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    All pics thanx to Art Scott, Ace Photographer

    1980 - Washington D.C.

    with Judy Crider

    with Walter Albert and John Nieminski

    with Ellen Nehr

     doing the Funky Chicken

    1981 - Milwaukee

    Bill's first novel

    with Marv Lachman

    with Robert Randisi (at right)

    with Steve Mertz, Frank Denton, Jeff Smith and Joe Lansdale

    with Steve Stillwell

    with John Nieminski

    with Jeff Meyerson and Joe Lansdale

    with Walter Albert

    Thanks to Cap'n Bob Napier for helping put names to some of these folks. Any errors are no doubt my own.

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    Photos by Art Scott, Emperor of the Universe, ret.

    1982 - San Francisco

    with Cap'n Bob Napier

    with Steve Mertz

    with Steve Stilwell

    The Bibliomaniac

    with Marv Lachman and Hal Rice (at right)

    Cap'n Bob and Bill dig through a suitcase full of sleeze

    with Steve Mertz

    with Dorothy Nathan and Walter Albert

    My brush with greatness. That's me bending over to look 
    at who knows what, while Bill holds court behind. 

    with Cap'n Bob and Kathy Maio

    1984 - Chicago

    with Kathy Maio, Jeff Meyerson and Judy Crider

    with Judy

    Bill and Judy with George Kelley and Guy Townsend

    with Bill Pronzini, Frank Denton and George Kelley

    with Guy Townsend

    with Warren Murphy

    Thanks again to Cap'n Bob for revealing a few of these identities.

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    Pics by Art Scott, Photographer to the Stars

    1985 - San Francisco

    with Bill Deeck (on right)

    with Ron Harris, Marv Lachman and Jeff Smith

    with Hal Rice and Steve Stilwell

    1986 - Baltimore

    Bill before his nose job

    with Ellen Nehr

    The Alligator Man

    with Bill Trojan

    1987 - Minneapolis

    No Comment Dept.

    with Richard Moore

    with a shadow box of his office, created by Estelle Blair.  Art Scott has one of his own "Sleaze Suite." Raise your hand if you want to see it.

    with Bruce Taylor (disguised as Kirby Puckett) and Ross Thomas

    with George Kelley

    with a sponge, a bar of soap or a wood carving

    wtih Judy, Frank Denton and Joann Vicarel

    with the world's ugliest kitty cat

    with help from Bob and Art

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    All photos by Sir Arthur Scott 
    (except the one he's in, I reckon)

    1988 - San Diego

    with "Bill Jr.," a gift from Cap'n Bob

    with Bruce Taylor and Steve Stilwell

    with Richard Moore

    with Jeff Smith and Linda Toole

    with a cool hat and a Coke(!)

    with Junior and Jeff Smith

     with Richard Moore, Steve Stilwell and Bruce Taylor

    Talking to the hand

    1989 - Philadelphia

     with Steve Stilwell and Art Scott

    with Jeff Meyerson and Kevin & Leslie Dunn

    with Bob Briney, Ellen Nehr and Bryan Barret

     with Steve Lewis, Ellen Nehr, George Kelley and Bob Briney

    with Jeff Smith, Andy Jaysnovitch, Mary Ann Grochowski, 
    Linda Toole, Judy Crider and Bob Briney

    1991 - Pasadena

    with Jeff and Ann Smith and Cap'n Bob Napier

    Thanks to Bob and Art for naming names.

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    We take time out from our ongoing series BILL CRIDER goes to BOUCHERCON (see the first four instalments HERE) to look at this book by Bill’s pal James Reasoner. I’m sure Bill won’t mind. Part 5 of Bill at Bouchercon (2000-01) will appear on Sunday. Meanwhile, for those of you jonesing for more photos of Bill, we present several of he and James together (most shamelessly lifted from Bill’s blog).

    My favorite James Reasoner novels are the ones with his own name on them. His name is on this one, and the following nine volumes of The Civil War Battle Series, and they’re all damn good. Though officially a “series,” it’s really one humungous meganovel, following the trials and tribulations of one Virginia farm family from the beginning to the end of the war. It would make a great 10-part miniseries for one of the cable networks. (Are you listening, HBO?)

