Tagged: movie

Dennis O’Neil: Go Know?

oneil-art-130926-150x107-4571681C’mon. You can trust me, you know you can. Just tell me your secret – whisper it in my ear…

Secrecy is a’riding the autumn air. Bradley Manning, who revealed hush-hush information while in the Army, was sentenced to 30 years; Edward Snowden, who leaked details of government surveillance programs to the press, is hiding out in Russia; and the lid has been pried off J.D. Salinger’s long reclusion.

We all be watched Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., an ABC show based on Marvel’s 60s-era secret agent comic book. At least, I think the SHIELDers were supposed to be secret, though I don’t know how secret the organization could have been since its HQ was a giant helicopter held aloft by a pair of oversized rotors fore and aft. (And how did they ever keep the thing fueled?) S.H.I.E.L.D fills the spyguy hole in televisionland left by the end of Burn Notice. Now Covert Affairs’s Annie Walker won’t have to bear the burden of televised espionage alone.

S.H.I.E.L.D., the comic book, debuted when James Bond was early in his career and television had The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and yes, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., and on a somewhat grimmer note, Secret Agent and, for laughs, Get Smart. Who am I forgetting? Oh yeah, one of my favorites: Modesty Blaise, who appeared in a movie or two, a series of novels, and an excellent adventure newspaper strip. And more comedy: James Coburn in In Like Flint and Our Man Flint.

The tools these patriotic good guys used aren’t much like what real life snoops are using, maybe on you, as you read these words. That technology would have been science fiction when the entertainments first appeared, and pretty dull science fiction at that, nowhere near as much fun as James Bond’s tool kit. Nor could the creators of spy fiction, back in the day, have anticipated just how much snooping would be going on, by both government and industrial snoops, as civilization duck-walks into the twenty first century.

It’s become pretty hard to be a reclusive introvert, if only because somebody wants to sell you something. Occasionally, though, somebody does manage it, not always beneficially. A guy named Ariel Castro kept three women prisoner on a residential block in Cleveland for 10 years. There are probably other Castros out there.

And the late J.D. Salinger ducked hordes of journalists, academics, curiosity-seekers and plain old fans for 40 years. Now, though, his privacy seems to be gone. A book and a related movie are revealing information about one of my favorite writers that I don’t necessarily want to know. Unlike you and I, Salinger did not always behave appropriately, it seems. Unlike you and I.

I don’t necessarily want to know the dirt, but if the movie crosses the Hudson into Rockland County, I’ll pay the admission, and if it doesn’t, I’m sure I can borrow it from Netflix or Blockbuster. I might even decide that the book deserves a place on my Kindle. Salinger, I’m sure, would not approve of my snoopery, and I’m not sure I do, either. But what I wrote at the beginning of this paragraph isn’t true. I do want the dirt, dammit, andI wish I didn’t.

RECOMMENDED READING: The Essential Crazy Wisdom, by Wes Nisker.

THURSDAY AFTERNOON: The Debut of Tweeks!

FRIDAY MORNING: Martha Thomases’ Friendly Neighborhood Cosplay


CineFix Celebrates Batman Month on YouTube

CineFix Celebrates Batman Month on YouTube

CineFix, the ultimate destination for true movie buffs & filmmakers on YouTube, is celebrating the Caped Crusader with“Batman Month,” a month long series of original programming throughout September that includes swedded remakes of iconic Batman scenes, 8-bit video game recreations, countdown lists, contests to win The Dark Knight Trilogy and more!

Batman was recently named the most popular superhero ever on YouTube with over 3 billion views of 71,000 hours of video.

For example, check out the newest video that launched today on CineFix at:


Other Batman Month Programming on CineFix includes:

8 Bit Cinema – Batman The Dark Knight


Hottest Batman Girls


Conspiracy Cinema – Ben Affleck Lands Batman by Flexing Irish Mob Muscle

[youtube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPAOiTNZQQw&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PL1AXWu-gGX6JMQywOErmWJCsY0m8RD3Zj[/youtube]

Tune in on Friday, September 27 when “CineFix Now: Best Batman Villans” goes live.


