Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Overlooked Audio: A NEW Adventure of THE SHADOW


Since last June, when I called your attention to Pulp-Pourri Theatre's adaptation of the W.C. Tuttle story "By Order of Buck Brady" (HERE), Pete Lutz and the Narado Radio Company gang have been mighty busy.

Among the many new programs now available for listening or downloading is this all-new adventure of The Shadow, proving once again that Crime Does Not Pay. I suggest you bop over there and check out The Shadow: A Trip to Eternity, HERE.

You should also peruse the menu of other productions, including stories of Science Fiction, Crime, the Supernatural, the Macabre, the Jungle, Espionage and War. And for you high-brows, there's even an adaptation of Macbeth. That stuff is HERE.

More Overlooked Entertainment at Sweet Freedom.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Whatever Happened to No Toes McInnis? Cap Gun Monday: MAVERICK


I don't remember where I got this holster, but I know the name of the original owner. Makes me wonder whatever happened to him - and more to the point - what happened to his toes? If you happened to be acquainted with old No Toes, ask him to shoot me an email. I'm sure our readers would like to hear the tale. In any case, he is to be commended for keeping his toys in such good shape (except, of course, for searing his name into the holster belt with a wood burning tool). 

The Maverick pistol shown here, made by Leslie-Henry, is basically the same gun as the Davy Crockett model shown HERE. I also have Gene Autry and Paladin versions, and there were several others.









Cap Guns Galore HERE.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Art of TOM ROBERTS (Part 2)


Marksman, published by Crippen & Landru back in 2002, appears this week thanks to last week's comment by John Hocking. Quite coincidentally, it was George Kelley's Forgotten Book on Friday. His comments are HERE


Marksman features five Joe Puma adventures (hence the name on the door) and four non-series stories.


Here's an image of Joe himself. 


Here's the book on the table. Tsk. That glass is going to leave a ring.


The newspaper headline refers to La Paloma, the ship that brought the Maltese Falcon to San Francicso. The photograph appears to show the ship burning.


And the pulp in the trashcan is the February 1943 issue of Private Detective Stories


I had planned to feature three of Tom's paintings this week, but this one provided enough cool suprises to stand on its own. More coming next Sunday, and for quite a few Sundays to come!

Last week's gallery is HERE.

(Thanks to Mr. Richard Robinson for the Marksman cover scan)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Toy Soldier Saturday: Tim-Mee U.S. Air Force (Part 1)


On this Memorial Day weekend we pay tribute (with the help of these Tim-Mee Toys) to the U.S. Air Force. These guys were made in the U.S,A, in the late '50s and early '60s. Their soft plastic comrades will appear in Part 2, soon. May their real-life counterparts continue to kick butt.





More Toy Warriors HERE.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Forgotten Books: LADY IN PERIL by Lester Dent (1959)


I enjoyed reading this book, but didn't really like it. Does that make sense? It's the last of four Dent novels I've been hoarding for thirty years and waiting for the right moment to read. Maybe I chose the wrong moment. More likely, though, there was never a right one.

Lester Dent was a great pulp writer, and every story I've read, including dozens of his Doc Savage adventures, has delivered the goods. As a novelist, though, he seems to have been on uncertain ground. Dead at the Take-Off (discussed HERE) is a pretty good book, and Lady Afraid (HERE) is okay too. Cry at Dusk (HERE) is a sick mess. And Lady in Peril, I'm sorry to say, is a snoozer.

But I enjoyed reading it? Yeah, I've admired Dent's style since I was thirteen years old, and it still has a hold on me. He just pulls me along, word by word, phrase by phrase, and it goes down painless. But in this case, he didn't take me anywhere except to the end of the book, and he left me there unsatisfied.

The problem, I think, is that he was trying to do too much. Having long since proved he could write a good mystery, he was flirting here with serious themes - the stuff of literature - and got bogged down somewhere inbetween.

The hero of this one, a guy named Loneman, is a lobbyist for an agricultural co-op in Jefferson Ctiy, Missouri. The conflicts driving the plot, involving politics and the food business, are more adult than those in your typical Dent story. Nothing wrong with that, and when Loneman's brother-in-law is killed, the story is off to a promising start. Unfortunately, the subplot (the "serious" stuff) gets in the way.

Loneman, it seems, is a workaholic who has taken his wife for granted to the extent that she has come to doubt her own self worth, Her brother's murder somehow compels her to solve the crime on her own, to prove something to herself and to her husband. There are serious psychological and relationship issues here, but they simply don't jell with the mystery. The wife's strange actions seem contrived to create false suspense. I assume Dent meant her to be a sympathetic character, but she comes off as merely annoying,

On the plus side, the book is set in Dent's home state of Missouri, so it provides a nice snapshot of his world. Despite the plot problems, a good dose of Dent's trademark humor might have saved the day. But no such luck. Loneman, the wife, and everyone else in the story take themselves way too seriously. I seriously didn't care whether any of them lived or died.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

CROSS EXAMINATIONS: CRIME IN COLUMBUS by John Hegenberger


This collection of four stories by Mr. John Hegenberger is now available for Kindle. Haven't read the stories yet, but I like the titles - "Headache," "Heartache," "Neckache" and "Backache." I can relate to all four. 

Here's what it says on Amazon: 

A series of serious crimes: Kidnapping. Murder. Art Theif. Blackmail. Comic Books. Private Investigator Eliot Cross faces heartache, headache, backache, and a royal pain in the neck in these rollicking noir stores from the heart of the Heartland. 

Never before published. CROSS EXAMINATIONS sets the stage for an exciging new novel that will join pop-culture author John Hegenberger's soon-to-be-published Tripleye trilogy and his upcoming Stan Wad L.A.P.I. series.

Get it here:
Cross Examinations: Crime in Columbus