If Writers House literary agent Merrilee Heifetz has her way, there soon will be graphic novel adaptations of the works of the late science fiction writer Octavia Butler. Heifetz represents the Butler estate and says she’s received permission from the estate to seek out publishers to produce comics adaptations of Butler’s novels. There's no deal yet, but Heifetz has begun shopping the idea.
“The estate wants to make sure that Octavia’s audience continues to grow,” Heifeitz said, “they want to make sure she has younger readers.” The author of such acclaimed works as Kindred and The Parable series, Butler was the recepient of the 1999 Nebula Award for best novel, science fiction’s highest literary prize, and a 1995 McArthur “genius” Fellowship. She died in February 2006.
Heifetz is also the agent for acclaimed comics writer and novelist Neil Gaiman as well as bestselling fantasy novelist Sherilynn Kenyon, whose Dark Hunter works are being adapted into comics by St. Martin’s Press and Marvel Comics. Heifetz said she knew and worked with Butler and is convinced Butler would seek to turn her works into graphic novels if she were still alive. “She was a comics fans and a comics collector herself,” Heifetz said.