The Hector Lassiter novels (ten of them, including HEAD GAMES) frequently incorporate real people.
All of that carries over into HEAD GAMES, THE GRAPHIC NOVEL, coming Oct. 24, 2017 from First Second Books.
The range of “real characters” is prodigious, from the real-life personalities who dominate some of those books’ action, to those real people who are, well, fleeting, yet still influential.
Some are famous, some are even infamous.
Some are little known to the wider public, yet they affected the course of history and the Lassiter series sometimes aims to give these historical ghosts their proper due.
To give a little bonus context to those “characters” who appear in HEAD GAMES: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL, we’re delving into each, here and there, over successive Thursdays…
Singer-songwriter Tom Russell penned a wonderful tune about love gone wrong using Orson Welles’ film TOUCH OF EVIL as a metaphor for souring love.
One of the lines from the song goes, “Not a technicolor love film, it’s a brutal document, it’s film noir/And it’s all played out on a borderline and the actors are tragically miscast.”
Most miscast of all in this Welles’ film noir classic whose set we visit in HEAD GAMES, was Charleton Heston, a supremely WASPY guy from Illinois with a British actor’s gravitas who somehow bewilderingly got himself cast as a Mexican Bordertown’s top cop.
Skin dyed swarthy and his already thinning blond hair dyed black, Chuck plays newly-wed Mexican cop Mike Vargas with earnest sincerity, depicting a kind of South-of-the-Border Eliot Ness.
That’s a metaphor all its own, in its way.
Because when it came to TOUCH OF EVIL, confusion was the name of the game, top to bottom.
After years of being ostracized by Hollywood—despite directing what is typically regarded as the greatest American film of all time, CITIZEN KANE—Orson ended up directing TOUCH OF EVIL as a result of utter confusion.
The one more interesting to me, and embraced in HEAD GAMES, is that Heston would only agree to star in the film if Welles was made director…
Next time: EMIL HOLMDAHL
THE HECTOR LASSITER SERIES, AS PUBLISHED BY BETIMES BOOKS: