Category: Books

Top 10 Hitmen from Movies, Novels & Comics!

I was reading a discussion between Andy Rausch and Michael Gonzales titled HOW TO WRITE A MEMORABLE HIT MAN: A CONVERSATION AMONG CONNOISSEURS.  If you’re a crime fiction fan, especially the sub genre of hitmen, then you’d enjoy the post by Michael Gonzales.

At the end of the article Gonzales listed his Top Ten Hitman List from popular culture.  It’s a good list, so I decided to come up with one of my own (listed in alphabetical order):

  1. Arthur Bishop played by Charles Bronson in The Mechanic
  2. Jackie Coogan played by Brad Pitt in Killing Them Softly
  3. John Rain written by Barry Eisler from his Hitman Series
  4. John Wick played by Keanu Reeves in the John Wick movies
  5. Keller written by Lawrence Block from his Hitman Series
  6. Leon played by Jean Reno in Leon aka The Professional
  7. Luca Torelli from the Torpedo Graphic Novels written by Enrique Sánchez Abulí and drawn by Jordi Bernet
  8. Michael Sullivan played by Tom Hanks in Road to Perdition based on the graphic novel written by Max Allan Collins and drawn by Richard Piers Rayner
  9. Robert Rath played by Sly Stallone in Assassins
  10. Vincent played by Tom Cruise in Collateral

Jordan Harper Talks Shop and Welcomes You to the Hammer Party!

Jordan Harper has worked as a journalist, rock critic and television writer.  He was a writer on Gotham and the lead writer on The Mentalist.  Harper also writes crime fiction.

His crime novel She Rides Shotgun won multiple awards including being named the 2018 Edgar Award Winner for Best Debut NovelShe Rides Shotgun gets my highest recommendation as well.  If you like crime fiction, then you owe it to yourself to take a look.

Eli Cranor interviewed Jordan Harper and it is well worth a read.  Hats off to Cranor for a fun, insightful interview.

Jordan Harper has a newsletter and occasionally posts on Twitter.

The Daytona Beach Comic Book Convention Returns in September!

The Daytona Beach Comic Book Convention will return but at new location on September 18 and 19, 2021. It will now be held at the Tommy Lawrence Arena at the Volusia County Fair Grounds, 3150 E New York Ave, DeLand, Florida 32724.

In addition to new comic books, magazines, pulps, underground comix, original art, toys, action figures, POPs, Disney, and other collectibles for sale, fans will be able to meet comic book artists, writers, and creators. Guests include: Pat Broderick, Bill Black, Sergio Cariello, Jeff Whiting, Javier Lugo, Steve Conley and more to come.  There will even be a small press expo area!

If you can make it, I hope to see you there!

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (the novel) by Quentin Tarantino Gets a Trailer! Then…

First there was the screenplay for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood by Quentin Tarantino.  Then the trailer for the movie was released.  Then we got the movie. 

Then Tarantino decided to adapt his screenplay/movie into a novel. Today we get a trailer for the novel.  Then on July 29th Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the novel, by Quentin Tarantino will drop.  Until then, the trailer…

Hollywood 1969… You shoulda been there! Based on his Academy Award-winning film, Quentin Tarantino’s first novel is here! Buy and read #OnceUponATimeInHollywood today!

Quentin Tarantino’s long-awaited first work of fiction — at once hilarious, delicious, and brutal — is the always surprising, sometimes shocking new novel based on his Academy Award-winning film.

 

 

“Kiss Me, Judas” by William Christopher Baer & Jefferson Costa!

I’m always on the look out for a great crime story whether it is a novel, movie, graphic novel or comic book. Originally written as a novel by William Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas came to my attention thanks to a Kickstarter for the graphic novel adaptation by Baer and artist Jefferson Costa.

Check out the synopsis and a couple of pages of art from the book below.  Who knows, maybe you’ll want to jump on board the Kiss Me, Judas Kickstarter.  I did. 

Frank Miller’s Sin City: The Hard Goodbye – Deluxe Edition & Trade – Both with Extras are Coming!

 

On October 12, 2021, Dark Horse Books is releasing two new editions of Frank Miller’s Sin City: The Hard Goodbye.  One will be a prestige slipcased hardcover with extras.  Here’s more…

The crime noir masterpiece that has gripped audiences for decades is back in an oversized and slipcased hardcover that includes a portfolio, exclusive print, and a sketchbook of never-before-published development art.

There is no light in a place like Sin City—only misery, crime, and perversion. Amid the filth and degenerates, the hulking and unstable ex-con Marv has found an angel. Her name is Goldie—a goddess who has blessed this wretched low-life with one night of heaven. But good things never last—a few hours later, Goldie is dead—murdered at his side without a mark on her body. Who was she? And who wanted her dead? The cops are on their way—it smells like a frame job, and this time, they won’t let him live. Whoever killed Goldie . . . is going to pay.

