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Cleveland Plain Dealer
Novelist employs superhero effort in book preview
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Novelist Brad Meltzer believes readers are readers, whether the books are illustrated or not.
To prove his point, he is releasing the first chapter of his upcoming novel, "The Book of Fate," in his "Justice League of America" No. 1 comic book, which ships Wednesday, Aug. 23.
"I don't like the snobbery some people have about comic books," said Meltzer, a successful novelist and comic writer. "A good story is a good story, period. I've heard from so many comic readers that said they picked up my novels because of the comics, I wanted to do something with both worlds."
Meltzer, author of novels such as "The Millionaires" and "The Zero Game," shook up the comic world last year with his work on "Identity Crisis," which dealt with the rape and murder of the wives of two superheroes.
His "Justice League of Amer ica" No. 1 is the much-anticipated re- launching of the DC flagship title. The league split up earlier this year after Wonder Woman mur dered a villain on national television, and Superman and Batman disap peared. The JLA title picks up a year later as three characters return to form a new Justice League.
The press run on the first issue is reportedly more than 200,000, huge numbers in today's comic market.
"What better way to tell people about The Book of Fate' than to give a taste in JLA?" he said. "The first chapter takes up eight pages of the comic, all text, and I think it will be enough. I believe if a person is not hooked by the first chapter, he won't be hooked at all."
The fact that DC comics and Warner Books both are owned by the same company, Time/Warner, helped make the idea come true. Warner is Meltzer's book publisher.
"The Book of Fate," which comes out Wednesday, Sept. 6, is a political thriller that examines the world of Freemasonry and includes former Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton as sources.
"I got a letter from President Bush asking for a signed copy of one of my novels," said Meltzer. "I was thrilled, and since I was researching my book, which is partially about an ex-president, I asked if I could spend some time with him. He agreed.
"I told him I wanted to see what it was like to go from being the most powerful man in the world to a guy who now has to stop at traffic lights. I spent three or four days with him. President Clinton was just as cooperative."
The hero of his story delves into the mysteries of Freemasonry after he is wounded during a presidential assassination attempt that killed a friend.
In the first chapter, he learns that his friend is not dead, which opens the mystery.
For more information, go to www.bradmeltzer.com.
To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:%%endsource%% %%firstname.lastname@example.org, 216-999-4890