    We see a skilled novelist at work here, introducing us to a cast of strong and varied personalities, sure to provide plenty of drama as the saga rolls on.

    William Shakespeare Brannon is the Culpepper County sheriff, and the oldest still at home. Macbeth Brannon is a horse whisperer. Titus Andronicus Brannon, an expert tracker and a crack rifle shot, is tragically in love with a girl out of his league. Henry Brannon, the youngest, is still trying to find himself. Their footloose brother, Coriolanus Troilus Brannon has gone West to seek his fortune, and we won’t actually meet him until Book 2. 

    Seventeen-year-old Cordelia Brannon is the prettiest girl in the county, and not as empty-headed as her brothers think. Riding herd on them all is their fiercely religious mother Abigail, still bitter over the antics of their late father. And making life difficult for them all are the no-account, thieving and killing Fogarty brothers. (The books were published between 1999 and 2003. Was James listening to Credence at the time?)

    There's a cool passage when the war starts:

    The ticket agent shouted, "The word just came over the wire! We've captured Fort Sumter! It's war, boys, war!"
         "Cry havoc," Will muttered, quoting his namesake, "'and let slip the dogs of war . . . ,'" as people cheered and shot off guns.
         Those dogs were sure barking now.

    Those opening shots of the war take place offstage, but we then ride to  Manassas—the first great battle—with Will Brannon, a newly minted captain of the Culpepper Catamounts in Brigarier General Thomas Jackson’s Thirty-third Virginia. And it’s a good thing Will is there, because without him Jackson may not have been in position to be standing "like a stone wall” and earn his catchy nickname. We’re also introduced to the intriguing notion that the famous “stone wall” comment, uttered by the soon-to-be-deceased Confederate General Bee, may not have intended as a compliment. I don’t recall encountering that before.

    The battle scene is nicely handled, and leaves me looking forward to many more. I’ll be finding them in the rest of the saga: Shiloh, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Shenandoah, Savannahand Appomattox.

    James and Bill, Western Writers of America conference, 1992

    Brownsville, Texas, 1980, with Angela and Allen Crider
    and the Howard family

    Armadillocon 2017: Dave Hardy, Dwight Simms, Joe Lansdale, Lawrence Pearson, James, Bill, Scott Cupp

    Bouchercon 2002: James, Joe Lansdale, Bill, Steve Mertz 
    (photo by Art Scott)

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    a self-portrait and a blurb by Art Scott from The Paperback Covers of Robert McGinnis (2001)

    Robert McGinnis turns 92 today, and I'm pleased to report he's still painting. Below are just a few samples of work, and a look at a book that belongs on every shelf. Our regularly scheduled feature, BILL CRIDER goes to BOUCHERCON, will return tomorrow.

    Okay, so I leaned a little heavy on the Bond stuff. So shoot me. I like the Bond stuff. 

     Detail from the 1991 painting "What's the Rush?" with McGinnis looking at his watch

    This is the book you want (published 2014), and you can get it HERE

    Co-author Art Scott with one of his biggest fans, Mr. Bill Crider

    Bill Crider said this: The heart of the book is the art, but Art Scott provides an excellent and insightful introduction to the artist and his work, with shorter introductions to each section of the book.  I can't think of anyone better qualified to do so.  Scott might be the only person in the world who owns all the paperbacks for which McGinnis has done the covers.  Following the introduction, there's also a fine interview with McGinnis himself.

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    Photos courtesy of Arthur Scott Photography
    (Also available for Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, Etc.
    Special discount for Burlesque Shows)

    2000 - Denver

    with Steve Stilwell

    "The Good Old Stuff: Forgotten Paperback Writers from the 1950s" with R. John Hayes, Jan Burke, Gary Warren Niebuhr and Marv Lachman

    with Gary Warren Niebuhr and Steve Steinbock

    with Leslie and Kevin Dunn

    with Judy and Jeff Smith

    with Ted Hertel

    with a flock of Bruce Taylor fans

    with Judy

    2001 - Washington D.C.

    with Jeff and Ann Smith and Judy

    with Steve Stilwell

    with Judy

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    As eagle-eyed Richard Robinson pointed out, yesterday's post mysteriously skipped over most of the '90s to land in the year 2000. And as Kevin Tipple wisely suggested, I'm choosing to blame it on the Mole People. So here are the photos you should have seen yesterday, and you should be seeing yesterday's today. All clear? Well, have a look anyway.

