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.Read More
Wayne Reinagel is a New Pulp author who is creating an epic set of novels. The main series is called Pulp Heroes and will consist of three pulp novels plus two associated works. Another series is Modern Marvels, which I’ll cover in another posting.
The first Pulp Heroes novel is More Than Mortal.
This book is an obvious labor of love to create an epic pulp hero novel, teaming up pastiches of four of the major pulp heroes (and hints of several others).
It also uses the Wold Newton concept of Philip José Farmer, to create the backdrop to the story, weaving in various heroes and characters from earlier fiction. We see analogues of Tarzan, Captain America (and his two main Nazi villains the Red Skull and Count Zemo), Captain Satan and even the Angel Detective. Further, Reinagel uses the names of various people from pulp fiction for the names of minor characters. At times one wonders what the basis of certain characters. (Is there a background story to Skull Island/Wilder Island that I’m missing? Or the assistant to Doc Titan’s father, or the real identity of the Black Skull?)Read More
Many great characters came out of the pulps, but it’s sad that few were as successful in other media such as comics.
Take Street & Smith’s The Avenger. He was S&S’s attempt to repeat the success of The Shadow and Doc Savage, this time by combining of elements of both, and making the character more colorful like the new comic book characters. Yet he hasn’t done so well in that media as I’ve shown in previous postings.
Now, Dynamite has tried again, and we have what I think (despite some issues) is the best comic book version of The Avenger so far.
Some background. The Avenger is really former globe-trotting adventurer Richard Henry Benson, who has a range of skills and abilities, including knowing how to use two special weapons — Mike and Ike, a special .22 pistol and a throwing knife — and he’s wealthy, too. Losing his wife and daughter to criminals turned his hair and skin stark white, and caused the muscles of his face to become malleable. He is joined by others who have lost loved ones to criminals, and they formed “Justice Inc.” In some ways, they become a sort of new family.Read More
Street & Smith’s pulp hero The Avenger is one of the few original pulp heroes to get additional stories. After Warner Books reprinted the original 24 Avenger novels, they had Ron Goulart write 12 additional novels. Now, finally we get another new Avenger novel, “The Sun King,” from Moonstone — 40 years later!
Richard Benson, The Avenger, was S&S’s second attempt to repeat the success of The Shadow and Doc Savage, but this time combining elements of both. The Avenger also had stories that varied in style from Doc-like adventure tales to The Shadow super-crook tales. And like both characters, he had others who worked with him in Justice Inc.
This new story is set in the early period of The Avenger’s career. It’s a direct sequel to “The River of Ice,” but before “Murder on Wheels.” We actually get Cole Wilson in the story before he appeared in that novel.Read More
An interesting, if sometimes overlooked, pulp homage is Lin Carter‘s short-lived Prince Zarkon series. It ran for five novels in the 1970s and ’80s, and it was one I enjoyed when I was looking for something like Doc Savage or The Avenger, both of which this series resembled.
Lin Carter is too often overlooked or even looked down upon. A longtime fan, he wrote quite a bit, much of which is pastiche or homage of others, such as H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Edgar Rice Burroughs (his Green Star, Zanthodon, and Callisto series), Robert E. Howard and more.
He is sometimes better regarded as an editor and critic for works such as his excellent Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, which brought back into print several important works along with anthologies he edited, and his retrospective works on J.R.R. Tolkien and Lovecraft.Read More
Long a stable of comic books, team ups of literary characters are much rarer. In the pulp world, they were non-existent until today. One team-up that many pulp fans have hoped for is one that brings together the 3 main Street and Smith characters: The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Avenger.
Dynamite Comics finally did this in their recent “Justice Inc.” mini-series by Michael Uslan and Giovanni Timpano.
Up until now, there have been team-ups with two of the three from prior comic-book companies. DC teamed up The Shadow and The Avenger back in the ’70s (I covered this in a prior posting), this one also written by Uslan. Then DC teamed up Doc Savage and The Shadow when they had the rights to both of them in the ’80s. And later DC teamed up Doc Savage and The Avenger during their “First Wave” run (also covered in a prior posting). Now that Dynamite has the rights to all three, we get this team up.Read More