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Articles on this Page
(showing articles 1 to 25 of 25)
- 03/30/18--03:00: _Forgotten Books: DI...
- 03/31/18--05:00: _Comic Gallery: TONT...
- 04/01/18--05:00: _Once Again, Texas L...
- 04/02/18--05:00: _Pulp Gallery: MARVE...
- 04/03/18--05:00: _"Captain Science an...
- 04/04/18--05:00: _Comic Gallery: PRIZ...
- 04/05/18--05:00: _The Sweat Mag Art o...
- 04/06/18--02:00: _Forgotten Books: AM...
- 04/08/18--05:00: _Movie Posters of 1914
- 04/09/18--05:00: _Pulp Gallery: CLUES...
- 04/10/18--05:00: _"Surprise Attack" a...
- 04/11/18--05:00: _Comic Gallery: COW ...
- 04/12/18--05:00: _The Sweat Mag Art o...
- 04/13/18--03:00: _Doc Savage Out West...
- 04/14/18--05:00: _Saunders Saturday: ...
- 04/15/18--05:00: _YouTube Theater: TI...
- 04/16/18--05:00: _Pulp Gallery: BATTL...
- 04/17/18--05:00: _Comic Gallery: PRIN...
- 04/18/18--05:00: _The Art of Frank Ha...
- 04/19/18--05:00: _Moments in Paperbac...
- 04/20/18--03:00: _STEPHEN MERTZ retur...
- 04/22/18--05:00: _Movie Posters of 1915
- 04/23/18--05:00: _Pulp Gallery: ACE G...
- 04/24/18--05:00: _Comic Book Story: "...
- 04/25/18--05:00: _Comic Gallery: CAPT...
(showing articles 1 to 25 of 25)
- 03/30/18--03:00: Forgotten Books: DISCOVERING THE MALTESE FALCON AND SAM SPADE (2005)
- 03/31/18--05:00: Comic Gallery: TONTO (1952)
- 04/01/18--05:00: Once Again, Texas Leads the Way
- 04/02/18--05:00: Pulp Gallery: MARVEL SCIENCE STORIES 1-4 (1938-39)
- 04/04/18--05:00: Comic Gallery: PRIZE WESTERN (1949)
- 04/05/18--05:00: The Sweat Mag Art of Stanley Borack
- 04/06/18--02:00: Forgotten Books: AMERICAN FRONTIERSMEN ON FILM and TELEVISION (2005)
- 04/08/18--05:00: Movie Posters of 1914
- 04/09/18--05:00: Pulp Gallery: CLUES DETECTIVE STORIES (1937)
- 04/10/18--05:00: "Surprise Attack" an American Eagle adventure by JOHN SEVERIN (1954)
- 04/11/18--05:00: Comic Gallery: COW PUNCHER (1947-48)
- 04/12/18--05:00: The Sweat Mag Art of Mort Künstler
- 04/13/18--03:00: Doc Savage Out West! in MR. CALAMITY by Will Murray
- 04/14/18--05:00: Saunders Saturday: Ridin' for the Bantam Brand
- 04/15/18--05:00: YouTube Theater: TIME TO KILL (The High Window) (1942)
- 04/16/18--05:00: Pulp Gallery: BATTLE STORIES
- 04/17/18--05:00: Comic Gallery: PRINCE VALIANT
- 04/18/18--05:00: The Art of Frank Hamilton (Part 4)
- 04/19/18--05:00: Moments in Paperback History: LanceCon '86 (Part 2)
- 04/20/18--03:00: STEPHEN MERTZ returns to detective fiction with SAY IT WAS MURDER
- 04/22/18--05:00: Movie Posters of 1915
- 04/23/18--05:00: Pulp Gallery: ACE G-MAN STORIES (1936)
- 04/24/18--05:00: Comic Book Story: "The Spawn of Venus" by WALLY WOOD
- 04/25/18--05:00: Comic Gallery: CAPTAIN SCIENCE (1950-51)
This amazing volume is packed with so much information I'm tempted to say it's everything you'd ever want to know on the subject. But after 342 two-columned, small-print pages, it provides a list of over ninety more suggestions "For Further Reading."
In fact, there is so much cool stuff in this book I despair of even attempting to describe it all, and will resort instead to overwhelming you with the table of contents. Beyond that, be it known that there are many, many photographs, reproduced articles and manuscript pages, letters, advertisements, magazine and book covers, movie posters, and miscellanea.
