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Highsmith was unapologetic but guilt-ridden, talented but self-sabotaging, magnetic but withdrawn, vicious but hilarious.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: //www.kentharrington.com.

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: //gdphillips.com


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
$26.99
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
$15.99
ISBN: 9781943818860
Availability: Special Order
Published: Polis Books - March 13th, 2018

Monday, February 1, 2021

Retreat to Goodisville Watch Party - MAR 5 AT 6 PM EST – MAR 6 AT 8 AM EST




Online: s.kast.live


Mar 5 at 6 PM EST – Mar 6 at 8 AM EST


Price: Free · Duration: 14 hr


Public: Anyone on or off Facebook


Celebrating the cinematic legacy of David Goodis with a selection of films adapted from his books (and maybe a few TV shows, too!). 




We would like to dedicate RETREAT TO GOODISVILLE WATCH PARTY to Jacques Bral, Producer of STREET OF NO RETURN.  Mr. Bral passed away on January 18, 2021.

After his studies at Alborz High School in Tehran, Bral left Iran in 1966 for France.
In 1984, Bral directed the film Polar, which was an adaptation of the novel Morgue plein by Jean-Patrick Manchette. 
In 1989, he produced Street of No Return, the final feature film in the career of American director Samuel Fuller. 
Jacques Bral died in Paris on 17 January 2021 at the age of 72.


Friday, January 15, 2021

The Writer in The Gutter : Kent Harrington - LAST SEEN -Out March 2021

The Writer in The Gutter : Kent Harrington - LAST SEEN -Out March 2021: Drops March 23, 2021 Kent Harrington is a 4th generation San Franciscan, born to an Irish-Jewish father and Guatemalan mother. His early edu...

Kent Harrington - LAST SEEN -Out March 2021


Drops March 23, 2021

Kent HarringtonKent Harrington is a 4th generation San Franciscan, born to an Irish-Jewish father and Guatemalan mother. His early education was spent at the Palo Alto Military Academy, where he was sent at an early age. He attended San Francisco State University and received a degree in Spanish Literature. After living both in Spain and Latin America, he returned to the Bay Area and began his career as a novelist supporting himself as a teacher, carpenter, factory worker and life insurance salesman.

His first published work was the well-received noir thriller Dark Ride published in 1997. Booklist’s review said: “This is as noir as it gets.” His follow-up noir thriller Dia De Los Muertos is now considered a modern crime classic. Amazon’s editorial review says: “If ‘American noir’ were in the dictionary, you might find Kent Harrington’s picture in place of the definition.”

Other works include Red Jungle, set in Guatemala, and The Good Physician. Both novels were compared to Graham Greene and John le Carré’s work. Red Jungle was selected as one of the “10 Best Crime Novels” of the year by Booklist.

Harrington is the author of nine novels. The latest is Last Ferry Home. He lives in Northern California with his wife.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

The Writer in The Gutter : Remembering the death of David Goodis - January 7th

The Writer in The Gutter : Remembering the death of David Goodis - January 7th:  Death: January 7th, 1967      While the lights flickered and blazed people were weeping,
laughing, screaming and sighing, loving and hating...

Remembering the death of David Goodis - January 7th


 Death: January 7th, 1967


     While the lights flickered and blazed people were weeping,
laughing, screaming and sighing, loving and hating.  In a hundred
 years these people would be gone and the lights would be gone.  But
 there would be new lights and there would be new people.  The same
story would go on.  It had been going on for hundreds of thousands of
 years.
           

It was the story told of people in cities, on farms, in
 hills and in battlefields.  They were good, they were bad, they were 
good again, and before they knew it they had been or what they had 
done.  They might have gone through a lifetime without telling a lie,
or they might have existed for twenty-three years and then gone on a 
killing spree and murdered five women and been electrocuted. 

It was 
all over, this show, and someone else was just beginning it someplace 
else.
  Everybody passed through it, kings and beggars, rats and
 elephants.  When it was all over there was the body still, with the 
eyes open or the eye closed.  That didn't matter either.  The eyes did
 not see anything.  It was really all over and nothing could be done
 about it......
           

There had always been a lot of talk about this Heaven and 
Hell business.  Well, the wise guys could laugh all they wanted to but it wasn't a bad idea.  The chances were that it was just that, a
lot of talk.  But it wasn't a bad idea.



RETREAT FROM OBLIVION, Dutton, 1939, Pages 152-153

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