Nick Danger

Created by The Firesign Theatre "Well, now, the gum's on the other shoe." -- Nick Danger, on a sudden plot shift, in The Case of the Missing Yolks .Even more than the literature, the classic radio eyes of the forties and fifties thrived on first person. And they did it in present tense, as in … Continue reading Nick Danger

Danny O’Brien (Silver City)

Created by John Sayles Silver City was a 2004 indie flick by John Sayles rushed out in an attempt to derail the re-election of George W. Bush and the Republicans in that year's American presidential election. It didn’t work. Sure, on the political level, it's easy to see it as just another over-exuberant bit of … Continue reading Danny O’Brien (Silver City)

Gil Yates

Created by Alistair Boyle (Pseudonym) (1952--) GIL YATES is a real find: a private investigator from--get this!--California! What're the odds? But actually, Gil does carve a bit of a cockeyed niche for himself, as a sort of high-tech, big business, high-priced, Los Angeles contingency expert. But it's all a delicious blend of mid-life crisis and … Continue reading Gil Yates

Kane Keen, Private Eye

Created by Harvey Kurtzman (script) and Jack Davis (art) A lot of people (and most of the internet) seem to think that KANE KEEN, the eponymous hero of MAD Magazine spoof "Kane Keen, Private Eye," which appeared in the June-July 1953 issue, was a roasting of  the then-popular Martin Kane, Private Eye television show. But they'd be wrong. Because if the seven-page … Continue reading Kane Keen, Private Eye

Nick (The Case of the Murderer Who Killed)

Created by Dick de Bartolo (script) and Jack Davis (art) "Drop your guns! I’ve got you covered! You're all going to... er... that place with... er... bars on the window and guards and..." -- Nick cracks the case (sorta) Can a private detective tip the scales of  justice if there’s no tipping allowed? In "The Case of … Continue reading Nick (The Case of the Murderer Who Killed)

Lance Parkertip

Created by Don Martin (1931-2000) Public notary, private eye? In one of the more surreal take-offs on the shamus game, MAD Magazine cartoonist Don Martin wrote several stories featuring noted notary public LANCE PARKERTIP. As notaries go, Lance was no babe magnet. With his squarer-than-square tweed jackets, flyaway hair and ever-present pipe, nobody was ever going … Continue reading Lance Parkertip

Dante O’Donnell & Jazz Friendly

Created by Michael Craft DANTE O'DONNELL isn't a private eye. Nope, he's just a former actor who's finally given up on stardom and is now just an aging white gay guy working as a concierge for Sunny Junket, a vacation-rental outfit in Palm Springs, living with his memories and regrets. Seems Dante was quite the … Continue reading Dante O’Donnell & Jazz Friendly

Are You Trying to Be Funny?

The Funniest Eyes No, really. Call it "Humour in a Severed Jugular Vein," if you must, but people have been poking fun at the P.I. genre -- and the whole mystery genre, for that matter -- almost as soon as it appeared. But there were a few brave souls over the years who dared to … Continue reading Are You Trying to Be Funny?

It’s Hammer Time!

Send-ups and Put-Downs of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer "I passed this kid sucking a lollipop. Don Brown dead, and him sucking a lollipop. I rammed it down his throat. I hate injustice." -- from "Don Brown's Body" by Jean Kerr As literary poobah Christopher La Farge pointed out in an article on the Mickey Spillane … Continue reading It’s Hammer Time!

Mitch Weaver (Dirty Work)

Created by Norm MacDonald and Frank Sebastiano "Note to self...Learn how to fight." -- Mitch to his pocket recorder, after getting the crap kicked out of him in a bar fight This 1998 vehicle for Saturday Night Live refugee Norm MacDonald would have played out as a spoof of TV's Vengeance Unlimited, except that they were … Continue reading Mitch Weaver (Dirty Work)