Welcome back to the site that never sleeps, the show that never ends, the blog that keeps on going and going, and going. We have some terrific guests coming by the site in the next few weeks. I wish I could give you a head’s up but why spoil the fun. Let’s just say, one is from series television, cutting his writing/producing and directing teeth on a very popular SciFi Network and Netflix show. The other is an award-winning writer, having created one of the most celebrated and seminal biographies of the last decade. Okay, got your interest? I thought I might. Then by all means, tell all of your friends to stop by for a visit. We ain’t going anywhere.
I must admit, as a middle-aged guy going through Marvel Universe menopause, I thoroughly enjoyed Captain Marvel. What really resonated with me was the relationship between Fury and Carol. The banter was fresh, the relationship between the two one of substance. The twists and turns in the film were worth the wait and the whole film, directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck took the whole woman superhero genre to a new level. And, special kudos to the cat. Outstanding performance by a feline.
Speaking of taking things to the new level. I thoroughly loved the third season of “Stranger Things” on Netflix. Great job by the Duffer Brothers. The season never gets old, or stale and manages to take the story to a whole new level. The performance by Millie Bobby Brown is of the usual high standard and Dacre Montgomery is outstanding as Billy, the human mouthpiece to an unspeakable evil. Another superb entry in a series.
I haven’t forgot my promise for a breakdown on the ultimate financial disaster that was “Disney’s John Carter.” Yeesh, I will be honest, I’m still sorting through it. Hopefully, I will have something for you by the end of the summer. I am currently midway through the second viewing and have some definite opinions about what went wrong. I can tell you this, it is not the production values. The film looks great.
Time for some plugs. The DC series “Swamp Thing” is wrapping up. Do yourself a favor and check out the excellent work of producer/writer Mark Verheiden, the entire production staff, cast and crew as they bring one of the most popular characters of comic book fiction to your television screen. It’s not too late to join in on all the fun.
And Tadd Galusha’s phenomenal work of storytelling, “Cretaceous,” is available at all book and comic stores. Show Tadd some love and pick up his graphic novel. Better yet, leave a review.
And speaking of reviews, we have had some stellar reviews for “Son of Ravage” on Amazon, but we need more. A few well-chosen words on GoodReads wouldn’t hurt either. If you have the time, and haven’t yet, drop on by and leave an opinion. It will be very much appreciated.
Well, that’s it for now. See you all next week!
Welcome back, Ravagers. As always, your presence is what continues to make this the little website that could. Thank you for your continued support! Some of you may already be at Comic-Con. If you are, have a great time. By the way, you score bonus points (maybe even a teeshirt), if you spot a copy of “Son of Ravage.”
I’d like to dedicate this week’s blog to three heroes who got started in the game late, (they were all in their sixties in fact), but never the less were skilled enough to battle Hercules, romantic enough to cozy up to Snow White, brave enough launch themselves into outer space, and resilient enough to conquer Martians and travel around the world in a daze. Quite an impressive resume. Even the likes of Rock Ravage would be jealous. But, whoever could these daring heroes be? Give up” (Drum roll)
Larry, Moe and Curly Joe, the funniest, craziest guys I know. During the very late fifties and early sixties, The Three Stooges, boosted by the success of their theatrical shorts playing endlessly on television, made a series of five, feature-length films. And believe it or not, all of them, had one toe firmly into the genre of fantasy/adventure.
In this humble post, I will endeavor to rank these Three Stooges films from worst to best. Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk. Let’s get started.
The Three Stooges go around the World in a Daze 1963 (One and one half nyuk).
Loosely based on the Jules Verne classic. I can honestly say that I have never sat through this entire movie.
Moe: We’re official bodyguards. Also double as man Friday.
Larry: And Saturday.
“Snow White and the Three Stooges.” 1960 (Two nyuks)
It was a clever idea, spoiled by the gimmick of featuring several ice-skating sequences. This is the Stooges only feature film to be in technicolor. Worth seeing. A bit artsy, (yeah, I know) for a Stooges flick and a sure-fire miss. Memorable line:
Moe hawking the medicine Nyuk. “Become the envy of your friends. Surprise your wife. You, lady, grow a beard and surprise your husband!”
