In December I (foolishly) jumped into the latest Nate Heller detective story, Better Dead, by Max Allan Collins. This book has nothing to do with the Holiday Season. This book has nothing to do with making oneself better or preparing for the New Year’s challenges. In fact, this book is so enthralling it distracted me from my Yuletide tasks and annual planning. [[[Better Dead]]] is just a fun book. As with other adventures in this series, the author places his hero in a real-life historical hotspot, bringing to light a fascinating true-life story with new insights.
Kind of like the musical Hamilton without the rap musical and colonial wigs.
ComicMix’s “Grand Poobah”, Mike Gold, once famously quipped “if you only read one Max Allan Collins book this month, make it this one.” He was teasing about the author’s prolific writing. The talented ‘true crime’ and detective scribe produces so many books. But that truism certainly applies to this book.
With the New Year starting, I’m in a reflective mood. You probably are too. But I have not been struck by that big “ah-hah” insight. I wish I could offer one up to you all but….I got nuthin’. “Don’t give up” and “Try to be kind to people” is about all I’ve figured out in the past year. But the big idea that I’m struck by is how connected it all is.
This book has so many connections to so many other things happening. Here’s a few…
Roy Cohn, the lawyer who helped Joe McCarthy’s Red Scare efforts is a character in the book. As you probably know, he was one of Donald Trump’s mentors. And you may remember that the previously mentioned Mike Gold wrote about Cohn’s irrational self-loathing and hatred of gay men.
Bettie Page, the famous burlesque and pin-up icon, makes an appearance in this book. And there are a couple of connections with her too. Back in October, my wife Kathe and I, along with two visiting friends, were listening to live music. While the band played, the bar (Moondog’s in Auburn, NY) was showing silly and inconsequential things on their TV screen, presumably so that patrons would instead pay attention to the band.
One of the looped videos was a grainy old Bettie Page burlesque dance number. I recognized her and enthusiastically pointed her out to my wife and friends.
They looked at the old footage and then looked at me. They wondered how anyone would I even know a thing like that. Their harsh verdict was rendered: Ed was full of more useless Geek trivia.
But that all changed when another guy in the bar (wearing a Bad News Bears jersey, no less), started excitedly pointing out “that’s Bettie Page”! I wasn’t the only one! I took great solace in my brief vindication.
Just last week I clicked on a link to Stuart Ng books. This online retailer is selling old paperbacks that just happen to be from the collection of Dave Stevens. Stevens was the phenomenal comic artist who introduced a generation of comic fans, like me, to Bettie Page and Doc Savage in the early 80s.
On NPR the other day, I heard the fascinating story of Ethel Rosenberg’s sons, Michael and Robert. Ethel and her husband Julius were convicted and executed as spies during the Red Scare. Evidence today leads many reasonable people to conclude that she was innocent of passing along atomic secrets to the Soviets. Michael Rosenberg is campaigning for President Obama to exonerate his mother. After reading about the Rosenbergs in Better Dead and hearing the NPR report, it seems reasonable to me.
I borrowed this book from my local library, and that sparked a Christmas Eve conversation with my cousin, Krista. She’s become a voracious reader and talked about she just loved Hoopla, the digital platform for libraries. She’s rattled off a list of comics she’s enjoying that included [[[Paper Girls]]], [[[Lumberjanes]]] and Giant. I’ve been enjoying the service too – and find it to be a fantastic way to augment my local comic shop purchases.
From Roy Cohn, to Bettie Page, to Doc Savage to NPR to Hoopla to Paper Girls. It’s a tangled web and bound to get more tangled-ier in 2017. Have a great year.
P.S.: Someday maybe I’ll tell the story about how I read a Jack London book during finals. What was I thinking? I worry there may be a pattern here….
It’s still amazing to me that we live in a world where rumors about the trailers for the Batman v. Superman movie are reported in Forbes magazine. On the other hand, as Forbes signed on my pal Rob Salkowitz, an expert on comic-cons and pop culture, as a columnist, it’s apparent they understand the power of Geek Culture and I shouldn’t be so surprised.
Combining two franchises into a movie like Batman v. Superman isn’t a fresh idea, but it sure is a fun one. So as Hollywood and Warner Bros look to combine the quintessential dark hero with his counterpart, I thought it would be interesting to see how it was done with their prototypes.
The Shadow and Doc Savage were created for the pulps and clearly inspired Batman and Superman. In fact, many argue that it’s less inspiring and more outright copycatting. For example, the very first Batman story was a rip-off of a Shadow adventure. Krypton’s favorite son borrowed many elements of the Doc Savage mythology, from his civilian name to his Fortress of Solitude.
“Let’s not bicker and argue…” is a Monty Python line that’s probably appropriate here. I enjoy them all and perhaps you do too. This summer I thoroughly enjoyed the new book, The Sinister Shadow by Will Murray, published by Altus Press. So I reached out to Will to learn more, and especially to compare and contrast his book to the upcoming Batman v. Superman movie.
Ed Catto: In your recent novel, The Sinister Shadow, you’ve created a Doc Savage vs. Shadow adventure. How did this all come about?
Will Murray: I’ve wanted to write a Doc Savage meets The Shadow novel since my Bantam Books days. The rights were never available. When Conde Nast okayed the project, I decided to pit The Shadow against Doc Savage in a way that acknowledged that while they both were dedicated toward the ends of justice, they also worked very different sides of the street. Like Superman and Batman, they are not natural allies, since their methods run counter to one another’s philosophies. But I felt they could become uneasy allies if joined in common cause.
This is a crime-suspense story set in 1933, when both heroes are at the start of their careers. I’ve had this plot in mind for several years, but imagine my surprise and delight when looking through the manuscript for (Doc Savage creator/writer) Lester Dent’s only Shadow novel, The Golden Vulture, I discovered approximately 20 chapters of unused material. How wonderful it would be if I could make my first Shadow novel a collaboration with Lester! So I acquired those rights, and the rest is history. I’m really proud of this book, because between me and Lester Dent’s 1932 prose, we really evoke The Shadow of the early Depression, as well as Doc in his early career.
EC: You’re very respectful to the source material. In fact, this novel seems like a “masters class” for pulp readers. The reader really has to be on his or her toes. Can you discuss your authentic and respectful approach to these characters? And how do you feel it’s received by fans?
WM: When I write Doc Savage, or for that matter The Shadow or Tarzan, any other such character, I try to write in the tone, style and mindset of the original author. That I often succeed is one of my gifts. The mind trick I use is not to write a story set in the past, to pen a contemporary pulp novel as if I were living in the timeframe in which the story is set. That way I don’t place too much emphasis on period details – just enough to evoke the era.
