Blood ‘n’ Thunder Presents, #4: Pulpourri

By Ed Hulse, Rick Lai, Will Murray, Laurie Powers, Jeffrey Shanks, Dave Smith

Webster’s Dictionary describes Potpourri as “a miscellaneous collection.” Murania Press describes Pulpourri as “a miscellaneous collection of well-written, impeccably researched essays on pulp fiction and how it influenced American popular culture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.”

This latest volume in the Blood ‘n’ Thunder Presents series has been assembled by Ed Hulse from contributions by some of today’s most distinguished pop-culture scholars and archeologists. Their lengthy, informative essays are profusely illustrated with pulp and book covers, interior artwork, rare photographs, and movie posters. These writings are all new to Murania Press and were not previously published in back issues of Blood ‘n’ Thunder.

Hulse leads off the book with a 15,000-word piece on the masterwork of celebrated mystery writer Mary Roberts Rinehart: The Bat, which began life as a 1907 pulp yarn and over the next several decades was revived and revised in books, movies, and even a hit Broadway play. More importantly, it influenced the creation of Batman by Bob Kane and Bill Finger.

In other essays: Jeffrey Shanks looks at colonialism in the pulps. Dave Smith chronicles the exploits of the original Suicide Squad, a trio of hard-charging FBI agents from the pulp Ace G-Man Stories. Laurie Powers profiles Street & Smith’s top female editor, Daisy Bacon, who made Love Story Magazine the top-selling pulp and ended her career trying to revive the flagging Shadow and Doc Savage pulps. Will Murray reveals the early literary efforts of Robert Maxwell, best known for producing the Adventures of Superman radio and TV shows but also a prolific contributor to the notorious girlie pulps published by DC Comics head honcho Harry Donenfeld. And in a massive (18,000 words), exhaustively researched piece, Rick Lai discusses the use of ancient religion and mythology in the works of Conan creator Robert E. Howard. This essay is accompanied by a reprint of Howard’s “Black Talons,” a weird mystery from 1933 and one of his most obscure stories.

In the realm of motion pictures adapted from pulp yarns, Ed Hulse documents the making of Hawk of the Wilderness, the 1938 Republic serial version of William L. Chester’s classic adventure yarn from Blue Book  magazine. And we present what may be the only surviving photos taken on location during production of the aborted 1935 film featuring Street & Smith’s Western-pulp hero Pete Rice.

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#4
Introduction by Ed Hulse
ISBN-13 978-1718759688
220 pp., trade paperback, 8 1/2 x 11

Price: $24.95