    Pics by kind permission of Emperor Artius Scott
    (except those that aren't)

    1992 - Toronto

    with Art Scott, already on his way to cell phone addiction

    1993 - Omaha

     with Don Sanderson

    with Jeff Smith, Judy, Ann Smith and Cap'n Bob Napier

    1996 - St. Paul

     with Thom Walls

     with Steve Stilwell

    with Judy

    1997 - Monterey

      with Mr. & Mrs. Loren Estleman, Fan GOH Cap'n Bob Napier and Leslie Slaasted
    (from The Cap'n's Blog)

    with Stephen Marlowe
    (from Bill's blog)

    with Judy

    1999 - Milwaukee

      with Judy again

    and again

    Thanks to Bob and Art for help with names.
    Join us tomorrow as we time warp ahead to 2002. 

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    Art Scott took these and a whole lot more.
    Stay tuned.

    2002 - Austin

    Even Bill's alarm clock has an alligator on it

    The Four Amigos: James Reasoner, Joe Lansdale, Bill, Steve Mertz

    a word from his sponsor

    with George Kelley

    with Judy

     paneling with Joe Landsdale

    with Marv Lachman

    with Judy

    with June and Len Moffatt

     with his favorite doctor

    with Joe Lansdale and Steve Mertz

    with Harlan Coben

     with Bev DeWeese

    with ???, Judy and Steve Mertz

     with Steve Stilwell

    Thanx again to Art and Bob, who knew some faces I didn't.

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    All Photos from the Arthur C. Scott Archives

    2003 - Las Vegas

    Slouching towards Vegas

    watching George Kelley eat breakfast

    with Steve Stilwell, Walter Satterthwait and Steve Mertz

    Good thing this is Nevada. He'd be shot packing a "murse" in Texas.

    Bill hides behind the curtain, eavesdropping on Richard Moore, Katie Derie and Rick Robinson

    with Jeff Meyerson

    with Frank Denton and Richard Moore

    with Thom Walls

    with Steve Stilwell and Marv Lachman

    with Ann Smith and Richard Moore

    with ??? and Steve Mertz

    with Judy and Steve Stilwell

    with Jeff Smith

    Rick Robinson and Frank Denton wonder where Bill has disappeared to . . . 

    . . . but he's not telling

    With the usual help from Art and Bob, and additional assistance from S. Stilwell and B. Taylor

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    Whodunnit? Art Scott!
    (unless otherwise admitted)

    2004 - Toronto

    Art Scott and his twin brother Shot

    outlasting Steve Stilwell

    with Sonia Rice

    2005 - Chicago

    with Gary Warren Nieghbur

    Judy and Bill 
    (found on The Rap Sheet)

    Ted Hertel in foreground, with Judy, Gary Warren Nieghbur and Frank Denton

    (from Bill's blog)

    with George Kelley

    with Ted Fitzgerald
    (from Bill's blog)

    with Judy 

    EQMM Panel, with Janet Hutchings, Ed Hoch and 3/4 of Marv Lachman
    (from . . . I forget)

    with George Kelley and Marv Lachman

    with Joe Lansdale
    (from Bill's blog)

    with Steve Steinbock

    with Frank Denton and Judy

    with Judy, Anna Jo and Frank Denton, The Most Interesting Man in the World*

    "Don't you have enough pictures of us?"

    "with Judy, Ann Smith and you-know-who

    with Judy, Marv Lachman and Steve Stilwell

    *So sez Cap'n Bob, who cannot tell a lie

    Technical assistance from R Napier and A Scott

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    Programming Note: Our ongoing extravaganza, BILL CRIDER goes to BOUCHERCON will continue tomorrow. Meanwhile, you can catch up on the first 9 installments (bringing us up to 2005)HERE.

