Besides posting book reviews, once in a while I will be posting articles on the subject of pulps. I hope we can generate more interest for the Blog. If you would like to share an article on the pulps, you can send me a message in the Comments of a post.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Double Danger Tales #64


Compere had not been able to get Peggy away from the door leading to the stairwell, and he knew that danger lay in that direction. He increased his deadly fire, but had become a non-moving target himself. A bullet from one of the gangster’s guns clipped the little gas container on his belt, and suddenly two skull-faced apparitions appeared, one on each wrist of his hands. With a slight movement of his wrists, the gas-filled balloons were disconnected and flew from his outstretched arms with a loud hiss, each flying in opposite directions.
The appearance of the banshees was so sudden, gangsters turned their fire on the two escaping gas balloons, and Compere accounted for another four hoodlums as their guns had been diverted from him.
Unfortunately, his luck was running out. He heard a light sound from behind, a short sigh from Peggy, and then he felt the cold hard steel of the barrel of a revolver digging into his spine. A vicious voice grunted from behind, "Drop your cannons, friend, or this girl gets a bullet in the head!"

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

G-Man Companion Now Available

Now available on Altus Press and Amazon. This 414 Page volume contains my research into the Dan Fowler series, plus some new material identifying early reprints. It will also reprint two novels from the series, which Will Murray and I consider two of the best in the series, plus a Fowler novel by Robert Sidney Bowen that didn’t make it for the series. Paperback is $34.95. Hardback edition coming soon.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Shadowhawke From K.G. McAbee & Tom Johnson

Deposed from her Balkan kingdom, the Spider Lady rules a new kingdom in America. Taking over the New York underworld, she operates from a hidden underground cavern. Those who oppose her are forced into her deadly web. But one man and his fighting team take up the trail to bring justice to the Queen of the underworld. The Shadowhawke!

With the ever-rising cost of pulp-related books, Tom Johnson re-launched his old Fading Shadows imprint to see if it was possible to produce a book for under $10.00. With Gail McAbee’s birthday coming up in November, Tom chose their action-packed pulp story, “Shadowhawke: First Flight” as an experiment. This 128-page (4 x 7) paperback is the result. Printing isn’t cheap, but we’ve eliminated the middleman. With only a few copies ordered for this experimental product, Tom is offering them on a first come basis at $7.95, plus postage. This was not meant for regular sales and is not available on Amazon or in bookstores. Contact Tom at fadingshadows40@gmail.com for ordering information while they last. Available now in very limited supply.

The Pulp Hermit R.I.P.

Sadly, I was recently notified of the passing of The Pulp Hermit. He was expecting it from the time they forced him into a nursing home, so it didn’t come as a surprise. But the old fella spoke out in defense for the original pulp heroes until he left us. Now that his voice has been silenced, there is no one to take up his banner. Perhaps that is as it should be. It’s time to move on. As for me, I am too busy with my professional career to worry about what is happening in the pulp community. In our last telephone conversation, the Hermit said to me, “If the pulps didn’t die in the 1950s, the amateurs will surely kill them today.” I guess that was the old fella’s final quote. R.I.P. Hermit.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another Gotham Round Table

Another Gotham Round Table

The Pulp Hermit: I’m happy to see my latest visitors. It has certainly been a long time since you gentlemen were in the spotlight. But since we are all together, I wanted to ask you a couple questions for today’s audience.  Not that the current audience is likely to be interested in your answers, however, as it seems the majority has little respect for you or your opinions. Apparently, The Old Pulp Hermit is a dying breed. But as long as I’m around, I’ll still be speaking out for you guys. After all, you entertained the masses for twenty years, and this current crowd hasn’t been around but a few years, so they are unproven yet. It seems that some think us old timers are against the pulp heroes appearing in other medias, but that is far from the truth. I’m all for you appearing in other medias. So that’s my first question, how do you feel about crossing over to other medias?

The Moon Man: Personally, I think it would be a good idea in certain medias. I might not be so hot on radio, but I would look good in comics and movies. Even a TV series would be nice. Of course, I wouldn’t work very well in modern times, but if the setting was in the 1930s and ‘40s, they could pull it off.

The Purple Scar: I think a comic book would work, but I might be too frightening for kids. And I wouldn’t want to cause nightmares. I’m afraid the current writers would turn me into a monster, and have me killing en mass. No, I really don’t think I would work very well in other medias, except maybe the comic books.

The Cobra: Hssssss!

New Masked Guy: He scares me. Can I move to another seat?

The Pulp Hermit: Those are pretty much my own thoughts. I think we all agree that other medias would be fine, if they fit the character. Some of the trouble we would undoubtedly see, the ones bringing the old characters into new medias don’t really know them, and characters would end up out of place. For my second question, how do you feel about the new writers modeling their new characters after you? Perhaps all of you haven’t been imitated yet, but it looks like eventually all of you will be. Coming up with new characters must be pretty difficult, as most new characters appear to be patterned after you guys.

The Moon Man: I think it’s cool. It shows that we made more of an impression on them than they let on. I just wonder if my imitation will have x-ray vision through the globe?

The Purple Scar: Unfortunately, they will use my mask as my real face, and I will look horrible in their incarnation. But MM is correct, it is a form of praise, though in a round about way I suppose. The truth of the matter, I would rather they create new characters than write new stories about my adventures.

