Posts Tagged ‘Ms. Tree’

San Diego Comic-Con 2011 Day Two

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

I promised two announcements today, both of considerable import:

First, I will be completing three more of Mickey Spillane’s unfinished Mike Hammer novel manuscripts, for a new publisher…Titan of the UK (distributed by Random House in the USA). Titan is one of my favorite publishers — they have a real feel for pop culture — and while I am sorry to leave Harcourt, I am very excited about our new home. I met with Titan honcho Nick Landau today at the con, and he showed me first passes on covers that are innovative and striking for three new Hammer novels. I will be sharing them with you soon.

The books are:

LADY GO, DIE!
COMPLEX 90
KING OF THE WEEDS

I am working on LADY, GO DIE! right now — a manuscript dating to 1948, making it the second Mike Hammer story (after I, THE JURY).

The other news — announced on the reboot of FIRST COMICS panel is that we will be doing Ms. Tree for publisher Ken Levin. The entire run will be collected in new volumes, and Terry Beatty and I be doing a new MS. TREE project, likely a comics mini-series that serializes a graphic novel.

There are number of book publishers here and I spoke to several editors about possible book projects, both tie-in and original.

Nate took a lot of pictures today and we’ll share them with you on Sunday morning. Tomorrow (Friday) are the Scribe Awards with a panel focusing on tie-in grand master, Peter David. Also, Barb and I will be appearing in a mystery/crime panel (details above).

M.A.C.

Pleas, Pleas Me

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Before we begin, I have a request – even a plea.

Those of you who recently asked for and received free advance copies of various M.A.C. books, the deal was you’d post a review – some of you have. Others have not. How can I put this gently? Get cracking.

Reviews at Amazon in particular, but also at other sites like rival Barnes & Noble, are very important. I am told that certain Amazon recommendations don’t kick in until a title is at over 20 reviews. So any of you out there enjoying the books, please post a review – it doesn’t have to be worthy of comparison to Jon L. Breen or Anthony Boucher. A simple line – “This is a terrific read!” – will do. Four- and particularly five-star reviews at Amazon are important, because of the average star rating that appears when you search for a title or author. Amazon reviewers have an unfortunate tendency to either post four- or five-star reviews…or one star reviews. And those one-star reviews really pull a title’s rating down. Some of these one-star reviews are frankly imbecilic – like rating a book one-star because it took two weeks for Amazon to ship it.

I am particularly annoyed by people who took advantage of the free Kindle copies we gave out, for several days, or YOU CAN’T STOP ME and ANTIQUES ROADKILL. What kind of a-hole posts a one-star review for a book he or she got free? Why do these people keep reading a book to the end that they don’t like from page one? When they are served a terrible meal, do they wolf it down after that first disgusting bite?

Anyway, your grass-roots support at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders’s and on your own blogs and Facebook pages in general is much, much needed…and appreciated.

ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF continues to get wonderful reviews. We hit the trifecta of the major industry publications, with Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus and now Library Journal reviewing (and liking us). This is from the Library Journal review:

This fifth cozy series entry displays the versatility of husband and wife Max Allan Collins and Barbara Collins. Scenes of Midwestern small-town life, informative tidbits about the antiques business, and clever dialog make this essential for those who like unusual amateur sleuths.

But my favorite ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF review – one of my favorite reviews for the entire series – comes from that splendid human being and blogger extra ordinaire, Bill Crider. You gotta check this one out. Barb and I were working hard on ANTIQUES DISPOSAL last week, really worn down by the work, and this came in and boosted our spirits incredibly. It should be noted that Bill is a terrific mystery writer his own damn self, and you can find info at his site about his excellent books, when you’re checking out this review.

Speaking of great guys who happen to also be great writers, Ed Gorman has struck again with a wonderful retrospective of the first Quarry novel, in the context of the new Perfect Crime trade paperback reprints. By the way, Perfect Crime has also published an outstanding Gorman short-story collection called Noir 13.

Steve Lewis has a very interesting and insightful review of the forthcoming KISS HER GOODBYE at Mystery File, and the comments include some lengthy ones by me that describe the process of creating new Spillane novels from old unfinished manuscripts.

And here’s a neat review of A KILLING IN COMICS. How I wish I’d been able to do more than just one Jack and Maggie Starr mystery.

I should mention that THE BIG BANG has been nominated for a Scribe (Best Original Novel) by the International Association of Media and Tie-in Writers. You can see the other nominees listed at Lee Goldberg’s terrific site (always worth checking out – fun, funny and informative). Lee and I co-founded the organization, but I assure you the fix is not in.

Even Wild Dog got some love this week! All because he wore a hockey mask.

And there’s some very insightful stuff about Ms. Tree, with a smart feminist perspective, at Ink-stained Amazon. This is Part Four, but you can find your way to the previous parts as you scroll down. I think the bulk of the Ms. Tree material is right here in Part Four, though.

