Friday, February 28, 2014

Crossover Cover: The Rocketeer Cargo of Doom

In this continuation of Dave Stevens' character, Cliff Secord does battle with a criminal known as the Master (who is referred to at one point as "John Sunli---," before the character speaking is interrupted), who is utilizing dinosaurs from a distant island (whose name starts with the word "Skull") for his nefarious schemes. Stevens is a tough act to follow, but Waid and Samnee did a pretty impressive job with this series.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Crossover Cover: Sails on the Horizon

In this naval tale by Jay Worrall, Charles Edgemont, commander of the Louisa, briefly meets Lieutenant Horatio Hornblower. Their encounter takes place in December 1797, during Hornblower's captivity in Ferrol documented in the last chapter of C.S. Forester's Mr. Midshipman Hornblower. Edgemont reappeared in Any Approaching Enemy (in which he briefly encounters Patrick O'Brian's own naval hero Lucky Jack Aubrey) and A Sea Unto Itself. I haven't read the sequels yet, but I will at least read Any Approaching Enemy so I can include it as well.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Crossover Covers: Tarzan/John Carter: Warlords of Mars

This miniseries is one of a few crossovers in literature and comics between Edgar Rice Burroughs' two most famous creations. Most recently, last Sunday, the Tarzan comic strip identified John Carter as a distant relative of Tarzan's wife Jane, which fits in rather well with Farmer's identification of her mother as the former Jane Carter Lee.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Crossover Covers: The Merkabah Rider series by Edward M. Erdelac

Edward M. Erdelac is the author of an excellent series of four books (three collections and a novel) about the Merkabah Rider, a Jewish mystic gunslinger battling the Great Old Ones in the Old West. Besides the strong ties to the Cthulhu Mythos, a number of other works of fiction are referenced, and therefore I will be including this series in the new volumes. Highly recommended.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Crossover Covers: Sherlock Holmes: The Crossovers Casebook

Sorry I'm posting this so late in the evening. Computer troubles. The focus of this excellent anthology (which includes Win's story "The Adventure of the Fallen Stone") is encounters between Holmes and at least one historical or preexisting fictional character. I've already written up all of the latter stories.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Crossover of the Week

Spring 1965
            Charles Foster Kane Jr. invites Orson Welles to his father’s decaying estate, Xanadu. In 1949, there were reports that an American black marketeer found dead in the Vienna sewers was Kane Sr.’s illegitimate son. Welles meets Dr. John Montague, whose published account of his investigation into the notoriously haunted Hill House in Connecticut Welles has read. In parapsychology texts, Xanadu has replaced Borley Rectory, the Loren Home, the Frieburg Tanz Akademie, the Overlook Hotel, and the Belasco Mansion as the world’s most haunted house.
            Short story by Kim Newman in Interzone #51, David Pringle and Lee Montgomerie, eds., September 1991; reprinted in Best New Horror 3, Stephen Jones and Ramsey Campbell, eds., Carroll & Graf, 1992, and Famous Monsters, Pocket Books, 1995. Charles Foster Kane is from Welles’ film Citizen Kane. The American black marketeer is Harry Lime from Carol Reed’s 1949 film The Third Man. Both Kane and Lime were played by Welles himself. Dr. John Montague and Hill House are from Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House. Borley Rectory is a real Victorian mansion that has been dubbed the most haunted house in the world. The Loren Home is from William Castle’s film House on Haunted Hill. The Frieburg Tanz Akademie is from Dario Argento’s film Suspiria. The Overlook Hotel is from Stephen King’s book The Shining. The Belasco Mansion is from Richard Matheson’s novel Hell House.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Crossover Cover: The Doomsday Book