Comments received so far on The Sinister Shadow say it is not only one of the best novels I’ve ever written, but it’s an uncannily authentic replication of those characters in their rightful time. Readers just love this book! And I loved writing it.
EC: While this is officially another entry in your Wild Adventures of Doc Savage series, isn’t this really a Shadow novel? Or is that my own bias?
WM: I have been fascinated by the reviews, some of which say this is a great Doc Savage novel guest-starring The Shadow, while others insist it’s really a Shadow novel in disguise. The truth is that The Sinister Shadow is a Doc Savage novel set in the gritty Great Depression world of The Shadow, with the characters adjusted accordingly. Late in the book, it shifts to being a full-blown Shadow novel, but that was driven by the Lester Dent material, not by my choice. I will say that the book nicely balances out, so that both heroes and their subordinate characters get their full measure of respect and participation in the action.
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Also, this is Lester Dent’s take on The Shadow. He’s mysteriously creepy and uses a lot of tools and gadgets (Shadow creator/writer) Walter Gibson never dreamed of.
EC: I was impressed by how you deal with some of the historical, yet cringe-worthy elements of each characters’ mythology. You certainly didn’t ignore or gloss over these dated ideas. I could almost feel both Doc and The Shadow squirming at different times during the story. Can you explain your thoughts on these elements? How do you think today’s audiences respond to them?
WM: I’m just as attracted to Doc Savage’s humane approach to fighting crime as I am The Shadow’s avenging angel punishment mindset. Both work for me. Of course, The Shadow was the forerunner of characters ranging from the Executioner to Dirty Harry. The formula is with us today. The enlightened Doc Savage approach is less common, hence its appeal as an alternative to the avenger-style hero.
Believe it or not, Doc Savage’s surgical approach to curing crime was considered very progressive for the 1930s. For me, the appeal of pitting these characters against one another was to explore their radically diverse crimefighting approaches. Therein lies the essential tension and drama of The Sinister Shadow. After one of Doc’s men and the real Lamont Cranston are kidnapped, that draws both heroes in. And when Doc unwittingly captures one of The Shadow’s agents and ships him off to his Crime College for corrective surgery, things really start to pop.
Having them team up comic-book style to fight a great menace wasn’t my approach because it isn’t the best way to introduce these characters to one another. I wanted the villain to be a catalyst, not the central antagonist. Having set up their difficult working relationship, I can now throw them against a super-villain down the road if future circumstances permit it.
EC: You’ve developed a great antagonist for this story. Without spoiling any surprises, can you explain your creation of the Funeral Director?
WM: The Sinister Shadow is an extended chess game between Doc and The Shadow, who are after the same bad guy. I chose a villain who brought them into open conflict, without overshadowing the storyline.
The Funeral Director is a mysterious enemy who tangled with The Shadow before under another name. He’s been hiding from The Shadow’s vengeance ever since; hence he’s adopted an alias for one last big score.
I‘ve always wanted to tie up the unresolved loose threads of the early Walter Gibson Shadow novels, and in this story I tied up a ton of them. Shadow readers have been ecstatic.
EC: The cover art has become an integral part of any pulp adventure. Who’s your cover artist for this story and were you happy with the result?
WM: Joe DeVito is my cover artist, and has been since the days when I wrote Doc Savage for Bantam Books back in the 1990s. Thanks to the kindness of acclaimed artist James Bama, we’re working with original photos he took of model Steve Holland posing as Doc Savage back in the 1960s. We found a great one depicting Doc standing in a challenging position, looking like a literal Man of Bronze. This gave us a start. To this Joe added a nebulous looking Shadow opening fire on Doc. The scene is set in The Shadow’s secret sanctum. For the hardcover edition, we have a bonus back cover – a great graveyard scene of Doc and Monk wearing infrared goggles, while The Shadow crouches atop the Cranston family mausoleum. It’s hard to say which is the better image.
EC: What’s next for Doc Savage?
WM: Next, we jump ahead in time to the middle of World War II. Monk and Ham become embroiled in wartime intrigue that takes them to the Caribbean Sea, and a gang of pirates intent upon controlling The Secret of Satan’s Spine. That’s the title of the book. More than that I don’t want to give away. But expect some surprise cameos featuring characters who previously appeared in earlier Doc novels. Beyond that, I have ideas for an adventure set in Chicago at the height of the great gang wars, another that takes us to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, and then a return to the Valley of the Vanished where Doc Savage’s career began back in 1933.
EC: And I understand you’ll also be creating new adventures for The Shadow?
WM: While there has been some discussion about The Shadow, and I would love to take a swing at a new Shadow novel, I would prefer to do another Doc Savage-Shadow encounter next, preferably going after The Shadow’s great enemy, Shiwan Khan. Many readers had asked me to pit Doc against Fu Manchu, but I think the Street & Smith version would be more compelling.
EC: Are there other pulp team-ups and/or crossovers are you working on?
WM: I just released my first Tarzan novel, the well-received Return to Pal-ul-don. It’s a sequel to Tarzan the Terrible, and takes place when John Clayton is an RAF fighter pilot during WWII. I’m in discussions to write another Tarzan, but this one will be a crossover. I can’t yet say who the other character is, but I can hint at it. It’s a big hairy deal. This will be a major crossover that has been long dreamed of going back to 1935, but never executed due to rights issues. I’m also thinking of writing a Spider novel in which he teams up with Jimmy Christopher, the star of Operator #5 magazine, as well as G-8 of World War I fame.
I have mixed feelings about crossovers. We’re seeing a lot of them now, but for my money, they have to be extremely well realized to live up to reader expectations.
EC: What advice would you give to the folks making the Batman v. Superman movie?
WM: Far be it from me as a pulp novelist to give Hollywood filmmakers any advice, except the obvious: If you’re going to have two major properties meet, both must be equally respected and interact in ways that are true to their essential natures. A crossover for its own sake is a mere novelty. A crossover that explores both characters in new ways is an event. I think everybody’s more interested in big events than in entertaining novelties. Too many crossovers are just circulation stunts.
I do find it interesting that the core approach of Batman v. Superman – that is, antagonistic heroes who presumably work out their differences – is so similar to The Sinister Shadow, which I first plotted almost 10 years ago….
Doc Savage didn’t know he was doing something wrong. Neither did I. To be fair to Doc Savage, back then things were simpler. To be fair to me, so was I.
I didn’t first learn about Doc Savage’s, shall we say, experimental, surgical procedures, in Dynamite Entertainment’s Doc Savage v1 #7. No I knew about them before, I just never thought about them. But I did know about Doc’s, shall we say, unusual surgical procedures.
Oh let’s stop beating about the bush. “The Law Is a Ass” hasn’t lasted this long by my being evasive. No, the column and I have made it through thirty plus years by my being up front with you. So I’m going to stop being coy. No more using words like “experimental” and “unusual.” I’m going to call Doc Savage’s surgical procedures what they really are; invasive.