    Gil Brewer is one of those '50s noir guys (like Jim Thompson, David Goodis, Orrie Hitt and others) who've been highly recommended to me for years, but I never got around to reading. I have handfuls of musty paperbacks by each buried somewhere in my storage unit. 

    So lately I've been reading a lot of historical fiction (Swords from the West by Harold Lamb, Sharpe's Fury by Bernard Cornwell, The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott, Killer Angels by Michael Shaara and Manassas and Shiloh by General James Reasoner) and was in the mood for something different when a review copy of a new Stark House book, featuring two Brewer novels, appeared in my mailbox. So I read the first, and this is it.

    Gotta say, I'm impressed with Brewer's prose. His descriptions of Leda--this book's evil babe--were so good I took notes, and here are some of the results:

    She came up to me and her eyes were full of hell.

    She was an orgy of loveliness.

    Sometimes when she talked and moved she kissed you with her whole body.

    She was the type you might wonder about having a knife sheathed in the rim of her stocking. 

    She was a complete savage, bursting with passion, lustful, wanton, wild. At first, it was like drinking hot red wine. Then the whole world shuddered and rock, with the trees thick and mingled with her hair and the smell of it with the shade, a dark blinding explosion. 

    She managed to wiggle into what was left of her shorts. They made her look like something highly delectable out of Dogpatch. 

    (She) was like having warm syrup poured over your head, hot down your sides, flowing along the veins. 

    Feeling her was like touching a living flame. 

    As you'll see on the back cover of this new Stark House edition, both Cullen Gallagher and James Reasoner had nice things to say about the book. Bill Crider liked it too, saying: Leda is as bad as they come, and Eric is just as driven as he is. When it comes to depicting people like this, all rough edges and raw emotion, Brewer comes close to his friend Harry Whittington.  Both can grab a reader on the first page and wring him out for a couple of hundred more.  If you like the old paperbacks with their fast action and blue-collar desperation, grab this new edition and give Brewer a try.

    Now, I have the highest regard for the opinions of those three gents, and if they all liked it, odds are you will too. But it just ain't for me. I like my protagonists, whether good guys or bad, to be strong-willed and intelligent. Our hero in this one, Eric Garth, may or may not be crazy (he dreams of bashing his brother's head in with a mallet), and spends much of the book in a sanitarium. He's a mental and emotional weakling, and just gets weaker as the story plods on. 

    A hero needs a fistful of trouble, of course, but I want to see him trying to battle his way out. Instead, this guy gets crapped on, crapped on some more, and keeps on getting crapped on until he's buried in it. He whines a little and blusters a lot, but just keeps on taking it, and I found him to be just as stupid and spineless after 130 pages as he was on page 1. 

    There are still 25 pages left to go, so maybe Eric Garth will grow a pair and redeem himself, but for me, it's too late. I don't like anything about him, don't feel sorry for him, and don't care if he lives or dies.  

    To clear my palate, I think I'll read another story in that Harold Lamb book. Hopefully 77 Rue Paradis will be more to my taste. 

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    All hail Art Scott, King of Photographers
    (and other sources, as noted)

    2006 - Madison

    with Steve Stilwell
    (from Bill's blog)

    with Judy and Maggie Mason

    with Diane and George Kelley, Judy and Sonia Rice

    with Joe Vigna, Marv Lachman and Judy

    2006 - Austin (ArmadilloCon)

    Bill speaks!

    2006 - Alvin (Bill's Office)

    A tour of the Crider Library

    2008 - Baltimore

    with Judy

    with Steve Stilwell and Judy

    with Judy and Kaye Barley
    (from Kaye's publisher, I think)

    2009 - Indianapolis

    with Judy

    with Jeff and Jackie Meyerson

    with Richard Moore and Steve Stilwell

    with Judy and Diane Kelley

    with Judy and Richard Moore

    Thx to Art and Bob

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    Thanks to Art Scott, King of the Snapshots
    and two other sources

    2010 - San Francisco

    with Judy

    (found on Sweet Freedom)

    with Robin Burcell
    (from Bill's blog)

