Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tales of The Rook Cover Revealed!

Cover Art: Bob Hall. Colors: Tom Smith
Barry Reese unveiled the cover to the new Tales of The Rook anthology over at his website,, this week. The cover (seen above) is by comics legend Bob Hall with colors by Tom Smith.

The Tales of The Rook anthology will feature stories by Ron Fortier, Mike Bullock, Perry Constantine, Tommy Hancock, Bobby Nash, Michael Edwards, and Barry Reese.

Look for Tales of The Rook from Reese Unlimited and Pro Se Press in the first half of 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Classic Music, Pulp AudioBooks, and Pulp Book Store Specials and More from Radio Archives!

December 30, 2011
NEW Radio Set: The Railroad Hour, Volume 3
"Ladies and Gentlemen, The Railroad Hour!" This opening line, delivered by announcer Marvin Miller, along with whistles, hissing steam escaping from smoke stacks, and other train sounds heralded the beginning of each episode of one of the most beloved, often sought after music programs of the golden age of radio! Gordon MacRae, noted baritone, acted as conductor as he led listeners through recreations of musicals, operettas, and even the careers of some of the greatest American composers and lyricists each week. You can take the same ride now on The Railroad Hour, Volume 3.
Sponsored by the Association of American Railroads, The Railroad Hour presented vest-pocket versions of some of the most popular and beloved musicals and operettas of all time - everything from the romantic melodies of Victor Herbert and Sigmund Romberg to the modern musical comedies of Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers, and Lorenz Hart. In these lush and tuneful half-hours, star and leading man Gordon MacRae was joined by a host of leading ladies. In his role as host and leading man, MacRae generally narrated the programs, giving listeners the basic structure of the plot as the show went along.
The job of adapting massive musicals and full-scale operettas into a 45 minute format, the original length 'The Radio Hour' ran when it debuted initially on ABC, fell to Jean Holloway and the writing team of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. Holloway, who herself was also a singer and musician, had earlier written for such programs as "The Kate Smith Hour" and "Mr. President", while Lawrence and Lee had honed their writing skills as two of the first staff members of the Armed Forces Radio Service during World War II. All three had considerable knowledge of both music and theater; Lawrence and Lee, in fact, would in later years write the Broadway classic "Auntie Mame" and its musical counterpart "Mame", as well as such well-known plays as "Inherit the Wind" and "The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail".
The Railroad Hour, Volume 3 is a special collection of this classic program. First appearing on ABC, The Railroad Hour was a 45-minute program. This collection is six episodes from that run, shows that provide not only outstanding entertainment for today's listeners but that also stand as a tribute to the talent and production techniques that went into their creation so many years ago. Enjoy Classic Music and Classic Radio at its best by getting The Railroad Hour, Volume 3 today for only $17.98 on Audio CDs or $11.98 as a Digital Download!
by Tommy Hancock
"If you like high adventure, come with me. If you like the stealth of intrigue, come with me. If you like blood and thunder, come with me..."
Simply reading those words inspires someone to step up, ready to tackle whatever action and trouble might come their way. When you hear Captain Bart Friday say them at the opening of each episode of Adventures by Morse, you'll be ready to run off and join the circus, the Foreign Legion, the Merchant Marines, and all before lunch!
Best known for his classic pulpy I Love a Mystery and the serial drama One Man's Family, Carlton E. Morse stands out as one of the best writers from the era of old time radio. A series from Morse that is, in my opinion, as good as his best known works, is the one with his name in it. Adventures by Morse is similar in format to I Love A Mystery. Both shows have strong male leads and center on men who encounter guns, fists, mysteries, and more danger than a Sam Peckinpah film on speed can muster before they finally win the day. Although I Love A Mystery is better known and for valid reasons, it's a show that is sometimes action centered, other times focused on the 'Mystery' in the title, and at times has some inconsistencies due to this. Adventures by Morse, on the other hand, is unabashedly squarely set in the pulpy Adventure genre and captures the atmosphere and the pacing that modern listeners will recognize as being one of the reasons they love the Indiana Jones movies.
The series is straight forward, just like a roundhouse in a South Seas Island bar fight. Captain Bart Friday and his cohort Skip Turner get mixed up in strange escapades involving exotic locales, strange villains, and mystical magical encounters with damsels, goons, and life and death moments aplenty! This collection includes two serials, "The City of the Dead" and "The Cobra King Strikes Back." Both of these stories are dead on adventure tales, stories that sweat blood and danger and move at a clip that keeps the listener tangled up in all the twists and turns. Comparing the two, I prefer City of the Dead only slightly due to the fact it builds tension a bit better than The Cobra King Strikes Back. Having said that, the performances in The Cobra King are a bit more spot on, but not by much. All in all, both of these cliffhanger laden serials in Adventures by Morse, Volume 1 deliver in every way a good adventure tale should! Available on Audio CDs for $29.98 and for digital downloads for $19.98 from Radio Archives.

The audiobook of Will Murray’s monumental Doc Savage adventure The Jade Ogre is a feature-length excursion into one of the Bronze Man’s most exotic adventures.

“The Jade Ogre makes a wonderful listening experience,” Producer/Director Roger Rittner says. “Will has packed a cast of colorful characters, plus mystery, intrigue, action, adventure, and a bit of mysticism into an heroic tale. It’s an epic adventure to be savored.”

