Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Black Dog Books After-Christmas Sale!

Two Nebels for $30. Save $15, HERE.
Over at the Black Dog Books site, Jolly old Tom Roberts is doing his dangdest to make your new year happy. In addition to the swell packages pictured here, he's even offering the option to roll your own. Pick any two $19.95 books for $30 (HERE), or any three for $45 (HERE).

Two Pendexters for $20. Save $10, HERE.

Three Rohmers for $40. Save $19, HERE.

Two Worts for $30. Save $10, HERE.

Two Best of Adventures for $44.95. Save $25, HERE.
Two Englands for $30. Save $20, HERE.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Cap Gun Monday: Kilgore Eagle

Kilgore was a big name in caps, and made some nice guns in the cast iron age, but by the time pot metal was king, most of their cap guns were second rate. That includes the Eagle. It ain't bad by itself, but next to your average Hubley, Leslie-Henry, Stevens, Nichols or Mattel weapon it's sort of an ugly duckling. This one's about 7 1/2 inches long.


See a bunch more Cap Guns HERE. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Toy Soldier Saturday: MARX 60mm Ranch Cowboys (Part 1)

These here cowpokes are among those you'd like encounter in a 60mm Roy Rogers or Lone Ranger Ranch playset, hobnobbing with such luminaries as Roy, Dale, Bullet and Pat Brady, or L.R. and his faithful Native American companion. The others are sacked out in the bunkhouse, but you'll meet them in Part 2. 

More Toy Soldiers HERE.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Cap Gun Monday: MARX Miniature Derringer

When Marx called this a miniature, they weren't fooling. At 2 1/8 inches, it's of the smallest guns in the Miniature line. There ain't much more to say about it, so I'll shut up. 

More, more, more Cap Guns HERE.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Toy Soldier Saturday: IDEAL GIs (Part 2)

Here's the rest our hard-bitten Ideal troop. Their brothers-in-action are HERE

More Toy Soldiers (and some non-soldiers) HERE.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Forgotten Books: HARD GUY by James A. Lawson

Back in the Olden Days, before Tom Roberts started publishing those glitzy trade paperbacks, Black Dog Books were like this one -- a format he described as "saddle-stitched booklet, under single-color card stock cover." The trade paperbacks are great, of course, but I still have a special fondness for these chapbooks.

The hero of the five stories in Hard Guy, published way back in 2003, is a sometime private detective who shoots trouble in the Texas oil camps of the1930s. He calls himself Hard Guy, and other characters call him that too, as if that's his given name (and based on the content, it's tempting to speculate that his middle name is Dick). Actually, his given name is Dallas Duane, but it's mentioned so briefly it's easy to forget.

The "Dick" part springs from the fact that four of the tales were written for Spicy mags -- three for Spicy Western and one for Spicy Adventure. The fifth, a non-Spicy adventure, appeared in another Trojan magazine, Fighting Western. And yep, they're plenty spicy, spicier than what I'm used to in the Spicy Detective adventures of Dan Turner. While Turner never seems to go beyond smooching and fumbling about  with scantily-clad babes, Hard Guy leaves no doubt that his amorous appetites are fully satisfied.

The surprising thing is that these stories ran in western titles, when they seem much more suited to a detective mag. Yeah, the setting is Texas, and we occasionally meet a character who rides a horse, but calling these westerns is a big stretch.

Even more surprising, this James A. Lawson guy was a pretty good writer. His slang is every bit as creative as that of Robert Leslie Bellem, but when he's not aping Bellem, his style is truly unique, and shows real talent. When he describes the Texas oil camps, it's clear he's really been there, and knows what he's talking about. Makes me wonder who "Lawson" really was, and what else he might have written.

A search through my copies of Trojan publications (the Spicys, Speeds, Private Detective, Hollywood Detective and Super-Detective) turned up only one other story, an actual Old West western in the August 1941 issue of Spicy Western. I plan to post that entire story here sometime soon. Meanwhile, I'd recommend this book to fans of tough-guy detective fiction. spicy or not.