Archive for May, 2002

Message from M.A.C. – May 1, 2002

Wednesday, May 1st, 2002

My son Nate and I need to apologize for the long delay between updates…more my fault than his, though he’s now busy at the University of Iowa, studying computer science.  He’s in Iowa City, just forty miles from Barb and me, so Nate…and his laundry…remain close to home.

As you can see, the big news is that the DreamWorks movie version of my graphic novel, ROAD TO PERDITION, opens on July 12; it stars Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Stanley Tucci.  Sam Mendes (AMERICAN BEAUTY) directed.  I’ve done a novelization (of the script) which will be published by NAL as a paperback original.  And the graphic novel itself…with a new intro by me…will be published by Pocket Books (using the movie poster) and with Richard Piers Rayner’s wonderful original cover on a simultaneous edition from DC Comics (sold in comic book shops).

As Nate (Collins) says: COLLECT THEM ALL!

The novelization will fill in character gaps and provide historical background.  Unfortunately, I was not allowed to expand the book much beyond the script — where plot and dialogue are concerned, anyway — but it nonetheless came off very well, and you should enjoy it.

Other big news: my coffee-table book, THE HISTORY OF MYSTERY, has been nominated for an Edgar award from the Mystery Writers of America and for an Agatha by the fans at Malice Domestic.  Lots of nice comments about this book (except from a guy named Ty Burr at Entertainment Weekly — I guess Miss Isipi, Ema Zonn, Jor Dann and Dee Nile weren’t available); great pics and super production from the folks at Collector’s Press…who are also publishing another batch of my pin-up trade paperbacks, in their Artist’s Archives series.

As I write this, THE SCORPION KING is the #1 movie at the box office, and my Berkley movie tie-in novel will answer all those many questions I’m sure you have about the interior motivations of the characters.  (Hey, it’s a good read; trust me.)

REAL TIME: SIEGE AT LUCAS STREET MARKET, my $20,000 crime movie shot mostly on real security cameras, is the first multi-angle DVD.  You can order it through a link on this site, or go to Troma’s website, among others.  It’s pretty easy to find for the non-web shopper, too: Tower, Border’s and Virgin have it; Best Buy sometimes has it (and it’s on their web site).

The second FLESH & BLOOD collection is out in trade paper from Mysterious Press; Jeff Gelb (of HOT BLOOD fame) and I have rounded up another batch of sexy, violent tales that would make James M. Cain blush.  And Cain is just one of the writers in the NAL anthology, A CENTURY OF NOIR, co-edited by Mickey Spillane (I can’t get this guy off my coattails).  It’s a terrific collection, largely due to great help from Marty Greenberg and John Helfers at Tekno Books.

Coming very soon (June) is CHICAGO CONFIDENTIAL (NAL hardcover), in which Nate Heller returns to his home turf in a wild, sexy yarn (do I put him in any other kind?) set in 1950 shytown.  Sinatra’s in it as are assorted famous gangsters and a notoriously top-heavy starlet; the story focuses on the Kefauver Committee hearings, in which the term “Mafia” first became widely known to the public.

ANGEL IN BLACK is also out there right now, in a handsome paperback.

The first CSI novel, DOUBLE DEALER, continues to sell very well.  My frequent short story collaborator, Matt Clemens (also a researcher on HISTORY OF MYSTERY, along with George Hagenauer), helped me with the forensics and plotting, and did a great job…and now we’ve delivered the second CSI to Pocket Books…my title is DEAD NUDE GIRLS.  We’ll see if it stands.

Matt — who watches entirely too much TV — is also assisting me on a trio of DARK ANGEL novels, the first of which…BEFORE THE DAWN…I just shipped off to DAW Books a couple days ago.  Ironically, my original title for ANGEL IN BLACK was DARK ANGEL…and I had to change it when Jim Cameron announced his TV series of the same name. Cameron has taken an active interest in these novels, and the first one is a real barn-burner.

The WINDTALKERS movie should be out fairly soon, and that movie tie-in novel is still around — very proud of it.  Now, let’s get John Woo to direct something of mine!

Before the end of the year, you’ll see THE LUSITANIA MURDERS, the latest in the Berkley Prime Crime “disaster series,” this time starring snooty detective S.S. Van Dine, creator of Philo Vance.  You will also meet an early 20th century variation on Ms. Tree in this novel…a character I like so much, who knows?  Maybe I’ll spin her off some day….

Barb has sold a couple of great new short stories, and she and I have finished, and delivered to St. Martin’s Press, BOMBSHELL — our Marilyn Monroe Meets Khruschev thriller.  Barb did an incredible job on this, and I’m proud to be part of it — we’ll post pub date when we have it.

Other upcoming projects include the movie tie-in of I, SPY; two more DARK ANGELs; and…a trilogy based on the great PRISONER TV show!  Also, at least two more “disaster” mysteries…the wonderful ideas for which I’m not posting!

And, believe it or not, I’m back in comics: I’ve done a CAPTAIN AMERICA story (my first Marvel gig and a return to comics after a long lay-off) and I’m writing BATMAN: CHILD OF DREAMS for DC, providing the script for a terrific manga (Japanese comic) by the creator of SILENT MOEBIUS, Kia Asamiya.

Indie movie projects have been on hold during this busy year — lots of writing assignments, as you can see, but also various ROAD TO PERDITION matters; but three projects are in the works…Phil Dingeldein, Mike Cornelison and I just shot a four-minute promo piece for one of them…on 24 fps HD!  Alas, the REAL TIME follow-up — scripted already — is on the shelf, for now at least…we’ve had great response to the DVD but not enough sales to justify that effort…yet, anyway.

But my script for JOHNNY DYNAMITE (based on the Collins/Terry Beatty Dark Horse graphic novel of a few years back) has just been optioned!

And watch for a Mother’s Day re-release of MOMMY and MOMMY’S DAY on DVD.

I am also planning two sequels to ROAD TO PERDITION, to be done as novels, not in comics format. And you have not heard the last of Nate Heller, either.

Now do you see why Nate and I haven’t updated, lately?

Thank you for your interest and support — and stay on the road!