Barry Reese

Pulp Writer Extraordinaire

spirit_darwyncookeFinally saw Pacific Rim yesterday and I have to say that I really, really enjoyed it. I had a smile on my face through the entire film — it was so wonderful to have someone simply establish the premise in the first couple of minutes and then launch right into the story. While I like a good superhero origin story, I really get tired of seeing every reboot give me the “beginning” for two hours. We all know who Spider-Man or Batman is. Recap the premise during the opening credits and then simply tell a new story. This film shows you can do that and do it well. Highly recommended.

Reading a Batman novel entitled Fear Itself. Superheroes in prose can be tricky to pull off sometimes but this one is extremely well-written so far. Batman has so many pulp elements to him that he’s probably the easiest hero to translate into a purely prose format but even then, I’ve read many stories that failed utterly to do that. There seems to be two routes a writer can take with this: some guys write it like it *was* a comic, only without the pictures. Others treat it like they’re writing The Great Gatsby, as if they’re ashamed of the comic book roots. The proper way to do it, in my opinion, is to recognize the absurdity of a man in a bat suit but to treat it seriously, taking advantage of the ability to go further into motivations and feelings that the prose format allows. So far, the guys who wrote this one have straddled that line perfectly.

Work continues on the second Gravedigger novel — I’m a little over 32,000 words on it and I really, really hope to finish it before the end of August so I can dive straight into my ‘mystery project’ for that new publisher I teased awhile back. It’s only going to be a 10,000 word short so it shouldn’t take too long but it’s a new property for me and that sometimes requires me to get into the proper mindset.

I seemed to have ruffled a few feathers with my Monday blog post (Riffing on the Classics). Let me say this: I write those kinds of blog posts when things piss me off. I create a composite of people who have said those things and then attempt to refute their argument. If it was written about one particular person, you’d know it — because I’d name them (as I have in numerous other posts of a similar nature). If you recognize something in a post like that and you say to yourself “Wait, I said that!” — all that means is you’re not the only one. Quotes like “I haven’t finished collecting all these stories from 100 years ago!” have been said to me by many, many, many people. Just because you may have said it, too, does not mean that the blog post was written about you. Besides, the point of the post had NOTHING TO DO WITH PEOPLE WHO DON’T READ NEW PULP BECAUSE THEY PREFER CLASSIC PULP. It was all about people who don’t read New Pulp but who still insult it. Saying “I read some New Pulp and didn’t care for it” is very different than saying “New Pulp is nothing but derivative rip-offs” when you haven’t read the stuff to begin with.

Our art today is by the amazing Darwyn Cooke — it features Will Eisner’s Spirit.

Anyway, I’ll be back tomorrow — take care, folks!

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