Re: RARA-AVIS: Hard Boiled Comics - Mike Hammer

Etienne Borgers (
Thu, 15 Jan 1998 18:07:49 +0800 (SGT) Some comments about the recent development of the discussions about American
HB Comics:

In fact Spillane was making scripts for the Marvel group in his early days
(he was still a student I think) writing stories for series like Captain
America, Captain Marvel, Target.
Much later, when the fame of Mike Hammer was strongly established by huge
sales of Spillane's novels, appeared a comic series named MIKE HAMMER based
on original scripts by Spillane. That was more or less back to square one,
and happening during the period when Spillane put his novelist career on
hold (roughly from 1951 to 1961 - I the Jury, his first MH book was
published in 1947).
The Mike Hammer comic series started in newspapers in 1953 and ended during
1954, with Ed Robbins for the drawings and as writer for the continuities.
Apparently, the series stopped because Spillane refused to scale-down the
violence and adult situations found in the strips. Some part of the
"right-thinking" public was protesting and publishers asked to change the
stories. Spillane refused. That was the end of the Hammer comic series.
But, 1954...! That's the year of the publishing of "Seduction of the
Innocent" written by a psychiatrist , Fredric Wertham, and that linked the
comics to the increasing of juvenile delinquency and violence. Comics were
branded as the culprits.
Some members of Parliament used the book to crusade for the ban of all
comics for the youth. The comic industry (specially comic books) went on the
verge of total collapse, until they invented "the decency code". In between,
autodafe of comics were organized all over America to proof it was really evil.
But, hey! 1954? Is this not still the McCarthy era ...?
Interesting slice of American history.

Hard-Boiled Mysteries

>> Mike Hammer did indeed begin life as a comic book character called Mike
>> Danger. new Mike Danger episodes are now being published and are written
>> prolific mystery writer Max Allan Collins. the series has also been
>> by Miramax Films.

>As far as I know, the Mike Danger comics series is no longer being
>published. It had a pretty interesting premise--a PI from the 1950s wakes
>up a hundred years in the future--which I suspect was far from what
>Spillane's original idea was.
>James Reasoner

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