Every Friday I focus on a New Pulp work that I think merits your attention. Sometimes it will be something that’s brand new, other times I’ll look at something that’s a few years old. This week, I’m encouraging you to check out Green Lama Unbound by Adam Lance Garcia.
Before we talk about the book itself, let’s see how the publisher describes it:
A brand new, full length novel starring the Master of the Mystic arts, the Green Lama. Written by Adam Lance Garcia, with cover and illustrations by Mike Fyles, this wall to wall pulp adventure pits the Green Lama and his friends against the Nazis of the Third Reich and an ancient evil from beyond the stars. Soon to become a true pulp classic, this is a book that belongs in every true pulp fan’s library. Produced by Airship 27.
Brief and to-the-point, right? I’m always of two minds when it comes to publisher description. I hate the ones that tell you key parts of the book but on the other hand, I’m not a fan of the ones that speak in generalizations, either. Anyway, this publisher description says that the title is “soon to become a true pulp classic,” which is high praise, indeed.
But it was quite accurate!
For those of you who don’t know, The Green Lama was a major pulp and comics character back in the day and he’s been revived numerous times since, mostly by comics companies who take tremendous license with his appearance and motivations. The Green Lama, or at least a version of him, is currently appearing in the MASKS crossover event from Dynamite Comics — but he’s such a cipher there that it’s difficult to even compare him to the version on display in this novel.
The author takes a mostly B-Level character and molds him into something more. Hell, the Green Lama is pitted against the hordes of the C’thulhu Mythos in this one! And Adam displays a deft hand at balancing action with characterization. I particularly liked the supporting characters in this one: Caraway, Jean and Ken all stole quite a few scenes from the emerald-wearing hero. In fact, I’d say that the way they orbited the hero was quite well done and pretty classic, in my opinion. Even in the old Doc Savage series, Doc was pretty staid compared to the bickering of Monk and Ham. Adam makes these characters more than worthy of carrying scenes without the title hero and, in fact, I wouldn’t mind reading stories about the supporting characters.
There are several Easter eggs in the story that made me smile, especially the reference to the rampaging ape in the early chapters. It shows that Adam has a clear grasp on the audience who will be reading this.
The art is quite nice by Mike Fyles and really suits the mood of the story.
This book is a terrific, fast-paced read that features believable characters that you grow to care about. It’s a wonderful introduction to The Green Lama and definitely positions Adam Garcia as a leading voice in the New Pulp movement. Adam has written more stories with the Lama, both for Airship 27 and for Altus Press and I believe he has more in the pipeline. That’s great news because his work on the Lama puts the character into the rarefied air currently occupied by Will Murray’s Doc Savage & CJ Henderson and Martin Powell’s The Spider as being the very best pulp revivals currently going on in New Pulp.
By the way, this book is labeled “Volume Two” but you don’t need to read the first book to enjoy this. The first volume was an anthology but this one is a novel.
If you haven’t read Green Lama Unbound, you need to hurry and do so — NOW!