The Cobra: Hsssss!

New Masked Guy: He’s still looking at me with those creepy eyes. Make him stop!

The Pulp Hermit: I agree with MM also. I think it is cool that the heroes are being imitated, and I hope it doesn’t stop. There are some good stories being written, though there may be more crap than good. But I think eventually the bad writers will be weeded out, and we’ll have a strong base of writers and creators turning out stellar action series with well-molded characters. If they don’t weed out the trash, it will hurt them in the long run. Gentlemen, I thank you for this visit, and hope you will come back for another Gotham Round Table discussion soon ... Would someone show the New Masked Guy how to find his way out when you leave.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Another Gotham Round Table

Another Gotham Round Table

The Pulp Hermit: More visitors so soon after my last old friends left, I’m beginning to feel very honored by so many of my heroes stopping in. While we are talking about the old days, I thought I would bring something up that is becoming more common today, and that is young, impressionable fans becoming masked vigilantes and roaming the streets to fight crime. I knew an idiot, and I use the term politely for this guy, who used to call me long distance in the 1970s and tell me that at night he was wearing his Shadow cape and hat into the crime-ridden areas of his city to watch for criminal activity. He lived in a large city, which had many murders, rapes, robberies, and gang activity. I would tell the guy to hang the outfit in his closet and stay off the street. I’m wondering what my guests think about this current situation. Costumes are readily available at many costume stores online, and it’s giving ideas to impressionable kids.

The Crimson Mask: I think you’re asking the wrong heroes, my friend. We see this on television all the time, and are aware of the phenomenon ourselves. Our magazines sold little gimmicks to our fans – rings, Club Membership Cards, etc., but we never encouraged little boys and girls to put themselves in danger. I gave them lemon drops in my drugstore, not masks and guns!

The Masked Detective: My masked brother is correct. From what I have seen on the news, the costumes are comic book oriented. Super heroes may think a bullet would bounce off their flesh and bone body, and they are able to leap tall buildings, but that happens only in comic books. Those who read our exciting adventures in the pulps know that we were human. Even though we had special training, we could still be hurt. Did you bring any lemon drops with you, brother?

The Green Ghost: That Marvel comic book guy started a lot of this with a television show about super heroes a while back. Now these young people think they can be real super heroes and battle evildoers. Their ideals may be honorable, but not only may they be breaking the law, but they may cause more harm than good. My advise to them is leave crime fighting to the police. They are equipped to handle these situations. Have you seen my latest magic trick?

New Masked Guy: Looking up from a Mighty Mouse comic book: Did y’all watch Sponge Bob this morning?

The Pulp Hermit: The first question was indeed a serious subject. I bought all the best Golden Age comic books when I was a kid, and was lucky to unload them for a fortune when I grew up. Sure, I put on capes and jumped off porches, pretending I could fly, and I lived on Skidrow for three years, but I never thought about fighting the crime on that street! The sale of all those comic books gave me enough money to buy my true love, the pulps. I think that at some point children should grow out of comic books, and leave the capes and tights in a closet. But to move on, for my second question, how do you feel about new authors updating your stories to modern sensibilities?

The Crimson Mask: Good grief, there is a pile of our stories still untold. Why tell new ones with so-called modern sensibilities? So far, I’ve only seen one new author spin one of my adventures, and he didn’t do too badly. But I have to admit, I’m afraid of what some will do to my companions and me. How can modern sensibilities apply to sixty years ago?

The Masked Detective: Like CM, there’s only been one new adventure for me too, and it was okay. Although I am all for new adventures, I honestly wish there was someway we could keep control of who writes our stories. You know, make sure they do us proud, not turning us into comic book caricatures of our true selves. We belong in the period of the 1930s and ‘40s, and the world was a lot different back then. Why update, just create your own characters. Geez, leave us alone!

The Green Ghost: My distinguished brothers haven’t fared too badly as yet. Like them, I have had one new story written by a modern writer, which was okay. But there was also a horrible comic book caricature of me. For some reason, modern writers and artists want to change us into something we aren’t, and never were. I agree with MD, we need a tighter control on how we are presented to the modern readers. Unfortunately, that will never happen, so I only hope new writers will study our old cases before trying to update us. Thanks for the lemon drops, CM.

New Masked Guy: Stacking his comic books together: I missed the magic trick. Would you do it again?

The Pulp Hermit: As always, I want to thank my distinguished guests for dropping by. Your insights into modern writing and new authors are precious. Let’s face it, we can learn from those who preceded us if we’ll just take the time to listen.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Conversation With Heroes

The Old Pulp Hermit sent me an envelope containing the following discussion he conducted with several famous pulp figures recently on tape. He mentioned that these men visited him at the Gotham Rest Home, where he now resides. It must be nice having friends who will visit you at a Rest Home. Maybe that’s something we should all think about. Well, with no further delay, here is the Round Table discussion with some pretty big names in the pulps.

Conversation With Heroes

The Pulp Hermit: With such distinguished guests, I felt it a perfect opportunity to discuss our favorite subject, the pulps. Gentlemen, there has been much talk today that the writers of the pulps were not as professional or sophisticated as writers today. And the product they produced was less than exciting or interesting than the stories being written today. Would you care to comment?

