Category: Authors

“The Celluloid Closet” (1996) / Z-View

The Celluloid Closet (1996)

Director: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman

Screenplay: Vito Russo, Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, Sharon Wood, Armistead Maupin

Stars: Lily Tomlin, Tony Curtis, Armistead Maupin, Whoopi Goldberg, Harvey Fierstein, Gore Vidal, Farley Granger and Shirley MacLaine.

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

The Celluloid Closet explores how the film industry, from the silent era to the mid-1990s dealt with members of the LGBT community on screen and behind the scenes.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

It’s interesting to see how the on screen portrayal of this community has changed (or not) in the last almost 100 years.  I also enjoyed the movie scenes that were so obvious if you knew what to look for, but went over the heads of most folks (including me).

The Celluloid Closet (1996) rates 3 of 5 stars.

A TURKEY DANCED DEATH: Another Rock Cobbler Case by Whiskey Leavins is Coming!

Great news for Whiskey Leavins and Rock Cobbler fans – A Turkey Danced Death: Another Rock Cobbler Case — Coming in early August!

Usually I like my crime fiction to be hardboiled and serious. But there are times when a bigger helping of humor is a nice change of pace.  Last year Whiskey Leavins’  Murder in Grease Paint filled the bill.  Someone described it as “equal parts Chandler, Christopher Moore, Bozo, and Bourbon.”  I wouldn’t argue that.  I gave Murder in Grease Paint 5 of 5 stars (the same rating that Leavins’ The Devil’s Own Piss and Other Stories‘ earned!) So you can imagine that I’m psyched to have another Rock Cobbler Case in the pipeline.

BRONZE STAR by Mike Baron & Pat Broderick

BRONZE STAR by Mike Baron & Pat Broderick is live on Kickstarter now.  Here’s the lowdown…

Bronze Star is a suspenseful, weird western tale that explores redemption and revenge, offering a fresh take on the werewolf mythos while delivering heart-pounding scares, glorious artwork, and unexpected twists that will grab readers by the throat and not let go until the final page.

Created by Eisner winning writer Mike Baron (Nexus, Punisher, Star Wars), and beautifully illustrated by Pat Broderick (Micronauts, Alpha Flight, Legion of Super-Heroes), Bronze Star tells a frightening tale of a civil war vet who kills a powerful landowner’s spoiled son after catching him cheating in a poker game. An angry posse soon forces him to flee to a remote mining town where he discovers the town’s sheriff is afflicted with lycanthropy, but this sheriff isn’t the only supernatural danger lurking in this silver mining town…

Click over for more details.  Western horror by Baron and Broderick?  Deal me in!

WHERE THE BODY WAS by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips!

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have announced WHERE THE BODY WAS, a new original graphic novel that drops December 12, 2023.  Here’s the lowdown…

A boarding house full of druggies. A neglected housewife. A young girl who thinks she’s a superhero. A cop who wants to be left alone. And a Private Detective looking for a runaway girl. These stories collide one fateful summer in WHERE THE BODY WAS, a tale of love and murder in the suburbs, told from a dozen different points of view. All the neighbors on the block have an opinion about the murder and how it happened, but which of them is telling the truth?

WHERE THE BODY WAS is a tour-de-force from grandmasters Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Starting with a map of the crime scene, this murder mystery follows the ripples of this killing as they echo through decades of love and loss and passion and violence. Like a true crime podcast crossed with a long-lost diary, WHERE THE BODY WAS is unlike anything Brubaker and Phillips have ever done, and a must-have for all their avid fans!

WHERE THE BODY WAS is available for pre-orders now.

LUSH AND OTHER TALES OF BOOZY MAYEHM by Duane Swierczynski!

Lush and other tales of Boozy Mayhem by Duane Swierczynski just came out.  It’s Swierczynski’s first book of short stories.  Here’s the lowdown…

Cimarron Street Books is pleased to bring you the first collection of short stories from Duane Swierczynski!

If you’re in the mood for mayhem, you’ve come to the right place, pal. Cozy up to the bar and let Duane Swierczynski spin you a yarn. I’ll warn ya, though; these eighteen tales aren’t for the faint of heart. You’ll find crime, science fiction and plenty of horror in these pages . . . and rest assured, he isn’t afraid to serve up the hard stuff.

As Duane notes in his introduction: “Stories have always been an escape for me, just like a couple of stiff drinks at the end of the day. Both are methods of altering your personal reality, even just for a little while.” We invite you to escape into Duane’s wild world of high-octane (and high-proof) short fiction, where you’ll experience . . .

A journalist landing an interview with Philadelphia’s last hardboiled P.I., the hunt for a pulp writer’s lost manuscript, the downside of finding out that death isn’t the end, the dangers of ignoring a Polish death curse, a new twist on serving time for crimes committed, a cross-country trek under the watchful eye of a killer, a particularly dangerous film print, lawbreakers in a future where technology has tamed the L.A. freeway system, and a whole lot more . . .

