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Second Quarter ’08 Update

Folks who like their adventure high and wild – especially when it comes from the pages of the pulp magazines of yesteryear – know the name Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze, whose over-the-top tales from the ’30s and ’40s pulps found a whole new audience decades later as paperback novels (and, in fact, continue in new reprints today.).

He’s one of the major heroes from the pulps, an Olympian group that includes the likes of Zorro, Tarzan, and the Shadow.

So, maybe you know Doc Savage. But do you know Jim Anthony – Super-Detective?

If the answer’s no, we can take care of that in a New York second. By we, I mean my pals and collaborators John McMahan and John Locke. Collectively, we have just produced a new trade paperback that reprints a pair of Jim Anthony adventures in what we’re calling the Super-Detective Flip Book: Two Complete Novels. It just hit and other cyberspace outlets; you can find it there, or you can order it from Off-Trail Publications ([email protected]) via PayPal ($18 plus $2.50 for media mail, $5 Priority) or by sending a check or money order to Off-Trail at 2036 Elkhorn Road, Castroville, CA 95012.


     What do I get for that geetus, you ask? Well, what we’ve done is reprint a couple of the best novel-length (using the admittedly generous word-count standards the pulps used to define a “novel”) Jim Anthony yarns, taken from two separate phases of the Super-Detective’s career.

The first, 1940’s Legion of Robots, can certainly be taken as, uh, an hommage to Doc Savage. Anthony, with his secret fortress and preternatural powers, will certainly remind the alert reader of Doc, something that was purely intentional on the part of Anthony’s publisher, the always opportunistic Trojan Publishing Corporation. At the time Legion of Robots came out, however, comic books were beginning to steal the thunder of what were known as the hero pulps, offering thrills and power fantasies more easily accessed by young readers. Still, the folks at Trojan figured there might be a buck to be made in another hero pulp, and so along came the underrated Anthony.

(Anthony’s relationship not only to Doc Savage, but also to DC Comics and its flagship character Superman, is explored in a fact-packed introduction by McMahan.)

By 1943, Jim Anthony had undergone a major overhaul, with the more juvenile aspects of his stories gone in favor of a more down-to-earth, hard-boiled approach. We were fortunate to find a great, timely-as-today’s-headlines tale, Murder’s Migrants, to complete our twofer flip book. It’s a fine effort, written by two of the most famous guys to come out of the detective pulps – Robert Leslie Bellem, creator of Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective, and W.T. Ballard, whose Bill Lennox, written for the famed Black Mask magazine, was the first true Hollywood detective character in the pulps. Together, these two solid wordsmiths crafted a swift and entertaining novel (and the backstory of their collaboration is one of the things I deal with in my own introduction).

So there you have it: Two novels, bound together in a style intentionally reminiscent of the Ace Double Novels of the ’50s and ’60s, and brought to you by John Locke’s Off-Trail Press – purveyor of some of the best pulp reprints and associated non-fiction that you’ll ever see – and Reverse Karma Press, the little outfit McMahan and I have put together.

We’ve spent a couple of years delving into the world of Jim Anthony, and we find it a fine and exciting place. We think you will, too, and we’d be delighted to have you check out Super-Detective Flip Book: Two Complete Novels. and let us know what you think.

And, as always, big thanks for stopping by.