For years after Doc Savage captured a bad guy, he shipped them off to a private medical facility in upstate New York, where they would undergo “a delicate brain surgery” that removed their criminal proclivities. Then Doc’s medical staff trained these people on how to live better lives. After this, Doc set them up with jobs and returned the now-reformed – forcibly reformed – criminals to the world, where they would lead productive lives. I don’t know how long Doc did this. His biography in the Doc Savage Wiki says that he did it in the “early episodes.” But Doc Savage v1 #7 says he was still doing it in 1988.
The same comic also had one of the surgeons who worked at Doc Savage’s upstate Serenity Convalescent Center outing Doc and his memory manipulating machinations on national television. Later in that story, we learned several people were suing Doc for violating their civil rights and robbing them of their free will. We also learned the case had gone to the Supreme Court. At one point in the story Doc actually appeared before the Supreme Court. At another point, Doc talked about what would happen in the case, “once the chief justices have heard all of the testimony.”
I don’t know what’s more wrong the fact that Doc Savage was talking about the “chief justices” of the Supreme Court of the United States hearing testimony or the fact that Doc Savage performed unauthorized, nonconsensual operations on unwilling patients. I do, however, know which one is easier to discuss. So I’ll start there.
The Supreme court doesn’t have chief justices. It has a Chief Justice. As in one. Not chief justices as in plural. Only the person appointed by the President of the United States and affirmed by the United States Senate to be the Chief Justice is called the Chief Justice. The others eight justices on the Supreme Court are called Associate Justices.
See? Wasn’t that easy?
In addition, the Supreme Court doesn’t hear testimony. The Supreme Court is a court of appeals. Trials in federal cases are conducted in federal district courts. Those are the courts of original jurisdiction, which is to say the courts in which law suits originate. The circuit courts are the courts that would hear testimony, not the Supreme Court. After a trial, the case may get before the Supreme Court. But it would get to the Supreme Court as an appeal, not a trial.
Under the Constitution of the United States, the Supreme Court can be a court of original jurisdiction in cases involving ambassadors and other diplomats and in cases where a state is a party. Generally, the only cases which the Supreme Court entertains as a court of original jurisdiction are cases when one state is suing another. Those are the cases where the Supreme Court would hear testimony. In all other matters, the Supreme Court only hears oral arguments. I’d explain what oral arguments are, but they’re boring. For 28 years I made my living making oral arguments to courts of appeal. Trust me, I know. They’re boring.
Doc Savage’s case involved a group of plaintiffs who are people, not states, suing Doc Savage, another person not a state, for depriving them of their civil rights. A civil rights suit would not be a case where the Supreme Court had original jurisdiction. So the Supreme Court would not be hearing any testimony in the case.
See? Still easy.
And it should have been easy for Doc. He had legal training, after all. And even if he didn’t,one of his best friends and top aides, Ham Brooks, was a top lawyer. He really should have known better. Back in those days when I was simpler and didn’t have any legal training yet, I knew there was only one Chief Justice and that the Supreme Court didn’t hear trials. Read it in the newspapers. So I don’t know why Doc forgot. Maybe he was an early test subject in one of his own judgment jugglings jobs.
Now as to the actual lawsuit alleging Doc Savage violated the civil rights of several people with his surgeries, that’s where things get a little trickier. Doc started this procedure back in 1934. Things were a little more lax vis-a-vis civil rights back then. In 1883, the so-called Civil Rights cases reached the Supreme Court. In those cases, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment applied to governments but didn’t apply to people. So when Doc started his cranial conversions in 1934, he couldn’t violate anyone’s civil rights because he was a person not a government.
In addition, back in 1934, the use of leucotomies – or to use their more common and more pejorative name, lobotomies– were gaining acceptance among doctors treating mental illnesses. Even though they were controversial and criticized by some, lobotomies grew in both popularity and frequency well into the 1950s. So generally accepted medical practice might not have disapproved of what Doc was doing.
In 1934, even the courts didn’t disapprove of non-consensual surgeries on individuals that were deemed to be for the greater good. In a rather famous case – Buck v. Bell 274 U.S. 200 (1927) – the Supreme Court upheld a Virginia statute which called for the compulsory sterilization of the intellectually disabled. In upholding the law, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote oh-so-sensitive explanation that, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” So I doubt that at the time Doc started gelding gray matter, the Supreme Court would have stayed his scalpel.
Things are a little different now. The courts recognize the existence of several kinds of civil rights. The civil rights which receive the highest level of protection in the courts are the so-called first-generation rights. In the United States, these are the ones specifically enumeratedin the Constitution which deal with liberty and political activity. In the past several decades, however, several unenumerated rights such as the right to privacy are finding their protectors in the courts, too.
Among the unenumerated rights which are starting finding acceptance is cognitive liberty. This is the freedom that people have to control their own mental processeses. In Sell v. United States539 U.S. 166 (2003), for example, the Supreme Court imposed limitations on when a state could forcibly administer antipsychotic drugs to a defendant who had been declared incompetent to stand trial for the sole purpose of making him competent and able to stand trial.
So the odds of the courts ruling in favor of the people who are suing Doc Savage for civil rights violations because of his nonconsensual noggin noodling are getting better. I’d like to think the courts are ruling in favor of people not being forced to undergo treatment for their allegedly aberrant behavior, because we’re a bit more enlightened now. But given the nature of some court decisions in recent years, it might just be that the judges are worried people might start using those decisions to prove the judges, themselves, are insane. Maybe the judges aren’t enlightened. Maybe they’re just protecting themselves against any future faculty fiddling.
One would think that because the roots of comic book heroes are deeply planted in the forest of pulp heroes, adapting such characters to the four-color medium should be a snap. Despite the superlative efforts of such talents as Garth Ennis, Frank Robbins, Eduardo Barreto, ComicMix’s own Denny O’Neil and a handful of others, this is not the case.
Let us politely say that, overall, pulp heroes have enjoyed a mixed reception. Some good, some bad, some wonderful, some insipid. Sturgeon’s Revelation remains in complete control.
In making the transition, some people resort to measures that put these characters in modern times. Usually, that trick doesn’t work: The Shadow, The Spider et al are creatures of their own times. Sometimes they become something different – in the 1960s Archie Comics turned The Shadow into a routine, and boring, costumed superhero. At least the guy who wrote most of it, Jerry Siegel, knew something about capes.
These days most of the pulp hero resurrections are being handled by Dynamite Comics, and by and large they’re doing a fine job. I didn’t care for their approach to The Spider, but I was surprised that their putting Doc Savage in the modern era while maintaining his past actually works. Their Shadow is mostly terrific; there’s a lot of it so some is better than others.
