Monday, April 30, 2012




Murder Draws a Crowd: The Collected Fredric Brown, Volume OneFredric BrownEdited by Stephen Haffner
ISBN-13 9781893887787
600+ pages$40.00

“. . . enough good people put Brown on their must-read lists and then become evangelists to keep his name alive on the same high shelf as Hammett, Thompson, Ross Macdonald and other crime icons. Somewhere up in literary heaven, I hope he’s looking down, sipping a beer, playing his flute and smiling.”—Dick Adler, Chicago Tribune.

While the editor of this series only recently came upon the above quote from 2008, these eyes read no truer words.

Work has been underway for nearly a year on assembling the first two volumes of a series provisionally titledLOADED: THE COLLECTED FREDRIC BROWN. Now is your chance to get in on the ground floor of what is hoped to be the definitive collection of Fredric Brown sans his science fiction works. Assembled in chronological order of publication, this set will contain all the short fiction (of all genres: mystery, horror, noir, western, detection, etc.) and all of Brown’s novels (again, excepting his sf works). You’ll be able to enjoy Fredric Brown at his longer lengths fromThe Fabulous Clipjoint and Night of the Jabberwock to The Lenient Beast andMrs. Murphy’s Underpants. Assisting with this effort have been Brown bibliographer Phil Stephensen-Payne and Brown biographer Jack Seabrook. This massive undertaking could not have been accomplished without their help.


The Moon For A Nickel Detective Story Magazine Mar. 38

The Cheese on Stilts, Thrilling Detective Jan. 39
Blood of the Dragon, Variety Detective Feb. 39
There Are Bloodstains in the Alley, Detective Yarns Feb. 39
Murder at 10:15, Clues Detective Stories May 39
The Prehistoric Clue, Ten Detective Aces Jul. 40
Trouble in a Teacup, Detective Fiction Weekly Jul-13-1940
Murder Draws a Crowd, Detective Fiction Weekly Jul-27-1940
Footprints on the Ceiling, Ten Detective Aces Sep. 40
The Little Green Men, The Masked Detective Fall 1940
Town Wanted, Detective Fiction Weekly Sep-7-1940
Herbie Rides His Hunch, Detective Fiction Weekly Oct-19-1940
The Stranger from Trouble Valley, Western Short Stories Nov. 40
The Strange Sisters Strange, Detective Fiction Weekly Dec-28-1940
How Tagrid Got There, unpublished until 1986
Fugitive Imposter, Ten Detective Aces Jan. 41
The King Comes Home, Thrilling Detective Jan. 41
Big-Top Doom, Ten Detective Aces Mar 41
The Discontented Cows, G-Men Detective Mar. 41
Life and Fire, Detective Fiction Weekly Mar-22-1941
Big-League Larceny, Ten Detective Aces Apr. 41 {as by Jack Hobart}
Selling Death Short, Ten Detective Aces Apr. 41
Client Unknown, The Phantom Detective Apr. 41
Your Name in Gold, The Phantom Detective Jun. 41
Here Comes the Hearse, 10-Story Detective Jul. 41 {as by Allen Morse}
Six-Gun Song, 10-Story Detective Jul. 41
Star-Spangled Night, Coronet Jul. 41
Wheels Across the Night, G-Men Detective Jul. 41
Little Boy Lost, Detective Fiction Weekly Aug-2-1941
Bullet for Bullet, Western Short Stories Oct. 41
Listen to the Mocking Bird (NT) G-Men Detective Nov. 41


Death in the Dark: The Collected Fredric Brown, Volume TwoFredric BrownEdited by Stephen Haffner
ISBN-13 9781893887800
600+ page Hardcover$40

“. . . enough good people put Brown on their must-read lists and then become evangelists to keep his name alive on the same high shelf as Hammett, Thompson, Ross Macdonald and other crime icons. Somewhere up in literary heaven, I hope he’s looking down, sipping a beer, playing his flute and smiling.”—Dick Adler, Chicago Tribune

