Friday, July 31, 2009

Donald Westlake: Gone, Not Forgotten

The great crime writer Donald Westlake (1933–2008) may have passed on, but that isn't keeping him off bookshelves. He has a brand-new hardcover in stores, Get Real (Grand Central), the final comic caper for John Dortmunder and his gang. Publishers Weekly promises the misadventure "will rouse chuckles from even jaded readers." Booklist raves, "With brilliant restraint and perfectly pitched deadpan dialogue, Westlake keeps his characters dancing precariously along the knife’s edge of absurdity."

But that's not all -- Hard Case Crime has unearthed an unpublished Westlake novel. Memory was written in the early 1960s, but Westlake's agent suggested it was too "literary" and encouraged the author to concentrate on more commercial crime fiction. Memory is the story of a man who is assaulted and wakes up in a hospital bed suffering from a peculiar sort of brain damage that makes it hard to form new memories or retain old ones. Far from home, hounded by the police, and desperate to reconstruct his lost life, he sets out on an extraordinary private investigation -- a missing persons case in which he himself is the missing person.

Memory finally sees print April 2010. Check out the cover and a sample chapter at HardCaseCrime.com.

In related news, Westlake's Parker series (written under the name Richard Stark) are being adapted into graphic novels by Darwyn Cooke. The first volume, Parker: The Hunter (Richard Stark's Parker) (IDW), has come out to great reviews, including this from EW Shelf Life. Publisher IDW has posted preview pages online.



Related links:
Donald Westlake 1933-2008
Adapting Richard Stark's PARKER
Crime Fiction with the masters

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Crime TV on DVD (Jul 28)

Upcoming DVD releases of detective and crime TV shows, including several British entries, a Charlie's Angels 'best-of', complete series sets from Homicide: Life on the Street and The Unit, and more. Updates on TVShowsonDVD:

The Beiderbecke Tapes (mini-series) Sequel Mini-Series Comes to DVD

Bones
Box Art Appears for Season 4: Body Bag Edition on DVD and Blu-ray
4th Season Release Date and Details for Blu-ray Disc and DVD Formats

Cagney & Lacey Finalized Press Release for The Menopause Years Box Set

Charlie's Angels Immediate Re-Release for 5-Episode Best of Charlie's Angels DVD

Criminal Minds Early Details on Season 4 Bonus Material

C.S.I. A Better Look at Blu-ray and DVD Box Art for The 9th Season

C.S.I.: Miami Lots of Extras on the Season 7 Set

C.S.I.: NY Bonus Material for Season 5 Uncovered

Dollhouse A Preview of 'Epitaph One'

Flashpoint
New Details, Possible Cover Art for The 1st Season on DVD
The Canadian Show, Starring Enrico Colantoni & Amy Jo Johnson, Comes to North American DVD

Foyle's War
Packaging Picture of the From Dunkirk to VE-Day: Sets 1-5 DVDs
' From Dunkirk to VE-Day' Collector's Edition Compiles All 5 Previous DVD Sets

Harper's Island
Packaging Finalized for Harper's Island - The DVD Edition, Starring Christopher Gorham
Details on Extras Emerge for Harper's Island

Homicide: Life on the Street Repackaged Release of The Complete Series Coming this Fall

The Middleman Shout! Factory Leaked Some Sneak Preview Video Clips for The Complete Series on DVD

Midsomer Murders
Get a Gander at the Package Art for Acorn's Set 13 Release
Acorn Media Announces Set 13, with 4 More British Mysteries on DVD

The Sopranos Could a Canadian Amazon Listing Show a Season 1 Blu-ray Release Date Good for the USA?

Traffik (mini-series)
Box Art is Now In for Acorn's Remastered 20th Anniversary Edition DVD
Original '89 Mini-Series is Getting a Remastered 20th Anniversary Edition DVD

The Unit
Box Art Debut for Season 4 DVD & Blu-ray; Full Press Release for Season 4 and Complete Series
Package Art Scoop for The Complete Series Gift Set on DVD
Fox Informs Retailers to Expect a Complete Series Gift Set on DVD

Van der Valk '70s Mysteries Series Crosses the Pond from the UK to the USA & Canada

More crime TV news:
Mr. Monk and Season Seven on DVD
Shalhoub on MONK: 'Everything does come to an end'
T.J. Hooker: "Terror At The Academy" (Minisode)
T.J. Hooker: "Vengeance is Mine" (Minisode) (Leonard Nimoy!)
'Monk' returns for final season Aug 7
Mr. Monk and the Final Season
Crime TV on DVD (Jun 4)
The next 'Level' of thriller fiction
Kenneth Branagh is WALLANDER
Watch CASTLE on ABC

Monday, July 27, 2009

Best Mann: "Any word on those bank robbers?"

