Posts Tagged ‘Celebrities’

I’m From Hollywood

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Remember when Andy Kaufman did his wrestling schtick, and said, “I’m from Hollywood – not Mem-fis Tenn-a-see!”

Well, Barb and I and Nate are in Memphis, and so is Hollywood. The QUARRY production is starting its second of two weeks, with its stellar cast and director, and we are here to visit. It’s a split day/night shoot, so we haven’t been to set yet. We leave for Mississippi in about an hour. Don’t know what if any pics we can get, but maybe Nate will be able to attach something to this very update. [Nate here: Yep! And there’ll be more next week.]

M.A.C. with Logan Marshall-Green (Quarry)

M.A.C. with Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Joni)

M.A.C. with Stellan Skarsgård (The Broker)

Of course, I hope (who am I kidding? I’m praying) this pilot goes to series. But even if this is it, it’s a wonderful surreal event. Think about it. Quarry was created around 1971 when I was in college. And tonight I will be seeing Quarry and his wife Joni, and Broker and Quarry meeting at a working stone quarry.

As for Memphis, we have already walked Beale Street where we ate barbecue and picked up two t-shirts for me to wear in the band. Nate got a very cool pair of SUN and STAX records pins. As tourist traps go, Beale Street is likely the coolest. In one nostalgia shop they had autographed photos.

One was of Andy Kaufman.

I will report back next week.

In the meantime, great news – Recorded Books, at my prompting/cajoling/begging, has hired Dan John Miller to continue on as the reader of the Nate Heller series. Yes, very soon Dan will go in to read ASK NOT.

If you’re a Heller fan – maybe one who read the books as they came out, starting in 1983 – you really need to experience them through the artistry of Dan John Miller. He is Nate Heller the way Sean Connery is James Bond. Trust me on this one.


San Diego Comic-Con Archive

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Now that we’ve all arrived safely back home in the Midwest and the triple-digit weather we’d left behind, I thought I’d give Max a break from the update this week and post some photos I found on the net from the San Diego Comic Convention…1982.

All photos were taken and shared by Alan Light. The full set of his 1982 San Diego Comic Con photos is up on Alan’s Flickr.

M.A.C. receives an Inkpot Award while Sergio Aragonés does a sketch of him.

Hank Ketcham and M.A.C. talk over dinner at the Inkpot Awards ceremony. Rox Kirby (Mrs. Jack Kirby), in pink, sits at left.

Here’s Barbara looking radiant as always. You wouldn’t believe it from the photo, but I was born the coming November, in a way making this my first Comic-Con.

Terry Beatty, M.A.C., and Catherine Yronwode speak on a panel discussion.

Bart Bush and M.A.C. talk on the dealers room floor.

Surrounded by original comic strip art, M.A.C. signs a book for Frank Miller (looks to be one of the Nolans — just published that year and now available on Kindle!)

M.A.C. hunts for bargains in the dealers room (looks like manga — I wonder if he still has those…). In the background is an attendee in a Rollerball costume.

M.A.C., Terry Beatty, and Rick Best take a break from the convention at the Sunset Lounge.

Terry and Max at the Hollywood Bowl.

M.A.C. meets Leslie Nielsen on the plane home.

See you next year, San Diego!

Encore For Murder

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

MAC and Stacy Keach @ Encore For Murder recording
M.A.C. and Stacy Keach at the recording of “Encore For Murder”

On Sunday May 30, I had the pleasure of working with a highly professional group who assembled to bring my Mike Hammer script “Encore for Murder” to life. Under the leadership of producer/director Carl Amari, this second “audio novel” for the Blackstone Audio series THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MIKE HAMMER again stars Stacy Keach in his signature role as Mickey Spillane’s famous private eye.

“Encore for Murder” will be volume three in the series. The first volume comprised two shorter Hammer cases (not written by me). The second, “The Little Death,” was the first conceived as an audio novel, and was my first contribution to the series, based on a short story by Mickey. This third volume is another long-form play in the classic radio format – full-cast – and is an original Hammer novel developed by me from a one-page outline in Mickey’s files. It will likely run nearly three hours.

The experience was about as creatively satisfying as they come. The studio was intimate, very warm and conducive to collaboration. The cast was smaller than the one for “The Little Death,” and that turned out to be a plus. The way the studio is set up, the sound techs, the creative team (director and writer), and the actors waiting for their turn at the mic, all sit in a lounge-like area facing the glassed-in soundproofed recording booth. Last time, the actors were kept in a sort of green room/holding area, and brought one-at-a-time-as-needed into a small, modern studio – very efficient and professional, but lacking the warmth and interactivity of this set-up.

I don’t have a cast list handy, but what a talented group they were, with several impressive names – in addition to Stacy, we had my frequent actor-of-choice Mike Cornelison as Pat Chambers, with Second City/SNL legend Tim Kazurinsky helming the major “guest star” role and popular comedian/actor David Pasquesi as the key bad guy. David appeared at the Second City reunion with his pal Jeff Garlin (and Fred Willard). Pasquesi plays a young mob boss and was incredible – both funny and scary. But the entire cast delivered and then some.

I had specifically requested Tim and David, and Carl Amari delivered them – and on a holiday weekend yet!

It’s almost impossible to overstate Stacy Keach’s contribution. We worked a very, very long day – Stacy was at the mic from 10 a.m. till almost 7 p.m. with only a couple of breaks. It was inspiring and damn near unbelievable. What a great actor, and really incredibly nice man. As Mike Cornelison said, “Stacy is who would all want to be when we grow up.”