Based on an outline by Lester Dent, the massive The Jade Ogre carries the listener from the fog-shrouded streets of 1935 Chinatown San Francisco, to the crumbling ruins of an ancient temple in Cambodia.
Accompanied by his aides Monk Mayfair and Ham Brooks, his cousin Pat Savage, and a cast of unique characters, Doc races to unlock the secret of the Jade Ogre, a fantastic Oriental villain who unleashes death in the form of disembodied flying arms, capable of disintegrating its victims in a flash of fire. But the lethal flying arms are merely the cover for a more deadly menace – the mysterious Jade Fever, which strikes down its victims with a deadly virus that turns its victims green as jade.

Narrator Michael McConnohie essays every role in the story with unerring vocal impressions that give life to Murray’s distinctive characters.

In addition to the 36-chapter story, the 12-CD set includes two bonus audio features: a continuation of Will Murray’s discussion of the creation of Doc Savage, and his memory of creating The Jade Ogre from Lester Dent’s notes, plus how Pat Savage has contributed to the Doc Savage canon.

The Jade Ogre is available now from at $37.98 for the deluxe 12-CD set, or $25.98 for instant digital download.

For over-the-top thrills, you can’t beat Prince of the Red Looters, the first audiobook from featuring the pulp hero, The Spider.

“With extensive sound effects and complete period music score, Prince of the Red Looters is an almost ‘cinematic’ experience for listeners,’ says Producer/Director Roger Rittner. “Customers are telling us it’s like a movie playing in your mind.”

Narrating Norvel Page’s propulsive prose, stage and screen stars Nick Santa Maria and Robin Riker give life to the sword fights, escapes, insurmountable odds, nail-biting suspense, and unexpected twists in Prince of the Red Looters.

Prince of the Red Looters is available in a 6-CD deluxe set at just $19.98, or as an instant digital download at just $14.98.

A nameless mystery man with a wartime past in the Intelligence service. Declared dead by the Department of Justice. Now backed by a shadowy group of powerful philanthropists, to infiltrate the Underworld and crush crime in all of its hideous manifestations.
Secret Agent “X” was one of the most unusual pulp adventurers ever, and also one of the most action-filled continuing characters in its day. Now The Torture Trust, the latest entry in’s Will Murray’s Pulp Classics audiobook series, provides thrills and chills to pulp and audiobook fans alike.
The Torture Trust introduces the mysterious nemesis of the most nefarious criminals the pulp writers could dream up. In it, Secret Agent “X” pits all his secretive skill and devious daring against a criminal triad that wields face-destroying acid as an instrument of blackmail.
Read by noted voiceover actor Dave Mallow, The Torture Trust takes listeners into the dark and sinister world of this fantastic mystery man.
Scoop, the online blog about pulps, comics, and all things collectable, says, “The Torture Trust is a danger-a-minute audio introduction to this fondly remembered pulp avenger of the 1930s. The Torture Trust will provide thrills and chills to pulp and audiobook fans alike. “
The deluxe five-CD set of The Torture Trust is just $14.98. The instant download version is just $9.98.

