RARA-AVIS: New Black Mask Quarterly

From: Mark Coggins ( coggins@immortalgame.com)
Date: 03 Nov 2000

As James points out, New Black Mask did morph to Matter of Crime.

I spoke to Layman at the time about the change and he told me that there was a dispute about ownership to the rights of the name "Black Mask." And, indeed, there was a gentleman on this list who posted about his ownership of the name and several battles to defend what he took to be infringements. (I believe he was responsible for the single 1974 or 1975 revival issue that came out?)

Layman also told me that the trade paperback size was not popular with bookstores because it didn't fit well on their shelves, so he switched to standard size paperback for Matter of Crime.

BTW, I understand that Layman is editing a book of Hammett's letters that will be published soon. I'm a little sketchy on this, but I believe a Hammett family member recently came across a long-lost cache of letters and they are the basis for the book. Very exciting!


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