While the editor of this series only recently came upon the aboe quote from 2008, these eyes read no truer words. Work has been underway for nearly a year on assembling the first two volumes of a series provisionally titled LOADED: THE COLLECTED FREDRIC BROWN. Now is your chance to get in on the ground floor of what is hoped to be the definitive collection of Fredric Brown sans his science fiction works. Assembled in chronological order of publication, this set will contain all the short fiction (of all genres: mystery, horror, noir, western, detection, etc.) and all of Brown’s novels (again, excepting his sf works). You’ll be able to enjoy Fredric Brown at his longer lengths from The Fabulous Clipjoint and Night of the Jabberwock to The Lenient Beast and Mrs. Murphy’s Underpants. Assisting with this effort have been Brown bibliographer Phil Stephensen-Payne and Brown biographer Jack Seabrook. This massive undertaking could not have been accomplished without their help.


Little Apple Hard to Peel, Detective Tales Feb. 42

Death in the Dark, Dime Mystery Mar. 42
The Incredible Bomber, G-Men Detective Mar. 42
Pardon My Ghoulish Laughter, Strange Detective Mysteries Mar. 42
Twice-Killed Corpse, Ten Detective Aces Mar. 42
A Cat Walks, Detective Story Magazine Apr. 42
Mad Dog!, Detective Book Magazine Spring 1942
Moon Over Murder, The Masked Detective Spring 1942
"Who Did I Murder?", Detective Short Stories Apr. 42
Murder in Furs, Thrilling Detective May 42
Suite for Flute and Tommy Gun, Detective Story Magazine Jun. 42
Three-Corpse Parlay, Popular Detective Jun. 42
A Date to Die, Strange Detective Mysteries Jul. 42
Red is the Hue of Hell, Strange Detective Mysteries Jul. 42 {as by Felix Graham}
Two Biers for Two, Clues Detective Stories Jul. 42
"You'll Die Before Dawn", Mystery Magazine Jul. 42
Get Out of Town, Thrilling Detective Sep. 42
A Little White Lye, Ten Detective Aces Sep. 42
The Men Who Went Nowhere, Dime Mystery Sep. 42
Nothing Sinister, Mystery Magazine Sep. 42
The Numberless Shadows, Detective Story Magazine Sep. 42
Satan's Search Warrant, 10-Story Detective Sep. 42
Where There's Smoke, Black Book Detective Sep. 42
Boner, Popular Detective Oct. 42
Legacy of Murder, Exciting Mystery Oct. 42
The Santa Claus Murders, Detective Story Magazine Oct. 42
Double Murder, Thrilling Detective Nov. 42 {as by John S. Endicott}
A Fine Night for Murder, Detective Tales Nov. 42
Heil, Werewolf!, Dime Mystery Nov. 42 {as by Felix Graham}
I'll See You at Midnight, Clues Detective Stories Nov. 42
The Monkey Angle, Thrilling Detective Nov. 42
Satan One-and-a-H

Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Books: Terrified by Kevin O'Brien



Tell us about TERRIFIED. Kevin O'Brien:

In TERRIFIED, Lisa Swan fakes her own death and disappears to escape from her abusive husband, Glenn, a Chicago surgeon. Lisa moves to Seattle, changes her identity and soon discovers she’s pregnant with Glenn’s child. Meanwhile, Chicago-area police believe the body parts discovered in various garbage bags scattered along the North Shore are Lisa’s remains, and Glenn is arrested for her murder. Lisa fears Glenn will be as abusive a father as he was a husband. So she remains in Seattle, and raises their child, Josh, on her own. But she’s constantly looking over her shoulder, worried someone might discover her true identity.Adding to her anxiety is a rash of “garbage bag” killings in the Seattle area—similar to the case in Chicago. After fifteen years, DNA testing clears Glenn of Lisa’s murder and he’s released from jail. That’s when Lisa begins to receive cryptic emails and mysterious phone calls.Someone is following Josh around at his high school. Then the unthinkable happens. Josh is abducted. I won’t say any more, except that’s just the first half of the book!

