You’ve heard of Posse Comitatus, the version where you round up your gang and roar off after whoever needs to be run down. This on-going feature follows in the dust trail of Posse McMillan, rounding up news and views from the stable of writers Dennis McMillan assembled in his two gambits as a publisher of the hard-boiled, the noir, and the strikingly unusual. Plus news of old — he turned 60 last year — Dennis himself! Not up there with Floyd Salas, but edging along.
Dennis has been saying for months that he’s bailing out of publishing, so I just called him up to double-check. Yeah. Still the plan. Plus rebuilding and maybe selling off his fleet of gigantic cars, Packard Hawks and Hummers and whatever. Moving from his long-term base in Tucson to Europe, maybe — or perhaps Hawaii, or — short-term — Bisbee.
I can’t believe I just spent an hour plus hearing about repairing transmissions, but in there Dennis tossed out stuff I am interested in, with his strongest recommendation in the Rediscovered department for the works of Julian L. Shapiro, who wrote mostly under the name John Sanford, best pal of Nathanial West, whose wife wrote the screenplay for True Grit and helped The Duke finally nab an Oscar. Charles Willeford is the guy who plugged Sanford’s writing to Dennis originally, especially the novel The Old Man’s Place.
Looks as if this round as a publisher will end once Dennis gets out the book now in the pipeline, a guide to electrum coins being prepped by Joe Linzalone — one of those wild hair books Dennis does from time to time, kind of like The Brazilian Guitar. I figure it’ll be collectable, if it is the last thing Dennis puts his imprimature on. If Dennis comes back for a third round in the future, then it’ll be collectable because most of the copies will have sold to coin collectors, and completists needing one to finish their Complete Dennis won’t be able to find it much easier than a copy of The Brazilian Guitar.
The various writers associated with Dennis are moving on — Dennis gives his strongest push for the new novel from Rick DeMarinis, Mama’s Boy. Says its the best from DeMarinis to date, approaching masterpiece level, one of the closest reads to Willeford he’s seen. So, you want to continue the Dennis McMillan Experience, there you go.