Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Crossover Cover: Avengelyne/Pandora

Rob Liefeld and Cathy Christian's character Avengelyne appeared in a few crossovers listed in the first two volumes. In this story, which will be in the new volumes, she teams up with William A. Christensen's character Pandora. Pandora also had a crossover with Everette Hartsoe's character Razor, who is already in the CU, but I haven't read or written up that particular crossover yet.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Crossover Cover: Vile Bodies

Agatha Runcible, a character from Evelyn Waugh's second novel, Vile Bodies, is mentioned in Josh Reynolds' Carnacki story "Monmouth's Giants." Several characters from Waugh's first book, Decline and Fall, appear or are mentioned in the novel as well. Win included Decline and Fall in Volume 1, as the Egdon Heath Penal Settlement appeared, Egdon Heath being the setting of Thomas Hardy's Return of the Native (the prison also appeared in Kim Newman's story "Sorcerer Conjurer Wizard Witch.") Most of Waugh's novels are connected, and therefore I am reading them for the new volumes. Incidentally, one of the minor characters in Vile Bodies is the ex-King of Ruritania, establishing a connection between Waugh's work and The Prisoner of Zenda. This ex-King is presumably the same former monarch of Ruritania that appears in a few of P.G. Wodehouse's stories.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Crossover of the Week

Late Spring 1940
            Three criminals in hiding discuss the possibility of being captured by "that Doc fellow and those Justice guys.” The three are gunned down by the Nightmare (Michael Shaw) and his cousin, the Pink Reaper (Kaye Chandler.) The Reaper tells the Nightmare that Benson objected to her calling herself the Pink Avenger. The Nightmare asks her if Clark knows she’s using his mercy bullets. Later, in their civilian identities, Michael and Kaye discover that the owners of a restaurant Kaye frequents have been brutalized by protection racketeers. Michael thinks of how he and a woman named Leda shut down a den of depravity not too long ago. Michael and Kaye have lunch at Moran’s, where they have a discussion with the owner, who mentions his cousin Paddy. Michael goes undercover seeking information at a number of underworld dives, including the Black Ship, while Kaye does the same, albeit in costume, at others, including the Pink Rat. Kaye visits the sister of one of the racketeers, saying that they met at Mrs. Rittenhouse’s last gala. Michael tells Kaye that he was helping Jethro handle “that Yeti problem” at the time of the sister’s wedding. Planning to break into gangster Wolf Hopkins’ brownstone headquarters, the Nightmare says to himself, “I could try the bold approach…kick open the door, guns in hand, demanding to see Hopkins, and ready to shoot down any who oppose me. Richard would do that, he actually likes getting shot at. Kent would find a way to sneak in and surprise the Wolf at his desk.” Spying on a “young man” who turns out to be the sister in disguise, Kaye thinks “Well, why not…it worked for Irene Adler.”
            Story by Patrick Thomas and John L. French in From the Shadows, Dark Quest, 2012. “That Doc fellow” is Clark “Doc” Savage, Jr. “Those Justice guys” are Justice, Inc., the group of adventurers led by the Avenger (Richard Henry Benson.) The Nightmare and the Pink Reaper were created by French and Thomas, respectively. Leda Troy is Thomas’ heroine Nemesis, who also appears in his Murphy’s Lore and Terrorbelle books. The owner of Moran’s is Seamus Moran. His cousin Paddy Moran is also from the Murphy’s Lore series. Kent is Kent Allard, alias the Shadow. The Black Ship and the Pink Rat are from the Shadow novels. Mrs. Rittenhouse is from the Marx Brothers movie Animal Crackers. Jethro is Jethro Dumont, aka the Green Lama, who appeared in stories by “Richard Foster” (a pseudonym for Kendell Crossen) in the pulp Double Detective. Richard is Richard Wentworth, aka the Spider. Given the other references, it is reasonable to suppose that Kaye was thinking of Irene Adler as a real person.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Crossover Cover: People vs. Withers and Malone

