RARA-AVIS: Re: Mike Shayne Comic Book

From: Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 11 May 2009

  • Next message: James Reasoner: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Mike Shayne Comic Book"

    > 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.

    Interestingly enough -- and I was about to contact you -- it turns out John Samony -- John Samony, Jr. -- is/was involved in comics himself. He wrote a pretty good story for THRILLING DETECTIVE a few years ago, about the time he was launching his Mike Shayne web site which has also disappeared. As well as a few other sites he had created.

    But I haven't heard from him for years. The fact the Mike Shayne site was such an obvious labour of love and has now gone MIA does not bode well. Maybe James Reasoner, who may be lurking here (and was Brett Halliday for a while) might have an idea?

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

    Yep, I've got to agree with the Infallible One there -- the idea of anything being "too good" for comics is laughable. (Heck, I'm waiting for the Limbaugh/Incredible Hulk crossover myself. The Hulk's the green one.)

    Just check out the recent BRITTEN AND BRULIGHTLY by first-timer Hannah Berry, an awesome swirl of writing and art that's winds up like CHINATOWN on steroids. Bleak, dark, grim and as sad as the washed out grays of the artwork, this is as fine a classic noir novel as I've read in a while. This Berry woman is one to watch.

    But I digress...

    The idea of the estate being picky seems curious, since while Halliday was alive, almost anything was up for bids. TV, radio, film, comic books and even the character itself were all sold, with no apparent concerns about quality control or even faithfulness to the original creation. Sure, some of the great names of our genre pumped out Shayne stories for MSMM, but not all the post-Dresser stories, it has to be admitted, were exactly golden (or for that matter, the Dresser stories themselves). Does the Dresser family even still own the rights to the character or was it sold off to some conglomerate decades ago?

    Kevin Burton Smith Thrilling Detective Web Site Spring 2009 Issue Now Online
    "Love Rears It's Ugly Head"

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