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Posts Tagged ‘pulp magazines’

Traffic is creeping back up to pre-fubar levels (yay!) and several smaller targeted advertising companies have expressed ‘decent’ interest in having the blog participate in their ad programs.

Despite the slow down, I’m still on track this month for doubling monthly traffic two months in a row. I’m not at 10,000 unique visits per day, but things aren’t shabby either.  The google page rank is holding steady at 5 which, if you go by that measure, puts the blog at least one point over most others out there (not counting the monsters that are 7 and up in that).

I’m on the last stage of updating the pulp magazine image pages.  Check this out:

There are 378 individual titles listed in the checklist, ofwhich I have 349 images.  In putting this section together, I’ve assembled:

349 small images on a single page (the checklist page)

349 large images on 7 gallery pages

140 ‘history‘ pages that contain anywhere from 1 to 20+ small images each (of related magazine titles)

links amongst all of the various presentations.

Whew!

You can spend quite a bit of time in there checking out the different mags and their history.

The paintball website is now solid, back up and humming.  Finally.

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Headline pretty much says it all. 

We’ll start with Obama.  Afterall, he was pretty easy to pick a cover for. Yes, I know the painting was done as a white guy.  Not my fault. I’ve yet to find a Hawaiin depicted on the cover of a pulp magazine so this one will just have to do -

If I had wanted to go with a ‘black’ theme, I could have used this one -

But it really doesn’t convey the sense of strength, courage, fortitude, intelligence and leadership that I was looking for.

Biden was pretty easy -

Almost kind of even looks like him.

And now the moment I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for – the Palin covers.  (Who?  McCain? Oh yeah, the Republican Presidential candidate.  He’s still around?  Huh.)

In choosing these particular covers, I paid as much attention to the imagery (it needed to be a brunette on the cover and they’re just not as common as blondes.  Speaking of which: do we change the blonde jokes to feature brunettes instead or convince Sarah that she really IS a blonde and should get a dye job?) as I did to the names of the stories listed on the covers.  You ought to also.

This is how the Republican party would have us see her – democratic meat dripping from her claws.

Reality is so harsh sometimes, isn’t it?

…get elected. Ha ha ha.

I don’t think Isaac would have wanted to grope this particular femme fan. 

The Imposter.  LOL. LOL.

Empire of Evil. Yep. That’s what we’ll be getting…

An Empire of Evil that will leave a Legacy of Terror.  Fortunately for all of us, Obama has transformed himself into a giant black ant.

“I was once a beauty queen, you know. And I’m sooo smart – I went to six different colleges.  Hey, is that Putin invading my airspace over there?  Oh, no, it’s just dinosaurs strolling across the bridge to nowhere with human beings. You’d think they’d cover that in one of the many newspapers I read every day. But they write about dumb stuff like Supreme Court decisions no one can remember the names of. Stupid Supremes, they should never have broken up. Hey, wanna go wolf shooting from my helicopter while we patrol the border?”

Ok, here’s one for McCain -

Kelly, why do all of the socks look like an old man’s ball sack?

The Conservative.  Yeah.

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The article you are looking for can be found HERE on the new version of my blog

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I’ve finished chapter 7 and have tweaked the online presentation of the story just a tad.  Navigation should now be straight-forward and intuitive.

Here’s the opening panel for Chapter 7 -

 “Oh! Whatever shall I do?” cried the Princess.
“You boys have defeated every last one of my terrors. Boo hoo. Boo hoo.”
For some unknown reason, the brothers didn’t take the girl’s distress seriously.

You can see the entire thing here.

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Chapters 5 and 6 of PULP COMIC STORY have been posted on my website.  I’m now into the meat of it – lots of action and suspense at the moment.

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to be continued…

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To be continued…

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Up until about half a year ago or so, I’d managed to avoid Firefly.  Sure I’d heard lots of fans saying great things about it and I was certainly aware of all of the attention Joss Whedon was attracting (brilliant, down-trodden savior of all that is meaningful on TV), but I had this little problem believing any of it.  I’d been enticed into watching a couple of episode of Buffy and wrote it and Whedon off as trash.  Funny, sometimes high-concept (over the top) trash, but still trash.  Sorry Buffy fans.

I’m probably wrong about Buffy, but the second strike against it is that I’m not into vampires or fantasy, so even if I’d stuck around enough episodes of that show to catch Joss’s deftness with character, I still wouldn’t have put the show on the must watch list.  (I have no ‘must watch’ list for television.  I went seven years without an idiot box and consequently have gotten out of the habit.)

