Examining the Hellboy Graphic Novel ‘Into the Silent Sea’ Ahead of the Upcoming Movie Release in 2018

hellboy-2

(Image via IndieWire)

Examining the Hellboy Graphic Novel ‘Into the Silent Sea’ Ahead of the Upcoming Movie Release in 2018

Hellboy is returning to the silver screen next year with Stranger Things actor David Harbour replacing Ron Perlman as the titular character. The film is looking to strike a new tone with the film’s screenwriter Andrew Cosby stating that the reboot will be a “darker, more gruesome” version than the previous releases.

The new film, titled: Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, will lean much closer to the tone of the Hellboy comics. Cosby confirmed that the film’s director Neil Marshall (The Descent, Game of Thrones) wants the movie to “walk a razor’s edge between horror and comic book movie.” As the upcoming film will be closer to the comic book version of the character, we look at the Hellboy graphic novel Into the Silent Sea released earlier this year.

Into the Silent Sea is a Hellboy original comic co-written by Hellboy creator Mike Mignolia, co-written and illustrated by Gary Gianni, and coloured by Dave Steward. The graphic novel is a direct sequel to Mike Mignolia’s 2005 two issue mini series Hellboy: The Island. Into the Silent Sea follows Hellboy after he has set sail from the deserted island. After escaping the island Hellboy runs into a ghost ship, and is taken prisoner by a mysterious phantom crew.

Speaking to Dark Horse before the graphic novel’s release, Gary Gianni described Into the Silent Sea as “Hellboy’s greatest adventure”. Gianni has illustrated work for George R. R. Martin, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, and Michael Chabon. He also created the Monstermen series, which was a back-up feature in Hellboy. He calls Into the Silent Sea “the biggest comic event of the year”.

Mike Mignolia debuted Hellboy in 1993 and the character has become a cult favourite due to its Lovecraftian horror and ironic humour. In an interview with Nerdist this year, Mignolia explained that part of Hellboy’s success was due to releasing the stories as a mini-series or graphic novel, rather than the tradition monthly comic book model. “One of the things I really think I did differently to other things out there was to tell short stories. Almost half of the Hellboy stuff – some of the better Hellboy stuff – are these eight or 12 page stories.”

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The format has clearly worked, as Hellboy is one of the most successful comic book characters outside DC and Marvel. In preparation for the movie remake, Dark Horse formed a partnership with DC Comics in order for Hellboy to be included in the highly-acclaimed video game, Injustice 2, which includes some of the most popular superheroes of the DC Universe. Hellboy’s parent company also signed a deal with online entertainment firm Slingo to release the Hellboy slot game on its platform that uses the Hellboy from the comics rather than the screen. Hellboy is a casual game that uses themes and characters based on the iconic Dark Horse character. The two partnerships with entertainment companies is a clear sign of how popular both the comic book and screen version of the character is with audiences.

The Hellboy remake will star David Harbour as Hellboy, and Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil) as the film’s antagonist, The Blood Queen. The film is expected to be released at the end of 2018. Fans who are waiting for the film should make sure they keep up with the latest adventure of the character in Into the Silent Sea.

Out Now! Just Like That by Les Edgerton

New from Down & Out Books

Purchase links …
Buy from the Down & Out Bookstore or from the following retailers …
Print: Amazon — Barnes & Noble
eBook: Kindle — Nook — iTunes — Kobo

Synopsis … Jake and his pal Bud’s journey begins six months after he is released on parole and is occasioned when his girlfriend Donna dumps him and aborts their child. After a suicide attempt where the Norelco shaver cord he used to hang himself breaks, on an impulse—everything in Jake’s life happens “just like that”—he calls up Bud, who lives by the same credo, and the two take off with no particular destination in mind. They’re just going “south”—somewhere where it’s warm. An hour before they leave, Jake on another impulse, holds up a convenience store to get some traveling money. Ultimately, they end up in New Orleans and then Lake Charles, Louisiana and from there, back to Indiana.

Along the way are many “watercooler” moments and near the end Jake takes a fall when he is caught burglarizing a bar back in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, gets shot in the leg and is returned to Pendleton where he kills the inmate he had a nasty encounter with during his first stay in prison.