FlyWhile growing up, I among the last generation that got to watch classic black and white and early color horror films day and night. Before talk and game shows became cheap fare, New York stations would run movies before dinner and throughout the evening. Some were cheesy, even to my pre-adolescent eyes, but others were just downright scary. Among the latter was the effectively creepy The Fly. 20th Century Home Entertainment has just released this beloved classic on Blu-ray and it has been nicely transferred to enthrall a new generation.

Of course, many of the readers here probably only know the fun and weird remake by David Cronenberg, which does nicely stand on its own, but the original is well worth a loo, too.

Released in 1958, it was one of Fox’s truly great horror/sci-fi offerings after decades of inferior efforts. The film is based on the forgotten George Langelaan short story of the same name which first appeared in the June 1957 edition of Playboy. Fox quickly snapped up the rights and assigned the script chores to Shogun’s James Clavell. Despite its brevity, he whittled away elements of the story and focused squarely on the doomed Andre (David Hedison, pre-Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea), a scientist cursed by his own lab work.

Told partly in flashback, the movie has Helene Delambre (Patricia Owens) recount how and why she killed her husband Andre as her confession to her brother- in- law Francois (Vincent Price) and Inspector Charas (Herbert Marshall). Essentially, Andre was building a transporter device and of course decided to test it on himself without any assistance or witnesses. As he stepped into the beam, an innocent fly also entered the streaming energy and, well, things happened.

There’s a sense of creeping menace as the film slowly unfolds its tale even though it somewhat telegraphs that clearly some body parts got mixed up. But it also builds up a nice sense of tension until the big reveal, when the cloth covering is removed and we see the giant fly head where Hedison’s handsome face should be. It’s a measured approach, letting things build without a lot of melodrama or screeching violins. We’re sold on believing this tale thanks to Owens’ strong performance with a nice turn from Price. Hedison is underrated here considering how much he has to do without speaking or having his face shown.

Of course, that’s saved for the great final shot, which horrified me as a kid and still brings backs strong memories.

Fox gets credits for the fine transfer of this CinemaScope classic, retaining some of the color and sprucing up the rest. The sound is similarly strong, letting the sound effects come through nicely. The new edition also comes with an interesting and amusing Commentary with Actor David Hedison and Film Historian David Del Valle. There’s a repeat of Biography: Vincent Price from 1997 (44:03); Fly Trap: Catching a Classic (11:30), which explores not only this but the two unnecessary sequels; Fox Movietone News (:54) recapping the film’s premiere in San Francisco; and, the original Theatrical Trailer (1:59)

Mike Gold’s Big Fanboy Geek Out

Gold Art 130904Sometimes writing this type of column requires the skills of an experienced curmudgeon – which, lucky for me, is how I got the job. But only a child with a weak bladder pisses over everything he likes, and I am not a child. I am an adult. With a weak bladder, but hey, I’m staring Medicare in the face.

Unlike some of my ilk, I still read comic books – not exclusively, but I read a lot of ‘em. I read a few out of curiosity and a few others just to see what my friends are up to. But I focus on the comics I actually enjoy (hence my annual “Top Nine” list). With comics characters and adaptations proliferating all across the media, the same is true with comics-based movies and teevee shows. And what’s making my little fanboy heart go pitter-patter? Spoiler Alert: look at the artwork up by the headline.

I have enjoyed Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. ever since its debut in Strange Tales #135. This comic book came out in the early summer of 1965. An endless sea of masterful writers and artists succeeded Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (for the record, Kirby plotted those early stories) and the most significant, the most interesting, the most awe-inspiring, was from a relative newcomer named Jim Steranko. He imbued the property with so much raw energy and skill that the property is still running off of the momentum he provided some almost a half century ago.

I love the way S.H.I.E.L.D’s been handled in the movies. It’s so… Marvelesque. It’s been handled by people who get it. So it should come as no surprise that my fanboy anticipation is entirely invested in the new teevee series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Of course I can be disappointed. This sort of thing has happened before. The right people get it wrong. But given how S.H.I.E.L.D. has been handled by Marvel’s movie division and the fact that Joss Whedon is the show’s overseer and Clark Gregg unsplatters himself from the movie storyline to reappear as Agent Coulson in this new series, I have every right to expect a solidly entertaining experience.

