As I spend my nights carving into a pile of articles sure to challenge your perceptions on literature (or at least tell you what I think of various books and films based on books), a few things that make me happy have popped up in the world of bibliographic news. I would like to share them with you in the hopes they bring you good cheer in this holiday season.
Dark Horse Books have quite a reputation in the world of graphic novels – Sin City, The Mask and Hellboy are only a few of the unique intellectual properties that have been distributed under their imprints – and now it appears they have a solid stake in traditional literature. This October it was announced that their stable of authors will be joined by Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw, creator of the Escapist video game review series “Zero Punctuation,” with his debut novel “Mogworld” in August of 2010.
In Yahtzee’s own words from his website:
Mogworld is the culmination of a few years’ work from an idea that took root back when I was playing World of Warcraft. It’s NOT a graphic novel, as you might assume from Dark Horse publishing it. It’s a proper wordy thinky brainy book. I feel that if I give myself free reign to go on about it here I’ll end up calling it a lot of pretentious things that it isn’t, so at the most basic level it’s a fun little comedic fantasy. But it’s also a bit of a satire on MMOs, the games industry, and the concept of heroism, and incorporates perhaps a hint of existentialism WHOOPS there I go.
I personally could not be happier about this – not only because Dark Horse is based in Portland and I support any and all creative minds who find links to the city. Yahtzee’s ZP videos were an endless distraction for me during my darker unemployed days, and his writing style has been a considerable influence both in my critical and humorous writings (as you may have noticed in the more colorful analogies I try to insert, as well as more subtle ways). I’ve enjoyed many of the longer pieces on his website – even though he disowns much of his early work they’re worth skimming – and his weekly “Extra Punctuation” column on the Escapist shows his thought processes and writing techniques are far more advanced than simply swearing at Sonic the Hedgehog.
So, August 2010 – mark your calendars for that. I believe this is a book worth anticipating, even though Yahtzee has called hype an invention of mean-spirited marketing executives who never discovered the true meaning of Christmas.
While I heard author Seth Grahame-Smith dropping hints about this during his book tour (mostly mumbling titles like “The Professional” and “Garden State” when asked about films) it’s a relief to see the formal news break. Natalie Portman, star of films as diverse as “V for Vendetta” and “The Darjeeling Limited” has been tapped to play the lead role in the film adaptation of the critically acclaimed title “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.”
I’m slightly disappointed that my original idea of reuniting the original cast of the 2005 film in a brilliant burst of metahumor won’t come to fruition, but I have nothing to complain about with the selection of Portman. An actress who can move from drama to action films seamlessly – and survive the briny slop that was the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy – I have no doubt she has the talent and charisma to be on par with the college girls and amputee strippers who thrive in the zombie apocalypse.
At least I hope we’ll have a chance to find out. The film is pegged as in development with a potential 2011 release, and any number of things could happen between now and then. Hopefully this won’t wind up eternally in development hell, unlike some other book adaptations I’ve been waiting around for.