I have posted before on Doc Ardan, and Black Coat Press has come out with a volume of new and old Doc Ardan stories.
So let’s be clear. French writer Guy d’Armen created young adventurer Doctor Francis Ardan in a trio of sf-adventure novels: The City of Gold and Lepers (1928), The Troglodytes of Mount Everest (1929), and The Giants of Dark Lake (1931), serialized in a French pulp magazine. All tell of Ardan’s adventurers going up against several super-science villains in distant areas of Asia. The first novel actually occurs after the second and third.
Because of his similarities to Doc Savage, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier made some tweaks to their translation to have “Francis Ardan” be an alias used by a young Clark Savage before his pulp adventures. This allowed for others to use Doc Ardan as a Doc Savage pastiche in Tales of the Shadowmen series and other works. As the earlier works were never available in English, claiming they were an influence on the creation of Doc Savage is a bit much.Read More
Back in 2004, Black Coat Press published the first Doc Ardan novel, The City of Gold and Lepers,” from 1928. Since then, many of us have been waiting for the final two original novels to also come out: “The Troglodytes of Mount Everest” (1929) and “The Giants of Dark Lake” (1931). And now we get then both in a single volume. We also learn that all 3 novels were serialized in French pulp magazines and were never reprinted in book form. “City” appeared in Sciences & Voyages, while the other two appeared in L’Intrépide. The original artwork is reprinted from these magazines.
So who is Doc Ardan? More properly, Doctor Ardan or Doctor Francis Ardan is a young doctor (fresh out of medical school in these two works) who is traveling the world and winds up going up against various pulp-like science villains. In the first novel, it was a Fu Manchu-like Dr. Natas. In these two (which are set before that one), we have new foes.Read More
There seems to be a phenomenon with popular characters. People start to look for other characters that inspired that character. Sometimes authors are forthcoming about the influences in creating their characters, sometimes not. Sometimes the influence may be unseen by the authors.
But too often fans go a little overboard, latching onto very early and often very obscure characters that preceded the popular character that are unlikely to have been an influence. Or sometimes they go in the opposite direction and claim characters who were published almost at the same time and which couldn’t have been an influence (for example, the Black Bat and Batman).
In a previous posting, I touched on a character that preceded The Shadow, Judex, who despite the numerous similarities, probably had no influence on the creation of The Shadow. This time we will look at a similar character that preceded Doc Savage: Doc Ardan.Read More