I have previously posted about the Vic Challenger series, having received the fifth novel in the series. Set in the 1920s, the series stars young Victoria Custer who discovers she is the reincarnation of a cave girl, Nat-ul, born and died 100,000 years ago.
Using the name Vic Challenger, she works as a travel writer (and adventurer) while looking for her soul mate from 100,000 whom she thinks is also reincarnated. But in her travels she gets into various dangers, and her past life as a cave girl warrior helps her out.
The first two novels, Time Doesn’t Matter and Mongol are available together in one volume titled Double Trouble, and I got that. In reading the first novel I discovered that the character actually comes from Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ The Eternal Lover. The first half of the novel consists of a retelling of that novel, but here Victoria doesn’t meet her reincarnated lover Nu as in the original, which sounds a little hokey. But Victoria does have all the same adventures in Africa, and Tarzan does appear (though never referred to as such, but only as Lord Graystoke, probably for copyright reasons). The Burroughs novel is in the public domain, but I am sure calling the character “Vic Challenger” makes it easier to copyright this different take on the character.Read More
In going through my comic book collection, I came across two issues of a pulp-inspired comic, The Gloom. Clearly a parody of pulp heroes, it appeared in 2005 from U.K. publisher APComics. Writer Tony Lee and artist Dan Boultwood clearly took inspiration from The Shadow and other pulp heroes.
I looked to see if there were any more issues published, as the 2nd issue ended on a cliffhanger, but it didn’t appear so. I did find a graphic novel that collected the five issues of the miniseries and got it. So was able to read the whole storyline.
We meet The Gloom right off the bat. Chasing bad guys, he is very much in the mold of The Shadow: wide brimmed hat, cloak and two .45 automatics blasting away. But, we soon see there are differences. His guns shoot hellfire, and only fire on bad people. Really rich industrialist Carson Kane, he is assisted by his burly manservant Tiny, and The Professor, who has had his brain put in the body of a monkey.Read More
The idea that the Earth is a hollow sphere is one that has been tossed around in esoteric circles, and has been the basis of some science-fiction tales.
One early American believed in it and agitated for years for a polar expedition to the opening he believed would lead to the interior world. This lead to others who also believed this idea, as well as those who used it for interesting stories.
Probably the most well known science fiction tales using this idea are Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Pellucidar stories, named after the interior world. The Pellucidar series was Burrough’s third longest running, and one I read after finishing off the Mars/Barsoom series.Read More
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.Read More
Windy 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.Read More
Some pulp fans may be aware of Philip José Farmer‘s 1969 book “A Feast Unknown.”
This book pitted two pulp icons — Tarzan and Doc Savage, here renamed (recast?) Lord Grandrith and Doc Caliban — against one another. Each thought the other had killed or kidnapped someone close to them, when in fact they had been pitted against one another by The Nine, a group of ancient immortals who ruled over a secret society of which both men were a part of. It was meant to test them and see who would take a seat on their high council. But it instead caused the two to decide to team up when they learned of the deception and nearly killing each other, and go after the leaders of The Nine, which would be the plot of the following books.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that this is a pornographic novel, originally published by a “high class” publisher of porn novels, with lots of graphic sex scenes.
The novel had two parallel sequels in 1970: “Lord of the Trees” and “The Mad Goblin,” which were initially published as an Ace Double, with the two novels back-to-back with their own covers. (I got a subsequent printing which had them together, but didn’t bother doing flipped covers).Read More