Tagged: creation

Joe Kelly adapts “What’s So Funny About Trust, Justice & the American Way” into Superman vs. the Elite

Award-winning comics writer Joe Kelly has crafted an engaging, thought-provoking, action-packed thriller in adapting his 2001 Action Comics #775 classic tale (“What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way”) into Superman vs. the Elite, the latest DC Comics Premiere Movie.

Produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, the all-new, PG-13 rated Superman vs. the Elite arrives TODAY – June 12, 2012 – from Warner Home Video as a Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD, On Demand and for Download. Both the Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD will include an UltraViolet™ Digital Copy.

In Superman vs. the Elite, Superman’s effectiveness as a super hero comes into question when a new group of super powerful crusaders, known as “The Elite,” appear on the scene.  As super heroes, the Elite know no bounds, and are more than willing to kill, even on a massive scale, to stop villainy — putting them on a collision course with the ever-ethical and decidedly non-lethal Man of Steel.

“What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way” was lauded by Wizard Magazine as the “Greatest Superman Story of All Time,” and the magazine ranked the epic tale at No. 21 on its list of the “Top 100 Comics of the last 30 years.” It is arguably Kelly’s masterwork from a career of notable comics, including such titles as Deadpool, Uncanny X-Men, Action Comics and JLA.

Today, Kelly is one-fourth of the comics-oriented quartet known as Man of Action Studios. The group are superstars in the comic and TV animation/action world already as the creators/producers and writers of the megahit, Ben 10.  Their Ben 10 empire has generated over three billion dollars in sales based on their four television series and merchandising and now Joel Silver is producing a feature film adaptation of their creation.  Ben 10, arguably the most successful youth brand and superhero franchise of the last decade, has also launched two live-action TV movies and is seen in more than 168 countries and 312 million households.  Man of Action Studios also created Generator Rex, write/produce Ultimate Spider-Man on Disney XD, and they create/write/produce video games, TV shows, films, comic books, graphic novels, stage productions, etc.  Joining Kelly at Man of Action Studios, which began in 2000, are renowned writers Duncan Rouleau, Joe Casey and Steven T. Seagle.  The quartet are now in development/production on numerous TV and film projects including The Great Unknown, Kafka, Disco Destroyer and, of course, Superman vs. The Elite.  They proudly have their own Man of Action imprint at Image Comics, where they continue to flourish in the creator-owned comics world.

Kelly spoke about the creation of the film, the transition from page to screen, and his favorite scenes in a chat late last week. Here’s what the wordsmith had to say …

Question: For the uninitiated, what was the genesis for the original story of this comic?

Joe Kelly: The germ for the story really came from a very visceral reaction I had to a comic I was reading at the time – The Authority. It was a dark anti-hero comic. I really like the Authority and its characters, but there was an issue in particular that felt like it had pushed the boundaries of what makes a hero and what makes anti-hero. I found myself getting ‘fanboy mad,’ which I don’t normally get. We had an anniversary issue, and I asked Eddie (Berganza) if we could directly address those characters. I wanted Superman to take those characters on. And that became the germ for Action Comics #775.

Question: As Action Comics #775 was a single issue, how much did you need to add to the story to make it a full-length film?

Kelly: We wrote a lot of new content for the film, and it was funny looking back at the comic because I forgot how much is discussed rather than shown. There’s so much going on between the panels. So it was very exciting to get to see the action sequences that were just hinted at. I’d always seen them in my head, now I get to see them played out in animation.

Question: What was the purpose of adding the Atomic Skull to the story

Kelly: We knew we needed a villain or a character that would externalize Manchester Black’s argument against the revolving door jail policy. We wanted that parallel to be personal and easily identifiable. Originally it was the Parasite, but he’d been used in a recent previous film, so it became the Atomic Skull. And I really thought the Atomic Skull came out very cool. He worked well visually and for the story. Not having Parasite meant we lost a smidgen of the thematic approach – the Parasite really fit well in terms of his name and what he does to the people around him. But that’s just being picky.

Question: Do you have a favorite scene in Superman vs. the Elite?

