Pulp Publisher, Open Road Media has announced plans to release digital editions of stories from Black Mask, beginning with Jerry Tracy, Celebrity Reporter by Theodore A. Tinsley.
Black Mask magazine, launched in 1920, built its reputation on fostering, and later inspiring, some of mystery’s most beloved hardboiled writers, including Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Carroll John Daly, Theodore A. Tinsley, and Paul Cain.
These tough, grim, but ultimately noble stories of private eyes and crooks represent an extremely powerful slice of American fiction. Mysteriouspress.com/Open Road Media is thrilled to announce that Black Mask stories will be available in digital format beginning August 27, 2013.
Paying homage to the original magazine, stories will be released monthly, commencing with works by Black Mask masters Norbert Davis, Steve Fisher, and Paul Cain, as well as an omnibus of stories by Theodore A. Tinsley, Jerry Tracy, Celebrity Reporter. All works feature new cover art, as well as brand-new introductions.
The Jerry Tracy, Celebrity Reporter collection features every Jerry Tracy story ever published in Black Mask, and is an invaluable compendium of one of early noir’s most original heroes.
About Jerry Tracy, Celebrity Reporter:
Manhattan’s sharpest gossip columnist tangles with brawlers, triggermen, and dames
The most important people in the world come to Broadway—to eat in restaurants, dance in nightclubs, and die in rain-slicked back alleys. Whatever the big names are doing, Jerry Tracy hears about it—and tells the world in his infamous Daily Planet column. As quick with his typewriter as he is with a .45, Tracy can break a nose as easily as he breaks a news story. But beneath his hard exterior, this columnist has a kind heart, and a sense of justice that will make him do crazy things for a woman in trouble, or a friend with a murder rap hanging over his head.
Featuring every Jerry Tracy story ever published in Black Mask, this collection is an invaluable compendium of one of early noir’s most original heroes. Written in machine gun prose that would make Damon Runyon proud, these stories describe a man whose words are tough—and whose fists are even tougher.
About the Author: Theodore A. Tinsley (1894–1979) was a prolific noir author who wrote for all of the prominent pulp magazines, including Black Mask, Munsey’s Magazine, All Detective Magazine, and Action Stories. His best-known creations are Carrie Cashin, a private eye who became pulp fiction’s most popular female character, and Jerry Tracy, a gossip reporter with a nose for sniffing out murders.
The other authors/stories launching that day are “You’ll Always Remember Me” by Steve Fisher, “Red Goose” by Norbert Davis, and “Pigeon Blood” by Paul Cain.
“I was taught to believe you could use words to change the course of rivers – that even the darkest secrets would fall under the harsh light of the sun. But facts have been replaced by opinions. Information has been replaced by entertainment. Reporters have become stenographers. I can’t be the only one who’s sick of what passes for the news today.”
Well said, Clark!
The words that begin this column were spoken by Clark Kent as he quit his job at Metropolis’ greatest (and only?) newspaper, the Daily Planet.
Clark has been a journalist at the Planet for either five years, or 74 years, depending on whether you prefer comic book years or the kind of years most of us measure time by. Either way, what Clark did was a noble gesture.
This is not Mr. Kent’s first stray from the Planet city room. Some forty-one years ago he accepted a job in television and though, if memory serves, he didn’t completely sever all ties with the paper, he didn’t report for work there, either. Instead, he bopped around the city in a van seeking opportunities for on-the-spot, live coverage of news events. His secret – well, his newest secret – was that the van had an concealed escape hatch through which Clark could exit, unseen, when his alter ego – and you know who that is – was needed.
So Clark’s (temporary) change of status wasn’t dictated by ethics; he was just a working stiff doing what his boss wanted. And, not incidentally, what Superman’s biographer’s editor wanted. This was the splendid Julius Schwartz, who felt that Clark’s reporting gig was becoming a bit dated and that maybe shunting him into the electronic media would give him a dash of contemporaneity. You know, spiff him up a little.