It’s hard to go wrong with Gail Simone, and she fits Red Sonja like it’s her second skin. Probably has something to do with the red hair. Zorro has been in fine hands, particularly the stories by Matt Wagner and then even more particularly those stories drawn by John K. Snyder III. The idea of team-up up Zorro with Django is nothing short of brilliant, and Quentin Tarantino teamed up with Wagner to provide the story.
Because The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Avenger are all owned and licensed by Advance Publications (better known as Condé Nast, which is one of their divisions), it was inevitable that these three would share their own mini-series. Any fan with an appreciation for history felt his spider-sense a-tingling when Dynamite announced they had all three licenses. The concept is akin to skating on thin ice.
Not to worry. This just-completed mini-series, Justice Inc., was written by Michael Uslan, and Michael knows his stuff.
Now, you might be asking “Geez, Mike, what the hell are you talking about?” In fact, you might have been asking this question for several years now, but I’ll just assume you’re referring to Mr. Uslan’s far greater notoriety as a Hollywood producer who specializes in bringing comic book characters to the screen. You know, like all those Batman movies. And the forthcoming Doc Savage movie, the one IMDB says is starring Chris Hemsworth (maybe) and is to be directed by Shane Black. Yep, that’s the guy.
However, he’s also written quite a few comic books. In fact, I regard him as one of our best writers – I will read any comic book with his name on it, and I just might even pay for it. (I heard the phrase “hey, kid, this ain’t a library” so often I salivate at each utterance). And he’s done some truly innovative stuff: he’s the guy who married Archie Andrews off to both Betty and Veronica – sadly, separately – and now he’s got Betty and Veronica out of Riverdale for a year in Europe. He’s written Batman, THUNDER Agents, The Spirit, The Shadow / Green Hornet crossover “Dark Nights,” the revived Terry and the Pirates newspaper strip, Beowulf, and an issue of DC’s original Shadow run. And other stuff.
Joining Uslan on Justice Inc. is artist Giovanni Timpano, who is quite up for the challenge of drawing such a character-heavy story in period. Covers – well, there are a lot of them by a lot of good people. Dynamite tends to approach variant covers the way a 16-year old boy approaches an orgy. But, yes, Alex Ross has one over ever of the six issues.
Since we’ve got at least three heroes and sometimes their associates, I should note the villains are two of the pulp classics: Doc Savage’s arch enemy John Sunshine and The Shadow’s persistent creep Dr. Rodil Mocquino, a/k/a The Voodoo Master. These are choices that might be obvious to the hard-core, but they are so for a good reason: they are solid villains right out of the best pulp traditions.
Even though Michael and I have yet to work together, he avoids violating one of my great many cardinal rules: he keeps the in-jokes accessible to the knowing without getting in the way of those that don’t know. Indeed, in-jokes abound in Justice Inc, ranging from very cute to quite clever. He takes some extremely minor liberties with the characters: Doc Savage is a bit more sarcastic than in the pulps, The Shadow seems a bit more OCD given the fact that he’s hardly a team player (unless it’s his team), and The Avenger’s origin story is bent slightly to accommodate this being set at the very beginning of his career.
You might ask why I’m plugging this mini-series after its conclusion last week. Outside of the fact that I’m absurd, it is possible that your friendly neighborhood comics store has a run left, and you should always support your local friendly neighborhood comics store. Aside from that, the trade paperback collection comes out in mid-May and is available for advance orderfrom Amazon.
I doubt Uslan is going to give up his day job in order to churn out more great comics. That’s just a guess, but, damn, I can hope.
When was the last time a major comics publisher launched a new series of superhero comics? Of course, by new I mean “totally original characters.”
For example, both Dynamite and Dark Horse are doing quite nicely with their somewhat integrated lines of heroic fantasy. Dynamite based theirs upon well-known pulp heroes such as The Shadow, Doc Savage, The Avenger and Zorro. Dark Horse has resurrected golden age licensed characters such as Captain Midnight and Skyman and has been integrating them with their own Comics Greatest World (X and Ghost), brought back from wandering around the1990s. Nice stuff – some of it great stuff – but these are not new characters.
The same thing is true over at Valiant. They’ve resurrected their characters and did what amounts to the fourth or fifth relaunch of their universe, sans those licensed from Western Publishing (which are now over at Dynamite Comics after Dark Horse took their shot). This time the effort seems to be well-received and its worthy of that but, again, these are not “new” characters or original characters.
DC and Marvel keep on altering their atlases as though somebody dared them to confuse M.C. Escher. Nothing new here outside of the occasional new-person-with-old-code-name gambit, sometimes followed by the old-person-returning-to-the-old-code-name variant.
So where’s the new stuff? Where are our totally new and original superheroes? I remember the thrill I felt when I fell across T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1 – the real one, done by Wally Wood and Reed Crandall and Steve Ditko and Gil Kane. Totally original stuff created by some of the greatest talent the medium has seen. They made such an impact upon baby boomer comics fans that they’ve been resurrected by such well-financed publishers as Archie Comics, Penthouse, DC Comics and, most recently, IDW. Even Marvel had a bid in on at least two occasions. And, as it turned out, the only thing these latter efforts were lacking were the likes of Wally Wood and Reed Crandall and Steve Ditko and Gil Kane… and the 1960s sensibilities that molded the property in the first place.
We’ve got brilliant creators wandering around out there today. Most are all well-employed, and their creator-owned stuff tends to be non-heroic fantasy. That’s completely understandable. If you spend most of your time doing The League of Uncanny Spider-Bats, you’re going to want your own stuff to taste different. Even the brilliant lads at Aw, Yeah Comics (the imprint, not necessarily their home-base comics shop) do that.
Nonetheless, it is 2014. We’ve got a whole different set of concerns. The DC Universe was born out of the depression and World War II. The Marvel Universe was born out of the nuclear arms race. Today we’ve got terrorism, plagues, a completely dysfunctional government, and a planet that has been savagely and perhaps terminally abused.
This issue’s outstanding feature is a lengthy excerpt from Nathan Madison’s recently published book, Anti-Foreign Imagery in American Pulps and Comic Books, 1920-1960. In this richly detailed, extensively illustrated piece Nathan explores “Yellow Peril” fiction from the pulps. His exhaustive study complements Bill Maynard’s celebration of Fu Manchu’s centennial from our last issue.
Another book published earlier this year, Will Murray’s Skull Island, pitted Doc Savage against King Kong and aroused much interest not only among the Bronze Man’s fans in general but devotees of Philip José Farmer’s Wold Newton Universe in particular. BnT contributor and Wold Newton adherent Rick Lai examines Skull Island and catalogs its deviations from the Universe in an unusually absorbing work of scholarship. In a separate piece Will responds to critics of his approach. Let it never be said that BnT refuses to present both sides of a story!
