Gary Phillips draws on his experiences from working as an inner city community organizer, state director of a political action committee, to delivering dog cages in writing his tales of chicanery and malfeasance. Recent work includes The Underbelly (Outspoken Authors), a novella about a sometimes homeless Vietnam vet’s search for a missing disabled friend in a gentrifying downtown Los Angeles; a short story, “Soldanus, Sultan of Crime” in the The Green Hornet Casefiles Limited Edition HC anthology; Cowboys (Vertigo Crime), a graphic novel about a cop and a FBI agent undercover on two ends of the same case, unknown to one another, but headed inexorably toward a showdown; and the webcomic Bicycle Cop Dave. His website is: www.gdphillips.com/.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of creative types who have influenced my work. But the following reflect those who made an early impact on me. Jack Kirby and Gil Kane. They were two comic book artists and creators, storytellers, whose dynamic compositions set the style and tone for a whole lot of comics in the ‘60s and ‘70s when I was a kid on into my teen years. Ralph Ellison. I once had the honor of being among others who were part of a public marathon reading of his classic book about black alienation, The Invisible Man. Dashiell Hammett for practically inventing the 20th century detective novel. Ross Macdonald for his adeptness on the page. Science fiction pioneer Jack Williamson. And the two Sams, director-writers-filmmakers Sam Fuller and Sam Peckinpah.