Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Green Lama NOW on AMAZON!

Yep, you can now buy The Green Lama Volume One at AMAZON.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pulp of the Week - Lobster Johnson #1


July, 2009 - The Satan Factory

Dark Horse Books has just released the first book in what I am hoping is a series of Lobster Johnson novels. Tom Sniegoski has written a tightly crafted thriller that places the Lobster into the heart of prohibition era New York.

The story starts off a bit roughly, mixing past and present tense and coming off a little clunky. But read on, because that passes quickly and there is so much to love in this book and the writing really smooths itself out. That, or I just got used to it.

There are three main characters in the book; Dr. Jonas Chapel, a mob surgeon, on the lam, Jake Hurley, a disgraced former cop with a heart of gold whose life ruined by corrupt cops, and the Lobster, who invited Hurley to join his crew. Hurley really is the focal character of the book as the Lobster remains a man of mystery.

Gangland tensions have reached a crescendo when the doctor introduces a new element to the inter-mob warfare. Demons. There are strange things going on in this New York and the Lobster with his crew of assistants, snitches, and look-outs are determined to make it better.

In one scene, when he is offered great power and influence, "the Lobster had no interest in anything more than the total eradication of evil from the world."

There are little bits of many classic pulp characters in the Lobster. In one scene he is riding outside the car on the running board, ala Doc Savage. But the Lobster is far more savage than Savage, mercilessly killing his enemies in a number of bloodbaths. He blasts villains with a Colt .45 like the Shadow. He is a ruthless killer of evil like the Spider. But he is a fully enjoyable character as well. I would have like to have gotten a couple of little hints into his back story, but no such luck in this novel. The Lobster is already going strong, with his assistants and his secret lair and his grenades and night vision goggles. And I better not forget the Lobster's claw. It plays an unexpected and important role here.

The Satan Factory is a bit gory, a bit blood-thirsty, and very much pulpy fun. It starts off slow, but once Sniegoski gets the plot going and the Lobster take center stage, it is a real page turner. I give The Satan Factory an 8 out of 10.

Congratulations to Tom Sniegoski and Mike Mignola. I look forward to reading more of the Lobster.

For this review I read the Dark Horse Trade Paperback, First Edition, July, 2009.
The cover is by Gregory Manchess. The book is © 2009 Mike Mignola.

© 2009 W. Peter Miller

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pulp of the Week - Green Lama Vol. 1


Cover by Mike Fyles


This is an exciting day for me - the release of my first published fiction. I worked hard on this tale, a 15,000 word Green Lama adventure entitled, "The Studio Specter," and today it is unleashed by Airship 27 Productions and Cornerstone Books. The initial release is on Cornerstone's Lulu site and the subsequent release will be sold at Amazon and will be available for ordering at all major bookstores.

From the Press Release:
"Airship 27 Productions and Cornerstone Book Publishers are thrilled to launch their latest pulp anthology; The Green Lama, Master of the Mystics Arts.

Created by Kendal Foster Crossen back in 1940 for Double Detective Magazine, The Green Lama was intended to be competition for Street & Smith’s Shadow title. When wealthy young socialite, Jethro Dumont, traveled to Tibet, it was in search of enlightenment and purpose for his life. He found those plus a very rare and unique talent for the mystic arts. Empowered by powerful, arcane abilities, upon returning to the States, he has set forth on a new and bolder path, one of truth and justice. With his Buddhist sensibilities, Jethro Dumont became the most unique and memorable pulp hero of them all, The Green Lama.

Back Cover image by Jay Piscopo

In order to protect his true identity, Dumont created a second false persona, that of the Buddhist Dr. Charles Pali. Aided by young starlet Jean Farrell, Detective Caraway and others, The Green Lama thrilled readers young and old in both his pulp and comic book adventures.

Now he returns in three all new adventures written by today’s action-adventure scribes,
Kevin Noel Olson, Adam Garcia and W. Peter Miller. From the mountain tops of hidden Tibet to the streets of New York and the glitter of Hollywood, journey with this classic pulp icon as he once more battles the wicked in defense of the weak and innocent.

The Green Lama Volume One features twelve new black and white illustrations by Jay Piscopo and a gorgeous cover by Mike Fyles. Edited by Ron Fortier with designs by Rob Davis.
Om Mani Padme Hum.”

Jump aboard Airship 27 Production’s newest pulp collection and get ready for old fashion thrills. Airship 27 Prod. Pulp fiction for a new generation!

ISBN: 1-934935-53-0
ISBN 13: 978-1-934935-53-8
Produced by Airship 27
Published by Cornerstone Book Publishers"

Ron Fortier has posted a great article on the creation of the art for the book on his Flight Log feature at Airship 27.

