This Site is for essays on The New Pulp Heroes. It’s about time we catalog new characters appearing in books and anthologies. Since I do not have time to read everything being published, I will offer space here for legitimate creators of new pulp characters to send me their data, and I will post their essays. It is not my place to say what is, or what is not a new pulp hero, and the only changes I will make to essays will be editing and format. If you wish, include a jpeg of a book cover or b&w illustration if you have permission from the artist. By sending me your essays, you are giving me permission to promote and showcase this data. Essays should be up to 500 words, and include information on MC and back up characters, creator, title of books, and where the stories can be found. A paperback edition is now available for $12.00, plus $3.99 postage (US). The book will only be sold through us: Tom Johnson, 204 W. Custer St., Seymour, TX 76380. Send questions or data to fadingshadows40@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Creator: Tom Johnson
Characters (Villain)
Carol Summers
Rho Soo Boom
Carlos Carlonni
Mai Ling
A sinister laugh brought her out of the reverie. An ominous chuckle filled the chamber of electronic equipment, snapping her head in the direction of the sound. To Yo‘s amazement a black-clad ninja was revealed in the soft blue light of the small chamber. Tall and slender, the ninja‘s face was covered with a black mask, leaving only venomous eyes exposed beneath an ebony hood. Strapped across the back was a long, deadly fighting staff.
Carol Summers was a beautiful woman. She had everything it took to attract a man, and she knew it. Tall and slim, she was almost athletic in build, with long, shapely legs. She was neither Chinese, white or Italian. Long dark hair was clipped in a ponytail.
Her father was an Italian architect named Carlos Carlonni. Thirty years ago, her grandfather, Rho Soo Boom, a Jeti Tong boss of Chinatown hired him for a special building project, where he met her mother, Mai Ling. The young girl became pregnant and they were married to protect her reputation, but when the baby was born, the crafty old Chinaman spirited his daughter back to China, and put the baby in the care of an old Chinese woman who raised her. Her father became a mob boss, and escaped from The Black Ghost in “Highways In Hiding.” He was killed by The Black Ghost in “The Spider’s Web.” Now, thirty years after she was born. Carol Summers, a martial arts expert, takes on the identity of Spider, a Japanese ninja killer. She wanted revenge over The Black Ghost and blood would soon run in the streets, as she demanded an accounting from him.
         The first story ended with Spider defeated in a bojitsu battle with The Black Ghost. It appeared she jumped to her death in the river below their scene of battle, but she survived, vowing to return.
         In the second encounter she brings a team of ex military soldiers with her, but they prove inadequate against The Black Ghost. In the end, trailing a clue, she located Control, The Black Ghost’s electronic communication center monitored by Hua Yo Chae, a Korean martial arts expert. They battle to the death, and Spider loses her final fight. But she had proved a worthy foe of The Black Ghost, and appeared in two stories.
The Spider’s Web (NTD)
Carnival of Death TALES OF MASKS & MAYHEM V #4 (NTD)  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mr. Jones