Python’s first Doc Savage audiobook, continues to delight listeners. In Booklist, the 100-year-old journal of the American Library Association, Kaite Mediatore Stover says that Python Isle, the first Doc Savage audiobook from Radio, “takes listeners on a breathless, roller-coaster adventure ride. Michael McConnohie’s masterful pacing keeps the tension and suspense tighter than a python’s grip, and a superb blend of sound effects and music enhance the mood, lending the production a cinematic feel.”
The full-cast NPR series The Adventures of Doc Savage presents special adaptations of “Fear Cay” and “The Thousand-Headed Man” by Roger Rittner and Will Murray. Featuring a full cast of voice actors, extensive sound effects, and period music score, The Adventures of Doc Savage is non-stop action in 13 exciting installments.
A super-criminal emerges in White Eyes, the second Doc Savage audiobook from From his skyscraper headquarters high above the streets of New York City to the sugarcane fields of Cuba, Doc Savage races to crush gangland’s latest uncrowned king. White Eyes features dramatic narration by Richard Epcar, cover art by Joe DeVito, plus fantastic extras.
The first Black Bat audiobook, Brand of the Black Bat, is a stirring story of crime and corruption, and of a courageous avenger – district attorney Anthony Quinn – determined to track down the vicious gangster who robbed him of his brilliant career, all the while thwarting Captain MacGrath of the N.Y.P.D., who suspects Quinn and the Black Bat are one and the same. Michael McConnohie reads this fantastic tale. resurrects the wild and wonderful Doctor Death, one of the rare unabashedly supernatural pulp series. Equal parts Doctor Frankenstein and Albert Einstein, with a dash of Fu Manchu, Doctor Death’s supreme goal in life was to crush civilization. His first fatal foray into reversing mankind’s fortunes, 12 Must Die, is now available in an audiobook read by television and animé star Joey D’Auria.
By Larry Josephson, Bob & Ray’s long time producer
Bob & Ray are classic American humorists who started in 1946 at WHDH, Boston. Bob was a disc jockey, Ray a newscaster. They riffed during the handoffs, something like local news anchors do today, only funnier. The station liked them so much they were given a daily afternoon show, “Matinee with Bob & Ray.” When Red Sox or Braves games were delayed by rain Bob & Ray filled in with their special brand of humor. Some of these shows are included in our RadioArt® Bob & Ray albums.
In 1951 NBC brought them to New York to work on Monitor and to do a nightly 15-minute television show that followed the Camel News Caravan. Cloris Leachman or Audrey Meadows played Linda Lovely. On radio Ray did all the female characters like Mary McGoon and Mary Backstayge in falsetto. For the television show, they shot Ray from the neck down wearing a house dress.
During their 40-year career, Bob & Ray appeared on just about every radio and television network, and on major local New York stations WOR, WINS, and WHN. I invited them to perform at a conference I organized for public radio producers and managers held in Glen Cove, NY in the spring of 1981. They were a big hit with the 20- and 30-something audience. I called Bob & Ray the next day to ask them to do a series for NPR, The Bob & Ray Public Radio Show. They had been off the air for several years, but were busy doing commercials for a wide range of clients, including Piels Beer. They played Bert and Harry Piel in a legendary series of animated spots. Great advertising, lousy beer! Many of their commercials, including the Piels spots, are on our albums. (BR004, BR006, BR009. BR015, BR017, BR018)
The NPR shows are captured on the Best of Bob & Ray, Volumes 1-4, BR001-BR004). In 1984 I produced two sold-out concerts in Carnegie Hall. The Carnegie Hall shows turned out to be Bob & Ray’s farewell performances (Ray died in 1990). They are captured on our album, “Bob & Ray: A Night of Two Stars, recorded live in Carnegie Hall.” (BR 026).
Bob & Ray’s targets--commercials, infomercials, game shows, soap operas, fatuous radio shrinks, bloviating politicians, rigged contests, and public service announcements from corporations who “really care” about the environment---are still with us in the cable age, only more so.
Bob & Ray is for smart people: they’re satirists, not comedians. They don’t tell jokes like Bob Hope or do stupid physical comedy like The Three Stooges. Many of their routines run more than 4 minutes. The joke slowly builds until it explodes in your mind.
Bob & Ray were admired and imitated by every comedian and humorist of their time, including Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, David Letterman, George Carlin, Garrison Keillor, Kurt Vonnegut and Andy Rooney. Many of them “borrowed” Bob & Ray material and characters. Keillor’s “writer,” Nattily Dressed, is very close to Bob & Ray’s Nattily Attired. Lifting material has long been a part of comedy tradition. Bob & Ray were inspired by two old time radio shows, “Vic and Sade,” and by Raymond Knight’s “Cuckoo Hour.”
Their signature routine, “The Slow Talkers of America,” belongs in the comedy pantheon alongside Abbot and Costello’s “Who’s on First?” and Jack Benny’s “Your Money or Your Life.”
Some of my favorite things about Bob & Ray include their sheer intelligence and talent; their acute ear for language, cant and cliché; their sense of timing; the hundreds of characters they created, all performed either by Bob or Ray, including the immortal Wally Ballou (–ly Ballou); the lovable Marys (McGoon and Backstayge) and affable dolts like Webley Webster. Their work is deeply moral. They used humor to express their anger at the corruption and stupidity of much of American culture. And to make people laugh.
I’ve devoted 30 years of my life to collecting and restoring Bob & Ray recordings for old and new fans. Bob & Ray’s humor is ageless. You needn’t have heard “Mary Noble, Backstage Wife” to enjoy “Mary Backstayge, Noble Wife,” absurd on its face. Knowing the original adds to your enjoyment of the parody, but it works either way. The one exception might be “Awful Godfrey, “a thinly disguised Arthur Godfrey, who was, by reputation, a vain and viscous man (he famously fired singer Julius LaRosa on the air for “lack of humility”). Bob & Ray’s parody of Godfrey skewers him expertly. Bob’s impression of Godfrey is uncanny.
We offer more than 100 hours of Bob & Ray and Jean Shepherd on CD, including “The Very Best of Bob & Ray,” 5 hours on 4 CDs, selected from all of our CDs (BR024). It’s the perfect starter album, and makes a great gift. The booklet includes a long, insightful essay on Bob & Ray by the Canadian critic, Kerrie Mills. Worth the price alone.
I’ve remained Bob & Ray’s producer for all these years simply because they make me laugh. When asked how their partnership lasted 40 years, they replied, “We made each other laugh.” (They also didn’t spend much time together after work.) I hope the current generation of Bob & Ray fans will buy these CDs and pass them down to their children and grandchildren, keeping Bob & Ray alive forever. I’m pleased that Bob & Ray have now joined the Radio Archives collection.
Hang By Your Thumbs, and don’t forget to Write If You Get Work.
-Larry Josephson, proud to have been Bob & Ray’s producer for 30 years and counting.
Doc Savage and his beautiful cousin Patricia battle threats to national security in pulp classics by Evelyn Coulson and Lester Dent writing as "Kenneth Robeson." First, while testing an experimental plane for the Army, Renny disappears after his airship is engulfed by The Yellow Cloud. Then, what has transformed Monk, Ham and Johnny into cowardly Men of Fear? The incredible secret could end the war, unless Nazi agents seize it first. This special collectors edition showcases the original color pulp covers by Emery Clarke, Paul Orban's classic interior illustrations and historical commentary by Will Murray, author of eight Doc Savage novels. Available now for $14.95!
The Pulp Era's strangest mystery man returns in two more epic adventures by Paul Ernst writing as "Kenneth Robeson." First, can Justice, Inc. prevent secrets of an ancient civilization buried for centuries in The River of Ice from destroying the modern world? Then, scientists in Paris, Berlin and Montreal exhale fire as they die, setting The Avenger on the trail of The Flame Breathers and a deadly secret that threatens to plunge the world into a fiery infernal! BONUS: a thrilling adventure of Police Commissioner James Gordon, a.k.a. The Whisperer! This classic pulp reprint showcases H. W. Scott's classic pulp covers, all the original interior illustrations by Paul Orban, and historical commentary by Will Murray. This fantastic reprint is only $14.95 in the Pulp Book Store!
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows! The Master of Darkness, agent Clyde Burke and Secret Service agent Vic Marquette investigate deadly plots in two thrilling pulp novels by Walter Gibson as "Maxwell Grant." First, The Shadow's investigation of The Embassy Murders unearths a sinister plot that threatens world peace. Then, the kidnapping of Clyde Burke leads The Shadow and his agents on a winding murder trail through New Jersey's Hills of Death. BONUS: a two-fisted adventure of Police Commissioner James Gordon, a.k.a. The Whisperer! This instant collectors' item features both classic cover paintings by George Rozen, the original interior pulp illustrations by Tom Lovell and Edd Cartier and historical commentary by popular culture historians Anthony Tollin and Will Murray. And it can be yours for $14.95!
Three fantastic Pulp Replicas featuring classic Pulp Heroes and Tales and designed to give readers and collectors the experience of holding an actual pulp!
Already the best place to find Classic and New Pulp tales and Pulp related products from the best companies in the business, The Pulp Book Store goes itself one better! The Treasure Chest, the place to find great deals, now exclusively features products for the Pulp Book Store! Just click on the Treasure Chest on the Pulp Book Store Page and you'll find fantastic monthly discounts on an ever changing variety of items from our various stores! Check the Treasure Chest now to see what great discounts await everyone from the avid Pulp Fan to the casual reader! The Treasure Chest is Open now in the Pulp Book Store!
Review of "Doc Savage, Supreme Adventurer" from Doc Savage, Volume 15
By Dr. Art Sippo