Can you describe your writing process? For instance, how did the core idea for TERRIFED come about?

John Scognamiglio, my editor at Kensington Books, sometimes emails me ideas. He threw one my way about two years ago: “How about if you tried a new twist to the SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY story?” We bounced ideas back and forth for a while, and then he left me alone.At this point, I did what I usually do with a book idea—lots and lots of stream of conscious note-taking. I work out the characters and their histories—to account for how they’ll act and react in the situation I’m creating. After a few weeks of writing random notes and character biographies, I start to write an outline—which reads very much like a condensed novel. With dialogue, description, cliff-hanger section breaks, and the works, I try to make my outline as entertaining and compelling as possible. This is what my editor reads before he approves the book—and more importantly, before he gives the green light for my paycheck! The outline for TERRIFIED was about 90 pages. With such a thorough, detailed outline, my editor can work out any kinks he sees in the plot or characters. He can also get the ball rolling for cover art, cover copy and promotion while I write the book. By the time he gets the finished book, there are no surprises, and he usually asks for only a couple of minor changes. It’s kind of a unique author-editor relationship, but it really works for us.

What is your work day like?

Well, Ed, it depends on how far along I am in a book. If I’m in the phase in which I’m taking notes, researching, and working toward an outline, I’ll give priority to answering email and fan mail, and wait for the muse to inspire me. I’ll stay up late jotting notes. There’s less structure to my life during this period. When I’m writing the book, and the deadline is looming, I get more structured and disciplined. As the deadline gets closer, it’s like finals week in school. I live, eat, and breathe the book. I’m a hard-typist (from starting out on a manual typewriter); so my fingers will get sore. I’ll keep an ice-pack by the keyboard for during the lulls. I get less and less sleep. My social life suffers and chores get postponed. I remember asking Stephanie Kallos what she planned to do once she delivered her book. “I’m dying to clean out my closet,” she admitted. That’s exactly what I always end up doing the day after I deliver a manuscript. It’s my way of getting my life back in order. If it sounds like I’m complaining, I’m not. I’m getting paid to do something I love.

There is always disagreement among writers about outlining. Some do, some don’t. How about you?

Oh, I’m an outline believer, for sure. As I said earlier, my outlines are epic. Plus, during that deadline-pressure phase of writing, it’s so great to have a detailed blueprint from which I can work. How many thrillers seem to fall apart near the end? I think that’s because those authors didn’t have an outline—and perhaps meeting a deadline forced them to wrap it up too soon.

What do you find the most difficult aspect of writing?

The solitude. Writing can be a very lonely profession, but it’s necessary. You have to cut yourself off from everything to get into that writing space. I recall an interview with Jamie Ford in which he said, “Most of us write alone in our own little sequestered spots—like the Unabomber.” The other thing that’s tough for me as a writer is the uncertainty. Every time I finish a new book, I’m convinced it’s the worst thing I’ve ever written. I have to distance myself from the material and see several glowing reviews before I feel the book is any good.

What turned you to suspense fiction as a writer?

It took a while to find a publisher for my first two novels (both mainstream fiction, ACTORS in 1986 and ONLY SON in 1996). So in 1999, my agent suggested I try my hand at a thriller. She said books in that genre were easier to sell—and in high demand. I didn’t take much convincing.I’ve always been a fan of Hitchcock and thrillers. So—I started writing what was to become THE NEXT TO DIE (2001). True to form, when I finished the manuscript, I was convinced it wasn’t very good. Fortunately, my editor, John, didn’t agree. The book hit the USA TodayBestseller list. So I’d found my calling. And I’m now hard at work on my twelfth thriller.

