Thursday, March 1, 2012

Time Marches On

Holy Mary, I am way behind on this bloggity. Perhaps I can shed some light on the reasons why. Perhaps I should find better uses for my time. Perhaps I should just shut up and get on with it.

First and foremost, a new crime-fiction site makes its debut in the galaxy today. Blood and Tacos is the brainchild of Johnny Shaw, Imperial Valley good-ol'-boy and author of Dove Season. Hearkening back to those days of yore, when men's adventure fiction was as prevalent as John Schuck's back hair, Blood and Tacos will be bringing you the best of the lost fiction, "rediscovered" as it were by such names as Gary Phillips, Cameron Ashley, and Matthew Christian Funk. This first issue will also feature book reviews by the likes of Thomas Pluck and yours truly. The issue is free to read on the website, but if you'd rather have it on your Kindle device, it's a mere .99 cents. So head on over there right quick and see what's been missing from the drugstore paperback racks for all these years.

Speaking of Johnny Shaw, this gentleman has embarked on an odd literary journey this year. This little ol' blog here, which (unless I'm very much mistaken) is run by Brian Lindenmuth, has thrown down the gauntlet: can you read a short story a day every day for a year straight? Apparently, ol' John feels he can, though where he finds the time, I have no idea. But I am delighted to report that one of the stories Johnny has read this year is my own "Billy Clanton, You Take Off Them Boots Now" which, as you may or may not recall, was published late last year in the premiere issue of Pulp Modern. Which as you may or may not need to be reminded is still very much on sale, right here, and also a review of which on Amazon will net you a special mix CD made by moi. Let's see, according to my notes, exactly...none of you have taken advantage of this, except C.J. Edwards, who actually kinda doesn't count, since he's featured in the mag as well. Look, I don't make the rules.

"Jimmy, where else can I read your stuff, say, your take on the current state of crime fiction and how it's reflected in the popular culture?" Well, first let me say, this is the last time we're using this rhetorical device in order to segue into a pitch of some kind, anonymous question-asker. Secondly, I am for one thing still helping out with things behind the scenes over at the Crime Factory. The new cyber-digs are looking very sharp, so please check 'em out if you ain't already. A new issue is also currently in the works, so be on the watch for that as well. Thirdly, my daily grind over at Criminal Complex only goes better and better with each passing day. The boys and I are reaching the five-month mark on this site, and it feels real good. Some of the highlights of the past couple months include but are not limited to: Cameron Ashley's continuing saga of all that is weird in criminal in Japan, The Nail That Sticks Out. I had a blast writing these two articles on fictional con artists and why we love them, whether they're featured in books or in the cinema.
Matty Funkster presents, in that Internet-preferred itemized style, the ten perviest crime films, for you lechers out there. Johnny 99 is back behind bars so you don't have to be, this time down in 2 Live Crew's favorite, Miami-Dade Corrections. Josh Converse provides five reasons there should most definitely not be a Blade Runner remake. Our new regular feature, Shut Up And Write, is really cooking with gas, having featured such special guests as Ray Banks and Benjamin Whitmer, with a new piece coming soon from none other than Gary Phillips. Plus, when you add to the equation new articles everyday--every single business day, folks--about all things crime fiction, I mean, how much more could you possibly ask for?

Given that all the above keeps me hopping pretty well, my sad little exploitation movie blog-quartet has gone much neglected. There has been exactly one entry for the last few months, and it is by my friend and collaborator, Alexander Kraft, deftly comparing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to that far more empowering film, I Spit on Your Grave. I really do wanna get back to this project in earnest, and I think I'll be able to begin baby-stepping my way there by re-watching Friday this coming, well, Friday. I don't like making excuses, you guys, but seriously: I think Showgirls broke my will. If you've seen even part of that film, I think you'll understand.

And that's not even to say how behind I've got on this here blog that you "hold" in your hot little hands. I've been knocking a few essay ideas around to make up for the three months (ugh, how embarrassing) in a row that I've missed, essay ideas you're bound to love. Or at least like as a friend. Until then, my loves, keep the rubber side up.