Stories by Hollywood icon, Eustace Cockrell, published |
TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN – Eustace Cockrell was best known as the contributing writer of several hit westerns in the early days of television, but his work leading up to his television career is at the center of a new two-volume publication, The Masterpieces of Eustace Cockrell, compiled by Cockrell’s son-in-law Roger Coleman.
Cockrell was a television pioneer who contributed to many of the early Western shows, including “Have Gun Will Travel”, “Maverick” and “Gunsmoke”. He has also written for such high profile television programs as “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, “I Spy” and “Naked City”.
As it turned out, before his Hollywood career, Cockrell was also a master of the short story. For over 25 years, beginning in 1932, his works appeared regularly in pulp fiction magazines such as Blue Book and Argosy, as well as in “slicks” such as Collier’s, Saturday Evening Post and Cosmopolitan.
Now, for the first time, these stories have been collected in a two-volume set edited by Coleman – also a writer – who is married to Cockrell’s daughter Elizabeth.
These two volumes are organized to reflect a separation within Cockrell’s prolific writings. His early stories (1936-1945) show the darkness of the Great Depression and the coming of World War II. Here, orphans, ex-fraudsters and soldiers often serve as heroes and sources of inspiration. His later stories (1946-1957) express a greater awareness of social problems and a rebellion against restrictive attitudes, especially those that limit the role of women and minorities.
“Cockrell developed a style that set him apart from other great writers of his time,” said Coleman. “Cockrell not only highlighted strong, independent women, but was also one of the first to introduce a black hero in the person of the boxer Refugee Smith. Refugee Smith appeared in 13 of Cockrell’s stories. “
Eustace Cockrell’s masterpieces define Cockrell’s significance as an American writer – whether read in print or seen on the home screen – for both the excellence of his writing and the message conveyed.
“Eustace Cockrell’s masterpieces contain stories of second chances and the potential for all of us to improve our lives and those of others,” said Coleman. “These stories are a reminder of what it means to be human in a world far removed from the times Cockrell wrote. Times have changed, but the plot remains the same. “
Eustace Cockrell’s masterpieces are available in stores and online and are published by Mission Point Press, Traverse City, Michigan. The retail price for each volume is $ 16.95. More information is available at www.eustacecockrell.net.