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- 11/23/18--03:00: _Forgotten Books: FA...
- 11/24/18--05:00: _Dan Turner, HOLLYWO...
- 11/25/18--04:00: _Movie Posters of 19...
- 11/25/18--04:00: _Clive Brook as SHER...
- 11/26/18--05:00: _Pulp Gallery: DETEC...
- 11/27/18--04:00: _"Jesse James, King ...
- 11/28/18--04:00: _History Lessons fro...
- 11/29/18--04:00: _TEXAS RANGERS Pulp ...
- 11/30/18--03:00: _Forgotten Books: WI...
- 12/01/18--04:00: _Dan Turner, HOLLYWO...
- 12/02/18--04:00: _BIG LITTLE BOOKS Ou...
- 12/03/18--04:00: _Pulp Gallery: MASKE...
- 12/04/18--05:00: _CHARLIE CHAN and Ca...
- 12/05/18--04:00: _EVERETT RAYMOND KIN...
- 12/06/18--04:00: _The Art of Frank Ha...
- 12/07/18--02:00: _Forgotten Books: DA...
- 12/08/18--04:00: _Dan Turner, HOLLYWO...
- 12/09/18--04:00: _Westerns you MAY ha...
- 12/10/18--04:00: _Pulp Gallery: DOUBL...
- 12/11/18--04:00: _3D Without Glasses?...
- 12/12/18--04:00: _Your Excuse to Coll...
- 12/13/18--05:00: _TARZAN of the Gum C...
- 12/14/18--03:00: _Forgotten Books: FL...
- 12/15/18--04:00: _Dan Turner, HOLLYWO...
- 12/16/18--04:00: _DICK TRACY Big Litt...
- 11/23/18--03:00: Forgotten Books: FAMOUS SOMEDAY by Don Herron
- 11/24/18--05:00: Dan Turner, HOLLYWOOD DETECTIVE in Color!: "Off-Stage Kill" (1951)
- 11/25/18--04:00: Movie Posters of 1922 (Part 1)
- 11/25/18--04:00: Clive Brook as SHERLOCK HOLMES (1932)
- 11/26/18--05:00: Pulp Gallery: DETECTIVE TALES (1937)
- 11/28/18--04:00: History Lessons from SCOOP GUM CARDS (1954)
- 11/29/18--04:00: TEXAS RANGERS Pulp Paintings
- 11/30/18--03:00: Forgotten Books: WILL EISNER'S SPIRIT ARCHIVES Vol. 1 (2000)
- 12/01/18--04:00: Dan Turner, HOLLYWOOD DETECTIVE in Color! "Bear-Trap Kill" (1952)
- 12/02/18--04:00: BIG LITTLE BOOKS Out West!
- 12/03/18--04:00: Pulp Gallery: MASKED RIDER WESTERN (1934)
- 12/05/18--04:00: EVERETT RAYMOND KINSTLER Fights Crime! (1951-52)
- 12/06/18--04:00: The Art of Frank Hamilton (Part 9)
- 12/09/18--04:00: Westerns you MAY have Missed (1922)
- 12/10/18--04:00: Pulp Gallery: DOUBLE DETECTIVE (1937-38)
- 12/11/18--04:00: 3D Without Glasses? Read "Nightmare" in TRUEVISION (1954)
- 12/12/18--04:00: Your Excuse to Collect PLAYBOY MAGAZINE
- 12/13/18--05:00: TARZAN of the Gum Cards (1966)
- 12/14/18--03:00: Forgotten Books: FLAME WINDS by Norvell Page (1939/1969)
- 12/16/18--04:00: DICK TRACY Big Little Books (Round 1)
Though this ebook is a recent release, I figure it qualifies as a Forgotten Book beccause most of the contents have been lurking deep in the pages of a Robert E. Howard fanzine called The Cimmerian, published between 2004 and 2008.
The heyday of my Howardmania was in the mid-seventies, so the fanzines I read were The Howard Review, REH: Lone Star Fictioneer, REH: Two-Gun Racaontuer, Fantasy Crossroads and a few late issues of Amra. By the time The Cimmerian began, that mania was long gone and had moved on to who-knows-what.
Famous Someday is proof I missed something good. The bulk of this collection consists of interview conducted by Leo Grin and Don Herron on field trips from their annual pilgrimage to Robert E. Howard Days in Cross Plains, Texas.
The interviews are with Bob Baker, Marie Baker Andrews and Norris Chambers, all of whom knew REH's father, Dr. Isaac Howard - and to a lesser extent REH himself - back in the day. By the time these interviews were conducted (2004 and 2005), the memories of most Howard acquaintances had been picked clean, but Grin and Herron scored a coup in speaking to Marie - who had never been interviewed before - and ferreted out cool new details from the others.
As a traveling doctor, Robert's father had a big and very public personality, and was very well known by his neighbors. Mrs. Howard, by contrast, was a homebody, not so friendly, and often ill, while Robert E. was quiet, standoffish and considered strange. So it's not surprising that most of these reminiscences focus on Dr. Howard, and merely nibble around the edges of Robert and his mother.
Those nibbles, however, are enough to make this a rewarding little volume. We learn stuff that adds to our understanding of Howard's personality and character, as well as his writing life. Tempting as it is, I'm not going to tell you what they are. If you're as interested in the subject as I am, you'll want to read them for yourself.
