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)
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?
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!
Created by Dick Briefer (1915-80) "I hate complicated cases. Dey gimme a migraine." We're way out of the woods with this one, folks. One-eyed, fedora-and-trenchcoat wearing MIKE MONSTER, billed as "the most monstrous shamus of all!" was concocted to satisfy the allegedly "red-blooded, ferocious" readers of ZANY (a would-be rival of MAD Magazine back in the … Continue reading Mike Monster
Created by Walt Kelly (1913-73) "A question was burning a hole in my brain..." Say what? Walt Kelly, one of America's most beloved comic strip artists and writers--not to mention political satirists--wrote not one, but two, parodies of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer? Right in the heart of Hammermania! Hard to believe, eh? But it's true. … Continue reading Meat Hamburg
Created by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen "EDDIE MANNIX" was a real-life character, a legendary (and allegedly mob-connected) Hollywood bouncer and fixer who rose through the ranks to become a studio executive at MGM in the fifties. You may recall his appearance in the 2006 film Hollywoodland, director Allen Coulter and writer Paul Bernbaum's ambitious … Continue reading Eddie Mannix (Hail, Caesar!)
My Scrapbook Original Artwork for "Peter Goon" by Jack Davis What? You thought MAD Magazine had a monopoly on snotty, adolescent parodies of television private eyes? Or that the work of the "usual gang of idiots" was exclusive to William M. Gaines' "What, Me Worry?" periodical? Nope. In its day, MAD had a slew of … Continue reading My Scrapbook: Original Artwork for “Peter Goon” by Jack Davis
Parodies and Satires of Private Eyes in MAD Magazine "After MAD, drugs were nothing." -- Patti Smith When you think about it, MAD Magazine's Alfred E. Neuman has been dogging the TV dick -- and occasionally his big screen counterpart -- almost since its birth, kicking plenty of dirt on assorted gumshoes in the process. … Continue reading MAD About You Department: What, me shamus?
Created by Frank Cammuso "..there's another side to this two-bit town. The one nobody talks about. The one where for every happy ending there's fifty miserable ones. In Storybookland, dreams die hard." -- Max gives us the lowdown on Storybookland in The Big Sheep His name's MAX HAMM, and he's a pig. No, really, As … Continue reading Max Hamm
If You Don't Click This Link, We'll Kill the Dick National Lampoon, that cheeky, irreverent kid brother to MAD Magazine that ran from 1970 to 1998, tried to act like the older brother. They offered "adult humour," theoretically aimed at a more sophisticated, mature crowd. But really, who were they trying to kid? It was … Continue reading The National Lampoon