In December, 1932 Lester Dent was assigned the job of writing the first story for the planned Doc Savage Magazine. To assist him, the magazine’s editor, John Nanovic, wrote a brief story showcasing the Doc Savage character and his five associates. It was entitled Doc Savage, Supreme Adventurer. Doc and his five men travel to Central America and find a lost tribe of Indians who possess a massive treasure in God. Doc’s father had arranged for this to be his son’s legacy. But corrupt government officials in the Central American country want to hijack the treasure for themselves. They already killed the elder Savage and now they are trying to kill Doc.
The portrait of Doc and his aides in this story is not quite what we have come to know through the Classic pulp series. Dent recast the characters and rewrote the story to give us the initial Doc Savage saga “The Man of Bronze.” Along the way he crafted a cast of unforgettable characters upon whom he had left his own literary stamp.
But the story “Doc Savage, Supreme Adventurer” is the first Doc Savage story ever written and is of significant importance in the origin and development of the series. As a bonus, this story contains the complete text of the letter Clark Savage Sr. had written to his son which was only quoted in part in “The Man of Bronze.” Every true Doc Savage fan needs to read this story. We are indebted to Anthony Tollin and Will Murray for including it in their reprint series.
Get your copy of this piece of Doc Savage History, ‘Doc Savage, Supreme Adventurer’ along with another classic Doc Savage Pulp tale today in Doc Savage Volume 15 for only $12.95 from Radio Archives!

Comments From Our Customers!
Dominick Cancilla:
I'm loving all the audiobooks!
Kenneth D. Schwartz:
Just listened to Music of the 1930s, Vol. I and every show in this collection is a gem, even if hearing Harry Richman singing about "darkies" and "pickaninnies" made me cringe. I understand that those were the times. But thanks for another marvelous collection.
Tom C. Miller:
I wanted to thank you for all of your support in offering old-time radio shows. I especially like it when you describe where your transcription discs came from and how they were preserved. Moreover I am continually surprised how much of the stuff was actually saved over the years. Thanks for bringing it alive again.
Barney McCasland:
Jade Ogre took me longer to read, due to its length, but it was great! As always, Michael McConnohie was the perfect narrator. I enjoyed The Torture Trust, but not nearly as much as the other series. I thought Dave Mallow did an excellent job of narrating it. Really excited and anxious for audio pulps 2012. Keep up the great work!
If you'd like to share a comment with us or if you have a question or a suggestion send an email to We'd love to hear from you!

The products you've read about in this newsletter are just a small fraction of what you'll find waiting for you at Whether it's the sparkling audio fidelity of our classic radio collections, the excitement of our new line of audiobooks, or the timeless novels of the pulp heroes, you'll find hundreds of intriguing items at
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In his latest flight log for Airship 27 Productions, Publisher and New Pulp leader Ron Fortier discusses what he has coming on the Pulp front personally, including a couple of Sports Anthologies and more, as well as dropping hints about what is on the docket for Airship as well!  Read the entire post at and find out exactly who and what this fantastic image is!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Van Allen Plexico chats with the Book Cave crew about his latest series, Blackthorn: Thunder on Mars from White Rocket Books

Listen now at

The ALL PULP website conducted a round-robin interview with the writers of Blackthorn: Thunder on Mars. You can read it at


White Rocket Books proudly announces the release in trade paperback format of BLACKTHORN: THUNDER ON MARS, a science fiction action-adventure anthology set on far-future post-apocalyptic Mars.

