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

‘Three With a Bullet’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, February 7, 2018 in Hero Pulps, Johnston McCulley, New Pulp, Pro Se Press, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

‘Three With a Bullet’

'Three With a Bullet'Three With a Bullet is a collection of three new stories by three different authors with three different classic pulp heroes: The Man in Purple, the Masked Rider, and The Purple Scar from Pro Se Press.

All three of those characters have (or are being) reprinted by Altus Press. Pro Se Press published Three With a Bullet, but not in their Pulp Obscura line, which has new stories of classic pulp characters. I was surprised by this because they have put out a collection of new Man in Purple stories, but none with the other two. In fact, Airship 27 has been putting out new stories of the Purple Scar.

The Man in Purple was one of Johnston McCulley‘s short-lived “bent heroes” from the 1920s. Richard Staegal — helped by his girlfriend, Betty, and his chauffeur and assistant, Broph — robbed from the unjust rich and gave the money to the poor, similar to McCulley’s better-known character The Crimson Clown. Richard would dress in an special all-purple outfit with hood, and once he had finished using the outfit he would use a vial of acid to dissolve it all. He was pursued by Detective Troman.

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Review: ‘Tales of the Shadowmen, Vol. 14’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, January 31, 2018 in Arsene Lupin, Black Coat Press, English Pulp, Fantomas, Foreign Pulps, French pulp, Fu Manchu, Harry Dickson, Judex, Madame Atomos, New Pulp, Nyctalope, Occult Detective, Review, Rocambole, Roulatabille, Sar Dubnotal, The Black Coats
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Review: ‘Tales of the Shadowmen, Vol. 14’

'Tales of the Shadowmen, Vol. 14: Coup de Grace'The end of 2017 meant that there’s another volume of Tales of the Shadowmen out. The Black Coat Press series is now up to 14 volumes. This one is subtitled “Coup de Grace,” which means final blow or death blow. But is it for good or evil?

As noted previously, this annual series makes use of Philip José Farmer‘s “Wold Newton” concept, mixing in a variety of literary characters, with a focus on the various pulp and pulpish characters of France and Europe, such as Arsene Lupin, Fantômas, The Nyctalope, Rouletabille, and many others, as well as those from other countries. Several authors will come back with further stories of the same characters, creating loose series within the volumes.

The latest volume gives us:

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‘Silver Manticore: Still at Large’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, January 24, 2018 in New Pulp, Pastiche, Pro Se Press, Pulps, Review, Silver Manticore
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

‘Silver Manticore: Still at Large’

'Silver Manticore: Still at Large'P.J. Lozito‘s Silver Manticore is an interesting mix of pulp, radio, movie series, and comicbook characters that at times almost gets out of hand.

The Silver Manticore himself is a mix of the Green Hornet, The Shadow, and the Copperhead (the hero of the Mysterious Doctor Satan movie serial), and so creates a generational hero in which new people step into the role of the Silver Manticore. He is assisted by others who are pastiches of various pulp and comic characters, and his foes are also pastiches of various pulp villains (and later comicbook), first off being the Fu Manchu-inspired Hanoi Tsin and the Shiwan Khan-inspired Siam Khan.

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‘The Iron Skull: The Last Dominion’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, January 17, 2018 in New Pulp, Pro Se Press, Pulps
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

‘The Iron Skull: The Last Dominion’

'The Iron Skull: The Last Dominion'An interesting short novel I picked up is Frank Schildiner‘s Iron Skull: The Last Dominion from Pro Se Productions. It makes use of, and basically re-images, the obscure Golden Age comicbook character the Iron Skull.

Now, who is the Iron Skull? He was a minor character who appeared in comic books published by Centaur Comics, a short-lived third- or fourth-rate comic book publisher. Their main claim to fame is that they published the first original masked comic character, The Clock, and they were also the publisher of Bill Everett‘s Amazing Man. All of their characters are in the public domain, and several were used as the Protectors from Malibu, and I believe someone has created prose stories with these characters.

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‘Jim Anthony, Super-Detective,’ Vol. 5

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, January 10, 2018 in Airship 27, Jim Anthony, New Pulp, Review
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

‘Jim Anthony, Super-Detective,’ Vol. 5

'Jim Anthony – Super Detective vs. Mastermind'After a bit, Airship 27 has a fifth Jim Anthony volume, Jim Anthony – Super Detective vs. Mastermind.

For those not familiar, Jim Anthony was a sort-of Doc Savage “clone” published by Trojan/Culture Publications in the early 1940s. Trojan was a publisher of the “spicy” pulps, a magazine line featuring risque stories.

But first, a little background for those who didn’t read my earlier postings on Anthony. Jim Anthony was “half Irish, half Indian, and all-American.” More emotional than Doc, Anthony was a physical and mental marvel. He had a penthouse in the Waldorf-Anthony Hotel, which he owned, and had a secret mansion in the Catskills called “The Tepee.” He was assisted by a small group of people include Tom Gentry, pilot and right-hand man; Mephito, his shaman grandfather; Dawkins, his butler; and Dolores Colquitte, the daughter of a U.S. senator, and his fiance.

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Review: ‘The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Vol. 7’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, December 6, 2017 in Lazarus Gray, New Pulp, Pro Se Press, Review
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Review: ‘The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Vol. 7’

'The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Vol. 7'I finally got the most recent Lazarus Gray book, volume seven, from Barry Reese. Unlike past books, this one is a novel. And it’s a big event, as it brings together all the members of Assistance Unlimited to deal with a persistent foe.

Lazarus Gray is a New Pulp character from writer Reese (The Peregrine, Gravedigger, and other works). Gray is sort of inspired by the classic pulp hero The Avenger.

Gray has setup a group similar to The Avenger’s called Assistance Unlimited. He is located in a fictional town called Sovereign City (created by Pro Se Press publisher Tommy Hancock), and is part of the larger Sovereign City Project. He is also set in the same universe as Barry’s other characters, so has crossed over with them.

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