RARA-AVIS: Black Mask Books Clarification

From: Keith Alan Deutsch ( keithdeutsch@earthlink.net)
Date: 16 Apr 2000

>> Ron Clinton wrote to me, in essence:
>> Sorry, I'm not sure I quite followed (your explanation of the Hugh Cave collection of
>> Black Mask stories you are working on with Doug Greene , publisher of Crippen&
>> Landru and the edition you say will eventually come out in a Black Mask book line).
>> If you could clarify, I'd sure appreciate it (i.e. is this the same book as the upcoming
>> collection of noir tales by Cave that Crippen & Landru is soon publishing...or
>> slightly different...or different altogether...or ??? Is C&L still doing their
>> version or...???) My purpose to clarify is twofold: one, I'm a huge fan of
>> Cave and would like to know for obvious selfish reasons, and 2). I'm
>> conducting an interview with Hugh in the next few weeks and would like to be
>> as up-to-date as possible on his upcoming future releases.
>> Thanks,
>> Ron
>> r-and-jclinton@msn.com
> Dear Ron,

Doug Greene is publishing the collection of Hugh's stories from Black Mask. He had it all planned, but discovered I was the owner of the magazine and claimed various rights. After we came to the agreement that I do own the rights to the stories proposed for the book, I offered to permit publication without any remuneration so Hugh could benefit and enjoy his birthday present edition. I also offered to license the use of Black Mask name and logo and some illos, and to write an introduction /interview for the collection with Hugh. if Doug so desired.

Doug and I and Hugh became close friends very quickly by working on this project. I told Doug of my interest in doing the Black Mask Book line and a Black Mask periodical, and other projects in negotiations. Doug became interested in publishing some other Black Mask single author collections (with continuing exposure to my enthusiasm and desire to continue working with him--a hell of a nice guy.

Doug and I now plan to publish a series of SINGLE AUTHOR collections of Black Mask authors in the Black Mask book line, starting late this summer, probably with a Jo Gar collection (the little island detective series character created by Raoul Whitfield writing as Ramon DeColta). Doug and I are both Whitfield fans--as was his pal Hammett. Whitfield wrote for Black Mask before Hammett and mentored him in various ways all through their long friendship.

I am also planning different kinds of books for the Black Mask line with other publishing associates--novels, multi-author collections, etc. The Black Mask Books, including those Doug works on with me, will all feature Black Mask cover art, original Black Mask interior illustrations, and other graphic/visual format elements from the magazine.

Hugh's birthday collection, although it may have some original visual material from the magazine, and will use the logo Black Mask in its title, will not be a Black Mask Book. It is a Crippen & Landru publication. HOWEVER, Doug and I have agreed that after its run in the Crippen & Landru edition, I may add it to the Black Mask Book line, in the Black Mask Book visual format.

When this happens, Hugh and I shall probably expand the interview material for that edition because he and I are working up much more historical/biographical material than is appropriate for the Crippen & Landru format.

But if I have the golden opportunity to produce a collection of all the stories that appeared in Black Mask Magazine with a living author, like the great Hugh Cave who wrote for the publication from 1934 to 1941 (and for so many other markets in so many genres) I intend to include as much of the material we generate in my Black Mask edition of his work. Hell, I might also include some examples of Hugh's great work from Horror Stories and Terror Tales, too....or even do a series of Hugh's darker work from those and similar Popular Publications titles, if all the necessary arrangements can be made.


Hugh Cave also has a collection of stories coming out with a different publisher...and two new novels. But I recommend you, or any one else interested in Hugh, contact his publisher, Doug Greene at crippen@pilot.infi.net.

I shall ask Hugh if I may release his email address to RARA-AVIS fans. And send Hugh a forward of this posting and let him speak for himself--should he fancy.

Keith keithdeutsch@earthlink.net


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