RARA-AVIS: Re: Johnny Liddell

From: Richard Moore ( moorich2@aol.com)
Date: 29 Dec 2005

I am away from home and my copy of Art Scott's book on the artist Robert McGinnis but I believe he did some of the Frank Kane covers. I've been tempted to give Kane another try, although less so following these comments. I read several of them when I was a teenager devouring the Mike Shayne novels and picked up the look- alike Johnny Liddell novels. I thought Liddell very inferior to Shayne and was annoyed by the fact that Kane would recycle dialog and scenes from book to book. The one that sticks in my mind is where Liddell is offered a cigarette by a hop-head bad guy. Liddell would look at the offered smoke and say "No thanks, I like tobacco in mine."

I always ranked Henry Kane above Frank, although Henry's Peter Chambers stories could also be repetitive.

My mild renewed interest in Frank Kane came about because recently I picked up several episodes of the Mike Hammer television from 1958-60 and Kane was one of the primary writers of that series. I've only had time to watch one (not written by Kane) and it wasn't bad. One outrageous detail is that Darren McGavin's Hammer carries a revolver instead of Hammer's famous .45 automatic.

Richard Moore

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Steve Lewis <stevelewis62@c...> wrote:
> At 08:56 AM 12/29/2005, you wrote:
> >Message: 6
> > Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2005 23:13:13 -0600
> > From: "James Reasoner" <james53@f...>
> >Subject: Re: Frank Kane
> >
> >Doug Bassett asked about the cover art on the following Frank Kane
> >Here's the information I have:
> >
> >DUE OR DIE -- Harry Bennett
> >A SHORT BIER -- Harry Bennett
> >TIME TO PREY -- cover credit given as Livoti; probably Victor
> >JOHNNY COME LATELY -- Ronnie Lesser
> >BARE TRAP -- Harry Bennett
> >JOHNNY LIDDEL'S MORGUE -- no artist credit on the copy I have
> >
> >I read probably half of the Johnny Liddell series during the
Sixties and
> >Seventies and recall liking the books quite a bit. However, when
I last
> >read one a few years ago I didn't think it was very good. Maybe
one of
> >those right time, right place things. I ought to try another one
just to
> >see.
> >
> >James Reasoner
> Many if not all of the early Dell covers can be seen at
> http://www.dell.bookscans.com/dell.htm. Harry Bennett has long
been a
> favorite of mine. He is probably better known for his covers of
gothic or
> romantic suspense paperbacks, but he did a lot of mysteries too.
> As for Johnny Liddell, I think both James and Doug Bassett are
right on the
> money. Very derivative and second rank, but in his day, quite
> Steve
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 29 Dec 2005 EST