Best Mann For The Job #23: Here's where our parallel stories begin to converge ... as the bank robbers, desperate for medical attention, are headed straight to Hope Falls -- and newly-elected Sheriff Grace Mann. (I can't wait for y'all to see what happens next!)

Best Mann For The Job stars Grace Mann, a woman with a complicated past who returns home to become sheriff of Hope Falls, Tennessee. This serial drama aspires to the style of the classic continuity comic strips, with the crime-bustin' chops of a rural Dick Tracy, the small-town charm of Gasoline Alley, and the emotional touches of The Heart of Juliet Jones. (Or if you prefer, think of it as a cross between T.J. Hooker and Northern Exposure.)

Latest strip exclusive at TitleTrakk.com
Missed an episode? Catch up at StudioWell.com

Watch the trailer on YouTube at Channel StudioWell

Become a fan on Facebook

More comics by Chris and Erica at StudioWell.com/Comics

Previously:
Best Mann: KA-BOOM ("Mann Vs. Superman")
Best Mann: "The tank's cracking!"
Best Mann 1.20: "Consider them armed and dangerous!" (Honoring Osamu Tezuka)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The return of Charlie Chan

Academy Chicago continues its reprints of Earl Derr Biggers' original Charlie Chan mysteries with the third and fourth entries, Behind That Curtain and The Black Camel:

BEHIND THAT CURTAIN
Charlie Chan finds himself back in San Francisco working with an inspector from Scotland Yard to investigate a series of murders in which each victim is found wearing ominous Chinese slippers.

THE BLACK CAMEL
Charlie Chan is aided by a mysterious fortune teller named Tarneverro the Great to solve the murder of a glamorous Hollywood movie star who has been killed on location in Honolulu.

"It takes a special kind of wit to resurrect Charlie Chan, as Academy Chicago has done…ingenious puzzle mysteries written by Earl Derr Biggers in the 1920s." -- Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

"Reading these books is a definite pleasure. Author Biggers is a smooth strategist, clever plotter and keen observer, and the novels give the same escapist tingle as the best of Agatha Christie." -- Burl Burlingame, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

"The early Chan novels combine solid entertainment value with a quest ... to portray both Hawaii's culture and Asian Americans' place with in said culture in a positive light." -- Sarah Weinman, Los Angeles Times

"Old-fashioned mystery fun." -- ForeWord Magazine

ALSO AVAILABLE:
The House Without a Key
The Chinese Parrot

COMING SEPTEMBER 2009
Charlie Chan Carries On
Keeper of the Keys



Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Evanovich brings Alex Barnaby to comics

Stephanie Plum-creator Janet Evanovich has long wanted to get into comics. But she's been busy writing best-selling mysteries like Plum Spooky and Finger Lickin' Fifteen -- there are 30 million copies of Evanovich's books in print worldwide. (She's counted as one of the ten richest authors in the world.)

Now, Evanovich and daughter Alex finally worked out a way to transfer her NASCAR mysteries starring Alex Barnaby to the funny pages. The crime-solving mechanic's previous appearances were in the novels Metro Girl and Motor Mouth, but the third entry will be a graphic novel in 2010 from Dark Horse Comics.

"We're comic book fans; we’re huge Nascar fans," Evanovich told the New York Times. "It allows me to feed my Nascar addiction and comic book addiction all at the same time."

She explained to Comic Book Resources the heavy influence of comics on her fiction:
If it wasn't for Uncle Scrooge when I was a kid, I do not think I would be writing the Plum books ... Because “Uncle Scrooge” is an adventure story. Uncle Scrooge, Donald Duck ,and Huey, Dewey, and Louie -- in every story they have an adventure. They are out looking for gold, they are in the Amazon, they are in outer space, the Beagle Boys are after them. When I was a kid, I really wanted to push my quarters around with a bulldozer. I always wanted to be Uncle Scrooge. And this is what I write -- I'm writing Uncle Scrooge in Trenton, New Jersey. Indiana Jones in Trenton, New Jersey. It's all the same. These are adventures, they are on a quest.
(Whole interview here.)

On a personal note, our Best Mann For The Job series counts Ms. Evanovich as a definite inspiration ... so seeing her gleefully join the world of comics is especially gratifying.