Will’s second contribution to BnT #38 is an 80th Anniversary hat-tip to the long-running hero pulp G-8 and His Battle Aces, adventures from which are now being offered in audiobook form by Radio Archives. He covers a hitherto overlooked attempt by Popular Publications editors to gauge reader interest in a proposed shift of emphasis for the magazine.
This summer marked another important anniversary in American pop culture: Superman debuted 75 years ago in the first issue of Action Comics. Mike Bifulco, author of The Original Superman on Television (a definitive guide now in its third edition), weighs in on the recent theatrical release Man of Steel and reflects on the enduring popularity of the TV series starring George Reeves.
This time around our “Tricks of the Trade” department boasts a particularly comprehensive installment by long-time pulp editor and science-fiction specialist Robert A. W. “Doc” Lowndes. Originally written for a 1949 writers’ magazine, this 6400-word treatise is perhaps the most informative piece of its type we’ve published to date. It provides the clearest look yet at how pulp editors appraised the manuscripts they received by the thousands every year.
BnT #38 also reprints two fascinating short stories culled from vintage pulp magazines. James B. Connelly’s “The Last Passenger,” from an early 1913 issue of The Popular Magazine, may well have been the first work of mass-market fiction inspired by the Titanic tragedy. “The Tenth Man,” from a 1922 issue of Adventure, is a taut tale of African intrigue by the unjustly forgotten Robert Simpson.
Learn more about Blood ‘n’ Thunder #38, along with ordering information, here.
Learn more about Blood ‘N’ Thunder here.
Mike Chomko has announced that copies of the latest issue of THE PULPSTER, the program book for the 2013 PulpFest convention, are now available from Mike Chomko Books. The 22nd issue of the award-winning program book, its biggest number yet, is the work of William Lampkin, administrator of the popular ThePulp.Net. Although Bill has designed THE PULPSTER since 2008, this is his first year as editor of the fanzine.
You’ll find more details on the new issue of the long-running fanzine by visiting this link as well as instructions on how to order your copy.
You can listen to the entire show here. The Will Murray interview starts around the 19:20 mark.
You can read Jim Beard’s review of Wordslingers here.
Doc Savage “The Miracle Menace” Cover by Joe DeVito
In other Will Murray news, above is a sneak peak at the finished front cover for the author’s next Doc Savage novel, ‘The Miracle Menace’ by celebrated cover artist Joe DeVito. This cover will also appear as a full wraparound painting to celebrate Doc Savage’s 80th anniversary.
Jungle Jim! The very name conjures up images of exotic locales, wild beasts and hostile natives. Jungle Jim braved these with the aid of his faithful Hindu companion, Kolu, as he traveled the wilds of southeastern Asia in search of adventure.
Jungle Jim is best remembered as the star of sixteen Columbia B-movies starring Johnny Weissmuller, fresh off his twelve-year stint as Tarzan, beginning in 1948. But Jungle Jim’s history goes back more than a decade.
Produced by Jay Clark and often written by Gene Stafford, The Adventures of Jungle Jim was on the air weekly from 1935 to 1954. A combination of jungle danger and colonial politics, the show brought listeners tales of slave traders, pirates, foreign spies, wild beasts, poachers, hostile tribes, and, during World War II, the Japanese, as Jim often served as an Allied operative. Armed with his trusty .45 automatic, the adventurer searched for lost treasure and investigated such mysteries as ghosts and unknown islands. Throughout it all, Jungle Jim maintained a cool head.
Beginning with Tarzan, the twentieth century was full of jungle characters. Jungle Jim is one of the unique ones, in that he wasn’t a barely-literate loincloth-clad tree-dwelling wild man, but rather Jim Bradley, a professional hunter in the mold of heroes of earlier popular fiction such as H. Rider Haggard’s Allan Quatermain and Lord John Roxton from Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World.
Jungle Jim was the archetypal Great White Hunter who usually explores the kind of “lost worlds” which filled the pages of adventure magazines, and later, movie serials. He was everything one could ask for in a pulp protagonist – handsome, brave, resourceful.
This volume contains 40 fifteen-minute episodes from 1936 and 1937, including the conclusion of The Purple Triangle (#41-53) and the beginning of The Tiger’s Claw (#54-80), for ten hours of exciting and intelligent adventure. 10 hours $29.98 Audio CDs / $14.99 Download.
New Radio Digital Downloads now Available
For fourteen years, Radio Archives has been known for the amazing audio quality of our classic radio audio CD collections and it’s no wonder. We insist upon finding the absolute best quality masters, then carefully restoring them so that they retain all of the audio luster of the original recordings with none of the crackle, pops, hiss, or muffling so often heard in radio shows from other sources.
So, when we decided to start offering digital downloads of these same collections, two years ago, we knew that you’d accept nothing but the absolute best quality.
If you enjoy audio entertainment on your computer, your cell phone, or a portable device, you’ll be glad to hear that we’ve just added another sizable batch of digital downloads. Included are such long-time customer favorites as Suspense, The Best of the Big Bands, Boston Blackie, Archive Masters, Mystery is My Hobby, Night Watch, and Crime Club!
Digital downloads from RadioArchives.com give you the best of everything. Top quality shows in sparkling audio fidelity, available to you for instant delivery around the clock and, with digital downloads, you’ll pay no postage or delivery charges! Whether you live in Beijing, Basingstoke, or Bakersfield, just place your order and, within minutes, you’ll be enjoying some great entertainment.
We have 239 radio collections and the final 12 sets are now being converted to the Digital Download format. We are very pleased to announce that 4 radio collections are available for the first time today as digital downloads. The remaining 8 sets will be released in the next month. Great shows, great sound, and great prices, too!
It was CBS News commentator/curmudgeon Andy Rooney who once observed, “A lot of people think, as I do, that they appreciate Bob and Ray more than anyone else does.” Included in that “a lot of people” are undoubtedly old-time radio fans, many of whom have delighted in the offbeat radio antics of Messrs. Elliott and Goulding for the past half-century. Both men capitalized on their uncanny ability to intuit what each other was thinking to carve a small niche in the field of entertainment, generating big laughs by gently skewering and mocking the banality and pomposity of the business in which they had devoted both their careers: radio.
Boston native Robert Brackett Elliott was hired by 5000-watt radio station WHDH shortly after the start of World War II and, upon completing his stint in the service, returned to continue working the station’s morning drive time slot as a disc jockey. At that same time, the station also hired Raymond Walter Goulding to do WHDH’s hourly newscasts. Goulding was also a fellow New Englander, having been raised in nearby Lowell. The two men soon discovered that they enjoyed a real rapport over the airwaves and, after Goulding’s newscast was over, he would often join Elliott in witty, ad-libbed skits that slowly and surely developed a devoted fan base. When WHDH obtained the rights to the Braves-Red Sox games, management offered the two men twenty-five minutes before the start of each game to showcase their unique buffoonery, and dubbed the proceedings with the catchy title “Matinee with Bob and Ray.”
