Archive for July, 2013

I’m From Hollywood

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Remember when Andy Kaufman did his wrestling schtick, and said, “I’m from Hollywood – not Mem-fis Tenn-a-see!”

Well, Barb and I and Nate are in Memphis, and so is Hollywood. The QUARRY production is starting its second of two weeks, with its stellar cast and director, and we are here to visit. It’s a split day/night shoot, so we haven’t been to set yet. We leave for Mississippi in about an hour. Don’t know what if any pics we can get, but maybe Nate will be able to attach something to this very update. [Nate here: Yep! And there’ll be more next week.]

M.A.C. with Logan Marshall-Green (Quarry)

M.A.C. with Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Joni)

M.A.C. with Stellan Skarsgård (The Broker)

Of course, I hope (who am I kidding? I’m praying) this pilot goes to series. But even if this is it, it’s a wonderful surreal event. Think about it. Quarry was created around 1971 when I was in college. And tonight I will be seeing Quarry and his wife Joni, and Broker and Quarry meeting at a working stone quarry.

As for Memphis, we have already walked Beale Street where we ate barbecue and picked up two t-shirts for me to wear in the band. Nate got a very cool pair of SUN and STAX records pins. As tourist traps go, Beale Street is likely the coolest. In one nostalgia shop they had autographed photos.

One was of Andy Kaufman.

I will report back next week.

In the meantime, great news – Recorded Books, at my prompting/cajoling/begging, has hired Dan John Miller to continue on as the reader of the Nate Heller series. Yes, very soon Dan will go in to read ASK NOT.

If you’re a Heller fan – maybe one who read the books as they came out, starting in 1983 – you really need to experience them through the artistry of Dan John Miller. He is Nate Heller the way Sean Connery is James Bond. Trust me on this one.


Mike Hammer News

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

It’s very late Monday night as I write this. Just returned from the San Diego Comic Con. Funny thing: I was trying to connect with my friend (and Seduction of the Innocent bandmate)(and great artist) Steve Leialoha all through the con, and failed…then our taxis pulled up to the curb outside the airport and dropped us off simultaneously. Once through security check, we sat and talked for an hour.

I am saddened to learn of the passing of one of my favorite actors, Dennis Farina. He almost played Nolan once, though I never got to meet him (for a William Lustig-directed version of my script for SPREE…still unfilmed). CRIME STORY is very high on my list of all-time favorite TV shows, and I always hoped to work with him. Just last week I was talking with a producer about using him in an indie film, if we could get him. Well, we can’t get him now, damnit. An ex-cop who really made his work credible, Farina was a remarkable actor, and Chicago through and through.

Okay, here’s the news, straight from my meeting with Titan’s publisher at San Diego con: I am signing on to complete three more unfinished Mickey Spillane “Mike Hammer” novels. These are smaller fragments (in one case, two fragments combined), but all are significant…usually two chapters or so with notes. What I am really excited about is the era of these novels: it’s the lost years between KISS ME, DEADLY in 1952 and THE GIRL HUNTERS in 1961.

Of course, the recently completed KING OF THE WEEDS will come out first.

I am thrilled about this, to say the least.

By the way, if you check this update once a week, you may have missed my daily updates from the Comic Con. Scroll down and see what a great time we had – lots of cool pics.


[And here’s the Scribe Awards pics from this year.—Nate]

Kevin J. Anderson receives the International Association of Tie-in Writers “Scribe” award for Best Novel

Peter David accepts the Faust life achievement award for Ann C. Crispin.

Comic Con: Final Day

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Another fun day at the con, though it started off at the Marriot Marina restaurant, where Barb and I had breakfast with Titan publisher Nick Landau from the UK and Titan’s USA editor Steve Saffel (who edited the DARK ANGEL books years ago). Many projects were bandied about, and news flowing from this meeting will appear here soon.

At the con, I wrapped up two art deals (cash plus trade) that pleased me greatly, and snagged a couple more books. I collect mostly hardcover collections of classic strips and comics, which makes getting the swag home tricky. The dealer’s hall was the most crowded I’ve seen on a Sunday, possibly because there are no gigantic Hollywood roll-outs on the last day. I was able to meet a hero of mine, Neal Adams, who is not only an iconic artist but the guy who got Siegel and Shuster their monetary due from DC. Nice man.

Our two signings – including the first ever all-3 Collinses signing, at the Mysterious Galaxy booth – went very well. We sold books, and signed books brought along to the con by fans, at each. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the Hermes Press signing of the MIKE HAMMER comic strip collection went – it’s an expensive book ($50, discounted to $40) and quite a few sold. I even encountered a major DICK TRACY fan, dressed as the man himself. Lots of fun discussions with fans and pros.

The con, overall, was a very positive experience, both for the fan in me and the pro as well. I witnessed one unfortunate episode. All of the cast (sans Kristen Bell) of VERONICA MARS was signing at the Warner booth. They were friendly and affable and having a great time. As some of you know, I’m a huge fan of VERONICA MARS, and even kicked in handily to the Kickstarter campaign that has made a MARS movie possible. A row of yellow-shirted guards were belligerently forcing con attendees along, not allowing anybody to slow for a peek (the line had long since been cut off) or stop to snap a pic. These security people were near thugs. A guy right in front of me paused to take a pic and the nearest guard laid hands on him and shoved him along. Had he done that to me, I’d have made the news – I promise. Overall the security people were much better at the con this year, pleasant and rarely abusive. This incident was borderline battery, and director/MARS creator Rob Thomas should have a talk with whoever was responsible for his event. As a backer, I am not pleased.


Bonus Pics:

Comic Con Day Three

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

We took a day away from the con (mostly – Nate had a meeting there with a top Viz editor). In the morning, the four of us dined at Guadalajara restaurant in Old Town – a San Diego favorite of ours. Then Nate and Abby took the ferry to Coronado, and Barb and I returned to the Hillcrest area where we took in a movie, THE WAY WAY BACK (okay coming of age flick made special by Sam Rockwell’s performance). In the evening we saw Patton Oswalt’s concert (being shot for Comedy Central), and of course Patton was brilliant – but for an encore request, this was material I’d never heard before. Nate, Abby, Barb and I wound up a fun day at Ghirardelli’s for sundaes.

Big last day tomorrow with a breakfast meeting with Titan execs, and two signings at the con (noon to 12:45 at the Mysterious Galaxy booth – with Nate and Barb there, too), then 1 to 2:30 at the Hermes Press booth.

Nate has a few pics to share with you below.