Related links:
Janet Evanovich: not by-the-numbers ...
Evanovich must be doing something right ...
Review: "Eleven on Top"
Best Mann: KA-BOOM (Mann Vs. Superman)
Dr. Whodunit
Mysteries, Models, and Murder! (Marvel Comics' Models, Inc.)
Sherlock Holmes: Don't Call It A Comeback
The return of FEMME NOIR
Crime writers on PUNISHER (Gregg Hurwitz, Duane Swierczynski, Victor Gischler)
Adapting Richard Stark's PARKER

Dr. Whodunit

Doctor Who is forced to solve a murder mystery in space -- among a species of aliens for whom time flows backward. In comic book stores this week, Doctor Who: Room With a Deja View (IDW Publishing) is written by Rich Johnston, with art by Eric J (Rex Mundi).

Johnston is no stranger to murder mysteries: The longtime comics columnist played a key role in a CSI: Crime Scene Investigation story where he was murdered. (He got better.) Johnston now hosts the comics site Bleeding Cool, serving all your comics news, conjecture, and rumor-mongering needs.

Find a comic book retailer near you: ComicShopLocator.com

Previous comics news:
Best Mann: KA-BOOM (Mann Vs. Superman)
Mysteries, Models, and Murder! (Marvel Comics' Models, Inc.)
Universal Press merges with Uclick
Best Mann 1.20: "Consider them armed and dangerous!" (Honoring Osamu Tezuka)
Sherlock Holmes: Don't Call It A Comeback
Help Len Wein restore his life's work!
The return of FEMME NOIR
Gerry Conway back at DC Comics
Crime writers on PUNISHER (Gregg Hurwitz, Duane Swierczynski, Victor Gischler)
Adapting Richard Stark's PARKER

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mr. Monk and Season Seven on DVD

Fans of "defective detective" Adrian Monk preparing for his final season can catch up on past adventures with the DVD release of Monk: Season Seven, in stores today (July 21). The set features all sixteen episodes, including guest stars Brad Garrett, David Strathairn, Eric McCormack, Sarah Silverman, Hector Elizando, John Turturro ... not to mention the all-star 100th episode, "Mr. Monk’s 100th Case!"

Bonus materials include: "Mr. Monk Buys a House" Video Commentary with Creator/Co-Writer Andy Breckman, "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever" Video Commentary with Writer Hy Conrad, "Mr. Monk Is Underwater" Video Commentary with Writer Jack Bernstein, "Mr. Monk Falls in Love" Video Commentary with Writers Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan, "Mr. Monk's 100th Case" Video Commentary with Writer Tom Scharpling, "Mr. Monk Gets Hypnotized" Video Commentary with Writers Tom Gammill and Max Pross, plus "Monk P.I." and Anatomy of an Episode.

The eighth and final season of Monk kicks off August 7 on the USA Network.



Related links:
Shalhoub on MONK: 'Everything does come to an end'
'Monk' returns for final season Aug 7
Mr. Monk and the Final Season
Mr. Monk and the Finished Manuscript
The stars shine for MONK 100
ADRIAN MONK: The face of OCD
Crime TV on DVD
The next 'Level' of thriller fiction
Kenneth Branagh is WALLANDER
Watch CASTLE on ABC

Monday, July 20, 2009

Best Mann: KA-BOOM

Best Mann For The Job #22: This week's one-panel emergency-worker drama is *almost* a swipe of Action Comics #1 -- because when I wrote the script, I got out my battered old hardcover copy of Superman: From the 30's to the 70's (Bonanza Books)*, pointed to page 16 and told my wife, "Try to make it look like this."

Alas, Erica held to such higher standards as "integrity" and "good storytelling" and "I don't want to get sued." So while the result alludes to the aforementioned comics cover, it is actually more original than I'd hoped.

For those of you who wonder what I'm talking about: Action Comics #1 is the 1938 comic book that introduced the world's first superhero -- Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. (According to Wikipedia, the cover to Action Comics #1 remains one of the most homaged covers of all time.) Superman, of course, spent the following 70-plus years making billions of dollars for his corporate owner. And, all these years later, the original series is still being published -- and is just months away from its milestone 900th issue.

Best Mann For The Job stars Grace Mann, a woman with a complicated past who returns home to become sheriff of Hope Falls, Tennessee. This serial drama aspires to the style of the classic comic strips, with the crime-bustin' chops of a rural Dick Tracy, the small-town charm of Gasoline Alley, and the emotional touches of The Heart of Juliet Jones. (Or if you prefer, think of it as a cross between T.J. Hooker and Northern Exposure.)