Suffice it to say that for Hammett fans (and if you're not one, you should be) this is one hell of book. You'll get your money's worth, and then some.
This E.C. calibre artwork, penciled by Joe Orlando and inked by Wally Wood, was uploaded to comicbookplus by movielover, for which the world owes homage. It's from the June 1951 issue of Captain Science.
This Ring-Tailed Roarer of a book is divided into six parts, one devoted to each of guys mentioned on the cover. Each part then gives you a short biography and an in-depth filmography. That's one hell of a lot of info.
52 pages are devoted to my pal Davy. Dan'l Boone gets 40, Jim Bowie 37, Sam Houston 41, Jim Bridger 35 and Kit Carson 42. For each film or TV series, we get Credits, Cast, Synopsis and Notes. The Synopsis is cool because some of these are lost films, and others so rare it's mighty to see them. The Notes are the most interesting part, and range from two paragraphy to two pages. And there are plenty of photographs, but not so many they get in the way of the information.
The surprising thing is the sheer number of film portrayals of these guys. Did I know Davy had appeared in 38 films? No, I did not. There are at least a dozen I've never seen--and want to. Some were reminders of obscure things I've probably seen, but want to see again, like the Time Tunnel episode where the unwilling travelers land in the Alamo. Boone made 20 appearances, Bowie 26, Houston 28, Bridger 18, and Carson 30. That, of course, was as of the time this book was written. Oddly, there is no publication date or copyright info, though Google thinks it was publsihed in 2005.
This is an all-around great job of bookmaking. In case you're wonderin', it's a 7 1/4 x 10 1/4" hardcover with a two-column format and laminated cover. Is there a like volume devoted to Western heroes? I don't know, but I'd sure like to have one.
John Severin, one of my all-time favorite comic artists, contributed dozens of adventures of Crow Indian chief American Eagle to Prize Comics Western between 1951 and 1955. Most were very ably inked by his friend Bill Elder, but toward the end of the run, Severin did a few himself. This is one of the best, as fine as anything he produced for EC's Two-Fisted Tales. This issue was uploaded to comicbookplus by builderboy.
Can you picture Doc Savage wearing a cowboy hat and riding a horse?
That’s what you get in Will Murray’s new WILD adventure, Mr. Calamity. Yep, this one is an honest-to-gawd Western, with the sci-fi elements Doc readers have come to expect. The result is a different kind of Doc novel, and a whole lot of fun.
The major players this time around are Doc’s cousin Pat and electrical wizard Long Tom Roberts. That's a good thing. In Mr. Murray’s capable hands, Pat Savage has emerged as the most interesting member of Doc’s entourage, and Long Tom - a confirmed misogynist - is one of the most neglected. Put them together and they provide plenty of sparks.
As she was in her first starring vehicle, Six Scarlet Scorpions (reviewed HERE), Pat is prospecting out West, this time in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming. The headquarters for her stay is the newly named Circle Bolt Ranch, newly inherited by Long Tom.
Pat’s having a swell time until she sees a man swimming in frantic circles, high in the sky. Then he begins to sink, and finally plummets to earth, where she finds him with pulverized bones and a look of horror on his face.
Long Tom, meanwhile, is being lynched by a gang of hood-wearing thugs who suspect him of mule rustling. And to top it off, they meet a shotgun-happy dude decked out like a movie cowboy on LSD.
These are mighty strange doing, and it ain’t long before Doc himself takes a hand, accompanied by his aides Renny and Johnny. Monk and Ham are busy on another mission in Europe, giving the other guys a chance to shine.
The book is peppered with great lines and western lingo worthy of the original Kenneth Robeson, Lester Dent. (If you haven’t read Dent’s western stories, collected in the 2009 Black Dog volume Hell’s Hoofprints (discussed HERE), you oughta). And the western venue gives the current Mr. Robeson a chance to have fun at Doc’s expense, which I particularly enjoy. When Doc finds himself stranded on a mesa and out of food, we find him wondering what chipmunk tastes like.
I also enjoy hearing what ordinary folk think of Doc's reputation. “City papers call him ‘the bronze man of mystery,’ and they pile on the superlatives like they were stacking flapjacks. The way folks talk, ol’ Doc is a human alloy of Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Kit Carson, Pecos Bill and few other fire-eaters of yore.”
Another scene I liked involves a buckle gun. “All I have to do is stick out my stomach and pressure will trigger the release,” says a bad guy. “The gun will snap forward on a pivot and fire automatically.” I had the cap gun version as a kid, and have to wonder if Little Willie Murray did too.
