Sad news yesterday as it was announced that Mikey Spillane, creator of the Mike Hammer series, died on Monday. He was 88 years old. Provided below are a couple of overviews of his life and work.
I must say the literary critic in me wants to talk about his contribution to noir and popular gumshoe writing. We can throw around a lot of fancy explication to dissect his writing. But perhaps the best way to measure Spillane is to remember that he appeared in those great Miller Lite “less filling, tastes great” commercials. If focusing on beer ads seems dismissive of the man’s writing, let me ask you something, when was the last time you saw an author in a television commercial? In a culture where even the most famous authors are third-rate-celebrities, Spillane held his own with sports legends like John Madden and film stars like Rodney Dangerfield. Think about it… an author in a beer commercial? How fucking cool is that?