Blog: Commentary from the den of a pulp super-fan

‘Sargasso’ and William Hope Hodgson

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, January 16, 2017 in Fantasy Pulp, Fanzines, Pulps, Weird Fiction

‘Sargasso’ and William Hope Hodgson

'Sargasso: The Journal of William Hope Hodgson Studies' #1William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918) is an author more people should be aware of. He wrote essays, short fiction, novels, and poetry, most in the genres of horror, fantastic, and science fiction. Much of his short fiction appeared in pulp magazines in the U.K. and U.S.

Because he had ran away to be a Merchant Marine at age 13, an experience he grew to hate, many of his stories were clearly influenced by this, especially his “Sargasso Sea” stories. Most pulp fans are probably aware of him due to his occult detective, Carnacki, or perhaps his various sea stories or mention of his works by H.P. Lovecraft.

For those wanting to delve further into Hodgson, there is a semi-annual journal, Sargasso: The Journal of William Hope Hodgson Studies. Three issues have appeared so far in 2013, 2014, and 2016. All are available on Amazon. These journals have essays, poetry, artwork, and even short fiction, all focused on Hodgson and his work. They are edited by Sam Gafford, a long-time scholar and editor of Hodgson’s works. I’ve gotten all of them over the years and look forward to each one.

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Pulp comics: ‘Chimera Brigade’ vol. 2 & 3

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, January 13, 2017 in Comics, Foreign Pulps, Pastiche, Review

Pulp comics: ‘Chimera Brigade’ vol. 2 & 3

'The Chimera Brigade' Vol. 2After getting the first volume of The Chimera Brigade from Titan Comics, I got the second and third volumes. As with the first volume, these will soon be reprinted in comic-book form as the third through sixth issues. These two volumes reveals the Chimera Brigade, setting things down for what appears to be a coming war.

We are also introduced to several new characters, and I’m not always certain which are originals. First off, we meet the Brigade, four individuals who are released from Dr. Severac: the angelic Unknown Soldier; the mother goddess Matrikia; the intelligent bear Brown Baron; and the skeletal Doctor Serum.

Other characters introduced are: the mystic Palmyra, who operates in Paris; The Elastic Man, who had increase and decrease his size and was released in the last volume. Here, The Eye (the Nyctalope) and his C.I.D. capture him and send him against the Radium Institute. The evil hypnotist Cagliostro is defeated, but he doesn’t seem to have any connection with the Count Cagliostro. We also meet Odd John the Cosmic Man and his dog Sirius. These two characters were mutants created in novels of the same names by Olaf Stapledon in the 1930s. Here they are given powers more like Superman and Krypto.

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Review: ‘Super-Detective Jim Anthony,’ Vol. 3

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, January 9, 2017 in Altus Press, Hero Pulps, Jim Anthony, Review

Review: ‘Super-Detective Jim Anthony,’ Vol. 3

 'Super-Detective Jim Anthony,' Vol. 3Here we have a new collection of original stories of Jim Anthony, a sort-of Doc Savage clone published by Trojan/Culture Publications in the early 1940s, a publisher of the “spicy” pulps, a kind-of soft porn magazine.

He lasted 25 stories, and Altus Press is reprinting the whole series. We now have the third volume, with the seventh, eighth and ninth novels.

Jim Anthony was “half Irish, half Indian, and all-American.” More emotional than Doc, Anthony was a physical and mental marvel. He had a penthouse in the Waldorf-Anthony Hotel he owned and had a secret mansion in the Catskills called “The Tepee.” He was assisted by a small group of people including Tom Gentry, pilot and right-hand man; Mephito, his shaman grandfather; Dawkins, his butler; and Dolores Colquitte, the daughter of a U.S. senator and his fiance (something unusual, as while some pulp heroes had a love interest, none were noted as their fiance). He also owned the New York Star and other papers, and made use of them in his adventures.

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Pulp comics: Dynamite’s The Spider

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, January 6, 2017 in Comics, Pulps, The Spider

Pulp comics: Dynamite’s The Spider

Dynamite's 'The Spider' #1In 2012, Dynamite got the license for The Spider from Moonstone. They soon did a comic with The Spider, written by David Liss. But they moved the character into modern times and made various changes to all of the secondary characters. I, like many fans, wasn’t very pleased with what I saw. Hopefully you’ll see why.

So, a brief recap of The Spider and his associates.

In the pulp, Richard Wentworth is a former Army major and wealthy playboy. It’s established that his parents are dead. He is accompanied in his adventures with several characers: his fiance, Nita Van Sloan; his Sikh manservant, Ram Singh; his butler, Jenkins; his chauffer, Jackson, who had served under him in the army; and Professor Brownlee, who provided him with weapons. He had to deal with his friend Commissioner Kirkpatrick, who figured that Wentworth may be The Spider, but couldn’t prove it.

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Fanzine focus: ‘Blood ‘n’ Thunder’ #49/50

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, January 4, 2017 in Fanzines, Non-fiction, Review

Fanzine focus: ‘Blood ‘n’ Thunder’ #49/50

'Blood 'n' Thunder' #49/50It’s another end of an era.

After 15 some years, Ed Hulse‘s excellent magazine, Blood ‘n’ Thunder, comes to an end with the Fall 2016 issue: #49/50.

Blood ‘n’ Thunder covered not just pulps, but their dime-novel forerunners, movie serials, and early radio. But every issue has something of interest to pulp fans, and this one is no exception, having both new articles, and reprints of both fiction and non-fiction. If you have not gotten this fanzine, there are two collections of articles from the first 22 issues, and the rest are available through Amazon, thanks to print on demand.

So what do we have in this issue? Another great collection of non-fiction, fiction, new and old.

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Kicking off 2017

Posted by at 5:00 pm Tuesday, January 3, 2017 in Commentary

2017 is here, and I see that my fourth anniversary of this blog is rapidly approaching, as well as hitting 400 posts.  Not sure which one will hit first.

A reminder on my goals with this blog.  I will try to have 2 posts a week.  Posts will be Monday, Wednesday and/or Friday.

Each day will have a different focus:

  • Monday-  original pulp (including proto pulp like dime novels, etc.)
  • Wednesday- New Pulp
  • Friday- other media: comics, tv, movies.  Also, borderline stuff like juvenile fiction.

Postings on fanzines may appear on Wednesday or Friday.

If you like what you see, please post a comment.  Disagree or have more info to share, post a comment (I sometimes make mistakes, and sometimes I’m not trying to be as detailed as possible).

Got several posts already lined up and have a list of items I hope to tackle in 2017.

Enjoy!!!

-Pulp Superfan!!!

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Fanzine focus: ‘Pulp Adventures’ #23

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, December 30, 2016 in New Pulp, Pulps, Reprints, Sherlock Holmes

Fanzine focus: ‘Pulp Adventures’ #23

'Pulp Adventures' #23Pulp Adventures #23 (Fall 2016) begins the third year of this revised pulp fanzine from Bold Venture Press.

As always, we get a collection of classic and New Pulp fiction (with some notes) and even some pulp comics, under a George Rozen cover (a detective one, from a spicy pulp).

In the area of old pulp, we start off with “Luck” by Theodore Roscoe, which appeared in Short Stories in 1941. This one is set at a horse track. We also get an short article on Roscoe, who is probably best known for his series about Thibault Corley of the Foreign Legion, which has been reprinted by Altus Press. Bold Venture is planning on reprinting some other books by Roscoe in 2017, and has reprinted a biography on him as well.

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