Hey Kids – There’s a Prize in the Serial Box!

June 19th, 2018 by Max Allan Collins

I try to stay away from politics here, but the latest wrinkle in the immigration story calls for an exception. I think the Onion covered it best.

But I would ask my Christian friends on the Right to consider that when Jesus said, “Suffer little children to come unto me,” He didn’t mean He wanted little children to suffer.

* * *

This may be as good a time as any for me to talk about Facebook, which is the only social media platform I use. I’m so out of touch I don’t even know if “platform” is the right word.

For a long time, I read the daily feed or whatever-the-hell you call it, and would get very upset about the political nonsense I saw posted – a surprising amount of it dark and nasty and often racist. Plus stupid. Did I mention stupid?

Because I am a reactive wise-ass at heart (and everywhere else), I would weigh in, often sarcastically, and bad things would transpire. I lost several good friends.

A while back I started only rarely checking in on the daily feed, and instead checked posts from a bunch of groups (not sure what Facebook calls them) that give me stuff about things I’m interested in, like paperback collecting, illustration and comic art, cult movies, pin-ups and so on. I have dropped one of these (about oddball LP covers) because the members of the group often made stupid, cruel, “funny” comments – imagine MST3K with morons.

But mostly these groups are fun.

I mention this to explain why you may have made a friend request to me that I have not accepted. My policy for several years was to accept any friend request because that represented a current or potential reader (or customer, as Mickey would put it). So many, even most, of the names were ones I didn’t recognize.

I mean, hey – who doesn’t want more friends?

But then I started seeing the far-right nastiness, the lies, the racism, the stupidity, and I just couldn’t take it any more. Plus, it tempted me into getting into fights with those very readers I was courting!

So I retreated into the posts about books and movies and art and pretty girls.

I do still post this update every week, and respond to responses to them. But only once a week (at most) do I see what the daily feed is feeding on.

And I haven’t accepted a friend request from someone I don’t already know in a very long time.

No offense! You may not be a moronic fascist, but I just can’t take the chance….

* * *

Barb and I spent a delightful weekend in St. Louis with son Nate, our daughter-in-law Abby and grandson Sam. It was in part celebration of Father’s Day but also of Barb’s birthday (today, as I write this – June 18).

Sam is extremely funny, sometimes on purpose. He won’t be three till September, but his verbal skills already suggest he will be a better writer than Nate, Barb and me. Building a slide out of piled pillows, and considering the small mattress he would have to pile on top of them, breathing hard, he turned to Barb and said, “Now…here’s the hard part….”

Wonderful child.

My son is pretty wonderful, too, giving me for Father’s Day an expensive book about Audie Murphy’s co-stars in movies and television. Again, not a book about Audie Murphy, but a book about people he worked with. Nate did this, admitting that no one in his generation had any idea who Audie Murphy was.

My wife is also wonderful, and feel free to skip this paragraph, because it’s going to be more sentimental slop along the lines of my previous two updates. I failed to mention, when I wrote about our 50th Anniversary, that I fall in love with this woman at least once every day. It’s chiefly her smile. But I also remember how she came to spend the day with me, every day, for my entire time on all three of my hospital stays, which added up to probably nearly a month. As you may imagine, I was not always an ideal patient. But she was a great life’s partner for every second of it. She has caught up with me in numerical age (she’s three months younger) but I won’t remind anyone of the year involved. But no one would ever guess it. Here she is with her birthday roses.

* * *

I have received my copies of the Quarry’s War graphic novel and am very pleased. Though we changed artists between issue #1 and #2 (the original artist didn’t like me telling him what to draw), it’s fairly seamless. I am burying the lead here, but I will offer ten copies to any readers who will write an Amazon (and/or other) review. [Update: All copies have been given away. Thank you for your support!]

You should write me at ****, and you must include your snail-mail address. USA only. I would greatly prefer that those who request a copy are readers who don’t usually read comics or graphic novels, because I want to make it clear to non-comics-fan Quarry readers that this is a genuine and even important entry in the series.

* * *

Here’s a very nice discussion of film noir, all the better because I am quoted and Ms. Tree is cited.

Killer Covers looks at artist Ron Lesser, showcasing his Quarry in the Middle cover.

Bargain hunters! Get the Girl Hunters blu-ray with my commentary here for a new price – $14.95.

Here are ten great comic book movies that aren’t about superheroes – and guess what’s number one!!!


Tags: , , , , , ,

11 Responses to “Hey Kids – There’s a Prize in the Serial Box!”

  1. P says:

    So, about the children, when they suffered under Obama was A-OK?

    If I wanted to the get political advice from the authors I like, I would definitely would ask. Focus on books, movies, and leave the political advice/opinion to the grown ups.

