Notes from Authors on “Back to Frank Black”
One of the great joys of publishing any book, after months if not years of travail, is to reveal it to its audience. In the case of Back to Frank Black—and indeed a number of Fourth Horseman Press projects—that joy is multiplied as we finally get to share the finished product with our many collaborators, authors who have worked tirelessly on a part of the whole without hitherto having been able to view the bigger picture.
In the weeks since the book’s release, some of our contributing authors have been sharing their initial thoughts on the collection, both via their own blogs and in private correspondence with us. Amongst them is award-winning critic John Kenneth Muir, who sums up Back to Frank Black as “an impressively written, edited, and presented book, featuring terrific insights about Millennium from many of those talents who made the series such a special endeavor,” adding that it “includes well-written, provocative and intriguing essays about the series and its implications.” These include no fewer than three contributions of his own, considering the themes of each season of Millennium in turn.
Paul Clark writes about the inspiration behind his own contribution, which explores how actor Lance Henriksen embodied the role of Frank Black. “The story of a life is a thin narrative, composed of events and experiences,” he explains. “However, the fable of a life is a thick narrative, filled with the deeper meaning and interior myth of who a person really is. As I read [Lance Henriksen’s autobiography] Not Bad for a Human, I began to see how the story of Lance Henriksen helped him to create the fable of Frank Black.” He also shares his own views on Back to Frank Black: “I feel the book is an amazing achievement,” adding that it is “an important addition to our knowledge of Millennium in particular, and to our appreciation of popular culture in general.”
Perhaps our favourite feedback to date is summed up in one of the comments shared by Joe Maddrey on his blog: “This book achieves such a high standard of quality that I almost can’t believe it exists.” He goes on to write extensively about the volume’s contents, so please do check out his blog entry in full. He sums up the series that inspired the collection by proclaiming, “Millennium is something profoundly unique. No doubt that’s why, thirteen years after Fox cancelled the series, it still has a strong enough following to produce a 500-page book of essays and interviews that would meet the most rigorous academic standards. I’m astounded that a fan-led campaign has not only been able to produce such a thoroughly literate work, but that it was also able to secure the involvement of nearly every major cast and crew member associated with the series—including showrunners Glen Morgan and James Wong, who didn’t even participate in the official DVD release of the series! This series, from the very beginning, asked some of the biggest, most important questions in life. Millennium is dense, meaningful literature in a visual medium.” In terms of this response to the book he concludes, “As a reader, it makes me feel like a more active part of a very meaningful world, a world that still lives on in the imaginations of viewers across the globe.”
It is not only our co-authors who have been sharing their initial responses to the volume, of course, but also the creative minds behind Millennium, those who forged the character of Frank Black, his experiences, and the world he inhabited from their own blank page. Chris Carter enthusiastically received his copy at the Austin Film Festival, and Frank Spotnitz commented in a recent interview with the Back to Frank Black campaign, “It’s a beautiful book. This is what you hope for. You hope that when you do something, especially in television—which is so often disposable—that it is something that people still think about. Obviously it resonated for you guys to put all this thought and care into this book, and I think that’s the biggest compliment that we could be paid.” He also took the time to send in a photo of himself with his copy. Many of the cast and crew interviewed have offered their own kind and very complimentary and enthusiastic feedback. Leading the way amongst these is Lance Henriksen, who has been voraciously reading the collection in full and enthusing about the “promise” for Frank Black’s potential return that resonates throughout.
We now have a number of copies of Back to Frank Black out for review, and at some point will collect together some of this feedback here on the blog. If you have yet to be persuaded to pick up a copy of your own, we hope that these reviews—such as the one already published by Starburst magazine—might just convince you to do so. In the meantime, one way everyone who has bought a copy to date can help our cause is to leave a review at either Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk (or both)—where you can also now preview the book’s contents via Amazon’s Search Inside function. Reviews are especially important at Amazon for encouraging potential buyers not already familiar with the title or with the campaign—just the very kind of people to whom we hope this book can extend its reach regarding the campaign to return Frank Black to our screens.
Copies of Back to Frank Black are also now with a number of executives at Fox, fulfilling another part of the book’s mandate in the “manifesto”—as Lance Henriksen himself puts it—that shines out from its every page. You can expect a new drive in the Back to Frank Black campaign’s requests for you to write letters to Fox in the very near future, too, building upon the book’s momentum yet further. We will continue to share updates on the volume’s progress here, too, but for now a huge thank you to everyone who has already picked up a copy to date, and we hope you enjoy the contents.