So, when I saw that Firefly was ‘by the same guy who did Buffy’, I figured some day I’d catch an episode or two, but I wasn’t going to waste any time making that happen.  Given the source and the title of the show, I figured it just had to be some SciFi send-up of a teenaged girl kicking alien monster butt – an SF re-tread of Buffy.  And to tell the truth that concept (except for the possibility of pleated school girl skirts in space) kind of left me yawning.

Then the show became available online and I decided to give it a shot.

I was intrigued from the get go.  This guy Whedon sure has created some interesting characters.  To say the man has balls is like thinking human when the reality is elephant.  Who else would start off a show with the defeat and near-death of two of his primary characters?  Who else would begin the pilot episode with a highly complex, expensive and very emotionally charged battle scene and then dump the whole frenetic, explosively paced thing for the mundanity of a freighter going about its business?

That’s like opening a hero movie with the climactic end scenes.  And then retro-flashing to the back story. Brilliant.

I watched all of the episodes on line and was thoroughly pleased. The characters were great, especially Mal and Jayne.  There wasn’t a one among the crew – Zoe, Kaylee, Wash, Inara, Book, River or Simon who didn’t have something to offer. 

Mal is nearly perfect in his conflicts – betrayed and vowing to never let it happen again, yet still reliant on a crew of misfits and inspiring deep loyalty.  He wants to be mean and get even, but he’s too nice/good a guy to really put his heart into it.  The portrayal though doesn’t overwhelm the story - it’s written into the way the character goes about doing his thing.  And the same is true for everyone else.

Of course I do have a few quibbles:  what kind of solar system has multiple planets and hundreds of moons that can all be terraformed?  No one is supposed to have FTL here, so how the heck did they get to this place from ‘Earth-that-was’?  What’s the economy like that such a small ship could make a living? (That this type of ship was designed and built presupposes economic viability without resorting to illegal activities.)  But those minorities fade into the background in the face of the characters and the storylines.

Having enjoyed the show, I decided that I needed to see the movie Serenity and absolutely put it on my ‘must watch’ list.

While waiting to acquire a copy of the movie I happened upon a chance to pick up the novelization at a library sale.  I then decided to conduct a little experiment, seeing as how I’m such a huge advocate of ‘the book is better than the movie’ type thinking.  True, this wasn’t a perfect experiment – the movie came first in this case and it really ought to go the other way around – but it still might be fun.  So I read the book all the way through to the final scenes (I put it down when Serenity and crew return to Mr. Universe’s world) and then I watched the film.

A pause now for commercial interruption -

I’ve finished the Ebay pulp magazine searches on the web page and they’re all active and up.  I’m pretty pleased with the results – I’ve even found a few pulps to add to my own watch list.  I think it’s a useful tool.  The first twenty pages or so don’t have a ‘back to the menu’ button (just use the back button) and I’m fixing that, but everything else is functional for now.

If you’re at all interested, I also added a few more images to the magazine checklist page – a couple of issues of Amazing Stories, a few more of the Ultimate reprint digests.

I still have a few Chandler Ebay searches to add (France and such) but they won’t take long and might even get finished today or tomorrow.

Now back to the show.

To begin, the novelization must have been written from a working script as there are a few scenes in the book not presented on the screen – most notably one involving Cuban cigars.  That’s actually a bonus rather than a problem, because we get a small glimpse into the movie-making process here. The scene involved Jayne and Book and may have been dropped as being a bit out of character for Jayne.  Or just for time or pacing.  We also miss out on seeing a battle scene with Book, which is a bit disappointing.

My main problem with the book was the author’s choice of presenting the crew’s manner of speaking – their vernacular and slang.  In an attempt to convey emotional content, the broken words, broken sentence structure and slang is carried beyond the dialogue.  Rather than putting you in the mood, it detracts and reads like something written by an inner-city illiterate.

The emotional content – particularly when compared directly to the movie – comes across as flat; back story and motivations are presented in the novel, they’re just not as immediate as watching the actor’s expressions or hearing their tones.

Reading the book and watching the movie were actually two entirely different experiences.  The fact that the storyline tracked so well between them is unusual – even for a novelization. (Compare Alien by Alan Dean Foster to the movie, for example.)  I found it very revealing (of Whedon’s abilities) that my full knowledge of the plot in advance of watching did not detract from my enjoyment of the film at all. 

What had left me cold while reading the book was suddenly alive in the faces of the actors.

