My Scrapbook: “I’ll Be Waiting”

My Scrapbook
Chandler Cracks The Saturday Evening Post
Illustrations by Hy Rubin

Chandler’s short story “I’ll Be Waiting” marked the first—and only—appearance of pudgy house dick Tony Reseck. It appeared in the October 14, 1939 issue, and was Chandler’s first—and only—sale to the “slicks.”

Afterward, Chandler claimed he did it for the money, and at his agent’s insistence, and, perhaps typically despised the story afterwards, telling fellow writer George Harmon Coxe in a letter that he “didn’t think much of the story” and admitting that “when I wrote it—I felt it was artificial, untrue and emotionally dishonest like all slick fiction.”

So, what would he know?

It’s a great story, and has become one of Chandler’s most anthologized stories, and has even been filmed a couple of times, once for British television and once, more memorably, for Fallen Angels in 1993, directed by Tom Hanks and starring Bruno Kirby as Tony.

Me? I love the story, and I really dig the two illustrations by Hy Rubin that graced the original story. Compared to the cheesy quickie drawings that usually accompanied stories in the pulps and right on up to the most recent issues of EQMM and AHMM, this is some fine art indeed.

Rubin (1905-60) was a New York City artist who did Illustrations, portraits, figure painting, and cartoons, and whose work often appeared in The Saturday Evening Post. How New York was he? His last studio was tucked right behind the “T” in the Times Square building.

He was one of many talented illustrators whose work accompanied fiction in the Post. Others included Austin Briggs, Bernard D’Andrea, Ken Riley and James R. Bingham.

By the way, if you want to read this story for free, The Library of America has made it available as part of their “Story of the Week,” and to promote their collection, Raymond Chandler: Stories & Early Novels (1995, The Library of America, 1995). 

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

Leave a Reply