There are also intriguing connections to Lester Dent. Turns out this tale was inspired by handwritten fragments of a story Dent started for a Doc Savage TV pilot. And there are ties to the 1937 pulp adventure Repel, later published by Bantam as The Deadly Dwarf. You certainly don’t have to read that early story to enjoy this one (I haven’t read The Deadly Dwarf in at forty years, and don’t remember a dang thing about it), but it adds further depth to Mr. Calamity, and tempts me to dig that old paperback out of storage.
As if that’s not enough, only the first 384 pages of this massive volume are devoted to Mr. Calamity. There’s a whole ‘nother adventure, called “The Valley of Eternity,” filling out the next 167 pages. I look forward to reading that one, too, and will have more to say anon.
This 1942 entry in the Mike Shayne series was based on Raymond Chandler's The High Window. The book wasn't made into a Philip Marlowe film until 1947, as The Brasher Doubloon.
Some of the usual suspects, featuring Bob Stuart in the muscle t-shirt
In our last thrilling episode (HERE) we viewed of few of the too many photos snapped by Art Scott at the 1986 paperbackpalooza in the fabled back yard of Lance Casebeer. Here are a few too many more.
Ray Townsend chinning with perpetual life-of-the-party Bruce Doerring (I miss that guy)
a ZZ Top Wannabe
Bill Blackbeard (another guy I miss)
Art connosewer Cap'tn Bob Napier
Yours truly (right) battling beards with Dale Goble. He won.
Bruce Taylor showing some love for Ellison Wonderland
Mr. Goble chats up a mystery woman
Our perpetual host (Jeez, I miss him, too) with the perpetual Fan Guest of Honor
Lance presides over the afterparty (at a bar, of course).
Steve Mertz’s first book, way back in 1979, was a detective novel called Some Die Hard (reviewed HERE). Since then, over the course of his wild and woolly career, he’s pumped out more than, sixty more books, ranging from men’s adventure to military action, political thrillers, paranormal mystery, historical fiction, adult westerns, and even a vampire novel.
Surprisingly, what he has not written, as far as I know, is another detective novel. Until now.
Say it Was Murder is a return to Steve’s roots, and based on the tag-line “A McShan Thriller,” appears to be the first in a series. And that’s a good thing.
Good as Some Die Hard was (and still is– it was reissued by Rough Edges Press in 2014 and is available HERE), Steve has come a long way since then, and Say it Was Murder puts all his skills on display. This novel is not only more hardboiled than the earlier book, it’s more thoughtful, it’s funnier, and the characters are more fully developed. More than anything, it reminds me of Ross Macdonalds’ early (and best) Lew Archer novels.
McShan, an “old school” detective in a smart phone age, is an unruly operative of Honeycutt Personal Services. He’s assigned to what his boss, the hawk-faced and hardboiled Agatha Honeycutt, calls “a misbehaving daughter job.” Much of the deftly handed humor is in the repartee between McShan and Agatha. He is unfailingly insubordinate, but gets away with it because he’s her best detective—and because she just plain likes him.
McShan himself is a shaggy-haired incarnation of Mr. Mertz himself, wearing boots, jeans, and a black t-shirt. And he’s operating on the author’s home turf of Southern Arizona. The richly described territory is almost a character in itself. We visit the old cowboy town of Bisbee, with it’s historic Copper Queen Hotel, and his client is staying at The Tipi Lodge, where the rooms actually look like tipis. We also get the lowdown on rural bar crowds, the mystery of the Anasazi, the role of Walmart in rural society, and an appreciation of the temporary nature of civilization on the desert borderlands.
The cast includes characters who at first appear to be stereotypes of mystery fiction—the leader of a religious cult, the abused wife of a brutal jerk, the cop who works no harder than he has to, the mother who wants her girl back, and the misbehaving daughter herself, who doesn’t seem to give a damn. But as the story plays out, they are all revealed as more than they seem, and grow into real people.
For fans of Steve’s “action specialist” past, there’s a good taste of that, too, as McShan goes up against a behemoth biker babe who does her best to stomp him into oblivion.
Put it all together and you get a great read, and the hope of more McShan mysteries to come. Get yours HERE.
The story "The Spawn of Venus," as drawn by Al Feldstein, appeared in Weird Science #6. Legend has it that this version, redrawn by Wally Wood, was intended for a 3-D comic that was never published. E.C. released only two 3-D issues, E.C. Classics and The Crypt of Terror in 1954, before the fad faded.