The Diabolical Dr. York!

yorkMost of the villains in my pulp adventure universe are of the done-in-one variety: they pop up, bedevil our hero and then get killed. The Warlike Manchu, Doctor Satan and Princess Femi are probably the biggest exceptions to that rule.

But what about the deadly Doctor York? Why doesn’t this bad guy get the credit he deserves as one of the big bads of my universe?

Who’s that, you say? You’ve read almost all of my books and aren’t familiar with Doctor York?

That’s because he’s faced The Peregrine multiple times but never done so in prose (at least, not yet!).

York first appeared in All-Star Pulp Comics (2011) # 1, in a story written by me and drawn by by Craig Wilson. Set during The Peregrine’s days in Boston (1933), this tale introduces us to our would-be master villain. York is a former scientist that is now in service to the Elder Gods. His body is the receptacle for dark energies that have had the unfortunate side-effect of altering his appearance. His brain now floats in a clear glass dome above his torso… York has plans to sacrifice the daughter of one of The Peregrine’s friends but our hero manages to foil the scheme and York is dragged off to the nether-realms by his angry masters.

Case closed, right?

Not quite!

Illustration 4York returned in The Peregrine Animated Script that was recently reprinted in The Peregrine Omnibus Volume Three. In this story (set somewhere in the 1936-1937 period), York has managed to acquire the body of Princess Femi, the immortal enemy of Lazarus Gray. York revives her in hopes that she’ll aid him in destroying The Peregrine but once again he is dispatched back to Hell. How did he survive his prior defeat? We’re told that York was persuasive enough to convince the Elder Gods that he deserved a second chance. I imagine they weren’t so forgiving after yet another defeat.

In The Second Book of Babylon, we get to see York make his debut in prose form — he clashed with the Cosmic Spirit of Retribution. Those events are set in 2011 and while we won’t be told right away what York’s been up to between 1937 and 2011, I’m sure we’ll get more details as time passes.

I originally created York because in both the comic book and proposed animated adventure I wanted someone with a really strong visual. He turned out to be quite fun and I have a feeling that he’ll continue to bedevil our heroes in years to come.

Image # 1 is by Craig Wilson and appeared in All-Star Pulp Comics # 1. Image # 2 is by Steven Wilcox and appeared in The Second Book of Babylon.

Classic Pulp Villains

The pulp heroes often faced villains who were memorably over the top. Though most of the villains only appeared once (mainly because they were either killed by the heroes or accidentally brought about their own demise), there were still a few that stuck in my memory. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Fu Manchu – How can you top this Oriental mastermind? His brilliance was unmatched and I enjoyed the fact that he didn’t consider himself a villain at all.
  • John Sunlight – The man who exposed the secrets of Doc Savage’s Fortress of Solitude, Sunlight was just as formidable as the Man of Bronze. The only thing that would have made him better in my opinion was if he’d had an interesting supporting cast, mainly as a counterpoint to Doc’s Fabulous Five.
  • Doctor Satan – I first encountered this guy in Ron Fortier’s Hounds of Hell novel and have enjoyed him ever since. Dressed as the freakin’ devil, this guy has a memorable group of servants and is so over-the-top evil that he’s fun to root against. I enjoyed him so much that I’ve used Doctor Satan as a foil for both The Peregrine and Lazarus Gray.
  • Fantomas – The brilliantly evil Fantomas was as cool as they came, but sadistic and ruthless. For years, I’ve thought using some version of this character in one of my stories. Eventually, I’ll get around to it.
  • The Prince of Evil – Benedict Stark was a twisted killer who battled The Shadow over the course of four novels. The first two are definitely the best – the depraved depths that Stark is willing to go to really makes him stand out amongst The Shadow’s rogues gallery.

What about you guys? What pulp villains could you never get enough of?

BTW, the Doctor Satan image at left is by Anthony Castrillo and features the crimson-clad bad guy as he was depicted in my Peregrine series.

Timeline of My Pulp Adventure Universe (updated 7/18/2018)

lg01_lazarus_solo_with_textMajor Events specific to certain stories and novels are included in brackets. Some of this information contains SPOILERS for The Peregrine, Lazarus Gray, Gravedigger and other stories.

