Thursday, November 01, 2007

Pulp Thursday!

First off there has been a bit of discussion in several forums I hang out in as to what is pulp or when does pulp start or stop. For me I see pulp as a constantly evolving genre. Pulp is El Borak and Mack Bolan- Commander Cody, and Turk Madden. I consider the Green Hornet in all his incarnations as pulp. Pulps are short adventure stories, some times stand alone stories, other times serialized. Well hell, “Three the hard way” was a stand alone story with pulpish elements. Xena: Warrior Princess is every bit pulp as Radar men from the Moon. Pulp is about excitement, adventure, fun and escape.
More than anything else the Pulps were about Location. The pulp magazines were in their heyday during the great depression. Folks needed to escape from the drudge of daily life. The pulps offered this escape to exotic far away places where a man could make a difference.
The keyword here is: Exotic.
Whether the locales were natural; Tropical jungles, Arctic wastelands, volcanic islands – or man made; underground labyrinths, lost temples, ancient libraries, hidden tombs, and ruined cities.
With the right use of description and the proper tone just about any locale can be made mysterious and exotic. Director John Carpenter did a masterful job of this in his film “Big Trouble in little China” where a modern day truck driver finds himself battling Tong warriors, ancient wizards, and magical beasts in an underground Fortress in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
Like I said earlier, I think pulp rather than beginning or ending at a set point, constantly evolve –much like comic books. Comic aficionados have accepted the premise that there are different “ages” that define the comics- “The Golden Age” 1940’s and 50’s, “The Silver Age” of the 60’s, “The Bronze age of the 70’s (My personal favorite) etc. I feel the same about Pulp.

You may not agree, but this is my blog. So there!

Do you sit in boring meetings all day trying to stay awake? If you do why don’t you click on over to and down load some original “Golden age” pulp stories to take with you to your next endless meeting. PDF Formatted Stories from Magazines like “Spicy Detective”, “Crime Busters”, “The Frontier”, “Clue”, “Adventure” and many others. The web site is very no-nonsense and functional. No splashy pictures or fancy fonts- but it does its job and does it well.

A couple of great resources for Pulp gaming can be found here at Pulp Adventure! by Kevin McHale and Michael Blum.

Interested in visiting and exotic port of call? Try: Tales of Old Shanghai
A great site for Far Eastern Flavor.

And that is your Pulp Thursday report!