The Phantom Detective: Robert Wallace and G. Wayman Jones were both highly educated, and were able to bring my Casebooks into focus, showing the danger and excitement of my murder investigations. I don’t think the ones saying such nonsense about the stories have ever read one. End of statement.

The Black Bat: The Phantom is correct. I knew Mr. Jones personally, and he was as intelligent as any one writing today. Maybe more so, from what they are saying! Let them investigate the type of crook I was involved with. Especially the Nazis, and I’ll bet they’ll become an Ostrich darn quick.

Secret Agent X: Not exciting? Not Interesting? Wait till I tell Brant House about this. The truth of the matter is, he’s already upset because of some of the stuff they’re passing off as my cases. Some of the people they are saying I met, I never knew. Who are all these people helping me with my cases? Phew!

New Masked Guy: What was the question?

The Pulp Hermit: Yes, what “X” just said brings up a good point. I don’t remember any of you guys ever needing assistance from one another. Each of you was quite capable of solving the case on your own. In fact, in one case recently, X was in a fight with another of Gotham’s heroes, and they basically fought to a draw. How could it be otherwise? That’s why it’s a bad idea pitting you guys against each other.

The Phantom Detective: Certainly. We are the best, that’s why we do what we do. The Black Bat or X would just get in my way, so why would I ask them for help?

The Black Bat: I don’t need any help. Don’t get in my way.

Secret Agent X: Someone actually thinks I need help. Who?

New Masked Guy” What was the question?

The Pulp Hermit: For my last question, what do each of you think of new writers creating new stories about you? Evidently, they aren’t taking any of them from your personal Casebooks.

The Phantom Detective: Well, really, what they think is new cases is probably cases that just weren’t revealed in our Casebooks. Remember, the magazines ceased publication before all of our stories were revealed to the public. The concerns I have are that they be honest about my companions and me. I heard someone had me taking drugs in order to bring villains to their end. I never used drugs! One writer had me dumping Muriel for someone else, then turned Miss Havens into a murderer. Please!!!

The Black Bat: (laughing) They have me hearing voices, Phantom! And I argue with myself. Plus, I now kill execution style. Forget gangsters, I’m now fighting the supernatural; alien floating heads, no less! Remember, it was you who said these guys never read one of our Casebooks; no wonder they don’t know anything about us. And they’re writing our exploits?

Secret Agent X: You guys think they’re recreating you! Regardless of what they are doing to me, what upsets me the most is they make Betty Dale a moll, and make her look like a hooker. They don’t even know about the people in my universe. Good grief, I’m running with the Domino Lady and fighting with Dan Fowler. Like I couldn’t whip that fed with one arm tied behind my back!

New Masked Guy: What was the first question again?”

The Pulp Hermit: I hope we can do this again some time. Maybe we could discuss a solution to the problem when we meet again.

As the tape came to an end, I heard four automatics click as rounds were slammed into the chamber of barrels, and I heard The Pulp Hermit ask: “Who was that masked guy who just left in such a hurry?”

Stay tuned, Amigos, there’s more to come from the Old Pulp Hermit.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Jur: A Story of Pre Dawn Earth

Jur: A Story of Pre Dawn Earth by Tom Johnson & James Reasoner.
Coming Soon From NTD

“We have to go back a bit, to an earlier day when adventure and romance weren't as rare as they are today... that's  a good way to start don't you think....." 

Lost in a prehistoric land that time forgot, a twentieth century couple must survive the dangers of savage beasts and dinosaurs. A young French archeologist disappears without a trace in the jungles of Africa.  An American adventurer with time on his hands volunteers to go find her.  Through the high thrills of adventure and the adrenalin-pumping lows of terror, these two must unite in their fight to survive the jungle as they attempt to find their way back to the world they left behind and discover a love like no other.  Will they succeed?  Only time will tell….

Friday, September 9, 2011

C.A. Murphy

Above is artist, C.A. Murphy's rendition of Richard Curtis Van Loan, The Phantom Detective, in the April 1942 issue.

Above is his rendition of g-man Dan Fowler, in the August 1936 issue. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Black Bat Companion

Coming soon from Altus Press, priced at $29.95, one of the most beloved Pulp characters, The Black Bat, is finally celebrated with this 340-Page deluxe retrospective. Author Tom Johnson has indexed each issue, listing everything you need to know about the series, along with the following highlights:

1)    A complete reprint of the rejected Black Bat adventure, “The Lady’s Out For Blood.”
2)    A breakdown of the newly discovered final Black Bat story, “The Celebrity Murders.”
3)    All 800 German Black Bat stories newly identified for the English audience.
4)    Nine complete reprints of The Black Bat Golden Age comic book stories.
5)    An interview with series creator Norman Daniels as well as his complete Payment records for the first time.
6)    Featuring additional articles by Will Murray, this is the ultimate history of the series.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

G-Man Companion

Dan Fowler: G-Man Companion by Tom Johnson, Will Murray, Robert Sidney Bowen,  Charles Greenberg, & Norvell W. Page

For nearly 20 years, Dan Fowler and his G-men battled crimedom in the pages of G-MEN DETECTIVE. Now, author Tom Johnson has indexed each issue, listing everything you need to know about the series. Also included are complete reprints of the two best Dan Fowler stories as chosen by Johnson and pulp historian Will Murray: "Give 'Em Hell" by Norvell W. Page and "Bullet Justice" by Charles Greenberg. And reprinted in its entirety for the first time: "I Cover the Murder Front," the lost, rejected Dan Fowler story.
Besides the three complete novels reprinted, this huge tome also features additional articles by Tom Johnson and Will Murray. This is the ultimate history of the series.