I don’t remember what happened to Clark’s video career. Obviously, it didn’t last.
Now, he’s again cut loose from the only serious job he’s ever had, and I applaud him.
I expect that you applaud him, too, when you think about the egregious farce we’ve all just survived. It was called “an election” and it produced millions of words. Words spoken into microphones and in front of cameras and printed on paper: words used incorrectly and irresponsibly; words used to obfuscate and obscure; words that angered and irritated and infuriated; some words that distracted from the truth, some that denied the truth, some that seemed to bear no relationship to the truth.
Clark complained of “what passes for news today.” Does he mean all the print and broadcasting that details opinions and misadventures of instant celebrities – inconsequential nattering that once would barely have qualified as back fence gossip? Global warming? Palestine? Syria? The economy? Well, yeah, those get mentioned too, but maybe not a lot and besides, they’re not as interesting as Justin Bieber’s split with his girlfriend.
RECOMMENDED READING: Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie.
Strong willed, intelligent, feisty, relentless, outspoken. You’d be speaking of Lois Lane or Pauley Perrette?
Actually, both – which made the NCIS star the perfect match as the voice of the resourceful reporter for Superman vs. the Elite, the latest DC Comics Premiere Movie coming June 12 courtesy of Warner Home Video.
Perrette’s raspy vocal tones and spunky, never-back-down approach gives a new-yet-familiar perspective to the animated Lois Lane, particularly playing opposite the strong, traditional performance of Justice League veteran George Newbern in reprising his role as Superman.
Over nine seasons and more than 200 episodes, Perrette has mesmerized audiences with her portrayal of Gothy forensic specialist Abby Sciuto on NCIS, regularly the top rated drama series on primetime television. The role has elevated Paulette’s popularity into are air – in August 2011, she registered the top Q-score in all of primetime television. Not only was she the only female to rank among the Top 10 TV actors, her score matched that of feature film luminaries like Tom Hanks.
In addition to NCIS, Perrette has appeared in feature films like The Ring and Almost Famous, and had recurring roles on The Drew Carey Show, Jesse, Dawson’s Creek, 24 and Murder One. For the 2009 indie short To Comfort You, Perrette earned the award for Best Female Performance at the Beverly Hills Film Festival in the Short Film Drama category.
And while Perrette doesn’t boast a large amount of experience in animation, this isn’t her first time in the Bruce Timm pool – having given voice to a police officer in an episode of Batman Beyond.
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.
Produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, the all-new, PG-13 rated film arrives 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.
The ever-gracious Perrette spent some time after her initial recording session to chat about her love of Superman and Abraham Lincoln, her hatred of bad guys, her own super heroic efforts on behalf of numerous human rights charities, and the benefits of a criminal science collegiate background in acting today. Please read on and, wherever available, watch the video clips of Ms. P’s interview.
QUESTION: Was there any special personal significance for you to act in a Superman movie?
PAULEY PERRETTE: When I was little, I think that I wanted Superman to be my boyfriend. So this is the next best thing. I get to pretend to be Superman’s girlfriend. Although the older I’ve become, I’ve sort of decided that I would rather be Superman myself. So I’m trying (she snickers).
But even my first memory of a super hero was of Superman, because I had a crush on him. Well, it was on Clark Kent, Superman and Christopher Reeve, all rolled into one.
QUESTION: Did you have any preconceived ideas of how you wanted to play Lois Lane?
PERRETTE: When you’re doing voice work, and I said it right when I came in the door, I said, ‘I’m very obedient, and I will take direction.” Because the people who have written this, and the ones who have been envisioning the animation in their head, they have such a specific concept on what they want, that it’s good for me to say, “Give it to me. Give me every piece of direction you want. I’ll do it 10 different ways. Whatever you want.” It’s their vision, and I want to achieve that. If I get an idea while I’m doing a voice, I will offer it … “Hey, can we try this?” But it’s still up to them.
