I really liked the first volume of Casefile Arkham. I like this second volume even better. But before I get into the reasons why, I need to remember my manners and thank Kat Rocha for sending me the review copy. I had intended to post this review early last week, but last week sucked rocks. And not just because of things you saw on the news.
I’d like to thank Patrick McEvoy and Kat Rocha for the review copy. If you like Raymond Chandler, or just classic PI stories in general, and are into all things Lovecraft, then this is a graphic novel for you.
The team of Finney, McEvoy, and Rocha have launched a series (yes, it’s a series; more on that later) that lovingly blends the best elements of both.
Set in Lovecraft’s fictional town of Arkham in 1946, the story follows former marine Hank Flynn as he tries to establish his life as a civilian in his home town. He’s working as a private investigator. When he’s hired by a beautiful and wealthy widow to find a missing painter, his life takes a turn for the eldritch. The painter’s name? Richard Pickman. Continue reading →
This is a unique item. The only collaboration between two great science fiction authors, Leigh Brackett and Ray Bradbury. Here’s how it came about:
Both authors were living in the Los Angeles area in the 1940s, and both had been working hard to develop their craft as writers. Both were regulars in Planet Stories at the time. They were friends who had both been mentored by Henry Kuttner. They used to meet once a week to read and critique each other’s work.
Brackett had sold some detective short stories as well as one novel, No Good From a Corpse. The novel caught the attention of movie producer Howard Hawks, who decided he wanted Brackett to work on the screenplay for his next project. She was approximately halfway through a novellette she was writing for Planet Stories that was set on Venus (More about Brackett’s Venus in a bit.) when she got a call from Hawks, or more probably his secretary. Which is how Brackett launched her screenwriting career by coauthoring with William Faulkner the script for Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. How freakin’ cool is that? Continue reading →
I’m not a huge Simon and Grafunkle fan, but I couldn’t help but steal the title of this post from “I am a Rock”. Here are my reading/writing/blogging plans for the last month of the year.
The big thing is that Leigh Brackett’s birthday is next Monday, December 7. It’s her centennial, and I’ll be focusing a lot on her work this month. I’m not the only one. Howard Andrew Jones and Bill Ward will be discussing “The Moon the Vanished”, one of her novellas set on a swampy Venus next Monday on Howard’s blog. Click here for details and join the discussion. I’m not going to be discussing that particular story here, but I will take some detailed looks at some others. I’m probably going to start with “Lorelei of the Red Mist”, which she began and Ray Bradbury finished when Howard Hawks offered her a job writing the screenplay to Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep with William Faulkner. You can get electronic copies of both stories in Swamps of Venus from Baen ($4), or get the Solar System bundle for $20. Continue reading →
Classes start today; I’ve got one from11:00 – 1:50. On top of that, my wife is having shoulder surgery tomorrow morning. Nothing big, i.e., not a rotator cuff, but I’ll be tied up with that and won’t be at work. Depending on how long her parents stay and if her painkillers are working, I may or may not be at work on Friday. (It hey are here and the drugs aren’t working, I’m coming in to work.) Anyway, I might not be very active online until next week.
In the meantime, there’s a new Kickstarter readers of this blog might be interested in. It’s called, Farewell, Something Lovely. The title is a play on Raymond Chandler’s novel, Farewell, My Lovely. It’s a collection of hardboiled sword and sorcery tales by Fraser Ronald. Since S&S and hardboiled/noir are two of my three favorite subgenres, I’m looking forward to this one.
And if you haven’t been following the discussion at Howard Andrew Jones’ blog on the relationship between hardboiled and sword and sorcery, start here.