Tagged: Pro Se Press
TIPPIN’ HANCOCK’S HAT-Reviews of All Things Pulp by Tommy Hancock
THE BLEEDING HELLS
by Barry Reese
Published by Wild Cat Books
If you know New Pulp, then you probably know the work of author Barry Reese. Even more likely you know the character Reese is best known for creating, THE ROOK, formerly with Wild Cat Books, coming soon from Pro Se Press. Barry has made quite a name for himself by producing ROOK story after ROOK story, most of them collected in six total volumes with plans for three full novels to come over the next year or two. What you may not know about, though, is a little Reese gem that slides under most radars. And not only is The Rook central to the story, but Reese with all his New Pulp skill and style reaches into the land of Classic Pulp and the Public Domain and adds a liberal dose of The Black Bat, Ascott Keane, and Doctor Satan into one bleeding helluva story that may be one of my favorite ROOK adventures.
THE BLEEDING HELLS focuses on The Knife of Elohim, a blade that is a major part of The Rook’s arsenal. This blade, once bathed in the blood of Christ, is blessed with supernatural energy. Within this story, it turns out there were four such blades and two criminals have decided to collect all four and open up a portal into The Bleeding Hells, essentially the worst version of Lucifer’s headquarters one could imagine. It turns out that not only does The Rook have one of these knives, but The Black Bat has one and the infamous Dr. Satan has the other two. The criminals of course end up getting hands on all four and our heroes…and yes, one incredibly evil villain…have to pool resources, set aside differences, and hope they can save the world, even if they already be too late.
THE BLEEDING HELLS is Reese’s ROOK at its best. The characterization of Max Davies shows not only an avenger of justice, but a man troubled enough by his own past to fight like heck to insure the safety of the future. Reese goes to a whole other level, however, within this tale than just putting his best Rook forward. Once again, Barry shows an excellent grasp of what’s come before and gives fantastic portrayals of THE BLACK BAT, ASCOTT KEANE, and a thoroughly chilling and enjoyable DOCTOR SATAN. Other strengths shine through as well, including the pacing being dead on. Barry builds the tension of the story well, even as he thrusts you immediately into the action. Dialogue pops all the way through, from the smarminess of Satan to the back and forth charming dialogue between the various heroes’ sidekicks. In all ways Reese, this is one of the best efforts I’ve yet to see and definitely makes me want to see this collection of heroes and villains once again…and even twice.
The only drawback to this volume and unfortunately it’s a significant one, is the editing. It’s not that there’s a mistake on every page, but the misspelling and absence of words is enough that it proved distracting from the beginning to the end. I thoroughly enjoyed THE BLEEDING HELLS, but I have also built up a tolerance to editing errors to a small degree. Even with that, though, the editing or lack of it made THE BLEEDING HELLS a little more difficult to read than I would have liked.
FOUR OUT OF FIVE TIPS OF THE HAT-The editing is an issue for me, but to be honest, the story is just awesome enough to overcome it.
Tommy Hancock, Partner in and Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions announced today the licensure of several new characters, some already previously a part of Pro Se’s magazine line up. In the last two months, Pro Se announced that its three magazine titles would be making the transition to yearly anthologies and that Pro Se, still living by its slogan ‘Putting the Monthly Back into Pulp’, will produce a full length novel, anthology, or collection every month. In line with this shift, Pro Se has begun acquiring licensure on characters being used in its stable as as well as acquiring new characters, the most notable and first example of this being the acquisition of Barry Reese’s THE ROOK and all related concepts three months ago.
Today Hancock unveiled even more acquisitions by Pro Se, having this to say about each of them-
“Pro Se Press is honored and welcomed to announce that author Chuck Miller, already well established as an online producer of New Pulp, is bringing his single greatest creation and all that goes with it to Pro Se! Chuck’s BLACK CENTIPEDE is definitely a character rooted deeply in the golden age of Pulps, but also a concept riddled with layers, conspiracies, and enough angst to satisfy any modern reader. THE BLACK CENTIPEDE and all related concepts will be a part of the Pro Se lineup beginning with the debut of Chuck’s first full length CENTIPEDE novel, CREEPING DAWN: THE RISE OF THE BLACK CENTIPEDE, in August 2011 from Pro Se Press! And be on the lookout for extras, peeks, and goodies from the mind of Chuck Miller and the universe of THE BLACK CENTIPEDE!”