Created by Van Allen Plexico (Sentinels, Lucian), the book features stories by New Pulp luminaries Mark Bousquet, Joe Crowe, Bobby Nash, James Palmer, Sean Taylor, I. A. Watson, and Plexico, along with six full-page illustrations by Chris Kohler (Sentinels). Cover art and design are by James Burns (Lance Star: One Shot).

In the spirit of "Thundarr the Barbarian" and "John Carter of Mars" comes the gripping saga of US General John Blackthorn. Betrayed and left for dead on the battlefield, Blackthorn awakens many thousands of years later to find himself trapped amidst the ruins of a post-apocalyptic Mars, his only companions a savage Mock-Man and a mysterious sorceress. They battle together to free this strange new world from oppression, but it won’t be easy, for arrayed against them are the deadliest foes imaginable: mutants, monsters, and robots, as well as treacherous teammates. And lurking behind it all are the fanatical forces of the First Men: the Black Sorcerer, the Sorcerer of Fatal Laughter, Lord Ruin, and the Sorcerer of Night—masters of magic and technology alike—the dreaded Sorcerers of Mars!

"The awesome array of talent assembled on this book really speaks for itself, and guarantees a fun time will be had by all," promises Editor Van Allen Plexico. "Each of the writers jumped on the project with huge enthusiasm and each brought something unique and very exciting to the table. And there’s no question Chris Kohler, who is also interior artist on my Sentinels superhero novels, has done some of the best work of his career here with BLACKTHORN."

Says noted New Pulp author Wayne Reinagel, "BLACKTHORN is one of the best sword-and-sorcery spaceman anthologies to arrive on Earth, or Mars, in the last century or more. Clearly inspired by an equal combination of Hanna-Barbera’s ‘Thundarr the Barbarian,’ DC Comics’ ‘Kamandi,’ and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ ‘John Carter of Mars,’ BLACKTHORN is an original, entertaining, action-packed saga."

The new trade paperback edition follows on the heels of the successful Kindle launch, which immediately zoomed into the top rankings of all SF anthology e-books on Amazon. It presents all seven stories in their entirety, including the double-length origin, along with Chris Kohler’s interior artwork.

White Rocket Books is a leader in the New Pulp movement, publishing exciting action and adventure novels and anthologies since 2005, in both traditional and electronic formats. White Rocket books have hit the Top 15-by-Genre and have garnered praise from everyone from Marvel Comics Editor Tom Brevoort to Kirkus Reviews.

BLACKTHORN: THUNDER ON MARS is a $15.95, 6x9 format trade paperback from White Rocket Books.


Also available digitally for the Kindle for $2.99 at

Listen to The Book Cave now at

For more information about White Rocket Books, visit
For more information about Blackthorn: Thunder on Mars at


TIPPIN' HANCOCK'S HAT-Reviews of All Things Pulp by Tommy Hancock

By Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Grand Central Publishing

Yes, I admit it.  Head hung low, eyes cast down, I have to confess the truth.  Some of you may want to relieve me of my fedora after you hear this.

I only just this past year read a Preston and Child Agent Pendergast book.   To heap horror onto misstep, I didn't start with the first book.  I actually quite literally started in the middle.

Okay, the hard part and gnashing of teeth aside, let's get to it.  Preston and Child are well known in the New Pulp world, both for their individual work and their combined novels.  By far, their most popular character is that of Agent Pendergast, an FBI agent with more connections than Tootsie has pops and skills that most definitely put one in mind of past Pulp heroes.  First introduced in a less than lead role in RELIC, Pendergast captured public imagination so strongly that he moved into the first position in following novels, which are now in the double digits as far as how many there are.

Many people recognize the Pulpiness of Pendergast, comparing him to The Shadow in several instances.  Although that similarity is apparent to me, I don't know that I actually see him as more one archetype than the other when you talk Pulp Heroes.  But regardless if you think he's walking in Lamont Cranston's footsteps or not, make no doubt about it.  Pendergast is one of the best representations of a New Pulp hero available to the reading public today.

In CABINET, an archaeological discovery is made in New York City, a discovery that reveals murders done in the name of perverted science over 100 years before.   A museum archaeologist and her newspaper reporter boyfriend, one who apparently has a past history with Pendergast, end up thrown into the middle of this mystery with the elusive, secretive agent.  What mystery?  Well, it's two fold really-What happened in the late 1800s that caused so many people to be murdered, then hidden away underground?  And who is mimicking those murders all over again to nearly the exactest detail in the modern era?

There's so much and really just a little to say about this book.  The plot is tight, well paced, enough twists and turns to keep anyone intrigued and at the same time so well handled that no one gets lost.   The characters pop off the page, Pendergast and everyone else.  The dialogue is crisp and reads as if it was being heard.  The reality of the relationships amongst the characters is stark and strong, particularly breathing life into one particular policeman that, when he interacts with Pendergast especially, comes fully alive.

THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES has no slow points, does not lag, and is replete with three dimensional characters, down to the least used of them all.  No cardboard characterization was used in the making of this manuscript.    The climax, the part of the book where most of this genre fail if they're going to, is riveting and completely creepy.  

I came late to Agent Pendergast, it's true.   But now that I'm here, I'm along for the ride from here on out.

FIVE OF FIVE TIPS OF THE HAT-In the top ten of my best reads of 2011.