Latest strip exclusive at TitleTrakk.com
Missed an episode? Catch up at StudioWell.com

Watch the trailer on YouTube at Channel StudioWell

Become a fan on Facebook

More comics by Chris and Erica at StudioWell.com/Comics

Related links:
Best Mann: "The tank's cracking!"
Best Mann 1.20: "Consider them armed and dangerous!"

*(Note to professional writers and editors: Yes, the title of the book is grammatically incorrect. It should have been Superman: From the '30s to the '70s. But it wasn't. So shut up.)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Three queens of crime

Sue Grafton, Faye Kellerman, and Tess Gerritsen reveal the tricks of the crime-writing trade in this interview with Masterpiece Mystery. They also discuss their famous characters, and their shared admiration for Agatha Christie.

Publishing news (July 17)

Another roundup of news in the world of publishing, including a call to help two authors with enormous medical bills ...

Star Wars Novelist Needs Help With Astronomical Medical Costs (GalleyCat)
Writer John Ostrander (Batman, Punisher) - A Call To Arms (Bleeding Cool)

Reconsidering Travis McGee (Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind)
The July Edition of the Big Thrill is here! (International Thriller Writers)
ThrillerFest 2009 DVDs and CDs available now! (International Thriller Writers)

The Stand Graphic Novel Finally Comes to Bookstores (Publishers Weekly)
Siegel & Shuster Relatives Unite at Siegel House (Comic Book Resources)
To Protect and To Serve ... And Look Good (Broken Frontier)

Welcome to Shelf Life (EW's Shelf Life)
'Sense and Sensibility' + sea monsters! (EW's Shelf Life)
'Twilight' graphic novel: First Look! (EW's Shelf Life)

Sandra Suggests Kicking the Internal Editor to the Curb (ChipMacGregor.com)
Quick Tips for Beginning Speakers (WildFire Marketing)

Bookstore Sales Fell 3% in May (Publishers Weekly)
“Free” Book, Sparks Backlash Among Battered Media Industry (Publishers Weekly)
Why Publishing Can’t Be Saved (Publishing Perspectives)
Smaller Christian Retail Show is All Business (Publishers Weekly)

Previously:
Publishing news (July 10)
(ABC's fictional sleuth Richard Castle writes a book, a long-lost whodunit by Graham Greene, and Wonder Woman vs. domestic violence)

Publishing news: Digital Media Edition! (Jun 26)
(Amazon's plans for world domination, Lee Goldberg says You Can Become a Kindle Millionaire, and Penguin launches its own online network)

The BookScan problem

Publishing news (June 19)
(a face-off between Michael Connelly and Janet Evanovich, USA TODAY's starts running comics, and authors who solve crimes)

Publishing news roundup (June 12)
(discovering two unpublished Agatha Christie stories, Robert Liparulo signs 30,000 books, and Dick Tracy gets his own statue)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mysteries, Models, and Murder!

As both a mystery writer and comics fans, I think whoever came up with this is a genius: The upcoming comic book mini-series Models, Inc. is a murder mystery starring the runway models of the Marvel Comics universe. When Millicent Collins ("Millie the Model") is the prime suspect in the murder of a set designer, her friends Patsy Walker (Hellcat) and Mary Jane Watson (the ex- Mrs. Spider-Man -- long story) team up to clear her name.

As reported by the TODAY show: "Fashion and comics aren’t as incongruous as they may sound. Back in the '60s, while boys were discovering then-new heroes like Iron Man, girls were enjoying female-oriented characters like Millie the Model, who had been juggling romance and career going back to the '40s." Comics news site Newsarama gives readers a rundown of the various divas' comics history.

The mini-series even guest stars a real-life fashion icon, Project Runway's Tim Gunn, who jumps into Iron Man's suit of armor to help out.

Here's the official description from Marvel: Fashion Week is always a hectic time for models, and this year is no exception. Between escaped wolves, robbery attempts, and overly friendly police officers, Mary Jane Watson, Patsy Walker, Jill Jerold, Chili Storm and Millicent (Millie the Model) Collins are testing the limits of their endurance. But when a brilliant young set designer is found murdered with three bullet holes in his back, and Millie proves to be the prime suspect, the models are forced to play detective in order to save one of their own!

"At heart, it's a murder mystery," writer Paul Tobin tells Comic Book Resources. "It's almost Agatha Christie/Nancy Drew, but with very pretty ladies, and set in the Marvel Universe ... within those parameters I tried to remain true to the models' characters, which are fairly whimsical."