“Pro Se Press is known for being an avenue for both new writers and those who have established themselves in the New Pulp field. It is with great pride and honor that we welcome another star from the galaxy of New Pulp to Pro Se. Joshua M. Reynolds, author of DRACULA LIVES!, JIM ANTHONY: THE HUNTERS, and author/creator of MR. BRASS, is bringing another stellar original creation to Pro Se Press. CHARLES ST. CYPRIAN is an Edwardian monster-hunter who, along with his spunky side-kick in post WWI England has adventures complete with plenty of thrills, chills and the occasional spill. This action packed, humor laden series is one that adds a facet to Pro Se Press that everyone will thoroughly enjoy! Look for the first St. Cyprian work, billed as ‘A Unique Novel with a Novelette’ entitled ‘OUT OF BLACK AEONS’ will debut from Pro Se Press in March, 2012!”
“Readers and followers of Pro Se Press are familiar with THE SOVEREIGN CITY PROJECT. If you’re not, this is the brainchild of myself (Tommy Hancock), and noted pulp authors Barry Reese and Derrick Ferguson. Originally conceived for the Pro Se magazine line, each author created an individual character that had its adventures in Sovereign City, a setting all three characters cohabitated within. I am completely excited to announce that THE SOVEREIGN CITY PROJECT, one of the most ambitious current New Pulp projects, will continue. Barry Reese’s LAZARUS GRAY, Derrick Ferguson’s FORTUNE MCCALL, and my own ‘DOC DAYE, THE 24 HOUR HERO will continue as licensed characters for Pro Se Press. Look for a back to back three month slate, starting in September with the first LAZARUS GRAY collection, followed in October with the Doc Day novel, DEATH MEANS LITTLE, and wrapping up with the first FORTUNE MCCALL collection. And that’s not all! Sovereign City fans need not worry for there will be plenty more from this trio of writers, including Barry Reese’s first full length Lazarus Gray novel, DIE GLOCKE! Welcome to Sovereign City and to Pro Se Press!”
“Many writers have great ideas! Many writers write a few of those ideas. Not many writers write their own creations so prolifically that they very quickly become sort of their own universe. Fortunately, Pro Se Press does have one of those writers. Fantasy pulp author Nancy Hansen has been a mainstay of Pro Se’s magazines since our inception and will continue to be the same into the future. Nancy not only has one or two characters that Pro Se is tickled to death to license and to publish, but literally she brings a multitude of heroines, villains, creatures, adventurers, and even pet dragons to Pro Se’s pages for you to read! From ‘Masquerra and the Storm Lord’ to tales about to Roshanna the Huntress, the Windriders of Everice, the Vagabond Bards, The Silver Pentacle, the Companion Dragon Tales, The Song Heroes, and many more, Nancy is definitely a New Pulp powerhouse and will be bringing hours and hours of enjoyment and adventure to readers from Pro Se! This great legacy begins in June 2011 with FORTUNE’S PAWN, the first book in the Roshanna The Huntress/Greenwood cycle and Nancy’s debut novel!!”
Hancock promises that these are only the first of fantastic announcements regarding licensing new characters and bringing both established Pro Se authors and new faces into the fold to help Pro Se continue to be one of the leading forces in New Pulp!
Hello, All Pulp fans, this is Tommy Hancock and please forgive me, but these posts for the next few days will be informal as I report on all the Con that is Pulp from Windy City Con! Pro Se Press, mysaelf and my partner, are here as well as Ron and Rob from Airship 27, the guys from Black Dog Books, Adventure House, and lots and lots of dealers! The show hasn’t officially opened yet, but people are already milling around. There is so much pulpy goodness here that I may spend myself into a divorce! Arrivals expected but not yet sighted include Mark Halegua, Wayne Reinagel, Moonstone Books and more!! Stay tuned!