NOIR AT THE BAR L.A. – An International Incident

Dateline: Los Angeles, city of eternal night. Though the original home of Noir at the Bar, the reading event where crime-fiction’s most talented drunkards gather, will always be St. Louis, MO, the franchise has grown and reached out to smaller towns that may not otherwise have such a cultural happening, flyspeck burgs like New York […]

VEGAS Odds: Better Than Most

After wading through the slog of Mob Doctor last week, I am quite happy to report that Vegas, the new crime-drama on CBS starring Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis, delivers all that it promises, if not tons more.  I spent my Sunday digging through my DVR and watching the first three episodes of Vegas, and […]

Victimless Emmys – Crime TV In 2012

The thing one must always keep in mind with industry awards is, aside from a marketing perspective, they mean exactly nothing.  Less than that, even.  If a show I particularly enjoy can move a few more DVD sets on the after-market by slapping an “Emmy winner!” sticker on it, or if that little gold statuette […]

My Name Is Markham – The TV Sensibilities of NEAR DEATH

Near Death is one of the spate of high-quality comic books Image has been cranking out over the past couple of years, and I finally did myself the favor of reading it.  Of course, now it appears the series has gone on hiatus just as I am getting on board (sad trombone).  Fingers crossed that […]

Scam Artist Hall Of Fame: M. Sgt. E.G. Bilko

Welcome, dear friends and other suckers, to a new regular feature here at the Criminal Complex.  Yes, the Scam Artist Hall Of Fame, as demanded by none of you, will highlight those great men and women, fictional and non, who through their erudite shrewdness and intelligence part money from its fools.  Our inaugural inductee is […]

The City Of I Will – Why BOSS Is Kelsey Grammer’s Greatest Work

It’s strange when you consider that Boss is Kelsey Grammer’s first major dramatic role.  He has always been known for playing upright, no-nonsense roles, but for laughs.  Boss season 2, which premiered this past Friday on Starz, is definitely no laughing matter, and regardless of how lauded Grammer has been for his comedy work, the […]

Get A Haircut Robert Pattinson – COSMOPOLIS

Well, kids, it’s almost here.  The wide release on August 17th of Robert Pattinson’s latest vehicle, the David Cronenberg film Cosmopolis, is only days away, and if you listen closely, you can hear the eager squeals of anticipation from Bobby’s legions of fans.  And now there have been brand-new stills released from the film, which […]

Darwyn Cooke’s Big SCORE | review

Just in time for San Diego Comic-Con, Darwyn Cooke’s latest adapatation of Richard Stark’s Parker novels, The Score, hits the stands today, and you would be well-advised to hit the stands today yourself.  Darwyn Cooke has blazed a trail through the comics industry since he bailed on animation back in the late ’90s, but if […]

The Posthumous Donald Westlake: It’s All Bullshit

Donald Westlake, ever the prolific author, has had two novels released since his death on New Year’s Eve of 2009, both brought to us by the stellar Hard Case Crime imprint.  The first, in 2010, is called Memory, and was thought to be his only “lost” novel, until crime writer Max Allan Collins unearthed a […]

The 2012 Edgar Awards: Who Will Win Best Novel Of The Year?

Good evening and welcome to this Criminal Complex round-table discussion.  I am Jimmy Callaway, your moderator for this discussion.  Tomorrow night, April 26th, 2012, in New York City will be held the annual Edgar awards banquet, held by that illustrious organization, the Mystery Writers of America, and where will be presented the coveted Edgar Award […]

STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON: My 8th Grade Dream Comes True

Yeah, feast your eyes on that little piece of hipster cred.  That is my official membership card in the N.W.A fan club, acquired in the halcyon days of 1991, when I was even more suburban and whitebread than I am now.  And finally my other favorite group of junior high (tied with Public Enemy) will […]

Joe R. Lansdale: Where Does He Find The Time?

  Seriously.  I can hardly find the time to read the man’s voluminous output, and that must take at least a little less time to write it.  So how does he do it? Joe R. Lansdale’s first book, Act of Love, went into print in 1980, a novel about a truly psychopathic serial killer set […]

Odds That Oliver Stone’s SAVAGES Will Be Any Good?

Director Oliver Stone is bringing Don Winslow’s SAVAGES to the big screen.  But will it be any good? “Bet.” Don Winslow’s 2010 novel Savages is one of those books you chide yourself for not reading sooner, even if you were able to get your hands on an ARC in ’09.  The drug-dealing anti-hero(es) and the […]

Whitechapel Squad: The Detective Comics of Warren Ellis

I’ve long believed Warren Ellis is a crime-fiction writer at heart.  The first series of Wolfskin was a clear example of sword-and-sorcery comics, but had that distinct Yojimbo/Fistful of Dollars feel, a dyed-in-the-wool crook playing both sides.  Comics like Aetheric Mechanics and Captain Swing are solid steampunk works, yet revolve around cops-and-robbers shenanigans.  One of the driving tenets of our work here at Criminal […]

Spanish Prisoners: 5 Indispensable Books of Scam Fiction

Neil Gaiman and Jim Thompson bonded by Scam Fiction? It’s all a scam, isn’t it? My alarm goes off in the morning and I eat some cereal some marketer scammed me into thinking tastes good and is good for me.  I wash myself with products I’ve been scammed into thinking will make me more pleasant […]

The Entertainers: 5 Essential Movies of Scam Cinema

Hollywood: it’s all a scam, isn’t it? For all of our lives, the movies have promised us big, big things.  Action and adventure are just out there waiting for us.  Good always triumphs over evil.  A simple confusion of gender will result in a humorous situation.  And everybody is having way more sex than you.  Like […]

J. EDGAR Is Leo’s Show, All The Way | Movie Review

It struck me as I was watching J. Edgar that as much as I enjoy James Ellroy’s work and how funny I find his depiction of Hoover in his Blood’s a Rover, it actually is a really cartoony version of the guy.  Ellroy kinda does that a lot, and that’s fine, as not only do I like cartoons […]

Crime Imitates Life: Danny Ocean Gets More Chicks than Terry Benedict

‘There are myriad reasons why people become artists—creative drive, fame/notoriety, money.  Actually, that’s about it.  But one reason not discussed all that often is simple boredom.  The non-creative life can be a real drag, working a regular job, marrying a regular spouse in order to birth regular kids.  Artistic endeavors, especially in this modern western […]

What Are the Odds Tom Sizemore Is Gonna Get Killed on Hawaii Five-O?

Despite his most recent snag with the law, Tom Sizemore has turned over a new leaf, one not grown from the coca plant.  His guest role this season on CBS’s Hawaii Five-O as straight-laced IAB cop, Captain Vince Fryer, fits nicely with Sizemore’s new-found path of cleanliness and sobriety.  We here at Criminal Complex truly hope this […]

Run, Micro, Run

The notion of the sidekick has been a popular one in story-telling since time out of mind, yet it has most likely been brought to its highest prominence in superhero comics.  The majority of these sidekicks, like Batman’s Robin, have been cheeky teenagers, created in order to act not only as foil for the hero, […]

A Glorious Waste of Time: Jordan Brady’s I Am Comic

There’s an old Chinese curse that a lot of hacky writers use to set up the premises of their articles, and it is as follows: May you live in interesting times.  And for stand-up comedy, these are very interesting times, indeed. This is not to say that stand-up is cursed.  At least, it isn’t any […]