Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sit on it, nerd

Today at Rex Parker Does the New York Times website, comments were on topics wide and varied, as they tend to be. There was mention (by me) of a series of books based on the TV show "Happy Days." Someone expressed surprise that there such books would ever have existed. But that's the way it was back in my day, kids. If a television show was popular it led to a series of books, an awful lot of them by the group-pseudonym William Johnston. I had "Man From Uncle" paperbacks, and "Room 222", and "Get Smart" and "Gomer Pyle" and "The Brady Bunch." Oh, and about 25 "Dark Shadows" novels although I remember being upset that Lara Parker, who played Angelique the witch who turned Barnabus into a vampire (and stole my prepuscent heart away from Julie Newmar's Catwoman) was never on the cover.
Anyway, I still happen to have a copy of a "Happy Days" novel, the classic "Ready to Go Steady"And my copy is autographed, not by the author, but by the Fonz himself, Henry Winkler
who also included this bookmark --
Cool, huh?


Wendy said...

That "someone" was me, Robert, and I am in the same age group as you but just wasn't aware of the existence of the books! I thought novelizations were a more recent phenomenon (I have some but won't tell you of what unless you torture me).

Love your oxymoronic pics!

Norrin2 said...

That's interesting that you think of novelizations as something recent. They seem to me to be a relic of the past. Are there "Lost" or "Desperate Housewives" novels?
No torture of course but I'd be interested to know what recent Tv tie-ins are out there.

Rex Parker said...

Tons of tie-ins for, let's see, just about anything scifi ... Buffy, Smallville, X-Files, Battlestar, etc. I don't read them - I just see them on the shelves of my comic book store.

I too own a "Happy Days" tie-in from back in the day. But I have a collection of 2000+ paperbacks, so it makes a kind of sense. But I don't have the cool Fonz autograph. Nice.

Norrin2 said...

Rex, I knew all those shows you mentioned had comic books based on them (I'm even reading and enjoying the Buffy season eight comic from Joss Whedon), and I've seen the Smallville magazines -- but real books with lots of words and no pictures, I did not know that.

Wendy said...

A cult show with a worldwide following called Due South. Actually not so recent anymore - it ran on CBS a few years (95-96 maybe) then in first run syndication (it was shot and produced in Toronto). The creator and exec producer those first years was the now wildly famous Paul Haggis, and I loved that show (and still love it) with a purple passion. After he left, the star, Paul Gross, exec produced it and kept it going two more seasons.

Anyway, someone in the UK did 3 or 4 novelizations and though they were hideous in the extreme from a writing standpoint I bought them to be a completist with my collection of memorabilia. I never did understand how people got around the intellectual property issues.

On a slightly related note to your Buffy mention: another favorite show of mine, Veronica Mars, was just cancelled by the freaking CW and the creator, Rob Thomas, has announced that he's in talks with DC Comics to convert it to a comic series. Thomas is a fiction writer by profession and VM did have that great noir fiction feel to it which was one of its many charms. I am thrilled to think that it could enjoy a new life in another genre.

Norrin2 said...

Wendy, "Due South" rings only a very faint bell, but it's enough to remind me of a fairly recent series of novelizations that I bought -- Quantum Leap. Man, I loved that show and I bought the books and the comics even though they weren't as good as the show. In fact I had obviously forgotten all about them.
I've never seen "Veronica Mars" but I've heard a lot of good things about it. Stephen King wrote about it often in his Entertainment Weekly column. If they do make it into a comic I'll check it out.