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

Pulp comics: Dynamite’s ‘The Black Bat’

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, December 9, 2016 in Black Bat, Comics
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Pulp comics: Dynamite’s ‘The Black Bat’

Dynamite's 'The Black Bat' No. 1The Black Bat was a pulp hero that appeared during the third wave of new pulp heroes, who where more like comic-book heroes. The Black Bat was fairly successful, and ran longer than the others, but didn’t have too much success in comics.

Published in the pulps by Thrilling, the comic-book version was published by Thrilling’s associated comic book company Nedor, which had to rename him the Mask.

Moonstone did a comic that made changes to him. Ron Fortier did a more correct version in comics.

After they started doing other pulp heroes (The Shadow, The Spider, Doc Savage, etc), Dynamite did a Black Bat comic, which they could do as the character is in the public domain.

The comic ran for 12 issues, and moved the character into modern times. But they made such radical changes to the character that I dropped it after eight issues. They have collected the whole comic series in trade paperback.

Read more

Read More

Barry Reese’s ‘Gotterdammerung’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, August 24, 2016 in Black Bat, Lazarus Gray, New Pulp, Pro Se Press, Review, The Rook/The Peregrine
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Barry Reese’s ‘Gotterdammerung’

"Gotterdammerung"It’s been too long since I read and reviewed one of Barry Reese‘s works. But the wait has been worth it.

Gotterdammerung is the long-awaited teamup between his three main characters: The Rook, The Peregrine, Gravedigger, and Lazarus Gray. It’s also part of the Sovereign City Project.

Okay, for those not aware, a quick overview of the three characters:

The Peregrine is Reese’s longest running character, a 1930/’40s era pulp hero with some elements of the occult. He is a well-trained fighter who also carries an occult knife. He fights a variety of foes, some supernatural, and has even organized a team of other heroes to fight similar threat (though that happens after the events of this story).

Read more

Read More

‘All-Star Pulp Comics’

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, January 22, 2016 in Black Bat, Comics, Crimson Mask, Dillon, Domino Lady, Green Lama, Jim Anthony, Moon Man, Pulps, Secret Agent X, The Rook/The Peregrine
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

‘All-Star Pulp Comics’
"All-Star Pulp Comics," No. 1

“All-Star Pulp Comics,” No. 1

All-Star Pulp Comics, published by Redbud Studios, has new black-and-white comic stories of original and New Pulp characters. Three issues are out so far, available in digital and hardcopy versions. The first two issues can be obtained from IndyPlanet, while the third is on Amazon.

Redbud Studios is associated with Airship 27, so there a lot of crossover of characters. Several pulp character that Airship 27 has put out new stories of appear in these comics. Do not know which, if any of these are adaptations of those stories.

Issue number one has a cover with Green Lama and Domino Lady.

Inside we get stories of:

  • The Green Lama, by Adam Lance Garcia. The Green Lama is a shorter lived pulp character who is a Buddhist lama, and appeared in pulps and comics. As Garcia is now the official author of the character, I assume this story is considered “canon.” Here the Lama goes up against Nazis in an original story.
  • Read more

Read More

‘Pro Se Presents,’ year one

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, November 28, 2014 in Black Bat, Brother Bones, New Pulp, Pastiche, Phantom Detective, Pro Se Press, Review, Silver Manticore
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

"Pro Se Presents" No. 1Tommy Hancock‘s Pro Se Press has in its short time in existence become one of the major New Pulp publishers. And they have even pushed for the use of the term “New Pulp,” even coming up with a New Pulp logo that other publishers can use as well, as a cross promotional tool.

One of their most interesting efforts was to bring back a feature of the original, classic pulps: of being published monthly. They did this in 2011 with a new, monthly digest series, Pro Se Presents. Each volume would be about 100 pages, and have different types of pulp stories. Not just hero fiction, but horror, science fiction, detective, fantasy, and more. Some volumes might have two or three or even four stories, some might have only one, or in a few cases serialized over a couple of issues.

In this posting, I look at the first 12 issues of Pro Se Presents, Volume 1:

#1, August 2011 kicks off the series with three unusual stories. One is a modern horror story, the second is more a fantasy story, with elements of horror, and the third is a detective story. Or is it?

Read more

Read More

Review: ‘Tales of Masks & Mayhem, Vol. III’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, November 13, 2013 in Black Bat, Hero Pulps, New Pulp, Pulps, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Review: ‘Tales of Masks & Mayhem, Vol. III’

Tales of Masks & Mayhem, Vol. III“Tales of Masks & Mayhem, Vol. III,” is the third of four collections of New Pulp hero stories continuing from Tom Johnson‘s Fading Shadows zines, such as Double Danger Tales, where these characters originally appeared. It’s edited by Ginger Johnson. Unlike the prior collections, there is no intro in this volume, and this one has artwork with most of the stories.

“The Cult of the Faceless Fiend,” by Thomas V. Powers, features Crimson Bat and is reprinted from DDT #36. This character mixes several elements. You have a generational hero, like the Green Hornet, with a mix of occult detective and Batman.

“The Face of Chu-Jung,” by Eric Turowski, is reprinted from DDT #7. This is New Pulp hero with a twist: he’s Asian. Usually during the pulp period, Asians were either villians (Fu Manchu, et al), or at best aides to the main heroes.

Read more

Read More

Review: ‘Black Bat Mysteries, Vol. 2’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, October 16, 2013 in Black Bat, Hero Pulps, New Pulp, Pulps, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Review: ‘Black Bat Mysteries, Vol. 2’

Black Bat Mystery, Vol. 2Once again, Airship 27 assembles a great collection of new short stories of a classic pulp hero with “Black Bat Mystery, Vol. 2.”

For those not familiar, the Black Bat was a lesser known pulp hero, but still well remembered. The Black Bat wore a costume similar to Batman, who came out around the same time.

Unlike what is shown in most original pulp artwork, he has a full face mask (the cover and interior artwork of this collection correctly shows this).

What makes the Black Bat most interesting is that he was really former District Attorney Tony Quinn, who was blinded when a criminal threw a vial of acid in his face (shades of Two-Face). A secret procedure gave him the eyes of a slain police officer, and he was able to see in the dark. This, added to his heightened senses from when he was blind gave him a clear advantage over his foes.

Read more

Read More