In this story, Batman and Robin, the Elongated Man, and Slam Bradley travel to England to prevent the assassination of Queen Elizabeth by Edgar Moriarty, who is replicating a plot hatched by his great-granduncle against Queen Victoria that was thwarted by Sherlock Holmes. The elderly but still spry Sherlock Holmes appears at the end of the story to lend a hand. Edgar's cousin Thomas Moriarty and his fiance, Mary Watson (great-granddaughter of the good Doctor) also play a prominent role. Per this story's listing in Vol. 2, this Batman is Bruce Wayne Jr., the son of the original Caped Crusader and the third to hold the mantle. Win doesn't specify who the Robin in this story is, but since Jason Todd was the Robin of this era in the comics and for most of the '80s, perhaps that's true in the CU as well. Win theorized that Edgar and Thomas Moriarty were the grandsons of Dominick Medina from John Buchan's The Three Hostages, whom Rick Lai identified as the Professor's nephew in his essay "The Secret History of Captain Nemo." Win further speculated that Mary Watson is the granddaughter of Dr. Watson and Nylepthah's unnamed son who appears as an infant in Farmer's The Adventure of the Peerless Peer. Also included in this entertaining story is an account of how Holmes thwarted the Professor's scheme a century before, illustrated by E.R. Cruz, who also drew a one-issue Sherlock Holmes comic for DC in 1975.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Crossover Cover: The Rainbow Affair

In this wonderful tie-in novel for the classic spy show The Man from U.N.C.L.E., David McDaniel has Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin meet Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Father Brown, John Steed and Emma Peel, Fu Manchu and Nayland Smith, the Saint and his nemesis Inspector Teal, John Creasey's Inspector Roger West, and Manning Coles' Tommy Hambledon, most of whom are unnamed, though Holmes appears under the alias of William Escott. There also references to James Bond, Neddy Seagoon from the British radio program The Goon Show, and John Creasey's Richard Rollison (aka the Toff) and Department Z.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Crossover Cover: Ten Years Beyond Baker Street

In this excellent authorized novel by Cay Van Ash, a close friend of Sax Rohmer's, Dr. Petrie enlists the aid of the retired Sherlock Holmes to rescue Nayland Smith from Fu Manchu's clutches. Holmes, Nayland Smith, and Fu Manchu were all identified as Wold Newton Family members by Farmer. In fact, Farmer proposed that Smith's mother was Sigrina Holmes, Sherlock's sister. Win postulated in his essay "Who's Going to Take Over the World When I'm Gone?: A Look at the Genealogies of Wold Newton Family Super-Villains and Their Nemeses" that the reason Petrie (who narrates the novel) omitted any mention of Smith's relationship to Holmes from his account is because Holmes helped bring Smith's paternal grandfather, Culverton Smith, to justice for the murder of his nephew, Victor Savage (as recounted by Watson in "The Adventure of the Dying Detective," edited by Conan Doyle.) Van Ash captures Rohmer's (and Petrie's) voice extremely well, and is very faithful to both the Holmes and Fu Manchu canons.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Crossover of the Week

I read this one just yesterday. Win included "Sex Slaves of the Dragon Tong" in Vol. 1.