“Matinee with Bob and Ray” continued on WHDH in various formats and time slots until 1951. Thanks to the efforts of Bob and Ray fan Sheryl Smith, who helped us to gain access to the original 16″ WHDH transcriptions, Radio Archives is able to present the two men at their finest, with a collection of hilarious “Matinee” shows that now sound better than ever before. 10 hours. Regular Price $29.98 – Specially priced until August 29 for $14.99 Audio CDs / $7.49 Download.
Read by Nick Santa Maria. Liner Notes by Will Murray
For ten grim years, The Spider battled the Underworld, imprinting his scarlet seal on the bodies of the criminals he slew. No one knew his name. His face was unknown. Pursued by the police, sought by the mob, The Spider crushed crime with a blazing intensity never witnessed before or since. Now he’s back with a vengeance in a new series of audiobooks retelling his pulp-pounding exploits, as chronicled by Norvell W. Page, writing as Grant Stockbridge.
Never before or since has there been a hero like him. Driven, hunted, and violently committed to exterminating criminals of all calibers. A self-appointed savior of humanity, driven manic-depressive, and possibly undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, The Spider was known as the Master of Men.
The most compelling of the classic pulp heroes, Richard Wentworth had a fiancé, a coterie of equally committed aides, and a tense relationship with New York Police Commissioner Stanley Kirkpatrick, Wentworth’s best friend, but also a dedicated lawman sworn to send The Spider to the electric chair—no matter who he turns out to be.
Garbed in a black silk cloak, slouch hat and wearing an assortment of masks and strange disguises to make him look as fierce as his namesake, The Spider ran roughshod over a vicious legion of thugs and hoodlums, leaving behind him a trail of cold corpses branded by his calling card, a scarlet spider burned into their foreheads.
After three years of writing The Spider, Norvell Page suddenly dropped out in the Fall of 1936. No one is sure why this was, but nervous strain due to overwork, along with making unforgiving monthly deadlines, are the likeliest explanations for Page abandoning The Spider series.
For several months, Emile C. Tepperman ghosted the series as Grant Stockbridge. Suddenly, Norvell Page returned. And he returned with a vengeance! Tepperman introduced a new character to the series, Ben Lasker, but Page ruthlessly obliterated him in the beginning of his return novel, The Man Who Ruled in Hell. Not content with that, Page introduced a new alternate identity for Richard Wentworth, safecracker Blinky McQuade.
The Man Who Ruled in Hell pits the Master of Men against The Red Hand, a vicious supercriminal who has audaciously unionized New York’s Underworld. But how can Richard Wentworth overcome this new threat when he himself has been cast in prison?
This thrilling Spider audiobook features acclaimed voice talent Nick Santa Maria, who has made The Spider his own! Also included is Arthur Leo Zagat’s “Doc Turner–-Slave Buyer,” read by Roy Worley. 6 hours $23.98 Audio CDs / $11.99 Download.
RadioArchives.com and Will Murray are giving away the downloadable version of the newly released Strange Detective Mysteries audiobook for FREE.
If you prefer the Audio CDs to play in your car or home CD player, the coupon code will subtract the $11.99 price of the download version from the Audio CDs. That makes the Audio CDs half price.
Add Strange Detective Mysteries to the shopping cart and use the Coupon Code AUDIOBOOK.
“Strange Detective Mysteries #1 is one of my favorite pulps and I am excited to produce it as an audiobook with my good friends at Radio Archives. It leads off with Norvell W. Page’s bizarre novelette, “When the Death-Bat Flies,” and includes thrilling stories by Norbert Davis, Paul Ernst, Arthur Leo Zagat, Wayne Rogers and others. Popular Publications went all-out to make this 1937 debut issue a winner. And they succeeded!”
New Will Murray’s Pulp Classics eBooks
The best of timeless Pulp now available as cutting edge eBooks! Will Murray’s Pulp Classics brings the greatest heroes, awesome action, and two fisted thrills to your eReader! Presenting Pulp Icons such as The Spider and Operator #5 as well as wonderfully obscure characters like TheOctopus and Captain Satan. Will Murray’s Pulp Classics brings you the best of yesterday’s Pulp today!
Must New York bow down in abject terror before the relentless onslaughts of the IRON MAN — the super-criminal who could direct gigantic steel robots to spill the blood of hundreds at his merest whim?… Richard Wentworth said no! Yet his only weapons with which to back his heroic denial were his few loyal aides, and the garb of The Spider, Master of Men!… The greatest Spider story ever told! Total Pulp Experience. These exciting pulp adventures have been beautifully reformatted for easy reading as an eBook and features every story, every editorial, and every column of the original pulp magazine. $2.99.
Out of the caverns of the lost came the deathless beast-men of Herr Goulon, Hunland’s Master-mind of Murder and to save the world he was fighting for, the Ace American Flying Spy had to undertake a solo flight beyond the grave! Total Pulp Experience. These exciting pulp adventures have been beautifully reformatted for easy reading as an eBook and features every story, every editorial, and every column of the original pulp magazine. $2.99.
Bill Combat stands beside the dead body of his mother and swears an oath, before God and man, which her murderers shall perish by his hand! Here is an American Ace, thrown into the hell and misery of Europe’s war, offering his life, his courage, his guns and his flying skill, that dictators may vanish from a troubled world! Fly the skies of early World War II with Captain Bill Combat — the war ace who fought across Europe through the smoke of human liberties as it vanished from the earth. Fearlessly he battled the minions of the Nazi war machine. The Nazi evil had murdered his mother and uncle, and he vowed vengeance. It was a rousing call to America, which had not yet entered the war. But it was a call that only lasted for three issues of Captain Combat magazine: April, June and August of 1940. Captain Combat was a symbol created by author Barry Barton to do and say the things that America couldn’t officially say in those perilous times. Read along as blue skies turn red above, as green pastures become the barren homes of the dead. Today it stands as a rare glimpse of what fear fanned across America in the days when war was an ominous threat upon a bloody horizon. Captain Combat returns in these vintage pulp tales, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $2.99.
In 1934 a new type of magazine was born. Known by various names — the shudder pulps, mystery-terror magazines, horror-terror magazines — weird menace is the sub-genre term that has survived today. Dime Mystery Magazine was one of the most popular. It came from Popular Publications, whose publisher Harry Steeger was inspired by the Grand Guignol theater of Paris. This breed of pulp story survived less than ten years, but in that time, they became infamous, even to this day. This ebook contains a collection of stories from the pages of Dime Mystery Magazine, all written by John H. Knox, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $2.99.