-----------------Pro-File Kevin O'Brien (from 2011)

Tell us about your current novel (or project).

VICIOUS is how you could describe Mama's Boy, a serial killer who kept
Seattle in the grip of fear for two years back in the late 90's. He
abducted women right in front of their sons, and later strangled them.
Mama's Boy was never caught, but the killings suddenly stopped in 2001-at
least in the Seattle area. Now it's ten years later, and Susan Blanchette,
a beautiful widow, is taking a weekend getaway in a resort town north of
Seattle with her toddler son and her fiancé, Allen. But something isn't
quite right about the lakeside house they've rented, and Susan discovers
that two women went missing in the area within the last year. Then Allen
vanishes without a trace. But the worst discovery of all may come too late
for Susan: Mama's Boy is back. You can get VICIOUS in May!

2. Can you give a sense of what you're working on now?

The working title for my thriller-in-the-works is DISTURBED. It's about a
scandal at a Seattle high school that leads to the suicide of one student
and the firing of a beloved guidance counselor. Molly Dennehy is the
stepmother of a student indirectly involved in that scandal. After the
guidance counselor is slain in what appears to be a hold up, bizarre
occurrences-including a few untimely, gruesome deaths-begin to plague
Molly's neighbors in an isolated suburban cul-de-sac. That's all I'm
saying for now. I don't want to give too much away!

3. What is the greatest pleasure of a writing career?

Having my own hours, not having to go into an office, getting a rush from
something I write-those are some of the perks. The greatest pleasure is
hearing from readers who enjoy my books. It's especially terrific to learn
that I've gotten someone hooked on reading-or when someone tells me that a
character in my fiction really touches a cord with them. But I also love
hearing that one of my books simply kept a reader entertained during a
snowed-in weekend or a long airplane ride.

4. What is the greatest DISpleasure?

The solitude, the deadlines, and the occasional nasty reviews on
(I can have nine glowing reviews, and one lousy review-and I'll obsess over
the lousy one).

5. If you have one piece of advice for the publishing world, what is it?

Quit giving huge, million-plus advances to politicians and celebrities for
their ghost-written memoirs, and put that money toward paying the working
writer something resembling a living wage. I know Bestselling authors who
still need other part-time jobs to pay the bills.

6. Are there two or three forgotten mystery writers you'd like to see in
print again?

Several of Edgar Award winner Margaret Millar's mystery-thrillers are out of
print. Also-J.B. Dickey at Seattle Mystery Bookshop knows I'm from Chicago,
and he was telling me about Max Allen Collins' Nathan Heller books that
blend true events (the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, the assassination attempt
on Roosevelt, the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, and many more) with a
fictional detective from the Windy City. They sound incredible-and right
up my alley. And most of them are out of print.

7. Tell us about selling your first novel. Most writers never forget that

Back in college, I made a goal for myself to get published by the time I was
thirty. I wrote two Hitchcock-rip-off screenplays that never sold, and
about a dozen short stories that no one would publish. I started writing my
first novel, ACTORS, in a creative writing night class. I found an agent
for it, but after two years and one major rewrite, she started to lose her
enthusiasm for the book. By the time my thirtieth birthday rolled around,
only one publishing house, St, Martin's Press, had ACTORS, and they'd
rejected an earlier draft of it a year before. My agent wasn't returning
my calls. Things didn't look very good on my 30th birthday. The following
morning, the phone rang at 7 AM. I thought it was one of my bosses calling
from the east coast (I was working for the railroads at the time). Who
else would call so early in the morning? I let my answering machine pick it
up (this was before the days of Caller ID), and I heard my agent on the
other end, singing Happy Birthday-the way Marilyn sang it to JFK. "For your
birthday," she said. "I'd like to tell you that you sold your book...and
you have, honey. Call me..."

Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Books: The Last Kind Words by Tom Piccirilli

The Last Kind Words: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

The Last Kind Words: A Novel

Advance praise for The Last Kind Words

“Perfect crime fiction . . . a convincing world, a cast of compelling characters, and above all a great story.”—Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author of 61 Hours

“For the first time since The Godfather, a family of criminals has stolen my heart. This is a brilliant mix of love and violence, charm and corruption. I loved it.”—Nancy Pickard, bestselling author of The Scent of Rain and Lightning

“You don’t choose your family. And the Rand clan, a family of thieves, is bad to the bone. But it’s a testimony to Tom Piccirilli’s stellar writing that you still care about each and every one of them. The Last Kind Words is at once a dark and brooding page-turner and a heartfelt tale about the ties that bind.”—Lisa Unger, New York Timesbestselling author of Darkness, My Old Friend

“Piccirilli straddles genres with the boldness of the best writers today, blending suspense and crime fiction into tight, brutal masterpieces.”—James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Colony

“Tom Piccirilli’s sense of relationships and the haunting power of family lifts his writing beyond others in the genre. The Last Kind Words is a swift-moving and hard-hitting novel.”—Michael Koryta, Edgar Award–nominated author of The Ridge

“A stunning story that ranges far afield at times but never truly leaves home, a place where shadows grow in every corner . . . superbly told, with prose that doesn’t mess about or flinch from evil.”—Daniel Woodrell, PEN USA award–winning author of Winter’s Bone

“There’s more life in The Last Kind Words (and more heartache, action, and deliverance) than in any other novel I’ve read in the past couple of years.”—Steve Hamilton, Edgar Award–winning author of The Lock Artist

“You’re in for a treat. Tom Piccirilli is one of the most exciting authors around. He writes vivid action that is gripping and smart, with characters you believe in and care about.”—David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of First Blood

From International Thriller Writers Award winner and Edgar Award nominee Tom Piccirilli comes a mesmerizing suspense novel that explores the bonds of family and the ways they're stretched by guilt, grief, and the chance for redemption.

Raised in a clan of small-time thieves and grifters, Terrier Rand decided to cut free from them and go straight after his older brother, Collie, went on a senseless killing spree that left an entire family and several others dead. Five years later, and days before his scheduled execution, Collie contacts Terry and asks him to return home. He claims he wasn't responsible for one of the murders--and insists that the real killer is still on the loose.

Uncertain whether his brother is telling the truth, and dogged by his own regrets, Terry is drawn back into the activities of his family: His father, Pinsch, who once made a living as a cat burglar but retired after the heartbreak caused by his two sons. His card sharp uncles, Mal and Grey, who've recently incurred the anger of the local mob. His grandfather, Old Shep, who has Alzheimer's but is still a first-rate pickpocket. His teenage sister, Dale, who's flirting with the lure of the criminal world. And Kimmy, the fiancée he abandoned, who's now raising a child with his former best friend.

As Terrier starts to investigate what really happened on the day of Collie's crime spree, will the truth he uncovers about their offenses and secrets tear the Rands apart?

Walking the razor-sharp edge between love and violence, with the atmospheric noir voice that is his trademark, The Last Kind Words demonstrates why Tom Piccirilli has become a must-read author.

