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February 16, 2010

James Patterson gets bigger -- graphic novels next

james patterson

USA Today has an interesting story about plans by James Patterson, the one-man mystery/thriller conglomerate, to move into comics and graphic novels. He'll start with a five-part comic series that will be based on his YA novel "Witch & Wizard" and written by Dara Naraghi. The deal with IDW Publishing (Transformers, Star Trek, Dr. Who) is the latest move for JP Inc., an empire built by partnering with other authors. They do the bulk of the writing, and he supplies the big ideas, supervision and marketing firepower.

That assembly-line format has yielded popular series such as Maximum Ride and Alex Cross (who has a Ph.D. in psychology from Johns Hopkins, by the way). A recent New York Times story noted that in recent years the combined U.S. sales of John Grisham, Stephen King and Dan Brown don’t match his. His formula has been insanely lucrative: A deal last year with Hachette, reportedly worth $150 million, calls for him to produce 17 books in three years. Patterson also is a presence on the big and small screens. "Private," a series that begins in June, may morph into a TV show, according to his website, which also notes that a movie based on Alex Cross is in the works.

What's next? How about the iPatterson, a dedicated e-reader that can download only his books, movies and TV shows, and play video games based on his characters. With his prolific pace, you'd never be bored.

Posted by Dave Rosenthal at 9:51 AM | | Comments (2)


I will admit to enjoying some of Patterson's work, but I'm thinking this is just too much.

I like his Maximum Ride and Daniel X series, but have not been impressed with his adult series at all. Too formulaic.

That's probably what happens when someone is given such a lucrative contract. You're bound to have some hits and some misses.

My one big problem with him, though, is that so many of his books are co-written. I always wonder just how much of the book he's actually writing, especially when he churns out a new book at least every two months.

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About the blogger
Dave Rosenthal came to The Baltimore Sun as a business reporter in 1987 and now is the Maryland Editor. He reads a wide range of books (but never as many as he'd like), usually alternating between non-fiction and fiction. Some all-time favorites: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole; Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery; and anything by Calvin Trillin or John McPhee. He belongs to a book club with a Jewish theme.
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