    2011 - St. Louis

    getting his Bcon jollies (Jackie Meyerson at left)

    with Diane Kelley, Jackie and Jeff Meyerson, Maggie Mason and Judy

    with Tom Roberts, Grand PooBah of Black Dog Books

    with Steve Steinbock and George Kelley

    with Jeff Meyerson and Judy

    with Tom Roberts, Bob Randisi and Larry Sweazy
    (from Bill's blog, I think)

    with Jeff Smith, Jeff Meyerson (blue shirt) and Jackie Meyerson. Diane Kelley in foreground, with headless husband George

    with Maggie Mason, Judy, Beth Feydn and Ann Smith

    with Maggie Mason and Judy

    2011 - Pleasanton, CA (Art's House)

    with Tom Neary, Judy, Angela Crider Neary and Bruce Taylor (and Art, of course, who's being bashful)

    2012 - Napa Valley Napoleons

     Bill did NOT make it to Bouchercon that year. He spent his nickels flying to California, where he attended a meeting of the local Sherlockian society. 

    with Judy and their son-in-law Tom Neary

    Bob and Art helped again. Thanks guys.

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    Photos sources noted when known (or remembered)

    2014 - Sonoma (Neary residence)

    Bill and Bruce Taylor see something of interest

    Judy wonders what it is

    and finds that boys never stop being boys
    (Arturo Scott, Paparazzo Supreme) 

    2015 - Raleigh

    with Lee Goldberg (from Lee's blog)

    with Linda Landrigan, Josh Pachter and Janet Hutchings 
    (from Something Is Going To Happen)

    with Karin Slaughter, Megan Abbott and Lawrence Block
    (pics above and below from The Rap Sheet)

    with Ali Karim 

    with Angela Crider Neary, Patti Abbott, George Kelley, Ted Fitzgerald, Thom Walls, Phil Abbott and Jackie Meyerson 
    (from Bill's blog, photo by Jeff Meyerson)

     with Kaye Wilkinson Barley
    (above and below from Kaye's blog)

    with Lesa Holstine

    2015 - Pronzini residence

    Bill, Bruce and Bill

    and all the books . . .

    . . . in the world
    (shot by Art Scott)

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    Bill passed away yesterday, leaving me incredibly sad. I began this series of posts as a way of celebrating his life, and will continue with this final collection of photos, followed by two days of Bill's music. No tribute to this man could ever be sufficient, but it's the best I can do. I'm going to miss the hell out of him.

    2016 - Sonoma, CA (Neary residence)
    photos by Art Scott

    Proud additions to his book collection

     with daughter Angela

    hanging with Bruce Taylor

    2016 - New Orleans

    with Angela Crider Neary

    with George and Diane Kelley, Jeff Meyerson, Deb Pfeifer and Jackie Meyerson
    (from George's blog)

    Left to right: Joe Lansdale, SJ Rozan, Lawrence Block, Catherine Coulter, Bill
    (video posted by Lawrence Block)

    with Jane Waterhouse, Craig Faustus Buck, Jeff Sanderson, Phoef Sutten, Robin Burcell and Lee Goldberg
    (posted to Pinterest by Lee)

    with Christa Faust
    (pic by Jeff Meyerson)

    Christa again, as Bill and Lee Goldberg look on
    (this photo and the next three by Art Scott)

    with (left to right) Jeff and Jackie Meyerson, Ann and Jeff Smith, Maggie Mason

    Bill's friend and fan Thom Walls waits in line for an autograph

    and gets it

    2017 - Sonoma (Neary residence)
    Thanks again to Art Scott

     with Tom and Angela Crider Neary

     with Bruce Taylor, Janet Rudolph and Art Scott

     with Frank Rudolph and Bruce

     the whole gang (except Art)
    a satisfied man

    2017 - Toronto

    with Toni L.P. Kelner, Dana Cameron, G.M. Malliet, Janet Hutchings, Angela Crider Neary, Charlaine Harris, Paula Woldan and Brendan DuBois
    (from the Fire Star Press blog)

    with Angela and Dana Cameron
    (from Something is Going to Happen)

    with Frankie Bailey and Dana Cameron (front), Radha Vatsal, Catriona McPherson and Kenneth Wishnia (back)
    (this and the following pics from the Fire Star Press blog)

     Mystery's Ambassador to Canada

    standing really tall

    Tomorrow: Bill and the Fabulous G-Strings

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    The Fabulous G-Strings, I deduce, were mostly or entirely teachers and administrators at Alvin Community College (of Alvin, TX, natch). The school lists "Allen Bill Crider" (real name "Billy," I believe) as Div. Chair, English & Fine Arts, Emeritus. Don't be put off by the squeezed images - the videos themselves are in proper perspective.