Gird your brain and your liver . . . it’s time for Lush and Other Tales of Boozy Mayhem.

If this sounds like something you’d like, you know what to do.

RIP: Superstar Billy Graham

Superstar Billy Graham, the Hall of Fame Professional wrestler died yesterday at the age of 79.  He had been on life-support and ill for some time.

Superstar Billy Graham was born Eldridge Wayne Coleman.  He became interested in weightlifting while in fifth grade.  In high school he threw the shot put and participated in the Golden Gloves.  In 1961, Mr. Coleman won the Teenage Body Building Contest West Coast Division. (Frank Zane was the winner of the East Coast Division!).  By 1968, Eldridge Coleman was working out at Gold’s Gym where he became friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu and other famous body builders of the era.

In 1970, Mr. Coleman began his career in professional wrestling working for various territories around the country.  In 1972, he took on the moniker Superstar Billy Graham and he became world famous.  Over the course of his career he was a three-time World Champion and inducted in the the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.  He retired in 1988 and became an author and ringside announcer.

Superstar Billy Graham was the inspiration for the next wave of pro wrestlers that included Ric Flair, Austin Idol, Hulk Hogan and Jesse The Body Ventura.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Superstar Billy Graham’s family, friends and fans.

Jason Copland’s FULL TILT is Live on ZOOP!

Jason Copland’s FULL TILT is finally ready for pre-orders on ZOOP!  My order is in. Here’s a preview…

After five years of hard work, passion and sacrifice, the epic indie crime-scifi-noir comic by Jason Copland is FINALLY being collected here for the first time!

FULL TILT is a perfect book for those that love gritty noir tales, dystopian future realities and kinetic black and white art. Think Sin City meets The Godfather in the setting of Blade Runner.

This soon-to-be modern day classic is presented in a slick 320-page oversized 7.8″ x 12″ hardcover.

Here’s the synopsis…

New Manhattan, once the gleaming, state-of-the-art city of the 23rd-century, is now in the throes of social and moral decay. Its despondent citizens lose themselves in narcotics and hi-tech toys. Corrupt law enforcement agencies terrorize the populace. Bloodthirsty fans cheer as indentured gladiators fight deathmatches to gain their freedom. It’s the end of civilization… and the five crime families control it all.

Massimo Miller, the fiercely loyal consigliere of the Chessa family, narrowly survives an attack that wipes out all five of New Manhattan’s crime-syndicate bosses. As the massacre’s lone survivor, the new bosses accuse him of the assassinations and gather their armies to hunt him down.

Injured and alone, Miller must battle his way homeward through enemy territory to discover the party responsible for the death of his mentor… and make them pay.

The choice between love and loyalty brought Massimo Miller to this moment. To make it right, he’ll have to go FULL TILT.

THE WIND BEGAN TO HOWL by Laird Barron is Coming!

Regular readers have heard me sing the praises of Laird Barron’s Isaiah Coleridge tales.  Barron has a new one coming soon.  THE WIND BEGAN TO HOWL premieres on Kindle on May 16th and paperback on June 16th.  My preorder is in.  Here’s the synopsis…

Laird Barron’s acclaimed crime saga makes a triumphant return in THE WIND BEGAN TO HOWLan all-new story set after the events of Worse Angels. A seemingly benign case gradually pulls mob enforcer-turned-P.I. Isaiah Coleridge into a chilling mix of music, movie magic, mayhem, and madness.

This time, Coleridge’s dark journey forces him to confront a brutal truth: For some who try to escape the past, there is no way out.

“Hardboiled and trippy at the same time, THE WIND BEGAN TO HOWL by Laird Barron is a twisted ride through the darker recesses of the mind complete with conspiracy theories, ex-government operatives, movie madness, and possibly a portal into another dimension. Read at your own risk.” – Alma Katsu, author of THE FERVOR

“Isaiah Coleridge hits back hard in this bare-knuckle novella that’s equal parts Hollyweird fiction and conspiracy-laden Catskills noir.” – Clay McLeod Chapman, author of GHOST EATERS

Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe & Archie Goodwin: An Overview by David Bordwell!

David Bordwell at CrimeReads has written an excellent overview of Rex Stout and his long-running detective/mystery series featuring Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin.

Wolfe was a 285 pound genius who leaves his brownstone home only in the most extreme emergencies.  He “breeds orchids, reads, drinks vast quantities of beer, and dines on meals of rare delicacy.”  To support his life’s luxuries, Wolfe works as a private detective.  Since he detests venturing away from his sanctum, Archie Goodwin serves as Wolfe’s assistant. “Slender and strong, reasonably handsome, Archie is attractive to and attracted by women of many ages… Archie fetches clients, witnesses, and suspects to meetings.”

I am a, pardon the pun, huge fan of Nero Wolfe mysteries. If you are as well, check out David Bordwell’s “HOLMES AND WATSON IN MANHATTAN”: MUSINGS ON THE CREATION OF NERO WOLFE AND ARCHIE GOODWIN.  If you’re not a fan, give the piece a look as well.  You might become one.

