Thursday, July 24, 2014

Crossover Cover: The New Adventures of Thunder Jim Wade Volume Two

Pro Se Press has just released this novella by my buddy Frank Schildiner, who has stated on Facebook that the Hyperborea in question is Robert E. Howard's version. Frank also did a story for The New Adventures of Thunder Jim Wade Volume One that had strong Cthulhu Mythos ties, as well as a reference to another pulp hero, Richard Knight. I look forward to buying a copy of Volume Two at Pulpfest/FarmerCon, and having Frank sign it. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Crossover Covers: Doc Savage: Doom Dynasty

In this two-issue miniseries, Doc Savage battled Dr. Nikola, a villain created by Guy Boothby. There was also a reference to Johnny Littlejohn being at "that weird university in Massachusetts," a reference to Farmer's theory that Johnny taught at Miskatonic University, from H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Crossover Covers: The Shadow/Green Hornet: Dark Nights

In this mini-series by Michael Uslan and Keith Burns, the Shadow and his agents join forces with the Green Hornet and Kato in Spring 1939 to rescue President Roosevelt from the clutches of Shiwan Khan. Roosevelt was given a silver bullet as a child by Britt Reid's great-uncle John, a Texas Ranger (aka the Lone Ranger.) The Shadow has an office in a building that also contains offices for the Hidalgo Trading Company (from the Doc Savage novels), Timely Comics Group (the company later known as Marvel Comics), Nick Carter P.I., Benson Industries and Justice, Inc. (from the Avenger pulps), and Supersnipe Ltd. (from Supersnipe Comics, a comic book published by Street & Smith.) In Ron Fortier and Jeff Butler's comic book Sting of the Green Hornet, which takes place in 1942, the Hornet meets F.D.R. and an unnamed Shadow for what is clearly the first time. This, combined with the death of the Shadow's agent Cliff Marsland, places this story in an AU.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Crossover of the Week

Spring 1892
            Dr. John Watson and his wife Mary travel to America to visit Mary’s recently discovered relatives. The New York Comet prints a misleading story about Watson’s visit. Watson and Mary meet Theodore “T.R.” Roosevelt and his friend Robert Van Loan. The Blackhawk Insurance Company is mentioned. Discussing the exaggerations found in dime novels, Watson says, “The fictional accounts of the very real Sexton Blake suffer from similar ‘enhancement.’” Buffalo Bill Cody refers to the New York Clarion and its new owner, Franklin Havens. T.R. tells Watson that they must pass through the Bar 20 ranch to get to Mary’s cousin’s ranch. Watson and T.R. drive off some highwaymen with the help of the gunslinger Deadwood Dick. Soon after, they meet Mr. Stanley, editor of the South Dakota Clarion, who once used the name Deadwood Dick himself, with the original’s permission. Watson recalls the supposedly deceased Sherlock Holmes’ lecture to Professor Higgins’ Linguistics class. Watson later meets Commander Renwick of the Royal Navy and Lieutenant Hurricane of the Royal Marines.
            Novel by Erwin K. Roberts, Airship 27, 2012. The New York Comet newspaper will later employ Rex Parker, aka the Masked Detective, a pulp hero created by Norman Daniels. Robert Van Loan is the father of Richard Curtis Van Loan, aka the title character of the pulp magazine The Phantom Detective. Franklin Havens’ son Frank will later become the owner of the New York Clarion himself, and his daughter Muriel will become Richard Curtis Van Loan’s girlfriend. The Blackhawk Insurance Company is from the television series The Man from Blackhawk. Sexton Blake is one of the most famous British story paper detectives. The Bar 20 Ranch is from Clarence E. Mulford’s Hopalong Cassidy novels. Deadwood Dick appeared in dime novel stories by Edward L. Wheeler. Mr. Dick Stanley is from the 1940 serial Deadwood Dick. Professor Henry Higgins is from George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, the basis for the musical My Fair Lady. Commander Renwick is probably a relative of John “Renny” Renwick, one of Doc Savage’s aides. Lieutenant Hurricane is an ancestor of Captain Hercules Hurricane, a superhumanly strong Royal Marine active during World War II, who appeared in the British comic Valiant from 1972 to 1976.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Crossover Covers: No Exit from Brooklyn