That’s not to be saying that the book was bad.  As I said, the presentation of the characters and particularly their dialogue was a bit stilted – but that is something that I was probably overly sensitive to from having watched the television show.  I know how Mal sounds and looks and what I was reading was a slightly off, slightly pale reflection of Mal.  Recognizable, just not completely alive.  If you picked up this book sans knowledge of the show, your conclusion would most likely be ‘not bad – not great, but not terrible either, maybe I’ll catch the movie some day’.

There were also quite a few visual in-jokes scattered through the film that were not picked up on in the novel.  A crashed shuttle shows its registry numbers as C57D – the same name as the cruiser from Forbidden Planet.  At one point the ‘landing party’ are shown wearing red, yellow and blue colored t-shirts, resembling nothing so much as a party just beamed down from the Enterprise.  Quite a few of the scenes are derivative of other movies, presented in homage. I’m sure there are others that I’ll pick up on when I watch the film again.

I’m glad I had this chance to experience both forms of the story side-by-side. It was very revealing of the advantages and limitations of the different media.  I’d give the book 2 walking sticks and the movie 4 walking sticks.  In this particular case, the move outshines the literary form, which is probably as it should be, considering that the intended media was visual.

Having done this direct comparison, I can say that it confirmed my belief that one of the next big things coming down the pike will be (or should be) an original story that is conceived of and delivered as a multi-media blitz.

From the ground up, a movie is written in conjunction with a television series, the original novel is written in lockstep and the follow-on book series is plotted out while the graphic novel is drawn, the animated version is being storyboarded, the interactive game is being designed and melded with the social-networking site even as the audio book and podcast version of the radio play are being recorded and the top ten pop songs are being mixed in the studio.

A mantra of marketing is to never let anything get between the message and the consumer.  The fact that some people prefer one media over another is a huge impediment, a major objection to a sale.  Having to ‘wait’ for one preferred version or another to reach the consumer is another major objection.  By the time the product they are looking for hits the market, they’ve already moved on to other things.

But if someone can figure out a way to effectively deliver a property in all those media simultaneously, in a manner that allows them to be merged seamlessly with each other while still being workable as stand-alones - well then, they’ll be teaching Lucas a thing or two about modern day merchandising, won’t they?

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I’ve spent most of the morning working on my website.  I’m finishing up the Ebay search widgets for the 378 science fiction and fantasy (pulp) magazine titles that I’ve selectively determined belong in a ‘complete collection’ of such. (Going by a collector’s definition, not all SF magazines are ‘pulps’; some are bedsheet-pulps, some are digests, some are slicks and some are even paperbacks.) (My selective definitions are: English language, content primarily SF and/or Fantasy, professional-level publication, periodical of quarterly or greater frequency. There are a few exceptions here and there which are justified because I like them.  This is not a Library of Congress project.)

This has taken me a bit longer than I anticipated (but less than a week longer) – part of which delay is due to having taken a part-time job on the weekends.  I knew I was doing the job, I just forgot to subtract 28 hours from the time available estimate.

But I have fewer than 30 titles to go now, so, if I can motivate (after spending the past four hours working on other pages) I should be done today.

This has a (small) potential to bring me in a few pennies – and a large potential for partially automating my own searches of Ebay.  It has already come in handy with searches for stuff by A. Bertram Chandler (I’ve set up searches for him on Ebay US, CA, IT, JP, AUS, UK, FR & GR – host countries that have published his works).  I’m hoping to add a few more authors as time goes by.  Anyone can request a favorite to be added simply by emailing me.

Then – time and the agreement of the stars permitting – I’ll finally get the whole site converted over to run under a CMS of one brand or another (probably Joomla), which ought to make life easier.  I have a friend who is quite proficient in that program/interface/frontend/whatever.  I’ve tried working through it on my own and quickly realized I needed a little handholding.  But watch out.  Once I learn how to set up my own SQL databases, I’m going to be all over the place.

The PT job?  Back to paintball, sad say.  I’m field managing a local playing facility because I have ‘good organizational skills’ and ‘good customer service skills’.  I do enjoy showing new players the ropes (there’s almost always something funny happening on the field), but it can get boring quickly because I’ve been seeing the same stuff nearly every weekend for the past 25 years.

On the other hand, I’m learning to steal character traits and physical makeups from the customers for my writing. If you want real characters, there’s nothing for it like people watching.  I play games in my head while watching the customers play, figuring out what words I’d used to describe a voice, or a facial complexion, or how I’d adapt a real-life scene for a story. 

Any job a writer can get that pays them and let’s them workon their craft at the same time is a good job.

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