Comics Convergence

It used to be the San Diego Comic Con was just for comic book and animation fans. Then, a while back, DelRey and Pocket Books figured this was a chance to reach the diehard fans and get the word out about related projects that might catch the fans’ interest.

At San Diego this year, most every publisher was there either on display or on the prowl, recognizing what a terrific marketing opportunity the con had become.

I noticed a similar presence at the New York Comic-Con in February and can only imagine the long overdue convergence between books and comics was getting closer.

We’re seeing another sign of that this month as Justice League of America #1 will contain a sample chapter from author Brad Meltzer’s latest political thriller, The Book of Fate, releasing next month from Hachette (formerly Warner Books). (An aside: I’ve read the book and it’s another fun, exciting ride from Brad, who continues to explore fresh ground with each offering.)

Tokyopop’s Star Trek manga is out and fans find a story — by my pals Kevin Dilmore & Dayton Ward — sampling the Star Trek: Constellations anthology due in bookstores within a few weeks. Those buying the anthology (and please do, I’m very proud of “The Landing Party” contained within) will get a story from the manga.

This bit of cross promotion makes perfect sense and is way overdue. Since the 1960s, there have been prose books featuring the DC and Marvel heroes, but fans of the comics or visitors to the websites would be hard pressed to discover the books exist. Similarly, if you buy the books, you’d never know they were based on comic books since there were no ads.

How many realize that Pocket Books has the Marvel novel license and has released many good books, such as the latest Spider-Man novel from Jim Butcher or that Devin Grayson wrote a nifty DCU novel called Inheritance? I’m not sure why the comic book publishers have neglected this avenue of reaching potential new readers, but I am heartened to see the barriers finally start to crumble.