Posts Tagged ‘Mickey Spillane’

Thankful for Nathan Heller

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

I have completed Too Many Bullets, the next Nate Heller novel, with the exception of my final read-through doing corrections and tweaks. That will take much of the week, particularly since Thanksgiving is in there.

And I am certainly thankful to have finished it. My health was sketchy throughout much of the process, but I seem to be back to normal now, thanks to my general practitioner being on top of things, adjusting meds and such.

I began the writing of the book around the start of September. I’m actually surprised it went that quickly – it will be about three months when I wrap up the corrections, which for a 400-page (double-spaced) manuscript is a decent pace. I thought my health issues – the A-fib stuff, which included two cardioversions – would have slowed me down. But in retrospect I can see that I felt my best and the most myself when the work was distracting me.

On the other hand, I seem to have spent the previous three months researching the book. I didn’t have George Hagenauer helping me this time, so the process where he and I would divide up the reading and then discuss it as we go was not in the mix. I have never worked harder on research. The books were gathered, but the number of biographies of RFK and the stack of books about the assassination were daunting. I was determined to be really well-organized this time, so when I’d finished enough of the research to write a working synopsis – broken into chapters, about a half a page to a page per chapter – I went through my filled notebook of the research and annotated each chapter break-down with the page number in the research book, so I’d know where to find what I need writing that chapter.

In addition to that, I wound up filling three notebooks – this is more than any previous Heller – and I had a lot of on-the-fly Internet research, too, particularly on locations, everything from defunct restaurants to Griffith park to Caesars Palace and the Classic Cat strip joint in LA.

I feel good about each chapter but have my usual fear that when I read the book as a whole, they may not cohere. This has never happened but I always I’m afraid it might.

As I’ve mentioned here before, my original plan for this novel was far different from what it became. It was going to focus on the 1950s Heller/Hoffa story (often referred to in other Heller entries) with the RFK assassination an envelope that would take up around 100 pages, 150 at most. But as I researched the Sirhan Sirhan case, I realized I had a tiger by the tail and this new version has the Hoffa story jettisoned, perhaps to be handled next time, but this time with Hoffa barely mentioned at all.

The other factor was that my synopsis for the novel, the chapter breakdown I mentioned, included a B-plot and a return of mad doc Dr. Gottlieb from Better Dead, who in fact turned up in the history. But the B-plot would have weighed things down, and – coming along in the final third – be a distraction; and Gottlieb’s presence just over-complicated matters.

In fact, I did more composite characters than usual, too, in an effort to keep things moving and doing so smoothly. If this book is good – and I think there’s a chance it will be among the best Heller novels – it will mean I’ve mastered this difficult process of my own creation. It’s only taken three and a half decades.

I am sharing the cover with you, even though you haven’t even been able to lay hands on the previous Heller, The Big Bundle – the new Heller in terms of publishing.

Too Many Bullets cover

The Big Bundle is a book I am very proud of, and I am frankly pleased that it is so different from the novel I just completed. It’s a point of pride to me that no two Heller novels are alike. The Big Bundle was designed to be “right” for Hard Case Crime – to have traditional noir elements that would introduce Hard Case Crime readers unfamiliar with the Heller books to what I’m up to in a way that would be user friendly. In a sense, I wanted The Big Bundle to be a strong example of a traditional private eye novel while hitting the notes that are unique to Heller. It is a change of pace, of sorts, as the crime itself is not a familiar one to most (though it was incredibly famous at the time).

My hope is that following up with the very different Too Many Bullets – with an extremely famous crime at its center – will demonstrate to new readers, and remind longtime readers, exactly what it is I’m up to.

The needle I’m trying to thread is keeping the Hard Case Crime readers interested when they have entered my domain by way of Quarry, mostly. I love doing Quarry and the novels are much more fun to do than Heller, which is a brutal damn process. But I know that my best work, my most important work (if any of it is important), is the Heller memoirs.

I have had to struggle to keep doing them. It’s unusual that I’ve been able to keep Heller alive at various publishing houses – in my time in this field, it’s become obvious that nothing is harder than moving a series to a new house. And if you manage it, you manage it once. I’ve managed it five times.

No question about it. I am a stubborn mofo. It is my hope, even my dream, for the Heller novels to be recognized in the upper echelon of private eye fiction, alongside Hammett, Chandler and Spillane. That hasn’t happened yet and it may not happen in my lifetime, but I am gambling my time and energy – and to some degree my income-earning ability – on these novels.