Employing the unique, darkly humorous, and powerful noir voice that is his trademark, Tom Piccirilli continually demonstrates why he's become a must-read author for admirers of both crime and horror fiction. His last two mass market paperback crime novels SHADOW SEASON and THE COLDEST MILE were both nominated for the coveted Thriller Award, given out by the International Thriller Writers, with TCM taking home the prize. His latest novel THE LAST KIND WORDS will appear from Bantam this June in hardcover.
Ed Gorman: THE LAST KIND WORDS has already generated some nice buzz and picked up tremendous blurbs from the likes of Lee Child, Daniel Woodrell, Lisa Unger, Nancy Pickard, and Steve Hamilton. Tell us a little about the novel.
PIC: It's the story of a young thief named Terrier Rand who returns to his criminal family on the eve of his brother Collie's execution. For no apparent reason Collie went on a killing spree murdering eight people. Now, five years later, Collie swears he only killed seven people during his lethal rampage, and the eighth was the work of someone else. Terry not only has to deal with an ex-best friend, a former flame, mob guys, and other assorted people from his dark past, but he's also forced to investigate the night his brother went insane and find out if Collie is telling the truth. But more than anything, he really wants to know the reason why his brother went on a spree, in the hopes that Terry himself is never pushed to that kind of edge.
I just finished the sequel entitled THE LAST WHISPER IN THE DARK, which should appear about a year after.
EG: I noticed that a central theme that runs strongly through your crime fiction is the search for identity. We see it again and again in such titles as THE COLD SPOT, SHADOW SEASON, and it's prevalent once more in THE LAST KIND WORDS. Terrier Rand is unsure of who he is without being defined by his family, his "career" as a thief, or as someone who may have missed his chance with the love of his life. He covets his best friend's stability in life, he even seems to be jealous that his brother has found a kind of self-understanding in prison.
PIC: Taken as a body of work, I think that's one of the motifs where I put the greatest emphasis. The search for...and the nature's identity. I'm still fascinated by what makes us who and what we are. What defines us. How and if we can ever truly change. How in control of our own nature we are we. Can we adapt. Should we adjust. Are we merely slaves to fate. Are we slaves to each other, our families, our loves, our pain, our history. Are we just slaves to fate. Is our destiny written out in detail. Does God or the world have a great hand in who we become day by day, minute by minute.
EG: Despite some similarities in the noirish feel, TLKW appears to have a different attitude than most of your other work. There's an emphasis on family matters, family drama, the ties that bind. Most of your other protagonists are loners, but Terrier Rand seems very much a man attempting to do right by his friends, his lover, even his murderous brother.
PIC: That goes back to what makes us who we are. Are we doomed to walk in the shadows of our parents, our grandparents, our brothers, if we follow their courses? Terry is a thief like his forefathers, he lives in a huge house surrounded by other generations of the Rand clan. Even his appearance is very much that of his brother. When you look in the mirror and see your brother and not yourself, how does that affect what you do, how you feel? I wanted to explore a protagonist who didn't just make decisions for his own good, but ones that had to help others. People he loved, people he was trying to forgive, people he wants to be forgiven by. Sometimes my perspective as the writer shifts, depending on the work, and sometimes it remains the same because I'm mining the same concepts. I just try to offer something different to the readers every time out.
EG: You started off as a horror writer before diving wholeheartedly into the crime field. You and I have discussed your comment that "the horror genre is a young man's game, whereas noir is for older men. Horror is fantasy that focuses on the fear around the next corner, whereas noir is about the fear that's tailing you. It's your disappointments and mistakes." Do you feel like you're moving in a new direction with your fiction?
PIC: I'm always trying to do something new for my own sake. I get bored easily, and I know my audience is going to feel the same if I simply cover the same ground over and over. That said, my voice is my voice, the themes that affect me deeply are probably going to be similar year in and out, but my point of view is going to change either subtly or radically depending on what's occurring in my life. I'm not the same person at 46 that I was at 26 so I expect my protagonists to carry my burdens, my disappointments, my regrets, my fears, my joys, my disposition. So long as the material strikes me, or the perspective opens something new up for me, or the voice manages to sing an old song in a fresh way, then I'll gravitate to that in an effort to give the readers something that grabs them.
EG: Do you like digital publications? Do you own an e-reader?
PIC: I don't own an e-reader myself, but my wife loves her Kindle. And I have nothing against digital publication except for how it seems to be causing all kinds of havoc where bookstores are concerned. I don't want one form to drive the other out of business. I don't want to think of a world without bookstores. I like physical books. I'm a bibliophile. I want to hold them and sniff them and feel their weight in my hands. But I appreciate the chance to get my backlist into publication again in digital format, and I'm glad that new readers are taking a chance on the work and being generous with their comments. Hopefully one form will help sell more copies of the other. More titles will be made available through Crossroad Press (
EG: Thank you, Tom, for taking the time out to talk with me.
PIC: It's a pleasure, Ed. I always appreciate the chance to chat with you.

