Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I've been a fan of Charlie Huston (pulpnoir.com) for quite a while now. He started a Moon Knight re-launch at Marvel a few years back and before it came out I tracked down his first novel, Caught Stealing. I read it in two days, more or less. After that, I kept tabs on just about everything he wrote. After Caught Stealing came Six Bad Things and then A Dangerous Man. About the same time the last book in that series was released, he launched a vampire detective series starring a character named Joe Pitt. Five books were in that series and I loved every single one of them.

He's written others that I own but haven't gotten around to starting yet—mostly because comics, TV on DVD and the Internet take up the majority of my free time. One that I've been looking forward to reading the most is called The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death. It's about a guy that works for a crime scene clean-up crew that gets mixed up in some shady activities. Huston crafts a hell of a tale and his style is deeply rooted in the crime/noir genre that is right up my alley. Recently, he adapted that book into a script for a television pilot that's been picked up by HBO. Not only that, but it's being produced and developed by Alan Ball.

Ball wrote American Beauty, created Six Feet Under and more recently he's the man responsible for taking the Southern Vampire Mysteries book series and turning it in to True Blood. Now there's no guarantee that it's going to make it all the way to a series, but I'm excited none the less.

With both of those guys on board, I don't care who is in it. Sign me up.

Collider.com -- If you’re HBO, and Alan Ball comes to you and says “I want to adapt this series of books into a series,” you say yes. True Blood — Ball’s adaptation of Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries novels — has been an immense success for the pay network, even landing an Outstanding Drama Emmy nomination yesterday.

So naturally, HBO has ordered a pilot based on the 2009 Charlie Huston crime novel The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death, which Ball will produce and direct. Huston scripted the adaptation himself, which centers on “an inveterate twenty-something slacker who stumbles into a career as a crime scene cleaner, only to find himself entangled with a murder mystery, a femme fatale, and the loose ends of his own past.”

Though the novel deals with very noirish themes, Ball will shy away from the traditional visual style of the genre:

“All Signs has a hard noir feel but it’s also ironic; it’s graphic and gritty but human and very moving at the same time — it is able to capture all those elements in a very distinctive tone… We’re going to try to go against the grain, away from the overlit, stylized noir for a more frantic, contemporary, naturalistic style.”

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