Possibly I’m a fool. (Possibly?!?!) I always think of Conan Doyle, who felt Sherlock Holmes was a trifle and that his historical novels would be his enduring legacy. He was wrong and I may be wrong, but neither of us would have done it any differently.

* * *

This is the Thanksgiving edition of my weekly update/blog. I am thankful for a lot of things – my health, my family, but also my readers. I am thankful for you.

* * *

It’s a tragedy for the mystery field to lose Mystery Scene, a truly great magazine founded by my late friend (and much missed) Ed Gorman, and continued with flair by Kate Stine.

Read my thoughts on the subject and those of others right here.

The Big Bundle audiobook cover
Digital Audiobook:

You can pre-order the audio of The Big Bundle here. It seems to be read by the great Dan John Miller, though I haven’t had that confirmed (Audible thinks it is, anyway).

Here is another strong review of the I, the Jury Blu-ray/4K/3d release.

And another.

M.A.C.

Upcoming Titles, A Recommendation & A Couple Warnings

Tuesday, November 15th, 2022
Spillane: King of Pulp Fiction cover

I have received a handful of ARCs of Spillane – King of Pulp Fiction, the upcoming biography of Mickey by Jim Traylor and me. It’s a thing of beauty! Mysterious Press did an outstanding job with the packaging. I will soon be doing a book giveaway for a few copies (possibly five) of this trade paperback version of what will be available in hardcover on (note new pub date) Feb. 7, 2023.

The new Nate Heller, The Big Bundle, is delayed, a fact that has dismayed some readers. But the book exists and is in fact a December 2022 title…it’s just held up at the UK docks by a strike. It will be available on Dec. 6 on e-book.

Better news for those dying to read something by yours truly – the first Kindle boxed set from Wolfpack of my work, Max Allan Collins Collection Vol. One: Eliot Ness is a Kindle Deal running from Wednesday, November 30 to Wednesday, December 7, 2022. The price will be dropping from $3.99 to $0.99 during that time period. That’s a quarter a book, which is what I used to pay for new paperbacks when I was in junior high. This is all four of the Eliot Ness in Cleveland novels (Nate Heller guests in two of ‘em).

A Big Bundle book giveaway is coming soon, too. Remember, if you get the novel prior to its publication date (some of you received it via NetGalley), your review can’t appear till we hit that date.

I am working now on the final chapters of the next Heller, Too Many Bullets, about the RFK assassination. It’s a big book, on the lines of True Detective, and in a sense it’s the bookend to that first Heller memoir. It’s been very difficult, in part because of my health issues (doing better, thanks) but also because it’s one of the most complicated cases I’ve dealt with. It has required more time compression and composite characters than I usually employ, and I spend a lot of time discussing with Barb what’s fair and what isn’t fair in an historical novel. I’ve been writing those since 1981 and I still wrestle with that question.

Also, there has been replotting, which is not unusual in the final section of a Heller as the need to tighten up the narrative frequently means a sub-plot gets jettisoned, particularly one that doesn’t rear its head till the last hundred pages.

But I’ll tell you what’s really unfair: using Barb as a sounding board when she’s working on her own draft of the next Antiques novel (Antiques Foe).

I am also wrestling with (and I’ve mentioned this before in these updates) how long I should to stay at it with Heller. The degree of difficulty (as I’ve also mentioned before) is tough at this age. Right now I am considering a kind of coda novel (much like Skim Deep for Nolan and Quarry’s Blood for Quarry) that would wrap things up. The Hoffa story still needs a complete telling.

Should I go that direction, and should my health and degree of interest continue on a positive course, I might do an occasional Heller in a somewhat shorter format. Of course, the problem with that is these crimes are always more complex than I think they’re going to be. I thought The Big Bundle would be an ideal lean-and-mean hardboiled PI novel, perfect for Heller’s debut at Hard Case Crime. But the complexities of a real crime like the Greenlease kidnapping tripped me up. On the other hand, the book – probably a third longer than I’d imagined – came out very well. In my view, anyway.

And with Too Many Bullets, I thought the RFK killing would make a kind of envelope around the Hoffa story, maybe a hundred, hundred-fifty pages of material.

Wrong.

