Description

    Mickey Spillane. Original Typescript for I, the Jury. New York: E. P. Dutton & Company, 1947. Compositor's copy with pencil marks and editing notations throughout in graphite and red pencil. Measures 8.5 x 11 inches. [vi], [1]-190 pages, rectos only. Sheets lightly toned, edges a bit worn with minor creases at corners. Preliminary pages [i-vi] chipped and torn with loss. Pages [1]-190 have three holes punched on left margin, reinforcement labeled adhered to punched holes, occasional soiling and thumbprints on outer margins. A very good draft of the book that would change mystery novels and introduce Spillane's hard-boiled Mike Hammer.

    Near World War II's end, Frank Morrison "Mickey" Spillane had married his first wife Mary Ann Pearce, and the couple was ready to set some roots. Having worked in the comic book industry before his career as a World War II pilot, Spillane returned to writing comics to support his new wife and himself.

    Straying away from the superhero tales that were so popular during the war, Spillane had an idea for a hard-boiled detective named Mike Danger. The character himself was a departure from the typical contemporary detective of Dashiell Hammett books. Danger's primary motivation was anger and he did not shy away from violence, but rather welcomed the chance to use it. By his side would be his loyal secretary and "Girl Friday," Holly.

    When the Mike Danger comic did not go through as planned, Spillane decided he would recycle the story into a novel. It is thought that within the matter of days, Spillane had finished the first draft of I, the Jury, in which Mike Danger was a hard-boiled private detective. Mike Danger was renamed "Mike Hammer" and his secretary Holly became "Velda." I, the Jury was then published in 1947 and by 1953, it had sold 3,500,000 and would be adapted as films and television series over the next several decades. From the estate of Mickey Spillane.


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