I've done several posts here in the past about Robert J. Randisi's novels featuring P.I. Miles Jacoby, which have appearances by and references to several other authors' P.I. characters. The Jacoby books also frequently mention two other P.I. characters of Randisi's, Henry Po and Nick Delvecchio. I've not read any of the Po stories yet, but all the Delvecchio books have Jacoby and Po in them. Furthermore, in the first Delvecchio novel, No Exit from Brooklyn, Delvecchio, needing to enlist the services of a Boston P.I., contacts John Francis Cuddy at Jacoby's recommendation. Cuddy is featured in a series of novels by Jeremiah Healy. I just got Delvecchio's Brooklyn, a collection of nine short stories featuring Delvecchio. One of the stories, "The Vanishing Virgin," has an appearance by Ed Gorman's P.I. Jack Dwyer. Randisi obviously loves doing shout-outs like this, since his Gunsmith novels contain frequent references to Clint Adams' friend, Secret Service Agent James West (from The Wild Wild West) and a couple of his non-Gunsmith western novels have references to Loren D. Estleman's character Page Murdock.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Crossover Cover: The Whispering Eyes

The last original pulp adventure of the Shadow had a crossover reference to another well-known Street & Smith character. One of the Shadow's agents, reporter Clyde Burke, passes an old house in New York that dates from the 1890s, if not earlier, and is described as "the home of a celebrated detective named Nick Carter, the horse-and-buggy crime doctor of his day." Nick Carter was one of the most famous dime novel detectives, who had revivals as a hard-boiled private eye in his own pulp magazine in the '30s and as a ruthless spy in the '60s. Incidentally, Walter Gibson was head writer for a time on the Nick Carter, Master Detective radio series, which may have influenced his decision to namedrop Nick in this story. Street & Smith's comic book division also did a story where Nick Carter and the Shadow crossed paths, which I'll definitely need to check out at some point.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow

In the first issue of Howard Chaykin's miniseries The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow, published by Dynamite and set in the early '50s, the Shadow attends a dinner party with several other adventurers. Though not named, the host is Nero Wolfe, and the other guests are Tarzan, Doc Savage, and Bulldog Drummond. Farmer identified all of those present as members of the Wold Newton Family. But the really cool part of this scene? The picture hanging on the wall in the background is a photograph of the real monument to the Wold Newton meteor. I for one love this, and will definitely take note of it when I write this series up for the books.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Crossover of the Week

July 2-4, 1941
            Lance Star investigates the murder of a Department of Justice agent during the annual charity air show hosted at his home base, Star Field in Long Island. Lance’s operations manager Walt Anderson tells him that Mr. Barnes has cancelled, as he had to take an unexpected trip to South America. The pilots who are able to attend the show include Dalton, Santini, and Howard M. Murdock. Ferris Air, whose owner is named Carol, has a pilot demonstrating a new plane they’re planning to introduce next year. Detective Barney Bishop works with Lance to find the murderer. Bishop’s old acquaintance Ellen Patrick attends the show, and indicates that it has been a few years since she was last able to attend Lance’s benefit.
            Short story by Bobby Nash in Lance Star: Sky Ranger Volume 2, Ron Fortier, ed., Cornerstone Book Publishers, 2009. Air ace Lance Star is a character from the Canadian pulps. Mr. Barnes is Bill Barnes, who appeared in pulp stories by George L. Eaton. Dalton is the father of Jack Dalton from the television series MacGyver. Santini is the title character of Pat Conroy’s novel The Great Santini. Howard M. Murdock is the father of H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock from the TV show The A-Team. Ferris Air (also known as Ferris Aircraft) and its owner Carol Ferris are from the comic book exploits of the Green Lantern, though it is unconfirmed whether a CU version of the company’s test pilot Hal Jordan ever donned an emerald ring that generated energy constructs and was powered by his own willpower. However, Jordan’s predecessor as the Green Lantern, Alan Scott, has been established to have existed in the CU. Ellen Patrick is the alter ego of Lars Anderson’s pulp heroine the Domino Lady. Detective Barney Bishop previously appeared in Nash’s “Target: Domino Lady” and Ron Fortier’s “The Claws of the Cat,” both included in the anthology The Domino Lady: Sex as a Weapon. “Target: Domino Lady,” set a few years before “Homefront,” mentions Ellen attending one of Lance’s air shows.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

My review of a book that will be in the new volumes

Some of you may not know that I am an assistant editor, reviewer, and reporter for the website She Never Slept, run by Sarah L. Covert, whose husband Henry is one of my fellow members of the online Wold Newton community. Both Henry and Sarah are very close friends of mine. For my latest review for SNS, I covered Pete Rawlik's novel Reanimators, which I will cover in the new books. Please feel to check out my review, and if you like what I have to say about the book, definitely get yourself a copy!