* * *

Last week I recorded (with Phil Dingeldein) the commentary of ClassicFlix’s upcoming widescreen release of The Long Wait, based on Mickey Spillane’s 1951 non-Hammer bestseller. I like the commentary better than my I, the Jury one and have been astonished by just how good I think both the film of I, the Jury and The Long Wait are, since I was used to seeing them in cropped, dubby VHS gray-market versions (and because Mickey himself hated them). Widescreen makes all the difference on Long Wait, and Anthony Quinn is a wonderful Spillane hardboiled hero.

I will report here on when the Blu-ray/4K release is scheduled. It won’t be as pricey as I, the Jury because the 3-D factor is absent.

* * *
Millie Bobbie Brown in Enola Holmes 2

Living under a rock as I do, I had somehow missed the fact that the Enola Holmes movies (there are two, one quite recent, both on Netflix) starred the talented Millie Bobbie Brown of Stranger Things. I also got it into my head that these were kid movies. Wrong again!

These are two excellent, quirky Sherlock Holmes movies, with Henry Cavill excellent as the young Holmes, and very tough films despite a light-hearted touch manifested by Enola (Brown, absolutely wonderful) breaking the fourth wall and talking to the audience. It’s tricky and charming, and reminiscent – but actually kind of superior – to the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes movies.

Do not miss these.

Here’s one you can miss: Lou. A lesser Netflix flick, it stars the excellent Allison Janney and starts fairly well, but devolves into ridiculous plot twists and makes a bait-and-switch out of the entire movie.

Also, I have made it clear here that I am a fan of Quentin Tarantino’s movies, particularly starting with Inglorious Bastards – prior to that, the self-conscious references to his favorite films were too on the nose for my taste, although I revisited them after Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (a masterpiece) and had less trouble.

I don’t usually criticize other writers, but after trying to read his new book I am convinced Tarantino needs to stick to film, where he colors wildly but within the lines.

His Cinema Speculation is opinionated blather about ‘70s and ‘80s films that reminds us that Tarantino once worked at a video store. This is absolutely the kind of stuff a motormouth, know-it-all video clerk used to put us through when we were just trying to rent the damn movie.

* * *

This is a re-edit of an interview I gave to the Des Moines Register back in 2016 (I think). It’s not bad.

And here you can see a much younger me (and Chet Gould and Rick Fletcher) on the occasion of Dick Tracy’s 50th birthday.

M.A.C.

Good News and Bad News Is No Mystery….

Tuesday, November 1st, 2022

There’s good news and bad news this week, starting with this stellar review for the new Mike Hammer book (Kill Me If You Can) from Mystery Scene courtesy of private-eye guru, Kevin Burton Smith, mastermind behind the Thrilling Detective web site (https://thrillingdetective.com/).

Kill Me If You Can cover
Hardcover: Target Purchase Link
E-Book: Google Play Kobo
Digital Audiobook: Google Play Audiobook Store
Audiobook MP3 CD:
Audiobook CD:
Kill Me If You Can
by Max Allan Collins
Titan Books, September 2022, $24.95

By now Max Allan Collins’ name has appeared on more than half of the Mike Hammer novels, whether you regard them as canon or not. But Collins wasn’t one of those pens-for-hire parachuted in to keep a corporate cash cow mooing—he was handpicked by Spillane himself, who left behind a treasure trove of unfinished manuscripts, rough notes, and story ideas. He told his wife shortly before his death that “Max will know what to do.”

It’s clear, after 14 cowritten novels (plus a handful of short stories and non-Hammer material gleaned from Spillane’s leftovers) that Collins knew exactly what to do—he “gets” Spillane in a way much of the mystery establishment still doesn’t.

You need look no further than his latest, the bruising Kill Me If You Can, which takes place somewhere in the mid-fifties lost years of the Hammerverse between Kiss Me, Deadly (1952) and The Girl Hunters (1962). Never the most stable of detectives, Mike’s particularly unchained now—the love of his life, Velda Sterling, is gone, maybe kidnapped, maybe dead, and he’s responding the only way he knows. By drinking too much, wallowing in self-pity, guilt and rage, and vowing revenge—or at least violence. And plenty of it.

The first line, “I had nothing to keep me company but my .45 and an itch to use it,” pretty much sums it up, and the action never really lets up. Mike is in free fall, cut loose from anything (i.e., Velda) that tethered him to a world of laws, and the result is an alcohol-fueled fury that eventually costs him his PI ticket, his only real friend (NYPD homicide dick Pat Chambers), and even his beloved .45, as he tries to set a trap, with the help of former bootlegger turned nightclub owner Packy Paragon, for a burglary crew he suspects may have had a hand in the disappearance of Velda. The trap, though, goes horribly, violently awry.

