|Logo and Design by Ali|
Pulp, as we all know and as I'm known to say frequently, isn't just found in the printed word or in the bottom of your orange juice glass. This area we so enjoy to read, write, draw, and create in has spread its Lovecraftian tentacles into all sorts of mediums, pretty much since pulp began. One arena that pulp took hold of early on and thankfully hasn't let go of is that of the audio drama. Back before boobs sat before tubes with flickering lights and little colored dots, mystery, comedy, drama, talk shows, all that goodness existed somewhere else. Somewhere where the stage was in your mind and the doors inside were your ears.
Radio, my friends.
What we all now know as OTR (Old Time Radio) was simply the entertainment of the day at its peak. That was where most people were first introduced to the mysterious figure known as The Shadow...where that immortal phrase 'Up, Up, and Away' was first ever heard...where a single surviving Texas Ranger met his Indian companion and saved the west...and generations later where that ranger's descendant rode into high octane action with his Oriental chauffeur at his side, both in masks...and those are just the characters most of you know about. A literal plethora of characters existed in the golden age of radio that could be considered pulp and they are in part the focus of this column.
The other part is what is referred to as modern audio drama. Many companies, individuals, and collectives have come together, especially with the advent of the internet, and began producing original audio works for the listening and podcasting audience. And these new pioneers of audio greatness have not forgotten their roots. Two fisted heroes, over the top villains, and wild plots abound. Pulp is still alive and has a strong voice in modern audio drama.
Lastly, this column will look at ways audio characters, both old and new, have transcended audio and either came from other works originally or have inspired new works in other mediums! Several comic and publishing companies today have mined the wealth of characters and tales found in audio drama and we'll be discussing those.
This column will be at least weekly, hopefully twice a week. I have a great list of characters, shows, and companies I already plan to cover. Here's just a taste-
YOURS TRULY, JOHNNY DOLLAR
THE RED PANDA
BROKEN SEA PRODUCTIONS
THE BLUE BEETLE
CHANDU THE MAGICIAN
PENDANT AUDIO PRODUCTIONS
MOONSTONE ENTERTAINMENT, INC.
Yes, there are many, many more....and of course, if you have suggestions, send 'em along to firstname.lastname@example.org. This column aims to make sure that another vital area of pulp, one of the reasons the genre even still has life, is made better known to pulp fans everywhere. So, be ready for the next time...pull your stool up close to the radio, turn the dial, and be ready to..TUNE INTO PULP!!!