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

‘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Focused on Philip José Farmer, it had non-fiction and previously unpublished fiction by Farmer, along with a variety of non-fiction works about Farmer and works by others.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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Vic Challenger #1 & 2

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, September 7, 2016 in Edgar Rice Burroughs, New Pulp, Review, Tarzan
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Vic Challenger #1 & 2

"Vic Challenger: Double Trouble"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 BurroughsThe 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.

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Pulp comics: ‘The Gloom’

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, August 26, 2016 in Comics, Doc Savage, Pastiche, Review, Tarzan, The Shadow
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Pulp comics: ‘The Gloom’

'The Gloom'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.

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Pellucidar: ERB’s hollow earth

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, May 18, 2015 in Edgar Rice Burroughs, Pulps, Review, Tarzan
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Pellucidar: ERB’s hollow earth

"All-Story Weekly" (April 4, 1914)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.

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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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