Kelly: I’m especially proud of the quiet scenes. It’s very difficult to get quiet emotion in animation and to let the silence actually play on screen. But when you look at the quiet scenes in this film — Pa Kent and Clark on the porch, or Lois and Clark on the couch – those scenes really give us the chance to see Superman questioning himself with the people he trusts the most. And those scenes play beautifully in the film.

It’s like in one of my favorite scenes – just before the Elite takes over the airwaves and makes their grand announcement. I think it’s in the original, but it really came to life for me in the film. Lois and Clark are having a little debate, and he asks if she believes that criminals deserve the Elite’s sense of justice and punishment. And she says “Some days I think they do.” That’s just like a punch in the gut. It’s really an awesome scene, especially because it’s one of those moments in animation that you don’t expect. The big battle with the Atomic Skull is pretty great, too. And the finale is awesome. But I love the quiet moments.

Question: Whose sense of justice do you side with: the Elite or Superman?

Kelly: I’m definitely more in the Superman camp. There are plenty of people I get angry about, and the eye-for-an-eye mentality does flash though my head. I think it does for anybody. But at the end of the day, I do believe we need to aspire to higher ideals. Maybe I’m being naïve, and I may not be able to achieve those ideals myself, but we must make the attempt. You’ve got to try. My dad was a cop and he had very strong opinions about this stuff, but he would straddle the line. He had his days when he’d think “kill them all and let God sort them out,” but there were far more days where he believed that the law is the law, even if its broken, and we live in the best country on Earth because of those laws. So that definitely informed my weird sense of justice.

Question: Did the voices of the actors portraying these characters match the voices in your head while writing the film?

Kelly: The voice acting is so good in this film. Robin (Atkin Downes) is such a good Manchester. He’s got all the snark and all the personality, and his line deliveries are so spot on for that guy. It’s funny because everybody says the same thing: you can’t do an actual Manchester accent and expect to be understood, but Robin’s modified Mancunian accent is awesome. And understandable. The rest of the Elite’s voices are perfect: Menagerie is scary and sexy; Coldcast wears his “angry man” on his sleeve; and everyone giggles when The Hat comes on. I can’t say enough about George (Newbern) – I had heard his acting before, and he does such a great Superman. It’s terrific to see George portray the range of emotion he gets to do in this story. And Pauley (Perrette) so knocked it out of the park – I was immediately in love with Lois. Pauley gets all the smarts of the character. The two of them as a partnership really comes across, which is critical to the story. Lois keeps Clark grounded, and she’s literally the only one that can tug on Superman’s cape. Lois can bust his chops, and that comes through in Pauley’s voice. She’s terrific in the quiet moments, as well. Pauley sells it all so, so well.

Question: Are there other stories you’ve written as comics that you could see adapting to animation?

Kelly: In the DC realm, I’m very proud of Justice League Elite because the characters that pick up from this story are darker and very layered. It’s all about how messy you can get before you become a monster. I love that theme. If we could ever pull off Justice League Obsidian Age, that would be amazing – it’s just an insane, gigantic epic, and to see those characters animated would be incredible.



Airship 27 Productions is thrilled to announce the debut of the newest occult investigator in the grand tradition as such notable pulp heroes as William Hodgson Hope’s Carnacki, Seabury Quinn’s Jules de Grandin, Manly Wade Wellman’s John Thunstone and the popular Ravenwood, Stepson of Mystery.
Situated in the rural back country of Edwardian England is an old, mysterious house whose unique owner earns his living as a Spirit-Breaker, a hunter of ghosts.  A former military veteran, Sgt.Roman Janus has devoted his life to aid those haunted, both emotionally and physically by obsessive wraiths whose spirits are still anchored to our world.
Sgt.Janus – Spirit Breaker is the creation of new pulp writer Jim Beard.  Part detective, part occultist, Janus is himself a man of mystery whose own past is shrouded and the motivations behind his calling kept hidden.  Within this volume you will find eight tales as narrated by his clients, each with his or her own perspective on this uncanny hero and his amazing career. Filled with suspense, terror and agonizing pathos, each a solid mesmerizing journey into the unknown world beyond.
Featuring a cover by artist Jeff Herndon and eight stunning illustrations by Eric Johns, with design work by Pulp Factory Award winning Art Director, Rob Davis and edited by Managing Editor Ron Fortier, Sgt.Janus – Spirit Breaker is the first in a new series by one of today’s leading stars in New Pulp Fiction. 
“…Beard’s fiction is anything but pat and routine. While he may deliberately conjure the spirits of authors of Victorian and Edwardian occult fiction before him, Beard’s prose is fresh and entirely modern in his, at times, frank and unsettling tales of the wages of his characters’ past sins. Each story breezes by and like the best tales told round the campfire, it leaves the reader hungry for more.”   William Patrick Maynard (The Terror of Fu Manchu & The Destiny of Fu Manchu.)
Airship 27 Productions – Pulp Fiction For A New Generation!

