Monday, July 17, 2006

Mickey Spillane, R. I. P.

Mike Hammer creator Mickey Spillane dies - Yahoo! News: "CHARLESTON, S.C. - Mickey Spillane, the macho mystery writer who wowed millions of readers with the shoot-'em-up sex and violence of gumshoe Mike Hammer, died Monday. He was 88.

Spillane's death was confirmed by Brad Stephens of Goldfinch Funeral Home in his hometown of Murrells Inlet. Details about his death were not immediately available."

Back in March, I wished Mickey Spillane a happy birthday. I loved his books (I know not everyone does), and they were a huge influence on my even if it doesn't show in my own writing. He was a Guest of Honor at the Milwaukee Bouchercon in 1981, which is where the photo at the link was taken, and meeting him was one of the highlights of my life. I'm truly sorry he's gone. As far as I'm concerned, the world was a better place when he was in it.

5 comments:

Todd Mason said...

Yeah…I read the parodies (Jean Kerr, Fritz Leiber) before I got to reading anything by Spillane, and the candor about sexual matters and even the sadism (or do I mean “Even” so much as of course the sadism…Race Wiliams was even a similar bastard to Hammer, most obviously) weren’t that surprising by the time I got around to him. But for all that I’m not much of a fan, all reports have him as a nice guy personally, and I’m sure he’d probably have appreciated a few more years. As I didn’t quite get around to re-mentioning on FictionMags, he was directly responsible for the best-selling issue of FANTASTIC ever, the one with Howard Browne’s near-parodic pastiche published under MS’s name…I wonder if that actually outsold the MANHUNT issues with his serialized novelette the same year.

Brian Drake said...

Awful news, Bill. I'm stunned.

Bill said...

Me, too, Brian.

Anonymous said...

He was one of the great ones. Anyone who doubts his place in literature should read the opening pages of One Lonely Night. Spillane knew his audience and played to them. He was also one of the few authors who really knew how to work the p.r. machine.

I had heard that Spillane was hoping to finish his latest book before death overtook him. I hope he was able to do that. It's hard to imagine Spillane meeting death on any but his own terms.

-- Jerry house

Bill said...

Thanks for the comment, Jerry. I, too, hope Spillane finished that one last book.