TIPPIN’ HANCOCK’S HAT-Reviews of All Things Pulp by Tommy Hancock

By Various Authors
Pacific-Noir Pulp Press

Pulp is known for being full of various genres and especially for mixing and mingling them, even before the now popular term ‘mash-up’ was in use.  If you’re a fan of Pulp, Classic, New, or both, even a little bit, then you of course know what I’m referring to.  Western, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Crime, and so forth and yadda to the fourth power.   And the lines between all of those and other genres have been blurred multiple times by various Pulp types and to varying degrees of success. 

Now there is Surf Pulp.  And Hard Boiled Surf Pulp at that.

This first issue magazine from Pacific-Noir Pulp Press features six stories that blend surfing, a sport and pastime that has just as avid, if not more so, adherents and followers as Pulp does, and Pulp style storytelling.  Now, wait. I know what you’re thinking, that is, if you’ve had the exposure to surfing I have.   But don’t worry, this is not a collection of tales featuring Beach Boys type bands solving mysteries or Frankie and Annette finding lost treasures on Party Beach.  As a matter of fact, the mixing of Pulp and Surf is not fifty/fifty in every story, sometimes one outweighs the other more and I find that a good thing in mixed genre collections.  

Having said that though, something else that is mixed about HARD-BOILED SURF PULP FICTION #1 is my reaction.   As a whole, it’s a fun little read, running about 97 pages.  The book design is done well and the interior art is eye catching and overall does what art should do, effectively accompanies the story and adds to the reading experience.  So, presentation wise, this book is definitely a winner.

As far as the stories go, that’s where I get a little divided.  Six tales in the book and three of them I really liked and three of them left me wanting.  The lead story, THE BIG DEEP, is a private eye tale, my personal favorite type of tale, featuring PI Sam Sand, a surfer himself, on the trail of missing waves.  Interesting concept and the mystery starts out fairly solid, but then sort of gets very muddled in the middle and by the time we get to the resolution, it’s solved and everything works out, but it’s unclear how it got that way.  I really like the characterization in this story, especially Sam Sand himself, so would like to see more, but for an initial run, this one, though with good points, didn’t really ring my bell.

SORCEROR OF SIARGAO and CHIMERA are the other two that fall on the lesser side of mixed feelings.  Both are sort of quest tales, people seeking things, some abstract, some concrete, in their lives and in one way or another using the waves and surfing to do so.  And although they are different reads in a variety of ways, they both suffer from the same thing with me-murky storytelling and not a clear definition soon enough in the tales of where they’re heading to keep me hooked and interested.

Now, the other three tales in this thin tome definitely get my hopes up about future volumes.  SURFING ‘ROOTS’ is a futuristic tale of space pilots who surf strange landscapes when they get the chance, but it’s more than that.  It’s a cool other worldly tale of buddies who get into fun and out of trouble together and definitely shows the camaraderie that is so apparent in the popular culture notion of what surfing is.  Plus, the action is well paced and the setting is definitely a star in the tale.

TIGALAND is as far on the other side of the spectrum from ‘ROOTS’ as one can get, but is an A-1 Pulp tale.  Gritty, hard hitting, no holds barred Crime Pulp, this story delivers on a whole lot of levels, including engaging characters, from the two leads through the supporting cast, and a jerky sort of riding along with the story sort of pacing that works really well.

My favorite story in this book was a surprise as I expected it to be the PI tale.  RECKLESS SURFING looks at a period in the not so far future where the surf waves are patrolled by surf cops and the laws are very strict and almost basically too strict for real surfing to go on.  A really interesting character is introduced and carries this story well, that being a former surfer turned water cop, Sergeant Nelson of the Surf Enforcement Patrol.  The story is about a young surfer who gets himself in a spot with other surfers that draws the attention of Nelson.  Nelson identifies the young surfer as a good kid and basically points out what is the beginning of a relationship that will lead to adventure, crime, and hopefully good waves.   This is a very promising start to a great tale and is only the first part.  I really enjoyed the intensity that seemed to ripple throughout this particular tale, enough to tease and keep you interested, but not too much.  Yet.

So three out of six top tales, three out of six that needed a little something more.  Will I be back for future volumes and other works from Pacific-Noir Pulp Press? Sure, if they’ll have me.   This is definitely the start of something that I think has a lot of potential.

THREE OUT OF FIVE TIPS OF THE HAT-Enough to bring me back for a second round.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Reposted from

Rest in Peace Rusty Hevelin

Filed under: HistoryPressUncategorized — posted by Mike @ 11:19 pm
It is with heavy heart that we bid adieu to James "Rusty" Hevelin. This pillar of the pulp community passed away on Tuesday, December 27th. Active in science fiction fandom since the 1930s, Rusty was for many years the guiding light behind Pulpcon, the convention that helped to keep the memory of the pulps alive through the closing decades of the twentieth century and on into the 21st.
A veteran of the Second World War, when he served as a marine in the South Pacific, Rusty was a member of science fiction’sFirst Fandom and well known as a huckster, collector, and toastmaster. In 1986, he received the Lamont Award for his longtime service to the pulp community as well as science fiction’s Big Heart Award. He was presented with the Sam Moskowitz Archive Award for excellence in science fiction collecting in 2003.
PulpFest was extremely fortunate to have Rusty attend the 2011 convention when he helped the pulp community celebrate its fortieth annual summer pulp con. At next year’s convention, we will be honoring him with a special tribute during our evening programming.

