Hermes Press, home of classic archival comic strip reprints including Buck Rogers, The Phantom, Roy Rogers, Brenda Starr, Milton Caniff’s Male Call, Frank Robbins’ Johnny Hazard, and Smokey Stover now adds America’s most iconic hard-boiled detective, Mickey Spillane’s From the Files of… Mike Hammer.
Reprinting all of the daily and Sunday strips (in digitally reconstructed color) from the series this book will be the final word on this important, rarely seen title. The strip, which was distributed to newspapers by the Phoenix Features Syndicate, ran for only one year, 1953-1954, but what a year it was! The strip is pure Mickey Spillane and was crafted under his watchful eye with art by Ed Robbins. The feature has everything fans of Mike Hammer would expect: Mike, Velda, good girls, bad girls, gun-play and lots of action.
Accompanying the strips are two in-depth essays by noted mystery writer and Mickey Spillane expert Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition). Collins points out in his discussion of the strip that, “Of the licensed versions of the Hammer character Spillane contributed his writing skills to only one: the comic strip collected in this book.” Collins also points out the strip’s artist, Ed Robbins, a sadly underrated comics artist, is “…as much a hero on the Hammer strip as the detective himself…To Robbins, the Mike Hammer strip was his big break, that would make him professionally and personally.” Unfortunately the strip was cancelled due to artistic differences between Spillane and the syndicate over a panel in which Hammer bursts into a room where an attractive woman in a provocatively torn dress is tied to a bed and about to have her bare foot burned with a cigarette by a thug. True to form Spillane would not accept censorship and the title was cancelled.
So, for those hungry for a good mystery, pop culture aficionados, and fans of classic Mickey Spillane, this volume is a must.
Mickey Spillane’s From the Files of…Mike Hammer: The Complete Dailies and Sundays; ISBN 978-1-61345-025-3; Mickey Spillane (writer), Ed Robbins (artist and writer), and Joe Gill (writer); Edited and Introduction by Max Allan Collins; 9 by 12 inches, complete reprint of the entire run of the strip 1953-1954; contains all dailies and Sundays (in full restored color); hardcover with printed laminated cover and deluxe endleaves; $49.99.