The New Pulp boom is giving me new hope. I had about thrown out my Doc Savage fan fictions, inspired heroes, and all the Doc Savage-esque pulp stories I had written over the decades. For instance, concerning my premiere Doc-like character, I haven’t worked seriously on the Alexander Drake tales since the 1990s. Back then every time I asked about Doc reprints or the possibility of a Doc movie or comic or…. it was always shot down and mumbles of legal tangles and infighting amongst corporations made it seem an impossible task to ever see Doc Savage in print again. I even attempted to get the lawyers controlling the Lin Carter estate to let me create new Zarkon adventures, but they were not interested. I threw in the towel and gave up.
However, things have dramatically changed and I have renewed hope. One, Doc Savage himself has returned in a limited run of new/old Wild Adventures from his estate curator Will Murray. Secondly, Doc Savage comics and movies are being produced. But the third part is much more interesting.
Over the years writers have grown equally tired of the legal morass, and so either by way of nonfiction books studying the classic heroes or the likes of Win Scott Eckhart’s continuation of the Wold-Newton factions from Phillip Jose farmer, or by the creation of fanfictions and knockoff characters pulpdom has continued. Now though, with the advent of epublishing and the coincidental public domaining of many early characters, the New Pulp era has blossomed
New Pulp characters have emerged, like The Rook, Domino Lady, and Lazarus Gray, plus many old ones have returned like The Avenger, Honey West, and Secret Agent X. I was especially excited to run across what Barry Reese was doing with his Reese Unlimited imprint. He is merging all his characters into a single continuity or universe and people can now marvel at team-ups featuring Assistance Unlimited, the Rook, and the Dark Gentleman all in a single adventure.
This seems a prime time to return Alexander Drake to the mix. His adventures had spanned the 1970s-1990s, with only notes and musing from them on, plus his world had at one time been intricately connected to my superhero universe. I have separated the two realities decades ago, but now I wonder…? Nevertheless, the similarities between what they are doing now and to what I had created on my own back in the 1970s, when I naively thought I was the only person who loved Doc Savage enough to create a hero in his image, are profound and exciting.
Pay heed, world, it is time and criminals beware: Alexander Drake and his team are about to return.