On Tuesday, September 24, nearly three weeks from today, I’ll find out.

And then I can move on to Doctor Who’s anniversary.

After all these years, it’s still fun to be a fanboy. I’ll grow up to be that old geezer at the assisted living center, completely not acting his age.

I’m looking forward to it.




Dennis O’Neil: Of Ben And Fans

Dennis O’Neil: Of Ben And Fans

Gold Art 130828Gawdy laws! What is all the commotion?! Somebody find out about the attack on voting rights? The bloodshed in Egypt? In Syria? The shrinking food stamps program?

Oh. An actor was hired to do an acting job. And a lot of moviegoers are unhappy about it.  Well…

The angst might be a little premature. A special effects film doesn’t find its final form until shortly before it graces your closest multiplex and so we can’t know how casting Ben Affleck as Batman will parse out. We have no idea how the character will be used, where he will fit into the screenplay, whether or not he may have some quality that the filmmakers will find useful.

When the world learned that Michael Keaton had been chosen to drive the Batmobile in director Tim Burton’s 1988 Batman it seemed like a highly questionable pairing of performer and role. But what we didn’t know, all of us inclined to say nay, was that Mr. Burton had his own vision of what the character might be and proceeded accordingly. Not my vision, but a vision that was valid on its own terms. Burton made a pretty good movie and then he made another. Not great flicks, but I’ll generally settle for pretty good.

Unless you’ve been on a digital media fast for the past several days (and if you have, good for you!) you’re aware that the next movie adapted from DC’s comics will team the company’s two signature heroes, Superman and the aforementioned Batman and if I were looking for something to fret about, that teaming would be it. Since both cape wearers are immensely popular, it makes marketing sense for the movie guys to costar them, just as it made marketing sense for the comics publishers to put them under the same covers, way, way back in the 1940s. We all know that more = better. (Don’t we?) But I’m not a marketing guy, I’m an editorial guy, and I will claim that, really, Superman and Batman don’t belong in the same story. There’s a problem of proportion. Superman, at his mightiest, could haul planets around. Batman… gee, he’s real smart and strong and –

– and he doesn’t partner well with Superman. The problems and antagonists appropriate for one are not appropriate for the other. In putting them both at the center of a story simultaneously the storyteller can either ignore the implicit contradictions (or be blissfully unaware of them) or devise separate story arcs for each, different but interrelated, which is how we usually dealt with company-mandated crossovers that had to involve Batman and Superman and whoever else had to be in the mix.

Or – best case scenario – the writer can be so clever and sly and ingenious that he solves the problem in a way that has never even occurred too me.

Casting is a big part of film making – there are highly paid professionals whose sole task is to help directors with the chore – but its not the only part; let us not forget writing and editing and production values and cinematography and locations…

I’ve liked Ben Affleck’s recent work behind the camera – Gone, Baby, Gone is surely one of the best private eye pictures – and so I’m willing to forego prejudging his forthcoming incarnation as Batman and, what the hell, wish him luck.

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman


Mike Gold: And This Is How The World Ends!

Gold Art 130828OMG! OMG! Did you hear who they’ve signed to play Batman in a whole bunch of movies, starting with Man of Steel 2? No, not Anthony Weiner. And not Ann Coulter –she’s already signed to play Nick Fury in the S.H.I.E.L.D. teevee series. No, Warner Bros. found somebody far worse. They hired the very personification of celluloid evil: Ben Affleck.

Yes, I’m sure you heard of this. So did literally tens of thousands of “fans” who were so upset they signed a petition condemning the action. And seemingly hundreds of thousands went to Facebook, to Twitter, hell some even reactivated their My Space accounts to express their extreme displeasure. Yea, verily, Ragnarök is upon us!

To quote the immortal William Shatner, get a life. You’re entitled to your opinion; if you don’t think Ben Affleck is a worthy actor, that’s your opinion. In my opinion, you’re wrong – Ben Affleck is a perfectly fine actor on his worst day. Besides, it doesn’t matter who’s inside the rubber suit. Lassie would look fine in the Batsuit, as long as she didn’t try to lick herself.

