Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Table Talk: Pulp Team-ups and Medium Mixers

Pull up a seat and strap yourself in for another edition of Table Talk, the (semi) regular column where New Pulp authors Barry Reese, Bobby Nash and Mike Bullock answer questions and offer their viewpoints on a wide array of topics relating to New Pulp Fiction.

 This time out, the guys tackle team ups and mixing mediums.

(Question) What old pulp character do you think would be a great partner for one of your own New Pulp characters and why? 

Mike: Obviously I’d pick Black Bat, which I did with the Moonstone Return line, and partnered him with Death Angel. I think the two characters fit together well and have enough ‘salt’ in their make-up to create some neat tensions between them. Both are night-stalkers of a sort, both are highly driven to meet their missions and both have enough ego to push themselves beyond the edge of where lesser heroes might go.
I wish the opportunity to get those tales done properly would have existed, and hope we can at least complete the graphic novel story arc begun in The Black Bat #1 someday.

I’d also love to do a Xander/Phantom tale sometime, as both characters have such a long lineage that it’s very conceivable they could have had adventures just about anywhere on the planet in the last five hundred years.

Barry: I’ve been able to team my heroes with most of the public domain characters that I like so I guess I’ll be moving into the unlikely areas of licensed characters next…

With The Rook, I’d love to have Max Davies encounter The Shadow. I think the two heroes have enough differences in how they operate that it would be an interesting crossover.

For Lazarus Gray, obviously, an encounter with The Avenger would be illuminating. Lazarus was birthed out of my love for The Avenger but I think any team-up would focus on the differences between the two – and there are actually quite a few.

To echo what Mike said, I’d love to have any of my heroes meet The Phantom – I did a pastiche of the character in my Rook series but it would be fun to have The Rook meet The Phantom for real.
Bobby: I think it would be a hoot to have Lance Star: Sky Ranger team up with either G-8 and his Battle Aces or Captain Midnight. And, like you guys, I think it would be fun to team Lance up with The Phantom. Rick Ruby would make for a good team up with Domino lady, I think.

(Question) With so many pulp characters coming to comics in recent years, which pulp character would you like to see move into comic book form? Which pulp characters work best in comics? Which pulp characters don't translate as well to comics?

Mike: I REALLY want to do some Captain Future comics. I love science fiction comics, but recognize the artist has to be a special breed to bring that sort of excitement to the comic page. But, I think if done right, the Captain and his crew would make for some great comics.

As for which ones have been done best and worst, I don’t want to point fingers, but some of the recent Distinguished Comics that came out were pretty bad. And to be quite candid, I'm very disappointed with the aforementioned Black Bat graphic novel I penned. On the flipside, I think just about any pulp character can translate to comics if written well and drawn with energy and excitement.

Barry: Well, I agree with Mike that the First Wave stuff was awful. I don’t think it was because of the characters and their transition to the comics page - it was because the writers and editors obviously didn’t understand the characters.

I’d love to see The Avenger handled properly in comics – despite a few odd choices they’ve made with The Shadow and The Spider, I do think that Dynamite has a couple of hits on their hands so maybe they could do Justice, Inc. the right way.

I think characters whose stories are based around characterization, detection, the slow building of tension, etc. are the ones who can easily transition into comics. Yes, You need action and so forth but comics are a static medium so you can’t just rely on the quick action to carry the day. For example (and this is really mixing mediums), I love Indiana Jones. But even the best Indiana Jones comics are ‘off’ because you can’t have the quick-moving action that you can in the movies or even in prose, where a skilled writer can make you feel that things are moving ‘faster’ than normal.

Bobby: Although the character has been adapted to comics before, I’d like to see Remo Williams AKA The Destroyer come back to comics. In fact, I would love to see a new Remo Williams movie too. What a great character.

Any character can work in comics, I think, but the powered characters obviously benefit from the art and colors.

Mike: Yeah, I’m really surprised there aren’t any Remo Williams comics. I’ve pitched that idea a few times, but never seem to find anyone interested in it.


  1. Yes he does, Sean. Very cool character.



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