There’s still lots of work to be done – Stacy has the voiceovers to record (and that’s about one-third of the script), which he’ll do back in LA. Stacy is also composing the music, and has delivered something like 10 CD’s of original music and isn’t done yet. There’s lots of editing to do, sound effects to add, and so on. THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MIKE HAMMER Vol. 3: ENCORE FOR MURDER should be out before Christmas.

I am very proud of “The Little Death,” but I have feeling “Encore for Murder” is going to raise the bar much higher. I’m very grateful to the players for being so complimentary about my screenplay. Stacy said I’d provided him with the best Hammer voiceover he’d ever got. That’s the kind of compliment a writer dreams of.

These are great people. I came away feeling like we’d shot an entire movie in a day, and with the same warmth and camaraderie that usually only accompanies the long time put in on a film.

I have a couple of pictures to share. Unfortunately I can’t label the cast pic of “Encore for Murder” person by person (I’m the guy Cornelison is trying hard to block).

Encore For Murder Cast

By the way, Barbara Jane Mull married Max Allan Collins, Jr., on June 1, 1968. Why she did that, I’ll never know…but it’s the one thing in my life I really got right.


The Year Nate Was Born (Both Of Him)

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

My old pal Alan Light (publishing guru who created THE COMICS BUYER’S GUIDE) has sent along some photos from 1982, the year that both Nathan Allan Collins (my son) and Nathan Heller (my literary offspring) were born. These are from a Consumer Electronics Show (at Chicago’s McCormick Place) attended by Alan, his friend Rick Best (who now is the honcho at WQPT PBS in the Quad Cities) and my frequent collaborator, Terry Beatty (looking astonishingly young in these photos).

Here is McCormick Place, with a jillion satellite dishes on its rooftop:

CES 1982

Here I am talking to two unidentified booth keepers about a DICK TRACY Crimestopper license for something having to do with auto security (I guess). I have no memory of this, beyond seeing Tracy’s image and stopping by to introduce myself as the guy who writes (wrote) DICK TRACY.

CES 1982

Here is a typically elaborate exhibit at the trade show, memorializing the now-defunct home video format that I dumped so much of my son’s potential inheritance into. I still own hundreds of laser discs, and watch two or three a year.

CES 1982

Left to right: Collins, Beatty, Best, lugging our bags of freebies from the show (outside McCormick Place).

CES 1982

Here is the real reason I am posting these: the late great Russ Meyer (the auteur behind VIXEN, BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS and so many wonderful wacky others) with yours truly.

CES 1982

Terry, me, Rick Best, taking a break from getting porn star autographs and free junk.

CES 1982

Does this really require a description? We yam what we yam.

CES 1982

A sign of the times. And it’s no different with the Internet, is it?

CES 1982

Left to right, Beatty, Collins and Alan Light (thanks for these, Alan!)

CES 1982

Driver's Ed MutinySpeaking of my son Nate, a while back he worked on an indie film in a number of capacities. That film, DRIVER’S ED MUTINY, is starting to hit the film festival circuit, and won Best Feature on Saturday at the Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival. It was written and directed by Nate’s pal Brad Hansen, and it’s a terrific little comedy/drama – a road trip movie with memorable characters and some very crafty low-budget filmmaking (you actually see many landmarks on the classic Route 66). Watch for it.

Watch also for the current issue of VIDEOSCOPE (Spring 2010 #74), which has a great review of THE LAST LULLABY plus a lengthy article by me on the history of the Quarry novel series and the film that grew out of it. Required reading.

Craig Clarke, an excellent reviewer who has long been a booster of mine, has reviewed YOU CAN’T STOP ME. He doesn’t love it but you should check out what he has to say, anyway.

On the other hand, Jon Jordan loves the book – here’s an advance look at his review from the next issue (#36) of CRIMESPREE:

YOU CAN’T STOP ME is not only the title of this but also a mantra I said to myself whenever something threatened to interrupt my reading, and I’m talking the need to eat, wanting more coffee, or even smoking. I did not move from my chair till I was done.

YOU CAN’T STOP ME opens with a bang, JC Harrow is a smalltown cop just doing his job, but just doing it in spectacular fashion as he saves the President during a visit to the state fair in his county. Arriving home that night his world is turned upside down when he discovers his family murdered.

We jump ahead in time and see Harrow working on a reality show that hunts criminals. A case in Florida catches his attention and it appears to be the same killer who took his family away from him. The killer very quickly makes it known that he wants to be in the spotlight, and Harrow just wants him stopped.

History has shown that Collins can write unforgettable stories and he is a great writer. This book proves he is also a master of lightening fast books that make most thrillers seem pedestrian by comparison. And even though I finished reading, it clung to my brain like glue and it was while before I could start another book. I look forward to more stories with JC Harrow.

Here is Jon, from the current issue (#35) of CRIMESPREE:

Barbara Allan

My reading tastes are all over the board. While I do tend to read more hard-boiled or cross over mysteries, there are a number of great cozy or traditional mystery writers I love. The books by Barbara Allan are among them. Barbara Allan is actually the husband/wife team of Max Allan Collins and Barbara Collins, and just as they are great as a couple, they are also a superb writing duo.

Brandy Borne is once again caught up in the whirlwind her mother Vivian creates and this time it’s a charity auction to help flood victims. Vivian has convinced a local woman to donate a Faberge egg for the auction, the last one made.

Almost as soon as the egg is sold, the winner is found dead as was the woman who donated it. Brandy steps in to find out what’s going on, but she does this pregnant, as a surrogate for a friend. She also just found out who her biological father is and it’s all she can do to keep it together.

Great characters are what drive this series, and the research about the antiques really adds to the story. Its fun reading and the mystery is terrific. I’ll keep reading this series as long as Kensington keeps publishing them.

That’s all for this update. There are a couple of new trade paperbacks I’ll tell you about next week.