Just Like That is based on an actual trip the author took with an ex-prison cellmate under similar circumstances as protagonist Jake Mayes does in the narrative. The scenes in Pendleton are also based on true experiences he had while incarcerated. Approximately 85% of the novel is taken from real life. Portions of the book have previously appeared as short stories in the literary magazines Murdaland, Flatmancrooked, and High Plains Literary Review, the latter of which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was selected for inclusion in Houghton Mifflin’s Best American Mystery Stories, 2001.

Praise for JUST LIKE THAT …

“Edgerton’s got a story to tell you so get ready; it’s coming at you fast. Get ready…” —Linwood Barclay, international bestseller

“Edgerton draws memorable portraits of these dangerous and unpredictable characters.” —Library Journal

Just Like That is yet another Les Edgerton winner. In his prison memoir, Edgerton conjures up in honest, Bukowski-esque prose a mad dog life lived behind and beyond the bars of institutional correctional facilities. Literature’s version of Johnny Cash, America has yet another gifted bard to sing the blues of time served. I have long believed Edgerton to be an American original, who has for too long remained one of our best kept literary secrets.” —Cortright McMeel, author of Short

Just Like That has it all. Great dialogue, whipcrack scenes and meaty characters haul logo-dob-ws-400x200pxyou along on a hardboiled crime road-trip worthy of the Elmore Leonard and Joe R Lansdale. A shot to the heart as well as the head, Just Like That is highly recommended.” —Paul D. Brazill, author of A Case of Noir

“Edgerton establishes the kind convincing, and wrenching, interiority with his characters achieved by only the most adept fiction writers.” —Peter Donahue, Sam Houston State University

“Edgerton’s best stories are uncompromising in their casual amorality. They stare you down over the barrel of a gun, rip you up whether or not the trigger gets squeezed.” —Diane Lefer, UCLA and Vermont College, author of The Circles I Move In

“Les Edgerton creates a vivid and compelling world. We feel the rhythm of his language and live in the skins of his characters. Altogether, a memorable experience.” —Gladys Swan, Missouri University and Vermont College, author of A Visit to Stranger

“Les Edgerton writes like a poet with a mean streak, and his prose goes down easy and smooth like good liquor as it carves up your insides.” —Henry Perez, bestselling author of Mourn the Living

“The characters in Edgerton’s world bite down hard and grind up one another with their back teeth. Their authenticity is palpable as soft-shelled clams; these are sad, mean, fully human characters who long for connection almost as fiercely as they fear it.” —Melody Henion Stevenson, author of The Life Stone of Singing Bird

The Gumshoe and The Neon Boneyard for 99p!

I’ve recently remixed and rebooted a couple of my eBooks and they’re currently available for 99p!

THE GUMSHOE: THE PETER ORD YARNS gumshoe new

A booze addled private eye stumbles and tumbles through a small town in the North East of England in this blackly comic Brit Grit short story collection.

CONTENTS:

GUMSHOE BLUES
THE LADY AND THE GIMP
WHO KILLED SKIPPY?
SHIFT WORK
MR KISS AND TELL
THE NIGHTWATCHMAN

the neon boneyardTHE NEON BONEYARD: A ROMAN DALTON YARN

The Neon Boneyard is a pulpy noir/ horror short story featuring Paul D. Brazill’s creation Roman Dalton – Werewolf PI. The werewolf PI and his oddball cohorts are caught up in a gang war that also embroils Mr Hyde, Frankenstein’s monster and Sherlock Holmes.

You can grab them from Amazon. com, Amazon.co.uk, or any other Amazon you fancy.

Coming Soon: Manchester Vice by Jack Strange

man-v-ebook_300cBio: The mysterious Jack Strange hails from the town of Huddersfield, in West Yorkshire , England. He’s a man with a checkered past, having worked in a morgue, been a labourer, and a salesman. He’s dug holes… professionally (to what end, he refuses to say – sales? corpses? possibly both?),  even more terrifying – he’s a former Lawyer.
He enjoys parties and keeps himself fit (the kind of fit that makes you think he may engage in fisticuffs with Vinnie Jones on a semi-regular basis, or possibly drink stout with both hands while also throwing  a perfect game of darts.) He is allegedly married with two adult daughters. They have yet to be located for comment.

