Mike Hammer – DOA

Mickey Spillane is dead.

I’m not sure why this makes me sad. He was 88. That’s a goodly number of years to inhabit the planet. He published a lot of books in his time here, most of which I ate up on my erratic way through childhood. I doubt I’ve turned a page of one in over 30 years.

Mickey Spillane and Mike Hammer, along with introducing a dark and exciting world to an introverted, scared little kid, also introduced me to the concept of banned books. Well, perhaps banned is a bit exaggerated. Call it confiscated books. I was used to the concept of confiscated magazines. Many were the Marvel comics and Mad Magazines lifted from the pages of my school books and deposited in the teachers desk. Mr. Spillane’s first novel, I, The Jury, was also the first book I ever had confiscated. And, if memory serves, there were at least three other titles of his that found their way to that secret drawer.

I’ve often wondered if those teachers took the books home and read them. I hope they did. I hope they enjoyed them as much as I did.

Adios, Mickey. Adios, Mike.

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