The world’s introduction to the sweet, moronic, Curly Joe who became a kinder, gentler foe to Moe. I don’t care what people say, I liked him and always had the feeling that he was a good sport and quite the trooper. Be sure and check out Joe DeRita’s interview on the future of comedy. The infirm, toothless and only remaining stooge talks about the nature of comedy. But I digress. While this move does have some funny moments, it is kind of all over the place, even featuring the Stooges, a Unicorn and a song.
There really are no memorable lines but here we go:
Larry: (after a beautiful French girl walks away) Why didn’t I learn French instead of Latin? (Spies a Hispanic girl) Oh, a Latin!
“The Outlaws IS Coming.” 1965 (Two and a half nyuks)
Batman Adam West in his first feature roll and Emil Sitka’s final film appearance with the Stooges. Features a few cringe-worthy racist moments; particularly Curly Joe dressed as an Indian maiden.
Moe: “Your names will live forever. You may even get into TV.”
No, the moment you've all be waiting for. One the winner and runner up were both made in the same year and in my humble opinion are the best in the lot.
“Three Stooges in Orbit.” 1962 (Three nyuks)
Or Three Stooges vs the Martians, or Three Stooges do the Twist, or Three Stooges save Disneyland. This one also happens to be all over the place but as a kid, I loved it. The Stooges are kicked out of their apartment for cooking and move into a haunted house. And that’s just the first 10 minutes.
Moe” What do you normally do when somebody mails you a bomb?
Curly-Joe: I mail it back.
“Three Stooges Meet Hercules” 1962 (Four solid nyuks)
The most popular and successful of the theatrical feature Stooge films. The plot and structure are pretty tight, and the jokes aren’t half bad. Amazingly, the line dialogue below can’t be found in any of the online quote sites. However, it remains one of my favorites.
Curly Joe: “Can’t tell one head of the Hydra from another without a program.
And that, as they say is that! Hoped you all enjoyed that little stroll down Numbskull lane. Stay tuned next week when we get in depth with The Bowery Boys. Just kidding. Have a great week!
We have another special guest just around the corner in August. He’s a writer, producer and director with a new show debuting very soon on Netflix. You will learn more about that in the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime, here is some summer praise for “Son of Ravage.”
I saved the end of Son of Ravage for our Sunriver vacation. It was difficult to wait, but this is exactly the kind of book I love to read on vacation - action, colorful characters, plot twists - evil villains including nazis!!! (during work it’s always finance/ business /motivation stuff) . I Just finished the book and it was worth the wait. Really appreciated the character development and especially liked their commitment to each other (could really feel how much they care)
Can’t wait for the next adventure in the series. I usually take my vacations in July- please start working on the sequel soon so I don’t have to delay my trip waiting for you to publish!
Thanks for writing!!!
Here’s a summer riddle for you. What’s red and black and lurid all over?
That’s right, Ravagers! I’m talking about the always colorful and imaginative art that graced the covers of the tallest tales and most adventurous stories of the 20thCentury.
“Tilly marched past a collection of framed magazine covers. The displays were colorful pulp art from a bygone era, authored by names sadly remembered by only a few. “Mad Science,” “Amazing Stories,” and “Astounding Science Fiction” were the featured titles and each glass encased cover teased a simple but entertaining read. A voluptuous and scantily clad female, cowering in the right-hand corner of each work, had obviously been tossed in as a bonus for the intended young, male audience.” Son of Ravage
These artists were not only talented but were able to churn out hundreds of these fantastic covers in the course of a year. And, most of the artists crossed genres and styles easily. One week a western, the next a detective thriller, followed by a bug-eyed monster from outer space. Some of these immensely talented individuals were immigrants, making their first American paycheck from the art they created. Some were women. As readers, and fans of pulp, we owe a debt of gratitude to all of them. Here are just a few.
Virgil Finlay is…” one of the foremost contributors of original and imaginative art work for the most memorable science fiction and fantasy publications of our time." What it lacks in the detail, it more than makes up for in imagination.
Matt Fox illustrated covers for the horror pulp magazine Weird Tales from 1943 to 1951. His specialty seemed to be covers like this. Hence, the ‘Weird” in the title.
Jack Binder was a Golden Age Comic artist and creator of the original Daredevil (Lev Gleason Publications of the 30s and 40s). What science fiction adventure is complete without an alien sidekick and marauding natives? Dig those crazy bug eyes
Whoops. How did that get in here? This, of course, is Brett Vail's wonderful work.
