Gary Phillips (b. 1955) is a critically acclaimed author of mysteries and graphic novels. Raised in South Central Los Angeles, Phillips grew up reading comics, classic pulp and detective fiction, and the likes of Iceberg Slim and took inspiration from all this when he created his first series character, Ivan Monk, in the early 1990s. A private detective adept at navigating the racial tensions of modern L. A. and beyond, Monk has appeared in four novels and one short story collection, Monkology (2011). Phillips introduced his second series character, Martha Chainey, in High Hand (2000), and followed that rollicking tale of a showgirl’s mafia troubles with another book and short story. Besides writing several stand alones like The Jook and The Underbelly, and editing anthologies such as Orange County Noir, Phillips has found success in the field of graphic novels, penning illustrated stories such as The Rinse and High Rollers. When not writing, he spends his time smoking the occasional cigar and pondering why his poker abilities haven’t improved. Phillips continues to live and work in Los Angeles.