Winter 1938
            A private detective employed by the Continental agency in San Francisco seeks to settle an old score with a Chinese villain called the Lord of Strange Deaths. The detective once believed that a shady Asian in New York named Shiwan Khan was the Lord, but he “ran up against some kook in a cape and a slouch hat and hadn’t come out so well.” The detective visits Police Detective Brad Brannigan, who was given a car by a grateful man whose daughter he helped to save. Back at the Continental office, the detective says hello to Effie as she steps out of the Spade & Archer office down the hall, but she ignores him. The detective is lured into a trap by Fah Lo Suee, the Lord of Strange Deaths’ daughter, who tells him that her father is a member of a group called the Si-Fan. The Lord lists the many aliases his daughter has used, including Madame Ingomar, Queen Mamaloi, Ling Moy, and Lin Tang.
            Story by F. Paul Wilson in the eBook Sex Slaves of the Dragon Tong. The Continental detective is Dashiell Hammett’s Continental Op. The Lord of Strange Deaths is Sax Rohmer’s master villain Dr. Fu Manchu. Fah Lo Suee and the Si-Fan are also from the Fu Manchu novels. Fah used the name Madame Ingomar in The Daughter of Fu Manchu and The Trail of Fu Manchu, and the alias Queen Mamaloi in The Island of Fu Manchu. Ling Moy is the name of Fu Manchu’s daughter in the 1931 film Daughter of the Dragon, while Lin Tang is Fu’s daughter in the Fu Manchu films produced by Harry Alan Towers in the 1960s. Shiwan Khan is a recurring foe of the Shadow, who is the “kook in a cape and a slouch hat.” The man who gave Brannigan the car is Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks from the classic comic strip Little Orphan Annie; Brannigan helped Oliver rescue the latter’s adopted daughter Annie from Fu Manchu’s clutches in Wilson’s “Sex Slaves of the Dragon Tong,” which takes place a week before this story. The Spade & Archer agency is from Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon; apparently Sam Spade did not bother to change the name of the agency after his partner Miles Archer’s death during the 1928 events of Hammett’s novel. Effie Perrine is Spade’s secretary. The Op, who narrates this story, claims that at the age of two, he was found watering the waterfront immediately after the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906, unable to remember his family or name, and was placed in a series of foster homes, where he was regularly abused. He also claims to have revealed some of these details to Fu Manchu while being subjected to a truth serum. This conflicts with Win Scott Eckert’s speculations about the Op’s background in his essay “Who’s Going to Take Over the World When I'm Gone?: A Look at the Genealogies of Wold Newton Family Super-Villains and Their Nemeses” (Myths for the Modern Age: Philip José Farmer’s Wold Newton Universe, Win Scott Eckert, ed., MonkeyBrain Books, 2005.) Eckert argued that the Op was in fact the brother of Fu Manchu’s archenemy Sir Denis Nayland Smith, and that he was born in 1884 or 1885. Perhaps the Op lied to his readers about his background in order to protect himself and his brother from some of his other enemies, and actually told Fu a more accurate version of his life story. Alternatively, Wilson himself could have made the changes for reasons of his own while editing the story.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Crossover Cover: Honey West & T.H.E. Cat: A Girl and Her Cat

Received this in the mail yesterday. Definitely gonna include it in the book, particularly since it's co-written by my illustrious predecessor Win.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Upcoming Crossovers: FaceOff

Of the characters named in the book description here, Harry Bosch, Aloysius Pendergast, Repairman Jack, and Jack Reacher are the ones that I definitely know have other crossovers bringing them in. So at the very least, we can say that Dennis Lehane's Patrick Kenzie, R.L. Stine's Slappy the Ventriloquist Dummy (who I remember from reading the Goosebumps books as a kid), Heather Graham's Michael Quinn, and Joseph Finder's Nick Heller are also in the CU.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Crossover Covers: The Morris and Chastain Investigations

Justin Gustainis is the author of an excellent series of books featuring occult detective Quincey Morris and his frequent partner, white witch Libby Chastain. Quincey is the great-grandson of the Quincey Morris that appears in Bram Stoker's Dracula; Chastain explains the original Quincey's bachelorhood and marriage proposal to Lucy Westenra by stating that his wife died in childbirth a few years before the events of Stoker's novel. Many other people, places, or things from horror and occult fiction appear or are mentioned in the books, as well as ones from other genres, and therefore I am including the books in the new volumes. For instance, Quincey and Libby's ally Hannah Widmark, aka the Widowmaker, was taught how to use a pair of .45s by "a shadowy, enigmatic man named Cranston," who had a weird laugh and told her that "the weed of Satan bears bitter fruit," an obvious reference to the Shadow. It is worth noting that three of the books published so far have had references to Laurell K. Hamilton's vampire hunter Anita Blake. Since Hamilton's books take place in a world where the public is aware of the existence of supernatural beings, the Anita Blake mentioned in Gustainis' books must be Anita's Crossover Universe counterpart, who has doubtless had very different adventures than her counterpart in what we may call the "Blakeverse."