~ 800 Viking warrior Grimarr dies of disease but is resurrected as the Sword of Hel. He adventures for some time as Hel’s agent on Earth. [“Dogs of War” and “In the Name of Hel,” Tales of the Norse Gods].

1748 – Johann Adam Weishaupt is born.

1750 – Guan-Yin embarks on a quest to find her lost father, which takes her to Skull Island [Guan-Yin and the Horrors of Skull Island].

1776 – Johann Adam Weishaupt forms The Illuminati. He adopts the guise of the original Lazarus Gray in group meetings, reflecting his “rebirth” and the “moral ambiguity” of the group. In Sovereign City, a Hessian soldier dies in battle, his spirit resurrected as an headless warrior.

Continue reading → Timeline of My Pulp Adventure Universe (updated 7/18/2018)

Timeline of My Pulp Adventure Universe (updated 5/23/18)

gravediggerMajor Events specific to certain stories and novels are included in brackets. Some of this information contains SPOILERS for The Peregrine, Lazarus Gray, Gravedigger and other stories.

~ 800 Viking warrior Grimarr dies of disease but is resurrected as the Sword of Hel. He adventures for some time as Hel’s agent on Earth. [“Dogs of War” and “In the Name of Hel,” Tales of the Norse Gods].

1748 – Johann Adam Weishaupt is born.

1750 – Guan-Yin embarks on a quest to find her lost father, which takes her to Skull Island [Guan-Yin and the Horrors of Skull Island].

1776 – Johann Adam Weishaupt forms The Illuminati. He adopts the guise of the original Lazarus Gray in group meetings, reflecting his “rebirth” and the “moral ambiguity” of the group. In Sovereign City, a Hessian soldier dies in battle, his spirit resurrected as an headless warrior.

Continue reading → Timeline of My Pulp Adventure Universe (updated 5/23/18)

The Hounds of Hell returns in a 10th anniversary edition

0919-houndsofhell

The Hounds of Hell was a book that really propelled me into my career as a New Pulp author. As such, I was greatly honored to be asked to write a brief introduction to the 10th anniversary edition that Airship 27 has just released. If you’ve never read this classic tale pitting The Moon Man against Doctor Satan, you’re in for a real treat! And if you have read it before, it’s well past time to go back and remind yourself how fun this story truly is.

Press Release

THE HOUNDS OF HELL

10th Anniversary Edition

Airship 27 Productions is proud to announce the re-release of its first title, “The Hounds of Hell,” by Ron Fortier & Gordon Linzner.   First published in 2005, this new pulp adventure was one of the first pulp books to crossover characters from two classic pulp series of the 30s; the Moon Man, from 10 Detective Aces and Doctor Satan from Weird Tales.

“This was the first ever new pulp fiction artist Rob Davis and I put together all those many years ago,” says Fortier, Airship 27 Productions’ Managing Editor.  “From it would rise our new pulp fiction enterprise and help pioneer what has now become known as the New Pulp Movement.”

This brand new edition maintains the gorgeous wrap around cover by artist Tom Floyd and all the interior pieces by Art Director Davis.  Added to this is a special new introduction by popular new pulp writer, Barry Reese (Peregrine & Lazarus Gray) and a lengthy post-essay by Fortier detailing the history of the book and the birth of Airship 27 Productions.   Lastly, this new anniversary edition features a reprint of Fortier’s first ever pulp fiction tale, “Fury in Vermont.”

“Over a hundred titles later, we’re still growing every year,” Fortier says proudly.  “And we owe it all to this one book.  We hope our fans will enjoy seeing it back in print.”

AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS – PULP FICTION FOR A NEW GENERATION!

Available now at Amazon.com :
(http://www.amazon.com/Hounds-Hell-Ron-Fortier/dp/0692465146/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1433516206&sr=1-3-fkmr0&keywords=The+Hounds+of+Hell+Fortier+%26+Lizner.)