Models, Inc. hits shelves the last week of August.

Links:
'Project Runway' star turns Marvel superhero (TODAY)
Dressed for Action (New York Times)
The Models of Marvel's Models, Inc. (Newsarama)
MAKE IT WORK: WRITERS TALK MODELS INC. (Comic Book Resources)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

2009 Thriller Awards Winners

On Saturday, July 11, 2009, the International Thriller Writers announced the winners of their literary awards at a gala celebration in New York City.

ThrillerMaster Award: David Morrell
In recognition of his vast body of work and influence in the field of literature

Silver Bullet Award: Brad Meltzer
For contributions to the advancement of literacy

Silver Bullet Corporate Award: Dollar General Literacy Foundation
For longstanding support of literacy and education

Best Thriller of the Year: THE BODIES LEFT BEHIND, Jeffery Deaver
(Simon & Schuster)

Best First Novel: CHILD 44, Tom Rob Smith
(Grand Central Publishing)

Best Short Story: "THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN," Alexandra Sokoloff
(Published in Darker Mask)

For a complete list of nominated authors and the previous year's winners and nominees, click here.

Photos from ThrillerFest 2009 on Facebook from VJ Books and Matt Bronleewe.

International Thriller Writers Inc represents professional authors from around the world.

Best Mann: "The tank's cracking!"

Now up to installment #21 of Best Mann For The Job. If it seems like this whole car chase is taking weeks, that's because this is written as a daily comic strip ... and published on a weekly schedule. Frankly, you're watching the original pilot as we're still making it.

What's great about the slower schedule is it gives Erica and me a chance to watch as we go and fine-tune it. For example, once the bank robbers reached the Interstate and were on their way to Hope Falls (which is where the series is actually set), we simply stayed with them and never saw this turned-over gas truck again. However, Erica suggested we let the emergency play out -- and I scripted a couple additional strips to the sequence. (Which, in a daily newspaper, would be a couple days ... but on our current publication schedule means a couple weeks.)

Best Mann For The Job stars Grace Mann, a woman with a complicated past who returns home to become sheriff of Hope Falls, Tennessee. We like to think of it as a cross between a rural Dick Tracy and Gasoline Alley. (Or if you prefer, T.J. Hooker and Northern Exposure.)

Latest strip exclusive at TitleTrakk.com
Missed an episode? Catch up at StudioWell.com

Watch the trailer on YouTube at Channel StudioWell

Become a fan on Facebook

More comics by Chris and Erica at StudioWell.com/Comics

Friday, July 10, 2009

Publishing news (July 10)

A roundup of links from the world of publishing - including a book deal for ABC's fictional sleuth Richard Castle, the serialization of a long-lost whodunit by Graham Greene, how Elmore Leonard writes all those books, and why Wonder Woman still needs permission to fight domestic violence in Kentucky ...

ABC to Publish Novel Tie-in For Hit Show Castle (Book Blog)
Long-lost Graham Greene work to be serialized in the Strand (L.A. Times)
Elmore Leonard: Making It Up as I Go Along (AARP)
Road Dogs is a Dog (A Writer's Life)
James Patterson Sets World Record (GalleyCat)

Wonder Woman Vs. Domestic Violence in Louisville (ComicNews.Info)
Sentinel kills book by South Carolina governor Mark Sanford (Publishers Weekly)
Google’s Book Deal Being Investigated By Justice Dept (Resource Shelf)
Burning Bridges For Sale (ComicNews.Info)

Comic Strip 'Baldo' to Raise Diabetes Awareness (Editor & Publisher)
Terry Moore's Omnibus in Paradise (Comic Book Resources)
JAMIE S. RICH KNOWS WHY “YOU HAVE KILLED ME” (Comic Book Resources)
L.A. Times cuts Sunday comics from eight pages to six (L.A. Times)

Are You There, Amazon? It's Me, JA (A Newbie's Guide to Publishing)
Amazon dropping price of Kindle 2 (GalleyCat)
Mr. Monk and the Kindle (A Writer's Life)
You Can Become a Kindle Millionaire, Part 5 (A Writer's Life)
Creators Syndicate Brings Comics to iPhones (Editor & Publisher)
Why mobile is the future of comic strips (Fierce Mobile Content)

Related link:
Watch CASTLE on ABC
Shalhoub on MONK: 'Everything does come to an end'

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Universal Press merges with Uclick

Big news in the world of comic strips (and syndicated content): traditional media's Universal Press Syndicate and new media's Uclick have been combined to form a single syndication and licensing arm of parent company Andrews McMeel Universal. "This historic move brings together two industry leading companies to create a dynamic new organization," says company founder, chairman, and president John McMeel, "capable of supporting today's renowned creative talents and the superstars of tomorrow, propelling them to new levels of popularity and success, as well as looking to the future by creating new distribution channels and outlets for this beloved art form."

