James Elfers posted a review of The New Adventures of Ki-Gor on Amazon. He gave the book 3 out of 5 stars and titled his review “Just OK Pastiches”. Here’s his review in full:
Despite the author’s contention, he doesn’t really get or understand Ki-Gor. First off, these stories are way too short, without the depth of character and plot of the originals. Secondly and most importantly, he really doesn’t appreciate Helene and does not come close to emulating the sensuousness of the original tales. Helene is not just an exceptionally beautiful and capable woman, she is also a free spirit who got naked regularly in the original stories. Here, she swims with her leopard skin shorts on! Seriously? In the stories, Helene got naked or was rendered naked all the time. Among her adventures in the pulp stories were being stripped and her skin dyed brown by a miscreant to hide her from Ki-Gor and try to pass her off as a native. In another, she was imprisoned naked while an evil villainess donned her leopard skin bikini to impersonate Helene and lay a trap for Ki-Gor. You get the idea. The author comes nowhere near emulating the eroticism of the original adventures. The Ivory Goddess of the first tale should be a lot more sultry. Ki-Gor, despite being a one-woman man, certainly could appreciate female forms that weren’t Helene Vaughn’s. Often, the scheming women Ki-Gor encountered appealed to his ape-man desires, even though he never faltered and fell off the fidelity wagon. The villains in the second story are little more than cardboard cutouts. Yes, they are stereotypes, but a competent author can breathe life into even the hoariest of cliches. This guy either can’t or won’t put in the effort. Are these stories worth reading? Hard to answer. If you have read the best of the original Ki-Gor adventures, these will feel like shallow, by the numbers exercises. If you have not read Ki-Gor and want to get a sense of what the character was all about, these stories are an adequate and just adequate fix. If they make readers seek out the original stories, then this collection has real value. Otherwise, they are simply an amusing, if predictable, time filler.
Sorry you didn’t enjoy the stories to the fullest, James. I’m actually a big fan of Ki-Gor and have read many of the originals. As always with reviving older characters, it’s a measure of trying to emulate what worked in the old stories while blending in my own style. My attempts at doing so worked better for some readers than others. I appreciate the feedback.
These books are (I believe) worthy of consideration for the Pulp Factory Awards. All of them were published in 2022 and were written by yours truly:
• The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Volume 11: Thirty Pieces of Silver
• The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Volume 12: The Life and Death and Life of Lazarus Gray
• The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Volume 13
• Worlds Collide
• The Chronicles of Lilith
One of my oldest Internet friends is Chris Munn. Chris is, arguably, the biggest Ghost Rider fan and expert on the freakin’ planet. Last year he released a book titled Wheels on Fire: An Unofficial Guide to Marvel Comics’ Ghost Rider from 1972-1983. I immediately bought it, devoured it, and recommended it to others.
Shortly thereafter, Chris approached me with some fantastic news – he was working on a follow-up, one that would deal with my personal favorite of the Ghost Riders: Daniel Ketch. He then asked me if I would be interested in writing the forward to the book. Of course, I jumped at the chance.
You can now purchase Road to Vengeance: An Unofficial Guide to Marvel Comics’ Ghost Rider, From 1990-1993 (Unofficial Guides to Marvel Comics’ Ghost Rider from Amazon.com for a paltry $14.95. Definitely go and support Chris — he’s a fantastic writer and he captures the nuances of the stories and their characters quite well.
Our art today is courtesy of Felipe Smith and you can view more of his works at DeviantArt.
The Cowboy and the Conqueror by Teel James Glenn
The first volume in this series was pretty audacious in its premise: author Robert E. Howard doesn’t commit suicide but instead decides to travel the world, during which he crosses paths with no less than Count Dracula. It was a fantastic book and when I heard a sequel was coming, I was very excited.
This book is very different from the first in that this tale is told from the perspective of a German writer. This means that REH is somewhat removed from the reader. We don’t get to see the ins and outs of his thoughts and he becomes a little more larger-than-life as a result.
Also, our writer is a thinly disguised Adolf Hitler.
Yes, so you probably wonder about that part, don’t you? I was amazed that TJ Glenn would actually try to portray this alternate history version in such a positive light… but there is a scene near the end when our writer-Hitler is confronted with the knowledge of what he’s like in OUR world… and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t make the entire book worth it. It’s a tremendous creative risk that was taken here and I’m so impressed (and, as a writer myself, more than a bit jealous) that it was paid off.
If you enjoyed the first book, you owe it to yourself to move on to the second volume. Let’s hope there’s a third book soon.
If you’re a dedicated follower of this blog, chances are that you’re also a fan of classic and/or new pulp. If so, you owe it to yourself to check out ThePulp.Net. This site not only has news and reviews, it also has some great blogs (including my personal favorite, the Pulp Super-Fan). I’m not making anything off this referrel but while you’re there and commenting on the latest post, let ’em know that I sent ya!
Our image today is by artist Gilbert Monsanto and depicts a character named Ephemera. She’ll be appearing in a volume of the Straw-Man series that’s launching soon. Enjoy this sneak peek!