In this collection of stories, Stuart Palmer's spinster sleuth Hildegarde Withers solves cases alongside Craig Rice's attorney John J. Malone. Palmer provided a mini-biography of Withers for the anthology Four and Twenty Bloodhounds, while Malone has a couple of other crossovers further confirming his  presence in the CU.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Crossover Cover: The New Adventures of Foster Fade, the Crime Spectacularist

This anthology from Pro Se features new stories about Foster Fade, a journalist, amateur sleuth, and inventive genius who works for the New York Planet newspaper. Fade appeared in three stories by none other than Lester Dent in the pulp All Detective in 1934. Three of the stories have crossovers. Derrick Ferguson's "The Cider King Murders" has references to orchestra leader King Mantell from the movie The Princess Comes Across and Black Pony Scotch from Otto Preminger's film noir Laura. Aubrey Stephens' "Voodoo Death" features a well-dressed lawyer named John Brooks, who refers to his brother Theodore and the latter's old friend from the Great War, Lt. Col. A.B. Mayfair. Theodore and A.B. are better known as "Ham" Brooks and "Monk" Mayfair, two of the five aides of Dent's most famous creation, Doc Savage. (It's worth noting that Dent's Doc Savage pulp novel The Invisible-Box Murders contains a reference to a New York newspaper called the Planet, which is presumably meant to be the same paper Fade works for.) Finally, Adam Lance Garcia's "The Black Rock Conspiracy" has Fade's ghostwriter, Dinamenta "Din" Stevens, asking her date to accompany her in helping out Fade, an invitation described as the equivalent of getting asked to join the Freemasons, Skull and Bones, and the Diogenes Club all at once. Since the Freemasons and the Skull and Bones Society are real organizations, the implication seems to be that in Fade's world, so is the Diogenes Club from Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. On a related note, the town of Black Rock is also mentioned in Garcia's recent novel The Green Lama: Scions, which also has an allusion to the events of "Dead Men's Guns," another story by Garcia in The New Adventures of Foster Fade.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Crossover Cover: Criminal Macabre: Final Night - The 30 Days of Night Crossover

Steve Niles' comic series Criminal Macabre and 30 Days of Night already had links to the Crossover Universe independent of each other even before this miniseries definitively confirmed they take place in the same universe. It's also worth noting that one issues shows a photo of Cal McDonald, the protagonist of Criminal Macabre, with Eric Powell's character the Goon,  a reference to the crossover Criminal Macabre/The Goon: When Freaks Collide.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Crossover Cover: Airboy/G-8

This graphic novel from Moonstone Books, set in December 1940, has Robert J. Hogan's pulp aviator G-8 (a Wold Newton Family member according to Farmer) teaming up with Hillman Comics' costumed aviator Airboy (who also has already been established as existing in the CU) to battle a new batch of mutant bats created by G-8's archenemy, Herr Doktor Krueger. It's worth noting that the writer of this comic, Chuck Dixon, wrote a story for the anthology The Captain Midnight Chronicles that has Airboy teaming up with Captain Midnight near the end of World War II. This encounter is treated as their first meeting, which might conflict with Jim Harmon's theory (referenced by Win in Volume 1) that Captain Midnight and G-8 were the same person. On the other hand, perhaps Dixon was providing misinformation for reasons of his own. Also worth noting is that Krueger is in very poor health in Airboy/G-8, confined to an iron lung. However, he must have made a partial recovery within two years of the story, as he is merely wheelchair-bound when he appears as "Herr Doktor K" in Tom Johnson's story "The Nazi Spider Staffel," set in August 1942.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Crossover of the Week

October 1983
            Miles Jacoby travels to Tampa, Florida to search for a wealthy man’s wife. Jacoby refers a case to Nick Delvecchio in Brooklyn while he’s gone. A Boston P.I. who used to be a professional fighter like Jacoby is mentioned. Fred Carver puts Jacoby in touch with Lt. Alfonso DeSoto.
            Novel by Miles Jacoby, edited by Robert J. Randisi, 1993. Nick Delvecchio is the subject of another series of detective novels and stories by Randisi. The professional fighter turned Boston P.I. is Robert B. Parker’s Spenser. Florida-based private eye Fred Carver appears in a series of novels by John Lutz. Lt. DeSoto is one of Carver’s best friends.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Crossover Covers: Sisters of the Shadows: The Cagliostro Curse