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Crossover Covers: Enter the Lion

According to William S. Baring-Gould's Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street, Sherlock's older, much heavier, and even more brilliant brother Mycroft was born on February 12, 1847. Therefore, in honor of Mycroft's 167th birthday, here is the cover to an account of one of his exploits alongside Sherlock (who had yet to meet Dr. Watson), edited by Michael P. Hodel and Sean M. Wright. At one point, fighting ships such as the more recent four-deckers of Nelson and Hornblower are mentioned, providing further evidence that C.S. Forester's naval hero Horatio Hornblower is in the Crossover Universe. (It is worth noting that Philip José Farmer stated in Tarzan Alive that Tarzan's son married Hornblower's great-great-granddaughter.) There is an apparent continuity conflict between this novel and Farmer's work: Farmer identified Professor James Moriarty as the illegitimate son of housemaid Morcar Moriarty in Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, whereas this account identifies his father as Jerrold Moriarty, who plays a prominent role in the tale. Win Eckert reconciled the two versions by stating that Jerrold was actually Urania's brother, and a beloved uncle and father-figure to James.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Crossover Covers: Witchblade/Red Sonja

Witchblade and Red Sonja already had many independent connections bringing them into the Crossover Universe before the publication of this miniseries, set in both the Hyborian Age (in which Sonja battles a dangerous foe alongside the Witchblade holder of that era) and the present day (in which Sara Pezzini, the current holder of the Witchblade, battles the same immortal menace.) This crossover confirms that they exist in the same universe.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Crossover Cover: Night of the Nyctalope

This collection of stories featuring Jean de La Hire's French pulp hero the Nyctalope, who possesses an artificial heart and can see in perfect darkness, contains a translation of the titular story by de La Hire, as well as sixteen new stories about the character, 15 of which have crossovers.  Therefore, I've written them up for the new volumes. Among the characters appearing alongside the Nyctalope here are Tarzan, Don Vito Corleone, Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise, Father Merrin, and Gullivar Jones.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Crossover of the Week