Those more familiar with Collins’ other work (particularly his masterful Nate Heller series, a string of complex, richly detailed and nuanced tales of a fictional private eye thrust into the maelstrom of some of the twentieth century’s most notorious true crimes) may not at first recognize Collins’ style here. But the coauthor has no problem serving up Hammer the same way Spillane did, with plenty of mayhem, violence, and sex, dished out in straight-ahead, no-frills prose, right on target, so direct, with no room for sissy stuff like digressions, detours, or doubts. Hammer is a shark that needs to keep swimming to survive, and Collins tosses plenty of chum into these waters.

Like the murder of his old pal Packy Paragon, who may—or may not—have been killed for trying to help Mike. Or was it the ledger of mob secrets Packy supposedly possessed? Or an overly ambitious rival? An old grudge? Hammer isn’t sure, but he’ll follow the clues to the savage, bloody end—whatever it takes—to avenge Packy.

It’s the real deal, folks: primo, primal detective fiction. Pass the peanuts.

(If that’s not enough, there are five bonus stories included by Spillane, curated and tweaked by Collins, two of which feature Hammer. You know, just in case…)
Kevin Burton Smith

The bad news? Mystery Scene is assembling its final issue right now. This valuable – make that invaluable – part of the mystery scene has been with us since 1985 when Ed Gorman and Bob Randisi began publishing it. I was in on the ground floor with these two top writers, and wrote the movie review column in the magazine for ten-plus years. (I stepped down when I began making indie films myself and thought expressing my opinions about other people’s work in a high-profile magazine was lacking in grace.)

The exceptionally able Kate Stine has been at the helm since 2002. She has been supportive of long-established mystery writers but, more importantly, of new writers in the field. It’s a crushing blow to writers both new and old and in between to have this source of intelligent reviews disappear, as well as in-depth coverage of the field past and present. It’s really a gut punch to the mystery-fiction industry to lose this publication.

Of course it’s no surprise that making it with a magazine in this digital age is tough, and I am hopeful that Mystery Scene will stick around on line. But it ain’t gonna be the same.

And I never will get that Mystery Scene cover….

* * *

Here’s a great Booklist review of Kill Me If You Can:

Kill Me if You Can.
By Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins
2022. 288p. Titan, $24.95 (9781789097641)

Collins, the literary executor of Mickey Spillane’s estate, continues to do fine work in completing the Mike Hammer novels left unfinished when the iconic crime writer died in 2006. Celebrating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the first appearance of Hammer in I, the Jury (1947), this tale finds the quintessential hard-boiled private eye still reeling from the disappearance of his secretary, Velda, at the end of Kiss Me Deadly (1952). The action takes place in the mid-fifties with Hammer in full revenge mode, searching for Velda and her abductors, but also trying to find the killer of another close friend, nightclub owner and former gangster Packy Paragon.

Hammer’s over-the-top blood lust is in full cry here, and while that’s not a personality trait endearing to most of today’s crime-fiction audience, it’s an essential part of the Hammer persona, and it helped define the hard-boiled hero in the postwar era of paperback originals. Always rough around the edges (in terms of content and style), Spillane was nevertheless the best-selling mystery writer of the twentieth century, exceeding both Chandler and Hammett. Collins, a first-rate storyteller who started his own career with paperback originals, adds some narrative finesse to what he calls the “Hammerverse” but remains true to Spillane’s essence. This volume also includes five previously unpublished Hammer stories, adding extra pizzazz to what is a fitting celebration of a genre giant.

— Bill Ott

Here is ClassicFlix’s new trailer for their Blu-ray of Mike Hammer in I, the Jury.

Three giveaway copies of the final Caleb York, Shoot-out at Sugar Creek, are still available. [All copies have now been claimed. Thank you! –Nate]

* * *

Recovery from my A-fib bout continues. I am on the upward move – would put myself at about 75% right now. I run out of steam around late afternoon and am spent by mid-evening. Next morning, rarin’ to go.

I’m getting good work days in, and Too Many Bullets continues to grow pages. It will take to the end of the year, I’m afraid; but it’s happening.

I’m told that a strike on the dock in the UK will delay delivery of The Big Bundle till sometime in January. The e-book will be available very early December, however. I will be doing a book giveaway soon on this book designed specifically to get Heller off to a good start at Hard Case Crime.

