Stone Cold: Charles Bronson in THE MECHANIC (United Artists 1972)

I love, love, love THE MECHANIC. This review captures my thoughts pretty much perfectly but be warned that it does contained SPOILERS if you haven’t seen the film.

cracked rear viewer

Stone-faced Charles Bronson is perfect as an ice-cold, classical music loving hit man who mentors young Jan-Michael Vincent in 1972’s THE MECHANIC. I’d say this is one of Charlie’s best 70’s actioners, but let’s be serious – they’re ALL damn entertaining!

Arthur Bishop (Bronson) takes his work seriously, meticulously planning every assignment he receives from his Mafia boss (Frank De Kova ). Given a job to kill family friend Big Harry McKenna (Keenan Wynn), Bishop does the deed with chilling precision. McKenna’s son Steve (Vincent) is a stone-cold sociopath himself, and soon worms his way into becoming Bishop’s apprentice. Their first caper together goes sour, bringing Bishop’s boss much displeasure. Bishop’s next hit takes the two overseas to Naples, where they’re set up to be killed themselves, resulting in a violent conclusion and a deliciously deadly twist ending.

Bronson, after over twenty years and 50 plus movie roles, became…

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Saturday Matinee: The Monkey’s Paw

In my secret identity, I’m a mild-mannered high school English teacher. One of the lessons that I always do involves a reading of the classic horror story, “The Monkey’s Paw,” by W.W. Jacobs. It’s a great, tension-filled tale and most of my students really enjoy it. The short film version that I’m posting today takes some liberties with the material (mostly to condense it into the running time but part of the ending is slightly altered, as well) but it’s still a great version and is a little more visceral with the ending, which students really enjoy.

Hope you like it!

The Strange Tale of… Catalyst!

Catalyst loResCatalyst, at least in the form of Nathaniel Caine, is one of my oldest characters. I created him way back in 1985 and he went through several permutations, popping up in various stories, comic book scripts, fanfiction and roleplaying campaigns over the years. When I finally became a professional writer, it was only a matter of time before Nathaniel would enter my Reese Unlimited universe. Why does he still linger, when so many of my other characters from my youth have fallen by the wayside? I’m not sure. He was the first creation of mine that I felt was worthy of saving… plus I always loved his green color scheme. Credit has to go to Cari Reese for taking my original (and very derivative) costume designs and merging them with the Kirby-esque Asgardian and New Gods looks that I desired. Other artists have depicted him since then but all of them have used her costume design.

So who or what is… The Catalyst?

Continue reading “The Strange Tale of… Catalyst!”

Creator Spotlight: Adam Garcia

adamOne of the best authors in the New Pulp movement is Adam L. Garcia, whose name has become synonymous with the classic hero, The Green Lama. Adam first burst onto the scene in 2009 with a novella reviving The Green Lama, “Horror in Clay.” The story was written as a gift for his father and went on to garner a Best Short Story nomination in the New Pulp Awards. The very next year saw Adam’s reputation continue to grow as his novel Green Lama: Unbound won two Pulp Factory Awards: Best Novel and Best Interior Art (for his collaborator Mike Fyles).

He’s continued adding to the legend of The Green Lama with works like Crimson Circle, The Heir Apparent (in which the hero teams with Sherlock Holmes), Scions and Day of the Destroyers. While several companies use The Green Lama, Adam is one of the very few that has the official sanction of the creator’s estate and it’s clear why they gave it: Adam is not only a tremendous author but he’s also a huge fan and advocate for the character.

Adam has branched out in other directions, as well. He contributed a story to The Peregrine Omnibus Volume 3 featuring the third Peregrine teaming up for a night on the town with Kayla Kaslov; wrote a graphic novel called Sons of Fire with artist Heidi Black; and most recently contributed to the bestselling The Obama Conspiracy.

lamaholmesAdam’s one of my favorite creators in the realm of New Pulp right now. While he understands what made the classic pulp stories work, he’s not wedded to the past. He pushes the characters and their situations forward with a very modern way of thinking. I encourage you to check out his Amazon Author Page and check out some of his work if you haven’t already. You can come back here later and thank me for the recommendation!

I’ll Be Superamalgamated!: DOC SAVAGE, THE MAN OF BRONZE (Warner Brothers 1975)

A great look at the Man of Bronze’s only (so far) theatrical film.

cracked rear viewer

I used to devour those Doc Savage pulp novels reissued as paperbacks by Bantam Books. You know, the ones with those cool James Bama covers? They were filled with action, adventure, intelligence, and good humor, as written by Lester Dent under the pseudonym ‘Kenneth Robeson’. Doc himself was a paragon of goodness, trained from birth in the arts and sciences, a perfect physical specimen adept at all the fighting disciplines with near super-human strength. In fact, one could make a case for Doc Savage as the world’s first mass-market superhero, the Man of Bronze predating DC’s Superman (The Man of Steel) by a good five years.

Doc’s amazing adventures screamed for a screen treatment, but it wasn’t until 1975 that producer George Pal bought the character’s rights from Dent’s widow Norma and made DOC SAVAGE: THE MAN OF BRONZE. Pal, whose credits include sci-fi classics like WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE, WAR…

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What’s Happening?

gravediggerSorry for the delay in posting lately. Real life has been kicking my behind and my writing has fallen by the wayside. I’m still past the 40,000 word mark on the 8th volume of Lazarus Gray and about 5,000 into a new project but it’s been really slow going. Hopefully things will improve on the wordcount front at some point.

Just finished reading The Midas Legacy, the 12th book in the Chase & Wilde series by Andy McDermott. It was a lot of fun, as usual, but at 600+ pages, it could have benefited from trimming about 150-200 pages. It’s definitely new pulp… but sometimes McDermott forgets that pulp should have momentum!

I believe the next book coming from Reese Unlimited will be The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume 3, which features the judgement of Charity’s Grace soul. I think it’s a really strong entry in the series and I believe that you guys will get a kick out of it.

Stay safe out there, guys!

 

Things (now with extra STUFF!)

GGPRbanner2-817x350Currently splitting time between a new project for Pro Se that’s part of a shared universe and working on Lazarus Gray volume 8 (which is now over 40,000 words long). Both are going pretty well, especially Lazarus. Volume 7 was a novel-length tale but with this one, I’m going back to having a series of short stories. I’m currently working on the fourth tale for that collection and there will be one more after this one, making for a total of (hold on while I break out the calculator…) five stories.

I’ve been reading (and loving) THE MIDAS LEGACY by Andy McDermott. It’s the 12th book in the Wilde/Chase series and so far it’s shaping up as one of the strongest in awhile. I consider these books to be very good examples of New Pulp and I’m stunned that no one has turned this series into a movie or a television show. I’d watch it!

Seeing lots of “favorite/least favorite” posts of various types out there so I figured I’d jump in with my favorite comic book series of 2017. Here we go:

  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (BOOM)
  • Go Go Power Rangers (BOOM)
  • Savage Dragon (IMAGE)
  • Rom (IDW)
  • Defenders (MARVEL)
  • Amazing Spider-Man (MARVEL)

Looking at the list, I have to say that ASM *barely* snuck on the list. It’s been very up-and-down this year. Defenders is getting canceled so there you go… Nobody is more surprised than me to see two Power Rangers books on this list but they’ve been really good! Gives me a nice Wolfman/Perez Teen Titans era vibe and that’s high praise from me. Speaking of Titans, I am reading the ongoing Titans book from Dan Abnett but I alternate between enjoying it and hating it so it didn’t make the list so there’s no DC titles on my best-of. That’s *really* unusual!

What comics did you love in 2017?