Flashback: An interview with Shawn Ryan Sep07

Flashback: An interview with Shawn Ryan

Intro by Gregg Hurwtiz My six-year-old plays AYSO soccer. Her coach, a big, bald guy with a shy smile, was surprisingly light on his feet. Patient. Great with the kids. Confident, but not cocky. The week before, I’d busted a collarbone against a fullback ten years younger and thirty pounds heavier, and my daughter’s coach had just jammed a toe, so we were talking sports injuries. He remarked that he was glad his job allowed him to wear soccer sandals so his bandaged toe could live free. “Yeah?” I said. “What do you do?” “I work for a TV show.” “You a staff writer?” “No,” Coach Shawn said. “I created a show.” “Which one?” “The Shield.” Uh,...

Flashback: Perfection…and How To Achieve it Aug24

Flashback: Perfection…and How To Achieve it

PERFECTION And How to Achieve It Walter Satterthwait A few years ago, I was visiting my brother in St. Petersburg, Florida. One particular evening he had a business appointment, so I decided to go out and have a beer. The nearest bar was a small, tidy, neighborhood place, the sort of sports bar that keeps the Lakers game’s volume strangled down, while letting Wynona wail away in the background. There were a lot of those elegant neon Budweiser and Miller Lite signs lurking about, some of them elegantly blinking. Three empty seats stood at the center of the bar. I sat down in the middle one and ordered a Sam Adams. I was about halfway through...

Flashback: Korean Noir – The films of Chan-wook Park Aug17

Flashback: Korean Noir – The films of Chan-w...

Korean Noir The Films of Chan-wook Park   For a couple of years now, (thanks in no small part to Quentin Tarantino) the films of Chan-wook Park are being seen by an American audience for the first time. And frankly, if I’ve seen five great films this year, three of them belong to Chan-wook Park. So why haven’t you heard of him? He’s one of the most decorated directors in Asia. Due to the notoriously skewed purchase and release tactics of U.S. distributors, the three films below were released domestically all within the last year. Remember, this is the industry that took a year and a half to release Zhang Yimou’s brilliant Hero a...

Flashback: WHAT IS A THRILLER? Aug03

Flashback: WHAT IS A THRILLER?

This originally appeared in issue ten (Jan/Feb 2006) WHAT IS A THRILLER? In October, 2004, at the Bouchercon suspense conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, a group of writers celebrated their common interest by creating the International Thriller Writers organization. In fact, before I realized what was happening, I found myself elected (along with Gayle Lynds) as the co-president. A lot happened since then. Our membership grew from around 80 to 350, with combined international book sales of over one billion. We organized strands of thriller panels at the 2005 Left Coast of Crime and Bouchercon events (this had never been done before). We...

Flashback: My Favorite Crime Film Jul27

Flashback: My Favorite Crime Film

This originally appeared in issue ten (Jan/Feb 2006) When Jeremy asked me to write about my all-time favorite crime movie, interestingly one of the first films I thought of was Get Shorty. It’s certainly one of the most enjoyable crime movies I’ve ever seen. Director Barry Sonnenfeld captures the humor of Elmore Leonard brilliantly because the actors never play the script for laughs. All of the characters take themselves ultra-seriously which makes the deadpan crime farce even funnier. The whole cast shines, in particular John Travolta as a mobster/Hollywood wannabe, Gene Hackman as the desperately sleazy film producer, and, best of all,...

Flashback: Brian Azzarello’s 100 Bullets: An Appreciation Jul13

Flashback: Brian Azzarello’s 100 Bullets: An Appre...

This originally appeared in issue 8 (Sept/Oct 2005) SHOOT TO THRILL: Brian Azzarello’s 100 Bullets: An Appreciation by Duane Swierczynski Hardboiled comic fans are a rare breed; tough guys don’t usually do funnybooks. Yeah, yeah, I know—Mickey Spillane got his start in the comics, and his illustrated private eye Mike Danger eventually begat Mike Hammer. Batman calls himself a “detective,” and he’s certainly tough, but there’s all that fetishistic rubber to deal with. (Not knocking Christopher Nolan’s reimagining of the series, though—that was cool.) And while Sin City has been around since the early 1990s, I’m willing to bet you never heard...