Today, Barb and I will very likely complete ANTIQUES DISPOSAL. The book is essentially written but we are in Day Two of our final tweaks. After ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF has done so well, we’re a little intimidated. KNOCK-OFF essentially completes the first story arc (took five books to do it). DISPOSAL introduces another story arc, this time designed to span three books. This time we’re dealing with the auction of storage units whose owners are either in arrears or have disappeared. Murder and hilarity ensues…or anyway, they better….

M.A.C.

Collins’ Spillane on Criterion

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

As a home video fanatic – the demented owner of thousands of DVDs, Blu-rays and laser discs – I am in particular a fan of the Criterion Collection, who consistently live up to their promise of putting out the highest quality DVDs and now Blu-rays of “classic and important contemporary films.” I have scores of Criterions in my collection, on all three formats, and as an indie filmmaker, having one of my films available from Criterion would be the equivalent of finding the Holy Grail or maybe that atomic box from KISS ME DEADLY.

Well, I have found the atomic box if not the Holy Grail (Monty Python or otherwise). In June, Criterion is bringing out (on both DVD and Blu-ray) what looks to be the definitive release of Robert Aldrich’s great film noir, KISS ME DEADLY…actually, the official title is MICKEY SPILLANE’S KISS ME DEADLY. I was approached about a month ago by representatives of Criterion wondering if they could use my documentary MIKE HAMMER’S MICKEY SPILLANE as a special feature on this disc. At first they wanted to just use excerpts, but ultimately they asked if I could do a re-edit on the piece to bring it down from around 48 minutes to half an hour.

Kiss Me Deadly

For those of you unfamiliar with MIKE HAMMER’S MICKEY SPILLANE, it’s a documentary I did in 1998 with the full participation of Mickey, utilizing all sorts of wonderful interview footage with the likes of Stacy Keach, Shirley Eaton, Lee Meredith, producer Jay Bernstein, Leonard Maltin and a galaxy of mystery writers and experts (Donald E. Westlake, Sara Paretsky, Walter Mosley, Otto Penzler, Marty Greenberg, Paul Biship, Joe Gores, Stephen Marlowe, Parnell Hall, Loren Estleman and on and on). It was produced for a company that went out of business and it never saw the light of broadcast day, although it won awards at festivals here and abroad, with a particularly memorable screening at the National Film Theater of London as part of a Spillane film festival (Mickey and I were both guests of the British Film Institute). The doc appeared as the major element of my anthology film SHADES OF NOIR a few years ago – which is only available in the boxed set BLACK BOX from Troma (it’s out of print, I believe, but can be found).

Anyway, I agreed to come up with a new edit expressly for Criterion – they wanted an emphasis on Mickey, Mike Hammer and (not surprisingly) KISS ME DEADLY. This was tricky because I did not have the original elements – I had to edit a new version from the existing version. Anyone who knows anything about film or video editing knows what a nightmare that is – this was a fully scored piece, meaning edits involved music at every point (the score was by my Seduction of the Innocent pal, Chris Christensen). Those who follow this update will not be surprised that I turned to my longtime collaborator, Phil Dingeldein, at dphilms in Rock Island. With his help – and that of editor Ryan Orr – we came up with a 39 minute cut that we have delivered to Criterion. A little longer than they had asked for, but in the ballpark.

In many respects, I like this new cut better. We lost a few really nice moments, but because the documentary was segmented, I was able to cut whole sections, including material on the MIKE DANGER comic book and Mickey’s appearances in my MOMMY movies (both were timely when I did the original doc). Some personal stuff about Mickey’s home life and family went, as well – material that played better when, frankly, Mickey was alive and well and among us. This shorter version acknowledges Mickey’s passing and works better, I think, as a career piece at this shorter length. I’m proud of it, and trust Criterion will indeed use the entire new edit (and not just excerpt it). The presence on their KISS ME DEADLY disc of this documentary – and, frankly, of me – is very important, because film critics have a smug tendency to dismiss and even dis Mickey’s source material in regard to Aldrich’s film. I have not heard the commentary tracks or read the Criterion background booklet, but I can guarantee you that there will be nasty things said about Spillane. And now I will be there to counterattack…er, I mean counterbalance.

Some nice web stuff this week.

The great review column Bookgasm did a fanastic write-up on the Quarry reprints from Perfect Crime.

My first Mallory novel (second published, first written), NO CURE FOR DEATH, got a very nice write-up. There’s a lot about the plot, and I remember almost none of it. In my defense, it was written around 1970.

You can pre-order RETURN TO PERDITION here and/or get a sneak look at the cover art.

And here’s a fun story showing how Mickey Spillane’s feisty widow Jane is keeping her local government honest (they promised to re-name a highway after Mickey, then didn’t follow through – bad idea!).

Finally, here is a mostly B.S. list of the supposed top 111 hardboiled heroes. Nate Heller, Mike Hammer and Dick Tracy make the list, but Quarry doesn’t. Irritating Quarry is almost as dangerous as irritating Jane Spillane.

