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

‘The Bronze Gazette’ #78-80

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, February 14, 2018 in Doc Savage, Fanzines, Non-fiction, Philip Jose Farmer, Review
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

‘The Bronze Gazette’ #78-80

'The Bronze Gazette' #78I’m taking a look at all of The Bronze Gazette issues for 2017, as I’ve done for previous years, as subscriptions are taken for a year’s set of issues.

So here are issues #78, 79, and 80 of this excellent Doc Savage fanzine, along with the 2017 Doc Con Special (Special Issue #2).

#78 (Spring 2017) has a nice cover by comicbook artist Gary Chaloner, who gives us an article on his Doc pastiche, Red Kelso. I hope we’ll see Kelso in print sometime. Several good articles have a focus on art and artists.

We get an interview with JG Jones, who did several great Doc covers for the horrible First Wave run from DC, and the final (and pretty decent) Doc story there. Another interview is with Keith Wilson, the man behind the Doc fantasy covers. We learn how Bob Larkin got the job of doing Doc covers for Bantam. And finally we look into the mystery of why the same artwork by Fred Pfeiffer was used on two Doc covers. And maybe what we should have gotten as the cover of The Stone Man.

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‘Blood ‘n’ Thunder Presents #3: Fighting Crime One Dime at a Time’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, October 18, 2017 in Dime Novels, Non-fiction, Pulps, References, Reprints, Review, The Shadow
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

‘Blood ‘n’ Thunder Presents #3: Fighting Crime One Dime at a Time’

Fighting Crime One Dime at a TimeEd Hulse and his Murania Press have put out a third Blood ‘n’ Thunder Presents volume, this time focused on the pulp heroes: Fighting Crime One Dime at a Time.

(And, yes, there is a second volume in the series, The Penny-a-Word Brigade. I just haven’t gotten that one, and when I do I’ll post a review.)

As a pulp-hero fan, I recommend this volume, which has a whole set of articles on pulp heroes, all reprinted from previous issues of Blood ‘n’ Thunder. We also get a couple of pulp-hero comic stories from the golden age. Now, these are not your standard overview articles (though there are a couple of those). Several delve into some interesting topics, some have helped me with some of my postings here, and all are written by several pulp historians.

We get articles on many of the major heroes, and a couple of obscure ones.

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‘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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‘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: 2 minutes

‘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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‘The Pulpster’ #26

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, July 28, 2017 in Detective Pulps, Fanzines, Non-fiction, Review
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

‘The Pulpster’ #26

'The Pulpster' #26It’s summer 2017, and that means a new Pulpfest and a new issue of The Pulpster, #26!

The main focus of this issue is “dangerous dames” and “psychos.” The first seems apropos, what with the recent Wonder Woman tearing up the movie screens. But Wonder Woman is not pulp. Who, then are some of the dangerous dames of the pulps?

Well, Ron Goulart and Bill Pronzini provide us with a pair of articles on that.

Ron is up first with a look at some of the few female detectives from the pulps, many that I wasn’t aware of. There is Madame Storey who appeared in Argosy and Mystery in the 1920s and ’30s. Violet McCade appeared in Street & Smith’s Clues Detective Stories in 1935-37 (around the same time as I.V. Frost). Longer running is Theodore Tinsley‘s Carrie Cashin who appeared in S&S’s tryout pulp Crime Busters (later renamed Street & Smith’s Mystery Magazine) for nearly 40 stories from 1937 to ’42, the whole run of the magazine. Then we have Sarah Watson in Detective Fiction Weekly from 1935-38. Finally, and surprisingly, we have Sally the Sleuth, who starred in short two-page comic stories in the spicy pulps where she often lost most of her clothes. Sadly, none of these are readily available today. I keep hoping Sanctum Books would at least reprint some Carrie Cashin.

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