Crossover Cover: Nevermore

This tie-in novel for the television series Supernatural refers to a small network of cops who help out Hunters protecting people from supernatural threats is "a woman in Chicago named Murphy." This is a reference to Karrin Murphy from Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series of novels. Both Supernatural and The Dresden Files have independent links bringing them into the CU, and this reference confirms that they take place in the same universe.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Crossover Covers: Hell on Earth

In this storyline, the Parliament of Demons seeks to give Dracula the power belonging to the god Chaos. The Parliament allows Dracula to use its forces to attack Earth. In response to this, the Conjuress sends her agents, including Vampirella and Pantha, to battle Dracula and company. For the most part, I have followed Win's example by only listing a few stories where Vampirella meets Dracula, since there have been several over the years. However, there is another crossover in this story. One of the Parliament's agents is a vampire named Orlok. Based on his name and physical appearance, he is clearly Graf Orlok from F.W. Murnau's silent horror film Nosferatu, which was loosely based on Bram Stoker's Dracula. Obviously, Orlok must have been resurrected after his death at the hands of Eva in the miniseries The Darkness vs. Eva: Daughter of Dracula. Eva first appeared in "Ash vs. the Monsters," a storyline from the Army of Darkness comic book that also featured her father. However, in both the miniseries Prophecy and Vampirella Halloween Special 2013, she meets the same version of Dracula that Vampi regularly battles, and he apparently doesn't recognize her. Presumably, the Dracula that appeared in "Ash vs. the Monsters" is a different "soul-clone" of the real Dracula than Vampi's foe.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Crossover Covers: The Nightside

Simon R. Green's Nightside novels feature private investigator John Taylor, who resides in the Nightside, a pocket dimension in London where it is always 3 A.M. There are numerous crossovers in the series, such as frequent appearances by the timelost Victorian adventurer Julien Advent (a disguised version of the title character of the television series Adam Adamant Lives!), references to the Traveling Doctor (the CU version of the Doctor of Doctor Who fame), the various monsters created by the Frankenstein family, Jacqueline Hyde (a descendant of Dr. Jekyll's who turns into a male Hyde), and numerous others. There are also strong ties to most of Green's other series and standalone novels, including the Hawk and Fisher novellas (which take place in the same setting as Green's Forest Kingdom books), the Deathstalker series (which represents one of many possible futures for the CU), the Secret Histories series, the Ghost Finders books, and the novels Shadows Fall and Drinking Midnight Wine.  Green has also written several short stories featuring the Nightside, which are being collected into an anthology next year. Said anthology will also include a new novella pitting Taylor against Sir Francis Varney from James Malcolm Rymer's Varney the Vampire. Furthermore, Justin Gustainis' novella Midnight at the Oasis, part of his crossover-filled Morris and Chastain Investigations series, has a reference to the bar Strangefellows from the Nightside books, as well as John Taylor, though he is only referred to by his first name.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Crossover Cover: Tales from the Hanging Monkey

