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

Eric Trent: a short-lived air-adventure series

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, August 7, 2017 in Ace, Altus Press, Aviation Pulps, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Eric Trent: a short-lived air-adventure series

The Complete Adventures of Eric TrentEric Trent was Donald Keyhoe‘s final serial air-adventure character in Flying Aces. More realistic than his previous character series (Richard Knight and Philip Strange), this short-lived series ran 12 stories from 1940-42.

Trent is an American who gets involved in Nazi plots and threats just before the U.S. entered World War II, and a bit after. He is not a formal agent, but more of a freelancer. He flies around and tries to sell the inventions of his associate, Mortimer Crabb. And they usually get involved with some plot or issue. As they aren’t agents, they have to extract themselves from the problem, including dealing with police and government agents who think they are part of the problem.

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Review: ‘Super-Detective Jim Anthony,’ Vol. 3

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, January 9, 2017 in Altus Press, Hero Pulps, Jim Anthony, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Review: ‘Super-Detective Jim Anthony,’ Vol. 3

 'Super-Detective Jim Anthony,' Vol. 3Here we have a new collection of original stories of Jim Anthony, a sort-of Doc Savage clone published by Trojan/Culture Publications in the early 1940s, a publisher of the “spicy” pulps, a kind-of soft porn magazine.

He lasted 25 stories, and Altus Press is reprinting the whole series. We now have the third volume, with the seventh, eighth and ninth novels.

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 he owned and had a secret mansion in the Catskills called “The Tepee.” He was assisted by a small group of people including 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 (something unusual, as while some pulp heroes had a love interest, none were noted as their fiance). He also owned the New York Star and other papers, and made use of them in his adventures.

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Meet Mark Hazzard

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, December 19, 2016 in Ace, Altus Press, Hero Pulps
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Meet Mark Hazzard

Hazzard: The Complete SeriesMark Hazzard is a battling district attorney who, when the scales of justice go the wrong way, takes matters in his own hands to right wrongs. And he has a dangerous secret.

“Mark Hazzard” was a short-lived pulp series written by Frederick Davis, who created both the Moon Man and Ravenwood for Ace Publications. Hazzard ran as a backup for six issues in Ace’s Secret Agent X. A couple of months after it finished, Davis started the short-lived Ravenwood series. Altus Press has reprinted both the Hazzard and Ravenwood series in similar trade dress. It’s out with Hazzard: The Complete Series.

We’re introduced to Hazzard in the first story. Described as red-haired and fiery tempered, he is the young and new district attorney for King County. What state is unclear. He is aided by a few others. There is Ann Nash, his secretary and potential love interest. Dan Carey is his assistant in going after crooks unofficially. Carey’s a former cop who was framed for murder, convicted and escaped from prison. Hazzard hides him in his house. And then there is Inspector Trencher, who is the main cop Hazzard deals with.

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Semi Dual, occult detector, vol. 2

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, October 31, 2016 in Altus Press, Munsey, Occult Detective, Reprints
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Semi Dual, occult detector, vol. 2

Semi Dual, the Occult Detector, Volume 2As a fan of occult detectives, I was thrilled to learn of an early one I had never heard of when Altus Press reprinted a collection of the first stories of occult detective Semi Dual, with plans to reprint the whole series.

Semi Dual is really Prince Abdul Omar of Persia (father, a Persian nobleman; mother, a Russian princess), an astrologer, mystic, telepath, and psychologist. He appeared from 1912 to 1934 in several early pulp magazines, and has never been reprinted.

His name, we learn, of “Semi Dual,” is due to his methods of investigations: “by dual solutions: one material, for material minds; the other occult, for those who cared to sense a deeper something back of the philosophic lessons interwoven in the narrative.”

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The adventures of Peter the Brazen

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, October 24, 2016 in Adventure Pulps, Altus Press, Reprints, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

The adventures of Peter the Brazen

"The City of Stolen Lives"A classic pulp adventurer that I had heard of but never had the chance to read the stories of is Peter the Brazen.

What I had heard sounded really interesting: a two-fisted adventurer wandering the exotic Orient between the world wars, going up against several menacing villains like the Gray Shadow, Ung the Unspeakable, K’ang of the Green Circle Tong, and the most dangerous Mr. Lu, better known as the Blue Scorpion.

But surprisingly most of his tales have never been reprinted!

Now Altus Press is addressing this in a new series aimed at reprinting the entire run, doing so within their Argosy Library series. The first volume, The City of Stolen Lives: The Adventures of Peter the Brazen, reprints the first three stories that appeared in 1918, as well as a great introductory essay by Will Murray.

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Not Zorro, it’s The Whirlwind

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, October 17, 2016 in Altus Press, Hero Pulps, Johnston McCulley, Review, Thrilling
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Not Zorro, it’s The Whirlwind

Alias The WhirlwindAltus Press has given us yet another complete collection of one of Johnston McCulley‘s lesser-known pulp characters, with Alias The Whirlwind.

This is the third such collection, and reprints all the stories of The Whirlwind, another pulp character set in the 1700s Spanish California. He ran for seven stories over about a year (around 1934) in Thrilling Adventures magazine. I like that the cover design fits in with the other McCulley collections they’ve done.

I was surprised by how much this character is like Zorro, but also different. I wish I had read some of the Zorro stories, to better be able to see the differences and similarities. My knowledge of Zorro is through the movies and TV shows, plus Alex Toth‘s Zorro comics.

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