Available from :
Airship 27 Digital Hangar as a $3 PDF (http://robmdavis.com/Airship27Hangar/airship27hangar.html)
And soon for $14.99 from (http://indyplanet.com/store/)

The Hunger Games DVD gets a Midnight Release August 18

The Hunger Games stunned the Hollywood prognosticators when it opened with huge box office numbers back in March. Its stunning success has been easily eclipsed by The Avengers but the adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling YA novel remains a noteworthy success story. Now they are trying to seize the spotlight once more with a clever marketing scheme for the home video release late this summer. Here are the details:

SANTA MONICA, CA, May 23, 2012 –Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games juggernaut will arrive on home entertainment at 12:01 A.M. on Saturday, August 18, as the first film in Lionsgate’s (NYSE: LGF) The Hunger Games franchise, which has already grossed nearly $400 million at the North American box office and is approaching $650 million at the worldwide box office, debuts on 2-disc DVD (plus digital copy), 2-disc Blu-Ray (plus digital copy), VOD and digital download with three hours of previously unavailable bonus materials in the biggest home entertainment launch in Lionsgate’s history, the Company announced Wednesday. (more…)


May 8, 2012


Altus Press is proud to announce the release of the third volume in its acclaimed Wild Adventures of Doc Savage series, written by Will Murray and Lester Dent, writing as Kenneth Robeson.

Set in the Fall of 1936, THE INFERNAL BUDDHA tells the epic story of Doc Savage’s desperate quest to control the Buddha of Ice, a relic of unknown origin—and
what may become the most dangerous object on Earth!

When a mummy arrives at Doc Savage’s New York headquarters wearing
the clothes of his missing assistant, engineer Renny Renwick, Doc, Monk, and Ham rush to Singapore where they get on the trail of a swashbuckling pirate who calls himself the Scourge of the South China Sea, in whose hands a piece of the infernal Buddha has fallen. The trail leads to Pirate Island, the fate of Renny, and a mysterious box
containing a terrible, unstoppable power.

But that is only the beginning of the quest into which the Man of Bronze plunges—one that will take him to the upper reaches of the Yellow Sea and a series
a wild ocean battles against the vicious factions fighting for control on the infernal Buddha.

Before it is all over, every human life on Earth will tremble on the brink of eternity, and Doc Savage will face his greatest test.

“This may be my wildest Doc novel to date,” says author Will Murray. “THE INFERNAL BUDDHA is a fantasy epic full of corsairs, criminals and other culprits. The menace is planetary. The threat, extinction. Doc Savage has a reputation for saving the world. This time he does it on the greatest scale possible. I began this book back in 1992, working from an opening situation Lester Dent started in 1935. Together, we have produced a true Doc Savage epic. And it only took about 75 years….”

THE INFERNAL BUDDHA will be released as a trade paperback and e-book in May, with the hardcover edition following in June. All editions will feature a startling cover painted by Joe DeVito, depicting Doc Savage as the Buccaneer of Bronze! This cover was painted from a still taken in 1964 of legendary model Steve Holland, and is a variant pose shot for famed illustrator James Bama’s classic cover to THE MAN ON BRONZE. There has never been a Doc cover like it!

The hardcover edition will include two bonus features—an Afterword by Will Murray detailing the creation of this story, and a memoir by James Bama of his days painting the Bantam Books Doc covers.