This anthology from Airship 27 features the island of Motugra and its inhabitants, many of whom frequent the Hanging Monkey bar. All four stories in the collection have crossover references. In Joshua Reynolds' "The Devil's Crater," pilot Jimmy Dolan flies a group from Miskatonic University to the island of Ghora to find Professor Tyler Freeborn. Nearly all of the Miskatonic faculty members seen in the story are from Lovecraft's work, including Freeborn, who first appeared in "The Shadow Out of Time." Jimmy is also mentioned as once having been to the Waldorf-Anthony Hotel in New York, which is the hotel owned by the pulp hero Jim Anthony, whom Josh Reynolds has featured in several new stories. Bill Craig's "The Eye of Ka" mentions an archaeologist named Jones, obviously Indiana Jones. A villain called Chi Pei appears; he is also a recurring character in Craig's Jack Riley books and his Hardluck Hannigan appears. Interestingly, Chi Pei has green eyes, employs a dacoit as a henchman, and is sometimes known as "the Devil Doctor." However, descriptions of him as pale and mustachioed argue against him really being Fu Manchu, though there is probably some kind of connection between the two. In Tommy Hancock's "Motugra's Revenge," Captain Nick Fortune says that he has heard policeman Gilhooley ranting about joining the army, and that he has probably already left the island. Hancock's afterword identifies the policeman as Thomas Aloysius "Boats" Gilhooley, Lee Marvin's character in the movie Donovan's Reef. Finally, Derrick Ferguson's story "The Knobloch Collection Assignment" has several crossovers. One of the characters, the Magician, has a cameo in Derrick's novel The Vril Agenda, co-written with Josh Reynolds, and the Magician's boss Intelligence One is also mentioned in Derrick's book The Adventures of Fortune McCall. Besides these ties to Derrick's other works, there are also references to: Collinsport, Maine (from the television series Dark Shadows); New York's fabled Cobalt Club (from the Shadow pulps); the Baltimore Gun Club (from Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon); the Midnight Star Saloon in the town of Silverado (from the movie Silverado); and the Russian Count Zaroff (from Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game.") A highly entertaining anthology, even setting aside all the crossovers.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Crossover Covers: The Rocketeer

In Dave Stevens' excellent comic The Rocketeer, the inventor of the rocket pack used by Cliff Secord is clearly Doc Savage, though he is never referred to by name and his face is always obscured. Monk and Ham also appear. In the sequel, Cliff's New York Adventure, Cliff works with a man named Jonas, who is clearly meant to be the Shadow, though he never dons his familiar outfit. One possible non-pulp crossover in this story that isn't often mentioned is that a cab driver named Moe (implicitly Moe "Shrevvy" Shrevnitz, one of the Shadow's agents) drives a taxi with the word "Sunshine" on one of its doors. The New York-based Sunshine Cab Company was featured in the 1978-1982 sitcom Taxi. This isn't the only reference bringing Taxi into the CU, but it's still pretty cool. The Rocketeer is one of Win's favorite comics, and the one that got him thinking of a larger Crossover Universe that had the members of the Wold Newton Family coexisting with other heroes. Dave Stevens died far too young, and he is missed by myself and many other fans of great writing and gorgeous art. He is also to be commended for everything he did for Bettie Page, upon whom Cliff's girlfriend was based and named after. (In the film adaptation of the comic, the inventor of the rocket pack was changed from Doc Savage to Howard Hughes, and Cliff's girlfriend was changed to an actress named Jenny Blake, among other changes.) IDW Publishing has done an admirable job of publishing new adventures of the Rocketeer, several of which have crossovers of their own.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Crossover Cover: Suspects

This novel by film critic and historian David Thomson is composed of short biographies of over eighty movie characters, showing how their lives intersect. For instance, Norma Desmond (Sunset Boulevard) bought her mansion from her former lover Noah Cross (Chinatown.) Norma's son by Joe Gillis was raised by her butler and ex-husband Max von Mayerling after Norma was put in a mental institution following her fatal shooting of Joe; this son grew up under the name of Julian Kay (American Gigolo.) Noah Cross' daughter Evelyn was friends with Vivian Sternwood (The Big Sleep.) And that's just the tip of the iceberg. For various reasons, I put this book in the alternate universe appendix of the new volumes, but it's a very interesting novel, if rather depressing. Thomson also authored a semi-sequel, Silver Light, which features characters from several movie westerns, which I have also written up.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Crossover of the Week