Follow Jack on Twitter: @jackstrange11
Or visit www.jackstrangewriter.blogspot.co.uk man-v-promo_300c

Failing Better: Brit Grit Comedy

ladykillers1“Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot. To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it!” – Charlie Chaplin

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.’” – Samuel Becket.

As Chaplin showed, there has always been a dark aspect to British comedy and, indeed, there is also usally a sharp, shot of humour in British dark fiction. Tragicomedy that errs on the side of the tragic, perhaps.

A perfect home for life’s perpetual failures, then.

Think of Alexander Mackendrick’s classic 1955 film The Ladykillers where a group of gangsters hole-up in a cute little old ladies house and take turns trying to kill her. They fail, of course.

Or try the eponymous character created by comedian Tony Hancock in the 1950s who, on radio, on television and in film, tried his hand at so many different activities and failed. One episode –The Bedsitter – teeters dangerously on the precipice of bleak existentialism. The Bedsitter is a one-room set, one-man-show, where Hancock endlessly flips through a Bertrand Russell tome trying to find meaning in life, but fails, of course. As Hancock said: ‘Stone me, what a life!’

And more: Sixties sit-com The Worker had the perpetually unemployed Charlie Drake regularly annoying Mr Pugh at the employment centre, trying lots of jobs and failing at all of them. One of the United Kingdom’s longest running television series, Only Fools and Horses, featured wheeling and dealing market stall traders whose scams always failed but who genuinely believed that ‘This time next year, we’ll be millionaires.’

Indeed, if the shiny happy American comedy series Friends had been made in the UK it would probably have ended up more like Sartre’s No Exit since hell truly is THOSE people.

So, if crime fiction is about bringing order to chaos and noir is about bringing chaos to order, then perhaps British comedy is pure noir.

Or maybe, it’s just the weather.

(This post first appeared at Sue Coletta’s blog)

#FRIDAY FLASH: Thicker Than Blood

TODAY

‘The thing is, Bren,’ says Craig Hornby, kissing his bloody knuckles, ‘you’ve just got to face facts sometime. You might be a nicer bloke than your Tony. Well, in fact, you are nicer. Much nicer. But your kid is more likeable. It’s just one of those things. And that’s why he always ends up getting what he wants. Getting his own way. If he fell in the sea, he’d come out with a pocket full of fish. That’s him, eh? Teflon Tony.’

Craig walks over to the window and closes the blinds. The room turns black. Specks of dust float in a shard of sunlight that slices through a broken slat and spotlights a pool of blood at Bren Murdoch’s feet. Bren’s head pounds. Blood trickles down his nose and is soaked up by the socks stuffed in his mouth .He twists but the fishing wire cuts further into his wrists and ankles.

‘And that’s also why you’re here now instead of him.’

Craig’s heavy feet echo off the concrete floor as he walks over to the corner of the room and switches on the strip lighting.

Bren clamps his eyes shut.

‘That’s why you’re the one who has to take the consequences of the shit-storm your kid brother brewed up.’

The dining chair wobbles as Craig sits. He’s sweating like a pig. Dark semi-circles under his arms. He knocks back a can of Red Bull and kisses his bruised knuckles again.

‘It’s just one of those things. Something I have to do. I have to, I have no choice , really. Have to make an example of someone. You understand, don’t you?’

Bren understands all right. He understands that in less than a week his life has turned from shinola to shit. And he knows who to blame.

YESTERDAY

‘It’s bollocks. I can’t believe you operate like this,’ said Bren.

He looked pissed off as he dragged the wads of paper from the bread bin and spread them over the shop counter. ‘It’s all in here?’

Tony Murdoch smirked and sipped a can of Carling. ‘Aye.’

‘You keep all your paperwork, all your receipts, invoices, tax bills in a bread bin and you expect me to do your accounts for you?’

‘You’re the accountant,’ said Tony. ‘I’m the … entrepreneur.’

