Movie Novelizations that should exist Part II: The Canon Ninja Trilogy

So, as you know, I love movie novelizations.  I read them. I collect them.  I review them.  I talk about them on a podcast.  I love reading and talking about novelizations with people.  It gives me joy.  Being so steeped in novelization lore, there are times I’ll be digging through book stacks at a used store looking for novelizations and see something that makes me say, “THAT got a novelization?!”  Then I stare at this oddball movie novelization and wonder why *that* got a novelization but not some other cult movie I’m very fond of.  It happens more than you think.

It’s at these times that I lament these missing novelizations and so I decide that they *have* to exist so I need to create them myself.  Well, I need to create the cover, I don’t actually go out and write the novelization.  However, I won’t lie, the thought of actually writing a novelization *has* crossed my mind.  Shawn Robare and I have talked about it several times.  I’d totally do it for something like Young Guns or Krush Groove.

Anyway, back to the covers.  One of the very first novelization covers I created myself was for Young Guns II.  I did it with the aforementioned Shawn Robare who created the novelization for the first Young Guns movie.  We had so much fun planning out those covers and also creating vintage Young Guns trading cards that I wanted to do more.

Then I created the cover to a Krush Groove novelization which was pretty dope.

Then, in the official first installment of this “Should Exist” series, I created Mario Puzo Superman novelizations as well as Breakin’ novelizations.  These continue to be really fun to do, guys.  I want to make more.

I actually made a bunch of these covers but I’ve been lax about putting them out there.  Well, a few days ago, a few of us over on Twitter were bandying about as we are want to do and we created a bunch of faux novelization covers on the fly.  CT over at Nerd Lunch created a pretty awesome Xanadu cover.  And someone requested that we do a Ninja III novelization.  Funnily enough, I already had plans to do that one so I cobbled it together.  Here it is.

Ninja 3 - The Domination movie novelization 2

I love this movie and I really wanted to do it justice. I picked Norma Fox Mazer as the author because she had written the Supergirl novelization the same year as Ninja III was released, 1984.  I figured, strong female protagonist in both, Mazer would be great.  If Mazur is too busy my second choice would be Leonore Fleischer, the queen of the movie novelizations.

Now, as I finished this I realized, I’m going to have to do the entire Canon Ninja Trilogy, right?  There’s no getting around it.  So my wheels started turning.  I started thinking that I wanted all three covers to…somewhat…match.  But does that make sense?  The previous movies came out in 1981 and 1983, so how could they really look similar?  Then I started thinking about Friday the 13th.

Back in 1986, Simon Hawke novelized Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives.  That novelization was popular enough that the studio commissioned him to go back and novelize the first three movies in the franchise.  So Parts I and II were novelized for the first time in 1987 and Hawke re-novelized Part III as well (it was the only film that had been novelized previously).  So, using this model, I decided that Canon was very happy with the novelization that Mazur turned in for Ninja III, so they commissioned her to go back and novelize the first two movies as well; Enter the Ninja and Revenge of the Ninja.  And here they are.  Click to see either of these bigger.

Ninja 1 - Enter the Ninja movie novelization Ninja 2 - Revenge of the Ninja movie novelization

And the plan is that they’d all be released around the same time which would mean they all get matchy-matchy covers and this would also publicize the older movies a bit as well.  And as you see, I wanted to play up the fact that these are all part of a “series”, so I added the Ninja I and II titles.

And here is the full set of Canon Ninja Trilogy movie novelizations in all of their glory.  Click it to see it BIGGER!


I have more of these to come. So stay tuned.


One Response to “Movie Novelizations that should exist Part II: The Canon Ninja Trilogy”

  1. Joe Armstrong Says:

    Might I recommend for this project two of my all-time favorite Cannon films: American Ninja and Bloodsport?

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