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

‘Pulp Adventures’ #24

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, March 22, 2017 in Comics, Fanzines, H.P. Lovecraft, Reprints, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

‘Pulp Adventures’ #24

'Pulp Adventures' #24Pulp Adventures #24 (Winter 2017) kicks off 2017 with this great pulp fanzine from Bold Venture Press. As always, we get a collection of classic and New Pulp fiction (with some notes) and this time also a pulp graphic novel, under an Emmet Watson cover, which ties to one of the stories reprinted here.

For classic pulp, we get:

The cover feature, “Sheridan Rides Again,” is a post Civil War adventure by Sam Merwin Jr. that first appeared in an issue of Thrilling Adventure in 1941. Accompanying this reprint is an article that appeared in the same issue by Merwin that explains the historical background of the story. A prolific pulp writer (mysteries and science fiction mainly) and editor (several leading science-fiction pulps), most of his works are out of print. Bold Venture plans on reprinting more of them soon.

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Pulp comics: ‘Fatale’

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, September 30, 2016 in Comics, H.P. Lovecraft, Pulps, Review, Weird Fiction, Weird Menace Pulps
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Pulp comics: ‘Fatale’

"Fatale" Vol. 1A different pulp-inspired comic from the team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips is Fatale. It followed their interesting Incognito series, which was inspired by pulp heroes.

Fatale is inspired by a mix of crime noir and Lovecraftian horror. And like Incognito, we get a series of essays in several issues from Jess Nevins and others. The series ran 24 issues (originally planned as 12) from 2012-14.

The story concerns a mysterious femme fatale named Joséphine. She seems long lived and never ages, with flashbacks at different parts of her life going back to the ’30s, with the main storyline set in modern times. Jo is being pursued by a dangerous cult that wants to sacrifice her to their Lovecraftian gods. And the leader has very real and sinister powers.

Jo has an effect on men, something she can’t always control, that compels them to help her — as a lover, guardian, or the like. And it usually doesn’t work out well for the men in question.

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Fanzine focus: Pulp Adventures #21

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, August 3, 2016 in Cthulhu Mythos, Detective Pulps, Fanzines, H.P. Lovecraft, New Pulp, Reprints, Sherlock Holmes
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

'Pulp Adventures' #21Pulp Adventures #21 (Spring 2016) is the seventh issue of the new version from Bold Venture Press.

Once again we get a collection of classic and New Pulp fiction (with some notes), all under a Norman Saunders cover (a detective one). And do we get some goodies this time!

In my view, this blend of new and old pulp fiction (with occasional pre-pulp and post-pulp) that doesn’t focus on one pulp genre — we get horror, science fiction, crime & detective, railroading, and pulp hero in this one — makes this one of the best pulp fiction fanzines coming out now. You might not like everything that appears in an issue, but I know you will like something.

The issue kicks off with Ron Fortier providing a Brother Bones tale: “The Hideout.” His Undead Avenger has appeared in several short stories and a couple of novels. And soon a roleplaying game and a movie!  Sadly, I have to admit that Brother Bones is probably the only major New Pulp Hero that I haven’t read.

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Fanzine focus: ‘The Pulpster’ #24

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, March 2, 2016 in Conventions, Doctor Death, Fanzines, H.P. Lovecraft, Non-fiction, References, Review, Street & Smith, Thrilling
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Fanzine focus: ‘The Pulpster’ #24

'The Pulpster' #24The Pulpster is the program book for PulpFest, and this time we look at the most recent Pulpster, #24, from Pulpfest 2015. I wasn’t able to attend, but got it.

Each issue of The Pulpster is packed with articles on the pulps, rounded out with artwork, and professionally printed. They stand up to any fanzine. Many articles are written by several of the major pulp researchers, and many articles are organized around the theme for PulpFest. For 2015, the theme was H.P. Lovecraft at 125.

The cover is a photo of Lovecraft taken at age 25. The rest of the issue features several great articles, plus one piece of fiction.

Tying to theme, we get a retrospective of Lovecraft’s legacy from several authors. Each one contributes about a half page write up, and many of the authors have themselves contributed Lovecraft-esque works. So these was an enjoyable set of pieces.

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The cosmic horror of H.P. Lovecraft

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, June 1, 2015 in Cthulhu Mythos, H.P. Lovecraft, Pulps
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The cosmic horror of H.P. Lovecraft
H.P. Lovecraft

H.P. Lovecraft

As has too often been the case, many pulp writers were ignored or overlooked during their lifetimes, only to become massively popular and well read after their demise. An example of this is Howard Philips Lovecraft (1890-1937) who toiled in relative obscurity writing for the pulps. Fortunately one fans worked to make his writings available, and now his works are widely available.

Lovecraft has influenced several generations of horror writers such that most recognize the term “Lovecraftian” to describe similar works or have heard of the “Cthulhu Mythos.”

As a young science-fiction fan I often also watched horror movies, many times because many horror movies were science-fiction films to a degree, especially with the idea of “creature features.” I watched the Universal monster movies — featuring Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, et al — and all the rest from the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s.

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Fanzine focus: ‘Windy City Pulp Stories’ #15

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, May 20, 2015 in Comics, Fanzines, H.P. Lovecraft, Pulps, Review, Street & Smith
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Fanzine focus: ‘Windy City Pulp Stories’ #15

'Windy City Pulp Stories' No. 15Well, another Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention for 2015 has come and gone, and with it we get another convention program book: Windy City Pulp Stories #15.

This year’s theme is H.P. Lovecraft, the celebrated pulp horror author, along with Street & Smith’s comic line. It’s the 125th birthday for Lovecraft, and the 75th anniversary for the S&S comics. Most of the contents focus on HPL.

We get a large selection of articles on Lovecraft. From David Keller are two articles reprinted from the 1940s. The first is a good, general article on Lovecraft, and the second is on his astronomical notebook.

Author F. Paul Wilson (Repairman Jack, etc) remembers “My First Lovecraft,” and his experience reading “The Thing at the Doorstep.” Gene Christie looks at “Collecting Lovecraft: A Gallery,” with the covers of early sources for Lovecraft works.

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