PCL MS 228 Sid Graedon Collection on Mickey Spillane
|Title||PCL MS 228 Sid Graedon Collection on Mickey Spillane|
|Introduction||The Sid Graedon Collection on Mickey Spillane consists of approximately 6 cubic feet of manuscript materials. The collection was donated to the Browne Popular Culture Library by the family of Sid Graedon in 2017. This collection is partially processed. Please address any questions about the collection to the BPCL reference email. The collection has no restrictions placed on its use for scholarly purposes. Researchers are responsible for securing copyright permission when using all unpublished manuscripts and published works found in this collection. The finding aid for this collection was created by Manuscripts & Outreach Archivist Steve Ammidown in April 2018, based on an inventory created by Graduate Student Assistant Sylvio Lynch III.|
Sid Graedon was a marketing executive at New American Library, who published Mickey Spillane's work in paperback from the 1960s on. The two men enjoyed a lasting friendship, and over many years, Spillane gifted these original manuscripts to his friend which, no doubt, is the reason they still exist, as during his lifetime Spillane lost one home to fire and another to Hurricane Hugo.
Embracing controversy as a selling point, the covers of Spillane’s hard-boiled crime fiction often contained scantily-clad women. Despite overwhelming success as an author, Spillane’s novels were often panned by critics for their violent content and mass appeal. Spillane reveled in such critical abuse, and the negative reviews would often be prominently featured in advertisements, next to the extraordinary sales numbers for the book.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Spillane was more in demand for his persona than his writing. He appeared in spisodes of Columbo, and was one of the lynch pins of the "Tastes Great, Less Filling" Miller Lite ad campaign that lasted for nearly 20 years.
|Scope and Content||This collection spans the breadth of Mickey Spillane's career. |
Spillane's early work in comic books (Boxes 2 and 3) is a highlight of the collection, including scripts written for many of the major characters created by Funnies, Inc. such as Namor the Submariner, Captain America, and Captail Marvel. Because most comic stories of the time were uncredited, there is great potential for research in this part of the collection.
When he returned from military service, Spillane conceived of the idea for a comic book named "Mike Danger". Many of Spillane's papers related to the near-production of this comic are contained in this collection. The idea made it to the layout stages, but didn't see the light of day until years later. When he made the turn to novels a year later, Spillane changed Mike Danger into Mike Hammer and a legend was born. Boxes 4 through 6 highlight the promotional efforts of Spillane and Graedon.
Also contained in this collection are typed manuscript copies of many Spillane's novels (Boxes 7-19). Many contain handwritten notes from Spillane and/or his editors. Several of the manuscripts, including the one for his first novel I, The Jury had been stored in a garage prior to Spillane gifting them to Sid Graedon, and show signs of aging as well as some fire damage. The manuscript in the collection for The Twisted Thing had been abandoned by Spillane in the 1950s, and lost the last several pages in a fire. Graedon came across the manuscript around 1966 and encouraged Spillane to reconstruct the ending and publish it. Spillane dedicated the published version to Graedon.
Boxes 7-12 contain manuscripts featuring Spillane's Mike Hammer character. Boxes 13-16 are stand-alone novels, while boxes 17-19 are from the Tiger Mann series.
The remainder of the collection consists of promotional items, including a vinyl pressing of Spillane reading a Mike Hammer short story titled "The Woman", as well as posters and original artwork. Extensive files kept by Graedon related to Spillane's publicity tours in the 1960s and 1970s will be of interest to those studying publishing during the era, as well as those interested in comparing Spillane the persona versus Spillane the man.
Additional materials, including promotional posters and ephemera, have yet to be processed but will be added to the inventory when they are complete.
|Transfers||The collection included many signed first editions of Spillane's work, which have been added to the Library's print collections.|