Monday, December 20, 2010


Doc Savage, The Shadow, The Avenger, The Spider. These were all examples of the Hero Pulps. These were pulp magazines that featured stories of excitement and adventure with each issue featuring the same hero and his sidekicks on a new adventure. In many ways these were the pre cursers of today's comic books, movie and television series. If you know what I am talking about, then I want to hear from you.

So here is a question for all you fans of the Hero Pulp magazines: If you could read a new pulp magazine with a new pulp hero, what would your preference be -- a "period: setting, adventures set in the 1930's/1940's (the era of the classic pulp magazines) or a contemporary setting, adventures that take place today in 2010/2011?

I am really seriously trying to find out what hero pulp fans prefer. Can these old style of heroes be translated to modern times, or do they belong in the era that spawned them?

More importantly would you read a hero pulp adventure that was set in modern times with a hero who has to deal with modern problems in a modern way or would you rather read of a two-fisted hero in simpler times dealing with simpler problems?

This is market research so your answers will be highly influential in the direction in which Rage Machine Publications is going to take an upcoming project. What's more each reader who responds with a coherent answer will get a mention in the upcoming project either as an acknowledgment or with their name or internet name mentioned in the story.

If you have any questions feel free to ask and I will do my best without giving away too many spoilers.

I am breathless with anticipation.

I've been here and there. I've drawn a lot of pictures. I've written a bit, too. I'm not good at this self-promotion thing. Look, you want to know about me? just visit these websites. Okay?


cerebus660 said...

The new project sounds interesting, M.D. !

I personally don't think the "old" Pulp heroes ( Shadow, Doc, Avenger etc. ) work in a modern setting: their viewpoints, morality and methods belong to an earlier age. Although there is some mileage in a "fish out of water" approach - confront an old character with the modern day like Lee and Kirby did with Captain America in the '60s - this can soon get tiresome.

BUT if you're talking a brand new character, then the only limits are the imagination ( and talent ) of the creators, for example Alan Moore produced some fine Pulp/Golden Age pastiches in Tomorrow Stories ( Greyshirt and The Cobweb ) - so a new , modern approach may suit a new character.

Anyway, good luck with the project and keep us updated...

Kilsern said...

Two Fisted tales set in the 30s/40s for me please.

Kal said...

I like the old pulp heroes but ones who have access to ancient knowledge (like the Phantom or The Shadow) but are also familar with modern technology (like Doc Savage) The story I am working on may be set in Revolutionary France but I want the characters to have use of old chinese magics and da Vinci like flying machines and maybe even further forward with Tesla like electronics. That is where my research is taking me. Mythbusters can be quite good at some of this stuff. Tell me what you are thinking about.

Joel Jenkins said...

I've been giving this a little thought because I've recently begun reading Gods of Manhattan--which has characters analogous to Doc Savage, Monk, the Spider/Shadow but puts a modern twist on them in a steam punk type of setting.

It's definitely a darker take on things but the more I read it the less I like it. The pulp heroes have lost their moral center--and though this might be interesting to explore if at least one character retains their moral convictions, that isn't the case here.

Margo Lane has become a bondage model, Doc Savage and his sidekick monk are bisexual lovers and supporters of a socialist regime--which the author of the book seems to indicate are the 'good guys'.

Of all the spins on morally ambiguous characters it works best for the character of the Red Spider which is the counterpart for the Shadow or the Spider. He's bloodthirsty and generally metes out justice, but sometimes doesn't do his research well enough and wrongly assumes guilt.

This is one book I won't be finishing. So modern or classic pulp setting, I think the hero actually needs to retain some heroic characteristics. He or she doesn't have to be perfect all the time, but they should generally be striving to do the right thing--otherwise they're not really heroic.

M. D. Jackson said...

Thanks to everyone for weighing in on this. My partner, G.W. Thomas and I are still working out details but we think we have a direction for this project now. I don't want to say too much but keep watching this blog in the new year for some teasers.

Kal, your story sounds intriguing. Let me know how that progresses.

Joel, thanks for pointing me in the direction of Gods of Manhatton. I'm not sure if I will actually buy a copy but it's good to know that it's out there.

And you will all get a mention in the project when it does finally materialize unless you request otherwise.

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