Posts Tagged ‘Black Hats’

A Brash Preview

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Brash Books, who have brought the complete version of my ROAD TO PERDITION prose novel into print for the first time, has put together a terrific trailer for You Tube.

Brash will also be doing ROAD TO PURGATORY and ROAD TO PARADISE, and the two Patrick Culhane-bylined titles of mine now under my own name: BLACK HATS and USS POWDERKEG (previously RED SKY IN MORNING).

Two more movies we walked out of:

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN – we barely made it fifteen minutes into this travesty. Everything that made the original work, from the one-ups-manship chemistry between Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen to the theme of the West leaving the gunfighter behind is sadly M.I.A. The opening is stupidly melodramatic with the villain a wimp (the woefully miscast Peter Sarsgaard) and the action over-blown. The introduction of Denzel Washington’s character is silly (people scurry like roaches in fear of him) and Chris Pratt’s character is so poorly drawn, he’s actually given three introductory scenes (none of which work). The art direction, in its would-be Italian Western-ness, is as precious as a Hummel. We went home and watched the original.

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES is the kind of unfunny movie that makes you question your previously high opinion of the topline cast members. Zach Galifianakis has nothing to do in the role of a normal suburban spouse/father, and John Hamm looks like Don Draper, half-in-the-bag, wandering onto the wrong set. It’s the wheeze about normal folks wondering what their sophisticated new neighbors are doing in this dull neighborhood (of course that neighborhood exists only in the imagination of Hollywood, as we have a combination of hick types living in very expensive houses supported by jobs they could never hold). Isla Fisher, for example, who channels Debbie Reynolds in her 1960s mode, is some kind of interior designer currently working on a urinal for her “funny” neighbor. How does this shit get made?

* * *

Here’s an okay but patronizing QUARRY IN THE BLACK review. It’s tough to take criticism from somebody who calls The Broker “The Booker.”

For my taste, more on target, here is this great write-up from Ron Fortier, first-rate scribe his own self.

Here’s another fine review of QUARRY IN THE BLACK, although somehow the reviewer mistakes St. Louis for New York City. A Brit, maybe?

The QUARRY TV show gets more love.

And Wild Dog is getting back into the comic books (I wasn’t invited).

More Wild Dog here.

Finally, here’s info on the excellent QUARRY IN THE BLACK audio read by the great Stefan Rudnicki.

M.A.C.

Lady Goes Live

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

I am beginning the writing of LADY GO, DIE! today. The prep for this one has been extensive, as this is only Spillane manuscript that dates to the early period of the Mike Hammer books. In fact, you can’t get any earlier than this – the 20,000 word partial manuscript was probably written in 1947, shortly after I, THE JURY. That makes it the second Hammer novel.

By way of prep, I have been reading – and marking up like a school boy getting ready for the big test – large-print copies of I, THE JURY, MY GUN IS QUICK and THE TWISTED THING. The latter – published in 1966 but written before the official second Hammer, MY GUN IS QUICK – is particularly instructive, because it uses the same smalltown setting (fictional Sidon on Long Island) and has a few shared characters. Some of the latter will require me changing character names. Readers of THE TWISTED THING may recall the vividly rendered small-town cop/thug Dilwick. He appears prominently in LADY GO, DIE!, but will appear (unfortunately – because “Dilwick” is a wonderful, typically Spillane moniker) – under a different name in the finished novel.

Interest in the new Spillane/Hammer novels, to be published by Titan, was high on the net this week. Most of the write-ups are reworkings of the original New York Times piece.

This nice article, however, comes out of a phone interview I did, and it’s worth checking out.

In the meantime, the buzz about Harrison Ford as Wyatt Earp (in BLACK HATS) continues, apparently unslowed by the somewhat disappointing opening of Ford and Daniel Craig’s COWBOYS & ALIENS. They tied with the SMURFS. Too bad it wasn’t one movie, because that would have been more interesting, probably, than either existing film – COWBOYS & SMURFS? I’m there.

M.A.C.

Cowboys & Aliens

Back in the Heat and Humidity

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

We are back in Iowa, safe and sound and ready for Barb to get back to ANTIQUES CHOP and me to begin work on LADY, GO DIE! We don’t miss the San Diego weather at all. That weeping you hear is out of joy to be home.

That’s pretty much it for the update, after five in five days…other than to mention we have just received two fine BYE BYE, BABY reviews from two terrific crime writers. Tom Piccirilli finds the new Heller his favorite of them all.

And Bill Crider thinks Nate is looking like Mickey Spillane these days, in his great review at what is probably my favorite of the mystery writer sites. Check out my response, by the way.

The BLACK HATS buzz keeps buzzing – 52 separate articles, at least! At Ain’t It Cool News, several stalwart know-it-all’s think BLACK HATS is just like James Garner’s movie SUNSET, in which James Garner travels to Los Angeles (in reality, he lived there) to consult on a Tom Mix movie. Right. I think that’s exactly the same as Wyatt Earp going to New York to join Bat Masterson in aiding Doc Holliday’s son in his battle against mobsters, including young Al Capone. I should be ashamed.

M.A.C.

San Diego Comic-Con: Day Five

Monday, July 25th, 2011

A surprisingly crowded Sunday session found me doing an interview about the Harrison Ford BLACK HATS news, but largely just roaming the crowded room looking for bargains (found a few). Sunday always is a little sad — fewer costumes, a sense of urgency tinged with despair, and security staff getting a last burst of pointless officiousness out of their system — but I did get to talk to a few folks, including the legendary Jim Steranko, who chatted with me about our mutual love for Mickey Spillane and Mike Hammer. A similar conversation took place with Nick Cuti, co-creator of Mike Mauser (Joe Station being the other half), and I also talked to a publisher about bringing out a new, single-volume collection of the MIKE HAMMER comic strip, with the Sunday pages in color.

We had a lovely evening out with Ken and Mary Levin, at the ridiculously assaultive Brazilian steak house Rei Do Gabo.

And now, thanks to Nate, here’s an array of pics from the con.

M.A.C.

Comic Con 2011
M.A.C. with Titan honcho Nick Landau (excellent and still top-secret Mike Hammer covers not shown)

Comic Con 2011
M.A.C. with the RiffTrax crew: Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett, and Michael J. Nelson

Comic Con 2011
First Comics panel

Comic Con 2011
Vertigo panel (including the reveal of the cover of RETURN TO PERDITION)

Comic Con 2011
2011 Scribes winners Nathan Long and Nancy Holder, and the Scribe Faust Award winner Peter David

Comic Con 2011
Nathan and M.A.C. at SOUTH PARK’s Year of the Fan