For ordering information, go to www.Adventuresinbronze.com 


Rise of the Black Centipede
By Chuck Miller
Pro Se Productions
189 pages
Chuck Miller is emphatically one of the bright new voices in the New Pulp Fiction movement and last year burst on to the scene with this book.  It introduced the world to his truly mondo-bizarro hero, the Black Centipede.
Describing Miller’s twisted, odd and vibrant style is a challenge in itself.  Unlike traditional classic pulp writers, his work is a hodge-podge blend of history and fiction and told from way too many different perspectives.
Written in first person narrative, the Black Centipede is a young man who crosses paths with the infamous Lizzy Borden of Massachusetts and through her encounters a mysterious being calling herself “Bloody” Mary Jane Gallows; the supposed spiritual creation of Borden and Jack the Ripper.  If that wasn’t twisted enough, our hero is saved from being murdered when his own body is possessed by another alien entity representing itself in the shape of an ugly, creeping black centipede.  Once this merger occurs, he finds himself capable of many super human feats of strength.  He becomes, like Will Eisner’s Spirit, virtually impossible to kill.
From that point on his adventures have him crossing paths with real life figures such a gangster Frank Niti and newspaper tycoon, William Randoph Hearst who wants to turn the Centipede into a popular “real life” pulp hero in his own magazine.  Then there are villains like Doctor Almanac, voodoo fighter Baron Samedi who battle across Zenith City, each with his own perverse agenda and little regard for the citizenry caught in the middle.
It’s fanciful stuff indeed but this reviewer wishes Miller would make an attempt at sticking to one point of view.  Towards the end of this first outing, we are given an entire chapter told to us by a police officer who was on the scene.  Supposedly this is necessary because the Black Centipede was on the other side of town when the incident took place. Still paragraph after paragraph of hearsay is as deadly in a novel as it is in a court of law.  Writing rule of thumb, Mr.Miller, show us, don’t tell us.
Still as this is his first book, that one flaw is easily overlooked for the overabundance of originality infused in this book.  With “Creeping Dawn,” Chuck Miller clearly establishes himself as a voice to be reckoned with.  We predict a truly brilliant future for both creator and his one-of-a-kind hero.

Ode to Oswald

Ode to Oswald

One would think that of all the major conglomerates in the world, The Walt Disney Company would have the greatest empathy and respect for creators who have made bad deals that resulted in their characters being torn from them. Disney, in fact owes its own success to its founder’s resolution resulting from having his creation hijacked by corporate greed. (more…)

New Pulp’s Table Talk: Label Me This!

This week, New Pulp authors Barry Reese, Bobby Nash, and Mike Bullock return to the table to discuss author labels and untapped genres.

New Pulp’s Table Talk – Label Me This is now available at www.newpulpfiction.com or at the direct link: www.newpulpfiction.com/2012/04/table-talk-label-me-this.html

Join the conversation. Leave us a comment on the blog and let us know your thoughts on this topic. We’d love to hear your thoughts and questions.

Have a question you want the Table Talk Trio to answer? Send it to newpulpfiction@gmail.com with “Table Talk Question” in the subject line. Also, let us know if you want attribution for the question, or you’d rather remain anonymous. Please, keep the questions pertinent to the creation of New Pulp and/or writing speculative fiction in general. We’ll get the questions worked into future columns.

Follow the Table Talk Trio on Twitter @BarryReesePulp @BobbyNash @MikeABullock and Facebook.



