The ultimate villain

He’s a thief. He’s a criminal mastermind. The leader of an army of street thugs. And a mass murder. But who is Fantomas? MORE …

Typecast as pulp

That face . . . it looks familiar. You think you’ve seen it on the cover of a pulp magazine. Or, maybe you want that typeface for your pulp publication. MORE …

Adventure on the tube

Michael Biehn

Michael Biehn

Pulp-like series turn up on television periodically. This fall you can join Judson Cross, Mackenzie Previn and Gabriel Patterson as they trek around the world as the for-hire Adventure Inc. The Tribune Entertainment syndicated series stars Michael Biehn (at right), Karen Cliche and Jesse Nilsson and has as one of its exeecutive producers Gale Anne Hurd. Hurd has also produced films such as The Terminator, Aliens and the upcoming The Hulk. In the first episode, “Bride of the Sun,” which airs the first week of October, the Adventure Inc. trio are searching for, in pulp fashion, an ancient Mayan altar before Cross’ former partner finds it. Check out the Adventure Inc. website for local viewing times and stations. (The website is no longer active.)

Old is new again

Leigh and Neil Mechem, who run Girasol Collectables in Mississauga, Ontario, have just released two more issues of their ongoing series of pulp replicas — Strange Tales (October 1932) and Weird Tales No. 1 (March 1923). Leigh writes that the Strange Tales “features the often reprinted ‘worm’ cover and stories by authors Clark Ashton Smith and Hugh B. Cave, to name a few.” The Weird Tales replica is a whopping 192 pages, but that’s not the only thing that makes it unique. There were two different covers on that issue, Leigh says, Girasol is offering both variations. He says he and his brother, who have been pulp fans since the 1970s, stumbled into publishing the reprints “by accident. We have a number of very budget-restricted collectors on our list that just enjoy the read. Medium grade and better hero pulps tend to be out of their league so we do keep an eye out for ‘reading copies’ in our travels. One day we got a pulp of interest that literally broke apart page by page. It wasn’t even really readable unless . . . . This was the start of our ‘replicas’ as we tried to save that pulp for at least one more person to read – in some form.” The Strange Tales sells for $20, while the larger Weird Tales costs $25. For more information these and the other replicas, visit their Girasol Collectables website.

Update: Online adventures

Red Kelso

Red Kelso

In August, the free Supernatural Crime Digital Comics and Pulp returned from hiatus with new installments of Brother Grim, Femme Noir and Nightmark. Just recently, Supernatural Crime’s sister site, (website is no longer available), debuted with 14 online comics in a subscription format. Ron Fortier, who writes the comic superhero Mr. Jigsaw, Man of a Thousand Parts, says that the new site features several pulp-inspired strips, including Gary Chaloner’s Red Kelso, Athena Voltaire and Gibson Dent. (Hmmm, where do I know that name from?) It’s $2.95 a month.

— William Lampkin

Pulp Q&A

I just picked up a painting in an antiques shop that may be an original pulp or book illustration, but I can’t find where it might be from. For that matter, it’s even hard for me to date. The canvas is definitely old, but whether it’s 1950s or earlier I cannot tell. There’s no sign of a signature or any markings. Any information about the artist or subject would help. The image is similar to Tarzan and Jane, but more likely one of the innumerable Burroughs copy cats The canvas measures 20-by-24-inches and the painting is done in oils.

We’re not experts on Edgar Rice Burroughs/Tarzan matters so we turned to D. Peter Ogden, who has published and edited the Burroughs zine, Erbania, since 1956:

“It doesn’t look like anything I have ever seen on a book nor does it look like a Tarzan painting,” Ogden replies. “Looks more like a religious painting — maybe Samson and Delilah?”

Hmmm. The man’s garment resembles some of the Tarzan loincloths from early pulp and book covers. We were hoping it would turn out to be a long-lost cover painting.

Sorry this doesn’t solve your mystery, but hopefully it narrows the field a bit. If the painting rings a bell with anyone, please drop is a note.