August 2-10, 1974
            In 1991, the vigilante known as the Voice, convalescing at a clinic, tells his nurse the story of how he became a crimefighter. Returning home from Vietnam, his plane made a stopover in Hawaii, where he visited Chang Apana, a former member of the Honolulu Police Department and the alleged model for the character of Charlie Chan. He mentions the first master, who had a maxim about eliminating the impossible. Some say that the first master is still alive and living in Tibet, or else he acts as the oldest beekeeper in the United Kingdom; he also wrote monographs. Investigating a cabal he heard rumors of in Saigon, the future Voice is confronted by his own father. One of the men injured by the soon-to-be hero, Mr. Jones, is treated by his honorary uncle, Dr. Fairchild. The cabal was actually a gathering of Independent Operators, part of a network set up by the Voice’s uncles Dan and Richard, both former civilian federal agents. After a falling-out with J. Edgar Hoover and the McCarthyites, the two joined an all-branches military group called JANIG in the mid 1950s. The sting operation was designed to capture people wishing to destroy the network; however, many of those people turned out to be individuals on the side of justice investigating rumors of the network’s existence. These included Steve McGarrett, a naval officer named Magnum, members of Robert Ironside’s team, Dan Briggs, Jim Phelps, King Farriday, Napoleon Solo, John Keith, Amos Burke, Alexander Scott and Kelly Robinson, and JANIG’s own Steve Ames.
            Short story by Erwin K. Roberts in the magazine Double Danger Tales, Fading Shadows Press; reprinted and revised on the Planetary Stories website. This crossover brings Roberts’ pulp-style hero the Voice into the CU. Supposedly, Chang Apana was indeed the real-life basis for Charlie Chan; however, Chan was a very real individual in the CU. Nevertheless, Max Allan Collins’ Nate Heller novel Damned in Paradise establishes that Apana had a CU counterpart. The first master is Sherlock Holmes. The Voice’s father is Secret Agent X, a pulp hero created by “Brant House” (Paul Chadwick.) Mr. Jones was a plastic surgeon turned disguise artist who appeared in Dennis Lynds’ story (written under the house name Robert Hart Davis) “The Man of a Million Faces,” Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, June 1968. Dr. Jeffrey Fairchild, alias Dr. Skull and the Skull Killer, battled the villain known variously as the Octopus and the Scorpion in two one-shot pulp magazines. Dan is Dan Fowler, G-Man, who was created by Major George Fielding-Eliot and appeared in the pulp G-Men Detective. Richard is Chinese-American Secret Service agent Richard Wong, created by Lee Fredericks, who appeared in G-Men and G-Men Detective. JANIG (Joint Army Navy Intelligence Group) and Steve Ames are from the Rick Brant juvenile adventure novels by “John Blaine” (Harold L. Goodwin and Peter J. Harkins.) Steve McGarrett is from the television series Hawaii Five-O. Magnum is Thomas Magnum from the TV series Magnum P.I. Robert Ironside is from the television series Ironside. Dan Briggs and Jim Phelps are from the classic television series Mission: Impossible. King Farriday (or rather Faraday) is a spy character appearing in the short-lived comic book series Danger Trail, published by DC Comics in the early ’50s. Napoleon Solo is, of course, from The Man from U.N.C.L.E. John Keith is from Norman Daniels’ The Man from A.P.E. espionage novels. Amos Burke is from the television series Burke’s Law and Amos Burke, Secret Agent, as well as the 1990s revival of Burke’s Law. Alexander Scott and Kelly Robinson are from the TV series I Spy. The Independent Operators appear in several stories by Roberts.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Crossover Cover: Cloud Atlas

Joe Hill's novel NOS4A2 contains references to not only other works of his, but some of his father Stephen King's works as well. At one point in the book, a minor character named Sigmund de Zoet listens to Frobisher's Cloud Atlas sextet. Robert Frobisher and his eponymous sextet are from David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas. Presumably Sigmund is a descendant of the title character of another novel by Mitchell, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, which is set in 1799-1817. All of Mitchell's books are connected. Cloud Atlas features the same soul being reincarnated in several people over centuries, with each incarnation bearing a comet-shaped birthmark. Two of these individuals, Luisa Rey and Timothy Cavendish, appeared as minor characters in Mitchell's first novel, Ghostwritten. Another character in Ghostwritten, Katy Forbes, has a comet-shaped birthmark. Since Rey, Cavendish, and Forbes were all alive in the 1990s (when Ghostwritten takes place), the soul must have been divided among them somehow. Two sections of Cloud Atlas are set in future time periods that are incompatible with the CU's established future, and therefore likely take place in an alternate universe. One of these sections, "An Orison of Somni~451," has a reference to the title character having read Ireneo Funes' Remembrances, a reference to Jorge Luis Borges' short story "Funes the Memorious." Also, Somni refers to a fabricant living doll of Zizzi Hikaru, a Japanese virtual sex symbol from another novel by Mitchell, number9dream, which is set in the present day.