    I'M LOOKIN' OVER A FOUR-LEAF CLOVER (with different lyrics)

    THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN (with different lyrics)

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    The illustrious author
    Book 2 of the Civil War Battle series introduces us to Coriolanus Troilus Brannon, the middle brother of the Brannon clan, and is mostly about him. Cory begins the story as a seedy, sotten, no-account wharf rat, despondent for having failed in his plans to make it big in the West. The West (to a Virginian) is New Madrid, MO, on the Mississippi River. As our story progresses, Cory becomes a riverboatman, finds self-respect, earns friends, learns to fight, finds courage and meets his lady love. And just when things are really looking up for him, the war comes rolling in and hands him a fistful of woe.
    The author's illustrious ancestor, Gen. J.M. Reasoner, C.S.A.. Remarkable resemblance, ain't it?
    The author's illustrious ancestor, General J.M.
    Reasoner, C.S.A.. Remarkable resemblance, ain't it?

    On his way to an appointment with destiny at the Battle of Shiloh, Cory in involved in the engagements at Fort Henry and Fort Donaldson. One of the coolest battle scenes involves two Southern riverboats equipped with 18-pounders versus a squadron of Union gunboats, some of them ironclads.

    Cory begins the fight at Shiloh as an infantryman and finishes riding with Col. Nathan Bedford Forrest's cavalry, and even manages to save Forrest's life. 

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch (or in this case, farm) Titus Brannon is drowning his sorrows in moonshine. He has seemingly lost the rich girl of his dreams and is sliding downhill so fast he might as well be on a skateboard. Brother Mac is chasing  a ghost horse (not really, but that's how he thinks of it), Sister Cordelia is being her sweet, moralistic self, and Mother Abigail is showing signs of regret for having banished her eldest son Will. Will is having his own troubles in the Federal army. His fellow officers look down their aristocratic noses at him, and his sergeant (a guy he routinely arrested for drunkenness in his previous life as a sheriff), can't keep his hands off the bottle.

    There's plenty of great storytelling here (360 pages worth), and I'm looking forward to the next volume (of ten!), Antietam.

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    Here's one of the best Mighty Mouse classics, with the Mouse of Tomorrow saving Pearl Pureheart from Oil Can Harry. Be sure to hiss and cheer at the appropriate moments.

    Original art by Art Bartch

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    This is Torchy's first comic book appearance, from Doll Man Quarterly #8, Spring 1946, uploaded to comicbookplus by Henry Peters (thanks Henry!). Art and story by Bill Ward, who created the character for an Army newspaper strip in 1944.

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    Two British band leaders duke it out. Let the battle begin.

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    Back in the day, I was an avid reader of underground comics: Mr. Natural, Zap, Slow Death, The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, et al. So I’m naturally predisposed to like Rick Geary’s The Murder of Abraham Lincoln, which I can best describe as an underground history book.

    My words will be brief on this one, because no amount of telling can convey what this one is really like. I’ll provide a few sample pages so you can see for yourself. I will say, though, that Geary takes us back in time like no history book can. He does a great job of introducing us to John Wilkes Booth and his fellow conspirators, and to Lincoln and the people around him. He lays out the events leading up to the assassination, the killing itself, and the aftermath in dramatic fashion, and raises intriguing questions about many mysteries yet unanswered. There was a LOT of stuff here I didn’t know.

    And if you like this one as much as I did, you’ll want to check out Rick Geary’s other picto-histories, which include one on Jack the Ripper, one about the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby, and one about Lizzie Borden. My thanks to Mr. David Laurence Wilson for turning me on to his work.