414 pages | $34.95 softcover | $44.95 hardcover from Altus Press

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Black Bat

This is the real version of the Black Bat as created in 1939 by Norman Daniels for Black Book Detective. Norman told me, however, that in 1943 the decision came down to turn The Black Bat into a character more resembling Walter Gibson's The Shadow, so the costume was dropped in "Markets Of Treason", Winter 1943/44. From then on, The Black Bat merely wore dark clothes and a hood, the ribbed-cape a thing of the past.  The artist must have never got the word, as they continued illustrating the interiors with the character in full costume. In the final novel, "Hot, Willing, And Deadly", author Stewart Sterling even dropped The Black Bat as well, merely having Tony Quinn (no longer pretending to be blind) investigate the crime. But it was always the character in cape and hood that I remember most fondly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Phantom Detective

Did The Phantom Detective Wear A Costume?

Actually, no.  He was a master of disguise, and often took on the identity of hoodlums. His identifying trademarks were the domino mask and jeweled badge. In the early 1930s, Richard Curtis Van Loan was usually at a ballroom when some insidious crime occurred. As a rich young man-about-town, he was likely to be dressed in top hat and tails (tuxedo). He would merely put the domino mask on and flash his famous badge, becoming the nemesis of the underworld. But just as quickly, he would discard the top hat and tails, and take the identity of some low-life criminal. As the series progressed, the setting of a ballroom to begin the story was left behind, and so too the top hat and tails. One of the problems with a recent version of the character was giving him the costume of top hat and tails. This happens when you don’t know the character. Whoever proposed the silly costume should actually read the series, and then we would get a true version of The Phantom Detective.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I thought, for a change of pace, I would post the cover of a 1964 Tarzan novel by Berton Werper. This five-book series ran from 1964 to 1965, and was written by husband and wife writing team of Peter & Peggy O'Neill Scott. Although I wasn't a fan of the new series at the time, I have to admit it was probably better than the new series now coming out of England.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

SF Magazine Podcast

With the Old Hermit still out of circulation, I'm filling in for the old boy for the time being.

This Thursday, August 16th, Tom & Ginger will join Shelvy Vic and Garrett Prescott on The Book Cave with Art & Ric to discuss science fiction pulp magazines and early SF writers. I began reading sci-fi around 1952, but Garrett and Shelvy were into the genre a few years earlier.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sneak Peek - Senora Scorpion

There is still no sign of our beloved Old Pulp Hermit, so I'm updating his Blog with one of my own post about my upcoming project, PULP ECHOES.

Here is a sneak peek of Senora Scorpion drawn by David Burton for one of my stories coming up in PULP ECHOES later this Fall. Senora Scorpion is an outlaw fighting for freedom from Spanish rule in California during the period that Spain subjugated the Mexicans. A lot of pulpy sword fights.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Agent 13

Here are my favorite Graphic Novels. All Pulp http://allpulp.blogspot.com/ has interviewed the authors of this series, so be sure to check it out. There were three prose novels featuring Agent 13, who was a mixture of Secret Agent X, The Spider, G-8 and Operator #5. The two graphic novels were beautifully illustrated in full color. Notice the Showcase Shazam over my shoulder?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

News & Quote

The old Pulp Hermit has been ill for some time, and was recently put in a nursing home. Hopefully, it's only a temporary situation. However, he said that he might not be able to send any quotes for a while and asked me to carry on. Unfortunately, I'm not as wise as he, so I don't think I will attempt the task. In the meantime, he sent this one for the Blog.

“Huffing and thumping of chest is for gorillas.” The Hermit

Friday, June 3, 2011

A New Quote

The old Hermit is still under the weather, but he was able to send us a new quote this week. Hopefully, the old buzzard will be back on his feet soon.

“If we don’t pay homage to those who came before us, we may not leave our own legacy for those that come after us.” The Hermit

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The New Pulp Heroes

Writers who have a love for the old pulp hero often create their own characters in similar mold to the original pulp heroes, but bringing in their own slant to the old stories. Over the last few years these new characters have been popping up quite regularly. In selecting this list, I chose only those characters appearing in print, not electronic pastiches, so there may be others out there. I’ve also added the name of the creator where known. Again, the list is only preliminary and is far from complete. Pulps were called such because of the pulpwood paper used to print the magazine, so I felt only characters in print should apply. However, if you feel that I have missed anyone, please let me know, or cop this list and add to your data.

