Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel and other Olympian news

Just how big is Rick Riordan in the publishing world?  Well, he doesn't have a mere web page, he has a world, The Online World of Rick Riordan.  And he needs an online world to contain all of his projects!

I've been meaning to share a few things about Rick Riordan since attending the American Library Association conference this summer. I am so impressed with Rick Riordan's commitment to his craft, his boundless imagination, his friendly personality, his circle of talented colleagues,  and most of all, his ever-increasing appeal to readers.  Like Midas, whatever he touches turns to gold.

Did you know that The Lightning Thief and subsequent books in the series are being released in graphic novel format?  I might have passed on this news, had I not attended a session in New Orleans that featured Rick Riordan in a panel discussion with his colleagues.  One of the panel members was Robert Venditti, who wrote the adaptation for the graphic novel.
Robert Venditti signing books @ ALA in NO
 Venditti explained both the challenges, and his method of condensing a beloved book into GN format. It was not a task that he undertook lightly, and it was clear to everyone in attendance that he put a great deal of effort into maintaining the spirit and content of the original book.  My co-worker and I spoke with him later about the process of working with Attila Futaki (artist) and Jose Villarrubia (colorist) in creating the adaptation to ensure that readers of the original book would not be disappointed. There is much more to the process than you might think.

The resulting book is a new way to experience the Percy Jackson saga (the rest of the series will follow!) and adheres to the story much better than the movie. And yes, Annabeth is blond, as she should be.  My only complaint with The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel (2010 Disney Hyperion) is  the font color for otherworldly messages.  I found it difficult to read, but perhaps I'm just getting old!

The Lost Hero, the first book in the Heroes of Olympus series, flew off the shelf all summer! Can't wait for the second installment, Son of Neptune?  Well, here's a teaser for you -

Read the first chapter here or
you can download an mp3 file of the first audiobook chapter here!

(It will be interesting to see how the issue of narration is reconciled.  So many listeners loved Jesse Bernstein, the narrator of the original Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.  Joshua Swanson narrated The Lost Hero, which is told in first person narration from varying points of view. Swanson portrayed all of the characters. When Percy re-enters the story in Son of Neptune, will listeners pine for the voice of Jesse Bernstein?  We'll find out next month.)

And did you know that October 4-11 is Olympian Week? Rick Riordan will be touring the country in support of his upcoming book. The first printing of The Son of Neptune will be three million copies!  Click the link to see if he'll be in a city near you!

And then, there's the Kane Chronicles - the series based on Egyptian mythology. It's no wonder that Rick Riordan needs an "online world!"  According to Rick Riordan, this popular series should wrap up after three books.  We'll see what happens next.

The 39 Clues, originally planned to end with book ten, finished up with book 11, Vespers Rising, written in part by Rick Riordan and detailing the origin of the clue hunt. I'm almost finished with this one in audiobook format (my new commute is too short for quality listening), but it sets the stage for the new Cahill vs. Vespers series. The Medusa Plot (book 1) by Gordon Korman was released last month. And the Cahill clan lived on!

And finally, in New Orleans, Riordan mentioned that he is not ruling out a foray into Norse mythology.  Let's keep our fingers crossed!

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