The question is, can the performer handle the role of Bruce Wayne? Quite frankly, this is not a tricky part to handle. Any handsome high school senior who did The Great Gatsby can do it. It’s hard to imagine Affleck turning in any less a performance than Michael Keaton – who I thought was fine – and a better performance than Keaton’s first two successors.

I realize it’s heresy to say this, but that’s never stopped me before: Christian Bale didn’t have all that much to do as Bruce Wayne. When he did, he was fine but nobody was wailing about his being cheated out of an Oscar (Registered Trademark, AMPAS, All Rights Reserved, Watch Yer Ass).

I’ll even defend the Daredevil movie. Ben Affleck wasn’t what was wrong with that movie, and, honestly, in my opinion it wasn’t a bad movie. We had come to expect better Marvel superhero movies, but it was better than both Hulks and either Fantastic Four. More important, the director’s cut was actually a good movie. Not Spider-Man 2 good, not The Dark Knight good, but a solidly entertaining movie with some fine performances. Direct your wrath at whomever cut the theatrical print.

Besides, Affleck can’t help but walk all over Henry Cavill. It’s the approach to Man of Steel 2 that concerns me. The first one was totally misguided. It wasn’t Superman. Actually, it was Batman.

I’ll say one thing for the hiring of Ben Affleck. It shows that Warner Bros. is willing to put their money where their, well, their sundry body parts are. Signing him to a multi-movie contract shows they’re in it for the long haul. It shows they understand what Robert Downey Jr. did for the Marvel movie universe.

And if there’s ever a Marvel/DC crossover movie – calm down; this is just a what-if – I can’t think of a more enjoyable pairing than Robert Downey Jr. and Ben Affleck.

Besides, we already know Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark sit on each other’s board of directors.




Michael Davis: Cowards

Gold Art 130828“Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot.”

– Bruce Wayne

“Comic book fan boys are a superstitious cowardly lot and some are big pussies as well.”

– Michael Davis

Yeah, I said that.

I know quite a bit about pussies, so I speak from a place of wisdom. Although the vast majority of pussy I know about has almost nothing to do with comic books, less than that with fans and zero to do with boys or men for that matter.

Just to be clear, the big pussies I’m talking about for this particular rant are those winey little bitches whom think that their will should be the will of the industry. The latest fan bitch fest is over Ben Affleck playing Batman.

Fan boys are bitching like teenage girls who just had something bitter spilled all over their brand new braces.

Give that a sec…

Look, back when Warner Bros. (WB) announced Michael Keaton was going to be Batman, comic book fandom lost their freakin minds. The outrage was so immense that WB rushed outtakes of Keaton playing both Batman and Bruce Wayne to make sure the fans knew that Mr. Mom was up to the task.

Didn’t matter.

Die hard fans just did not give a shit. Nope, they just kept that outrage up until Batman broke every box office record they had at the time.

Then – and only then did the fan boys come around. Keep in mind this was 1989, before the Internet. I was on only 1 at the time and even I remembered that.


People, it’s called acting. That’s what actors do. They act.

Yes, Daredevil was a horrible movie and Affleck had a great deal to do with that but everyone was excited as a 16 year old realizing he was right about to get some poon tang when they announced Affleck was going to be Daredevil.

It was only after seeing that movie fandom lost their minds, and rightfully so. Look, I’m a big a fan as anyone of Kevin Smith but let’s face it not all his movies are great. But because Kevin is so damn cool you almost never hear any crap from fans about his movies. That shit just boggles my mind. Kevin gets an almost universal pass from comic book fans no matter what he does. I mean a shit monster? Come on!!!

How asinine was that, eh, shit?

But give Affleck a pass?


The last time I looked, the Oscar count was Affleck two and Smith zip.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t really give a darn about Oscars, to me it’s just another Hollywood gimmick to sell tickets. I’d rather sit through a bad Kevin Smith movie than subject myself to some bullshit like My Left Foot for some other important movie. I like my movies to entertain me. Look, I lived Boys In The Hood so I don’t really need to spend any money on that or films like Peaches. Unless it’s a Bill Duke or Reggie Hudlin film, I stay away from black movies like I do gay sex.

