Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Phillips Signs On

Tomorrow we will have the distinct pleasure of welcoming to The Rap Sheet our latest guest blogger, and one of the nicest guys we know, Los Angeles crime novelist and editor Gary Phillips.

Our appreciation for Phillips goes all the way back to his first published novel, the racial-strife-tinged Violent Spring (1994), which introduced his series private eye, doughnut-loving Ivan Monk. And we have followed his career since, through the Monk books (ending, so far, with the collection Monkology [2004]); his literary dalliance with showgirl-turned-mob courier Martha Chainey in High Hand (2000) and Shooter’s Point (2001); his standalone novels, among them The Jook (1999) and Bangers (2003); his short-story contributions to anthologies such as Los Angeles Noir (2007), Shades of Black (2004), Murder on Route 66 (1999), Kolchak: The Night Stalker Casebook (2007), and The Darker Mask (due out in August of this year); and of course his labors on graphic novels such as 2003’s Shot Callerz and 2004’s Angeltown. Phillips also edited the ... well, addictive anthology The Cocaine Chronicles (2005) and--just in time to capitalize on the mounting hoopla over this year’s U.S. presidential contest--put together the forthcoming Politics Noir: Dark Tales from the Corridors of Power, which features tales from Ken Bruen, John Shannon, Twist Phelan, Robert Greer, Pete Hautman, and others. Oh, and he writes for monthly Mystery Scene magazine.

Most recently, for the Web site of The Nation magazine, he’s inaugurated a politics-oriented crime serial called Citizen Kang, which should run through the end of the 2008 election cycle. Episode 5 of Citizen Kang debuted earlier this week, with new installments due every Monday. (Keep up with them here.)

Phillips has promised to stick around these parts for two or three days, commenting on the challenges of writing a serial novel, the real-life machinations of political campaigning, and whether series characters such as Monk and Chainey continue to live in their creator’s imagination, even if they aren’t currently appearing in print. We hope he will also bring us up to date on future plans for Ivan Monk; we distinctly remember him mentioning the possibility of another Monk novel, City of Fortune.

Please join us in welcoming Gary Phillips to this page. And we hope you will enjoy his participation here. Feel free to add comments to his coming posts, and maybe he’ll have time enough to answer some reader questions along the way.


Anonymous said...

Ooh, I love him.

Anonymous said...

The Jook is one of the best largely unknown crime novels of recent years. A great book.

And Gary is one of the good guys in this business.... Even if the rumbling of his voice does tend to frighten small children.

Ali Karim said...

Gary is cool dude and have enjoyed drinking with him a few times - excellent to see him here


dick adler said...

Great! We need more fine fellows (and cigar afficiandoes) in the mix.