Frank Miller returns to his comic opus with luxury editions of the graphic novel series, beginning with Volume 1 The Hard Goodbye. A combination of high-end materials, finishes, and iconic textures from the series make for an elegant package which evokes the grittiness of Sin City. Housed in a cloth covered slipcase with foil stamping and printing is an oversized hardcover featuring a soft touch matte finish with spot gloss and foil stamping. The hardcover includes an exclusive sketchbook of never-before-published development art selected by Frank. As well, this volume contains the pinup gallery created for the 2021 editions of Volume 1, featuring art from Joyce Chin, Amanda Conner, Klaus Janson, Paul Pope, Philip Tan, and Gerardo Zaffino. Also included in the slipcase is a portfolio featuring a deluxe print of new artwork by Frank Miller.

As an added bonus, each volume’s slipcase has a different letter from the logo, placed on the front cover in such a way that alone it looks like a splash of red wrapping around the slipcase. But when all seven volumes are together it is clear that the grouping spells out “Sin City.”

Discerning fans and new readers can experience this unparalleled noir masterpiece in this, the most luxurious edition to date!

FOR MATURE READERS.

The Frank Miller’s Sin City: The Hard Goodbye regular edition will be an trade paperback edition featuring a new cover by Frank Miller and a new pinup gallery featuring art from Joyce Chin, Amanda Conner, Klaus Janson, Paul Pope, Philip Tan, and Gerardo Zaffino!

I already own an original signed and numbered hardcover slipcased edition of Miller’s The Hard Goodbye, but the idea of having all the Sin City stories in the same deluxe format is tempting since other editions weren’t given the same treatment.  Miller’s Sin City stories are some of my all-time favorite comics… and I do have a birthday in October…

“Army of the Dead” A Film by Zach Snyder: The Making of the Film – Book Companion Drops June 1st!

Army of the Dead: A Film by Zack Snyder: The Making of the Film is going to be a must-have for every diehard fan of the movie.  Here’s the description…

Army of the Dead: A Film by Zach Snyder: The Making of the Film is the official companion to Zack Snyder’s latest zombie film.

From the director of Dawn of the Dead, Watchmen, and Man of Steel, comes Army of the Dead, Zack Snyder’s eagerly awaited return to the zombie scene, starring Dave Bautista. Following a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries take the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted.

Army of the Dead: A Film By Zach Snyder: The Making of the Film takes readers behind the scenes of this much-anticipated film and reveals the locations, characters, and zombies. The book is full to the brim with exclusive on-set photography, costume designs, storyboards by Zack Snyder, and more, and accompanied by cast and crew interviews.

My order is in.  

RIP: David Anthony Kraft

David Anthony Kraft, author and publisher, died yesterday from COVID pneumonia.  Mr, Kraft was 68 or 69 (depending on the source).  

David Kraft began his career as a rock and roll journalist.  In 1974, Kraft founded Fictioneer Books which would go on to publish works by Robert E. Howard, Otis Adelbert Kline. and Jack London among others.  In 1975, he began working for Marvel Comics as editor of FOOM and later a writer on many of Marvel’s most popular characters.  Mr. Kraft also worked as a writer for DC Comics in 1976 and again in 1983/84. 

In 1983, he began publishing David Anthony Kraft’s Comics Interview.  The magazine ran for 150 issues with each issue focused on in-depth interviews with comic creators.  The magazine was a favorite with fans and pros alike.  It was a great source of background information, previews of new stories and art in those days before the internet.

My first exposure to David Anthony Kraft was through his Fictioneer Books publishing.  Dragonflame was written by Don McGregor with several illustrations by Paul Gulacy.  My favorite David Anthony Kraft comics were his Captain America stories with Mike Zeck and John Beatty.  And like so many comic fans, I was a regular reader of his Comics Interview magazine.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to David Anthony Kraft’s family, friends and fans.

“The Fear Street Trilogy” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

What do you think of the poster and trailer for The Fear Street Trilogy?  I like that the poster uses art and the weapons relate to each movie.  The trailer is about what you’d expect.  I like the idea of the three interconnected movies released over a three week period.  Another plus is that they are showing on Netflix.  I’m leaning towards checking them out.

Three Movies. Three Weeks. One Killer Story.

In 1994, a group of teenagers discovers that the terrifying events that have haunted their town for generations ​may all be connected — and that they may be the next targets. Based on R.L. Stine’s best selling horror series, the trilogy follows the nightmare through Shadyside’s sinister history.

Watch the Fear Street Trilogy only on Netflix this July.
Fear Street Part One: 1994 – July 2
Fear Street Part Two: 1978 – July 9
Fear Street Part Three: 1666 – July 16

Eric Beetner Drops a Dime to Jason Bovberg


I learned about Eric Beetner through his book reviews.  Beetner (and I) share a love of crime fiction, His reviews, for books that I’d read, were directly in line with my thoughts. So, I picked up some of Beetner’s recommendations.  I liked them.

Then I learned Eric Beetner was a writer of crime fiction and his books earned great reviews. I ordered one and never looked back.  Beetner quickly moved to my must-read author list.  His latest, Two in the Head, is my favorite Beetner tale yet.

Jason Bovberg is an Eric Beetner fan as well.  He recently interviewed Beetner and says, Eric Beetner Has Been Flying Under Your Crime-Fiction Radar … but Not Anymore.  I hope he’s right.

  

“Truman & Tennessee” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!