He leaned against a stack of ‘80s 12-inch singles that were marked down to 10p. Star-shaped, day-glow signs hung everywhere in the cluttered shop. It was always cluttered these days. Not with customers, though. The second-hand record business wasn’t what it used to be. Anyway, Tony made more money from organising coach trips to stadium rock gigs. And then there was the other little business with Craig. The import/export business.

‘Well, I’m not your accountant, am I? Thank fuck. What happened to that bloke you used to use? Stewie Shorthands?’ said Bren.

He got up from the counter and walked to the fridge in the corner of the room.

‘He went AWOL, didn’t he? Supposed to have drowned out near Seal Sands. He’s been missing without a trace for a couple of days now,’ said Tony.

Bren opened a can of Carling. As he clicked the ring pull, it frothed up, soaking his expensive suit.

‘Shit, are you still buying beer from News N Booze? The stuff that’s past its sell-by-date?’ he said.

‘It’s half price, man. Yer, canna wack it.’

Tony, the great business man, thought Bren. He’d always wondered how the shop, Tony’s Tunes, had kept in business for so long.

‘Listen Bren,’ said Tony. ‘I’ve got a little proposition for you.’

‘Oh, yes?’ said Bren. ‘And what might that be?’

‘Well,’ said Tony, handing his brother a small bar towel. ‘I’m in need of a little bit of creative accountancy.’

THE DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY

‘He’s worm meat,’ said Veronica Fleece.

‘Are you sure?’ said Tony, switching off the Tupac CD.

‘Well, I’m no Doctor House,’ said Veronica. ‘But look.’

Tony was trying not to gag as he looked down at Shorthands’ naked, flabby body, spread-eagled across the hotel bed. He had to agree with Veronica. The accountant had croaked. ‘What are we gonna do?’ said Veronica, pulling on a kimono.

‘We can’t exactly call an ambulance, can we? Not with all the happy-talc he’s got in him,’ said Tony. ‘Shit. Shit. Shit.’.

‘I told the daft, fat twat to take it easy with that stuff,’ said Veronica. ‘Eyes bigger than his gut.’

She collapsed onto the squeaky leather sofa.

Veronica and Tony both glanced at Shorthands’ stomach and burst out laughing.

‘Getting rid of him won’t be too hard. I’ll phone my dad. He’ll sneak him up to Jed Bramble’s pig farm,’ said Veronica, wiping the white powder from her nose.

Shit, thought Tony. He needed someone to prepare a set of accounts for him to give Craig, so that he didn’t know that Tony had been skimming off the top of the delivery payments. There was no other way, he realised. He’d have to contact Bren.

TODAY

‘I’ve mellowed, Bren. I really have,’ says Craig. ‘I’m a granddad now. I play golf. I go to car-boot sales. I recycle. But if there’s one thing guaranteed to get my goat, to wind me fucking up, it’s someone pissing down my back and trying to tell me it’s raining.’

Craig stands and stretches, yawns. ‘And that’s pretty much what you and your brother did. Eh?’

He walks over to a cupboard in the corner of the room. Unlocks it.

‘But, it’s not so much that. Everyone has their fingers in the till here and there. It’s standard practice. But getting found out. Getting caught so the whole world knows you’ve been taking the piss. Well…’

He pulls a golf bag from the cupboard. It clatters over, spilling clubs over the floor.

‘Fuck,’ says Craig. ‘Give us hand, eh?’

‘Maybe a nine iron,’ says Tony Murdoch, putting out a cigarette and walking over. ‘That should do the trick.’

(c) Paul D. Brazill

Cheap Paperbacks With FREE Worldwide Delivery

The best thing about The Book Depository  for many of us is that you can get paperback books at discount prices and with FREE delivery worldwide. And a few of mine are cheap there at the moment, if you’re that way inclined..