99 cent eBook Singles
Each 99 cent eBook Single contains a single short story, one of the many amazing tales selected from the pages of Terror Tales and Rangeland Romances. These short stories are not included in any of our other eBooks.
I let my wife stand witness to Dr. Klitgard’s monstrous experiments with a giant ape — against my will… Good God! Could I have only known the ghastly plan went further… In 1934 a new type of magazine was born. Known by various names — the shudder pulps, mystery-terror magazines, horror-terror magazines — weird menace is the sub-genre term that has survived today. Dime Mystery Magazine was one of the most popular. It came from Popular Publications, whose publisher Harry Steeger was inspired by the Grand Guignol theater of Paris. This breed of pulp story survived less than ten years, but in that time, they became infamous, even to this day. This ebook contains a classic story the pages of Dime Mystery Magazine, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $0.99.
Enden built his setting with the genius of the damned — and the mad gods laughed when his vengeance plan proved a deadly boomerang! In 1934 a new type of magazine was born. Known by various names — the shudder pulps, mystery-terror magazines, horror-terror magazines — weird menace is the sub-genre term that has survived today. Dime Mystery Magazine was one of the most popular. It came from Popular Publications, whose publisher Harry Steeger was inspired by the Grand Guignol theater of Paris. This breed of pulp story survived less than ten years, but in that time, they became infamous, even to this day. This ebook contains a classic story the pages of Dime Mystery Magazine, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $0.99.
In the abandoned clipper’s rotting hold, Bruce Cameron saw his sweetheart go mad with a strange and frightful greed! In 1934 a new type of magazine was born. Known by various names — the shudder pulps, mystery-terror magazines, horror-terror magazines — weird me most popular. It came from Popular Publications, whose publisher Harry Steeger was inspired by the Grand Guignol theater of Paris. This breed of pulp story survived less than ten years, but in that time, they became infamous, even to this day. This ebook contains a classic story from the pages of Terror Tales magazine, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $0.99.
Sourapple Gulch was a city of dreary, unhappy women. Pert Cinnie was sure she had the right remedy to liven up the girls — even though handsome Rand thought her a frivolous brat. A story of new love and ancient hatred in the grandeur of San Gabriel Canyon. One of the most popular settings for romance stories was the old west, where men were men and women were women. As many a swooning damsel could attest, “There’s something about a cowboy.” The western romance became one of the most popular types of magazines sold during the early and mid-twentieth century. $0.99.
All eBooks produced by Radio Archives are available in ePub, Mobi, and PDF formats for the ultimate in compatibility. When you upgrade to a new eReader, you can transfer your eBook to your new device without the need to purchase anything new.
Find these legendary Pulp tales and more in Will Murray’s Pulp Classics, now available at:
Receive an exciting original Spider adventure FREE! Part of the Will Murray Pulp Classics line, The Spider #11, Prince of the Red Looters first saw print in 1934 and features his momentous battle with The Fly and his armies of crazed criminal killers.
For those who have been unsure about digging into the wonderful world of pulps, this is a perfect chance to give one of these fantastic yarns a real test run. With a full introduction to The Spider written by famed pulp historian and author Will Murray, The Spider #11 was written by one of pulp’s most respected authors, Norvell W. Page. Writing as Grant Stockbridge, Page’s stories included some of the most bizarre and fun takes on heroes and crime fighting in the history of escapist fiction.
Even today Page’s scenarios and his edge-of-the-seat writing style are still thrilling both new and old fans everywhere. For those who have never read one of these rollercoaster adventures, you are in for a thrill. If you already know how much fun a classic pulp is, make sure you get a copy of this classic.
See what the Total Pulp Experience is for yourself. These exciting pulp adventures have been beautifully reformatted for easy reading as an eBook and features every story, every editorial, and every column of the original pulp magazine.
Send an eMail to eBooks@RadioArchives.com and start reading your FREE copy of The Spider #11 within seconds! Experience The Best Pulps the Past has to offer in the most modern way possible!
Pulp fiction’s Master of Men returns in two classic stories from 1939 and 1942. First, in “The Silver Death Rain”, The Silver Falcon, aided by The Vixen, has a bizarre plan to wreak havoc on the city: he’s trained a flock of crazed owls to kill at the sight of the color red! Then, in “Hell Rolls on the Highways”, The Evangelist seeks to take over the nation’s truck and bus systems, aided by his beautiful slave girl Kalimumtaz. The Spider’s efforts to defeat his evil plans are complicated by the fact that his faithful friend Ram Singh has fallen violently in love with the girl. These two exciting pulp adventures have been beautifully reformatted for easy reading and feature both of the original full color covers as well as interior illustrations to accompany each story. On sale for $12.95, save $2.00
The Knight of Darkness battles diabolical supervillains in classic pulp thrillers by all three “Maxwell Grants.” First, the Master of Darkness confronts his greatest superfoe, Shiwan Khan, “The Golden Master,” in Walter Gibson’s landmark novel that inspired the blockbuster 1994 movie. Then, The Shadow battles The Light in “Death’s Bright Finger,” a violent thriller by Theodore Tinsley. Finally, The Shadow and his agents are faced with a “Reign of Terror” in Bruce Elliott’s final (and best) pulp novel. This instant collector’s item showcases the classic color pulp covers by George Rozen and Graves Gladney and the original interior illustrations by Edd Cartier and Paul Orban, with commentary by popular culture historian Will Murray. $14.95.
The Man of Bronze and his daredevil cousin Pat Savage return in two classic pulp novels by Lester Dent and William Bogart writing as “Kenneth Robeson.” First, Doc Savage is accused of serial murders and jailed. Can Pat and Doc’s aides help unearth the strange secret of “The Invisible-Box Murders” and prove the Man of Bronze’s innocence? Then, Doc journeys to Honolulu after a strange letter makes Pat’s friend, Sally Trent, a “Target for Death.” BONUS: “The Hang String,” a rare 1933 tale by Lester Dent from the back pages of The Shadow Magazine. This double-novel collector’s edition leads off with a classic color cover by Emery Clarke, and showcases all of Paul Orban’s original interior illustrations and new historical commentary by Will Murray, writer of eleven Doc Savage novels. $14.95.
Philip José Farmer tribute edition
The pulp era’s greatest superhero returns in two imaginative novels by Laurence Donovan and Lester Dent writing as “Kenneth Robeson.” What is the strange connection between a snowstorm in July and the death of a woman transformed into a shadow? Doc and Pat Savage journey to the Syrian Desert to unravel the strange secret of the “Murder Mirage” in the novel that inspired a 1940 Superman story! Then, a mysterious animal pelt leads Doc and his aides through a crack in the Earth to the prehistoric dangers of “The Other World.” Pulp historian Will Murray provides historical commentary and a tribute to the late Doc Savage writer Philip José Farmer. This deluxe pulp reprint showcase a stunning cover painting by the legendary James Bama, the classic color covers by Walter Baumhofer and Emery Clarke and all the original interior illustrations by Paul Orban. $14.95.
