John Collins (Skip Tracer)

Created by Zale R. Dalen "He'll be sure you pay--one way or another!" -- tagline on the VHS edition Hey! Did I just dream this? JOHN COLLINS is the low-key, taciturn debt collector "hero" of Skip Tracer, a bleak, decidedly non-glamourous, low-budget Canadian character study released in 1977. Make no mistake--Collins is no goody two-shoes. … Continue reading John Collins (Skip Tracer)

Jake Blake

Created by Charles Willeford (1919-88) "So you're the private detective, Jake Blake-- " His voice was shaking with an anger that was barely under control. "Yes, sir," I said carefully, and I got up from the couch. "You must be Mr. Weintraub..." I stuck my hand out to shake hands, but he ignored it completely … Continue reading Jake Blake

Murder in the Library: The Best Anthologies of Hard-Boiled, Noir & Pulp Reprints

Until the eighties, I don't think anyone had ever thought of doing a collection of original private eye stories. Oh, there'd certainly been some amazing volumes of reprinted tales, full of hard-boiled cops and cabbies and reporters and other dicks and janes who made trouble their business. It took Robert Randisi and the crew at … Continue reading Murder in the Library: The Best Anthologies of Hard-Boiled, Noir & Pulp Reprints

Johnny Lane

Created by Dave Zeltserman Pseudonyms include Jacob Stone Seemingly just another down-and-out P.I., Denver's JOHNNY LANE displays some surprisingly dark depths (Gary Lovisi calls them "Jim Thompson-dark," although I remain unconvinced) in the well-received self-published debut, In His Shadow (2002). In a more original twist, Johnny also writes a monthly column, "Fast Lane," about his … Continue reading Johnny Lane

Frank Grissel

Created by Andersen Gabrych Art by Brad Rader "Whatever you want. You can find it here. Or die looking for it." -- Frank welcomes readers to San Francisco in the intro Few noir novels, let alone graphic novels, wander into the murky areas of sexual desire, never mind homosexual desire, as well or as audaciously … Continue reading Frank Grissel

Mel Samson (Too Late)

Created by Dennis Huack "I need to change my life." -- Mel Samson MEL SAMSON is the hapless L.A. private eye centrepiece in Too Late, a twisted little bit of cinematic chess perpetrated by writer/director Dennis Hauck that plays with all your favourite P.I. and noir tropes (circa 2016) in all-new ways, thanks to a … Continue reading Mel Samson (Too Late)

Tim “T.M.” Slade

Created by Raoul Whitfield "Sure." -- Slade's reply to almost everything. In High Tide, a rarely seen but highly recommended little 1947 B noir from Monogram, Lee Tracy plays gruff, crusading Los Angeles tabloid newspaper editor Hugh Fresney and Don Castle plays TIM "T.M." SLADE, a former reporter who's become a private eye. When Fresney, … Continue reading Tim “T.M.” Slade

Dan Farraday

Created by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips It's about time writer Brubaker and his partner in crime, Phillips, introduced a private eye into their long-running, Eisner-winning Criminal series. But why'd it take so long? Since the series began back in 2006 as a limited series, published by Marvel's Icon imprint, it's been a wild ride full … Continue reading Dan Farraday

Nameless (Elizabeth McKenzie)

Created by Elizabeth McKenzie It may be just a trifle (the lead character doesn't even rate a name) of a short story, but the Shamus-nominated "The Big Creep" by Elizabeth McKennzie hits all the right notes. Come to think of it, it's barely even a story; it's almost a character study or a vignette; a … Continue reading Nameless (Elizabeth McKenzie)

Jack Chesley

Created by Sean Carswell It's 1946 Los Angeles and hard-drinking, hard-boiled ex-cop JOHN WALTER "JACK" CHESLEY, JR. is finally home from the war. But it's not such a great homecoming after all. His wife Wilma is dead―and her twin sister Gertie insists she was murdered. The cops aren't convinced -- they claim it was an … Continue reading Jack Chesley