The poster and trailer for Truman & Tennessee can be found here.  Truman and Tennessee are, of course, Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams.  I don’t know much about either man other than they were considered great writers. They created excellent books (Capote) and plays (Williams) which in turn led to excellent movies.  I didn’t often see either of the men on talk shows because I was too young to be interested, but I have seen the movies made from their work.  I’d like to know more about these creatives and so I look forward to seeing Truman & Tennessee.

A story of two of the greatest writers of the past century examined in a dialogue that stretches from their early days of friendship to their final, unsparing critiques of each other.

“Shadow and Bone” – Posters and the Trailer are Here!

Shadow and BoneHere are several character posters and below is the trailer.  I’ve never read any of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse novels, but will give Shadow and Bone a try.  It looks interesting, although not my normal viewing/reading genre.  Who knows, maybe Shadow and Bone will change that.

There are no others like her. And there never will be. Get ready to enter the Grishaverse. Shadow & Bone premieres April 23, only on Netflix.

DESTROY ALL MONSTERS (A Reckless Book) by Brubaker and Phillips is Coming!

In his newsletter that came out yesterday, Ed Brubaker shared the cover of the third book in his and Sean Phillips’ Reckless series.  Titled Destroy All Monsters, it features their character Ethan Reckless.  Brubaker also announced:

Our original plan was to do the first three books in the series, then take a break and do something else and then come back for more Reckless adventures, but then I had ideas for two more… so we’ll be doing five of these in a row unless something goes wrong.

If you’re not up to speed on the Reckless series check out Ed Brubaker gets Reckless with Sean Phillips at The Beat.

Eddie Muller’s Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir is Getting a Revised & Expanded Hardcover Edition!

Fans of film noir will be excited to learn that Eddie Muller’s classic Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir is getting a revised and expanded hard cover edition!

This revised and expanded edition of Eddie Muller’s Dark City is a film noir lover’s bible, taking readers on a tour of the urban landscape of the grim and gritty genre in a definitive, highly illustrated volume.

Dark City expands with new chapters and a fresh collection of restored photos that illustrate the mythic landscape of the imagination. It’s a place where the men and women who created film noir often find themselves dangling from the same sinister heights as the silver-screen avatars to whom they gave life. Eddie Muller, host of Turner Classic Movies’ Noir Alley, takes readers on a spellbinding trip through treacherous terrain: Hollywood in the post-World War II years, where art, politics, scandal, style — and brilliant craftsmanship — produced a new approach to moviemaking, and a new type of cultural.

I’ve already pre-ordered mine.  You can too, if you’re so inclined.  Here is the Amazon link (at a discounted price).

Eddie Muller has teamed with Larry Edmund’s Bookshop in Hollywood California to provide autographed copies that will also contain an exclusive graphic stamp.  These copies can be ordered here.

“Without Remorse” starring Michael B. Jordan – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Wow!  Wow!  Wow!  Finally a movie I cannot wait to see.  Check out the poster above and trailer below for Without Remorse starring Michael B. Jordan and Guy Pearce based on character created by Tom Clancy.  I know what I’ll be watching on April 30th.

In a war-torn region of Syria, an elite team of Navy SEALs led by Sr. Chief John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) rescues a CIA operative taken hostage by ex-Russian military forces. Three months later, in apparent retaliation for his role in the mission, Kelly’s pregnant wife Pam (Lauren London) is murdered in the U.S. by a squad of masked Russian assassins. Despite being shot multiple times himself, Kelly manages to kill all but one of the attackers before being rushed to the hospital.

Meanwhile in Washington D.C., Kelly’s friend and former SEAL team member Lt. Commander Karen Greer (Jodie Turner-Smith) meets with CIA agent Robert Ritter (Jamie Bell) and Secretary of Defense Thomas Clay (Guy Pearce) to discuss their response options. Leaked news of Russia’s unprecedented attack on American soil has caused the already-strained relations between the two nations to sour further. If something isn’t done soon the result could be a full-scale war.

Healed from his injuries, a rogue Kelly tracks down the corrupt Russian diplomat who issued the passports to his wife’s murderers, and forces him at gunpoint to give up the name of the surviving assassin. Sent to prison for the crime, Kelly bargains his way out by revealing the escaped operative is one Victor Rykov (Brett Gelman), an ex-Special Forces officer currently hiding in Murmansk, Russia.

With Secretary Clay’s reluctant approval, Kelly joins Greer and Ritter on a top-secret mission to capture Rykov and bring him back to the U.S. to face justice. But en route to Murmansk, their plane is shot down by the Russian Air Force and plummets into the Bering Sea. Using their SEAL skills to survive the crash, they eventually make their way to Rykov’s location, only to discover that the murder of Kelly’s family was part of a vast international conspiracy orchestrated by powerful political figures. Torn between personal honor and loyalty to his country, and with the fate of nations hanging in the balance, Kelly has no choice but to expose the truth, no matter the cost. The explosive origin story of action hero John Clark, one of the most popular characters in author Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan universe, Without Remorse is directed by acclaimed filmmaker Stefano Sollima (Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Gomorrah, ZeroZeroZero).