Saturday, April 10, 2021

Joan Schenkar on Patricia Highsmith

The graphic novel, Flying Out Of Space: The Indecent Adventures of Patricia Highsmith, is being drawn by Hannah Templer, artist on titles such as  GLOWSamurai JackJem and the HologramsCaptain Marvel, and Tomb Raider, and creator of Cosmoknights, an original graphic novel series published in 2019 by Top Shelf Comics. This will be Hannah and Grace's first work together.

A fictional and complex portrait of bestselling author Patricia Highsmith caught up in the longing that would inspire her queer classic, The Price of Salt. Flung Out of Space is an imagined portrait of the wild and complicated figure that was infamous crime writer Patricia Highsmith. As the story opens, we meet Pat begrudgingly writing low-brow comics. A drinker, a smoker, and a hater of life, Pat knows she can do better. Her brain churns with images of the great novel she could and should be writing—what will eventually be Strangers on a Train (which would later be adapted into a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951).

Pat is a chronic womanizer, but she's ashamed of being gay, and so on the recommendation of her therapist, she enrolls in conversion therapy, where she meets many of her future sexual conquests. This is also not just the story of a queer woman, but of a queer artist. Written and illustrated by two heavyweights in the comics world—Grace Ellis and Hannah Templer, it's a comic about what it was like to write comics in the 1950s, but also about what it means to be a writer at any time in history, struggling to find your voice.

Flung Out of Space isn't a rosy portrait of queer life, but rather an unflinching one. Ellis's savvy writing combines with Templer's stunning illustrations to create a work that will intrigue and fascinate comics fans. An afterword written by Highsmith's authorized biographer, Joan Schenkar, contextualizes the writer's life with this fictional portrayal and offers insight into Highsmith's complex legacy.

Highsmith was unapologetic but guilt-ridden, talented but self-sabotaging, magnetic but withdrawn, vicious but hilarious. In short: She was a hell of a woman and a hell of a protagonist.

The book is part of a line of LGBTQIA focused graphic novels at Abrams, called Surely Books, curated by Mariko Tamaki. On social media, Grace Ellis has briefly talked about the planned book, saying "Oh man, y'all are gonna L O V E this Patricia Highsmith book I'm working on, it's basically "Carol: The Awakening"… I can't wait for the day when my mind-volcano erupts Patricia Highsmith anecdotes all over Twitter, turning this whole website into a Pompeii preserved in 1950s lesbianism… It's a project I've been kicking around for years, and when Mariko told me about this imprint, I knew I had to do it with her. It's an honest-to-god dream come true."

Flung Out of Space: The Indecent Adventures of Patricia Highsmith will be published on February 1st 2022 from Abrams ComicArts – Surely, with an introduction by Joan Schenkar, playwright, author, and literary biographer, including the book, The Talented Miss Highsmith.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Conversation with Kent Harrington and Gary Phillips. Two of the best writers around today!

Kent Harrington in conversation with Gary Phillips - Virtual Event

Preorder Last Seen from MBTB and get a free signed copy of Kent Harrington's out of print novel Día de Los Muertos, a favorite of McKenna's!

Border towns stand like carnival funhouse mirrors, reflecting greed, evil, and death in both directions. Not many American writers have looked as deeply into those mirrors as Kent Harrington. DEA Agent Vincent Calhoun's luck, his suerte, has been golden. He and his crooked judicale partner are getting rich coyoteing wealthy crooks and refugees into the U.S. from their posts in Tijuana. Then, on the Day of the Dead, Día de los Muertos, a girl gets off a bus, and Calhoun's luck heads south with a vengeance. 

Kent Harrington is the author of numerous acclaimed novels, including Last Ferry Home, The Good Physician, which was named as one of the best novels of the last ten years by Booklist, Dark Ride, Dia de los Muertos, and The American Boys. Of Dark Ride, Michael Connelly said, "It reads like Jim Thompson interpreted by Quentin Tarantino." Visit him at http: //

Gary Phillips is the son of a mechanic and a librarian. He was weaned on too many comic books, Dashiell Hammett stories, reruns of the original Twilight Zone, and experiences ranging from community organizer to delivering dog cages. His 1950s set graphic novel the Be-Bop Barbarians riffs on race relations, jazz, police brutality and the Red Scare. His novel Violent Spring was the first such mystery set in the aftermath of the 1992 civil unrest, and he edited the Anthony award-winning anthology, The Obama Inheritance: Fifteen Stories of Conspiracy Noir. He is story editor on FX's "Snowfall," about crack and the CIA in 1980s South Central where he grew up. Visit him at https: //

Two Ways To Watch:

On YouTube:
Most of our events can be watched live on the Murder By The Book YouTube page, which can be found HERE. When it’s time for the event to begin, you should be able to refresh the page until the live video shows up as a new post. Or, if you've subscribed to our channel you'll get a notification when we go live. If you miss the beginning of the talk, as soon as it wraps up you can find it on our YOUTUBE CHANNEL to watch from the beginning.

On Facebook:
Most of our events can also be watched live on the Murder By The Book Facebook page, which can be found HERE. When it’s time for the event to begin, you should be able to refresh the page until the live video shows up as a new post. Or, if you have turned on Live Notifications for the page (for directions, click HERE), you’ll get a notification every time we go live and you can click that link. If you miss the beginning of the talk, as soon as it wraps up you can find it in our VIDEOS to watch from the beginning. 

Event date: 

Friday, April 9, 2021 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

2342 Bissonnet St.
HoustonTX 77005
Pre-Order Now Badge
Last Seen Cover Image
ISBN: 9781951709235
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Polis Books - May 18th, 2021

A captivating new novel from one of the best crime writers working today. In August, San Francisco is a cold beauty...and the perfect place for a killer targeting young women visiting the Bay Area. The latest victim is Emma Barre, a deaf French teenager. Emma is also brilliant and due to enter one of France's best universities.

Last Ferry Home Cover Image
ISBN: 9781943818860
Availability: Special Order
Published: Polis Books - March 13th, 2018