Duck: A Version

It was late summer, 1986. I'd soon be starting ninth grade. But, more important, Howard the Duck was now, finally, in theaters. For weeks, I'd been eagerly awaiting the film's arrival. I plunked down my money and attended a screening. Afterward, the disappointment I felt was roughly the size of Lake Huron. Why had I so looked forward to seeing this famously terrible movie? I'll tell you why: earlier that summer, I'd read the novelization of Howard the Duck, and, I'll be honest, I loved it.

Fifteen to twenty years later, in a used-book store, I found a book called Decade of the Year, a collection of funny essays by a guy named Ellis Weiner. The book, published in 1987, featured blurbs from Veronica Geng and Paul Shaffer. That was good enough for me, and I snapped it up. I enjoyed Decade of the Year, and I became curious about this Ellis Weiner fellow. As it turns out, he used to be an editor at National Lampoon and a columnist for Spy, and he's published several other books, including the novelization of Howard the Duck. More recently, he wrote this Shouts & Murmurs piece, which appeared in the October 19, 2009, issue of The New Yorker.