New Pulp Heroes

Agent 13 (Flint Dille/Dave Marconi)
The Armadillo (1957 Jerry Page)
Astro Athena (Tom Condacure)
Birdman (Ginger Johnson)
Black Dragon (T.J. Glenn)
The Black Ghost (Tom Johnson)
Black Guardian (Steve Mitchell)
The Black Mask (Steve Mitchell)
The Black Star
The Blue Eagle
Captain Steve Danger (Tom Johnson)
Captain Liberty (Steve Mitchell)
Chu Jung (Eric Turowski)
The Crimson Bat (Thomas V. Powers)
The Dark Avenger (T.J. Moore)
Deadline (Jeffrey T. Zverloff)
Detective Callahan & Monahan (Lance Curry)
Detective Devlin (John French)
Devil B'Tonga (Tom Johnson)
Doc Atlas Michael A. Black)
Doc Sidhe (Aaron Allston)
Doc Wilde (Lance Curry)
Doctor Pagan (Steve Mitchell)
The Domino Mask (Ray Capella)
Don `Daredevil' Donovan (Tom Johnson)
Dreadstone (Steve Mitchell)
Dr. Shadows (T.J. Glenn)
The Eagle (Bob Kennedy)
Eddie Dart (Rod Marsdon)
Eddie Edwards - UFO Hunter (Tom Johnson)  
The Eel & Adder (Joel Jenkins)
El Charo (Octavio Ramos)
The Exceptionals
The Fox (Marilyn Morey)
The Forever Man (Tom Johnson)
Freedom's Spirit & Samuel (Bob Kennedy)
Gabriel Hunt (Various Authors)
The Ghost (Ron Capshaw)
The Ghost (Gary Lovisi)
Ghost Squad
Grey Monk (John French)
Haakon Jones (Aaron B. Larson)
The Hooded Hunter (Steve Mitchell)
The Leopard Lady (Steve Mitchell)
Lance Star (Lance Star Anthology 2006)
Lone Justice
Madame Thirteen (Steve Mitchell)
Mars McCoy
Martin Gort – Undertaker (Nick Carr)
The Masked Avenger (Tom Johnson)
Midnight Skull - Skullmask
Midnight Warriors (T.J. Glenn)
Midnight Sentinel (Jens Altmann)
Moon Girl (Steve Mitchell)
Mr. Minus (Ginger Johnson)
Mr. Midnight (Paul Fornatar)
Mr. (Doctor) Mystery (Dale J. Roberts)
The Nemesis (Gary Lovisi)
The Night Hawk (Will Murray)
NightStar (Steve Mitchell)
Nightwind (Tom Johnson)
Number Nine (Shawn Danowski)
The Omen (Steve Mitchell)
Pandragon (Steve Mitchell)
Professor Stone (Wayne Skiver)
Ravenshroud (Shawn Danowski)
The Red Death (Steve Mitchell)
Roc Callahan (Gene Girardier)
The Rook (Barry Reece)
The Sandman (Will Murray)
The Scarecrow (Debbie DeLorme)
Senora Scorpion (Tom Johnson)
Sergeant Martin (Tom Johnson)
Shadowhawke (K.G. McAbee & Tom Johnson)
The Shape (Steve Mitchell)
Skullrider - Skullmask
Stuanofu - UFO Hunter (Tom Johnson)
The Soul Stealer (Tom Johnson)
The Suppressor (Steve Mitchell)
The Tarantula (Steve Mitchell)
The Tiger (Steve Mitchell)
Timothy Locke (T.J. Glenn)
Turquoise (John French)
The Visage (Shawn Danowski)
The Voice (Bob Kennedy)
The Whispering Skull (Steve Mitchell)

Friday, May 27, 2011

First New Original Pulp Stories

First New Stories (of original pulp characters)

I think the “awakening” of Pulp Renaissance began about 1965, less than fifteen years after the so-called death of the character pulps, with the fanzine, BRONZE SHADOWS, by Fred Cook. The appearance of Doc Savage and The Shadow in paperback certainly helped in the awakening. This brought awareness to new fans, as well as reconnecting many old readers of the pulp magazine heroes. Many fanzines followed in the wake of BRONZE SHADOWS, plus researchers began digging deeper into the history, including speaking with publishers, editors, authors and artists from the period, and the pulps were laid bare for the following generations. Numerous research books were published, making the data available not only to fans, but the general public as well. The Renaissance reached its peak around 1994 with Will Murray’s new Doc Savage novels, and James Van Hise’s short stories of Operator #5 and The Spider. Where the current Renaissance will take us, there’s no telling, but right now it appears to still be strong and growing, not only with research books (mostly reprints of older books) coming out in newer and better editions, but there are more writers churning out new adventures featuring the old heroes, as well as many new characters in the pulp tradition. For the pulp fan, this is a great time to be alive, and I think the new generation of readers will carry the tradition into this new century with enthusiasm. In only twenty-one years The Shadow will be 100 years old. Did someone say the pulp heroes died in 1953? I think not. Many of the current generation will be around to see the anniversary of The Shadow in 1931. I hope there will be a big party!

Following is the list of First Appearances as best I can figure the records. I will keep my list open for future updates, so if anyone has information on something that is missing, send me a note, and I will add the data to a later updated Posting.

