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

‘Echoes Revisited’

Posted by at 10:10 am Wednesday, February 8, 2017 in Fanzines, G-8, Non-fiction, Phantom Detective, References, Review, Secret Agent X, The Avenger
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

‘Echoes Revisited’

'Echoes Revisited'The fanzine Echoes ran from 1982 to 2002, before the advent of print-on-demand changed pulp fan publishing and ushered in the current New Pulp era.

Echoes was published by Tom and Ginger Johnson for 100 issues and then for a period of time it was an “newszine.” Its last new issue was Echoes Revisited, published in 2002 as a 20th anniversary special issue. This one had a color cover (The Shadow by David Burton) and special binding. There were also 100 numbered copies.

This issue celebrates Echoes with a collection of articles new and old, along with several art portfolios and photocopies of some pulp covers. Sadly, I don’t know which articles are reprints, or from where, nor where some of these articles have appeared since. The articles are grouped by their authors.

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‘Nighthawk: Burning Skies’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, December 16, 2015 in G-8, Moonstone, New Pulp, Review
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

‘Nighthawk: Burning Skies’

"Nighthawk: Burning Skies"Nighthawk is a new aviation hero/spy in the model of G-8. Created by Ron Fortier and published by Moonstone, his first adventure is out.

While clearly inspired by G-8, as far as I know, Nighthawk: Burning Skies was not written as a G-8 story. Some believe so, after the debacle with the planned Operator #5 shared novel that had to be renamed when the rights were lost. But Fortier has stated that this was never the case.

But there are a lot of similarities with G-8. Like G-8, we never learn Nighthawk’s real name. He is assisted by two wingmen. Flying Spad #7 is Dusty Hogan (a nod to Robert Hogan, the author of G-8?) instead of Bull Martin; flying Spad #13 is Brix Burton instead of Nippy Weston. The characteristics of the two are flipped (Brix and Bull are similar, as are Nippy and Dusty). Nighthawk has a butler, Brainard, instead of G-8’s Battle.

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Wu Fang & Yen Sin: Fu Manchu clones

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, November 30, 2015 in Fu Manchu, G-8, Popular, Villain Pulps
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Wu Fang & Yen Sin: Fu Manchu clones

"The Mysterious Wu Fang" (September 1935)Creating a series staring the villain is hard, but it has been done. Fu Manchu, by Sax Rohmer, is probably the most well-known. He appeared in over a dozen novels for about 50 years.

More successful is the French character Fantomas, who ran 32 volumes over a couple of years by two authors (they were doing a new novel every month!), then another 10 novels over 25 years by one of them.

And both of those characters have spawned movie and comics versions of their stories, and a slew of copycats.

But in the pulps, while hero pulps were very successful, attempts at series starring a villain weren’t so successful. A pair of them modeled on Fu Manchu didn’t get a dozen stories total.

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The fantastic works of James Van Hise

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, October 31, 2014 in Cthulhu Mythos, Doc Savage, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Fanzines, G-8, H.P. Lovecraft, Hero Pulps, Lester Dent, Non-fiction, Operator #5, Pulps, Review, Robert E. Howard, Tarzan, The Avenger, The Shadow, The Spider
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

"Pulp Heroes of the Thirties"Probably few pulp fans today are familiar with James Van Hise. He has been a writer, editor, and publisher for many years within certain genres such as “Star Trek,” movie serials, The Green Hornet, comic books, and pulps.

He was involved at times with publishing several Edgar Rice Burroughs fanzines and did the last run of the classic comic-book fanzine Rocket’s Blast Comicscollector.

In the late 1990s, he put out several large books collecting articles and artwork on the pulps. Sadly, these are out of print and getting hard to find. I was fortunate to get them when they came out, and if you look around, they are still available.

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Fanzine focus: ‘Windy City Pulp Stories’

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, October 10, 2014 in Doc Savage, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Fanzines, Fu Manchu, G-8, Lester Dent, Operator #5, Popular, Pulps, References, Review, Tarzan
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

'Windy City Pulp Stories' #3Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention has been running in Chicago around April for 15 years (since 2000). Every year they have been publishing a convention booklet of articles and reprints (both fiction and non-fiction from the pulp era) titled Windy City Pulp Stories, which is a great resource.

The ones I have are trade paperback size, and the recent ones have ranged from 130 to 150 pages in length. Most are themed. Since the eighth volume they have been published by Black Dog Books, and because they use print-on-demand, these volumes are easy to get from Amazon and the like. The earlier ones are not as easy to find.

I have several volumes, and will cover what I have.

#3 (2003) Edited by Cat Jaster and Doug Ellis, this volume has several articles, bios, and some fiction. The articles include an article on Will Murray about the creation of the villain from the Doc story, “Repel.” Another article looks at the films shown at the Convention. There is an article, bio and a sample of fiction from pulpster Hugh B. Cave, and a bio and sample of fiction from Frank Robinson.

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Fanzine update: ‘Blood ‘n’ Thunder’ (#38-40)

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, October 3, 2014 in Doc Savage, Fanzines, G-8, Proto-pulp, Review, The Shadow, Villain Pulps
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

‘Blood ‘n’ Thunder’ (#38-40)I have previously posted on the excellent fanzine Blood ‘n’ Thunder produced by Ed Hulse and his Murania Press.

Maybe calling it a “fanzine” does it a disservice, as it’s a high quality journal aimed at late 19th and early 20th century pop culture. For the pulp fan, this means the pulp magazines, their forerunners (story papers, dime novels, and nickel weeklies) and the complementary forms of stage melodramas, motion pictures, serials, and old-time radio.

My prior posting gave an overview of the most recent three issues published. This update looks at the latest issue, a huge special issue done to catch up on delays, clocking in at 300 pages. It will serve as issues 38-40. As with my previous posting, I’ll focus on just the items of particular interest to pulp fans, but I think much of the rest would be of interest as well.

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