PULP COVER FRIDAY PRESENTS A PLUG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (OH, AND SOME PULP STUFF)
We’ve been sitting on this for months, but now it can finally be told: ‘Game of Thrones’ Author’s Superhero Anthology ‘Wild Cards’ Headed to Big Screen (Exclusive) www.hollywoodreporter.com
I don’t want to post the whole thing here because it’s a fairly long article and my name isn’t mentioned, but check it out. Of course, the Hollywood process is grueling and few survive to actually reach the silver screen, but here’s hoping. In the meantime, I’ll just be sitting back and covering myself in that sweet, sweet free Hollywood money. Maybe up to my feet, anyway. In pennies.
So, on to what you really came here for, pulp stuff. Although I’ve done a little of this already, I thought we’d take a look at some of the more obscure pulp heroes. This time around, Captain Future gets the spotlight.
Curtis (Captain Future) Newton and his band of cronies was created by pulp editor Mort Weisinger and brought to life by writer Edmond Hamilton. He graced the pages of his own magazine for 17 issues (Winter 1940 to Spring 1944). Hamilton, one of the more dependable action-oriented sf scribes of the pulp era, wrote 15 of those (Joseph Samachson contributed two under the house name of Brett Sterling), and added ten more stories, not in FUTURE magazine as you might expect, but in STARTLING STORIES (spring 1945 to May 1951, making him one of the last surviving pulp heroes).
Twelve of these adventures were reprinted in paperback in the 1960s-1970s, and lately two hardcover volumes from Haffner have been published. Haffner intends to reprint the entire series in five or six volumes.
As is common with pulp heroes, Curt’s parents were killed by criminal scientists and he was raised up by his father’s fellow scientist and friend Simon Wright, and a couple of their co-inventions, Grag the intelligent robot and Otho the shape-shifting android. By the time of Curt’s adventures, Wright is reduced (either by accident, old age, or those pesky criminal scientists, I’m unsure) to being a brain in a glass box. (This is not the first use of the brain in a box idea. H. P. Lovecraft used to great effect. See: “Whisperer in the Darkness,” for an excellent application of this notion. Neil R. Jones, possibly the most turgid writer in the history of science fiction, also used it in his sleep-inducing Professor Jameson adventures, recommended as a sure-fire cure for the worst cases of insomnia.)
As also per usual, Curt is publicity shy, so he goes by the name of Captain Future. He makes no other effort to hide is identity, so how this shields him from the glare of publicity is unsure. Hamilton sets the initial adventures in the year 1990, causing me no end of disappointment (where’s my shape-shifting android?) but later novels drop the date and are set in an nonspecific future time.
Here are some of the better covers from the original run, and a couple of the paperback covers. Two are by some guy named Frazetta. Who was he, again?
And to finish, another favorite artist of mine, Jeff Jones.