Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Pulp Hero Guide to Good Comics

The thing about Pulp Hero, I hope, is that folks realize the point of the blog is to discover the "new" Pulp thematically in what we term comic books. The connection between the two goes far deeper than merely Doc Savage = Superman, The Shadow = Batman...comics emerged from the Pulp magazines, a natural successor derived from the illustrations adorning the lurid, surreal stories, not to mention the brilliant covers. Contextually, the Pulp adventurers could make hay in the superhero's universe(s.) The icons of Pulp not only inspired most of the iconic superhero archetypes, but they informed the stories' general commercial appeal as well. The characters were designed to entertain and thrill as general an audience as possible, while still straddling lines of good taste. Basically, what most people wanted to read in the 1930s or the 1950s had the resonance of bad taste with the skill of professional writers/artists who knew what to include and what to allude to, in order to both avoid the censors and manipulate the old imagination.

Meaning, a lost art, essentially.

Anyway, my bend is toward Pulp as I understand it, and it all comes back to Pulp at some point. Comic books, the ones I really like, have elements of the long-standing traditions of Pulp and its derivatives, Drive-In movies and "macho" fiction ala "The Destroyer" "The Penetrator" and even Surf Music! There's a concussive reverberation from Pulp which continues to evolve and encompass Popular Culture.

Anyway, let the Guide commence hereforth.

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