Nick Kolakowski’s UNTIL THE END: 11 Stories of Terror and Wonder (Tales from the Underside)!

Nick Kolakowski’s Until the End features eleven stories of terror and wonder.  Here’s the synopsis…

A woman moves her family into a house full of spirits… but who’s really haunting who? In the depths of an icy planet, a bored A.I. plots its escape… and it’s willing to kill anyone who stands in its way. The dead return for one big evening, all with their own secret missions.

These are just a few of the 11 tales in Until the End, an anthology of terror and wonder designed to keep you awake well into the night.

If this sounds like your jam, you know what to do.

Until the End paperback

Until the End  Kindle

“The Belko Experiment” (2016) written by James Gunn / Z-View

The Belko Experiment (2016)

Director:  Greg McLean

Writer: James Gunn

Stars: John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona, John C. McGinley, Sean Gunn, David Dastmalchian, Gregg Henry, Michael Rooker,   and Abraham Benrubi.

Tagline: This Is Not A Drill

The Plot…

Belko Industries is situated in a remote building on the outskirts of Bogotá, Colombia. It hires people from all over the world to work for them.  On for the first day of work an implant is placed in the base of a new employee’s neck in case something happens to them.

One day when Mike (Gallagher) arrives at work, he notices a new squad of security guards telling the Bogotá staff to go home.  Mike thinks little of it and checks in.  A short time later a voice comes over the intercom.  It instructs everyone to stop and listen.  They are told that unless two employees are killed within 30 minutes, more will die. Suddenly steel shutters come down on all windows and doors sealing everyone in the building.

Reactions vary, but most believe it to be a terrible prank.  When 30 minutes pass and no one is killed the voice returns to the intercom.  It announces since the group did not comply, instead of two people dying, four will.  Four employees are killed when the implants in their heads detonate.  The voice then says that unless thirty employees are dead within two hours sixty will die.

All hell breaks loose.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

James Gunn of The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, Suicide Squad, and Peacemaker fame wrote the screenplay with the intention of directing it.  When the film was ready for production, Gunn was going through a divorce and passed on directing.  Still, several actors who regularly appear in Gunn’s films were cast including Sean Gunn (his brother), Michael Rooker, Gregg Henry and Stephen Blackehart.

I loved the concept, but felt that we didn’t get to know any of the characters.  I would have preferred to care/know more about who lived and died with less emphasis on gore.

The Belko Experiment (2016) rates 2 of 5 stars.

QUENTIN BY TARANTINO by Ameziane Amazing!

Quentin Tarantino fans are gonna love this!

TAKE A DIVE INTO THE BRAIN OF MASTER AUTEUR QUENTIN TARANTINO, AS AMÉZIANE AMAZING TAKES US ON A JOURNEY THROUGH HIS RISE TO INDIE BLOCKBUSTER FAME THROUGH ICONIC DIALOGUE, MARTIAL ARTS, AND STYLISH VIOLENCE.

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.”

Just like that, fans of Quentin Tarantino are transported into his iconic films, but here is a deeper dive into the man himself, the story of Quentin by Tarantino!

In a first-person account, Améziane Amazing, leads us through the life story of this iconic auteur, from his humble beginnings as a video shop clerk, to his rise through iconic indie blockbusters, all the way to global superstar.

Discover the influences, opinions, and history of one of the world’s most iconic filmmakers, unmistakable in his style and talent.

This looks interesting.  Pre-orders are available now.

“Fistful of Yen” Character Posters by Renton Hawkey!

The other day I shared the Fistful of Yen poster that Renton Hawkey created to promote his new FREE comic on Substack.  It blew up (and rightly so) as more people became aware of the story that he is creating.  Hawkey recently shared these two character sketches and gave some back story on Fistful of Yen.  Subscribe to Renton Hawkey’s free newsletter to get the lowdown.  This is gonna be fun!

“Master Gardener” from writer/director Paul Schrader, starring Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver & Quintessa Swindell – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

I like the looks of Master Gardener from Paul Schrader, Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver & Quintessa Swindell.

Directed by Academy Award® nominee Paul Schrader based on his original screenplay, MASTER GARDENER follows Narvel Roth (award-winner Joel Edgerton), the meticulous horticulturist of Gracewood Gardens. He is as much devoted to tending the grounds of this beautiful and historic estate, to pandering to his employer, the wealthy dowager Mrs. Haverhill (three-time Academy Award® nominee Sigourney Weaver). When Mrs. Haverhill demands that he take on her wayward and troubled great-niece Maya (Quintessa Swindell) as a new apprentice, chaos enters Narvel’s spartan existence, unlocking dark secrets from a buried violent past that threaten them all.

In theaters May 19. Directed by Paul Schrader
Starring Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver and Quintessa Swindell