Categories: Interviews, News
Earlier this year, some thirty-seven years after its original publication, Dark Horse re-released It Rhymes with Lust, regarded by some to be the first true example of a graphic novel, or, at the very least, one of the most tangible forerunners of the art form. Shortly after the book’s re-release, Arnold Drake, one of the book’s two author’s passed away. Some two weeks later (March 29th), his co-author, Leslie Waller, died of heart failure. Upon reading our review of the book, Waller’s daughter, Elizabeth, contacted us. We asked her to share her memories of the book, her father, and Drake with our audience, and she graciously obliged.
It Rhymes with Lust was written before I was born, so I haven’t any memories of it’s inception, but dad was writing for some time before it came out. He and Arnie [Drake] cut their writing chops in the publicity department of the old Army Air Corps, when they served stateside in WWII. Dad always implied it was the Intelligence division, but who knows?
After the war, both men continued to write, but my parents moved to New York City from Chicago, and dad and Arnie’s friendship was confined to Christmas cards and occasional phone calls. Dad went on to write more than 54 books, novels and nonfiction, including the novelization of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, with Spielberg, Dog Day Afternoon and Hide in Plain Sight. He continued to write even after he turned 80, becoming the editor of the Naples Literary Review, in Naples FL, where he and Bob Ludlum enjoyed knocking back a scotch or three together as they watched the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.
Dad will be sorely missed by a lot of people. He is survived by my sister Susan and I, our respective husbands and daughters, as well as dad’s second wife, Pat. I was with my father until about an hour before his passing. I can tell you that he died peacefully in his sleep.