Vengeance is a dish best served bloody!

New Pulp Author Howard Hopkins (The Lone Ranger, The Avenger, The Spider) has announced that his novel, Blood Creek is now available exclusively for Amazon Kindle. Blood Creek is a Western novel of vicious revenge upon those who committed a heinous crime long ago and thought they got away with it, Blood Creek was originally published in hardcover under the Black Horse Western line and in large print Linford Library paperback edition under Howard's Lance Howard penname. With a completely redesigned cover, this is its first electronic imprint, published under Howard's own name, and will remain an exclusive Kindle release through arrangement with

From the Blurb:

Fifteen years ago five unruly sons of rich parents committed a heinous crime against a young Ute woman, only to walk away unpunished.

Now a ruthless killer bent on revenge is stalking them, murdering their wives, and destroying their lives piece by piece.

After manhunter Calin Travers is mysteriously attacked, then lured under false pretenses to Sundown, Colorado, a town to which he swore he’d never return, he discovers himself face to face with old guilts and a brutal killer who has marked him for death.

"This author does miracles with the written word. He takes the reader to the heart of the story and holds them glued to the pages with passion to the very end..."
--Romance and Friends Reviews

"...believable characters and settings will have you breathing 1800s dust and seeing by the flickering light of an oil lamp as you turn every tension-filled page."
--Tim Greaton, Maine's Other Author (TM)

Vengeance is a dish best served bloody...Blood Creek by Howard Hopkins
Now available exclusively for Kindle.

You can learn more about Howard Hopkins at

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Barnes & Noble is currently running a sale on Deadly Games! the new thriller novel by Bobby Nash at

Cover Price - $11.99
Barnes & Noble Sale Price - $8.63
That’s a 28% savings.

Barnes & Noble also offers the Nook e-book edition of Deadly Games! at $3.00.

About Deadly Games!

They played the most dangerous game of all and death was only the beginning...

Six years ago, Police Detective John Bartlett and journalist Benjamin West were instrumental in the capture of notorious master criminal Darrin Morehouse. Their story played out in the media, rocketing both Bartlett and West into local celebrity status.

Today, Morehouse, still a master game player and manipulator, commits suicide while in prison. His death initiates one final game of survival for the people Morehouse felt wronged him the most. At that top of the list are Bartlett and West, who must set aside their differences to save the lives of Morehouse's other victims and solve one last game before a dead man’s hired killers catch them and his other enemies.

Deadly Games! is a fast-paced action/thriller featuring action, suspense, murder, and the occasional gunfire from Author Bobby Nash, the writer of Evil Ways, Domino Lady, Lance Star: Sky Ranger, and more.

Visit BEN Books at
Visit Deadly Games! author Bobby Nash at

Friday, December 23, 2011


This year, Jay Piscopo and his company Nemo Publishing have released yet another COMMANDER XMAS SPECIAL featuring great takes on Piscopo's character by various writers and artists!  Also in this issue, a new comic and character is introduced by well known Comics Veteran Brian Augustyn!   Read on about Brian's great new pulp character, MR. GABRIEL!

ALL PULP: First, thanks for joining All Pulp today, Brian.  Share a little about yourself, both professionally and personally.

BRIAN AUGUSTYN: Thanks for having me. Let's see, I was born in Chicago, where I grew up and caught the comics bug in the 1960s.   Never lost the bug, either. Discovered mystery and science-fiction paperbacks too--and grew up a full media fanatic.  I did a bit of the fanzine scene, and so on, did my own crude comics, and experimented with story and story telling.

In the 80s I was part of the independent comics boom (following the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), working friends Paul Fricke and Scott Baederstadt on a book called Trollords. Had a lot of fun there and that led me to DC in 1987, where I worked as
an editor for almost ten years. Edited Flash, Wonder Woman, The Justice League franchise and a lot more. Started writing for them too, eventually producing "Gotham By Gaslight, the first of what DC began calling "Elseworlds," alternative takes on the major heroes--finding, hopefully, fresh perspectives and fun comics.

I went freelance in 96 and have written, Flash, JLA Year One (both with Mark Waid), and Crimson, and Out There, both with Humberto Ramos for Wildstorm/Cliffhanger.

I've written several hundred comics, some YA novels, story books, game scenarios and mortgage checks since then.

I'm married, have two almost grown daughters and live in Arizona at the moment.

AP:  You're involved in the Commander Xmas online book that Nemo Publishing and
Jay Piscopo are known for around this time every year.   You're introducing an original character.  Tell us about Mr. Gabriel.  Who is he, what's his mission/purpose, etc.?

BA: Mr. Gabriel might be a supernatural/celestial being, though he seems to be human in every way. Let's just say that he gets things done and saves people in mysterious ways. His mission is to help those in need or distress. In my mind, he shows up when most needed--though how he knows is part of his mystery. He's known in New York, so people in trouble do seek him out, including the NYPD. Gabriel does not carry a gun, and probably won't engage in fisticuffs very often, but is capable, diligent, and pretty unstoppable when he starts work. He's a tall, solid, handsome guy in a Mitchum-esque
way, and favors white suits, fedoras and trench coats.

AP:   And the story he appears in in the Xmas special, what can you share about that?

BA: It's Christmas Eve 1935, a young couple is visiting NYC and are mysteriously attacked. The husband is shot, the wife goes missing and an enormous blizzard shuts the city down. The clock is ticking because the woman is pregnant, due to deliver at any moment, and the plummeting temps and blinding snow put her and the baby in terrific danger. But, Mr. Gabriel is on the case and has a soft spot for baby's born on Christmas.

