Robert Bidinotto says goodbye to the man behind Mike Hammer:
You were the first, Mick. You had the guts to create a real tough-guy hero with a battered rain coat, a .45, fast fists, and a black-and-white code of honor. And no hesitation about taking down the bad guys. Mike Hammer was pre-Miranda and all that liberal b.s. He was Dirty Harry before there was a Dirty Harry. Which is why the critics hated you. Called you a fascist.
No matter about that, either. You didn’t give a rat’s ass what the liberal critics thought, anyway.
You just kept cranking them out. You kept the fists and bullets flying thick and fast, and the bad guys dropping like weeds under a mower. I, the Jury. Vengeance Is Mine. The Big Kill. My Gun Is Quick. Kiss Me, Deadly. The Girl Hunters…
One Lonely Night…
It’s a lonely night, all right.
Well, hey, enough of the sappy stuff. I know you wouldn’tve liked that.
Just wanted to say thanks, Mick. And to raise a Bud to you.
I’ll miss you, you big lug.
A Village Voice columnist said:
“Spillane is like eating takeout fried chicken: so much fun to consume, but you can feel those lowlife grease-induced zits rising before you’ve finished the first drumstick”.
Spillane would have loved knowing that his writing was making someone at the Village Voice reach for the Pepto Bismol.