This collection of stories by my good friend, the brilliant Rick Lai, describes the feud between Joséphine Balsamo (one of Arsène Lupin's greatest foes) and Irina Putine (an alias for Irene Tupin from the Spanish horror film La Residencia, here portrayed as Lupin's half-sister.) The book is a mixture of revisions of previously published stories with brand-new tales. As one might expect, the stories are filled with crossovers. Win (who wrote the foreword) included the original versions of the reprinted and revised stories in the first two volumes, and I will be including the new stories in Volume 3. You can read my review of the book at this link. I highly recommend this, and all of Rick's work!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Crossover Cover: Ghost Squad: Rise of the Black Legion

This novel by Ron Fortier and Andrew Salmon describes the formation of the Ghost Squad, who battle a Nazi society called the Black Legion. One of the members of the Squad is stage magician Arlene Kane, aka Lady Arcane; Arlene first appeared in Fortier's story "Lady Arcane: The Mistress of Magic," which Win listed in the original volumes. At one point, Squad member and pilot Alan Hale works with FBI agent Dan Fowler, from the pulp G-Men Detective. He also receives some help from boxer Mad Chad Hardin, who once worked with Jim Anthony, who has his own feature in the pulp magazine Super Detective. Finally, the leader of the Black Legion is a major villain of the Crossover Universe, but since his true identity is not revealed until the book's last line, I won't spoil it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Crossover Cover: The Lone Ranger Chronicles

This anthology of new stories from featuring the iconic western hero, published by Moonstone Books, has three stories with crossovers, including "Kemosabe" by co-editor and creative mythographer Matthew Baugh. Joe Gentile's "Hell Street" is a team-up between the Ranger and Tonto and O. Henry's outlaw the Cisco Kid, while Troy D. Smith's "The Fallen Angel of Dodge City" has references to two other famous western heroes from radio and TV.

Crossover Covers: Tomb Raider/Witchblade

Monday, April 7, 2014

Crossover Cover: The Sons of Thor

In this two-part novella by Erwin K. Roberts published in the New Pulp magazine Pro Se Presents, a number of public domain pulp heroes (including the Black Bat, Jim Anthony, the Phantom Detective, and others) join forces to thwart a Nazi plot. A number of other pulp-era characters, PD or otherwise, appear or are mentioned.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Crossover of the Week

Summer 1996
            Baltimore police detective Bianca Jones investigates a series of bizarre rapes. A similar case happened recently in Arkham, Massachusetts. Crime Lab tech Joe Russo asked a Detective Armitage about the Arkham case. Bianca receives a fax from Arkham suggesting that she check with London and call China Alley for possible leads. She goes to meet an informant at his bookshop, which contains copies of Les Cultes des Ghoules; Las Reglas de Ruina; The Undead by John Seward, M.D.; Holmes’ The Whole Art of Detection and Practical Handbook of Bee Culture; and The Dynamics of an Asteroid. The bookseller, Morgan, tells Bianca that the killings are related to a cult worshiping Shub-Niggurath, and mentions Tsathoggua.
            Short story by John L. French in Here There Be Monsters, Dark Quest, 2010. Arkham and Shub-Niggurath are from the Cthulhu Mythos stories of H.P. Lovecraft. Detective Armitage is doubtless a relative of Professor Henry Armitage from Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror.” London is C.J. Henderson’s private investigator Teddy London. The investigator in China Alley is Anton Zarnak, who was created by Lin Carter, and has appeared in stories by several other authors as well. Since Zarnak left our dimension during the 1998 events of C.J. Henderson’s story “The Door,” “Out of the Darkness” must take place before that story. Les Cultes des Ghoules is from Robert Bloch’s contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos. Las Reglas de Ruina is from Joseph S. Pulver Sr.’s Cthulhu Mythos novel Nightmare’s Disciple. John Seward is from Bram Stoker’s Dracula; his book The Undead also appears in French’s Anton Zarnak story “The Best Solution.” Sherlock Holmes’ The Whole Art of Detection was alluded to in “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange,” while his Practical Handbook of Bee Culture appeared in “His Last Bow.” The Dynamics of an Asteroid was penned by Holmes’ greatest foe, Professor James Moriarty, as mentioned in The Valley of Fear. Tsathoggua appears in Cthulhu Mythos stories by Clark Ashton Smith.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Crossover Cover: Emerald Death