Since 1970, Universal Press Syndicate has discovered and brought to global markets many of the most popular humor, games, and editorial features in newspapers -- including Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side, Doonesbury, Garfield, For Better or For Worse, Cathy, and Ziggy. UPS also handles James Bond, Judge Dredd, Modesty Blaise, and Manga: TokyoPop Presents - Undertown, plus advice features Dear Abby, Ask Dr. Weil, Focus on the Family and The Motley Fool, and columnists Roger Ebert and Ann Coulter.

Uclick, created in the late 1990s, distributes comics, text features, and games on desktops, the Web, and mobile phones. Its GoComics.com portal (lauded by the Daily Cartoonist) features the largest collection of comics anywhere on the Web, with more than 200 traditional comic strip and cartoon features from multiple syndicates and self-syndicated artists. The extended GoComics family includes Dick Tracy, Gasoline Alley, Annie, Liberty Meadows, Wizard of Id, and newcomer The Cardinal.

Following the reorganization, Andrews McMeel Universal now has two major branches: Universal Uclick and Andrews McMeel Publishing, a leading publisher of humor, gift, general trade, cookbooks, and calendars (including the two most expensive New York Times Best-sellers on record, The Complete Far Side and The Complete Calvin and Hobbes). The combined muscle of the two divisions gives Andrews McMeel Universal a unique position to offer access to multi-channel distribution for authors and artists.

Links:
Press release: Universal Uclick: Driving Content Services and Syndication in the 21st Century
Kansas City Business Journal: Andrews McMeel combines Universal Press, Uclick; Uclick CEO Edwards resigns

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Best Mann 1.20: "Consider them armed and dangerous!"

We're now up to the 20th installment of Erica's and my drama/mystery series, Best Mann For The Job. Those with a keen eye may have noticed our subtle tribute to the legendary Osamu Tezuka (1929-1989), the first cartoonist to apply cinematographic techniques to Japanese comics.

In our original outline for this first arc of "Best Mann For The Job," our plan for the bank robbers was to simply have them jump in the car, get shot, and then lose their pursuers. But -- given what's coming up when they reach Hope Falls and cross paths with Grace Mann (who is, after all, the star of our series) -- we realized how much it would raise the stakes if these guys really caused some damage ... and, in the process, were more desperate themselves.

Once we hit upon the idea of stretching out the car chase, bringing in the gas truck and all, it brought to mind that Mr. Tezuka's artistic breakthrough is said to have occurred when he expanded a dramatic racing sequence in 1947's New Treasure Island. As such, it seemed appropriate to tip our hat to the man who went on to create Astro Boy, Black Jack, and Kimba the White Lion -- and transformed Japanese comics and animation. (Which, in turn, rampantly influenced so much here in the West, as well.)

Best Mann For The Job stars Grace Mann, a woman with a complicated past who returns home to become sheriff of Hope Falls, Tennessee. We like to think of it as a cross between a rural Dick Tracy and Gasoline Alley. (Or, for you couch potatoes, a cross between The Andy Griffith Show and Northern Exposure ... with a little T.J. Hooker thrown in.)

Latest strip exclusive at TitleTrakk.com
Missed an episode? Catch up at StudioWell.com

Watch the trailer on YouTube at Channel StudioWell

Become a fan on Facebook

More comics by Chris and Erica at StudioWell.com/Comics

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Basic questions for writers

My agent, the lovely and talented Chip MacGregor, regularly answers questions about the business of writing at his official blog. Recently, he took on a slew of basic questions, ranging from manuscript word count to what to expect from a potential agent to the definitions of buzzwords ...

Basic Basic Basic Questions
More on the Basic Basics
One More Look at Basic Basic Questions

Related links:
The BookScan problem
Endorse this!
The changing face of traditional mystery fiction
Romancing book readers
Publishing: some good news, and some bad news

Die Laughing: Funny Crime and Mystery Fiction

SHE'S THE SHERIFF!

A woman with a complicated past returns home to become the small town's new sheriff. Best Mann For The Job is by the writer/artist team of Chris and Erica Well. Read it from the beginning at StudioWell.com. Watch the trailer on YouTube.