Has Michael Jackson Left the Building?

You’ve got to hand it to Michael Jackson – or, rather, to the executors of his estate, who seem to have digested well the lesson that Elvis Presley has made more money since he died in 1977 than he ever did during his actual lifetime. There’s already a new Jacko single out, released last week and entitled “This Is It,” and you may also be aware of the movie and soundtrack – both of that same name – due for release worldwide at the end of this month.

But wait – there’s more! As Serge Bressan of the Belgian paper La Dernière Heure now reports, there’s also a Michael Jackson novel due out next June. This news comes, naturally, out of the just-concluded 2009 Frankfurt Book Fair, where the announcement was made by representatives of the American publishing concern Random House.

Bressan was able to get further details from an unnamed French-based editor returning from Frankfurt. The work will be entitled Fated, and it will be a graphic novel of 200 pages or so – that is, a comic-strip novel, in black-and-white, drawn by an Indian gentleman, Mukesh Singh. Apparently Jackson had been working on it for a couple years with Gotham Chopra, son of the medical author and lecturer Deepak Chopra. You won’t be surprised to hear that the plot deals with a pop-icon who can’t deal with all the fame.

What’s next? If Elvis is anything to go by, you can expect rumors to arise soon that Jacko really didn’t die – or that he did but has come back to life by the power of pop, why not? – followed by scattered claims by people of having seen him alive, at the grocery store, at the kindergarten, one white-gloved hand and all.

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