Heller has now been at TOR, Bantam, Dutton, Forge and, now, Hard Case Crime. This is unusual to say the least, but it reflects my dogged determination to tell Heller’s entire story. Publishers do not like to pick up a “busted” series. But the reviews have supported me. Even the sales for the series are up over one million copies now.

Last night (well, early morning) I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and knew at once I needed to do some replotting, as I head into the final third of the book. I was back in bed at 5:30, content I’d fixed it, removing two story threads. Then at 8:30 a.m. I awoke again and put them back in…but smoothed ‘em out.

Heller never gets any easier.

* * *

Here are some really good reviews of The Big Bundle at Goodreads.

Ron Fortier reviews Kill Me If You Can here. He finds the novel (novella?) okay, but really likes the five short stories.

Here’s a review of the I, the Jury Blu-ray/4K/3-D disc. Let me again say that if you don’t have the ability to play 3-D discs, the Blu-ray and 4K discs make this well worth the price.

And another.

This will lead you to the British Blu-ray release of I, the Jury, which does not include the 3-D disc. It’s Region B.

The top 12 (this write-up says) of comics-adapted movies. Road to Perdition is one of them.

M.A.C.

Give Me a Little Sugar (Creek), Baby

Tuesday, October 25th, 2022
Shoot-Out at Sugar Creek cover
Hardcover: Indiebound Amazon Books-A-Million (BAM) Barnes & Noble (B&N) Powell's
Paperback (New Release!): Indiebound Bookshop.org Amazon Books-A-Million (BAM) Barnes & Noble (B&N) Powell's
E-Book: Amazon Google Play Kobo iTunes
Digital Audiobook: Libro.fm Amazon Google Play Kobo Chirp

This week features a book giveaway of the mass market edition of Shoot-out at Sugar Creek, which looks to be the final Caleb York novel.

[All copies have now been claimed. Thank you! –Nate]

I hate having to hang up my Stetson and shootin’ iron, but Kensington has not requested another in the series, and one of the few other publishers of westerns, Five Star, is shutting down its corral. That leaves Wolfpack, but my sales there don’t yet justify doing more novels for those fine folks (not sarcasm – Mike and Jake Bray and my old buddy Paul Bishop are tops).

Anyway, as I’ve indicated here recently, I am slowing down by choice and necessity. Part of it is health concerns and just the reality of growing older (more about this later), some of it is shrinking markets for my work, and another concern is not wanting to work so damn hard.

My somewhat decreased output will be in line with what most writers would consider their normal output, and the trickle (as compared to a deluge) of M.A.C. books will not be readily apparent, as several completed things are coming up yet this year and next. The Big Bundle, the new Heller, is out in December from Hard Case Crime. Two more Fancy Anders novellas will be coming out from NeoText, who are also doing the Barbara/Max collaboration, Cutout, also a novella and a damn good one.

And I am just past the half-way point on Too Many Bullets, the Nate Heller taking on the Robert Kennedy assassination. I have in mind one further Heller, finally dealing head-on with Jimmy Hoffa (and RFK), which I hope to convince Hard Case Crime to let me do next year.

That is likely to wrap up the Heller saga, although one never knows. This cycle of three RFK-related novels (The Big Bundle, Too Many Bullets and the untitled Hoffa book) will be chronologically the last. I consider the Heller saga to be my best work, but they are exceptionally hard to do. My longtime researcher George Hagenauer has not been involved with the more recent books, except peripherally, which obviously puts the research on my shoulders.

My intention (and this is obviously subject to change) is to finish up this Heller/RFK cycle and then return to a few Quarry novels. If the Nolan movie happens, he and Jon could return…but only in the event of that movie happening (the series has been optioned by Lionsgate).

On the Mike Hammer front, I have signed to do the final two for Titan. A few fragments remain that might become short stories; but closing out the Hammer series is another indication that I am winding down.

And next on my docket is my draft of Antiques Foe (Barb is working on her draft now).

Let me assure the handful of you who care that as long as I have my marbles I will be writing prose fiction. I may do one last Perdition novel, for example, and I have a Neo-Text project that will include novellas about Audie Murphy and John Wayne as well as an unlikely third American hero.