QUESTION: Your emphasis in college was rooted in studying subjects like sociology, psychology and criminal science. How do you think that’s benefitted you as an actress and, in particular, has it lent new perspective on Lois Lane?
PERRETTE: I do think my background in sociology, psychology and criminal science has helped me as an actor because I spent years and a years and years studying human behavior as a science, and as an actor — in approaching a role like Lois Lane or any character – it’s always fascinating to me to try to figure them out psychologically and sociologically. In many ways, acting is really like a science to me to figure out the human behavior of any character that I’m playing.
QUESTION: Now we know how you come to understand your characters. Do you have any acting tricks to then convert that information into a portrayal?
PERRETTE: I always tell myself that when you’re playing a character, pretend like they’re on trial and you’re giving the best witness of their life. You really need to think about every element of the character and represent them properly, as if they were a real person. You want to give 100 percent of what they’re worth and what they deserve as people.
QUESTION: Do you see Lois Lane as an important role model for girls, and who inspired you as a kid?
PERRETTE: Lois Lane is an inspirational character because she’s a smart and powerful woman. Even when she’s with Superman, she has no problem putting him in his place, and giving her opinion. It’s quite an honor to give voice to Lois Lane and be part of that legacy. My personal inspirations were a lot of the smart women throughout history, like Marie Curie and Eleanor Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart. Those are the ones that really inspired me. And the love of my life, Abraham Lincoln.
QUESTION: It seems as though you spend almost as much time volunteering for charities as you do on set. With as much charity work as you do, aren’t you a bit of a super hero yourself?
PERRETTE: My life outside of work is pretty much about charities. I have a big passion about civil rights for everyone – whoever is being downtrodden at the moment, it doesn’t matter: racial discrimination or sexual orientation or gender. Whatever it is, I’m there. I think I was a born civil rights activist. I can’t stand the smashing of a community. It’s not fair and it’s not right. We’re supposed to be here for liberty and justice for all, right?
QUESTION: Is there a geek within Pauley Perrette?
PERRETTE: My geekiness is in science and math. So if I had an ultimate geek role to play, I’d be a super scientist who was also a crime fighter. But on NCIS, I’m actually playing a crime-fighting super scientist right now, so maybe all my geeky dreams have come true!
My weekly rants here do not seem to be attracting the same numbers as my colleagues. This hurts my feelings. I suppose I could pick a fight with Michael Davis, but I’m not very good at feuds. I could start some kind of poll of web comics, but you don’t read columns to find out what you already think. You read columns to get a specific perspective on something. Just, apparently, not my opinion on the stuff in pop culture that has attracted my attention lately.
So let’s talk about sex.
Specifically, sex in comics. Alien sex.
Perhaps I don’t read as widely as I should, but very few stories about aliens and sex show much imagination. Most of the time, only two beings are involved. Sex organs and other pleasure centers seem to be located at the same places they are in humans. The exchange of bodily fluids is necessary for reproduction, unless the species is advanced enough to use science instead.
Biology, it seems, is destiny.
As I wrote here, there seems to be a need to put breasts on any females, whether they are mammals or not.
Even worse, rotting female zombies are often nothing more than flesh, bone, and gigantic mammary glands. If you don’t believe me, look at any random issue of DC’s Blackest Night. I suppose that it’s possible that every woman in the DC Universe had silicone breast implants which wouldn’t decompose at the same rate as their human parts, but if that were true, wouldn’t there have been a story somewhere in The Daily Planet? Wouldn’t Dr. Midnider have mentioned it?
Comics are graphic stories. That means they have art. It wouldn’t be too difficult to create characters who aren’t human, who require three or more individuals to reproduce, and whose reproductive organs are in places other than their crotches. Maybe they have to sit in a circle and hold hands, so the story could include graphic sex scenes that are G-rated.
