Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Short Con Week 18 - Mike Lancer and the Syndicate of Death

I'll admit it, thanks to my nose barely coming out of The Girl Who Played With Fire (more on Thursday), I didn't really have time to read a short story and write some witty comments.  So the plan was to cheat.  I grabbed my yet unread copy of The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics, picked the shortest possible story, and decided that would do.

The joke was on me, as I ended up reading half the book.  With writers and artists such as Dashiell Hammett, Alex Raymond, Will Eisner, Mickey Spillane, Charles Burns, Ed McBain, Jack Kirby, and Max Allan Collins, this book truly offered the best of both crime fiction and comics.  And at 400 pages for $16.99, all wrapped in a Jordi Bernet cover, this book is a must own.  Okay, I do own it.  But it's a must read, and I should probably be hit about the face and neck with it's own hefty dimensions for not reading any of it sooner.

I could talk about many of the stories, and I probably will in the future, but today I must merely be content with Mickey Spillane and Harry Sahle's story, Mike Lancer and the Syndicate of Death.

Of course the story is good, it's Mickey Spillane.  His terse, concise writing is perfect for shorts.

Mike grabs his feet, and swings him against the wall's corner, and Marty's spine snaps.  "And that saves the state's electric bill!  You have minutes to live, Marty...talk!"

In six pages, there wasn't much room for twists and turns, but the story was rock solid.  The same can be said for Harry Sahle's art.  It's not flashy, but I'm sure not much in 1942 was.  But it was easy to follow and well drawn.

The story was a perfect gateway to the rest of the high quality stories.  Had it sucked, I might have had time to write more.

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