strange English/Swedish accent), and I’ve just finished reading the first volume of Vertigo’s graphic novel adaptation.

Denise Mina, author of The End of Wasp Season and the forthcoming Gods and Beasts, wrote the script for this adaptation. What I found fascinating about her writing is the way she is able to translate the characterization in Larsson’s 600-page novel with a few deft strokes of dialogue. Mina kindly took the time to answer my questions about her adaptation:

Why a graphic novel of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? What attracted you to this project?
Denise Mina: DC Comics approached me, and I was very keen. I think they were surprised by how keen I was, but I thought the story would lend itself wonderfully to a comic. Salander is very visual and the whole story—the usurping of gender roles, the motorbike, the gothic island—it could hardly be more graphic.

Also I love Larsson. He was a really radical political writer who used mass market media to get his political points across, and I felt a lot of those points were lost in the film versions. For example, Salander’s mother is brain damaged because of domestic violence. Her mother isn’t even in the American version, which is a shame. For me her mother is the centre of the whole story.

What was the hardest part about adapting Stieg Larsson’s writing for a graphic novel? Were there any plot elements in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo that were easier to tell in a graphic novel format?
DM: Quite a lot. Compared to prose, comics are great at action. I’d argue that comics are better for action than film too. The fraud plot lines were easier in comics than in prose and just impossible in film.

Difficult to have an interior monologue though, unless there is a narrator, and that’s not possible with a two-handed story like this one, where Blomkvist and Salander share the action half each.

Much of the dialogue in this adaptation is original. What was it like to write dialogue for someone else’s characters? How did you get inside their heads?
DM: For me the rule for dialogue in comics is less is best. The story should come out of the graphics and dialogue just shouldn’t be there if it isn’t necessary to add information or characterisation. Basically it boils down to information filtered through characterisation.

I didn’t find it hard because I’ve written for pre-existing characters before but I’m always dismayed when I find elements of myself in there, jokes I find funny but which don’t fit in with the scope of reference for those characters.

Tell me about the parts where you deviate from Stieg Larsson’s story: How much do you feel like you’re telling your story rather than Larsson’s?
DM: Its incredibly faithful to the original. I was aware that a lot of people already knew the story, and I didn’t want to leave too much out. It never felt like my story, more than that, it felt like I was trying to make his story work in a comics form. That involved things like making Blomkvist’s attractiveness believable (women are keen as chips to sleep with him for no very clear reason) and seeding Salander’s talent for disguising herself earlier in the story so that it doesn’t feel like a surprise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Vol. 1 is available for purchase now in hardcover and eBook

Ultimate Spider-Man: An Excerpt

Brian Michael Bendis’s reboot of Ultimate Spider-Man, introducing biracial Miles Morales as the series’ titular hero, had been making headlines before the first issue even went to press. Mulholland Books is pleased to offer an excerpt of issue #7–and don’t miss the first volume collecting issues one through five, in stores now.

Continue reading “Ultimate Spider-Man: An Excerpt”

Win a signed copy of Castle: Richard Castle’s Deadly Storm

This month, we posted an exclusive early excerpt from Castle: Richard Castle’s Deadly Storm.

Enter below for your chance to win a copy of Castle: Richard Castle’s Deadly Storm signed by star Nathan Fillion.

Generate extra entries by commenting on the excerpt post and tweeting to @mulhollandbooks, hashtag #Castle during the show in your local time zone. Be sure to include your Twitter handle if you have one.

 

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks for entering! Winner will be announced.

 

Exclusive Preview: Richard Castle’s Deadly Storm: A Derrick Storm Novel

Thanks to our friends at Marvel, we have an exclusive preview to share with you of the graphic novel Richard Castle’s Deadly Storm: A Derrick Storm Novel that hits bookstores and comic shops this month.

For the first time anywhere, Castle’s titular hero Derrick Storm comes to life in the pages of this all new graphic novel. This adaptation of Derrick Storm’s first novel adventure takes our hero from the gritty world of the private eye all the way to the globe-hopping intrigue of the CIA. Eisner Award-winning Marvel Architect Brian Bendis and red hot Osborn writer Kelly Sue DeConnick worked closely with Richard Castle to create the one thing millions of fans have been asking for: their first real Derrick Storm adventure. A wall-to-wall, gritty, witty, globe-hopping detective thrill ride for fans of Richard Castle as well as fans of damn good comic books!

A Conversation with Duane Swierczynski and Ed Brubaker: Part II

This week, we celebrate the publication of FUN & GAMES by Duane Swierczynski, a book that CNN.com says “reads like a Quentin Tarantino movie on speed, full of high-octane action, flying by at a breakneck pace, not for the faint of heart, but also with plenty of humor.” Here, we present Part II of a conversation between Swierczynski and award-winning writer Ed Brubaker, author of CRIMINAL, SLEEPER and INCOGNITO, among many others.

