Thanks to author and columnist David Masciotra for his Crime Reads article: “The Punk Rock Private-Eye And The End Of An Era In Downtown New York” (link below) about Rex Weiner’s then-unique The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, newly reissued from Rare Bird Books as The (Original) Adventures of Ford Fairlane. “In 1979, as the music scene was under threat, one man captured its corruption in true noir fashion,” Masciotra writes. Weiner’s serialized story introduced private investigator Ford Fairlane, working the mean streets of late 70’s NYC’s punk scene from CBGB’s to Max’s Kansas City, a genuine noir hero and new wave detective uncovering the music industry’s secrets and scandals.
I vaguely recalled seeing a back-issue bin comic version, and it turns out there was one from DC, but it’s actually an adaptation of the 1990 20thCentury Fox film adaptation of Rex Weiner’s creation. Seasoned pro’s often admonish writers who watch with horror as their creations are re-assembled, re-imagined or utterly demolished by Hollywood: Just cash the check and forget about it. Here’s hoping Weiner cashed a decent check. That film inexplicably starred comedian Andrew Dice Clay as a cartoonish Ford Fairlane spouting insipid dialog in a movie that really isn’t a neo-noir crime flick, isn’t really a comedy and really only is tough to digest. Even the usually stalwart Lauren Holly looks like she’s cringing in her every scene.
I don’t know if a publisher’s reissue will spark renewed interest in a better film version. It ought to. Or not, depending on Rex Weiner’s preferences. For now, reading Weiner’s book will be a treat, so a big thanks to Rare Bird Books for introducing a new generation of readers to Rex Weiner’s Ford Fairlane.