By Max Allan Collins & Mickey Spillane
Titan Books
241 pages
Available May 2012
After returning home from World War II, veteran Mickey Spillane was prepared to go back to his civilian job of writing comics.  But instead, he opted to take an idea for a new comic series and turn it into a private eye novel called, “I, The Jury.” Released in 1947, it was the first book to feature tough-as-nails Mike Hammer. (His last name pretty much defining everything he was about.)  The book was a phenomenal success and the publisher was eager to get Spillane to do more.  Three years later the first Mike Hammer sequel, “My Gun is Quick” appeared on the bookstore shelves and became as big a seller as the first.  Both Spillane and his creation were on their way to becoming literary icons.
When Spillane passed away several years ago, he left his notes and such to his friend and protégé, Max Allan Collins.  Among these files were bits and pieces of unfinished Mike Hammer mysteries.  Getting the green light from several excited publishers, Collins set about finishing these projects and getting them in print.  Thus far we’ve seen three;
“The Goliath Bone” (2008), “The Big Bang” (2010) and last year’s “Kiss Her Goodbye.”
Now comes the fourth and perhaps the most anxiously awaited of the entire lot.  You see, according to Collins’ prologue notes, “Lady, Go Die” is actually the original sequel Spillane had intended to follow “I, The Jury.”  Why he never finished it and instead completed and offered up “My Gun is Quick” is a puzzle no one will ever be able to fully solve.  Still, it adds a generous slice of real mystery to this story that was envisioned by one of the greatest writers of our times nearly seventy years ago.
Taking up where the first Hammer book left off, “Lady, Go Die” finds the irascible P.I. and his gorgeous brunette secretary, Velda, traveling to a little beach resort town in Long Island for some R & R.  Velda and Hammer’s cop pal, Det. Pat Chambers, think the emotional battering he suffered in his first case has left Hammer in need of some quiet time.  Alas, as they discover all too speedily, Hammer’s personal shadow is called Trouble.  No sooner does the couple arrive in Sidon, nearly deserted in its off-season, then they witness the brutal beating of a slow-witted drifter by three policemen, one known to Hammer as a dirty cop from the City.
Hammer steps in, pounds a few heads and rescues the helpless young man.  Within hours, he and Velda learn that the small community is in a tizzy, as its most popular citizen, a famous ex-dancer turned media celebrity has vanished without a trace.  Days later, her nude body is found draped over the stone statue of a horse in the park on the public beach.
Hammer smells the familiar odor of corruption and begins to investigate on his own. He soon learns the dead woman’s mansion was in actuality a secret gambling casino being fronted by a mob personality whose identity is carefully hidden.  As if that weren’t enough to keep Hammer and Velda busy, dodging lead and wrestling with gangster muscle, their inquiries also unearth other, supposedly unrelated murders; all of young women in neighboring towns and counties.  Now the savvy Hammer has to follow two different trails and decide if they connect or not.  Suddenly he’s confronting dangerous mob gunsels at the same time hunting a twisted serial killer who may be targeting his next victim.
“Lady, Go Die” is another terrific Mike Hammer caper that moves non-stop like a flying cheetah across the reader’s field of imagination and comes to a pouncing kill in a truly classic Spillane finale.  A big tip of the pulp fedora to this one, gents.


TIPPIN’ HANCOCK’S HAT- All Things Pulp Reviewed by Tommy Hancock

by Guido Henkel
Published by Thunder Peak Publishing

Ever since a particular detective first made his literary presence known in The Strand Magazine (and actually in other ways even before that), there’s been a bevy of creators find themselves drawn to tell imaginative tales replete with shadowy twists and tangled turns in the fog ridden streets of England in the late 19th Century.  Many of those have dared to mimic Doyle, others have worked to flat out ignore him, and still others have gone steps beyond where his most notable creation ever went.   It’s a rarity, to me anyway, when someone writes in that vein and simultaneously completely respects what came before while completely and totally having absolute fun with what they are doing.

Guido Henkel, the architect of the now 11 volume JASON DARK series, skillfully manipulates everything readers love about Victorian England and the supernatural while obviously having the best magical, mystical, monstrous time a writer can have in DEMON’S NIGHT, the novella featuring the debut of the Victorian Detective that handles the cases his better known peer won’t often even entertain.

People are dying in Whitechapel.  Not an unusual thing, except the bodies being discovered are withered, drained of every fluid possible, dried like prunes.   Tweaking the interest of Dark, the murders are the doing of a demon, a slave serving a master seeking release.  And only Dark and a young Oriental woman with skills all her own stand in the way of this netherworldly plot.

DEMON’S NIGHT is a wonderful story and great introduction to Jason Dark.  Obviously owing a bit of who he is to those who came before him, Dark is also a figure all his own.  At times moody, often introspective, and dangerously spontaneous when it’s least advised, Dark applies logic while opening his mind to the weirdness the world truly has to offer.   The supporting cast appearing around Dark for the first time is definitely an added asset to the story and the character.  Siu Lin, initially a victim of the beast of the tale, quickly proves her worth to Dark and makes a great compliment to his rather complex lead.