I have read the other stories and they are terrific. Adam Garcia's novella, "Horror in Clay," is particularly satisfying, and is the best Green Lama story I have ever read. The book is well put together with great stories and beautiful art. I am proud to be part of this volume.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Pulp of the Week - Doc Savage #7

September, 1933 - The Lost Oasis

Zeppelins. I like Airships and this time around we get a Zeppelin. It takes a while to get to it, but this is an above average adventure and has much going for it. The story opens with all the newsboys yelling to everyone in New York that someone is offering a million dollars to meet Doc Savage. Needless to say, this gets the attention of Doc and the amazing five and soon enough Doc is embroiled in adventure.

There is a passage early on that discusses Doc's relations, or lack thereof, with the news hounds. They are writing outlandish accounts of his exploits and knowledge, but "... the laugh was on the reporters. This man of mystery, this strange giant of bronze was a personage every bit as remarkable as they depicted. The truth would have surprised nobody more than the reporters." Doc does not give interviews.

Gadget update: Doc uses a powder sprinkled on the ground that glows when it encounters movement. Doc uses it to track footprints across carpet and even wood. Long Tom provides infrared goggles and lamps, and a vital intruder detector.

The story involves villains taking Doc and Co. across the ocean to the Sahara, where they are put in chains. One of the evil tools of the villains are large black creatures, strange terrors held in baskets or cages until they are needed. The woman responsible for the reward offer, Lady Nelia Sealing, upon meeting Doc notes his "undeniably good looks" and falls under his spell. Lester Dent has a knack for creating strong female foils for Doc. She is tough under pressure, brave, and keeps a stiff upper lip when she sees there will be no romance with Doc Savage.

Some of my favorite bits are on the Zeppelin, fights where no one dares uses a gun because the airship is filled with hydrogen, Doc cutting his way through the aluminum-painted outer skin, and Doc and Co hiding out in the rigging. The prose is quite satisfying throughout.

Once again the evil forces are defeated and Doc and the fabulous five save the day. I give this yarn a solid 7 out of 10 - I know there are better supersagas to come - but this is a darn good read.

For this review I read my copy of the Bantam Paperback #6, 5th Printing July 1972.

The Bantam cover is by Doug Rosa. The Pulp cover is by Walter Baumhofer.

DC First Wave - Batman / Doc Savage Special

Today in the DC Universe blog there was a tiny bit more about the Batman / Doc Savage Special. Writer Brian Azzarello says, "“Cities are urban jungles– and there’s also unchartered mysterious countries with their own jungles as well. It’s world where you’re guilty before being proven innocent– something that rarely happens. Little people make big mistakes and suffer the consequences. Life is cheap, and everyone has their price. Where part of the thrill of being rich, is watching the poor suffer. Y’know, my kind of place.”

I'm not sure how I feel about that. Hopefully Doc Savage will not be turned into some kind of vicious killer...

Rags Morales is to be the regular artist on the First Wave book. Here is his cover for the Batman / Doc Savage Special...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

DC First Wave - Batman / Doc Savage announced

Today at The Source blog on the DC Universe official website Alex Segura announced the November publication of BATMAN/DOC SAVAGE SPECIAL #1, which serves as an entry into the DC First Wave universe.

On the blog Segura writes, "This November, writer Brian Azzarello teams with artist Phil Noto for the BATMAN/DOC SAVAGE SPECIAL #1, which sets the stage for an entire new world for the Doc, along with a slew of characters that will pop up later, including the Blackhawks and Rima, the Jungle Girl. It all starts here, and I’m not exaggerating when I say you’re really in for a treat."

I really like Phil Noto's work and I'm eager to see what Azzarello comes up with as well. All of this bodes very well for Doc Savage fans who are eager to see new material with their favorite original "superman."

Segura closes with a tease for tomorrow's blog, "So, allow your jaw to drop at the J.G. Jones cover below. Then come back tomorrow for another treat, plus comments from Azzarello himself."

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Comic-Con 2009 - Saturday Panels

Here are my last few pics from the Hall H events at Comic-Con 2009

There was Zombieland and 2012 - both featuring Woody Harrelson. Zombieland also stars Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone.

Here are Woody, Jesse, and Emma following the panel.

Following the 2012 reel (which featured the "Randy's Donuts" giant donut) was the Iron Man 2 reel (also with the "Randy's Donuts" giant donut - it is an LA landmark). The Iron Man 2 cast present at Comic-Con (from left to right) were Robert Downey, Jr., John Favreau, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle (blocked by Sam Rockwell), and Sam Rockwell. There was much talk of Scarlett's martial arts and stunt training.