Tom Piccirilli is the author of more twenty novels including THE LAST KIND WORDS, THE COLD SPOT, THE COLDEST MILE, THE MIDNIGHT ROAD, and A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN. He's won two International Thriller Awards and four Bram Stoker Awards, as well as having been nominated for the Edgar, the World Fantasy Award, the Macavity, and Le Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire. Learn more at:

Tom Piccirilli is the author of more than twenty novels including SHADOW SEASON, THE COLD SPOT, THE COLDEST MILE, and A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN. He's won two International Thriller Awards and four Bram Stoker Awards, as well as having been nominated for the Edgar, the World Fantasy Award, the Macavity, and Le Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Johnny Depp reveals origins of Tonto makeup from 'The Lone Ranger' -- E

Johnny Depp reveals origins of Tonto makeup from 'The Lone Ranger' -- EXCLUSIVE

Walt Disney StudiosJohnny Depp is no stranger to unfamiliar faces — but what exactly is the origin of his black-and-white painted warrior in The Lone Ranger?

The actor has a penchant for disappearing beneath heavy makeup and elaborate costumes in everything from Edward Scissorhands to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, and the upcoming vampire comedy-thriller Dark Shadows.

It was clear from this first photo of Depp and Armie Hammer, released from The Lone Ranger set last month, that Depp was sticking by his word to make this Tonto a radical departure from the Jay Silverheels performance on the 1950s era TV show.

While there has been wild speculation about where Depp took his visual cues (including a theory he was mimicking Marilyn Manson), Depp tells EW about how he actually developed the look, and we reveal the image that inspired him.

“I’d actually seen a painting by an artist named Kirby Sattler, and looked at the face of this warrior and thought: That’s it,” Depp said in a recent interview. “The stripes down the face and across the eyes … it seemed to me like you could almost see the separate sections of the individual, if you know what I mean.”

Well, not really … Separate sections of the individual?

Depp explained that the lines of paint on the Native American’s face looked to him like a cross-section of the man’s emotional life. “There’s this very wise quarter, a very tortured and hurt section, an angry and rageful section, and a very understanding and unique side. I saw these parts, almost like dissecting a brain, these slivers of the individual,” he said.”That makeup inspired me.”

You can see more of Sattler’s work here:

Painting by Kirby Sattler: painting also provided inspiration for Tonto’s headdress. “It just so happened Sattler had painted a bird flying directly behind the warrior’s head. It looked to me like it was sitting on top,” Depp said, which led him to another eureka moment. “I thought: Tonto’s got a bird on his head. It’s his spirit guide in a way. It’s dead to others, but it’s not dead to him. It’s very much alive.”

The title of Sattler’s original work is “I Am Crow,” and although there are Crow peoples native to the northern part of the American Midwest, Sattler says his paintings are not meant to refer to specific tribes. In the new film, Tonto is technically a full-blooded Comanche, and Depp identifies in real life as part Cherokee and Creek Indian, based on a Kentucky great-grandmother’s ancestry, so the character is proving to be less historically specific to one tribe than a blend of various cultures and influences.

Sattler himself, who licensed the look of his painting to the filmmakers, tells EW his work is a fusion of history and fiction. “The portraits I paint are composites created from a variety of visual references coupled with my imagination,” he says. “While being broadly based in a historical context, my paintings are not intended to be viewed as historically accurate. I used the combination of face paint and headdress as an artistic expression to symbolize the subject’s essence and his affinity to the Crow.”

