Monday, January 30, 2017

Musketeers!


This is my favorite show of the past few years, now in it's third (and reportedly final) season. Along with a rousing theme song (above), the action is peppered with humor (minus, of course, the subtitles employed in the video below).

Friday, January 27, 2017

Will Murray's KING KONG vs. TARZAN: Two Icons for Price of One


The Lord of the Jungle has bested some mighty tough critters over the course of his long career. The King of Skull Island, meanwhile, has kicked a whole lot of dinosaur butt, in addition to whupping (at least in the American film version) a big booger called Godzilla. So when these titans finally clash, you know there will be fireworks.

And that’s exactly what we get in Will Murray’s new epic, King Kong vs.Tarzan. And how it all comes about is told so convincingly that this unlikely meeting comes to seem inevitable.

If you’ve seen the movie recently (and I’m talking the 1933 version), you may recall that an hour and twenty-four minutes into the film, after Kong is subdued by a gas bomb on Skull Island, movie producer Carl Denham says, “Why, in a few months it’ll be up in lights on Broadway: Kong! The Eighth Wonder of the World!” – and in the next scene we see the Broadway marquee, proclaiming just that.

The film leaves a slew of questions unanswered. How did they get Kong to ship? How did they restrain him on the voyage? What did the big booger eat? Could they really keep him alive for months without him destroying the ship? How did the principle humans, Captain Englehorn, First Mate Jack Driscoll and would-be starlet Ann Darrow (that’s Fay Wray to you) resist tossing the demanding and conniving Carl Denham into the ocean?

King Kong vs. Tarzan answers all those questions, and many more, including the big ones: How the heck did Kong meet up with Mr. T, what kind of hell broke loose, and who came out on top? I’m not telling you any of that stuff. You’ll want to read it for yourself.

But I’ll reveal this much: There are 455 pages full of great fun and adventure. There’s plenty of grisly action as Kong squeezes natives like grapes, munches on a hippopotamus and scarfs down oodles of crocodiles. There’s all the fury and majesty of Tarzan of the Apes, ably assisted by his trusty companions Nkima the monkey and Jad-bal-ja the Golden Lion, and his reserve corps of great apes and elephants. It all comes down a battle royale that would have been admired by both Edgar Rice Burroughs and King Kong producer Meriam C. Cooper.

One of the more intriguing characters is a very old crone named Penjaga (aka The Storyteller) who is sort of Kong’s nanny and guardian. She was introduced, I believe, in Kong, King of Skull Island, the 2004 illustrated novel conceived by this book’s cover artist, Joe DeVito, and returned in Mr. Murray’s epic Doc Savage adventure Skull Island (reviewed HERE). Since Penjaga has now made the acquaintance of both Doc and Tarzan, we know they occupy the same Murray universe. Can a meeting between those two titans be far behind?

A new film, Kong: Skull Island (featuring Tim Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman) is slated for release this year, and a remake of King Kong vs. Godzilla is planned, but Hollywood would be much wiser to bring us a screen version of King Kong vs. Tarzan. I’m thinking J.J. Abrams or Joss Whedon. And whichever guy does it, he should be sure to give Will Murray a cameo.

In the meantime, you should rush to your favorite bookseller’s website and buy this book. It’s two icons for the price of one, and a hell of a lot of fun.

You can get it from Altus Press right HERE.


Friday, January 20, 2017

The Executioner in the Library


Had a fine surprise at the county library when I saw these shiny new trade paperbacks on the New Books shelf. The covers are way less pulpy than the originals, which is too bad, but the insides are as great as ever. A Mack Bolan rampage through our public libraries is long overdue. They're available as ebooks too. Makes me want to read them again for the fifth or sixth time.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Complete Adventures of Race Williams


“Knights of the Open Palm”
“Three Thousand to the Good”
“The Red Peril”
“Them That Lives By Their Guns”
“Devil Cat”
“The Face Behind the Mask”
“Conceited, Maybe”
“Say It With Lead!”
“I’ll Tell the World”
“Alias Buttercup”
“Under Cover”
“South Sea Steel”
“The False Clara Burkhart”
“The Super-Devil”
“Half-Breed”
“Blind Alleys”
and three Race-free tales:
“Dolly”
“Paying an Old Debt”
“The False Burton Combs”


The Snarl of the Beast (novel)
“The Egyptian Lure”
The Hidden Hand (novel)
The Tag Murders (novel)

And many more to come. Get 'em HERE.