GOB

Guns Of Brixton is £5.68/  $7.50

CLB---3d-stack_d400Cold London Blues is £5.75/ $7.59 

Kill Me Quick!Kill Me Quick! is £6.35/ $8.38 

too-many-crooks

Too Many Crooks

Too Many Crooks is £6.49/ 8.56

 

Stone Me, What A Life! – Tony Hancock

hancock460.jpgThey say that all small boys are influenced by their big brother’s music collection, and while that may well be true of me, I was also influenced by my family’s taste in other forms of entertainment.  Luckily I grew up in a time when television and radio weren’t as youth focused as they are now and I could enjoy the same shows as my parents and siblings, such as Will Hay, Ealing Comedies and Tony Hancock. During the miners’ strikes in the ‘70s there were power cuts. Which meant no telly. Reading comics by candle light and listening to an old transistor radio. Radio 2, usually, since my parents were of that age group. The Navy Lark, Round The Horne and, of course, Hancock.

Tony Hancock – the easiest comedian for charades – and I share the same birthday, May 12th. Whether or not we share the same death day remains to be seen, of course, and let’s just hope we can put that little fact-finding mission on hold for a while, eh?

One of the UK’s major television and radio stars throughout the 1950s and early ‘60s, British actor and comedian Tony Hancock killed himself on 25 June 1968. He overdosed on booze and pills and left a suicide note that said:

‘Things just seemed to go too wrong too many times’

Indeed, Hancock’s eponymous character on radio, on television, and in film, regularly tried his hand at countless activities and endeavours that invariably failed.

One episode – The Bedsitter – teeters dangerously on the precipice of bleak existentialism. The Bedsitter is a one-room set, one-man-show, where Hancock endlessly flips through a Bertrand Russell tome trying to find meaning in life, but fails, of course.

Tony Hancock - The RebelIn the most famous episode of his television show The Blood Donor,  ‘the lad himself’  proudly donates a pint of his particularly rare blood only to end the episode by cutting himself so badly on a breadknife that he needs a transfusion of his own blood. The recording of the television version of The Blood Donor proved to be problematic as Hancock had recently been involved in a car accident and suffered from concussion so that he had to read his lines from autocue.

After the American failure of his film debut The Rebel, Hancock broke with his long time writing team of Galton and Simpson, who were responsible for most of the great writing in Hancock’s shows, as well as ditching his long-term agent, the splendidly named Beryl Vertue. This pretty much led to his career decline.

Disappointment was always breathing at the back of Hancock’s neck, it seemed.

Hancock, and other character actors, are regularly in my mind when I’m creating characters. Quigley, the hit man in my yarn The Bucket List, was partly inspired by the image of Tony Hancock stalking the streets with a gun.

Hancock could be said to be the perfect noir comedian, in fact. I’ve said before that crime fiction is about bringing order to chaos and noir is about bringing chaos to order, and Tony Hancock’s comedy is pure noir. A natural loser. When I started writing I wanted to write small, odd stories about small, odd people – like Hancock.

Like his fictional incarnation, Hancock was prone to introspection, a concoction of egotism and self-doubt which he bared when he was interviewed in the BBCs Face To Face programme in the early 1960s.

Spike Milligan said of Hancock that he was a ‘Very difficult man to get on with. He used to drink excessively. You felt sorry for him. He ended up on his own. I thought, he’s got rid of everybody else, he’s going to get rid of himself and he did.’

As Tony Hancock said: ‘Stone me, what a life!’

(This first appeared at Tom Leins’ blog as part of his Under The Influence series)

Guest Blog: Conflict by Chris Rhatigan

Rhatigan-photo-200x300One Thing Every Reader Wants to See

A manuscript arrives in the All Due Respect inbox. It sits there for some time.

Might be a day, might be a week, might be an hour.

At some point, usually in the morning with a thermos of coffee, I open the manuscript.

There’s one thing I’m looking for from the first sentence.

I’m looking for conflict.

You may have heard this a hundred times, but there’s a reason for that: It’s easy to forget about conflict. You might focus on any number of other things—the details of setting or how to make your protagonist more likable.

But I can tell you that editors are always looking for conflict. So are literary agents, publishers, and just average readers.

You may have a 300-page manuscript with a dynamite ending, but if you don’t establish conflict in the first 20 pages, your manuscript is unlikely to make the cut.