The last real black film I saw not directed by those two men was Black Dynamite and that was just hilarious. Before that, I think the last black film I saw was Malcolm X.

But, (sorry Peter) I digress. I would sell my child for an Oscar. Not because I think it means anything but Oscar is a poon tang magnet. I’m a lot of things but stupid I am not.

Davis Art 130827Speaking of stupid, that’s what I think the outrage over Affleck becoming Batman is. Stupid.

Stupid with a capital Asshole.

My favorite actor in the world is George Clooney. When I met him I was like a little bitch, he’s just so damn cool! My favorite comic book character is Batman.

Imagine my sheer ecstasy when I heard my man crush was going to play Batman. I lost my mind!

But that movie was god awful. Now, my favorite singer in the world is Frank Sinatra and Oceans 11 (the original) is on my top ten films ever. What did I do when I heard Clooney was going to play Frank’s role in the remake?

I lost my mind!

This is the second time my all time favorite actor was about to play one of my favorite characters (Danny Ocean) and he nailed it!

But, if he didn’t I would have said so.

Like I said, my favorite comic book character is Batman and if I can wait and see what Affleck does so can everyone else.

Until I see him do it, I have nothing but high hopes that he can pull it off. Yes, he was horrible in Daredevil but that mofo was badass as Superman.

Yeah, he was Superman and he was great.

If you don’t believe me just check out the film Hollywoodland.

So until you see him fuck up Batman don’t assume he will. In the mean time shut the fuck up fanboy.

WEDNESDAY: Mike Gold Belabors This Point

THURSDAY MORNING: Dennis O’Neil Does That, Too


REVIEW: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1 (the new one)

tumblr_mr4jn8FZCA1rojbapo3_500T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1
written by Phil Hester
Art by Andrea DiVito
IDW Publishing

After the well-done but under-appreciated take DC Comics did on the classic heroes from Tower Comics, I was pleased, but rather surprised that a new company had secured the rights to them so quickly.  Even more pleased that it was IDW, who’s been tearing up the landscape with both exemplary and licensed titles.

The new title does the one thing I suspected they’d have to do – they started over.  It takes place in a new history, where NoMan and Lightning are in action, but no other members.  There’s experimentation going on in the background of issue 1 for the technology for the Undersea Agent, and dozens of candidates have tried and failed to wear the Thunderbelt.  Kate “Kitten” Kane is in charge of T.H.U.N.D.E.R., and while Guy Gilbert’s name is mentioned, it’s not explicitly said that he’s using the Lightning metabolism accelerator suit. And yes, T.H.U.N.D.E.R-fen, Weed is back, although apparently in a desktop capacity.

While I mourn the loss of all those classic stories, Phil Hester has a strong grasp of the characters and sets things up well for new readers, without resorting to excessive narrative to fill in the history. Andrea DiVito’s art is clean, with sparse backgrounds, and perhaps a bit too heavy a line in the inking.

The advantage of not being tied to years of past continuity is it makes it easier for new readers to jump on board, and the first issue hits the ground running, in the middle of an adventure.  You get the impression that there’s a history to the organization, but not one you need to know all about to enjoy. The majority of the issue deals with the scouting and recruitment of Len Brown, now a nearly-was goon for the NHL, now semi-drifter who picks up odd jobs, including the occasional leg-breaking deal for loan sharks.  His capacity for tolerating pain is off the charts, which makes him a perfect candidate for Professor Jennings’ Thunderbelt – in this incarnation, the belt causes intense pain to wearer during its use, hence the long line of guinea pigs with massive nerve damage.  He’s hastily sent in to combat the Iron Maiden, who has taken over a secret T.H.U.N.D.E.R base in the middle east.  The Iron Maiden appears to be working for the Subterraneans, and the next issue looks like it will parallel Rusty and Dynamo’s first battle.