Henkel keeps the story rolling, darting back and forth between Dark’s and the demon’s perspective, and makes sure the reader stays along for the action packed storm that unfolds from beginning to end.

FIVE OUT FIVE TIPS OF THE HAT- DEMON’S NIGHT is not only a great start, it’s a truly awesome tautly told, well crafted novella featuring the best of Holmesian influence and Henkelian talent.


TIPPIN’ HANCOCK’S HAT- Reviews of All Things Pulp by Tommy Hancock

By R. A. Jones
Cover Art by Laura Givens
Interior Art by Michael Neno
Published by Airship 27 Productions

It is always exciting when a  New Pulp character debuts.  It’s also a great thing when writers, especially those known in other mediums, make their way into the New Pulp field.   In the instance of this Airship 27 release, DEATHWALKER, both of these events have occurred.  Deathwalker, the central character of the book, is the creation of R. A. Jones, a writer known largely for his comic work.  This is one of two New Pulp works that Jones has had debut in the month of February.

But there’s a third neat occurrence that I like to see happen as well that DEATHWALKER also takes advantage of.

In DEATHWALKER, Jones mines a field of inspiration and creativity that I think we as New Pulp writers all too often either completely overlook or just steal bits and pieces from intend of wrapping ourselves in it whole cloth.  That is, the rich tapestry that so many ancient civilizations, religions, and mythologies offer to creators to draw stories and new adventures from.  Why more New Pulpsters aren’t stepping off into the catastrophic cacophony of myths and the screwed up creatures that inhabit them is a mystery to me.  Jones does not shy away from that at all, setting his entire tale squarely in Native American mythology, particularly that of the Cheyenne, Deathwalker’s tribe.

The story centers around the title character who, when he was known as High Bird, experienced a rite of passage common to many aboriginal races world wide, that of the vision quest.  In his fevered quest, High Bird is visited by Death itself and marked forever more to be a Hero, but also a Bringer of Death.  It will follow him, He will cause it, He will be surrounded by it, respected because of it, and feared for it even by those who love him.  Taking the name Deathwalker, he becomes the leader of the Dog Soldiers, a band of warriors within his tribe and serves in many ways as the protector of his people.

The action of the story erupts when a band of young Cheyenne braves steal ponies from a nearby Pawnee tribe.  The shaman of the Pawnees, Stands Alone, takes great offense to this and begins a quest to wreak his revenge on the Cheyenne.  Never one to back down, Deathwalker confronts the shaman, heaps a few insults on to the old man himself, and thus begins a war between the two men that involves wolf men, centaurs, flying pestilence, snake women, and so many more concepts and characters drawn straight from Native American beliefs.   Not only that, but Jones insures that his characters authentically use rituals and observe customs common to the featured tribes, even so much so that one such custom plays a pivotal role in the story’s resolution.

DEATHWALKER has a lot to offer.  It is peopled with realistic characters while also being filled with fantastic magic and awesomely conceived mythical beasts.   Although the story telling is ponderous toward the beginning, it quickly gets beyond that and rolls fairly nonstop until the last page.  Also, there’s a device used toward the end of the book that sort of distracted me, took me out of the flow.   But overall, it was a solid read and fantastic story.

The interior art by Neno (that I was able to see in the PDF copy I had) stood out and was a fantastic rendition of the action in the book.  The Laura Givens cover was a mixed bag for me.  The central figure of Deathwalker was striking, but the surroundings and whatever lay in front of him seemed muddled and less clearly defined.    The overall design of the book, however, is top notch and makes a great package.

DEATHWALKER has been called ‘a Native American Conan’.  I don’t think that’s what I read.  The central character here had a code of honor and a direction much more specific and inherent than Robert E. Howard’s barbarian.  This struck me more as a Native American Hercules or Perseus and the story flowed with a more traditional Greek or Roman mythological pacing as well.  But, that is no way a negative at all. I actually find the depth that Jones worked into this tale its strongest point.

FOUR OUT OF FIVE TIPS OF THE HAT-DEATHWALKER runs the gamut of well told, fast paced, great mythological fun!  Well worth the read!