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

Fanzine focus: ‘Awesome Tales’ #4

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, December 14, 2016 in Fanzines, Fu Manchu, New Pulp, Pulps
Estimated reading time: 1 minute

Fanzine focus: ‘Awesome Tales’ #4

'Awesome Tales' No. 4After too long, we get a fourth issue of Awesome Tales, a fanzine produced by Black Cat Media (R. Allen Leider) and packaged/published by Bold Venture Press.

The cover story of this issue is Leider’s Devil Doctor story, “The Manchurian Menace,” which has the doctor and his daughter after a Chinese scientist in WWII China.  He has the secret of the atomic bomb, and is pursued by Nazis, Japanese, OSS, and MI-6.

Other stories in this volume include a new Pink Reaper story, a Domino Lady-like new pulp heroine by Patrick Thomas. I’ve only seen one other story with this character, so not certain where else she has appeared.  Patrick has several other series, such as the Mystic Investigators.

KT Pinto provides another story, this time with private eye Raphael Jones, and Robert Water has a story about conquistadors in Central America.

Hopefully we will see another volume soon. This is a nice series and wish we would see issues more often.  Am told that v5 will come out in February.

Read More

Meet Fantômas

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, March 7, 2016 in Arsene Lupin, Belphegor, Fantomas, French pulp, Fu Manchu, Judex, Roulatabille, Villain Pulps
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Meet Fantômas

Fantomas“Fantômas!”
“What did you say?”
“I said: Fantômas”
“And what does that mean?”
“Nothing…Everything!”
“But what is it?”
“No one…and yet, yes, it is someone!”
“And what does this someone do?”
Spreads terror!

Fantômas, Lord of Terror, Genius of Evil, is probably one of the most important villains in popular literature, more so that he carried his own series. When we think of villains who also starred in their own series, we think of Fu Manchu, maybe some of the very short-lived villain pulps, whereas Fantômas appeared before them and in many ways has had a wider influence.

Read more

Read More

Fanzine Focus: ‘Pulp Adventures’ #19

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, February 10, 2016 in Detective Pulps, Fanzines, Fu Manchu, Pulps, Reprints, Review
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Fanzine Focus: ‘Pulp Adventures’ #19

'Pulp Adventures' #19Pulp Adventures #19 (Fall 2015) is the fifth issue of the new version from Bold Venture Press. We get a collection of pulp fiction, and some new stuff, all under a Norman Saunders crime cover. As I’ve noted in reviews of previous issues, we don’t have any similar series of pulp reprints out there now, and this is a great series.

The big selling point of this issue is a Sax Rohmer thriller. Not one of his Fu Manchu stories, but a similar work, “The Daughter of Huang Chow.” This one stars Inspector “Red” Kerry, and is part of a short series of crime stories set in Chinatown, based on a real person! Rohmer’s Red Kerry series has two novels (Dope and Yellow Shadows), and a couple of short stories. In this one, while investigating murder and opium smuggling, Kerry comes across a woman whose feminine charms render him powerless to resist!

Read more

Read More

Wu Fang & Yen Sin: Fu Manchu clones

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, November 30, 2015 in Fu Manchu, G-8, Popular, Villain Pulps
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Wu Fang & Yen Sin: Fu Manchu clones

"The Mysterious Wu Fang" (September 1935)Creating a series staring the villain is hard, but it has been done. Fu Manchu, by Sax Rohmer, is probably the most well-known. He appeared in over a dozen novels for about 50 years.

More successful is the French character Fantomas, who ran 32 volumes over a couple of years by two authors (they were doing a new novel every month!), then another 10 novels over 25 years by one of them.

And both of those characters have spawned movie and comics versions of their stories, and a slew of copycats.

But in the pulps, while hero pulps were very successful, attempts at series starring a villain weren’t so successful. A pair of them modeled on Fu Manchu didn’t get a dozen stories total.

Read more

Read More

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.

Read more

Read More

Review: ‘Tales of the Shadowmen, Vol. 7’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, June 11, 2014 in Doctor Omega, Fantomas, French pulp, Fu Manchu, Judex, Nyctalope, Pulps, Review, Sar Dubnotal, The Black Coats, Wold Newton Universe, Zorro
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Tales of the Shadowmen: Femmes Fatale“Tales of the Shadowmen: Femmes Fatale” (2011) is the seventh volume of this eclectic anthology series from Black Coat Press.

This collection fits into Philip José Farmer‘s “Wold Newton” concept.

Included in this collection are:

• Matt Haley: “My Femmes Fatales” is an art portfolio on various femme fatales shown in this series, with a brief intro to each one.

• Xavier Maumejean: “My Femmes Fatales” is a brief foreword on the character of the femme fatale.

• Roberto Lionel Barreiro: “Secrets” is a short tale having Jean Valjean (of “Les Misérables”) meeting Zorro, though both are disguised.

Read more

Read More