  2. This kind of thinking and response is why I have largely given up Facebook other than to participate with groups who, yes, focus on books and movies. At 70, I have lived through assassinations, Watergate, Vietnam, the war in Iraq and now “tender age” internment camps for the children taken away from asylum seekers who have committed misdemeanors. I’m grown up enough to know these are among the darkest days of this nation. The only political advice I have is for all of us to open our eyes and our hearts.

  3. Mark Lambert says:

    Happy Birthday to Barb! I gave up discussing politics on Facebook long ago, because I decided that my reason for being on there was about staying connected with friends, not emphasizing differences. Anyone that knows me knows I’m a liberal. I do click “like” or some other icon on others’ political posts at times, but never write my own. I have friends from across the political spectrum (my best friend in the world is a hard-core libertarian). People can post whatever they want on their Facebook page, but if they post something political on mine, I usually delete. (My Facebook page is not a public forum!). Mostly, I post stuff about my family, and funny stuff that occurs or happens to me. And that’s fine. I save my political rants for other venues.

  4. Thomas Zappe says:

    Max, and everyone else, in order to gain perspective on all this I wholeheartedly recommend historian Jon Meachum’s new book THE SOUL OF AMERICA. He covers many of the people you have written about with a level of research and insight that makes it mandatory reading for every literate person who wants to demonstrate an intelligent and examined approach to life, especially those who call themselves Americans.

    Mystery writers will no doubt take solace in the fact that his books are on the Non-Fiction shelves.

  5. Tep says:

    Wow! I’m truly sorry Max. I was going to comment as I read your post Tuesday night and applaud you for avoiding Facebook. But, then I was thinking, “I don’t have much more to say. Anyone reading Max’s post will follow what he is saying and respond appropriately the same way that I would”. But, I checked in again tonight and saw the cowardly “P” post. My opinion is that you shouldn’t have even responded. You have so many sharp people joining in honest discussions on your reply board. Don’t bother with these desperate leaches that glom on to every last pathetic ditch effort that they have in their arsenal. Keep doing what you are doing and thinking the straight way that you think. You are doing perfectly. America needs people like you.

    Open letter to “P”. Contact me. Repost a response and I will directly send you my information. It would be great to meet with you and discuss your problems.

  6. Tep says:

    Sorry again,… I was just so angry when I read the “P” -brain “reply”, that I forgot to say; my best to you and Barbara, and as much as I would love to have a copy of Quarry’s War, comic books and graphic novels have been my life’s blood for 45+ years. So, I have to bow out. Thanks for being such a generous guy!

  7. Mike Doran says:

    I was going to put up a nice, corny, all-purpose well-wish covering the various anniversaries, but got stuck trying to come up with a really good joke (or at least a really bad joke) to tie it all up.
    Regrettably, the latest antics of That Man In The White House have proved spirit-curdling to such an extent that …

    … I can’t even finish that, fer cry-eye …

    My knowledge of “social media” (an oxymoron if ever there was) is nil, by my own choice.
    Consequently, I have no idea what this “P” business is about; from the context, it seems to be pretty awful.
    Am I better off not knowing?

    Earlier today, I sent a comment to Ken Levine’s blog, responding kind of indirectly to his own indignant post about That Man.
    It was a rehash of my own long-standing diatribe about the Electoral College (have I ever shared that one with you?).
    Anyway, in case you’re interested, there it is at By Ken Levine, today’s date, about 70 comments down.
    In the immortal words of Bert Freed in Baby Jane : “Ohboyohboyohboyohboyohboy …:

    You and Barb take care of yourselves, and all in your domain.
    Meantime, I think I’ll dig out my Space Patrol DVDs.
    You know, just in case …

  8. I appreciate these thoughtful replies.

    The fact that I responded to the aptly named “P” reflects my inability to let such things go, which is why I rarely look at Facebook political posts anymore.

  9. stephen borer says:

    What a spiffy snapshot of Barb !

  10. Rich Harvey says:

    Interesting about the change of illustrators in Quarry … I was always a little annoyed whenever illustrators would abruptly change in a Marvel Comics run in the 1970s … one two or three issues … occasionally, the illustrator changed in the MIDDLE of an issue.

    While I can sympathize with the illustrator not wanting to be micro-managed, the very fact that he is an illustrator (not “artist,” as I believe the writer is also an artist) tasked with visualizing a comic book script poses a problem. Especially when it’s SOMEONE ELSE’S story. The Quarry’s tales are mysteries as much as action stories. If the illustrator doesn’t like to be told what to draw, then he’ll probably fail to depict something important to the story’s solution, leaving readers scratching their collective heads (or feeling cheated) at the conclusion.

    I wonder at what point comic book illustrators started imagining themselves as auteurs.

  11. GregJuicy says:

    I often visit your website and have noticed that you don’t update it often. More frequent updates will give your site higher rank & authority in google.
    I know that writing articles takes a lot of time, but you can always
    help yourself with miftolo’s tools which will shorten the time of creating an article to a few seconds.