Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Thun'da comic & Frank Frazetta

I ran across this Thun'da comic and old comic site the other day while trolling the web.  You can read it for free on the site, or if you want to register over there and you can download it was well.  I have a copy already from when Dark Horse (I believe was the publisher) put out a copy a few years ago.  It's a pretty cool comics if jungle adventure appeals to you, or Frazetta art.  You can find it over at Comicbookplus.com  And there are other comics over there as well which are domain free. 

I ran across this site on old pulp magazines, which looks to have a lot of information on it, so I thought I'd post it as well.  Go to pulpmags.org.    If  you enjoy stuff like John Carter of Mars, Robert E. Howard, The Shadow, Doc Savage, and so forth, you might like to check it out.

TCM had novelist and writer of The Wire, George Pelecanos, as their guest programmer the other night. All of his picks were good ones and I enjoy his commentary as well. They started the night with the Robert Duvall, Joe Don Baker, and Karen Allen movie, The Outfit, which I'd seen not too long ago. It's basically a revenge movie where Duvall goes hunting for the mob that had killed his brother.  Sometime earlier they'd made the mistake of holding up a bank that had mob ties (the reason they killed his brother), so when Duvall finally gets out of jail, he tracks down his friend, played by Baker, to even the score.  It's one of those 70's gritty crime films that's worth tracking down, or watching on TCM whenever it comes on again. Along with the next movie they showed.

After The Outfit, they showed the films, The Seven-Ups with Roy Scheider.  Set in the 70's in New York City, and similar in tone to The French Connection (it even has a thriller car chase). It's about some cops that use unorthodox methods and violence to capture the criminals they are after.  The story has quite a few plot twists, and takes a bit to catch onto where the story is going.  I really enjoy that from these 70's films in that you have to pay attention to the film to figure out what's going on.  Finally one of the Seven-Ups officers is captured by the mob and that sends Scheider's character over the top to get his buddy back. Here's a Youtube link to the full movie, if interested. 

That was followed by Monty Wash, and I enjoy westerns, but this one took me about half the movie to get into it.  Eventually though, I enjoyed it after it ended. It had Lee Marvin and Jack Palance in it, and is sort of about the demise of the cowboy lifestyle, as they're being taken over by a corporation.  The corporation has been fencing off land, firing cowboys, and there's no where to get a job.  Palance eventually gives up the cowboy life, gets married, and starts to settle down running a dry goods store in town. This leaves Monty to his own devices and soul-searching.  He thinks maybe he might want to do the same and marry the town whore, played by Jeanne Moreau.  But Monty is unsure of  the idea and begins to drift around some more and  look into other options.   He thinks about joining a Wild West show, but decides he can't deal with all the concrete cities, changing his name, and all that might entail.  Soon men from his past present themselves, and he has to decide what to do with the situation.  Like I said, it took me a while to get into the film, as it starts out as a pretty generic western with brawling in the saloon, and cow-punching, and those type things.  But after it ended, I felt it was a really well made western. 


At 8:02 AM, Blogger Roman J. Martel said...

Thanks for the link to the pulps. I've been getting into those again. Just wrapped up my first spin with Howard's Solomon Kane character. It was a real good time. I had no idea the bulk of the stories were going to take place in "darkest Africa" but it was a pleasant surprise. I get the feeling these were earlier stories in Howard's work. They don't seem quite as well written as his Conan work.

I'm going to give John Carter of Mars a read next. This will also be new for me, but I'm in the mood for pulpy fun.

I had a friend who loved "The Seven Ups". I've never seen it, but thanks for reminding me about it. It was one of his favorite 70s action flicks.

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

Pulps are great fun. Edgar Rice Burroughs in particular is a gas. His dialogue is a little stilted, but that doesn't matter in most of his settings -- after all, how exactly does a princess of Mars talk? He writes rousing action though.

I suppose I'm revealing age by saying I saw those films in the theater.

At 12:10 PM, Blogger El Vox said...

Roman, I think you're right about Solomon Kane being written before his more famous Conan character. I believe that Weird Tales published his first stories, "Spear and Fang" and "In the Forest of Villefere" in 1925, and then some Sailor Steve Costigan fight stories, which are real fun to read if you can find any.

The first things I read by Howard was from a book (Berkley publishers) given to me by a friend called The Book of Robert E. Howard (they also made a Volume 2 on Zebra publishing), which had a mixture of tales in it, though none were from his more major characters like Conan, Kull, etc. But it was enough to intrigue me into finding more of his books. They did a nice collection of some of more major characters in 2000 on Del Ray/Ballantine books, which you can probably find at Barnes & Nobles or eBay, etc. I picked up the first Conan book that way.

By the way, I rented the newer Conan film the other night, but was pretty disgusted with it, I would say avoid it. They got the look to the world fine, but the story was just a mishmash of fighting and cliches of other movies unfortunately--plus I didn't like that they had to give him an origin story. For whatever reasons, it didn't work for me very well.

John Carter of Mars is fine and fun to read, if you've seen the movie you know what you're in for, though scenes were added and changed for the movie. A friend told me to read his Tarzan stories as he enjoyed them better, and I have to agree with him though I was skeptical at first. I still want to pick up that John Carter movie at some point. :) There's also a E R Burroughs site that's got a lot of stuff on it, along with a comics subscription service that you can get for a small fee of $2. per month, if interested. You can find it at: http://www.edgarriceburroughs.com/

At 12:18 PM, Blogger El Vox said...

Richard, I agree about Burroughs' writing style, however, I think he got better when writing Tarzan. He is really good at action, and his imagination elevated him even further. I imagine back in the day when those were written it was just like Star Wars to a reader. One thing for sure, I think he influenced a lot of different SF writers and movie makers.


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