Author: Gary Phillips
Publisher: PM Press / Outspoken Author Series
Page count: 160
Size: 5 x 7.5
Having grown up in late-sixties South Central Los Angeles, Gary Phillips vividly recalls stories of what happened to brothers who ran afoul of the “polices” of the 77th Division. Small wonder that in his teens he organized against police abuse, later became active in the antiapartheid movement, was down against the contras, did duty as a labor rep, worked for a political action committee, and taught incarcerated youth. So of course matters of race, class, and the social fabric, along with influences of blaxploitation films and Jack Kirby comic books, permeate his crime and mystery stories. The Underbelly is a novella about a semi-homeless Vietnam vet searching for a disabled friend gone missing from Skid Row. It’s a solo sortie where the flashback-prone protagonist must deal with gentrification, kick-ass community organizers, an elderly sexpot, a magical skull, chronic-lovin’ knuckleheads, and the perils of chili-cheese fries at midnight. The Underbelly is illustrated with photos and drawings.
A rollicking interview wherein Phillips riffs on Ghetto Lit, politics, noir and the proletariat, the good negroes and bad knee-grows of pop culture, Redd Foxx and Lord Buckley, and wrestles with the future of books in the age of want.
“Honesty, distinctive characters, absurdity and good writing are here in Phillips’s work.”
“Magrady’s adventures, with a distinctive noir feeling and appreciation for comic books, started as an online, serialized mystery. Drawings and an interview with Phillips enhance the package, offering a compelling perspective on race and class issues in South Central L.A.”
“Phillips writes some of the most earnest and engaging crime noir currently being written.”
About the Author:
Gary Phillips writes tales of mayhem and menace. In other pursuits he’s been a union rep, run a nonprofit begun as a response to the ’92 L.A. riots, taught incarcerated youth, was a community organizer in South Central Los Angeles where he was born and raised, toiled as a printer, worked for one of those shadowy 527s, and delivered dog cages. Please visit his website at: www.gdphillips.com.
See and hear author interviews, book reviews, and other news on Gary Phillips's page HERE
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