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
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

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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‘Tales of the Shadowmen #13: Sang Froid’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, February 1, 2017 in Doctor Omega, Foreign Pulps, French pulp, Harry Dickson, Pastiche, Review, Roulatabille, Sar Dubnotal, The Black Coats, Wold Newton Universe
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

‘Tales of the Shadowmen #13: Sang Froid’

'Tales of the Shadowmen #13: Sang Froid'There’s another volume of Tales of the Shadowmen out. The Black Coat Press series is now up to 13 volumes. This one is subtitled “Sang Froid,” which means “cold blood.” For me, I think of a murder mystery where someone is “murdered in cold blood,” but here it’s about the ability to stay calm in difficult or even dangerous situations — which many of these character have in spads.

As noted, this annual series makes use of Philip José Farmer‘s “Wold Newton” concept, mixing in a variety of literary characters, with a focus on the various pulp and pulpish characters of France and Europe, such as Arsene Lupin, Fantômas, The Nyctalope, Rouletabille, and many others, as well as those from other countries.

This year’s volume gives us:

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Pulp comics: ‘The Chimera Brigade’

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, December 23, 2016 in Comics, Doc Savage, Foreign Pulps, Harry Dickson, Nyctalope, Pastiche, The Shadow
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Pulp comics: ‘The Chimera Brigade’

'The Chimera Brigade'An interesting pulp-inspired comic-book series is The Chimera Brigade. Mainly because unlike making use of American pulp characters, it mainly makes use of European pulp characters, many of whom have been used in the Tales of the Shadowmen series (the author of this series writes for it, so if you’re read Tales, that will help). It originally appeared in France and has only recently been published in English.

Written by Serge Lehman with Fabrice Colin, and art by Gess, it first appeared in 2009. Recently Titan Comics reprinted it in three slim hardback volumes and is reprinting that in comic book form (two issues per volume) that should lead to further stories. I’m told there have been some changes in the comic from the books, but I can’t see that after comparing the first two comic books with the first volume.

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Dime Novel Cover Series revisited

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, September 30, 2015 in Dime Novels, Foreign Pulps, Harry Dickson, Proto-pulp
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Dime Novel Cover Series revisited

Jack Wright, the Boy InventorAn interesting series of works that I have previously posted on is Joseph Lovece‘s “Dime Novel Cover Series.” The series makes use of various “dime novel” works from the U.S. and overseas.  What is great about this series is it shows the wide variety of such works.

Joseph has added to the series. I have already given reviews on some of them. So I update what is out there, and give information on the newer volumes.

So far, the series consists of the following:

  1. “Denver Doll, the Detective Queen”
  2. “Six Weeks in the Moon”
  3. “Hank Hound, the Crescent City Detective”
  4. “Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper”
  5. “Hercules, the Dumb Destroyer”
  6. “Night Hawk”
  7. “Sexton Blake: the Mission Millionaire”
  8. “Lord Lister, Known as Raffles, Master Thief”
  9. “The Witch Hunter’s Wards”
  10. “Jack Wright, the Boy Inventor”
  11. “The James Boys and Pinkerton”
  12. “Harry Dickson The American Sherlock Holmes: Escaping a Terrible Death”
  13. “Jörn Farrow’s U-Boat Adventures: The Sea Monster”
  14. “Sexton Blake: A Christmas Crime”
  15. “The Silent City”

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Review: Dime Novel Cover Series

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, March 25, 2015 in Dime Novels, Foreign Pulps, Harry Dickson, Pastiche, Proto-pulp, Pulps, Review, Sherlock Holmes
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Review: Dime Novel Cover Series

An interesting new series of works I recently discovered is Joseph Lovece‘s “Dime Novel Cover Series.” The series makes use of various “dime novel” works as a starting point.

"Night Hawk"Dime novels were the late 1800s forerunners of the pulp magazines. They included the various “story papers,” which were often reprinted as cheap, large format “paperbacks” and the like. Some had various continuing characters: western heroes, various detectives like Nick Carter, and the various boy inventors like Frank Reade Jr. Such works are not limited to the United States, and various European countries had similar works.

So far, the series consists of the following:

  • “Denver Doll, the Detective Queen”
  • “Six Weeks in the Moon”
  • “Hank Hound, the Crescent City Detective”
  • “Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper”
  • “Hercules, the Dumb Destroyer”
  • “Night Hawk”
  • “Sexton Blake, the Mission Millionaire”
  • “Lord Lister, Known as Raffles, Master Thief”
  • “The Witch Hunter’s Wards”

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Harry Dickson, the American Sherlock Holmes

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, August 25, 2014 in French pulp, Harry Dickson, Pastiche, Review, Sherlock Holmes
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Harry Dickson, the American Sherlock HolmesWe’ve looked at Sherlock Holmes and some of the Holmes pastiches that became characters in there own right. Now we look at another of those: Harry Dickson, the American Sherlock Holmes.

Harry Dickson has a someone unusual creation. In Germany, a pulp called “Sherlock Holmes’ Most Famous Cases” started in 1907 with new stories of Sherlock Holmes NOT written by Conan Doyle, but fearing legal issues, it was re-titled “The Secret Files of the King of Detectives” with issue No. 11. The character was still called Sherlock Holmes in the stories, though he was aided by Harry Taxson and not Dr. Watson. This magazine would last some 230 issues, until 1911.

In 1927, there was a Dutch translation of the German series, with the main character now renamed “Harry Dickson, the American Sherlock Holmes”. It’s unclear where the name came from. The Harry Taxson character was renamed Tom Wills, now a young assistant. There was also a separate character named Allan Dickson, the “Australian King of Detectives,” another Holmes pastiche who appeared in 1912 in a handful of stories (interestingly, he was created by Arnould Galopin, creator of Doctor Omega).  Who knows? This series lasted 180 issues until 1935.

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