Thursday, June 04, 2009

Garry Phillips

One of the coolest things about the internet is meeting folks with common interests whom
become real friends though you've never met. In the case of my man fifty grand, prolific
writer Garry Phillips, we not only became buddies, but he also put me down with one of last
years dopest book projects The Darker Mask: Heroes From the Shadows, which he co-edited with "representing D.C." Christopher Chambers.

Having wanted to write comic books since the days of my first typewriter, Gary put me closer
to that dream by simply putting me in the book. The fact that other scribes in Darker Mask includes Walter Mosley, Ann Nocenti and my late brother from another mother Jerry Rodriguez was only an added plus.

For those who might not be familiar with Gary's work in comics, novels and online, let me
just say that the man is a prolific scribe who writes hardboiled characters as though he
were the son of Chester Himes. For a minute in the 1990s, HBO had optioned his cool
character Ivan Monk, a Black private dick in LA. The fact that these flicks were never made
speaks more about the wackness of Hollywood than the character.

Indeed, I'd like to add that Phillips not only writes with gutso, but he also has a genuine love Los Angeles that rival my own with New York City; somewhere in noir heaven Dashiell Hammett, Nathanel West and Horace McCoy are smiling.

With all that said, I wanted to mention that Gary Phillip's newest book, the World War II saga Freedom's Fight (Parker Books), takes the writer in a different direction. As an avid reader, I love when authors feel bold enough to leave their comfort zones and stretch their wings.Though I haven't read Freedom's Flight yet, any war book that has blurbs from legendary comic artist Joe Kubert (Sgt. Rock) and playwright Charles Fuller (A Soldier's Story) is on my must read list for the summer. 'Nuff said.

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