The third act nature of what I’m up to has reflected itself in the recent work. Quarry in Quarry’s Blood finds our boy an old man now, of 70 or so; and the next one I do is likely to be a follow-up with him again in that age range. Nate Heller in Too Many Bullets (and to a degree in The Big Bundle) is an older guy who gets involved in cases that resonate with his past – i.e., the similarity of Zangara in True Detective and Sirhan Sirhan in Too Many Bullets.

Speaking of The Big Bundle, stay tuned for a book giveaway – I have some ARCs that will be available in a week or two.

* * *

A number of you have been kind enough – though I’ve discouraged you not to – to write me both in the comments here and in private e-mails with your concern and best wishes for my A-fib adventures. Everyone has my blessing to skip the rest of this section of the update as I deal with what happened since last week’s entry.

I was scheduled to have the cardioversion procedure at Trinity in Rock Island on Thursday (Oct. 20). But I had a couple of bad days and really bad nights early last week, and Barb insisted on Tuesday morning that I call my heart doc’s nurse, first thing, and let her know what my symptoms were. (For the record, extreme shortness of breath, wheezing, and an inability to sleep unless I sat in a chair and leaned forward. This was very much like what I experienced before going in for heart surgery in 2016).

Anyway, the nurse told me (in forceful but less colorful terms) to get my ass up to the emergency room in Rock Island at the heart center. We were convinced I’d get an EKG, some meds, and be told to report back on Thursday as planned. But, no – the efficient staff got me right in, and in an astonishingly short four hours, I had the cardioversion procedure and was heading home (Barb at the wheel).

The doctor was female (not my usual cardiologist, though he was consulted by her several times) as were most of the techs, and their kindness, good humor and efficiency gave me hope for the human race. (Not a lot of hope, but hope.) I was extremely impressed, and gobsmacked by having my problem addressed so quickly and well.

I am still in recovery mode. I still have the same symptoms, but dialed back considerably. This may be a side effect of some heavy medication I am still on that was part of getting me ready for the procedure.

Okay, I understand this is not the exciting stuff I reported in 2016, when after my heart surgery I ran naked down the hospital corridor thinking murder was afoot in the Columbo episode I was hallucinating (note to self: continue to avoid Ambien).

But it will have to do.

And thank you all for your concern. I can only say that my biggest concern during all this was dying before I finished the Heller.

* * *

A few quick words about movies and TV that Barb and I have enjoyed (or not enjoyed).

See How They Run, a British mystery centered around Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, is strangely flat, conveying a sense of everybody being all dressed up with no where to go. It is perhaps the only Sam Rockwell performance (he’s inexplicably cast as a British detective) I’ve seen that underwhelms. A while back someone wrote in saying how they cringed when I called something “painfully diverse” in its casting. Well, I’m saying it again about this one. Agatha Christie’s archeologist husband Sir Max Mallowan is portrayed by a Black actor, and a producer is planning to leave his wife and marry his Black secretary. In the early 1950s. It’s very possible that younger viewers will have no problem with either, but for those of us who have been on the planet a while, the historical inaccuracy of that is a big stumbling block.

We walked out of Amsterdam, despite its stellar cast (so stellar as to be distracting and even annoying). It’s apparently a comedy, but plays like a bad imitation of Wes Anderson. You will come out humming the art direction. (Fun fact: the historical event it centers upon is the one from the 3-part pilot of City of Angels, “The November Plan.”)

Barb did not see Halloween Ends, which is streaming on Peacock (and is in theaters). I did. It’s surprisingly good, making an effort to do something different and not just pile up the gory kills. After an initial Michael Myers attack, the next hour is…wait for it…story. Jamie Lee Curtis pulls it all together.

Confess, Fletch is a good little comic mystery with John Hamm fine as Gregory Mcdonald’s celebrated anti-hero. It reminded me of going to the movies in the ‘70s and ‘80s and seeing something small but entertaining.

Did I already mention Bullet Train here? It’s a ride.

* * *

Here’s a nice interview with Andy Rausch, who is writing a biography about someone or other.

Deadly Beloved And Other Stories cover

Here’s where you can get Deadly Beloved and Other Stories. It’s not my Ms. Tree novel of that title, but a collection of Johnny Craig stories from the EC comics that corrupted so many youths (including mine).

A nice little write-up here celebrates Conrad Hall’s posthumous Road to Perdition Academy Award.

Check out the classic “Theme from Ms. Tree” right here.

Finally, have a gander at this terrific review of the Blu-ray of I, the Jury.

M.A.C.