Mr. Jones
Creator: Leo Margulies
Written By: Dennis Lynds (as Robert Hart Davis)
Dr. Samuel Sears (Mr. Jones)
Kim Ree
Miss Agatha Bridge
Commissioner Angelo Pinto
Detective Captain Murry Brian
Bon vivant and famed medic by day, scourge of the underworld by night, Mr. Jones is the man of a million faces! This is the story of Dr. Samuel Sears, brilliant society favorite, and successful plastic surgeon. Mr. Jones knows how to kill just as easily as Dr. Sears, his real self, knows how to live! As Mr. Jones, he can penetrate the inner circles of organized crime and bring his man to justice, dead or alive!
 A Lt. Col. in the Army medical field, Sears was transferred to OSS while in Korea. He has light brown hair and cool blue eyes, hard as sapphires. At 190 pounds, he is a shade under six feet tall. He was a deceptively slender man, with shoulders broader than they seemed. Mr. Jones could appear taller or shorter at will, and could control his facial muscles. When his friend, the police commissioner, had bitterly raged against a high-and-mighty criminal the police could not touch, Sears had instantly realized something he had wanted to do for many years— catch and punish the hidden criminals who walked free and above the law.
He had caught that particular high-and-mighty culprit, and another, and Mr. Jones was born. Sears had never regretted his second life: the disguises pleased him, the acting challenged his mind, and the pursuit excited him. He was forced to admit that he had always wanted to be a detective, even in secret. Sounds a little like The Phantom Detective, doesn’t it?
Kim Ree is Sears’ Korean chef, valet, and general major domo. He was a sergeant in the R.O.K. Army when he met Sears.
Commissioner Angelo Pinto is a small, peppery man. He speaks as much with his hands as with his voluble old-country-style voice. He knows the identity of Mr. Jones.
Miss Agatha Bridge is his medical assistant at the hospital. She’s a tough fifty-year old R.N. that runs the office like a chief petty officer.
Detective Captain Murry Brian is a short, stocky man. He wears an old gray suit, and battered felt hat over gray hair.
Sears lives in a plush apartment in The Carleton Towers on Park Avenue. The suite directly below his is rented year-round by Reginald Trott, a wealthy gentleman from Trinidad, but in reality belongs to Mr. Jones. Inside a locked closet in his apartment is a spiral staircase leading down to a secret room in the suite below. His offices are located at the Hippocratic House, a private hospital.
Pulp historians conclude that Captain Zero was the last pulp hero to be created during the pulp era, and perhaps basically this is true. However, Leo Margulies never lost interest in the pulp hero, or creating house names. For twenty years Leo was ramrod of Ned Pines’ Standard pulp house, and he oversaw the hero line of character pulps for their magazines. He probably created most of them—though possibly through editorial committee. The pulp line included The Phantom Detective, Dan Fowler (G-Men Detective), Black Bat (Black Book Detective), The Masked Detective, Purple Scar, The Eagle, and probably a few I’m forgetting. When Leo was let go from Standard as Head Editor, he quickly started his own publishing house, Renown Publishing, bringing out a slew of digest magazines. His mainstay was the Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, but there were several companion titles: Satellite Science Fiction, Zane Grey Western Magazine, Shell Scott Mystery Magazine, Charlie Chan Mystery Magazine, and his highly successful Man From UNCLE and Girl From UNCLE titles; these latter were under the byline of one of his final house names, Robert Hart Davis, named in honor of an editor at Argosy who gave Leo his first job. Cylvia Kleinman Margulies, Leo’s wife, told me the “Hart” came about because of Robert Davis’ kind heart.
With the ending of the popular UNCLE series in January 1968, Leo was looking for a replacement title to fill the void. Keeping the Robert Hart Davis house name, he created his final pulp hero, Mr. Jones, ‘The Man of a Million Faces’. Mr. Jones was another wink at the old days, when one of Standard’s widely used house names was G. Wayman Jones. A byline used on the Black Bat, among others.
Although Mr. Jones appeared to be a mixture of both The Phantom Detective and Purple Scar, he did not wear a costume. The days of costumed pulp heroes were gone. However, he is a master of disguise, bringing to mind Secret Agent “X,” the Man of a Thousand Faces.
To test the water for a new magazine, Leo decided to publish the first story in Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, and see how it went over with the readers. Preparing some notes on the character he wanted, he asked one of his prolific writers, Dennis Lynds, to come up with a good yarn.
Leo’s intentions were good, but Dennis wasn’t comfortable with the pulp concept, even though he had written the Belmont Shadow novels ten years earlier. He told Leo the story didn’t work, and he hated it. But Leo Margulies was determined to try for a new series. He ran the story in the June 1968 issue of Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, and it met with poor response. The new magazine never got off the ground, and Mr. Jones died a silent death. A shame, I really think the time was ripe for a new character. Readers were still screaming for more Man From UNCLE stories. I’m afraid Dennis went into the story feeling the pulp style was wrong, and this hurt the story. Perhaps, if another writer had been given the task of writing the story, they might have put it over. Michael Avallone would submit a number of articles on the old pulp heroes for the M.S.M.M. a few years later, and the readers loved them. Five years later, Renown did launch a new magazine, the Charlie Chan Mystery Magazine, in November 1973. Although the title only lasted a few issues, it proved a new title might have worked in 1968.
But for pulp historians, Dennis Lynds goes down in the history books as not only bringing The Shadow into the 1960s, he was also tagged to write the final pulp hero novel, under the last pulp house name. Leo Margulies—the Little Giant of the pulps—saw to that!
The Man of A Million Faces MSMM (June 1968)

Villains Anyone?

Villains Anyone?

