Westerns

Elmore Leonard (1925 - 2013)

cover art 52 Pickup

I hate that in its obituary for Elmore Leonard, the New York Times felt the need to sniff down its long, blue-blooded corporate nose, and call him “a modern master of American genre writing” [italics mine]. I’m sure no offense was intended, and I suspect Leonard wouldn’t have objected, but still, the qualification is wholly unnecessary. He was a master. Period. And the fact is, he didn’t aspire to the literary pantheon. He preferred to be read, and his influence was not limited to other "genre" writers. There are a lot of people referred to as "writer's writers," Elmore Leonard was a writer's writer's writer. He was that good. He was not only the consummate craftsman, he was a bit of a visionary. Leonard was one of those people who come along when an art form has gone a little soft, become a little too reliant on convention and its practitioners a little too pleased with themselves, who strips the form down and re-imagines it, and in so doing revitalizes the art. Elmore Leonard did that twice, for the western and then crime fiction.

If you regularly write anything more complex than a grocery list and you haven’t memorized Leonard’s 10 Rules for Good Writing, do it now...

No, really. I'm serious. NOW

The Bat-Man and his Ancestors

When writer Bill Finger met artist Bob Kane at a party in 1938 he realized that he’d met a kindred spirit.  Both young men were anxious to succeed in the new publishing enterprise that was blossoming in New York at the time: comic books!  Just that year two other young men, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, had sold an idea they’d thought up in their teens to National Publications.  It was their comic strip about an extremely physically fit extraterrestrial good guy.  Superman became a publishing phenomenon, exceeding sales expectations almost faster than a speeding bullet, and National Publication wanted more. 

Bob Kane had the idea for another costumed superhero, as the genre woul

Syndicate content