Thanks for stopping by and for spreading the word about this little website. I have a couple more special guests that will dropping by in the coming months so stay tuned. Some of these guests may be genre specific, writing about topics near and dear to all our hearts. Others might be here just to drop some knowledge on what it takes to create. Either way, they will always be worth the read.
NEWS FLASH: We’ve made a down payment on a nearby sweat shop, city officials have been bribed to stay away and my Pay Pal account is up and running. What does it mean? It means SON OF RAVAGE SWAG is almost here! We’ll keep you posted.
While we’re at it, a quick shout out to one of our many visitors last week, Scott R. Scott was kind enough to stop by and leave the following comment: “Doc Savage fan from way back --- 45 years now! I am not so much of a purist that I cannot appreciate a well-done pastiche!!”
Wow! Much appreciated. As for “pastiche,” Son of Ravage” certainly qualifies. Comments, like Scott’s, are always welcome, and, as an added bonus, he’s now entered to win a personally autographed copy of “Son of Ravage.” See how easy it is?
And now, from Amazon reader reviews, this little nugget:
“Linde's got a fertile imagination, a quick wit, a sharp sense of irony and an impressive way with words. He tells an imaginative tales with skill and yet still manages to surprise the reader. A fun read!”
Thank you, Verified Purchase!
And now, without further ado, this week’s blog:
“On the rare occasion he was spotted, the turret was explained as the medical appliance for a man who lost most of his face during a nasty brawl at CBGB’s.”
Son of Ravage
Fans are letting me know in no uncertain terms that one of their favorite characters from “Son of Ravage” is gasp, not Barry Levitt, Doc, Brain, Face or even Beast, but none other than that nefarious henchman, the dapper hitman with the steel-plated face, Tanktop. And, to be frank, he’s one of my favorites as well. But did you know that this is not the first time, our beloved villain has graced the page? If you said, no, you win a kewpie doll! Tanktop was created by me in the eighties and first drawn by artist, entrepreneur and founding member of the “No Prisoners” comedy troupe, James Edgerton. Tanktop played an integral character in a screenplay I had written aptly titled, “Comic Book Heroes.” Being one of my first screenplays, the story had to include Nazi Vampires (Editor Note: Nazi vampires have always been big with me. However, I do feel validated by the proliferation of Nazi Zombies on the various incarnations of “Call of Duty.” I mean Nazi vampires are pretty much the same thing. Right?). The screenplay did feature a climactic battle atop Seattle’s Space Needle. Hmm, I may have to revisit that scene again.
Time passed but the idea of a henchman with a tank turret for a head never abandoned me. The name, of course, is a homage to the Dick Tracy villains of the 1930s. You know the ones, Flat-top, Prune Face, Pear Shape, Lips, The Brow, and my personal favorite, Catheter Nose. Okay, you got me. I may have made the last one up. Call me simple, but I love the idea of naming a henchman by his one, defining feature. It’s simple, direct, and gets to the point. Plus, whenever the reader comes across the name, it’s easy to imagine in their mind’s eye.
Richard Kiel as Jaws from 1977’s “The Spy Who Loved Me” was an inspiration. Menacing and funny is hard to pull off but Kiel seems to handle it all easily. His follow-up appearance, in “Moonraker,” eh, not so much.
Tanktop raised his iron-plated proboscis again, more than 30 years later when director Matt Zettell and I created a kid’s television sitcom pilot that made the studio rounds titled “The Nemeses.” The pitch was simple. Super criminal Blofeld is now a family man, on the lam and hiding out in the middle of suburbia. I needed a Lurch-type of character and decided my old friend fit the bill quite nicely. Producers and readers agreed; the presence of the silent giant stole the unproduced show. Again, close but no cigar.
But I’m a stubborn cuss and was not about to give up on what I believe is the breakthrough literary character of the 21stCentury. For my second novel, a homage to the pulp stories of the 30s, I wanted a henchman that was both deadly and comically absurd. Someone that would capture the reader’s imagination but would be sympathetic at the same time. I think our friend fits the bill quite nicely. It was fun coming up with an origin story that fit his singular epic personality. Feel free to read all about Tanktop’s tragic beginnings in “Son of Ravage,” available exclusively on Kindle and paperback on Amazon.
A very special shout-out to artist and friend, Aaron Montes for the Tanktop logo that is now gracing tee-shirts and coffee mugs. Who knows, logo inspired lingerie may be just around the corner. Aaron certainly captured the absurdity of such a character, and I am extremely grateful for his creativity.
No spoilers but if Tanktop manages to make it through the first story, I hope he will decide to stop by for the second installment. But like Jaws in “Moonraker,” I would hate for him to overstay his welcome. What do you think? Why not leave a comment.
Well, that’s all I have. I’m tapped. Until next week, America!
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.