Wow, it’s been a pretty hectic last few months! If you’ve been reading Bill Thom’s Coming Attractions site, you’ve probably seen several new titles announced. I wanted to give everyone an update on where these books are & let you know when they should be available.
Several people recommended the writings of Dan (Stay Away, Joe) Cushman to me. Before becoming a successful paperback author in the 50s, Cushman wrote many stories for the pulps. Among them were the adventures of hook-armed Armless O’Neil. Set in Africa, these are well-written hard-boiled adventure stories that seem fresh in 2010. Volume 1, entitled Seekers of the Glittering Fetish: The Complete Armless O’Neil Volume 1, contains his first six stories from the pages of Action Stories and Jungle Stories. It should be going to a proofreader in a couple of weeks and I would expect it to be available well in time for the Windy City show. A second volume is already in the works, which would compile the last six stories. I’d expect this to be out by year’s end.
Another title, unannounced until now, is another volume in our Companion series. The Black Bat Companion will be in a similar format as last year’s The Phantom Detective Companion. Though it won’t be as long as the PD book, it should clock in at around 350 pages… not bad for a character with 1/3 of the adventures of The Phantom!
This will include material not only by primary author Tom Johnson, but also Will Murray and Al Tonik, among others. About 70 pages of The Black Bat’s 1940s comic stories will also be included, as well as a lengthy investigation of the German Black Bat. But the highlight of this may be the news that “The Celebrity Murders,” the last Black Bat story written by Norman Daniels & thought lost, has been discovered. We’ll tell you more in this book.
The Black Bat Companion is still being assembled. It is hoped that it will be available in time for PulpFest.
Much closer to availability is The Black Bat Omnibus Volume 1. This is the first volume of the complete reprinting of the series, this one containing the first three stories. It’s tough to guess at how many volumes this will take to complete, since the word counts fluctuated so much. While these early ones are about 40k words each, later ones are 15-20k. The Black Bat Omnibus Volume 1 is being proofread now and should be available for Windy City.
We’re also working on The Complete Adventures of Sangroo by J. Irving Crump. Sangroo is a Tarzan-like fella that only appeared twice in the pages of the ultra-rare Clayton title, Jungle Stories. I’d look for this in around PulpFest.
No doubt you noticed the book cover at the top of the page. Over a year in the making, The Weird Adventures of The Blond Adder: The Complete Casebook of Lee Nace by Lester Dent should be quite a tome. For those who don’t know Nace, it was a series Dent wrote for Ten Detective Aces in 1933, and it’s quite interesting to read the adventures of another gadget detective of Dent’s which were written during the first year of Doc Savage. Only two of these stories have been reprinted before. But what makes this special is that we’ve used the original Dent manuscripts as the source for four of the five stories (sadly, one’s manuscript doesn’t survive), and for one of the four, we’ve utilized sections of TWO drafts. It’s augmented with Dent’s original Nace character Bible, and scans of part of an early draft of one of the stories… which contain Dent’s hand-written corrections.
This is to be proofread soon, and will certainly be out well in time for Windy City. If not, much sooner.
A pair of Popular Publications books are nearly done being proofread, and will be available soon. The Hand of Red Finger collects all 12 of the Red Finger backups from the pages of Operator #5. Written by Arthur Leo Zagat, it’s a unique series written in a unique way. It’s one of Tom Johnson’s favorite series, and Tom’s included a newly-written Red Finger story to round out the collection.
The Casebook of Seekay and Other Prototypes of The Avenger is also nearly ready. Clocking in at over 300 pages and written by Paul Ernst, it collects all the known Avenger prototypes written for Popular’s mystery and crime pulps. In fact, several in the collection were only discovered while assembling this volume. It’s sure to be a page turner.
Tom Johnson’s Triple Detective is also back. Issue #4 should be available in 1-2 weeks and it’s our biggest one yet, clocking in at almost 180 pages with no price increase. A highlight of this collection is the first all-new adventure of The Eagle, Thrilling’s now-forgotten detective.
Tom’s also got another collection of pulp prose nearly available. Called The Pulp Detectives, this includes nine of Tom’s stories (featuring characters such as The Black Bat and The Phantom Detective) wrapped in a vintage cover. Look for it in a few weeks.
Another interesting title is by Chandler Whipple. Published in Dime Mystery magazine, The Curse of the Harcourts is a 6-episode story which is prime for a revival. You’ll have to read it to see what I mean. It’s going to be tough to write a back-cover blurb for this one! I’ll be out around PulpFest.
Nearly ready are three volumes in our Lost Race Library: Under the Andes by Rex Stout, Wings of Danger by Arthur A. Nelson and Yellow Men Sleep by Jeremy Lane. All come from 1910s pulps and are quite enjoyable. If you’re a fan of the lost race genre, these are for you. These will be out in a few weeks.
Finally, be on the lookout for Volume 4 in our Secret Agent “X” series. Containing four more stories and with a new introduction by Will Murray, it’s going to be a nice book.
Whew! I’m beat. But not to worry, there are plenty more collections coming. I need an intern…