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Quote of the Day

"I have romantic notions of drinking gimlets with Raymond Chandler, waiting out the Santa Ana winds together in some dim bar."

-- author Megan Abbott, July 24, 2016, The New York Times Book Review

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This Just In...
What's New in the P.I. World
(Plus Random Thoughts & Other Provocations)

  1. Which Film Noir CHaracter Are You?
    Take the quiz over at Criminal Element. Turns out, much to my surprise, that I'd be a hard-boiled detective. But I thought for sure I'd end up being some patsy played by Elisha Cook, Jr.
  2. Too Late
    A scrappy little bit of cinematic chess perpetrated by writer/director Dennis Hauck that plays with all your favourite P.I. tropes in all-new ways, built around a only-in-the-movies gimmick. But it's one hell of a gimmick. One of my favourite films of the year, this low-budget, VOD flick is at turns clever and sneaky, but delivered with a heavy dose of heart.
  3. "Think Twice: How Jack Reacher Was Built"
    Fascinating article from The New Yorker that peeks into fictional implausabilities and how Child overcomes them. Also, an interesting comparison of Child to Georges Simenon, the creator of Inspector Maigret.
  4. HARD CASE CRIME Launches Crime Comics Imprint!
    Hard Case Crime makes a two-fisted entry into the burgeoning crime comics field with two titles in October. Hitting the newsstands and comic shops first is Triggerman, written by legendary screenwriter and film director Walter Hill and French writer Matz, with art by Jef, revolving around a Prohibition-era gangster trying to set the world right.
    Right on Triggerman's heels comes the deliciously tawdry Peepland, co-scripted by long-time friends of this site, Christa Faust and Gary Phillips, and billed as "a semi-autobiographical neo-Noir mini-series with a punk edge, set in the seedy Times Square peep booths of 1980s New York City." Hmmm... and here I thought Gary grew up in LA.
    And there's more in the kitty. Sometime in 2017, they're set to launch Quarry, based on Max Allan Collins' ruthless assassin.
  5. More Crime Comics!
    Not to be outdone, Image Comics has just launched a new monthly: Kill or Be Killed, the latest from the award-winning team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. It's a deliberately pulpy, hard-boiled tale of a young man who is forced to kill people (but only bad ones, apparently). Dark, violent and thoughtful are the buzzwords. We'll see... (August 2016)
  6. Mystery Weekly Magazine
    Yeah, it's called "Mystery Weekly" but Kerry and Chuck Carter's digital mag is published monthly, and presents "crime and mystery short stories by some of the world's best established and emerging mystery writers. The original stories we select for each issue run the gamut from cozy to hardboiled fiction." The monicker, I assume, comes from their free weekly samples, and of course that's the bait. They're hoping you'll love it so much that you'll subscribe to their monthly, printer-friendly PDF version. This digital mag is also available through Magzter, Amazon, Google Play & the App store, and via print. And writers take note-- they're always looking for submissions.
  7. "What is Noir?"
    Always a favourite question (we've had several whacks at it ourselves over the years), The Noir Factory recently decided to take poke as well, and twelve of us answered, including Lawrence Block, Christa Faust,Eddie Muller and Charles Ardai. I think I'm in there simply to cleanse the palate, but there IS a really bad photo of me.
  8. Jessica Jones Goes Home
    Following the success of last year's gritty, street-level TV mini-series revolving around Marvel superhero-turned-Manhattan P.I Jessica Jones, the comic book publisher has announced a new series coming this fall from original creators Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos. Whether the new series will return Jessica to her rough-edged roots (YES!), or follow current Marvel continuity which has cast her as just another spandex-bedecked member of the Avengers (meh) remains to be seen.
  9. And speaking of spandex...
    There's no sign of spandex (or tiaras) in Netflix's take on Marvel's Luke Cage. Unfortunately, there's also no sign of Jessica Jones, either. But one can always hope. C'mon, let's get those crazy kids back together!
  10. Quarry to Run in September
    Cinemax's long-anticipated new show featuring Max Allan Collins' Vietnam vet-turned-hitman, Quarry, starring Logan Marshall-Green, is now scheduled to air in September.
  11. The Little Sister.
    Barry Ergang clued me into this little animated gem, now available for viewing (hopefully) on YouTube. The creator, who put this together using elements of an old PC game (which was also based on Chandler's The Little Sister), admits "I don't own the copyrights to any of this material, and I cannot imagine who would." So, sure, the audio's sketchy in spots, its provenance is dubious and the story strays a little too much at times from the original, but what a ride! As Barry says "it seems to have been grafted over an old videogame, but some parts look like it was lifted from Scooby Doo, or possibly the graphic novel (but) definitely worth investigating." FanFic taken to a whole new level.(2015, Brooklyn Multimedia)
  12. Chandler to Get Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame?
    Adam Lerner and Bill Boyle have launched a fund-raising IndieGoGo campaign to get Raymond Chandler a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with the approval of the Chandler Estate and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. This would make Chandler the first writer (who is not also a director, producer, or animator) to get a star.

    They argue that "If there were no Raymond Chandler there would certainly be no Philip Marlowe and if there were no Philip Marlowe there would arguably be no Hollywood Noir or Hollywood Walk of Fame."

    I'm not sure if I buy all that argument, but if there's a writer who deserves that star, it's definitely Chandler. Let's help give him his due.

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