Alias Mr. Death: “Coffins of Death” by Tom Johnson, Exciting Pulp Tales, 2011
The Angel Detective: The Devil of A Case by Tom Johnson, Exciting Pulp Tales, 2011
The Avenger: The Man From Atlantis (Ron Goulart – 1974)
The Bat: “Blind As A Bat” by Tom Johnson, Pulp Tales, 2011
Bill Barnes: “Barnstorming: Goodbye, Cy” by Bud Overn. Classic Pulp Fiction Stories #1, June 1995
Black Bat: “The Black Bat’s Vengeance” by Tom Johnson. Classic Pulp Fiction Stories #2, July 1995
Captain Hazzard: “The Citadel of Fear” by Ron Fortier & Martin Powell. Wildcat Books, 2006
The Cobra: “Curse of The Viper” by Tom Johnson, Exciting Pulp Tales, 2011
The Crimson Clown: “The Crimson Clown – Killer” by Tom Johnson, Pulp Tales, 2011
The Crimson Mask: “The Mask of Anubis” by Tom Johnson, Exciting Pulp Tales, 2011
Dan Fowler: Anthology (2009)
Doc Savage: Pick one of Will Murray’s new novels
Doctor Death (Harold Ward Character): “Trail of Death” by Dale J. Roberts. Classic Pulp
Fiction Stories #4, September 1995
Doctor Death (Edward Norris Character): “Till Death Do Us Part” by Tom Johnson. Pulp Stories, 2011 
Doctor Thaddeus C. Harker: “The Trail of The Beast” by Frank Philipp. Classic Pulp Fiction Stories #1, June 1995
Domino Lady: “Aroused, The Domino Lady” by Jim Steranko. Vanguard Productions, August, 2004
The Eagle: “The Gibbering Gas of Madness” by Tom Johnson. Triple Detective #4, February 2010
Flash Gordon: “The Sun Men of Saturn” by Tom Condarcure. Alien Worlds #25, April 2002
Funny Face: “The Star of Africa” by Tom Johnson, Exciting Pulp Tales, 2011
Gentle Jones: “Nazis Over Washington” by Tom Johnson, Exciting Pulp Tales, 2011
The Green Ghost: “The Case of The Blind Soldier” by Tom Johnson, Exciting Pulp Tales, 2011
Green Lama: Anthology (2009)
The Griffon “Conspiracy of Terror” by Van Allen Plexico (Lance Star #2 Anthology 2010)
Jim Anthony: Anthology (2009)
Jim Hatfield (Texas Ranger): “Lone Star Fury” by James Reasoner. Classic Pulp Fiction Stories #2, July 1995
Ki-Gor: “Blood-Crypts of The Serpent Cults” by Steve Mitchell. Classic Pulp Fiction Stories #1, June 1995
The Lone Eagle: “The Nazi Spider Staffel” by Tom Johnson. Classic Pulp Fiction Stories #16, September 1996
Masked Detective: “The Masked Detective’s Dangerous Trail” by Tom Johnson. The Pulp Detectives, February 2010
Masked Rider: “Double-Cross Justice” by Frank Philipp. Classic Pulp Fiction Stories #3, August 1995
Moon Man: “Midnight Moon” by Terry Nudds. Classic Pulp Fiction Stories #10, March 1996
Operator #5: “Return of The Death Master” by James Van Hise. Pulp Heroes of The Thirties, January 1994
Phantom Detective: “Satan’s Minions” by Tom Johnson. Classic Pulp Fiction Stories #1, June 1995
Purple Scar: “The Skull Killer” by Tom Johnson, Exciting Pulp Tales, 2011
Ravenwood: “The Choice” by Steve Mitchell Classic Pulp Fiction Stories #19, 1996
Red Falcon: “The Red Falcon Returns” by Burt Leake. Classic Pulp Fiction Stories #6, November 1995
Red Finger: “Obituaries Are Final” by Tom Johnson. The Hand of Red Finger, February 2010
Secret Agent X: “Horror’s Monster” by Tom Johnson. Classic Pulp Fiction Stories #9, February 1996
Seven-Foot Saunders: “A School Ma’am For Indian Springs” by Frank Philipp. Classic Pulp Fiction Stories #2, July 1995
The Shadow: Dennis Lynds’ Belmont Shadows in 1964.
Sheena: “Jungle Terror” (as Jungle Queen) by Tom Johnson, Exciting Pulp Tales, 2011
The Spider: “The Spider And The Murder Brigade” by James Van Hise. Pulp Heroes of The Thirties, January 1994
The 3 Mosquitoes “Two Outs, Bottom of The Ninth And The Shadow of Death” by Aaron Smith (Lance Star #2 anthology 2010)
Wade Hammond: “Fangs of Death” by Terry Nudds. Double Danger Tales #8, September 1997
Zorro: “Disney’s Zorro” by Steve Frazee. Whitman 1958

Note #1: Since the Anthologies consist of four or more stories of the character, there in no “first” story to identify, so I’ve left the titles out. I’m not sure of the dates on several of the Anthologies, but have listed what I believe the year of release was. The individual authors can argue about whose story was first (lol).

Note #2: There were a few early appearances by some other characters, though the main stories featured another hero. Dan Fowler makes an appearance in “Cartel of Crime”, a Phantom Detective story in the August 1995 issue of Classic Pulp Fiction Stories #3. Ravenwood appears in “The Choice”, a Leopard Lady story in Classic Pulp Fiction Stories #19, December 1996. Plus, there were many thinly disguised characters that popped up every now and then.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Pulp Heroes

The Old Pulp Hermit is still under the weather, so I'm filling in for him again.

The following list is merely a starter kit for the new pulp enthusiast. I’ve tried to list the main pulp hero characters, many with their own magazines, some as back up stories in the magazines. But these were the most popular of the genre. There are undoubtedly many others that readers may have found to their liking. If your favorites are not listed, merely copy this list and add your character to it. In the meantime, I hope the list helps the new fan in finding interesting pulp heroes to read and collect. 