Prolific artist whose work crossed genre lines, working in magazines, paperbacks, comics and trading cards. How can you not love a square jawed space hero punching out a lime-aid Donald Trump alien while a scantily clad female nervously awaits her rescue. 4
And, of course, George Rosen featuring the ominous crime fighter the iconic, Shadow. “Who knows…”
This is my favorite cover of all time by artist Modest Stein. Stein did several of the Doc Savage covers but this takes the prize! I think the cover speaks for itself, don’t you? I’m going to guess and say this was created sometime during the war.
This had been just a small sample of some of the great art of the period. Special Thanks to FIELD GUIDE TO WILD AMERICAN PULP ARTISTS for the use of their art and information. You can visit them and see an alphabetical list of all the great artists of the period at pulpartists.com
500 visits last week!
I want to start out by thanking Mark Verheiden for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions last week. And, while I’m at it, some very special love to all of Mark’s fans who stopped by. Like Denny’s, jplinde.com is always open and have better coffee. We’ll have other guest writers dropping so you’re not going to want to miss what they have to say.
Happy 4thof July weekend. I hope you are all had a safe and sane holiday. Pleased to announce that the Linde’s got through it with all our fingers and toes intact. In a show of strength to our neighbors, we parked Tanktop all week long in the driveway
Not that summer reading, can’t be dangerous. I’m spending a few weeks diving into Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars series (specifically in relation as to why the movie adaptation tanked so phenomenally). I do have one or two ideas and will share my theory on the subject in the next few weeks. I know this is Pulp 101, but if you haven’t read any of the books in the series, do yourself a favor. I hear Barsoom is lovely this time of year.
Historical footage of the legendary Spruce Goose crashing into a McMinnville Oregon cornfield.
Another shout-out to Scott Ranalli for his five-star review of “Son of Ravage” on Amazon. Scott is a true pulp fan and I am truly grateful for his support.
I thoroughly enjoyed this over-the-top romp. The action is non-stop and throughout we are treated to mythical creatures, Bond-like set-pieces, explosions galore, and of course a guy with a tank turret on his head!! The love for the "good old stuff" of the pulps is apparent, as are a love of more modern entertainment like movies and TV --- references are dropped all over the place.
Despite the worst intentions of slacker Barry Levitt, he is drawn further and further into a crazy cluster$#!& of circumstances. Along for the ride are his four misfit friends. The best part of the book is the bond and love of these friends and how that can overcome one's typical need for self-preservation. It's really cool to watch the hook get set (in Barry AND his friends) for what would become "the love of adventure" that Lester Dent often spoke of in his pulp books.
I did not care for the "25 Years Later" epilogue. It took me out on a downer note. I wish I hadn't seen into that future. You may consider stopping at the final story chapter before that. But other than that, I really love this book, and had so much fun reading it and look forward to further adventures of Barry and his gang!!
Sorry, about the ending, Scott. I promise I’ll do better next time. Speaking of reviews. Spread the word. If you’ve read it, write it. Goodreads and Amazon are dying to hear what you thought of the 1stbook in the Son of Ravage Series. All reviews are welcome. And don’t forget to tell your friends that “Son of Ravage” is the read of the summer. Dawn from Los Angeles put her two cents in:
Is is a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a guy with a tank-cannon turret on his head? Like a kid in a toy store who can play with anything he wants, author J.P. Linde gleefully takes the tropes and conventions of this ‘epic’ adventure genre and zooms around the room with them. He takes ideas to their absurdly hilarious edge, yet never loses control of his narrative. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Thank you, Dawn
Historical footage of a Nazi with a jetpack
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @jplinde and on J.P. Linde Author on Facebook.
In closing, there are some exciting things coming to the blog in the coming weeks. I just wish I knew what they were! See you next week!
In 1981, J.P. Linde co-wrote and appeared in a one-man comedy show titled “Casually Insane.” Shortly after, he joined the ranks of stand-up comedy and performed in clubs and colleges throughout the United States and Canada. In 1989, he made his national television debut on “Showtime’s Comedy Club Network.” He wrote the libretto for the musical comedy “Wild Space A Go Go” and co-wrote and co-produced the feature motion picture, “Axe to Grind.” “Son of Ravage” is his second novel.