Or there could be a society where sex is an involuntary (and not entirely pleasurable) physical reaction, like sneezing. Kleenex would be as provocative (and necessary) as condoms, and sold behind the check-out at drugstores.
Or maybe they could sneeze out of their gigantic breasts, which would sell a zillion copies of that particular comic. And also, drive up my screen views.
(Editor’s Note: Kleenex is a registered trademark of Kimberly-Clark.)
SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman and Why Most DC Movies Suck
We’re down to the final episodes of the CW’s [[[Smallville]]] leading up to the two-hour finale on May 13. And Warner Home Video is wasting no time letting you know that not only will the tenth and final season be out this year, but so will the mammoth ten season box set. We can relive the show when it was good and made sense, with terrific writing and winning performances, how it lost is way and then clawed back to something more engaging.
Here’s the formal press release with the complete details:
BURBANK, CA (April 27, 2011) – After 10 incredible seasons, [[[Smallville: The Complete Series]]] will arrive on DVD this fall. This ultimate collector’s set for the ultimate fan features over 192 hours of content – including all 218 episodes, over five hours of newly added special features such as an unaired, never-before-seen Superboy pilot from 1961, a 90-minute series retrospective with all new interviews, the 2010 final Comic-Con panel and more!
In addition, exclusive printed materials include a Daily Planet newspaper, written by DC Comics, that highlights the important storylines developed during the 10-year run of the show and an episode guide with never-before-seen production art (storyboards/sketches) and behind-the-scenes photos. Smallville: The Complete Series is presented in highly collectable new packaging consisting of two lay-flat picture books that hold 62 discs.
“It’s been an unbelievable 10 season run for Smallville, still one of the most popular series on television and one of our best-selling titles on DVD,” said Rosemary Markson, WHV Vice President, TV and Special Interest Marketing. “The fan base for the franchise is not only huge, but loyal and they’re going to love this ultimate collector’s edition.”
Soaring toward the end of its 10th and final season, this modern retelling of a hero’s legendary origins blends realism, action, heart and humor as Clark Kent completes his epic journey by claiming his birthright as the world’s ultimate hero – Superman. (more…)
So this week we shall see the season premiere of Smallville. This is not only the eighth season of the series that depicts a young Clark Kent learning the lessons that will make him Superman, it is also likely the last — unless the CW decides at the last minute to change their minds.
Matt "Two-Fisted" Raub is going to regale you folks with a review of the season premiere soon enough. It is my job to recap what has brought us to this point. I’ll summarize what’s happened in the show’s major storyline so far, not bothering to go into detail of individual episodes or sub-plots that are never mentioned again. If you only want to be caught up on the latest season, just scroll down until you see the words "Seventh Season" in bold. Also, this isn’t wikipedia, so I’m going to be explaining things in the way that I think makes it easiest to understand, not just listing events in exact chronological order.
THE STORY SO FAR . . .
The series begins with business mogul Lionel Luthor (John Glover) arriving in Smallville, Kansas with his young son Lex. A meteor shower suddenly hits, causing hundreds of strange, glowing, green rocks to hail from the sky and create devastation across the town and its surrounding farms. Lex receives close contact with one of the meteor rocks and loses his hair as a result. Young Lana Lang loses her parents in the chaos. Meanwhile, elsewhere in Smallville, Jonathan Kent (John Schneider) and his wife Martha (Annette O’Toole, who portrayed Lana Lang in Superman III) find a rocketship in their field that has arrived along with the meteors. And inside, there is a baby.
Fast forward several years and we are introduced to teenage Clark Kent (Tom Welling), the adopted son of Martha and Jonathan. Clark is a good kid with a kind heart. He is best friends with Pete Ross (Sam Jones III) and Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack), who has a deep-seated crush on him. He is also head over heels for his friend, cheerleader Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk). Clark is interested in astronomy and often has his head in the clouds. He also has great speed, strength and resiliency to injury. Now a freshman in high school, Clark wonders about why he has these abilities and his father finally reveals to him that he was found in a rocketship that came with the meteors and thus is possibly an alien. Clark wonders about who he is and why he was sent away.