May 1934
            Leo Saint-Clair (aka the Nyctalope) meets a man named Henry Arnaud while traveling to New York City aboard a commercial airship. They are joined by Ivor Llewellyn, head of Superba-Llewellyn Pictures in California, who wants to make a movie based on Saint-Clair’s exploits, in which he would co-star with the studio’s own Lotus Blossom. Llewellyn also says that the Americans used to see the silent serials based on both Saint-Clair and Judex’s adventures, and that he wouldn’t put it past Schnellenhammer of Perfecto-Zizzbaum, F.X. Weinberg of Metropolis Pictures, or Jacques Butcher of Magna to attempt to sign the hero to a contract as well. Leo is traveling to New York at the invitation of Dr. Orestes Preson, Curator of Fossil Mammals at the Bradley Institute of Paleontology and Natural History. The other reason for his journey is that some time ago, his friend Judge Coméliau was the victim of a murder attempt by a crime lord who calls himself Zigomar after the self-styled “King of Thieves” from twenty years ago, who escaped death at the hands of the policeman Broquet many times. Saint-Clair has received a tip that the new Zigomar has relocated to New York. After they land, Leo accompanies Arnaud in a cab driven by Moe Shrevnitz to the Churchill Hotel. Arnaud offers Leo the services of his friend Lamont Cranston. The manager of the Hotel argues with a man who identifies himself as Sebastian Tombs. Nero Wolfe asks Archie Goodwin if he’s ever told him about Monsieur Anatole, a French chef who works for a wealthy Englishman named Thomas Travers and his wife. Archie adds that Mrs. Travers publishes a magazine called Milady’s Boudoir. Wolfe remarks that Anatole is said to surpass Fritz Brenner in the culinary arts. Inspector Cramer calls Wolfe and says that Detective Sgt. Purley Stebbins is escorting a Frenchman (meaning Leo) to Wolfe’s brownstone. Wolfe tells Archie to call Colonel Dubois of the Deuxième Bureau in Paris, as well as Saul Panzer. Prosper Lepicq is mentioned in Wolfe and Dubois’ conversation. Stebbins arrives with Saint-Clair in tow, and then returns to his taxi, a new yellow Checker from the Sunshine Cab Company. Among the items in Wolfe’s office is a framed portrait of Sherlock Holmes above Archie’s desk. After breakfast at the Churchill, Leo was escorted to the Panther-Pilsner brewery by criminals named Harry the Horse, Little Isadore, and Spanish John, who work for a man called “the Big Fellow.” Commissioner Wainwright Barth took Leo to see Cramer. Cramer himself arrives at the brownstone, with District Attorney William Skinner and his assistant, Anthony Quinn, in tow. Skinner says that Leo’s friend Alexandre Prillant is worried about him. He also divulges the fact that the previous Big Fellow was William Valcross, who was remanded into the custody of Inspector Fernack several years ago, and then died in the electric chair.
            Short story by Stuart Shiffman in The Nyctalope Steps In, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2011; reprinted in French in La Nuit du Nyctalope, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Rivière Blanche, 2012. The Nyctalope and his friend Alexandre Prillant are from French pulp novels by Jean de La Hire. Henry Arnaud is one of the Shadow’s many aliases. Lamont Cranston is a millionaire whom Allard frequently impersonates. Moe “Shrevvy” Shrevnitz and Deputy Commissioner Wainwright Barth are also from the Shadow novels. Ivor “Ikey” Llewellyn and his studio Superba-Llewellyn Pictures are from P.G. Wodehouse’s novels The Luck of the Bodkins; Frozen Assets; Pearls, Girls, and Monty Bodkin; and Bachelors Anonymous. Lotus “Lottie” Blossom is also from The Luck of the Bodkins. Jacob Z. Schnellenhammer and the Perfecto-Zizzbaum Motion Picture Corporation are from Wodehouse’s Mr. Mulliner stories. Tom Travers and his wife Dahlia are the uncle and aunt respectively of Wodehouse’s most famous character, Bertie Wooster. Monsieur Anatole is their personal chef, while Milady’s Boudoir is a magazine published by Dahlia. Judex is the title character of Louis Feuillade’s film serial. F.X. Weinberg’s Metropolis Pictures appears in Denis Green and Anthony Boucher's radio series The Casebook of Gregory Hood, as well as Boucher's novels The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars and Rocket to the Morgue, the Fergus O’Breen novels and stories, and his short story “Mystery for Christmas.” The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars features O’Breen’s sister in a prominent role, while Rocket to the Morgue features nun Sister Ursula and police detective Terry Marshall, who first appeared in Boucher’s Nine Times Nine. Lt. Herman Finch from The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars also appears in Boucher’s first Nick Noble story, “Screwball Division,” while the last Noble story, “The Girl Who Married a Monster,” refers to Fergus O’Breen’s detective agency. Jacques Butcher and Magna Studios are from the Ellery Queen novel The Four of Hearts. Dr. Orestes Preson is from Frances and Richard Lockridge’s Mr. and Mrs. North mystery Dead as a Dinosaur. Judge Ernest Coméliau appeared in several non-series novels written by Georges Simenon under pseudonyms before becoming a recurring character in the Maigret books. The original Zigomar was a gypsy crime lord and foe of policeman Paulin Broquet in stories by Léon Sazie. Nero Wolfe, Archie Goodwin, Fritz Brenner, Inspector Cramer, Sgt. Stebbins, Saul Panzer, and D.A. Skinner are from the novels by Rex Stout. The Churchill Hotel appears in both the Nero Wolfe novels and Stout’s Tecumseh Fox series. Sebastian Tombs is an alias used by Simon Templar, aka the Saint. William Valcross (the original Big Fellow) and Inspector Fernack are from Leslie Charteris’ The Saint in New York. Prosper Lepicq is featured in books by Pierre Véry. Colonel Dubois appears in novels by Pierre Nord. The Sunshine Cab Company is from the TV series Taxi. William S. Baring-Gould identified Sherlock Holmes as Nero Wolfe’s father. The Panther-Pilsner brewery is from the Three Stooges short Three Little Beers. Harry the Horse, Little Isadore, and Spanish John are from the stories of Damon Runyon. Anthony Quinn will later become the vigilante known as the Black Bat, whose adventures appeared in the pulp Black Book Detective.