Monday, July 30, 2012

Archie MAX

I read Megan Abbott's Dare Me in a single gulp last week while sitting at the airport, and I've never minded an hours-long flight delay so little. Opening the book was like cutting into a perfectly ripe grapefruit and getting that sluice of juice right in the eye. Tart, sweet, sticky - the words spill out in a rush and coat your mitts with sap till it's a wonder that they turn at all and you marvel at the un-gummed machinations of the physical book. Her second more or less contemporary (The End of Everything was set in the mid-to-late vague-ies) novels about high school girls leaving child hood behind and encountering the exciting, enticing and frightening world of adults for the first time.

More on that at Ransom Notes, but did you see this? Abbott's doing The Punisher?!? Damn. Didn't see that coming. Though it does seem to be one of the go-to trial-runs for crime writers crossing into the funny-pages (Victor Gischler, Duane Swierczynski, Jason Starr), it's a far-cry from her previously-seen sensibilities. I'm curious how this'll work out (come to think of it, I'd be pleased to see Swierzy or Starr's take on Archie too). Don't get me wrong - few crime writers get under the itchy-scabbed-over surface of crime and explore the dark that lies beneath the way she does - but Frank Castle's a bit more... blunt? than her typical exploration. Regardless, can't wait.

And in case you hadn't noticed, Meg's all over the nets these days - here's an interview she did with Laura Lippman and here's a piece she contributed to the New York Times.

Y'know who else you can read in the NYT? N@B-cherry Frank Bill. Here's a piece Mr. Bill contributed over the weekend about the effects of the drought on Southern Indiana. Anybody else looking forward to more fiction from Frankie? Weeeelll - git yur fix soon in Noir at the Bar Volume 2 with Devil Dog, an excerpt from his Viet-Nam novel in progress, or as I like to think of it - Crimes in Southern Asia.

N@B gets a lil' local attention in the St. Louis Magazine's August issue and thanks to everybody who thumbed through 425 pages of stuff about doctors to read Byron Kerman's piece 'bout our tawdry event. The story includes a nice mention for Dan O'Shea's Thin Mints from the first anthology (Everybody's heard 'bout O'Shea's new two-book deal with Exhibit A? Fuck yeah), and starts with a note about John Rector's contribution to N@B2 In the Kitchen With Rachel Ray. Y'know, Rector isn't the only one having fun with lady celebrities in the new book. Gordon Highland's story Untitled Stephenie Meyer Novel features the backfiring of an ingenious pick-up strategy, while Robert J. Randisi & Christine Matthews' Quick, Jason Makansi's Trophy Wife and Nic Young's Buying Time also revolve around sick (figurative and literal) and unusual hook-ups, and Benjamin Whitmer's If One Won't Another Will is about a different kind of connection all together. But, I'd say Jane Bradley's The One Good Thing probably has the most unsettling sexual encounter of the book - just for the sad, debased believability of it all. I can't wait to give you a chance to read this book. (Soon - very soon).

But first things first. I hear that Snubnose Press will be releasing my book of stories A F*ckload of Shorts this week (with the paperback following soon after). Kids, I'll probably be obnoxious promoting this thing, but forgive me, I'm essited. The title is a reference to Julian Grant's film F*ckload of Scotch Tape - based on my story of the same name - the impetus for publishing the book in the first place. 

Julian's film's been getting some kind attention. Here's a review that popped up at Film Monthly, and Pela Via says some staggeringly nice things at ManArchy Magazine, as well as in a recent episode of the Booked podcast. As a promotional tool, Julian even made a graphic novel adaptation of FLOST and he's giving it away over here. As super cool as it is, there are two important things that reading it doesn't do for you: excuse you from seeing the movie - the comic has none of Kevin Quain's haunting music, and reading the original stories A Fuckload of Scotch Tape and Mahogany & Monogamy in my book - cool as the movie and comic are (they're very cool) they differ in some important ways from the original material and I don't want you to be too confused when you read more about Benji Metcalf in my novella Fierce Bitches (coming soonish from Crime Factory books).

You heard 'bout Gangster Squad's postponed  release? Seems a key sequence of the film featuring a movie theater shootout comes too uncomfortably close on the heels of that dipshit in Colorado's shooting spree at the Batman flick. The trailer for Squad looks perty slick if cartoonish, to boot, and while I'm holding no serious expectations of greatness, the film is up my alley content-wise and from a director I've enjoyed (Ruben Fleischer) and a writer I'm interested in (adaptive screenwriter Will Beal), so I'm pissed I've gotta wait and disappointed that I won't be seeing the controversial sequence. Over at Ransom Notes, I have a list of books and films to dive into while waiting for Gangster Squad, that includes Beal's L.A. Rex and Lee Tamahori's film Mulholland Falls  - from a script by Pete Dexter!

1 comment:

Ben said...

Abbott's a queen. Since THE END OF EVERYTHING, she moved to more unusual settings for dark fiction. Can't wait to read her spin on cheerleading.

And your stories.

Can never wait to read your stories.