Friday, August 12, 2011

Introducing Pulp Magnet

Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, John Carter, Ki-Gor, Tarzan, Conan, The Green Lama, The Shadow, The Spider, Lee Falk's the Phantom, Elak, The Avenger, Domino Lady, Black Mask, Black Bat, The Phantom Detective – the roll call of classic Pulp characters is extensive and, to quote Mike Bullock: “Readers can find a million articles about Edgar Rice Burroughs or Lester Dent or Norman Daniels. Also, there's no end of articles examining the stories they wrote.”

True enough.

The Pulps have a rich and varied history and in an era when so many of those old characters are re-emerging in pop culture, revived and revised to better suit the times, it's not enough to look backwards.

We're seeing an incredible rebirth of the classic characters from the old Pulps. Like Frankenstein's grisly monster or Lovecraft's catatonic cephalopod, the old characters are not dead, they aren't even stunned—they're alive—very much alive; well and thriving. The forgotten heroes of yesterday are coming back with a two-fisted or two-gunned vengeance. And they're not alone. A whole new generation of characters have begun to make their own mark on the world. Heroes like Derrick Ferguson's Dillon , Barry Reese's The Rook , Tommy Hancock's The Freelancer, Mike Bullock's Death Angel, and more—much, much more. And that's what Pulp Magnet is all about: The New Pulp.

Mike and the folks at the New Pulp Fiction blog wanted someone to go out there, find the fresh stuff, discover the New Pulp characters, profile the New Pulp publishers, and examine the new versions and re-imaginings of the classic Pulp characters as well. This column is devoted to delving deep into the dark heart of the unknown depths of the New Pulp and revealing all the lurid details and dangerous secrets I can uncover in the course of my investigations and interviews. Armed only with some weird little mystic magnet I found in the pocket of a second-hand trenchcoat and a secret decoder ring that might not have belonged to John Dee, I'm setting off into the shadowy alleys and by-ways of the New Pulp looking for the new stuff, the cool stuff, the Good Stuff. So pull up a chair, pour yourself a drink, and let's see what the Pulp Magnet can attract.

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