Toe Hold

August 8th, 2017 by Max Allan Collins

This will be a brief update, because I have just returned from having Cortisone shot into my arthritic big toe. It doesn’t hurt but I am woozier than usual. Yes, after defeating open-heart and lung surgery, not to mention whooping cough (but I guess I did just mention it), I am facing defeat at the hands of a toe.

But it takes more than excruciating pain to stop me from entertaining my public. My wife will, however, tell you that living with when I am not just a pain but am in pain is no effing picnic. Just yesterday she lovingly reminded me that I am more trouble than I’m worth.

I knew that, but an occasional reminder comes in handy.

I’m preparing to get back to writing the new Mike Hammer comic book mini-series (issue #1 delivered) and fighting that just-stepped-off-the-merry-go-round feeling from having shipped Scarface & the Untouchable, co-written by Brad Schwartz. What an incredible collaborator! The level of research into Eliot Ness that Brad pulled off is staggering. Very proud of this – almost 150,000 words, not counting end notes!

A quick note on a movie that you should seek out, either streaming or on Blu-Ray (it’s available cheap, lots of places): Train to Busan, a South Korean film that’s on the list of all-time high-grossers (in several senses) in that country. I avoided this for a while because it’s a zombie movie and I’m kind of zombied out.

But this rivals any zombie movie I’ve ever seen, including Romero ones, and has a lot more going on that just the undead trying to catch a train, or claw their way off one, either. The story is about a business-oriented father and his neglected child, and the theme is our responsibility to each other. It’s always scary as hell. I found it more reminiscent of John Carpenter’s great Assault on Precinct 13 than any zombie film, and that’s high praise indeed.

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For the month of August, Supreme Justice, Fate of the Union, and Executive Order are $1.99 each on the Kindle Store. Check them out at these links:

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That top-notch scribe Ron Fortier likes Murder Never Knockssee what he has to say about it!

Here is JournalStone’s announcement of The Will to Kill on audio.

And here is their announcement for Hardboiled Horror, an anthology of noir horror yarns that includes a new one by me and my frequent cohort in crime, Matt Clemens.

Check out this terrific piece on tie-in writing (from the Atlantic, no less!) that includes sage wisdom from an expert (humility prevents me from saying more).

Here’s a podcast on Wild Dog that I haven’t had a chance to listen to yet.

Finally, here’s a new review of The Baby Blue Rip-Off, which I wrote forty or fifty years ago (the book, not the review….).

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4 Responses to “Toe Hold”

  1. Chuck Roman says:

    I look forward to this weekly update for so many reasons. It’s always good to see a new post that describes your work in progress, it’s always great to see news that you’ve submitted a project for publication, and it’s always interesting to read see your reviews of movies, music, and the works of other authors (more often than not, I agree with your opinions).

    I miss the days when I could drop by The Rue Morgue bookstore in Boulder to pick up the latest Heller novel or Hardcase Crime paperback (or attend a reading from a visiting author, like I did once years ago when you and Barbara came to town to discuss your works), but I still go to the Boulder Bookstore every week to check for new treats (or to ask them to order something that didn’t make their list). I look forward to Scarface & the Untouchable, Quarry’s Climax, and the rest of your pending releases. I’ll also make sure that your Mike Hammer and Quarry comics are on my pull list at Time Warp Comics.

    Looking at the Hardboiled Horror announcement, I’m wondering if congratulations are in order. Have you adopted Matt? He’s listed as Matthew V. Collins on the cover mock-up and in the text of the announcement…

  2. Linda Donaldson Grim says:

    I am always glad to see your posts. It’s nice to be in touch with a fellow Muskie. Sorry old man Arthur has grabbed your toe. I had the nail taken off my left big toe after one of my horses stepped on me. Everyone kept telling me how much better it would without it. Well, the doctor said I am 1 in 10,000 that the toe didn’t heal back like it should have. She said it feels like a baby’s butt instead of being calloused. It hurts worse now that before. Finished reading Executive Order and got caught up with the Barbara Allan series. Will be waiting to read about Eliot Ness and Capone. Have been interested in mobsters and the FBI. Thanks for the update.

  3. Brian Drake says:

    I broke the little toe on my right foot once by smashing it against the vacuum cleaner my mother left in the hallway. It snapped at a 90-degree angle. Lovely amount of pain, that.