The first novel in Bill Craig's series about 1930s adventurer Michael "Hardluck" Hannigan, who first appeared as a much older man in Craig's novels about modern-day Police Detective Jack Riley. In Emerald Death, Hannigan arrives in Africa aboard a tramp steamer called The African Queen, from C.S. Forester's novel of the same name. It is also mentioned that Hannigan's reluctant ally, Father Niles McKenzie, learned a technique for concealing himself in darkness from a monk in Tibet, who also taught the method to another American, a pilot named Allard who spent time in the mountains after the Great War. This is a reference to Kent Allard, aka the Shadow. The second book in the series, The Sky Masters, which I have not yet read, has an appearance by Signor Ferrari from Casablanca. A recurring villain in both the Jack Riley and Hardluck Hannigan series, Chi Pei, appears in Craig's story "The Eye of Ka," found in the Airship 27 anthology Tales from the Hanging Monkey, Volume 1. All four of the stories in Tales from the Hanging Monkey have crossovers, and feature the same cast of main characters. Interestingly, Chi Pei has green eyes, employs a dacoit as a henchman, and is sometimes known as "the Devil Doctor." While his similarities to Fu Manchu are obvious, Chi Pei's pale skin and mustache do not fit with Fu's physical description.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Crossover Cover: Manchurian Shadows

Manchurian Shadows is the second book featuring Teel James Glenn's New Pulp character Anton "Dr. Shadows" Chadeaux. I am currently reading the book, and there are allusions to Doc Savage, the Shadow, the Spider, Thunder Jim Wade, the Green Ghost (George Chance), and the Green Lama (under his alias of Dr. Pali, misspelled "Pauli" here.) The Dr. Shadows story take place in the same universe as Glenn's collection Weird Tales of the Skullmask and his books about journalist Moxie Donovan, both of which also have crossover references to classic pulp characters. In addition, Glenn's e-book Secret of Wolf Island, which is set in the present day, features private eye Jonathon Shadows, Dr. Shadows' son.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Crossover Cover: The Bughouse Affair

This book is an expanded version of Pronzini's story "The Bughouse Caper," in which his and his wife Marcia Muller's 19th century American detectives John Quincannon and Sabina Carpenter encounter Sherlock Holmes during the Great Hiatus. Holmes also appears in the Quincannon and Carpenter novel following this one, The Spook Lights Affair. Quincannon and Carpenter's second published appearance was in Muller and Pronzini's book Beyond the Grave, which had a framing sequence involving the manuscript of the case being discovered by Elena Oliverez, curator at the Museum of Mexican Arts in Santa Barbara. Prior to Beyond the Grave, Elena was the protagonist of two other novels by Muller, The Tree of Death and The Legend of the Slain Soldiers, which therefore also take place in the Crossover Universe. Win included "The Bughouse Caper" in Volume 1, and I'm planning to read The Spook Lights Affair and Beyond the Grave so that I can include them in the new volumes.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Upcoming Crossovers: Phileas Fogg and the War of Shadows

Meteor House, which will be publishing my new volumes, has just made Phileas Fogg and the War of Shadows available for pre-order. This novella by Josh Reynolds is a sequel to Farmer's The Other Log of Phileas Fogg. I have a personal connection to this book. When you look at the credits page, you'll see two Continuity Editors listed. One is Win. The other is me. I won't spoil any plot details, but I will say that there will definitely be some crossovers in this one. It's an honor to be involved with this book, and I truly appreciate Win asking me to take part in it. He's a great friend!