Comic book movie super-producer Michael Uslan (and comic book writer) once again makes the credit box, with the mysterious byline “T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents Project initiated By”, the exact credit he received in the DC run.  In a past interview, he made it clear that he’s as big a fan of the Agents as…well, me, and as part of the undisclosed deal he’s made concerning the characters, he has the movie rights.  So far he’s gotten two very good teams to bring the heroes to a new audience – I’m hoping this one all the success I wished the last one, and more.


Dr. Obsidian Returns…

Pulp hero, Dr. Obsidian was a 1930’s pulp and serial hero who faded into obscurity after a series of scandalous events. Or was he?

Learn more about Dr. Obsidian here.

Interview With “Behold “The Night Wind'” Author Christopher Yates!

Another classic character returns to new life in ‘BEHOLD ‘THE NIGHT WIND”, a full length novel by Christopher Yates!  Recently Christopher sat down with All Pulp to discuss himself, the novel, and his interest in tales Heroic and Pulpy!
ALL PULP: First, tell our readers a bit about yourself? Personally and Professionally?
CHRISTOPHER YATES: I’m a husband, dad, and nephew.  I’m most proud of my “husband” and “dad” titles, but the “nephew” label is a good gig. When the U.S. government gets sued in a court (employment or immigration related matters usually) I argue to a federal judge and jury on behalf of my Uncle, Sam.
AP: Behold ‘The Night Wind’ is your first full length novel featuring this character. Give us a brief overview of what the book is about.
CY: Behold ‘The Night Wind’ is a heroic adventure tale set in United States history.  In the fall of 1920 membership in the KKK is at an all-time high, with some particularly nasty sects (as if the rest of them are fluffy kittens) headquartered in Indiana and Eastern Ohio.  Al Capone is a low-ranking foot soldier in the mafia, en route from the east coast to Chicago and just presented with his raison d’être – exploitation and control of the black market in alcohol.  Of course, in 1920 alcohol is only available through the black market, because the Anti-Saloon League, and their publishing arm, the American Issue Publishing Co. (headquartered in central Ohio), successfully spear-head the passage of the Constitutional Amendment that imposes prohibition.  Both the Governor and sitting Senator from Ohio are their parties’ nominees for President of the United States.  Senator Warren Harding is conducting his campaign from the front porch of his home in central Ohio.  National celebrities, and crowds in the thousands pour into Harding’s hometown in the last few months leading up to the November 1920 election.  Speak-easies in central Ohio are being burnt to the ground, and Mr. Capone is diverted from his trip to Chicago to restore the flow of alcohol.  The KKK sees fit to substitute the flow of alcohol with the flow of mafia blood by hunting and killing any and all purveyors of hooch.  The United States Secret Service finds this developing conflict to be somewhat problematic in their efforts to ensure the personal safety of both Presidential nominees and the voting public.  Enter Bingham Harvard alias, The Night Wind, his wife, a former police detective, and their valet.  Just after assigning a private detective and friend the mission of discovering the identities of Bing’s natural parents, the Harvard’s are enlisted to discover and stop the arsons, infiltrate the KKK, and beat the stuffing out of any and all Mafioso so as to accelerate Capone’s retreat from the forming battle lines (and away from the Presidential campaign).
AP: The Night Wind is a character from the early 1900s. Can you share a bit of his history, what he’s all about, etc.?
CY: The Night Wind first appeared in the novel Alias, the Night Wind, from the May 10, 1913 issue of The Cavalier.  We’re introduced to Bingham Harvard, foster son of a wealthy New York City bank president, who is framed by a NYC police officer of stealing substantial sums from his foster father’s bank.  Befriended by another (a female) police officer, shadowed by her personal valet, Mr. Harvard proceeds to pound the tobacco juice out of anyone attempting to apprehend him until the frame-up is exposed and his reputation restored.  He earns the alias, the Night Wind, from the NYC police for his strength, speed, and elusiveness.  In all of the successive titles, The Return of “The Night Wind, The Night Wind’s Promise, and Lady of the Night Wind, the Harvards (Bing + the befriending officer whom he quickly weds…and her valet) fend off extortionists and con-men who threaten them and their family.  The series is akin to Charles Bronson’s Deathwish movies…without the violence or steady pacing.  A fantastic wrinkle in this now commonplace plot device is that the leading man, Bingham, is exceedingly, physically strong.  In Alias he snaps and dislocates limbs of up to five armed police officers…at once.  The cover of the first installment of the Alias serial sports artwork by Martin Justice portraying Bingham throwing a police officer over his head.  In The Night Wind’s Promise, the title refers to Bingham’s commitment to his wife not to tear apart bad guys with his bare hands.  In Lady of the Night Wind, Bingham’s wife is so fearful of the villain’s fate at Bing’s hands that she won’t even tell her husband that she’s the target of physical threats and extortion.