Open any book on the shelves of your local bookstore and you’re likely to see conflict in the first paragraph, if not the first sentence. Take this opening sentence from Lee Child’s The Hard Way:

“Jack Reacher ordered espresso, double, no peel, no cube, no china, and before it arrived at his table he saw a man’s life change forever.”

The reader knows from the first moment what this book will be about. The implied question—who is this man whose life has changed forever and how will Reacher become involved?—pushes the reader forward.

adrThe conflict in the first few pages need not be the core of your novel’s plot. For example, one of the first novels our press published was Uncle Dust by Rob Pierce. The novel begins with Dust, a bank robber, discovering he is missing two hundred dollars. Dust goes on a mission to find the money, roughly interrogating his girlfriend and her kid.

The protagonist wants something and other characters are in his way. It doesn’t matter that it’s a small amount; he will not stand losing the money. This is a small conflict setting up a larger conflict that also tells the reader a bit about Dust’s character.

It’s possible an editor or agent will continue reading past page 20 if you have an engaging voice or a fascinating character.

It’s much more likely they will continue reading because you’ve established conflict.

Chris Rhatigan is a freelance editor and co-publisher of All Due Respect Books.

London Fings

gob‘Once our beer was frothy  but now its frothy coffee…’ – Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’be by Lionel Bart

In 1959, the great Lionel Bart turned Frank Norman’s London set play ‘Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’be’ into a musical comedy about ‘low-life characters in the 1950s, including spivs, prostitutes, teddy-boys and corrupt policemen’. This was a time of great change in post-war London – what with the ‘birth of the teenager’ and the Swinging Sixties looming on the horizon – and not everyone copes well with change, of course.

London is changing again, too, though not necessarily for the better.  Online, I see a litany of news stories about classic cinemas being converted into apartments for the super-rich and the destruction Tin Pan Alley – the home of British rock n roll. Indeed, the Soho of Bar Italia, Ronnie Scott’s, Norman and Jeff in The Coach and Horses, or Francis Bacon and Derek Raymond in The French House seems long dead or dying.

Ironically, the 50s coffee bars so disparaged in ‘Fings’ are now lamented as they are replaced with over-priced, homogenised sandwich bars and ‘frothy coffee’ seems decidedly risqué.

My books Guns Of Brixton, Cold London Blues, and A Rainy Night In Soho are violently comic tales of London low-life, occasionally rubbing shoulder with the high-life.  All three books focus on the Cook family – ageing London gangsters who aren’t adapting to change too well. All they have left is the shitty weather.

Here’s a clip from COLD LONDON BLUES :

‘Father Tim … looked out across the London skyline. The inky-black night had melted into a grubby-grey January morning. The city was waking now and the windows of the other granite tower blocks outside were starting to light up.

CLB---3d-stack_d400A cold wind, as sharp as a razor blade, sliced through him and Father Tim fastened his leather biker’s jacket as tightly as possible. Dark, malignant clouds crawled ominously across the sky.

‘Pissin’ miserable weather,’ he muttered to himself. ‘Pissin’ miserable country.’

He took a crushed packet of Marlborough cigarettes from the back pocket of his Levis, fished inside with shaking fingers.

On the opposite balcony, a tall man with long black hair took breadcrumbs from a plastic bag and threw them in the air. Black birds darted down from telephone lines where they had been lined up like notes on sheet music. The birds flew towards the tall man, landing on his balcony and sometimes on him. His raucous, joyous laughter brought an unfamiliar smile to Father Tim’s face.

On the street below, he could see a branch of a small general dealer with a bright green logo above the door, as well as an old bicycle factory that had recently been converted into a Wetherspoons pub, and a stretch of hip bars, including Noola’s Saloon, its green neon sign flickering intermittently.

The street bustled with the drunken debris of the previous night’s New Year’s Eve parties. The still-pissed and the newly hungover mingled.  A massive skinhead in a leopard skin coat walked up to Noola’s Saloon and pressed a door bell. The door opened emitting a screech of escaping metallic music as he slipped inside. Iggy and The Stooges’ ‘Search and Destroy.’ A sense of longing enveloped Father Tim. A feeling of time passing like grains of sand through his fingers.

