Posts Tagged ‘Crusin’’

Nobody Died

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

I am pleased to report that none of my friends died this week (Clemens, you can come out of your hidey hole).

If you have Facebook, you can check out this superior audience recording of “Alley Cats” with Mike and Nick Cornelison. You can get pretty much all of the dialogue. Several people have asked me what the requirements were for this competition, and I have frankly forgotten the exact instructions (which I received over the phone). There was a name and job description of one of the characters, the line “That’s gonna leave a mark,” the need to be a “buddy film” situation, the use of a manila envelope, and maybe a couple of other things. The audience knew of these requirements and sometimes ahhhed and even applauded when they were worked smoothly in. Understand, this was an under-the-gun competition – actors and crew waiting for me to quickly turn out a script that they could execute in under a week.

My buddy Parnell Hall has made some fun You Tube song videos about the writing game. Crusin’ and I (and lots of bigtime writers, including Crusin’ guest artists Val McDermid and Bob Randisi) participated in a new e-book-centric vid mostly shot at Bouchercon in St. Louis. (That makes our appearance the last video recording of the band with Chuck Bunn.)

Nice reviews for various M.A.C. stuff continue apace. That fine human and terrific writer Bill Crider contributed a great CONSUMMATA review.

This review from Bookgasm is kind of odd. The reviewer seems to like me and the Quarry series, but mis-reads QUARRY’S EX as a prequel to THE FIRST QUARRY, which I think it clearly isn’t. He doesn’t seem to like Quarry’s encounters with B-movie actors, either, and doesn’t seem to care for (or “get,” in my view) a novel that otherwise has earned glowing reviews. Still, always nice to be noticed by Bookgasm, a really great review site.

On a happier note, renowned comics writer John Ostrander provides a great BYE BYE, BABY review at my pal Mike Gold’s ComicMix site.

For those wondering what I’m up to this week, I am continuing work on a book entitled SPILLANE ON FILM with my ONE LONELY KNIGHT collaborator, Jim Traylor.

M.A.C.

A Crusin’ R.I.P. / Consummata Net Work

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Chuck Bunn

Before I start this update, I need to say a word about my friend Chuck Bunn. Chuck was part of the original Daybreakers line-up, back in ‘66, our bass player and high-harmony guy, and he left the band summer of ‘67, shortly before we went to Nashville to record “Psychedelic Siren” – he was off to college out of state, and after that to the U.S. Army. In later years he joined us in Crusin’ – first in the ‘80s, again in the ‘90s, and for the last three years he’s been part of the current line-up.

Chuck returned to the band after the reunion of the original Daybreakers for the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction concert in 2008. He informed me that he was battling cancer, but that he had it under control. And frankly he was the same feisty, energetic, stubborn, indispensable guy, and showed no signs of infirmity. I’d been playing keyboard bass, and our rhythm guitarist/co-lead singer Andy Landers was about to leave the band, so I thought Chuck would make a good addition. Playing bass with the band gave him something to do, even to live for (he retired early upon getting his medical news), only he wasn’t just a good addition, he was a great one. The kind of band member who steps up and keeps equipment in repair and builds gizmos and drives the van and generally keeps things going, like my late buddy Paul Thomas used to do.

But about three months ago, Chuck’s battle turned a nasty corner, and he began to fail. His last two gigs were tough – he sat down through most of them, the farthest thing from his style. His last gig was the recent, very well-received Bouchercon dance at St. Louis. He passed away Sunday morning. He had been a soldier, a teacher, a contractor, a plant worker, a husband, a father, certainly a friend, and all those things are important. More important than rock ‘n’ roll. But Chuck might well say there isn’t anything more important than rock ‘n’ roll. And it never did any good arguing with him, so we’ll leave it at that.

The Consummata and More

There’s a great display of Hard Case Crime covers with commentary by Charles Ardai himself on the Huffington Post. Amazingly, one day last week (I believe Friday) the CONSUMMATA cover was on the front page of the Post! Either they don’t know Mickey’s politics…or they do know mine.

I have done a dizzying number of interviews in support of THE CONSUMMATA and QUARRY’S EX. Sometimes these are phoners, other times I answer an e-mail list of questions, and in one case below, it’s a podcast of the actual interview. I have endeavored to vary my responses, but some repetition is gonna turn up. Trust me.

Here’s one at Popdose.

And one at Daily Blam.

Daily Rotation did one, too.

So did Fandomania.

As did Shockya.

Nerd Caliber, too.

Here’s a podcast from Film School Rejects.

Boing Boing asked me to write about other authors I read – this one was picked up in part and in whole a bunch of places, probably because of my frankness. This is worth checking out.

Here’s a nice follow-up to the Boing Boing piece by writer Max Gladstone.

There was also a lot of general CONSUMMATA coverage, like this blog post from my pal Ed Gorman.

And there were almost as many reviews – all favorable – of THE CONSUMMATA as interviews with me. Like this one at Guilty Conscience.

And this one at Mostly Fiction.

Fandomania weighted in with its own review.

The terrific pulp serenade posted a CONSUMMATA review, too.

Just to mix things up, here’s a nice review of BYE BYE, BABY by a high school student (darn good writer).

Finally, check out this posting on the Birth of Hard Case Crime from the wonderfully titled site, Boiled Hard.

M.A.C.

