Wednesday's New York Times included an article by George Gustines about the increasingly common phenomenon of novelists 'moonlighting' as comic book writers. The prime exemplar of this trend is Michael Chabon, who wrote about the yeasty early days of comics in his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, and now has written the lead story in the first issue of The Escapist, published by Dark Horse. The Escapist, of course, is the name of the comic created in the novel by Kavalier & Clay, so Chabon has, in the words of the Times, 'leaped from the comics imagined in his novel to producing the real thing.'
In addition to Chabon, the New York Times article, which appears in the Books Section, also profiles Greg Rucka and Brad Meltzer, successful genre fiction writers who have also been equally successful writing for Marvel, DC, and Oni. Can this influx of prose writers (and Hollywood types -- the article also mentions Buffy's Joss Whedon and X-Men director Bryan Singer, who are both involved in writing comic book series) translate into sales? The Times quotes DC's Dan DiDio in the affirmative, 'It could bring people back or bring them to comics for the first time.' Certainly pop culture stores with the right customer base (or the right location) may be able to use a window display featuring the article and works, both prose and comic, by the writers mentioned to lure in some new customers.