The American Indian community has been divided over Depp’s Tonto. Leaders from the Navajo Nation visited the Monument Valley set and expressed support for Depp and the filmmakers, and Dana Lone Hill, a writer who identifies as part Lakota, penned an essaysaying she intended to give him the benefit of the doubt on adapting the character, since Depp is known for his fanciful and exaggerated performances.

In another column titled “Why Tonto Matters,” Native Appropriations blogger Adrienne K. expressed the frustration echoed by some other Native Americans over Depp’s characterization, saying there are too few authentic portrayals of Native people in pop culture to accept a highly fantasized version.

For his part, Depp has said his motivation to play the character came from disliking how Tonto was relegated to subservience in the old Clayton Moore/Jay Silverheels TV series. While the look may not be historically authentic, Depp wants Tonto’s character to be honorable and self-reliant.

“The whole reason I wanted to play Tonto is to try to [mess] around with the stereotype of the American Indian that has been laid out through history, or the history of cinema at the very least — especially Tonto as the sidekick, The Lone Ranger’s assistant,” Depp told EW. “As you’ll see, it’s most definitely not that.”

The Lone Ranger, directed by the original Pirates of the Caribbean filmmaker Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, opens May 13, 2013.

Read More:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Forgotten Books: American Murders ed. by Jon and Rita Breen

Literary time travel

One of my fondest memories of growing up was reading the magazines my folks subscribed to. The Saturday Evening Post was great for western short stories and The American was even better for mysteries. To name just two.

In 1986 Jon and Rita Breen edited a fine anthology called American Murders which reprinted 11 short novels from the American Magazine(1934-1954). By now I've probably read and reread it cover to cover four or five times. For me it's literary time travel.

My favorites are those short novels published during the war years. I suppose this is true because they tally with my first memories of--everything. Dads abroad at war, Moms struggling with jobs and kids and ration books and the fear of a uniformed man knocking on the door with bad news. And popular culture of every sort vibrant and vital with propaganda.

One of the great war-time images in the Breen anthology occurs in "Murder Goes To Market" by Mignon Eberhardt. She writes of going shopping with her ration book to a then-new concept known as a Supermarket. The way she describes this place is almost science-fictional. My God--aisles! Shopping carts "that look like perabulators!" And the choice of "(carrying) your loot away in a paper bag or in a market basket or (letting) a boy carry it for you." Zounds!

This reminds me of the way John D. MacDonald highlighted air-conditioning so often in his pulps stories of the Forties and his early paperbacks of the Fifties. A revolution was at hand!

F. Paul Wilson once noted that detective stories give us "snapshots" of an era better than any other kind of fiction. I certainly agree.

For my blog readers: I apologize for the physical messiness of the posts lately. I don't know what happened. But I've hired a very smart woman to look into it. Hopefully I'll be back to my NORMAl messiness soon.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

In Pursuit of Spenser edited by Otto Penzler

A Tribute to Robert B. Parker and His Greatest Creation: Spenser

In Pursuit of Spenser

Mystery Writers on Robert B. Parker and the Creation of an American Hero


“A close and revealing examination of Robert B. Parker—the author, the man, and the husband—brought to life by the observations and insights of fellow authors who knew him and his work. Extraordinary!”
—Joan Parker

Join award-winning mystery editor Otto Penzler and a first-rate lineup of mystery writers as they go in pursuit of Spenser and the man who created him, Robert B. Parker. These are the writers who knew Parker best professionally and personally, sharing memories of the man, reflections on his impact on the genre, and insights into what makes Spenser so beloved.

Ace Atkins, the author chosen to take up Parker’s pen and continue the Spenser series, relates the formative impact Spenser had on him as a young man; gourmet cook Lyndsay Faye describes the pleasures of Spenser’s dinner table; Lawrence Block explains the irresistibility of Parker’s literary voice; and more. In Pursuit of Spenserpays tribute to Spenser, and Parker, with affection, humor, and a deep appreciation for what both have left behind.

Includes a reprinted piece on Spenser from Robert B. Parker

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