First of all, welcome to the new location of The Thrilling Detective Web Site. There are going to be a lot of growing pains, as I slowly revamp and transfer a cranky twenty-year old web site over here, transforming it into a newfangled WordPress site that will, hopefully, become an even better and more useful resource for fans of fictional private eyes and other tough guys and gals who make trouble their business — and not their hobby.”
Right now, there’s no real rhyme or reason as to what gets moved here, and when — it’s all pretty stream-of-consciousness, as I try to figure it all out. But don’t panic — we’ll get there. Likewise, don’t get your panties all twisted about us losing anything. We’re going to save it all. We’re simply tweaking and simplifying and updating it, moving things from one site to another. Yes, it’s going to be a long, hard slog, but it could also be a lot of fun, as entries that haven’t been touched for years suddenly get tasered back to life, and decades-old typos and run-on sentences get slapped into submission (replaced, of course, by new typos and run-on sentences).
One of the most exciting new features to the site will be the comments section — I’m hoping to hear from you. Each post/page will have a comments section, and I hope you’ll take advantage of it to let me know how I’m doing, what I’m doing right, what I’m doing wrong, and what you would like to see here.
ABOUT THE COVER
This issue’s “cover” was borrowed from the 1956 Signet paperback edition of Michael Avallone‘s Violence in Velvet, an Ed Noon mystery, mostly because I dug the simplicity of it, in nice contract to the complicated expression on her face: a weird mixture of slightly pissed off and come hither. Crossed signals? Mixed messages? Sorta fits the mood of the country right now.
The original was done by the legendary paperback cover illustrator Robert Maguire. In Maguire’s half-century-plus career, he painted over 1000 covers for such publishers as Pocket, Dell, Ace, Harper, Avon, Silhouette, Ballantine, Pyramid, Bantam, Lion, Berkeley, Beacon and Monarch — virtually every mainstream publishing house in New York. He began his education at Duke University, but left to serve in World War II. Upon his return, he joined Art Students League, and graduated in 1949. His career took off almost immediately with his first work for Trojan Publications, doing covers for their line of small pocket pulps, such as Hollywood Detective Magazine. Maguire did three of the eight covers for this legendary series, and he never really looked back. His speciality was babes, and he painted some of the best and most memorable femme fatales of the 50s and 60s — his women are, according to his web site, “passionate yet somehow down to earth, approachable, though sometimes at your own risk. These images compel one to wonder what led up to that instant in time and where it will lead next, the very stuff of timeless art.” Dames, Dolls, And Gun Molls, a long overdue tribute by art historian Jim Silke, was released in 2009.
As for equally legendary Ed Noon, well, talking about him is sorta like fishing about opera. He’s best experienced, not discussed. I suggest you find one of his books and introduce yourself to the Nooniverse.