The Pulp Hero

The Angel (Gabriel Wilde)
The Angel (Steve Oakes)
Anthony Hamilton
The Avenger
The Avenging Twins
The Bat
Big Chief
Bill Barnes
The Black Bat
The Black Hood
Blond Adder
The Blue Ghost
Captain Combat
Captain (Alan) Danger
Captain (Hazard) Danger
Captain Future
Captain Hazzard
Captain Satan
Captain V
Captain Zero
Carrie Cashin
The Cobra
The Crimson Clown
The Crimson Mask
Dan Dunn
Dan Fowler (G-Men Detective)
Dan Jordan
Doc Harker
Doc Savage
Doc Turner
Doctor Zeng
The Domino Lady
Don Diavolo
Don Winslow
Dusty Ayres
The Eagle
Eddie Sand
Flash Gordon
Funny Face
Gentle Jones (John Paul “Gentle” Jones)
The Ghost
The Ghost/Green Ghost
The Gray Seal
The Green Ghost
The Green Lama
Hollywood Detective
Hopalong Cassidy
The Hornet
Jerry Wade (The Candid Camera Kid)
Jim Anthony
Jim Hatfield (Texas Rangers)
Jimmy Gilmore (Alias Mr. Death)
Jimmy Holm (Ward’s Doctor Death)
Ken Carter
The Lone Eagle
The Lone Ranger
Lyn Vickers (Federal Agent)
The Man In Purple
The Man In The Red Mask
Mark Hazard
The Masked Rider
The Masked Detective
Michael Traile (Dr. Yen Sin)
The Mongoose
The Moon Man
Nibs Holloway (Norris’s Doctor Death)
Nick Carter
Operator #5
Paula Demaree (The Scarlet Adventuress)
The Pecos Kid
Pete Rice
The Phantom Detective
Philip Strange
Polly Verdun (The Scarlet Adventuress)
Public Enemy
The Purple Scar
The Red Falcon
Red Finger
The Rio Kid
Satan Hall
Secret Agent X
Secret Service Smith
The Secret Six
Senorita Scorpion
Seven-Foot Saunders
The Shadow
The Silver Buck
The Skipper
The Skull Killer (Octopus & Scorpion)
The Spider
Sue Carrigan (The Scarlet Adventuress)
The Suicide Squad
Tailspin Tommy
Terrance X O’Leary
Val Kildare (Wu Fang)
The Voice
Walt Slade
The Whisperer
The Wizard

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Today's Pulp

With The Hermit being under the weather, I wanted to keep his Blog active, so thought I would post one my own messages today.

After reading Johnston McCulley’s 1913 story in TOP-NOTCH Magazine, “Force Inscrutable”, I was struck by the difference in the moral acceptance within stories from that period to the heyday of the pulps, just two decades later. In this story, Betty Gladstone and Dick Wellington worry over the fact that traveling together by train could be construed as immoral, since they were only betrothed, and not married. Now jump ahead twenty years, to 1933, when Dick Wentworth and Nita Van Sloan are apparently living together – betrothed but not married.  In the teens, we were treated to gentlemanly thieves, which gave way to the violent Roaring Twenties, molls and gun rule. With the 1930s came the heroes and heroines, who were equally as tough as the mobs, and we now saw a milder drop in the moral appearance between men and women. This would be the ground rule for the next two decades, until the pulps began to fade, and the age of the paperbacks brought sex and language to the printed stories. It wasn’t long until the aggressor novels threw out all semblance of morality in the new fiction. Today’s new pulp appears to be anchored in a mixture of the original and the modern, sometimes difficult to recognize, but the readers in 1913 likely felt that away about the 1930s.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Today's Quote

Shakespeare is quoted as saying, “A rose by any other name is still a rose.” Well, we can’t argue with Shakespeare. However, all flowers are not roses. Just because they have a stem and petals don’t make them all a rose. The same can be said for fiction, regardless of media. If you don’t know better, you will call a tulip a rose, but that doesn’t make it so. Neither does calling everything pulp make it so! The Hermit.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Today's Quote

“The new is now the norm. We’ve come to accept the bad for so long, we now think bad is good!” The Hermit.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Today's Quote

Without creative ability, a person will only accomplish the mundane. True creativeness is left to the talented. Taking a piece of clay already formed, and trying to mold it into something else only destroys the original art shaped by the masters. The Hermit

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Today's Quote

“It’s not a shame to pass up the mediocre. The shame is in accepting it.” The Hermit

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


“Pulp writers wrote to feed their families. Modern writers write to feed their ego.” The Hermit

Friday, February 4, 2011


I’ve always wanted to interview The Pulp Hermit, so when he asked me to set up a Blog to post his Quotes, I compromised with the old gentleman: “I’ll set up your Blog, but only if you will agree to an interview.” Well, he didn’t come around for a while, but after viewing my Blog at http://pulplair.blogspot.co/ he finally relented and agreed to a short interview with me.

TJ: Thank you for taking the time to visit with me via the Internet. First, how about telling the readers a little about yourself, and where you live.

