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

Young Harry Dickson

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, March 6, 2017 in Fantomas, French pulp, Harry Dickson, Pastiche, Sherlock Holmes

Young Harry Dickson

'The Man in Grey'I have posted in the past about Harry Dickson, the American Sherlock Holmes. While the character started off as nothing more than an unauthorized version of Sherlock Holmes published in Germany, he became a character in his own right in Belgium and France, rivaling even Holmes himself.

In looking at the history of the character and where he got his name, some have justly looked at an early and popular character, Allan Dickson, King of the Australian Detectives. Created by Arnould Galopin, who also created Doctor Omega, Allan Dickson appeared in several short stories and a few of novels between 1906-12.

The folks at Black Coat Press have put forth the idea that Allan Dickson is Harry Dickson, but just a younger one, as the main period of Harry Dickson’s career is the mid-1920s to mid-’30s. Plus, Allan Dickson is shown being mentored by Sherlock Holmes, and Harry would move in to 221B Baker Street (I guess after Sexton Blake also moved out?).

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Fanzine focus: ‘Awesome Tales’ #3

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, March 16, 2016 in Fantomas, Fanzines, New Pulp, Review

Fanzine focus: ‘Awesome Tales’ #3

"Awesome Tales" #3Awesome Tales is a fanzine produced by Black Cat Media (R. Allen Leider) and packaged/published by Bold Venture Press.

I had recently reviewed the first two issues, and wondered when the third issue would come out. Well, #3 appeared, dated “Winter 2016.” In speaking with Rich Harvey of Bold Venture Press, the intention now is to publish this on a quarterly basis. So I will look forward to future issues.

The cover feature is on Fantomas, the sinister French pulp supervillain. Fantomas (which I covered more completely in a recent post) was created in the early 1900s and appeared in over 30 stories. Moving beyond gentlemen thieves, he was more clearly villainous, in the style of later villains such as appeared in the “weird menace” pulps. Set during WWII, the story here has Fantomas pitted against the Nazis. This seems appropriate. Other than in the Tales of the Shadowmen series, we haven’t had much new Fantomas works, so this is a nice change.

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Meet Fantômas

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, March 7, 2016 in Arsene Lupin, Belphegor, Fantomas, French pulp, Fu Manchu, Judex, Roulatabille, Villain Pulps

Meet Fantômas

Fantomas“Fantômas!”
“What did you say?”
“I said: Fantômas”
“And what does that mean?”
“Nothing…Everything!”
“But what is it?”
“No one…and yet, yes, it is someone!”
“And what does this someone do?”
Spreads terror!

Fantômas, Lord of Terror, Genius of Evil, is probably one of the most important villains in popular literature, more so that he carried his own series. When we think of villains who also starred in their own series, we think of Fu Manchu, maybe some of the very short-lived villain pulps, whereas Fantômas appeared before them and in many ways has had a wider influence.

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Fanzine update: ‘Blood ‘n’ Thunder’ #45

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, September 18, 2015 in Fantomas, Fanzines, Hero Pulps, Non-fiction, Science Fiction Pulps, Western Pulps

Fanzine update: ‘Blood ‘n’ Thunder’ #45

"Blood 'n' Thunder" No. 45Well, it’s Summer of 2015, and we get another issue of Murania Press‘ (Ed Hulse‘s) excellent magazine Blood ‘n’ Thunder.

Last summer we got a single issue (#41) and after another delay, we got another huge triple issue for 2014-15 that covered #42-44. So I decided to just cover this issue rather than hold off for when the next issue will come out (which should be this fall).

Blood ‘n’ Thunder covers 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.

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Review: ‘Tales of the Shadowmen, Vol. 9’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, July 16, 2014 in Doctor Omega, Fantomas, French pulp, Harry Dickson, Jim Anthony, Nyctalope, Pulps, Review, The Black Coats, Wold Newton Universe

Review: ‘Tales of the Shadowmen, Vol. 9’

Tales of the Shadowmen, Vol. 9“Tales of the Shadowmen: La Vie en Noir” (2012) is the ninth volume of this eclectic anthology series from Black Coat Press.

This collection fits into Philip José Farmer‘s “Wold Newton” concept.

A difference in this collection is that seven stories deal with the “treasure” of the Black Coats, a criminal fraternity lead by the mysterious Col. Bozzo-Corona that has been featured in many stories in past collections. The intro explains this and lists the stories by their internal chronology if people want to read them that way. You can also read translations of the original Black Coat novels from Black Coat Press as well.

The stories in this collection are:

• Matthew Baugh: “Tournament of the Treasure,” one of the Black Coat stories, has several characters, including Robert E. Howard‘s Steve Costigan and Edgar Rice Burroughs‘s Townsend Harper (from “Monster Men”) fighting on behalf of several leaders of The Black Coats. The winner will get the “treasure” of the Black Coats.

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Review: ‘Tales of the Shadowmen, Vol. 7’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, June 11, 2014 in Doctor Omega, Fantomas, French pulp, Fu Manchu, Judex, Nyctalope, Pulps, Review, Sar Dubnotal, The Black Coats, Wold Newton Universe, Zorro

Tales of the Shadowmen: Femmes Fatale“Tales of the Shadowmen: Femmes Fatale” (2011) is the seventh volume of this eclectic anthology series from Black Coat Press.

This collection fits into Philip José Farmer‘s “Wold Newton” concept.

Included in this collection are:

• Matt Haley: “My Femmes Fatales” is an art portfolio on various femme fatales shown in this series, with a brief intro to each one.

• Xavier Maumejean: “My Femmes Fatales” is a brief foreword on the character of the femme fatale.

• Roberto Lionel Barreiro: “Secrets” is a short tale having Jean Valjean (of “Les Misérables”) meeting Zorro, though both are disguised.

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