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

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

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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‘Tales of the Shadowmen 11: Force Majeure’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, January 28, 2015 in Arsene Lupin, Doctor Omega, French pulp, Judex, New Pulp, Nyctalope, Review, The Black Coats, The Shadow, Wold Newton Universe

‘Tales of the Shadowmen 11: Force Majeure’

'Tales of the Shadowmen 11: Force Majeure'It’s 2015, and we have another volume of “Tales of the Shadowmen,” now up to volume 11. It’s subtitled “Force Majeure,” a term which means a catastrophic event or force.

This annual series makes use of Philip José Farmer‘s Wold Newton Universe idea, 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, Fantomas, The Nyctalope, Rouletabille, and many others, as well as those from other countries.

This year’s volume gives us:

• Matthew Baugh: “Gilgamesh Revisited” is a retelling of Gilgamesh with various pulp characters in place of the major players, such as a certain Man of Bronze, “Devil Doctor” and Giant Ape.

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Review: ‘Tales of the Shadowmen, Vol. 10’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, October 8, 2014 in Arsene Lupin, Doctor Omega, French pulp, Nyctalope, Pulps, Review, Rocambole, Roulatabille, Sar Dubnotal, Sherlock Holmes, The Black Coats, Wold Newton Universe

Review: ‘Tales of the Shadowmen, Vol. 10’

'Tales of the Shadowmen, Vol. 10'“Tales of the Shadowmen: Espirit de Corps” (2013) is the 10th and latest volume of this eclectic anthology series from Black Coat Press.

Because it’s the 10th volume, it’s also the largest volume yet, clocking in at almost 450 pages! This collection fits into Philip José Farmer‘s “Wold Newton” concept.

The stories in this collection are:

• Jean-Marc Lofficier: “My Life as a Shadowman,” an introduction and followup to his prior intro in vol. 3.

• Matthew Baugh: “Quest of the Vourdalaki” is an interesting story with Cossacks and vampires, including characters from “The Vampire Captain” (from Black Coat Press) and Jean Rey‘s “Malpurtuis.”

• Nicholas Boving: “The Green Eye” returns with Rupert of Hentzau (“Prisoner of Zenda”), now in India, where he gets help from Phileas Fogg, and has a run in with English gentleman-thief A.J. Raffles and some of Rudyard Kipling‘s characters.

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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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Meet The Nyctalope

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, June 30, 2014 in French pulp, Nyctalope, Proto-pulp, Pulps

"Enter The Nyctalope"The Nyctalope is an overlooked French proto-superhero/proto-pulp adventurer that was featured in a series of serialized novels and stories during the first half of the 20th century.

Due in part to the author working with the Vichy government during WWII, both he and his character fell out of popularity.

Now, Black Coat Press has been slowing bringing the character back with translations of the original stories and new ones by several authors in their “Tales of the Shadowmen” series. There has been an attempt to fit all these stories into a coherent chronology, and explain or fix some of the problems in the stories.

The Nyctalope is really Léo Saint-Clair. He has the ability to see in the dark, hence his name. He also has an artificial heart, which seems to also imbid him with vitality and a bit of longevity (though this is not mentioned in the first novel, so this is something the author added later to the character, but I’m not sure when).

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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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