TPH: I live in a cave. Actually, it’s quite modern, and well equipped. But it wasn’t always thus. I did work through the 1950s and ‘60s, as my parents expected it of me. However, one day in the 1970s, I heard about the value of certain comic books. As I no longer cared for comic books, and my real love was for the pulp magazines, it was a simple matter of selling my huge collection of comics for a vulgar amount of money. I quit working immediately, but took so much flack from my dad, I decided to move out of the house at thirty-five. That’s when I became a hermit.

TJ: I understand you have an extensive collection of pulps. Won’t the old magazines deteriorate in a cave? And what’s it like living in one?

TPH: I did mention the comic books I sold, right? Some of the money went into equipping the cave with generators, and other necessities. I had a vault built to house my pulps and this is kept humidity free and at a constant temperature. I will admit, there were some problems at first. I stepped on a huge centipede one night, and was stung by several scorpions. That resulted in my becoming a pet owner. In fact, I have several cats and dogs, and they keep the bugs out of the cave.

TJ: Okay, let’s get right to the meat of this interview. Pulps! What is it about pulps that influenced you to give up comic books for the magazines? Aren’t they basically the same, and do pulps exist in modern sensibilities today?

TPH: Pulps entertained me as I grew up. Okay, I admit, comic books, old time radio, and Saturday Matinee movies and serials as well as other things entertained me. But I grew away from the rest, even though I still have fond memories of them. The pulps were filled with a type of adventure that pulled me into the stories. The heroes were down to Earth. We didn’t need the ability to fly or leap tall buildings. But we might be able to fade into the shadows, or travel to exotic locales to save people in danger. I think comic books started out as pulp in pictures, but quickly became something else. Today there is little or no similarity in the comic books to the pulps of the 1930s. There does appear to be a pulp renaissance today, but much of it is vastly different from the pulps that entertained me.

TJ: Let’s discuss the modern pulp revival for a moment. A lot of old time pulp enthusiasts turn their nose up at the stories being written and published today, while there appears to be a new generation of readers that are open to the new material. Do you wish to comment on this?

TPH: If we’re talking about bringing the pulps into a new generation, then I’m all for it. Honestly, I can’t say much about the new material since I have read very little of it. What I have read does tend to turn me off. I don’t think many of the writers have actually read an original pulp. Someone puts out a “Bible” of the character, and a new writer kicks out a story, and it sounds nothing like the original because s/he has never read the series. I think the problem between the new reader and old can be summed up here: The new reader does not know the original character, so accepts the new story as truth. While the old reader still wants the characters they read growing up, not a fake. I’ll stick in the movie, PULP FICTION here. It had nothing to do with pulp, but since its release this generation believes that is what pulp was.

TJ: Any suggestions for the new writers/publishers of pulps? I’ve heard many say that the originals ran their course, there are no more stories out there, and it’s time for them to be updated. Is this true?

TPH: Throw away the so-called Bibles that have the wrong information. Read the original stories, and return to the great fiction that entertained the masses since pulps began. The originals have not run their course. There are still original stories that were never told. Why do they need to be updated?

TJ: What would you say is your greatest gripe with the new writers/publishers of pulps?

TPH: Besides what I said above? I don’t like the idea of the new writers leaving out the heroes’ assistants, then bringing in several guest heroes as assistants. You only need one hero in the story. Their aides were quite capable of assisting in the case. Plus, too many peas spoil the soup, right? Why have five or six heroes in the same story when they’re not needed? And why should they create new assistants for the hero when they aren’t needed? The original ones were just fine.

TJ: What do you think of new stories in the pulp tradition? Is this a good idea?

TPH: Of course! I would rather see the new writers create their own characters instead of ruining one of the originals. In fact, I wouldn’t mind reading new pulp heroes. My one concern is that what we may get will not truly be a new “pulp” hero, but a “comic book” character in prose. “Look, up in the sky, it’s a bird. It’s a plane! No, it’s …” The new writers are darn good, and I think they can bring the pulps into the 21st century. But they have an awful big shoe to fill. The original pulps were an institution!

TJ: One last question. You’ve been quoted as saying, “Those who don’t know pulp, will see pulp in everything,” or something similar. What do you mean by that?

TPH: If you look at Superman, Casablanca, and Mighty Mouse, they all have a central character or characters, and a story. Superman is a comic book, even if his creators did clone him from Doc Savage. Casablanca was a movie, and Mighty Mouse is a cartoon. But if you don’t know what a pulp is, you’ll think all three are pulp. That can be said for fairy tales (Paul Bunyon), vampires (Dracula) and the Frankenstein Monster, though these were never in the pulps. The paperback action novels of the 1950s and later were called Aggressor novels, not pulps, yet fans continue calling Destroyer and Killmaster, and dozens of other titles, “pulp”. That doesn’t make ‘em so. They are Aggressor novels. Someone will see a movie, and say, “Oh, that’s pulp!” Trying to make everything you see pulp, waters down the real item.

TJ: I appreciate you stopping by for this little chat. I know that there are many fans looking forward to more of your quotes.

TPH: Thank you for setting up this Blog for me!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Today's Quote

“Pulp is not an attitude, it’s a story. A story consists of character development, drama, comedy, plot, and action. It has a beginning, middle, and end. Anything less is unprofessional.”  The Hermit

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Today's Quote

"Respect for an original creation comes before our personal opinions!" The Hermit

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Today's Quote

"Those who don't know pulp, will see pulp in everything!" The Hermit