Friday, September 22, 2006

Von Hulkman's Pets

Most articles about Pulp magazines usually focuses on the art, which is justifiably classic and representative of artistic wit and talent that rarely becomes quaint and outdated. Many contemporary comic book artists could take a few lessons from the great pulp artists (and some went even further than that).

The stories themselves are often overlooked or ignored. I admit to also doing that myself in regards to my own pulp collection. Whenever I receive a new magazine containing Frank R. Paul art I usually focus on that and disregard the rest.

While I enjoy the pulp era of fiction I find much of the writing to be forgettable or just not that good. There are notable exceptions, of course. The science fiction revival of the late 1950's through early 1970's derived much of it's content from the science fiction, fantasy and horror magazines of the 1930's and 1940's. I was myself unaware of this until I discovered the original work of such lights as Leinster, Wellman and others in old pulp magazines that I had recently read in new collections of anthologies.

Just as the current genres of SF and Fantasy prose came in part from the inexpensive accessibility of the pulp form to the general public, so do comic books have an origin in the frugal storytelling of the pulps.

Von Hulckman's Pets was first published in September 1949 in Amazing Stories. It is similar in style, pace and plot to the comic book SF and Monster stories that appeared in anthologies published by the truckload in the 50's and 60's by DC, Marvel (Atlas), et al. The story of mad villain and alien slave bugs battling a hero will be familiar to anyone who has a passing familiarity with the comic book genre. While it was published fairly late in the pulp era it is still representative of the type of Bug-Eyed Monster tale fiction that can be thought of as a precursor to the comic books that would be on the market a few years later.

This story could very well be adapted today into a comic book featuring Lady Cop going up against Lex Luthor and his army of mutant ants and no one would bat an eye.


You can download and read the story at the link: Von Hulckman's Pets.

Tags:

1 comment:

  1. the rreal question is, if I use the line "Aye, Mount me, master Olsen!" in proper company, will anyone ever invite me over again?

    Those pulp authors had a way with words!

    ReplyDelete

Moderation enabled only because of trolling, racist, homophobic hate-mongers.