AP:   What appeals to you about the pulp type characters?  Mr. Gabriel is obviously in that camp, but what about that sort of story appeals to you as both a writer and a fan?

BA:  In general, I have been a fan of pulp style fiction since discovering the paperback reprints of Doc Savage in the 60s. I love genre fiction, from detective stories, space opera sci-fi, even westerns. I like high action stories with large, colorful characters. Obviously, that's what I've done for 30 years in comics, and now I'm happily stretching my prose muscles. Some of the most popular modern genre fiction from Dan Brown's DaVinci Code novels, to Lee Child's Reacher series, Preston & Child's Pendergast novels, and so on and on, prove that fan interest in this kind of material is high.

AP:   Christmas stories are interesting creatures, every genre has one.  What about a Pulp Christmas story you think  makes it stand out from other Christmas stories?

BA: Good question. I think Christmas stories are sentimental by necessity and pulp-style writing allows free reign to writing emotion that more "serious" fiction might avoid. I want the reader to be thrilled, wowed and maybe choke up a little even.

 AP:   Why would a modern audience want to read Mr. Gabriel?  What appeal does a
character set in the past have for readers today?

BA: Nostalgia for a simpler time? Fondness for potboiler thrillers? A search for heroes? A good way to escape into a fun place for a while?

Probably all of the above and much more. I promise that reader a thoughtful, caring and resilient hero solving problems with wit, determination and maybe some magic.

 AP:   What are the future plans for Mr. Gabriel?  Any other Pulpy projects you're working on?

BA:  I have plotted a Mr. Gabriel novel, which I plan to start writing soon. The amazing Jay Piscopo has been very encouraging and supportive in pointing me in this direction. It's like I'm rediscovering my craft all over again.

I want to start writing a lot more prose (genre) fiction, so I'm also planning some stories with other heroes and settings as well. Not sure where I'll place any of that, but I am excited to write them all the same.

 AP:  Brian, thanks so much for your time!  Merry Christmas!

BA:  Thank you Tommy. Hope you enjoy the special. Merry Christmas!



4th Annual free “Commander X Adventures” comic book released by Nemo Publishing: New limited edition Commander X Knight Avenger collectible action figure ties into story

PORTLAND, MAINE (December 23, 2011) – Nemo Publishing, publisher of Jay Piscopo’s “The Undersea Adventures of Capt’n Eli” all-ages graphic novel series and “The Sea Ghost” comic book, has released its 4th annual Commander X-Mas “Commander X Adventures,” a collection of pulp adventure stories and artwork featuring the renowned time traveler, Commander X, who is an integral character in the “Capt’n Eli” series.

This free comic book is available at –

“Depression-era comics were promoted as ‘all in color for a dime,’ which meant you were getting more than you paid for,” noted Piscopo. “That same spirit and enthusiasm is what the creators behind ‘Commander X Adventures’ bring. In the Golden and Silver ages, the stories were very plot driven and action oriented and, in their own way, reflected the times. There was a lot of crudeness in the art and storytelling and a certain exuberance and imagination really carried the day. This free comic is a wonderful opportunity to re-experience the fun and excitement that came from Golden Age comics and the pulps. And we always add in a lot of Christmas-themed material just for fun.”

Piscopo edited this free on-line comic book with a team of creators, including legendary writer Brian Augustyn with the debut of his new pulp character, Mr. Gabriel in “All Through the Night…A Mr. Gabriel, Angel of Broadway Adventure.”

“I’m honored to have Brian’s contribution,” said Piscopo. “He’s one of my heroes in the comics business and it’s great to see him join the ranks of the new pulp writers. Pulps preceded Golden Age comics and were all about hard-boiled action and mystery and Brian captures that perfectly.”

Regular contributor, Frank Schildiner, also wrote a story illustrated by Delfin Barral and there is a special Sunday strip by Robert J. Kelly and Dan O’Connor, the creators of the daily web comic “Ace Kilroy.”

Pinups were created by comics greats Michael Netzer and Mort Todd, Marvel cover artist Mike Fyles, Joe Zierman and Randy “Sarge” Sargent, Pierre Villeneuve, Harold Cupec, Jim Mohan, and Jay Piscopo.

Piscopo also wrote and illustrated a story called “SHIVA 99” in which fans meet Commander X as the Knight Avenger. In conjunction with this, Nemo Publishing has released the Knight Avenger as a limited edition Mego-style collectible action figure.

“This year, I also had a lot of fun featuring public domain superheroes in cameos and guest shots with Commander X,” continued Piscopo. “This whole story is an homage to the Golden Age of superheroes, a large number of which are now in the public domain (”

The Knight Avenger is the seventh figure in the Commander X collectible action figure line. The other figures include: Golden Age Commander X, 1950s Commander X, Western Knight, Barbary Knight, Archer Knight, and the Undersea Knight. These eight-inch figures are created in a retro-style reminiscent of those made by the Mego Corporation in the 1970s and are designed by Piscopo and produced by Paul “Dr. Mego” Clarke. A short video about the variant collection can be viewed at this link:

All seven figures are available exclusively at at a special price of $15 (regularly $19.95) through February 15, 2011.

On the World Wide Web:

Tami Kennedy
Nemo Publishing