As Clark begins high school, Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum, voice of the Flash from Justice League), now an adult, arrives in Smallville to take over his father’s LuthorCorp plant there. It’s supposed to be a test of responsibility and he hates it. Soon after his arrival, Luthor suffers a car accident and his life is saved by Clark Kent. The near-death experience makes Luthor decide that he must stop listening to his father and pursue his own destiny. He also declares that he and Clark are now friends, since Clark saved his life. Clark is glad to have a friend and is overwhelmed by Lex’s money and power and insistence on helping to make Clark’s life easier. Jonathan Kent is concerned that his son is spending so much time with Lex, especially when the Luthor boy continually espouses a belief that one should side-step rules of politeness and moral boundaries to get what you want sometimes.
As the seasons pass, Jonathan and Martha do their best to help Clark cope with his increasing abilities and his identity issues. The Kent boy discovers that the glowing green meteor rocks that are scattered in different parts of Smallville are somehow lethal to him and that their radiation has caused mutation in certain other people. As Smallville begins to be plagued by mutated super-villains (called "meteor freaks"), Clark secretly works to stop them and as the years pass on he discovers his powers increasing, gaining super-human hearing, telescopic/microscopic vision, heat-vision and X-ray vision. He even has dreams that he can fly. When solar flares later cause his powers to go haywire, Clark realizes that his superhuman abilities stem from his body’s absorbtion and processing of solar radiation.
Kristin Dos Santos at E!online provided fans of Smallville with a ton of information regarding the eight and final season of the CW series. It returns to the air in September and leaves the farm community further behind as the action seems to be concentrated more and more on the Daily Planet in nearby Metropolis.
Darren Swimmer, one of the four executive producers trying to replace Alfred Gough and Miles Miller, explained, "[Clark]’s going to be seeking out the trouble, as opposed to reacting to trouble when it happens. One of his main motivations for going to the Daily Planet was to be somewhere where the information comes in."
As a result, not only does Clark now work at the DP, but Lois Lane (Erica Durance) and Jimmy Olsen (Aaron Ashmore) continue their employment. In a nice twist, it’s Jimmy, not Lois, who starts to suspect Clark may be more powerful than a locomotive. It’s his snooping around that makes Clark start to consider the need for a secret identity.
Lois and Clark meantime begin to see each other in a new light, as a maturing Clark recognizes it may be time to put his romance with Lana Lang behind him. "Erica Durance and Tom have such a great chemistry on camera together as Lois and Clark,” Swimmer noted. “I just love seeing the dailies. They’re going to be butting heads a lot, as usual. They’ll be teaming up on stories and getting into the typical hijinks together."
Born in Metropolis’ Suicide Slum, Perry White’s first job was copy boy at the Daily Planet, a job that interested him in the newspaper journalism that would soon become his life.
Perry was already a well-respected reporter for the paper, having returned after stints in Chicago and Gotham City, when the Daily Planet’s owner, Lex Luthor, decided to get rid of the paper. Perry found an investor who was willing to save the Planet on the condition that Perry become editor. Though reluctant to give up writing, Perry agreed.
Since then, except for brief stints for personal or professional reasons, Perry has remained the Daily Planet’s Editor-in-Chief. Though he won a Pulitzer himself years ago, for his exclusive interview with Superboy, Perry’s greatest achievement may be his two finest hires: a pushy girl named Lois Lane and a mild-mannered Midwesterner named Clark Kent.
Smallville viewers should note that the April 12 episode will feature yet another inspired bit of stunt-casting, as Lynda Carter will appear as the mother of Daily Planet reporter Chloe Sullivan. I’m begging for Clark not to fall for Moira Sullivan; that would be all ooky.