Re: RARA-AVIS: Serial Hardboiled?

Date: 02 Feb 2002


Re your question below:

> I'm planning to do a serial
> story in on my website and I
> was wondering if anyone knew about any stories told
> serially in the
> hardboiled/noir genre. From what I understand a lot
> of the pulp
> comics/magazines (40s era) were done this way, but
> are there others?

Orchard Press Mysteries (I don't recall the URL right off-hand, but you should be able to find it through a search engine) serializes novels regularly. I don't know that they've serialized any hard-boiled works, but they certainly don't seem to be closed to the hard-boiled sub-genre. At least one of the novels they've serialized has gone on to be published in book form as well (self-published via one of the POD companies, but published nonetheless).

It's not hard-boiled to the best of my knowledge (I haven't read it yet), but Dave Barry's comic mystery, BIG TROUBLE, was serialized in some local Florida magazine prior to book publication.

You're quite right about hard-boiled novels being serialized frequently in the 20s, 30s, and 40s. All three of Hammett's Op novels, as well as THE MALTESE FALCON, were serialized in BLACK MASK prior to publication between hard covers, for example.

There've been serialized hard-boiled mysteries outside of the print medium as well. Some else mentioned the old movie serials. Four of such chapter-plays feature the ultra-hard-boiled Dick Tracy, and are regarded as some of the best movie serials ever produced. The radio PI series, JOHNNY DOLLAR, was broadcast as a five-times-a-week serial for two years in the mid-50s, and these are generally regarded as superior to the complete-in-a-half-hour episodes produced in other seasons.

You're following a long tradition. Go for it.


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