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

‘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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‘The Land of the Changing Sun’

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, January 8, 2018 in Pulps, Reprints, Science Fiction Pulps
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

‘The Land of the Changing Sun’

'The Land of the Changing Sun'A couple of subgenres of science fiction I’ve had an interest in are utopian fantasies and hollow earth stories.

The first are usually about some society that is presented as better than ours. And often set in either an inaccessible location (a lost world of some kind) or in the future or some alternate reality. Some use it to push a certain political belief, many times some form of socialism. Others push a more refined spiritual society. Or a combination of both. There were many such works in the 1800s, less so in the 1900s and more recently.

Hollow earth stories are a specific subgenre of lost world fantasies, set either in the center of a supposedly hollow earth (usually with a central sun), or in an enormous cavern located below the surface. Examples of these works are Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ Pellucidar series or Jules Verne‘s Journey to the Center of the Earth. These stories can be the setting for wild adventures in a world with prehistoric creatures, like in the Pellucidar series, or allow the author to showcase an unknown, but “advanced” civilization.

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‘Awesome Tales’ #6

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, January 3, 2018 in Detective Pulps, Domino Lady, Fanzines, New Pulp, Occult Detective
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

‘Awesome Tales’ #6

'Awesome Tales' #6Awesome Tales #6 (Fall 2017) is now out from Bold Venture Press and Black Cat Media.

This issue’s theme is crime, and the cover feature this issue is the Domino Lady, the classic, sexy pulp heroine. Rich Harvey provides the first of a new series of Domino Lady stories, with her moving to New York and going up against a sinister blackmail ring. If you want to read the classic stories, Bold Venture Press has a collection of them, with a great cover by Jim Steranko.

KT Pinto is back with another story of her supernatural detective Raphael Jones, “The Platinum Membership.” For previous stories, you’ll have to check Awesome Tales #3 and 4. This time, Jones is in Nazi Germany and has to team up with the Gestapo to stop a threat.

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More Solar Pons

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, December 27, 2017 in Pastiche, Pulps, Reprints, Review, Sherlock Holmes
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

More Solar Pons

'The Dossier of Solar Pons'Solar Pons is popular pastiche of Sherlock Holmes that was created by August Derleth and continued by Basil Copper. I previously posted on him, and at the time bemoaned the fact that while the Derleth Pons stories are still in print, no one has brought back the Copper ones.

Well, now that has changed.

Thanks to the work of Stephen Jones, PS Publishing in the United Kingdom has brought back into print all of Basil Copper‘s Solar Pons stories in hardback and now seven paperback volumes. And these are the definitive versions, as they restore the text that had been altered by Pinnacle Books. And I loved the fact they kept Pinnacle’s “Solar Pons” logo, though the cover artwork is new and very nice.

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The children of Burroughs

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, December 18, 2017 in Edgar Rice Burroughs, Reprints, Review, Science Fiction Pulps
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The children of Burroughs
Edgar Rice Burroughs

Edgar Rice Burroughs

It is interesting that while many artists and writers have children, few of those children follow in their footsteps. There have been a few comic strips continued by the sons and daughters of the creators, and not much else. At most you’ll have the children perhaps manage the estate of their parents.

An interesting example of this in the pulp world is found with the children of Edgar Rice Burroughs. He had three: Joan, Hulbert, and John Coleman.

Joan would marry one of the early actors for Tarzan, and she played Jane in a Tarzan radio show. Hulbert, as far as I know, pursued other matters, but apparently did get involved with helping with the business side of Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. John Coleman got involved in his father’s work, but in a unique way.

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‘Vic Challenger #6: Event’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, December 13, 2017 in Edgar Rice Burroughs, New Pulp, Pulps, Review
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

‘Vic Challenger #6: Event’

'Vic Challenger #6: Event'I have previously posted about the Vic Challenger series, in particular numbers 1, 2, and 5. Set in the 1920s, the series stars young Victoria Custer who discovers she is the reincarnation of a cave girl, Nat-ul, born and died 100,000 years ago.

Using the name “Vic Challenger,” she works as a travel writer (and adventurer) while looking for her soul mate from 100,000 years ago whom she thinks is also reincarnated. But in her travels, she gets into various dangers, and her past life as a cave girl warrior helps her out.

The character actually comes from Edgar Rice BurroughsThe Eternal Lover (later renamed The Eternal Savage). As the Burroughs novel is in the public domain, I am sure calling the character “Vic Challenger” makes it easier to copyright this different take on the character.

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