The Scarface and the Untouchable Show Hits the Road

August 28th, 2018 by Max Allan Collins

The recent mini-tour for Scarface and the Untouchable – with co-author Brad Schwartz as well as my other collaborator, Barbara Collins – went extremely well. Barb and I do very few signings these days, but all three of these – Saturday afternoon, August 18, at Read Between the Lynes in Woodstock (where both Chester Gould and Rick Fletcher lived), Sunday afternoon at Centuries & Sleuths in Forest Park, and Monday evening at Anderson’s Bookshop in Woodstock (where Dick Locher lived) – were well-attended and a lot of fun. Books were sold – plenty of them.

This was the first time Brad and I have done appearances together, and with no prep whatsoever, we were a team ready and willing to do this again and again. Brad is at ease in front of an audience and has a command of the facts that would have eluded me even at his, ahem, somewhat younger age than mine. Barb is also great with audiences, funny and comfortable with herself. Scarface took centerstage, but the Antiques series was not neglected.

To see how Brad and I interact (although I hog it a little here), check out our WGN appearance on the Monday morning of the Anderson’s signing.

And for a good write-up about the Centuries and Sleuths presentation, check out the Donald G. Evans piece on the event right here.

Several interesting things occurred. At Woodstock, a car show of vintage automobiles was in full sway around the quaint town square during our signing. The classic cars required parking places, and one such vehicle found a space right in front of the bookstore (one of the few such spaces remaining). That car had an Untouchables license plate belonging to its Ness enthusiast owner who had known nothing of the signing. He saw the signage about the book signing out front of Between the Lynes, came in to attend the event, and bought a book.

In Naperville, where Dick Locher’s wife Mary could not attend because of a club meeting at her home, the gracious Mrs. Locher had left for me a Sunday page original from early in the Locher/Collins run of Tracy. Dick had never got around to sending me an original for my office wall, and when he and I re-bonded a few years ago, he apologized and said he’d given all of his art to a university. He pledged to write and get one from them for me, but the university did not cooperate. For some time now, Mary had been looking through Dick’s materials to see if she could find anything for me. No luck. Then, before the signing in Naperville, she tried one more time…and found a page, a perfect example with plenty of Tracy and famous villains, as if it had been set aside by Dick himself for me. I found her gesture – and this posthumous gift from my Tracy collaborator – a thrill and quite touching.

Check out the photos below, then return for a few more links.

Brad, M.A.C., Barb

Brad looks on as M.A.C jokes with Bob Goldsborough.

Brad and “Barbara Allan”

M.A.C. discussing a variety of topics with the notorious Mike Doran.

M.A.C. speaking with David & Cynthia who traveled from McCordsville, Indiana.

Centuries and Sleuths

M.A.C. with Nero Wolfe author, Robert Goldsborough at Centuries and Sleuths.

Anderson’s in Naperville

Andserson’s in Naperville – readers lining up to get books signed after Brad and I spoke.

Anderson’s in Naperville

At Anderson’s in Naperville, Dick Locher’s wife Mary sent over a Sunday original from the Locher/Collins period of the strip

Brad and M.A.C. pose in Naperville with Dick Locher’s incredible Dick Tracy sculpture.

M.A.C. and Brad Schwartz at the downtown Woodstock, Illinois, Dick Tracy mural (featuring images from the Fletcher/Collins period of the strip)

Brad and M.A.C. signing at Between the Lynes Bookstore in Woodstock, Illinois.

M.A.C. and A.B.S. talk to a nice crowd at Between the Lynes bookshop in Woodstock, Illinois.

Brad and M.A.C. pose with Untouchable license plate on a fan of the show who just happened to pull in right in front of the book store where we were signing — and came in, taking time out from the car show on the town square, to listen to our presentation…and buy a book!

* * *

Attention for Scarface and the Untouchable continues, as this impressive New York Daily News spread indicates.

I am honored that Quarry has been chosen one of the top ten Greatest Men’s Adventure Series Ever in a November 2017 “highly-scientific and totally statistically valid poll” of 4,000 members of the Men’s Adventure Paperbacks Facebook Group. Richard Stark’s Parker came in first, followed by Matt Helm and Travis McGee, with Quarry coming in fourth. Heady company to be in.

Oddly, Mike Hammer did not make the list, but Killing Town scored a particularly fine review, right here.


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4 Responses to “The Scarface and the Untouchable Show Hits the Road”

  1. Mike Doran says:

    Notorious, eh?
    I don’t know whether to sue you or hug you.
    Really, the pictures are bad enough (I look more than ever like a garden gnome after an ambush makeover), but do I want the citizens of the USA (or at least those who will read this) to realize that I am essentially being tolerated by one and all?

    Excuse the above, please.
    Between my own health woes (nothing like yours, of course, but still …), and That Man In The White House and all his works, I am enjoying my dotage less and less with each passing day.

    I am duly glad that the Big Book is launched and all, but you’ve really got to take it national, and soon.
    We need to know all this – NOW.

    I’m watching the latest spasm of primary results as I write this.
    Remember me in your prayers.
    (Why in the name of Sweet Fanny Adams did all the late-night comics have to take this week off anyway?)

  2. stephen borer says:

    LOVED all 16 pictures!

  3. Frank says:

    The WGN interview was awesome. I was in Chicago last summer with my son and we took the two gangster bus tours they have there. One is a bus tour where you stay on the bus for the entire tour and the other one stops and lets you off. One stop was the original Harry Caray’s restaurant, which was the building where Nitti had his offices on the top floor . We went down in the basement where the walls are covered with original newspaper stories of Capone, Nitti, Ness, etc. There is also a secret passageway in the basement where they used to smuggle in alcohol. The funny thing was that we just happened to have a dinner reservation later that night in the same restaurant and went back down in the basement after dinner. I had been in the restaurant before but never knew about the fascinating history of the building. I have all of your prose novels, but your Nitti trilogy is still my favorite. I just received my copy of SCARFACE from Amazon and have really been looking forward to its release.

  4. Elaine says:

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