AP: As a writer, what appeals to you about continuing the tales of an established character over creating your own character?
CY: One thing I had to admit to myself and the publisher, Wildside Press, was that Behold ‘The Night Wind’ would not gain traction by the fact that the Night Wind was an established character.  To be sure, the Night Wind got lead story and occasional cover art in dozens of pulp magazines churned out by the biggest fiction magazine publisher of the day, Munsey’s.  Four novels spawned from those magazine series, and even Hollywood scored a hit movie adapting the first title, Alias, the Night Wind.  But all of that happened over 90 years ago.  There isn’t a living soul on the planet that read a Night Wind story upon its original release, or viewed the movie in a theatre.  At the time I dusted off the Night Wind, not one of the titles had seen reprint.  Consequently, I agreed to locate and re-edit, and my publisher agreed to bankroll the re-release of the original four novels to perhaps re-establish Bing in the public consciousness. 
What I really enjoyed about picking up the reigns from Mr. Dey’s series was that he had created – knowingly, or unknowingly, I’m not sure – an exceedingly diverse, fantastic and quirky cast, and either failed to, or wasn’t given the opportunity – again I’m not sure which, if either – to add even one more dimension, or exploit their diversity, elements of fantasy, or quirkiness.  For example, Bingham had five times the strength of a normal man, but all he did was knock about a few cops and instill a fear amongst his own loved ones that he might one day erupt in a streak of destruction and violence.  That “eruption” never happened.  The reader was told that Bingham was a foster child – a condition rendering him more mysterious and suspect than it might have today.  But we’re never told anything about his true parentage, or heritage, let alone the source of his unusual physical prowess.  In an era when women don’t yet have the right to vote, let alone find even fictional portrayal as an empowered, strong willed hero, Mrs. Harvard is given top billing in her own series/novel – Lady of the Night Wind, also earning a beautiful portrait/cover art by Charles David Williams in the Oct. 5, 1918 issue of All-Story Weekly.  She’s a wealthy heiress who shuns her heritage and shelter in the Blue Hills of Kentucky to take on a false name and become an armed police detective in 1900’s New York City.  Mrs. Bingham Harvard also has an inexplicable penchant for mechanical devices of injury and capture.  She’s chaperoned by her family’s valet, of African origin, who, without explanation, abandons his own family and comfort to tag along with his otherwise full grown, independent charge.
Given these templates – a guy with untested super-strength and no back-story, a woman who prefers bullets to bonbons, and an older black man with an overactive paternal instinct – I’ve got a lot of room to exercise my own creativity.  Who knows, if Mr. Dey hadn’t given the world the cast of the Night Wind, I might have made them up myself.
AP: The Night Wind is at best an obscure hero from the past. What challenges does that present to you as an author and why does he specifically appeal to you?
CY: I guess I blew enough hot air in my last answer to cover most of this one.  The challenge I gave myself in picking-up a 90 year-old story line was to add the few missing elements of the archetypal “hero,” or even “superhero,” that Mr. Dey and his era hadn’t quite birthed.  Bingham was the wealthy man about town with the desire, money, and unusual physical strength to right wrongs.  What he lacked was the altruism to right wrongs for folks in need other than himself and his own loved ones.  What he needed was a means of discovering those people in need and perhaps some willing, capable aids.  I saw the Night Wind saga as a means of evolving a one-dimensional albeit unusual cast of characters from playing private parlor tricks to becoming crime fighting adventurers.
AP: With this being aimed at a modern readership, why do you think Behold ‘The Night Wind’ will appeal to today’s readers?
