Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Spillane: Down for the Dirt Nap
His hair was white as a Myrtle Beach golf shoe and looked like it had been worked over in a GI barbershop. In his sole movie, he barked out his lines like a wary Rotteweiler, and his shop worn face oozed sincerity like a five dollar hooker. He was Mickey Spillane. He also was a WWII flier, college swimmer, collector of Blue Willow china, a devout Jehova's Witness, award winning children's book author, and one of the most succesful writers of his generation. If you ever get the chance, take a look at the paperback edition of the "The Erector Set." The nude model on the cover, a lean, leggy stacked blonde, with a soft face and a hard body with tan lines in all the right places, was his second wife. In turns out that Spillane got his writing start in the comics and transitioned into paperbacks at the right time before the big crackdown. Reviled by the critics, Spillane's passing is noted in many newspapers, best is the NY Times, but this link should work for a while: The Seattle Times: Arts & Entertainment: Mickey Spillane crafted the steely Mike Hammer: "After starting out in comic books, Mr. Spillane wrote his first Mike Hammer novel, 'I, the Jury,' in 1946. Twelve more followed, with sales topping $100 million. Notable titles included 'The Killing Man,' 'The Girl Hunters' and 'One Lonely Night.'"