Michael Connelly's imaginary Blue Note albums

Police procedural novelist Michael Connelly is a connoisseur of jazz music so it's no surprise that his most famous character, LAPD detective Hieronymus 'Harry' Bosch, is also a deep enthusiast of the genre. (Connelly has a page on his personal Web site all about the "music in the novels.") Illustrator Russell Walks took those cues and his own penchant for Los Angeles noir and mid-century design to create a terrific series of imaginary Michael Connelly albums released by Blue Note Records.

"Most of these pieces were influenced or inspired by the work of Reid Miles, the designer who created somewhere around 500 covers for Blue Note Records in the mid-twentieth century," Russell writes. "I’m not breaking new ground here; Miles’ work has been the launching point for a thousand other designers and artists. Still, there’s something about the way these mid-century colors & typefaces just seem to fit Harry’s L.A., a place where shadows and sadness are as common as sunshine."

"The Bosch Series" (Russell Walks Illustration)

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If Samuel Beckett was the star of a 70s cop show

Years ago, I published my unified theory on the secret shared universe of the works of Samuel Beckett and the character Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap. Since then, I've had a note in my ongoing list of Cool Story Ideas™ to make an absurdist buddy-cop graphic novel about a crotchety old Samuel Beckett teaming up with a teenage Andre the Giant.

Little did I know that someone had already played around with a similar idea.

This mashup video was put together by a Chicago-based playwright named Danny Thompson. From OpenCulture:

Some twenty five years after Beckett’s death, Thompson---whose credits includethe Complete Lost Works of Samuel Beckett as Found in a Dustbin in Paris in an Envelope (Partially Burned) Labeled: Never to Be Performed. Never. Ever. Ever! Or I'll Sue! I'll Sue From the Grave!!!---repurposed Rosa Veim and Daniel Schmid’s footage of the moody genius wandering around 1969 Berlin into the opening credits of a nonexistent, 70s era Quinn Martin police procedural.

In other words: it's perfect.

Watch the Opening Credits of an Imaginary 70s Cop Show Starring Samuel Beckett [Ayun Halliday / Open Culture]

Beckett's Last Tape; or, Waiting for Quantum Leap [Thom Dunn / Quirk Books]

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Crazy Walls: screengrabs from media where obsessives create pinboards stringing together clues

It's a well-worn trope: the obsessive, the stalker, the killer or the cop, pinning photos, maps, mugshots and other detritus to a large board and then joining the dots with bits of colored string: The Crazy Walls Tumblr collects and annotates screengrabs from dozens of movies and TV shows (even a comic from Warren Ellis!) where the trope appears. (via Kottke) Read the rest

Steven Brust's "Good Guys," a hardboiled noir urban fantasy, with everything great about Brust on proud display

Steven Brust is a literary treasure and his longrunning Vlad Taltos series, now nearing its final volume, is a good example of where his strengths lie: hardboiled plotting, snappy dialog, weirdly realistic and plausible depictions of magic, and a sensitive eye for power relationships and their depiction, all of which are on display in his latest, outstanding novel, Good Guys, about the minimum-wage sorcerers who investigate magical crimes on behalf of a secret society.