CY: Although I struggled mightily to maintain many elements of the original series, among other modifications, I ramped-up the pacing 100x.  For today’s readers I’ve added to this fifth, stand alone, Night Wind novel compelling subplots, one or two more dimensions to the characterization, more characters, more and bigger guns, and a body count that approaches – but does not exceed – the best of The Spider series.
Having edited the re-released original four Night Wind titles, I had the means to keep a religious adherence to grammar and spelling.  That said, the vernacular saddled on Julius, the African American valet, had to go.  It was almost as if some 19th century, white Columbia Law School graduate, turned fiction author, took a pot shot at poor black Kentucky dialect.  I stomached his dialogue through the four re-releases because A) It’s how Mr. Dey wrote it, and B) I chose not to whitewash obvious racial stereotypes of that era.  I wasn’t going to confuse “re-release” with “re-write,” or fail to let new readers know which was which.  However, Behold ‘The Night Wind’ is not a re-release.  For continuity sake, I couldn’t just re-introduce a character whose few monologues were linguistically inaccurate with dramatically new and improved diction.  Because Julius’ words read as if they were a really poor imitation of a stereotype, almost as if the speaker was making it up has he went along, that’s exactly how I chose to explain the change. 
Also, I hope I succeeded in sustaining the original period atmosphere.  I put in hours of historical research just to ensure, for example, that the referenced weaponry was contemporary and properly identified. 
Today’s readers will not abide slow narrative pacing.  Thank you gaming industry, rapid-cut filming and special effects.  Most, if not all of the four original Night Wind installments moved at the pace of a salted slug.  We all have fond memories of Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or Wells’, The Invisible Man.  Both represent very early commercially successful efforts at science fiction mystery.  However, today’s reader is profoundly irked to discover after reading a couple hundred pages that the climax, or hook, is merely that the guy has a split personality, or is invisible.  Behold ‘The Night Wind’ doesn’t hold its punches like Jekyll and Hyde or The Invisible Man.  You learn very early that Bing can pulp a man’s body just by pushing him to solid ground.  The Night Wind’s super strength isn’t the hook.  There is a lot going on in Behold ‘The Night Wind’ that the modern reader will abide:
1)      Solving the mystery of Bing’s parentage,
2)      Finding out if the heroes can avoid an all-out blood bath between the mafia and the KKK that would engulf and scandalize the 1920 Presidential election,
3)      Discovering the master mind of the saloon arsons,
4)      Answering the question of how many booby traps can be crammed into one house and which ones will cut a person in half like a mousetrap made with razor wire,
5)      Determining what happens to a living human body when you paste it with hot coal tar and cover it with goose down, and last but not least:
6)      Asking what’s with the valet’s grammar?
AP: What other projects are you currently working on?
CY: Although I outlined a sixth Night Wind novel just after completing the first draft of the fifth installment, I’m not yet feeling the same level of motivation to actually flesh-out that outline.  If I learned anything from this experience, it’s that “I’m going to write a novel” is way, way too easy to say.  I’m not prepared to say it again, just yet.
I am piecing together a reference book that I hope to market one day.  From the moment I caught the superhero prose bug, I’ve created and maintained an index of my own collection.  At 1,348 titles and counting, it includes superhero fiction from the pulp era (e.g. The ShadowDoc SavageThe SpiderGreen Lama, etc.), novelizations of other superhero media (e.g.  comic books, movie screenplays, t.v. screenplays, etc.), and of course, original superhero fiction (e.g. Wild Cards novel series, etc.).  An individual entry includes the usual data – title, author, publisher and date of release – but heaps on loads of extras.  For example, I document the provenance of the content of all my books through all other media.  A given novelization of a Green Hornet television episode might have been born a radio script, adapted to a comic book story, turned into a television script, and then novelized.  The novel may be a prequel to a story line that continues as a short story in a published Green Hornet anthology.  If I had to assign a “working title,” I’d dub this work in progress The Encyclopedia of Superhero Prose Fiction.
AP: Thanks for your time, Chris!
Behold ‘The Night Wind’ is available from Borgo Press at Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Behold-Night-Wind-Christopher-Yates/dp/1479400270/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376864950&sr=8-1&keywords=behold+the+night+wind