Father Tim felt his rheumatism bite as he inhaled his first cigarette of the day. His chest felt heavy. If ever there was time to get the hell out of London it was probably now. The quack had told him to piss off to Spain, or somewhere as sunny, for a bit, for his health’s sake. It wasn’t a bad idea, either. He could even stay at his sister-in-law’s gaff in Andalucía if he wanted. But he knew he wouldn’t stay away for long. London was in his bones. His blood. His lungs. For better or for worse.’

(This post first appeared at Tess Makovesky’s blog.)

A Letter From Colin Wilson

Wikipedia says:

Colin Henry Wilson (26 June 1931 – 5 December 2013) was an English writer, philosopher and novelist. He also wrote widely ontrue crime, mysticism and the paranormal.[2] Wilson called his philosophy “new existentialism” or “phenomenological existentialism”,[3] and maintained his life work was “that of a philosopher, and (his) purpose to create a new and optimistic existentialism”.

And back in the ’80s and ’90s, I read a lot of Colin Wilson‘s books, mostly his novels and mostly via Hartlepool Public Library.  He even wrote a crime book- The Killer- that was partly set in Hartlepool. There was a lot that I liked about him and his books.

Along the way, I discovered he’d written a book called The Book Of Booze. And for some reason, I wrote to him about it. And for some reason, he replied.

I didn’t have the letter for years and thought I’d lost it on my travels but it recently turned up in a pile of old photos.

So, here it is!20151013_132737

20151013_132705

20151013_132719

CLIP: A Case Of Noir by Paul D. Brazill

one of those days in England.‘ The bookshop was jam-packed and stuffy. The wine and conversation were overflowing in equal measure. Keith Jarrett’s ‘Standards’ played numbly in the background as a veritable cornucopia of crime fiction writers of various levels of success held court in different parts of the room, shuffling nervously behind tables cluttered with copies of their latest pot-boiler. Their faces frozen into rictus grins.

‘Bullets in the Bookshop’ was an annual event. An international meeting of writers and crime fiction groupies organised by Blackstones’s Bookshop in Cambridge, an archetypically quaint English bookshop on an archetypically quaint cobble-stoned English street, not far from King’s College. The non-writers were in the majority, of course. Most of them were spinsterly types of both sexes enthusing over Nordic Noir— whatever that was. Then there were also a few academics slumming it — one particularly dandruff speckled gent with the complexion of a blackcurrant crumble was talking loudly and authoritatively about crime fiction as a social novel and receiving a number of approving nods. And, of course, a few wannabee crime writers were there, too, trying to look mean and moody — all leather jackets, stubble and gently sneering. I even recognised a couple of the faces from the Quais Du Polar crime fiction festival in Lyon that I’d attended in the Spring.

a case of blackNot that I was a connoisseur of crime fiction. I rarely read fiction at all, in fact. I’d attended the Quais Du Polar in order to meet up with Lena K, the torch singer turned bestselling crime writer who was also my partner in several unlawful activities. And I also had an ulterior and particularly criminal motive for being in Blackstone’s. A meeting with the man who was holding court at that moment.

Julian Stroud stood behind the largest table in the room and clearly thought a lot of himself. He was tall, handsome man in his mid-fifties and painfully well dressed. A pair of half-moon spectacles hung around his neck and he had the look of someone who had just smelt one of his own farts and found it surprisingly rank.

‘Why kill time when you can kill other people,’ said Stroud, the shadow of a smirk creeping and crawling across his too-tanned face. ‘Although, only on paper, of course, eh?’’

Read the rest of A CASE OF NOIR by buying here or elsewhere.a case of burke

‘In snow smothered Warsaw, Luke Case, a boozy English hack with a dark secret, starts a dangerous affair with a gangster’s wife. Case escapes to the sweltering Spanish heat where he meets a colourful cast of characters, including a mysterious torch singer and a former East End villain with a criminal business proposition. In stormy Toulouse, he encounters a blast from the past that is positively seismic which forces him to return to England and confront his past. A Case Of Noir is a strong shot of blackly comic international noir from Paul D. Brazill.