Also included is the saga of how Don and Leo encountered some forty books that had once been owned by Dr. Howard, and may have had their own influences on REH. The doctor was apparently a compulsive doodler, making his mark on the endpapers and odd pages of many of those books, and his doodles are presented here in full color, along with detailed descriptions of the books and their contents. The books also lead Don Herron to posit what appears to be an original theory regarding a mental disorder that may help explain both REH's prolificagy and emotional problems.
Here we go again. This one's from Crime Smashers #7, published back in Nov. 1951. And once again, it was uploaded to comicbookplus by freddyfly. Be here next Saturday for Dan's next case, "Bear-Trap Kill."
This tale illustrated by Everett Raymond Kinstler appeared in Avon's Blazing Sixguns #1, from Dec. 1952. Scanned for comicbookplus by darwination. Thank you, sir.
Our Man Dan marches on, from Crime Smashers #8, Jan. 1952. Scanned for comicbookplus by good old freddyfly.
Some forgotten master wrote it, Carmine Infantino drew it, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby did the cover, the Prize comics company published it the Jun-Jul 1948 issue of Charlie Chan (#1), and freddyfly uploaded it to comicbookplus. Heroes all. I posted another story from the same issue HERE.
From Crime Smashers #9, dated March 1952, comes this thrilling tale of bumpery in Tinseltown. Once again, this one was scanned for comicbookplus by "freddyfly." And once again, it's art by Max Plaisted. Sorry, Mojo.
In repsonse to the 3D craze, ACG Comics rolled out this Truevision gimmick to simulate 3D without glasses. Did it work? Not really, but it's still sort of cool. See for yourself, in this example from Adventures into the Unknown #51, from January 1954. The art is by Harry Lazarus. This ish was uploaded to comicbookplus by "shazam_tx".
I read the Moorcocks, enjoying them all, and the Leibers, liking them even more, but never got around to the others (and when it comes to the Gardner Fox and Lin Carter stuff, I'm sure I never will).
But back to Norvell Page. Unbeknownst to me, I had already read and grokked on six of his Spider novels, beginning with Wings of the Black Death and City of Flaming Shadows, numbers 3 and 4 in the Berkley paperback reprint series that never went any farther. I then went on to read the four updated novels printed by Pocket Books in an attempt to cash in the Executioner craze. By ignoring the silly changes, I managed to enjoy them too. (I yapped about one of those HERE.) These days, Page is acknowledged as the best and busiest of the Spider scribes, but back then I was clueless.
Now, having read many more of his Spider novels, a collection of weird detective stories (City of Corpses, HERE) a Spicy Western collection (Brand of the Cougar, HERE) and a few other shorts, I figured it was time to pluck Flame Winds off the shelf and give it a go.
As you might expect, the book is sort of a cross between Conan and the Spider. Originally published in the Street & Smith pulp Unknown in 1939, it was written before the Spider was born. But the manic driving force that makes Page's Spider so compelling is presaged here in Prester John--the hero of this novel and the follow-up, Sons of the Bear God.
Like Page's version of the Spider/Richard Wentworth, Prester John is supremely confident and slightly crazy. He always seems to balancing on the edge, as if the next looming crisis might plunge him into stark raving madness. "Prester John was a man careless of death, but just now he thought it would be a good time to live," we are told. "So, with a smile on his lips--and the blade of his sword between his teeth," he charges into danger.
Lest we be confused, the author's foreward explains that while this may well be the Prester John of legend, his story takes place a long time before the Crusades, way back in the First Century. A legend as large as his, Page reasons, would take that long to percolate. Except for a few instances, our hero is referred to as "Wan Tegri," which supposedly translates as "Hurricane John." This adventure is set in China--a China infested with sorcerors.
As the paperback cover proclaims, there's plenty of Conan influence, including a giant serpent and a giant ape. The tale was even once adapted for a Conan comic book, which I'll have to dig out of a box for a second read. But there are differences.
Instead of swishing about bragging about their powers, these sorcerors hide their identities, living among the populace as ordinary--and extraordinary citizens. They also have an ability I don't recall from the Hyborian Age, to "call back" anything stolen from them, making it vanish from the hands of the thief. That trick would have really pissed Conan off.
Like Conan, Wan Tegri is big, strong, comely and not-too-bright, but he differs in that he's able to hold more than one thought in his head at the same time. He's able to formulate both short term and long term goals, and pursue both at once. And unlike Conan, we're pretty much always privvy to what he's thinking. He does a lot of scheming, proving himself occassionally clever, and laughs (a lot) at danger.
Wan Tegri's brilliant gray eyes narrowed, and he scanned the tower with a soldier's mind, saw then the farther barrier he would need to pass. In the court beyond the heat of the flames, a great fountain threw up a spray like coruscating jewels, and ever in its jet there danced a great crystal ball, rising and falling, bouncing on the rising water as if it beat a deep rhythm for those dancing girls of flame. And around that fountain stood ranks of guards, seven ranks deep. Each row of them wore a different livery. Their tunics were crimson and blue and purple, cloth of gold and silver, and one was green, and the innermost rank faced outward, drawn swords in hand; but the other six ranks faced each other, two by two, and their naked swords rested each on the throat of the man who confronted him!
Will I be reading Sons of the Bear God? Yeah, I reckon so, and when I do you'll hear about it.
P.S. Some years back I posted a complete story from Spicy Detective, as by N. Wooten Page, which I invite you to squint at HERE.
From Crime Smashers #10, May 1952. "freddyfly" strikes again on comicbookplus. Cool. This one, for the first time in this comic, does not say "by Robert Leslie Bellem," though it seems likely it was. Who drew it? It don't say, but looks a lot like the guy who did the last two, Max Plaisted.