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  • 04/29/18--05:00: Movie Posters of 1916







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  • 04/30/18--05:00: Pulp Gallery: WESTERN ACES
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    Back in the Days of Yore (in this case 1956-57), William Russel starred in the British-made TV series The Adventures of Sir Lancelot (now available on cheapo DVD). 

    Meanwhile, John Buscema, nine years before he started churning out superhero stuff for Marvel and sixteen years before he set to work on Conan the Barbarian, was working for Dell, where both pencilled and inked this March 1957 issue of Four Color #775. In my eyes, this is at least the equal of his Conan work, much of which was inked by other hands. This ish was uploaded to the ever-surprising comicbookplus by a user known as BobR. 


















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    Here's a good-lookin' new entry in the Black Gat line from Stark House Press, originally published in 1963. I'm ashamed to admit I never got around to reading Henry Kane, or Frank Kane, either. Looks like it's time I did. Thanks once again to Greg Shephard at Stark House for keeping the classic noir flame burning.  



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    1951

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  • 05/05/18--05:00: Cinco de Mayo with ZORRO

  • In honor of the holiday, we celebrate these three 
    Mexican flicks released in 1961 and '62. Viva el Zorro!



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    More Frank Hamilton HERE.

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    I want one! Or two.










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    If the title interested you enough to start reading this review, you probably need this book. CowBoy, (as opposed to cow-boy or cowboy) is the author's term for an attitude based on what cow-boys (the genuine Old West type) came to symbolize around the world. He also calls this The Buckaroo Attitude. Cow-Boy, he tells us, is a state of mind, and can be achieved by anyone -- and he explains how.

    Along the way, he tells us a whole lot of other stuff he thinks us CowBoys should know, if we don't already. beginning with how cow-boys came to be, back in 1494, and what they've been doing since. There's stuff about tending cattle, and hunting them, and the tools used to do it. There's info on CowTowns and railroads and ranches and real-life cow-boy life.

    Next comes a section on Romancing the Range, with dime novels, music, pulps, movies and TV, followed by an attempt to seperate fact from fiction, a Who's Who of cow-boys, cowboys and CowBoys, real and otherwise, and a chapter on Rangeland Lingo. 

    Then, at last, it's on to all that stuff we need to know to live the CowBoy lifestyle, including cooking, decorating, collecting, sightseeing and dressing the part. And, of couse, maintaining that CowBoy state of mind. 

    So if we're CowBoys already, why do we have to read a book? Well, as Ranger Doug of the Riders in the Sky would tell us, doing things the easy way just wouldn't be The CowBoy Way.


    And since we're talking cowboys, here an ad the INSP Network sent me for it's series THE COWBOY WAY, now in its third season. Catch it if you can on Thursdays nights. 





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    More of Norman Saunders' GI Joe's HERE

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  • 05/14/18--05:00: Pulp Gallery: THE LONE EAGLE
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    Torchy's second comic book adventure comes to us from Doll Man Quarterly #9, Summer 1946. It was uploaded to the magnificent comicbookplus by Henry Peters. Words and pictures on this one are believed to be by Torchy's creator, Bill Ward.







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    Once again, Stark House makes me feel dumb by reprinting classic noir fiction by a writer I don't know. I did see the old Pocket Book cover once on Bill Crider's blog, though. No surprise there. Bill knew tons of stuff I don't and never will. Anyway, It's nice to finally meet this Mahannah guy.



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    How this story escaped my notice for 45 years is a mystery I will never solve. But, thanks to a tip from Mr. Tony Boldt, I am finally hip to the jive. For a Hammett adict like me, this tale is a revelation, and one hell of a fun read. 

    Near as I can discover, "The Maltese Falcon Commission" made its one and only appearance in the 1973 anthology Men and Malice, edited by Dean W. Dickensheet.

    The hero of this one is Augustus Mandrell, a killer for hire on a mission from jolly old England who had appeared (also unbeknownest to me) in a dozen previously published adventures. This time, he's in San Franscisco, where he mixes it up behind, in front of, and within the scenes of the hugger-mugger detailed by Dashiell Hammett as The Maltese Falcon


    The story opens the day after Miles Archer is killed, when Mandrell meets Sam Spade and pumps Spade for information. Mandrell, you see, is already on the trail of the black bird, and also gunning for one of the falcon-hunters. 


    What follows is an intricate job of plot-meshing, as Mandrell dances in and out of scenes from the novel, and provides a few new ones of his own. He interacts with Gutman, Cairo, Brigid, Wilmer and Thursby in ways Spade never suspects, and makes some surprising revelations about who shot whom, how the ship Paloma caught fire and what finally happened to the real Maltese Falcon. We even learn the real name of Miss Wonderly/Brigid O'Shaunessy. 



    Along the way, there are further hat tips to Hammett and Chandler, Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor, Elisha Cook Jr. and even Lew Archer. And just to add to the fun, the scene in which Mandrell meets Spade is swiped (with the author's admission) from the opening chapter of The Long Goodbye

    The adventures of August Mandrell, I have since learned, were collected in three Ballantine paperbacks, Of All the Bloody Cheek, Rather a Vicious Gentleman and For Murder I Charge More, between 1965 and 1971. All were out of print until a couple of years ago, but are now available in trade pb and Kindle format. Mandrell's final adventure, the novel (I think) Shoot the President, Are You Mad? (involving the JFK assassination) appeared in 2010. I'll be pursuing them all. 

    Thanks again, Tony!

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    Yeah, we're back. Our hotel was in National Harbor MD, across the Potomac from Alexandria. It was about an hour by bus and Metro to DC, but we ran into some interesting people. You may even know a couple of them. I was mighty disappointed that Davy Crockett was not among them. 









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  • 05/22/18--05:00: DC TRIP: Civil War Generals

  • I was pleased to meet these guys at the National Portrait Gallery. The one above, old Bobby Lee, was a surprise. He looks unlike the photos and other paintings I've seen. It was apparently done from life in 1864 or 65.

    Sam Grant

    "Stonewall" Jackson

    William T. Sherman

    George Pickett

    Joe Johnston

    Phil Sheridan