            It looks like I will be continuing to research more New Pulp Heroes and adding them to the Blog. In the meantime, how about villains, are there any special bad guys or gals who faced your hero/heroines? How about essays on them while I continue my research? I want to remind everyone that by sending me their data you are allowing me to publish and promote your character data. Most of the material on this Blog was copyrighted by Tom & Ginger Johnson in ECHOES 30, published in 2012 by Altus Press. That’s to keep us, and your data protected.
            I’ll be posting essays on a couple of my bad girls over the next two weeks.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Legend

The Legend

Creator: Tom Johnson
The Legend

            Who is the Legend?
            There are men and women of legend that are remembered throughout history for their great and heroic deeds, leaving a legacy for decent men and women to emulate, and evildoers to remember in fear. It was thought the day of the legends had ended in 1953, and the people relaxed their vigilance while criminals plied their schemes in secret. But when crime reared its ugly head once more in the great metropolis, the clarion call was again heard by The Legend.
            He removed his white shirt and sat before triple mirrors, momentarily scanning the numerous scars and wounds on his muscular frame, pausing momentarily on one shaped strangely like an "X"; then his steel-gray eyes peered upwards at the thick, wavy, silver-gray hair that still covered his scalp, though slightly receding a bit.
His face, clean-shaven, retained its youthful appearance despite his obvious advancing age. The jutting chin, high cheekbones, and wide jowls bespoke a man of action in the reflection of the mirrors. Intelligence glimmered in the sparkle of those hard-cast eyes, yet at an angle they also told of humor and gentleness. Women would have found him handsome, while men might recognize a sort of 'master of men' in that stone-like chiseled image.
Strong hands reached for jars of creams and grease paints next to brushes on the cabinet in front of him. Taking a mixture of jells from several fat bottles he rubbed them between his fingers for a minute, and then spread the substance through his shock of white hair until the waves turned dark brown. He added a touch of the compound to his eyebrows, followed by brushing a dark shadow over his chin and jowls, giving the appearance of a twelve-hour growth of whiskers.
A chest-o'-drawers was his final destination in the hidden room, and here he rummaged through several items, as if determining which to choose for this particular occasion. A jewel-encrusted badge caught the light and sparkled with incredible brilliance for an instant. An F.B.I. shield lay next to it. Then he examined numerous domino masks ranging in color from crimson to black. There were a dozen hoods and facemasks, one horribly scarred and pale as death. Another was a full cowl, black, bat-like and frightening.
Here, too, were fangs and mop-like wigs. Slouch hats, ebony black as a Stygian tomb, with blood-red neck scarves were neatly displayed also. Satan's image stared up at him in one corner of the drawer, with a weird lantern contraption next to a small pitchfork. Curiously, a soft laugh rose to a high crescendo in the little room for a second, and then seemed to vanish as if it had merely been a ghostly apparition.
Who is The Legend? They are many, and Legends never die!
There has only been one story so far featuring the mysterious Legend.
The Legend   DOUBLE DANGER TALES #64 (FADING SHADOWS paperback and Kindle editions)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Undertaker

The Undertaker
Creator: Nick Carr
Martin Gort
Edward White
Emil Lotana
Cytherea Lotana

Small towns can produce the mysterious corpse every now and then, and someone has to have a knack for investigating them, whether they turn out to be explainable or supernatural. In Oskaloosa, that’s where Martin Gort, the local undertaker comes in. He has a penchant for solving hidden mysteries, whether it’s a haunted chair or a corpse with the head crushed in – and the only suspect is a nearby statue.
Martin Gort is the Funeral Director for Oskaloosa, Kansas, located two miles off a major highway, with a population of one thousand souls. His description is left up to the reader, but hints at the old western frontier’s black-clad, rather cadaverous characters of similar profession.
Wilkins is the train depot agent. He Loves to play checkers, and always seems to beat the local undertaker.
Edward White is the local sheriff. He can never quite solve the strange mysteries that pop up every now and then.
Emil Lotana is Gort’s assistant at the funeral home.
Cytherea Lotana is a cosmetic professional who prepares the deceased for burial.
Oceans is the town coroner.
There have been several interesting stories in this series.
The Devil’s Handmaidens  CLASSIC PULP FICTION STORIES #19
Button, Button, Who’s Got The Button  CLASSIC PULP FICTION STORIES #20
(Note: *A similar version of The Bird was published in Skull Duggery #2.)