The pulps’ original “Man of Steel” returns in three action-packed pulp thrillers by Paul Ernst and Emile Tepperman writing as “Kenneth Robeson.” First, smuggled “Pictures of Death” are only the sinister prelude to deadly sabotage and mass destruction. Then, Justice Inc. hunts for the antidote to a deadly malady that transforms men into apelike monstrosities in “The Green Killer.” Will the cure bring death to The Avenger? PLUS “Calling Justice Inc.,” a bonus Avenger thriller by Spider-scribe Emile Tepperman! This classic pulp reprint showcases the classic color pulp covers by Lenosci and William Timmons, Paul Orban’s interior illustrations and commentary by pulp historian Will Murray. $14.95.
This is an authentic replica of an original pulp magazine published by Girasol Collectables. This edition is designed to give the reader an authentic taste of what a typical pulp magazine was like when it was first issued – but without the frailty or expense of trying to find a decades-old collectable to enjoy. The outer covers, the interior pages, and the advertisements are reprinted just as they appeared in the original magazine, left intact to give the reader the true feel of the original as well as an appreciation for the way in which these publications were first offered to their avid readers. To further enhance the “pulp experience”, this edition is printed on off-white bond paper intended to simulate the original look while, at the same time, assuring that this edition will last far longer than the original upon which it is based. The overall construction and appearance of this reprint is designed to be as faithful to the original magazine as is reasonably possible, given the unavoidable changes in production methods and materials. $25.00.
Celebrating the 80th Anniversary of Doc Savage and King Kong
Eighty years ago in February, 1933 the Street & Smith company released the first issue of Doc Savage Magazine, introducing one of the most popular and influential pulp superheroes ever to hit the American scene. Doc Savage was the greatest adventurer and scientist of his era, and while his magazine ended in 1949, he influenced the creators of Superman, Batman, Star Trek, The Man from UNCLE and the Marvel Universe—to name only a few.
While that first issue of Doc Savage was fresh on Depression newsstands, RKO Radio Pictures released one of the most important fantasy films of all time. Everyone knows the story of how King Kong was discovered on Skull Island and hauled back to New York in chains, only to perish tragically atop the world’s tallest skyscraper, the Empire State Building.
As it happened, that was where Doc Savage had his world headquarters. For decades, fans have wondered: Where was Doc the day Kong fell?
On the eightieth anniversary of these fictional giants, Altus Press is proud to release the first authorized clash between The Man of Bronze and the Eighth Wonder of the World—Doc Savage: Skull Island. Written by Will Murray in collaboration with Joe DeVito, creator of KONG: King of Skull Island,Doc Savage: Skull Island is a new pulp epic.
The story opens when Doc returns from his secret retreat in the North Pole to discover the cold corpse of Kong lying on his doorstep.
“I know this creature,” Doc tells his dumbfounded men.
Tasked to dispose of the remains, the Man of Bronze then relates the untold story of his epic encounter with Kong back in 1920, after Doc returns from service in World War I, long before Kong became known to the civilized world as “King” Kong.
Doc Savage: Skull Island is a multi-generational story in which Doc and his father—the man who placed him in the hands of scientists who made him into a superman—sail to the Indian Ocean in search of Doc’s grandfather, the legendary Stormalong Savage, whose famous clipper ship has been discovered floating, deserted, her masts snapped by some incredible force.
The quest for Stormalong Savage leads to the fog-shrouded Indian Ocean and—Skull Island! There, Doc Savage faces his first great test as he encounters its prehistoric dangers and tangles with the towering, unstoppable Kong.
“When Joe DeVito brought this idea to me,” says Will Murray, “I knew it had to be written with reverence for both of these immortal characters. So I used the locale of Skull Island to tell a larger story, an untold origin for Doc Savage. It all started back on Skull Island….”
“Pulling off the first ever face-off between Doc Savage and King Kong was both challenging and exhilarating,” adds DeVito. “Will’s unique take on the tale scatters the primordial mists surrounding Skull Island long enough to reveal secrets of both classic characters hidden since their creation.”
Doc Savage: Skull Island has already been hailed as “The Doc Savage novel that Doc fans have been waiting on for 80 years!”
Doc Savage: Skull Island is the fifth entry in Altus Press’ popular Wild Adventures of Doc Savage series. Cover by Joe DeVito. $24.95.
Doc Savage announces to the world that he has succeeded in a quest that has eluded man for thousands of years. He has discovered a way to resurrect the dead! Doc asks the general public whom they think he should resurrect. The consensus is that he should revive the man reputed to have been the wisest man to ever live, King Solomon. But nefarious forces are at work. They substitute the mummy of the evil Egyptian Pharaoh Pey-deh-eh-ghan for King Solomon. This Pharaoh was reputed to have hidden a secret treasure which was never found.
Doc does not discover the substitution and the Pharaoh is resurrected. The villains who made the switch come to claim their prize but they soon discover that Pey-deh-eh-ghan is more crafty and nefarious than they thought. He adapts well to the 20th Century and lights out on his own to recover his treasure wreaking havoc and destruction at every turn.
Meanwhile, Doc Savage and his Iron Crew continue in pursuit hoping to stop the mad Pharaoh and the criminals who have unleashed him on mankind.
Can Doc stop this reign of terror? Will he be able to bring Pey-deh-eh-ghan to justice? Does the fabled lost treasure even exist after thousands of years?
Don’t miss this one! Double Novel reprint $12.95
Comments From Our Customers!
Joy Mahoney writes:
Thanks for all your work! The Secret 6 is another great audiobook my husband will love.
Robert Gilpin writes:
I received my books and they are perfect. The packaging was excellent, as well. Thank you for always giving my books special attention. Be back soon!
Rick Kuenzel writes:
I loved the audio clip of Jungle Jim that was in a recent newsletter.
Mary Magaldo writes:
I absolutely love your audio books and can see why they are your most popular products. I’m so enjoying Joey d’Auria performing the Doctor Death audio book. I’ve never heard audio books this well done before.
If you’d like to share a comment with us or if you have a question or a suggestion send an email to Service@RadioArchives.com. We’d love to hear from you!
The products you’ve read about in this newsletter are just a small fraction of what you’ll find waiting for you at RadioArchives.com. Whether it’s the sparkling audio fidelity of our classic radio collections, the excitement of our new line of audiobooks, or the timeless novels of the pulp heroes, you’ll find hundreds of intriguing items at RadioArchives.com.
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