Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Mike Shayne Comic Book

From: Michael Hudson (
Date: 09 May 2009

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    Wow! Very well put! Our intent for Mike Shayne was not comics but pulp sized paperbacks with vintage or new art covers and spot black and white line art accompanying the novel. We also wanted to have essay material on the various authors, the books and the films by well known scholars of pulp, mystery and detective fiction to round out and make a nice package quite similar to what Anthony Tollin is doing with The Shadow and Doc Savage reprints. And yes, she balked at this idea as well as at the comics. I think the words were itıs not a prestigious format or something along that line.

    If I had any idea as to the identity of the estate I wouldnıt hesitate to do that. However I struck a dead end through our government channels. I located through the U.S. Copyright office a file with the names of Dresserıs wife and daughter. Mary S. Dresser and Chloe Dresser Johnson respectively. Getting beyond that Iıve been roadblocked. There are a LOT of Chloe D. Johnson's in zabasearch.

    There is a huge Shayne fan, John Samony Jr. who used to have a Shayne tribute site which apparently is now defunct for some reason...maybe licensing. He did post at one time on Kevin Smithıs Thrilling Detective site. Iıve asked Kevin if he can get a hold of John but to no avail thus far. I thought maybe John might know the family. In the game of licensing you learn to try just about any avenue. It becomes a game of sleuthing in itself.

    Anyway thanks for your very well put transcription of the absurdity of disclaiming comics with works of detective fiction. Well said!

    Michael Hudson

    On 5/9/09 1:04 PM, "" <> wrote:

    > Michael,
    > Re your comments below:
    > "Iıve since made contact with the literary agent who holds the rights to
    > Michael Shayne and she was adamant that the property would not be used in
    > comics. It was the first time Iıve actually encountered someone who
    > 'verbally' held the graphic medium in such low esteem. Funny in that I
    > attempted to explain to her that our interest was in a pulp sized digest
    > with painted covers and spot black and white line art along with essay
    > material on the various writers associated with the property along with all
    > the other ancillary material such as films and stuff...she just scoffed.
    > Hmmmm, I guess it takes all kinds to make a world. I wish her luck in
    > selling this property for an exorbitant sum in today/s market."
    > So, let me see if I've got this straight.
    > There's been both a Sherlock Holmes comic strip and several different comic
    > books, from Classics Illustrated to DC to Marvel.  There's been a Nero Wolfe
    > comic strip.  There've been several different Ellery Queen comic books. 
    > There's been a Mike Hammer comic strip, and Hammer was actually created for
    > comic books as Mike Danger.  There was both a Perry Mason newspaper strip and
    > several Perry Mason comic books.  There's still, to this day, a James Bond
    > newspaper strip running in the UK, AFAIK, and there've been any number of Bond
    > comic books.  There's been a series of 87th Precinct comic books under the
    > DELL FOUR-COLOR banner.  There've been comic book adaptations of Hammett's THE
    > EXPRESS, Wilkie Collins's THE MOONSTONE, and Twain's PUDD'NHEAD WILSON.
    > Acclaimed mystery novelists, like Hammett, Leslie Charteris, Max Allan
    > Collins, and Greg Rucka, have all practiced their trade in the comics medium.
    > The single most famous hard-boiled detective in fiction, indeed, with the
    > exception of Sherlock Holmes, the most famous detective of ANY kind in
    > fiction, Dick Tracy, was created especially for the comics medium.
    > And, most tellingly, there's already been a Michael Shayne comic book, one
    > that was produced during Halliday's lifetime, indicating that he was not at
    > all averse to his character appearing in that medium.
    > But now Mike Shayne is too good for comics.
    > Go figure.
    > I don't know if it's possible to somehow go around the agent, but maybe it
    > would help if you contacted the actual beneficiaries of Halliday's estate, and
    > got them to shake the agent's tree. After all, they're the ones losing out
    > financially by the agent's intransigence.

    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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