Archive for December, 2011

Happy Holidays

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011
Christmas 2011

Mike Danger Loses A Friend

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

For those of you out of the comics scene loop, I’m sorry to report that Eduardo Barretto passed away recently. Eduardo was the initial artist on the MIKE DANGER comic book, drawing the first six issues, and while other good artists followed, nobody came close to his classic approach. He also drew my Eliot Ness/Batman graphic novel, SCAR OF THE BAT, providing the best Bat-art I ever got.

My collaborations with Eduardo were long distance, and we only met once, briefly, at a San Diego Comic Con. He was about to go into a meeting with an editor, and we pretty much passed like ships in the night. But I loved his work and regret I didn’t get a chance to work with him again. He was on the very short list of artists I suggested for ROAD TO PERDITION.

There were a lot of nice write-ups about Eduardo in the wake of his passing, but here’s a nice representative one.

Crimespree 44

I am pleased and honored to be a cover boy again, this time on CRIMESPREE 44. The interview, conducted by editor Jon Jordan himself, has some glitches and typos but is otherwise a particularly good one, I think, thanks to Jon’s questioning. If you can’t pick up a copy at a mystery bookstore, you can just pay $6 through Paypal to, or send a check for $6 to:

Crimespree Magazine
536 South 5th St
Milwaukee WI 53204.

It’s also available as an e-book from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble online.

My pal Leonard Maltin called recently to say how much he liked BYE BYE, BABY. He even included it in his seasonal wrap-up on new and notable Hollywood-oriented books.

At, several regular reviewers were asked to present best 10 books of the year, and Tom Callahan included BYE BYE, BABY on his.

We also received some Best of 2011 honors at the cool Sons of Spade site.

I was asked to write about one of my favorite authors, Ed McBain, for Amazon, and you can find my piece (and others) right here. If you like my work and McBain’s, you’ll want to take a look.

A nice CONSUMMATA review popped up here. That little book has generated nice online buzz (and was recently part of a Titan giveaway promotion at Ain’t It Cool News); no link, ‘cause the contest’s over….

You may find this review of the graphic novel ROAD TO PERDITION of interest. It’s quite insightful, but has the unusual perspective of a reviewer who likes the book but does not like the film. I like the film a lot, but I am always up for hearing from people who like the book better….

That gifted comics scribe John Ostrander said some nice things about CHICAGO LIGHTNING.

Finally, let me wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas this week, and a happy holidays in general. This has been a rough year in many ways – the loss of Eduardo Barretto is a reminder of other losses, including Chuck Bunn from Crusin’ and my longtime film collaborator Mike Cornelison. My mom at her nursing home no longer recognizes Barb and me. I have always gotten misty-eyed at that line in “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” that says we’ll all be together “if the fates allow.” The fates have been kinder in other years.

Still, I am remarkably blessed. I have a beautiful, funny, talented, supportive wife in Barb – did I mention beautiful? – and a talented, funny, supportive son in Nate (I would call him “handsome,” but as much as we look alike, that would be inappropriate). My career manages to roll along nicely despite a marketplace that resembles a back-alley in Iraq. I have so many friends, many of whom collaborate with me – like Jane Spillane, Matt Clemens and Phil Dingeldein, among many others (you know who you are, or anyway I hope you do) – who make my life a particularly full and happy one. Among those friends are the readers who support my work and stop by this weekly update. I raise a rum-spiked glass of egg nog to you all.


Sneak Peak At The New Hammer

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
Lady, Go Die!

Titan has a wonderful new take on doing Spillane/Hammer covers, as this advance look at LADY, GO DIE! reveals. I’m a little concerned that I seem to be getting top billing here, but Mickey’s name at the bottom of the image is somewhat larger and I’m assured will catch the eye first. (The official billing, as always, puts Spillane in first position.) But it’s a striking design, isn’t it?

Speaking of Spillane, THE CONSUMMATA continues to garner fine reviews, like this widely circulated one at Blogcritics. Funny thing about this one – the presence of a comics reference (specifically Batman and Catwoman) convinces the critic that I wrote that particular line. Apparently he’s unaware of Mickey’s affiliation with (and affinity for) comics – Batman was a favorite of Mick’s, and he claimed to have written some stories for the feature, though we’ve never been able to confirm that (Mickey worked for Funnies, Inc., and a lot of his stuff was at Timely/Marvel).

The Simon & Kirby Crime Comics book that I introduced has continued to rack up great notices, often with kind words about my intro. Check out this one, and this one.

My friend and collaborator Terry Beatty and I began work on SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT over the weekend – I plotted it and provided him with script for his chapter intros and the Ellery Queen-style “Challenge to the Reader.” Terry gave an interesting interview here.

I made a mid-week Chicago day trip with another frequent collaborator, Matt Clemens, to continue preliminary work with sports radio star Mike North. Matt and I are prepping to write an “as told to” autobiography for Mike. We met with a publisher and confabbed at the great restaurant Gibson’s (on the site of Mr. Kelly’s!), and made the Sun Times. Usually me having lunch doesn’t rate major media attention….


Heller Sells Out

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

The Amazon trade paperbacks and (especially) e-books of the Heller novels continue to do very well, helped in part by Amazon’s marketing efforts. This month they are offering CARNAL HOURS (one of my favorites in the series) for under two bucks – one of 100 Kindle titles chosen for a special promotion this month. Check it out.

My old buddy from Big Entertainment days, Christopher Mills, has done covers for the six Nolan trade paperbacks that Perfect Crime will be doing early next year. Check out all of these terrific images here.

QUARRY’S EX continues to rack up nice notices, like this one.

And here’s Bookgasm on RETURN TO PERDITION.

BLACK HATS continues to threaten to become a Harrison Ford film. Here’s a Variety piece on the screenwriter, Kurt Johnstad.

For those of you keeping track, I am researching the third Jack and Maggie Starr, SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT (for Hard Case Crime), this week. Terry Beatty is beginning the interior illos, and Glenn Orbik has already done a startling front cover, which I’ll share with you soon.