February 16, 2022

TV Jibe: The song remains the same



  1. Cat Scratch Fever...almost as deadly as the Boogie Woogie Flu.

  2. Since nothing's up today, I'm going semi-irrelevant: please bear with me.

    Late in the previous year, there was a brief announcement involving the media future of Ellery Queen.
    The producing entities (whose names I can't call to mind just now) struck a deal with the estates of Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee, with the intent of a future production earmarked for some platform or other, maybe in a year's time.
    The Catch: in this "reimagining", Ellery Queen will be a woman.
    My immediate visceral reaction: No Effing Way. (Regardless of whether the Dannay and Lee families are on board.)
    I don't know if you've held on to those CARE packages I've been sending you over the years, but I think there's enough EQ in them to prove my bona fides about the character, the editor, and the men behind it all, and why I firmly believe that this is a Bad Idea.
    As cooler heads (mine, anyway) have prevailed, I'm realizing that talk like this is still early; the likelihood of The Bad Idea coming to pass at all is on the slim side.
    After all, Ellery Queen as a character has been around for more than ninety (90) years, in one form or another; EQ the Editor (of anthologies and the EQ Mystery Magazine) has existed for more than eighty (80) years; The character has evolved in many ways and shapes without the drastic move of a gender reappropriation (and I'm at a loss as to what form that would take which would satisfy old-guard EQ followers like me).
    It could be that I'm making too much about something that most likely will never happen ...
    ... still, would the Dannays and the Lees willingly chuck all of that history for a big late-in-life payday?
    I've heard tell that sometime within this new year, a man named Jeffrey Marks is finishing up a full-scale biography of Fred Dannay and Manny Lee, which I am looking forward to (and have for some time): would this "reboot" (God, I hate that word) help or hinder that work?
    And what about EQMM, now in its 81st year of publication; how does this new version tie in?
    And what about putting the EQ novels and stories, old and newer, back into print where they belong - when they're clearly about a completely different character?
    I suppose I'm just over-worrying the whole thing (it probably won't happen anyway);
    I've still got the books, and a big bunch of the magazines, and CDs and DVDs and such ...

    Mitchell, if you get the chance, you might want to take a second look at those EQ items I sent you, and consider what I've said about this.
    It couldn't hurt ...

    1. Mike, I'm with you. Yes, we've looked at all the EQ stuff you've sent us. We also have a couple of dozen paperbacks of his novels and stories, which I've enjoyed immensely. There is no way I would accept EQ as a woman. It would throw out the whole dynamic of Ellery and his dad, his relationship with characters like Viele, and his general personality. I love the EQ stories just as they are. Why can't they just leave well enough alone, and, as you say, re-release the original books. There are a lot I haven't read yet.

      Judith (Mrs. Mitchell)

  3. Mrs. Hadley: Greetings.
    Your comments are welcome, of course, but they raise a few questions of their own:

    - You sat that you've "looked at all the EQ stuff" I've sent you - but how closely have you read them?
    In particular, I'm wondering about your reaction to The Misadventures Of Ellery Queen, with its pastiches and parodies of the characters, covering the whole 90+ years of the stories.
    There are a few "purists" out there who are against this sort of thing, and I am curious ...
    You are aware, by the way, that there's The Further Misadventures of EQ, which came out a year or so later?
    (Not to mention The Misadventures Of Nero Wolfe, from the same editor, which came out between the two EQs?)

    - You mentioned your EQ paperbacks, which leads me to wonder: how old might they be?
    I've got some here at home that I bought new, off the spinner racks at Walgreens and Kresge's when I was a teenager, cover prices from 35c to 50c to 75c (the passage of time was starting to pick up) - that's how long I've been at this.
    Lately I've been on the lookout for trade paperback reissues of the old ones, with cover prices starting out at about $15, and I wonder where the time went?
    (Thank God for Otto Penzler, who's putting so many of these books back in circulation, but he's only one man ...)

    - And what of EQ the Editor?
    All those anthologies that he put out over the many years - to say nothing of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, which persists in its 81st year?

    Ellery Queen - the Name - is still around after all this time ...
    ... but for how much longer?


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!