On his blog Rough Edges, James Reasoner said in a May 9, 2009 post:
“When I was a kid, I bought a lot of comic books published by Dell. Where I lived, they seemed to have the best distribution of all the comics publishers, because they were all over the place. … Dell had great stuff for an eight- or nine-year-old.
What I didn’t know then — and probably wouldn’t have been interested in if I had — was that Dell also published three issues of a comic book based on the exploits of redheaded Miami shamus Mike Shayne. I found out about these years later but have never tried to get my hands on them.”
Then, on November 9 of 2018, he posted this on his blog Rough Edges:
“A number of years ago, I posted (see above) about the Mike Shayne comic book series published by Dell in 1961 and ’62. Dell was publishing the Mike Shayne novels in paperback, very successfully, and I suppose someone there decided a comic book version of the character might work, too. That didn’t really pan out, since there were only three issues. I’d heard about them for years but never came across any copies. However, they’ve recently been reprinted in a nice trade paperback edition by some outfit called Gwandanaland Comics, so I picked up a copy and finally read them after all these years.
Each issue is based on one of the novels by Davis Dresser writing as Brett Halliday: THE PRIVATE PRACTICE OF MICHAEL SHAYNE, BODIES ARE WHERE YOU FIND THEM, and HEADS—YOU LOSE (originally published as BLOOD ON THE BLACK MARKET). By the way, nowhere in this reprint or the original comics is there any mention of Dresser or Halliday, and the copyright is by Dell Publishing Company. Any kid coming across these back in the Sixties who wasn’t familiar with the books would have thought Shayne had been created for the comics.
Each of the source novels has a pretty complicated plot, as was common in the Shayne series, and the comic book versions actually do a pretty solid, faithful job of adapting them. They’re toned down a little, but not much. You’ve still got murder, blackmail, adultery, and more murder. I can imagine a kid reading these and getting lost in all the twists and turns of the plots.”
Thanks for all that, James!
Well, I got a copy of the reprints, and I completely agree with James. If you’re a Mike Shayne fan, this is for you, otherwise, skip it. I’d read all three of the novels, so I had a pretty good idea what was happening, and they are still a little confusing. Still, good stuff.
So how about you?
What have you been reading?