Satan’s Circus Comes to Town

v4coverPRESS RELEASE

One of the most popular characters in the New Pulp Movement returns in an all-new volume from Pro Se Productions. Reese Unlimited, Pro Se’s first author centered imprint, announced today the release of THE ADVENTURES OF LAZARUS GRAY VOLUME FOUR: SATAN’S CIRCUS.

“Lazarus Gray,” says Tommy Hancock, Editor in Chief of and Partner in Pro Se Productions, “has definitely struck a chord with readers. He and Assistance Unlimited have crossed boundaries, reaching fans outside of the general Pulp or Genre Fiction niche and that is always good. Barry has a great world he’s built here, one that allows for not only growth of his own cast, but to bring in characters from the Public Domain and other arenas. Also, he has explored some pretty heady themes behind the mask of Pulp Fiction and that adds an extra punch to not only SATAN’S CIRCUS, but to all the Lazarus Gray volumes.”

SATAN’S CIRCUS once again returns Lazarus Gray to the field of battle. The only clue to his identity was a small medallion with the words ‘Lazarus Gray’ stamped on it. He took that name and became one of Sovereign City’s greatest heroes, forming an alliance with other lost souls like himself. Together, they are Assistance Unlimited… and now they face their greatest threats ever!

From Award-winning author Barry Reese comes two pulse-pounding tales of pulp adventure: in the first, Lazarus Gray unites with the mighty Thunder Jim Wade to confront a menace from his past and in the second, the mysterious pair of vigilantes known as The Darkling and Eidolon return in a dark tale that reveals hidden secrets that will shake the world of Lazarus Gray to its very core!

Also included is SECRETS OF THE DEAD, a comic-strip origin sequence by Reese and artist George Sellas, also providing cover and illustrations! Learn the Origin of the man behind Assistance Unlimited.

“Satan’s Circus,” says Reese, “is the culmination of so many plot lines and character arcs… I’ve had the hardest time keeping all of its secrets while waiting for it to go through the publishing process! I’m thrilled that fans will finally see all the payoff that I’ve been promising. I think it’s a pretty rousing adventure and both of the stories it contains are real game-changers for the series.”

THE ADVENTURES OF LAZARUS GRAY VOLUME FOUR: SATAN’S CIRCUS features cover design and formatting by Sean E. Ali and the upcoming eBooks feature design and formatting by Russ Anderson. SATAN’S CIRCUS is available now in print from Amazon and soon from other outlets. EBook editions of the latest Reese Unlimited volume are coming soon!

For digital review copies of THE ADVENTURES OF LAZARUS GRAY VOLUME FOUR: SATAN’S CIRCUS, interviews with the author, or further information about the book, contact Morgan Minor, Pro Se’s Director of Corporate Operations at directorofcorporateoperations@prose-press.com.

To learn more about Pro Se Productions, go to www.prose-press.com and like Pro Se on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.

So Close…!

lg11_lazarus_graveyard_smallLazarus Gray Volume Four is almost here, my friends… and the excitement is building! What can you expect in this one? Well…

Thunder Jim Wade!

Leviathan!

Doctor Satan!

The full origin of The Darkling!

The return of Eidolon!

And the final fate of Abigail Winters!

I’ve heard from a few people who have actually held off on reading volumes 2 & 3 until the release of this one so they can read the entire trilogy at once. I admire your patience and hope the payoff is worth it! Personally, I had a blast writing this book and think it’s a worthy addition to the saga.

Stay tuned… an announcement will be coming very, very soon.

My Favorite Pulp Villains

the-hand-of-fu-manchu-book-coverRecently, I listed out for you my favorite “classic” pulp heroes. I had fun making my little list so I thought this time, I’d flip it over and look at the other side of the coin…

The bad guys.

Yep, as we all know, heroes are often defined by their villains. If you think of the greatest heroes, they almost all have at least one villain that is closely related to them in terms of public perception. Batman has the Joker, Holmes has Moriarty and The Road Runner has Wile E. Coyote.

Or something like that.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s my list of my favorite pulp villains. Again, I kept it to ‘classic’ pulp villains — so nothing from New Pulp is on this list.