M.A.C.

Rock ‘N’ Roll Happened

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

This coming weekend – Dec. 3 and 4 – Crusin’ will be at Jumer’s casino from 8 to midnight off I-280 near Rock Island. Getting to play casinos is a big deal for us, because it’s “real” show biz. We have an excellent version of our long-running band right now, so we hope those of you in this part of the world will stop by for some genuine garage-band rock.

Rock 'N' Roll Happened

Speaking of which, our new live CD, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Happened,” is now available. It feature half a dozen originals (including “Psychedelic Siren,” two Bruce Peters originals and one by Rob Gal, as well as our signature arrangement of “Summertime” and a rousing “Pussy Whipped”) plus classic covers, all recorded live at two outdoor festivals in August. The liner notes include a detailed history of the band and rare vintage photos. If you’ve ever heard (and enjoyed) us or the years, or just have a lingering morbid curiosity about the rock ‘n’ roll side of my creative life, you will not want to miss this.

Since “Rock ‘n’ Roll Happened” is a promo item, designed for bookers at venues who might consider hiring us, we can’t sell it…but I am setting aside thirty copies for this website. To get a CD, you order one of the following M.A.C. rarities and get a free copy. Here are your options:

Edit: All options sold out! We’re going to recheck stock and post again with what’s left!

Kisses of Death

A., “Kisses of Death,” a 90-minute cassette of me reading a Nate Heller novella with Barbara Collins as Marilyn Monroe. These rare cassettes were distributed as a promo item at the ABA in 1996. Includes FREE Crusin’ “Rock ‘n’ Roll Happened” CD, $15 postpaid USA/Canada ($20 foreign).

Mike Myst

B. “Mike Mist Minute Mist-eries,” 1981 Eclipse black-and-white comic book collecting “Mist” strips from the Collins/Beatty self-syndicated “Comics Page.” Includes FREE Crusin’ “Rock ‘n’ Roll Happened” CD, $15 postpaid USA/Canada ($20 foreign).

Ms. Tree Summer Music Special

C. “Ms. Tree Rock ‘n’ Roll Summer Special,” 1986, includes “Music to Murder By” Ms. Tree/Mike Mist crossover, plus my “Bobby Darin” comic bio/memoir, and in-depth article “The Daybreakers” with many rare photos. Includes FREE Crusin’ “Rock ‘n’ Roll Happened” CD, $15 postpaid USA/Canada ($20 foreign).

Golden Age

D. Rare “The Golden Age” by Seduction of the Innocent (cassette); rare 1990 album featuring “The Truth Hurts.” Includes FREE Crusin’ “Rock ‘n’ Roll Happened” CD, $15 postpaid USA/Canada ($20 foreign).

Crusin'

E. “Bullets” by Crusin’ (cassette); rare 1991 album featuring “Theme from Ms. Tree.” Includes FREE Crusin’ “Rock ‘n’ Roll Happened” CD, $15 postpaid USA/Canada ($20 foreign).

SOTI Live'

F. “Seduction of the Innocent” Live CD signed by Collins, Christensen, Mumy and Leialoha. Includes FREE Crusin’ “Rock ‘n’ Roll Happened” CD, $20 postpaid USA/Canada ($25 foreign).

G. The Complete Collection (THREE SETS AVAILABLE): “The Golden Age” by Seduction of the Innocent, CD; “Bullets” by Crusin’, CD; “Daybreakers aka Crusin’,” including “Psychedelic Siren,” rare demos and songs from Mommy and Mommy’s Day, signed by original Daybreakers, CD; signed “Seduction of the Innocent” Live CD. Includes FREE Crusin’ “Rock ‘n’ Roll Happened” CD, $60 postpaid USA/Canada ($75 foreign).

As indicated, these are available in very limited quantities. An unsigned copy of the Seduction of the Innocent CD may be substituted for the free “Rock ‘n’ Roll Happened” CD, if you buy a second of the above options.

Edit: All options sold out! We’re going to recheck stock and post again with what’s left!

* * *

Here’s an interesting write-up from the University of Chicago Magazine website about my Batman/Eliot Ness graphic novel, SCAR OF THE BAT. Always fun when something from past years pops up for some praise.

This is a nice write-up about BLACK HATS. The posting has been edited after I commented about the original version, which off-handedly said I had a “boatload” of pennames. Which of course I don’t.

The terrific crime writer Tom Piccirilli is kind enough to mention the new Quarry reprints on his blog.

There’s an interview with me at the website of the Top Suspense Group. Lee Goldberg has joined our merry little band of e-book writers, which is very good news. Lee is co-founder (with me) of the International Association of Tie-in Writers. Interviews with him and Ed Gorman and our other talented members can be found at the same site.

And there’s a nice write-up about collaborations at Book Notes, which includes Barbara Allan.

Nate is back from Japan, and I have welcomed him home with this long and complicated update!

M.A.C.