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

‘The Savage Dyaries’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, September 20, 2017 in Doc Savage, Fanzines, Non-fiction, Reprints, Review
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

‘The Savage Dyaries’

'The Savage Dyaries'The Savage Dyaries is a new collection of articles saved from pulp fanzines. In this case, Doc Savage articles written by Dafydd Neal Dyar that ran from 1979 to 1984.

Many of these fanzines are now hard to find, and so it’s great they are brought together for a new generation to enjoy.  Dyar has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of Doc, and can be counted on to provide such info in on-line discussions on Facebook.

All the articles here have been extensively footnoted (in a few cases the footnotes are longer then the articles themselves). As this is marked “Volume 1,” so hopefully at some point we’ll see a volume 2, maybe a volume of his non-Doc articles or later Doc articles?

So what does DND have for us?

• A couple of articles on John Sunlight that speculate on his parentage.

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Dare Devlin, a new Doc Savage pastiche

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, September 6, 2017 in Doc Savage, Fu Manchu, New Pulp, Pastiche, Review
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Dare Devlin, a new Doc Savage pastiche

'Dare Devlin: Supreme Adventurer'A new (kind of) Doc Savage pastiche is Dare Devlin: Supreme Adventurer by Dafydd Neal Dyar. His first appearance is in a new book from PULPlications, both hardback and paperback, along with a limited edition hardback with an extra story.

I say he is “kind of” new, as he’s based on Dyar’s prior pastiche work. Many years back he wrote a Doc pastiche who he named “Doc Wildman” (1978), using the “real” name of Doc as per Philip José Farmer. When he later did stories of this character, both in print and online, he decided to rename him “Doc Hazzard” (1988), based on the name of the obscure Doc pastiche Captain Hazzard. Now he has revamped his pastiche (and I believe reusing some of the original stories) as Dare Devlin. Not having read these earlier stories, I am not sure how the characters compare to each other.

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‘The Best of Farmerphile’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, August 23, 2017 in Doc Savage, Non-fiction, Pastiche, Philip Jose Farmer, Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, Wold Newton Universe
Estimated reading time: 1 minute

‘The Best of Farmerphile’

The Best of FarmerphileMeteor House‘s The Best of Farmerphile, as its title indicates, collects the best of the fiction and non-fiction that ran in the 15 issues of Farmerphile, published from 2005-09.

Focused on Philip José Farmer, it had non-fiction and previously unpublished fiction by Farmer, along with a variety of non-fiction works about Farmer and works by others.

And why should we care?

Because Farmer, as a pulp fan himself, wrote works (sometimes as pastiches) about or using pulp characters such as Tarzan, Doc Savage, Sherlock Holmes, and others. I’ve previously posted on Farmer’s work in this area, including the Wold Newton Family/Universe.

And several of the non-fiction works included here touch on several of those.

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‘The Man Behind Doc Savage’

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, August 21, 2017 in Doc Savage, Lester Dent, Non-fiction, Review
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

‘The Man Behind Doc Savage’

'The Man Behind Doc Savage: A Tribute to Lester Dent'In 1974, Robert Weinberg edited and published a short booklet (130 pages) titled The Man Behind Doc Savage: A Tribute to Lester Dent. For a while I just thought it was a bio of Lester Dent, but I recently obtained a copy of it and found it’s much more than just a bio, containing several short articles on Dent and his works, as well as two reprints.

First off is a short biography of Dent by Weinberg.  For those familiar with Dent’s life, nothing new here.  For unfamiliar, this may give you some insight.

Robert Sampson provides three articles. First off we learn more about Oscar Sail, Dent’s character from a pair of stories that ran in Black Mask. I really wish someone would reprint these two stories in some form. Then we get a look at the trio of works that ran in Argosy: “Hades,” “Hocus Pocus,” and Genius Jones. I’ve reviewed all three previously. While I have the reprint of “Hades” and “Hocus Pocus,” I wish these would be reprinted again for others to read. Finally we get a look at the later works of Dent, from the digest Docs to his last non-Doc novels. Again, I wonder why no one has reprinted these non-Doc novels?

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More Doc Ardan

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, December 28, 2016 in Doc Ardan, Doc Savage, French pulp, Pastiche, Reprints, Review
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

More Doc Ardan

'Doc Ardan: The Abominable Snowman'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.

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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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