St. Looie Postscript

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Bouchercon was a blast. Among many friends I got to see and spend time with were Bob Randisi, John and Barbara Lutz, Christine Matthews, Ted Fitzgerald, Jeff Pierce, Ted Hertel, Dick Lochte, Christa Faust, Deadly Pleasures editor George Easter, EQMM editor Janet Hutchings, Mystery Scene editor Kate Stine, agent Dominick Abel, editor Michaela Hamilton, Strand editor Andrew Gulli, and so many more. I can say with no humility whatsoever that the two times I signed I had huge lines, damn near rivaling the guests of honor — Barb and Matt Clemens signed with me, so I can’t take all the credit. I was part of two lively panels — one on comics, another on the future of the private eye genre — on Thursday and Saturday respectively.

Crusin' at Bouchercon 2011

Along the way, I gave “shite” (my new favorite word courtesy of my new favorite pal Ali Karim) to my shy and retiring buddy Gary Phillips both on and off the comics panel, jawed with Sara Paretsky, and with Crusin’ backed our guest artists Bob Randisi, Joelle Charbonneau, Bryan Gruley, Mark Billingham and Guest of Honor, Val McDermid. Everybody was great — Bob has a fine voice and gave Elvis a run for it on “Can’t Help Fallin’ in Love,” Joelle (a stunning redhead in a green gown) had the pipes to do justice to “Be My Baby,” Mark and I did a raucous “Saw Her Standing There” while the charismatic Val joined Mark for a stirring Orbison/k.d. lang-style “Crying.” Finally Bryan blew the roof off the dump with a “Gloria” that Van Morrison might have envied.

In addition, the performance (on Saturday night) found Crusin’ very well-received with dancing from the start and applause after every tune. A rough load-in at the Renaissance Grand (as my late friend Paul Thomas said, “The ass end of a hotel is never pretty”) was the only mote in the eye of a wonderful night.

Bill Crider (with whom I also jawed, his lovely wife Judy, too) was nice enough to post a pic from the dance with some comments from attendees thereafter.

The Shamus awards on Friday were fun at the Busch brewery, where some have accused me of eating two pieces of a cake that was not quite big enough to serve the entire group. This is a libelous notion, but perhaps my losing the short story Shamus was karma….

I was honored to read Ed Gorman’s acceptance speech for receiving the PWA life achievement award, the Eye. Much deserved, and a graceful, modest acceptance from Ed, who had to remain in Iowa at the bat cave (it’s not Batman’s cave, it’s just a cave full of bats).

Some very nice web attention has come up for various of the new MAC books. KISS HER GOODBYE got a strong write-up from the L.A. Review of Books, for example.

Sons of Spade gave BYE BYE, BABY a short but very enthusiastic and insightful review here.

A very flattering review calling me the James Brown of the mystery writing game (my apologies to Gary Phillips, but after all I am the hardest working man in show business now that James is gone) appeared at Bookgeeks.

And I got a nice recommendation from Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego for BYE BYE, BABY.

Finally, the Library Journal had wonderful things to say about THE CONSUMMATA.

My apologies to anyone at the con I didn’t mention. There were so many friends and friendly faces that it was a very pleasant blur. Also great for Barb and me was spending time with son Nate and his girl Abby, who came to the Crusin’ dance. I am in fact still in St. Louis as I write this on the Monday after the great Bouchercon weekend, spending more time with my fantastic son (he’s fantastic even if it was his idea to go to the horrible psuedo-noir “Drive” yesterday).

Finally, a big shout-out to Jon and Ruth Jordan, the brawn and the beauty.

M.A.C.

See You In St. Louie

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Here is my schedule for Bouchercon:

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15th, 2011
PANEL: UNNATURAL VICES-Thursday, September 15th – 2:30PM
Comics and crime fiction (Location – Majestic D)
Cullen Bunn (M), Max Allan Collins, Gary Phillips, Jason Starr, Duane Swierczynski

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17th, 2011
PANEL: I’M ALIVE AND ON FIRE- – Saturday, September 16th – 10AM
Rumors of the private eye fiction’s death have been greatly exaggerated (Location – Majestic A, B)
Ali Karim (M), Max Allan Collins, Barbara Fister, Robert J. Randisi, Linda Richards

Saturday night, presumably in a ballroom at the hotel, Crusin’ will be playing from 8:30 till midnight, with special guest vocalists joining us in the last set.

Also, Matt Clemens will be doing a panel on collaboration on Friday, but I don’t have the details. Check the schedule when you get there. Or if you aren’t going, pour yourself a glass of wine and start reading BYE BYE, BABY…another good way to spend the weekend. Beer also works. Coke Zero, too.

Ron Fortier has written a great review of THE CONSUMMATA. Ron is a terrific writer himself and his comments are always welcome.

The nifty Sons of Spade web site has posted a short but I think pretty good interview with me. The guy knows how to ask questions.

And Hard Case’s rebirth continues to get some really nice attention, such as J. Kingston Pierce’s write-up on the Kirkus blog.

Finally, here are a couple of pictures from our signing last week at one of the Chicago area’s best bookstores, Centuries and Sleuths.

Max with longtime fan and friend Mike Doran at Centuries and Sleuths in Forest Park.
Barb signing ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF at Centuries and Sleuths.

M.A.C.