Missed Part I? Start reading it here.

DS: The idea for Charlie Hardie, the house sitter, came first, though he didn’t have a name for a long time. You think “house sitter,” you kind of think “burnout.” (My apologies to the many fine professional housesitters working the mansions of America today; I don’t mean you guys.) Anyway, at the very least, I imagined somebody’s who’s been through a rough patch. Someone who used to know how to handle himself, but maybe had fallen on hard times, and was more than a little rusty. Like you said, all of this stuff goes into a mental blender and spins around for a long time… and slowly, a character emerged.

See, I like your question a lot — and it applies to Charlie, because it’s clear he wants to escape from his life. Yet, life won’t let him. It keeps picking on him.

The idea for the… uh, female lead (don’t want to spoil anything) was more or less inspired by certain pieces of celebrity gossip. As well as the whole idea that you can easily bump into a celebrity in L.A., which I find interesting — would you recognize, say, Blake Lively in a very out-of-context situation? Like, if she suddenly broke into your hotel room and told you people were trying to kill her?

Question for you, along the same lines: Do you get starstruck at all? And if so, is it for actors, directors, writers, or musicians?

Continue reading “A Conversation with Duane Swierczynski and Ed Brubaker: Part II”

A Series of Complaints

X-ray LightbulbsWhen John Rebus retired at the end of Exit Music, I was free to experiment.  I spent the next eighteen months or so writing my first graphic novel (Dark Entries), some lyrics for an Edinburgh band called St Jude’s Infirmary, a novella for people with literacy problems (A Cool Head), and a serial for the New York Times (which would eventually be published as Doors Open).  Oh, and I also set to work on my first film script, an adaptation of James Hogg’s novel Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (ongoing as I write this).

But then I read a newspaper article about the Complaints and Conduct department of a UK police force.  That article got me interested.  It seemed to me that to work as a member of The Complaints, basically spying on your own kind, would take a certain mindset.  You’d have to be a very different kind of cop from Rebus.  You’d be slow and methodical, a stickler for the rules, and somewhat of a voyeur.  So I used my contacts and was granted an interview with an officer who worked at one time for the Complaints department of a Scottish police force.  It was a fascinating experience and whetted my appetite for writing something.  I wanted to take a cop from The Complaints and turn their life inside out, goading them into action  –  no longer a voyeur, no longer someone who abides by the letter of the law.

At the same time, everyone in Edinburgh seemed to be voicing some complaint or other.  This was the winter of 2008/9.  Work was ongoing to reinstate a tram system in the city.  A lot of people couldn’t see the point of trams and many more disliked the disruption.  Streets were closed off.  There was almost a sense of ‘apartheid’ as the roadworks made it difficult to move from New Town to Old Town and vice versa.  Added to which, the weather was fairly grim.

And the banks looked ready to implode.

Banking is in Edinburgh’s blood-stream.  Many jobs depend on financial services.  If the likes of the Royal Bank of Scotland caught a cold, we would all be infected.  Major players who had been national heroes in years past now suddenly became pariahs, in a reversal that could have come from Shakespeare or Greek tragedy.  I didn’t want to write about these figures per se, but I did want to explore the potential knock-on effects of economic uncertainty.  With any luck, the plot would allow me to use characters from the Complaints and Conduct department, too.

Now that I’d decided to write another police novel  –  and one set firmly in contemporary Edinburgh  –  I needed to be sure that no one would see the protagonist as a thinly-disguised version of Rebus.  I needn’t have worried: from the outset, Malcolm Fox was very much his own man.  Then I introduced him to Jamie Breck  –  dynamic, charismatic, racing up the promotion ladder.  If the two men seemed chalk and cheese, they would soon start to see common ground.  Both would become suspects.  And in Fox’s case, he would have to turn from gamekeeper to poacher.

As I say, he doesn’t really remind me of Rebus.  He’s actually more like Miles Flint, the hero of ‘Watchman’, one of my early non-Rebus novels.  Flint was a quiet, fastidious London-based spy who had to become proactive in order to find an enemy set on destroying him.  He shares a strand of DNA with Malcolm Fox, while Rebus remains somebody Fox is more likely to have under his microscope.

Oh yes, I’ve been mulling over that idea.  There must be a few skeletons lurking in Rebus’s closet, and who knows when one of them might come rattling to the attention of Complaints and Conduct….

Ian Rankin is a #1 international bestselling author. Winner of an Edgar Award and the recipient of a Gold Dagger for fiction and the Chandler-Fulbright Award, he lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his wife and their two sons. Visit him online at www.ianrankin.net, download the Ian Rankin’s Edinburgh iPhone app and visit his publisher Reagan Arthur Books for a list of all the amazing coverage Ian has received for The Complaints