Here we go:

10. Fantomas
9. Wu Fang
8. Doctor Death (Dr. Rance Mandarin)
7. The Voodoo Master
6. Shiwan Khan
5. Thoth-Amon
4. John Sunlight
3. Doctor Satan
2. The Prince of Evil
1. Fu Manchu

What villains top your personal list?

The Hounds of Hell

hounds_of_hellToday we’re taking a look at The Hounds of Hell by Ron Fortier and Gordon Linzner. Originally published by Wild Cat Books in 2005, this title was later reprinted by Airship 27 in 2008. Here’s how the publisher describes the title:

When Pulp Worlds Collide! The Moon Man and Doctor Satan, hero and villain of their own pulp magazines, meet here for the first time ever in the cross-over that will leave you spellbound and begging for more. Illustrated by Rob Davis and Bradley Walton, with an eye-popping wrap-around cover by Tom Floyd. This edition also includes 2 short stories by Ron Fortier: “Lady Arcane – Mistress of Magic” and “Angel In His Sights” as bonus pieces in this pulp fiction masterpiece.

Pulp fiction masterpiece? That’s strong words — but in this case, they’re well deserved. The Hounds of Hell was the first “New Pulp” book I read. I’d grown up on the classics, of course, and I was reading lots of stuff that could be described as pulpy back in 2006… but when I stumbled upon The Hounds of Hell, I was blown away. This was straight-on pulp that called itself that. It featured two classic pulp characters (The Moon Man & Doctor Satan) in a crossover clash. It was pure cool. I had already been working on my first pulp novel (Conquerors of Shadow, reprinted by Pro Se in The Family Grace) but this was the book that cemented in my mind that I could do more of this… I could do the kind of pulp that I really loved, the masked vigilante stuff. Without this book, I wouldn’t have kept writing my own pulp stories — so you wouldn’t have seen The Rook or Lazarus Gray. Now, that may not be a good thing if you don’t like my work but it’s true nonetheless! The impact on my own work can be seen in the way I’ve used The Moon Man (in The Rook Volume One), Ascott Keane (in The Rook and Rabbit Heart) and Doctor Satan (in The Rook and, soon, Lazarus Gray).

Anyway, what Ron and Gordon do here is take two different characters and throw them together in a really fun way, emphasizing each supporting cast to the fullest. The villains are dastardly and the heroes are inspirational. It’s all that good pulp should be! The interior art Rob Davis is perfectly suited to the story and was a great reminder of the days when pulps contained interior art. Again, this is one reason why I usually insist on having art in my books!

Obviously, considering how much this work has inspired me, I’d heartily recommend it to anyone looking for a good time. Is it High Art? Well, no. It’s a fun romp, full of escapist pleasure. Embrace it.

From the Vault: Great Pulp Villains

The pulp heroes often faced villains who were memorably over the top. Though most of the villains only appeared once (mainly because they were either killed by the heroes or accidentally brought about their own demise), there were still a few that stuck in my memory. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Fu Manchu – How can you top this Oriental mastermind? His brilliance was unmatched and I enjoyed the fact that he didn’t consider himself a villain at all.
  • John Sunlight – The man who exposed the secrets of Doc Savage’s Fortress of Solitude, Sunlight was just as formidable as the Man of Bronze. The only thing that would have made him better in my opinion was if he’d had an interesting supporting cast, mainly as a counterpoint to Doc’s Fabulous Five.
  • Doctor Satan – I first encountered this guy in Ron Fortier’s Hounds of Hell novel and have enjoyed him ever since. Dressed as the freakin’ devil, this guy has a memorable group of servants and is so over-the-top evil that he’s fun to root against.
  • Fantomas – The brilliantly evil Fantomas was as cool as they came, but sadistic and ruthless. For years, I’ve thought using some version of this character in one of my stories. Eventually, I’ll get around to it.
  • The Prince of Evil – Benedict Stark was a twisted killer who battled The Shadow over the course of four novels. The first two are definitely the best – the depraved depths that Stark is willing to go to really makes him stand out amongst The Shadow’s rogues gallery.

What about you guys? What pulp villains could you never get enough of?

BTW, the Doctor Satan image at left is by Anthony Castrillo and features the crimson-clad bad guy as he was depicted in my Rook series.