Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Black Bat Update From Lucky Comics

Now that Black Bat Tales #3 is available on drive-thru, Lucky Comics publisher John Michael Helmer gave us a peek on Facebook of what we can expect in the (near?) future.
Lucky Comics is pleased to announce that artist Christopher Martinez will be drawing an upcoming Black Bat Tales issue. The story is set in 1932 and features Black Bat's helpers Butch & Silk as they team up to stop a pearl thief. Carlos' dark, moody art is a perfect fit for the noir feel of Black Bat Tales! Welcome aboard.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Pulp Legends #1: The Black Bat

This short story had been in production for some time. I was nearing the point of wondering if it would ever be released and then it appeared out of nowhere last night.

Lucky Comics begins its PROSE series with old fashioned, high action pulp stories! 
This issue: The Black Bat strikes terror in a mobster who has information on the murder of a policeman!
The next issue is already scheduled to feature Secret Agent X but since The (Black) Bat is a key member of the Lucky Comics roster, a traditional version appearing in Black Bat Tales and a modern take guest-starring in Beetle Girl and Dixie Squad, let's not be surprised if he shows up in this series again down the road.

Edit: Black Bat Tales #3 was released on October 3rd and appears to include the same content.
IN THIS ISSUE: The Bat has captured a murderer whose evaded the long arm of the law and uses a most unusual technique to interrogate him--a deadly black widow spider!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Fighting Crime One Dime At A Time

I don't know how much "face time" the masked nemesis of crime gets in this book but the fact that his name appears in the sales pitch is promising, even if he doesn't appear on the cover.
The Shadow, The Spider, The Avenger, Doc Savage, The Black Bat, The Phantom Detective — these swashbuckling heroes of mid-20th-century pulp fiction all had one thing in common: They fought crime from outside the law, unhindered by red tape and unmindful of such legal niceties as due process. They fought with fists and guns, for the most part hiding their true identities beneath outlandish costume and grotesque disguises. 
This collection of essays by distinguished pulp-fiction aficionados chronicles the era of single-character magazines from offbeat angles and with keen insight. The pieces herein analyze key stories and characters while offering rare, behind-the-scenes glimpses of authors and editors at work, crafting and polishing the pulp-paper fever dreams that enthralled millions of young readers during the Great Depression, World War II, and beyond. Ed Hulse, editor of Blood ‘n’ Thunder, the award-winning journal of adventure, mystery and melodrama, has assembled these affectionate essays with loving care and a discerning eye for the high-water marks in this phase of American popular culture. 
This third volume of Blood ‘n’ Thunder Presents, like its predecessors, is profusely illustrated with pulp-magazine covers and original artwork.
Order here.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

APN's Black Bat Story Preview Art

Work on Always Punch Nazis, a comic book anthology which will include a Black Bat story, appears to be coming along nicely.

A few days ago, artist Stuart Berryhill shared a page from that Black Bat story and since he seemed open to making it public, well, here it is.

Evidently we're going to get a traditional version of the character, based on the full-face mask. I also assume that's "Team Bat" as a whole in the second panel; Butch and Silk at left and Carol at bottom right.

I think I'm going to avoid seeing additional preview material so there's still some newness in it for me when I buy this book. But it's intersting to see it being built up.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Black Bat Omnibus Volume Three Now In E-Book Format

Are e-books your thing? If so, you're the target market for one of Altus Press' most recent releases, announced last week.

The Black Bat returns! This collection contains the next three adventures of the Black Bat: “The Black Bat’s Flame Trail,” “The Black Bat’s Triumph,” and “The Black Bat and the Trojan Horse,” uncut and restored. It’s the next volume of the complete reprinting of the series.
By purchasing them at for $4.99, you'll receive a .zip file containing both .mobi (for Kindle devices) and .epub versions (for IPhones, IPads and Nook devices.

The print versions are at volume 6 but I suspect 7 is on the way soon.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Two More Sanctum Reprints Coming Soon!

Good to see The Black Bat still in Sanctum's plans! It seems like forever since I'd heard about one of their reprints being released but that seems to be simply because I missed the announcement.

Volumes 9 and 10 continue to follow the format of previous volumes; two stories and a comic reprint. There's a twist though, when you get to the solicitation text to #10. Read on:

The Nemesis of Crime returns in classic pulp novels by Norman A. Daniels writing as "G. Wayman Jones."

First, the Masked Avenger of Crime rips aside the veil of secrecy that shrouds a mob leader’s murderous activities in “The Black Bat’s Invisible Enemy.”   
Then, the Black Bat pursues “The Voice of Doom," a human scourge who attacks the underworld and upperworld alike!

GOLDEN AGE OF COMICS BONUS: The Mask returns in another illustrated adventure from Nedor's EXCITING COMICS! This instant collector's item showcases the original cover paintings by Rudolph Belarski and interior illustrations by V. E. Pyles, with historical commentary by Will Murray and Anthony Tollin.
The above volume is expected to be available next month, and I've been able to track down a release date of November 29th for volume 10.

The Nemesis of Crime returns in classic pulp novels by Norman A. Daniels writing as "G. Wayman Jones."

First, the Black Bat risks his own eyes to aid victims deprived of their sight in “The Eyes of the Blind.”

Then, Tony Quinn battles a monstrous killer as “The Blackout Murders" panic the nation!

GOLDEN AGE OF COMICS BONUS: The origin of the Black Terror from Nedor's EXCITING COMICS #9 by Richard Hughes and David Gabrielsen! 
This instant collector's item showcases the original covers and interior illustrations by V. E. Pyles, with historical commentary by Will Murray and Anthony Tollin.
The Black Terror? I know there are only so many stories of The Mask to reprint, but what does Black Terror have to do with anything? Now I'll be curious to know who they feature next. Green Lama? Miss Masque?

Not that The Black Bat and The Black Terror wouldn't make a good team, mind you...Get on that, Dynamite!

Monday, 21 August 2017

The Black Bat Will Always Punch Nazis

The near future may appear bleak in terms of new tales of The Black Bat but we found out yesterday that before longthe masked nemesis of crime will be punching Nazis right between their beady eyes.

The news came courtesy of writer Gordon Dymowski on Twitter.

I'm proud to say that I solved that mystery in a matter of minutes!

The anthology in question is in comic book form and while it is still in the planning stages, each story should run somewhere between 4-8 pages. The original Black Bat's stories were first published between 1939 and 1951 and therefore the character is no stranger to Nazis. Gordon Dymowski is likewise familiar with the Black Bat, having contributed the story "The Magnificent Anderson" to Airship 27's third volume of Black Bat Mystery.

It appears that Erik Franklin will be handling art duties. Erik also contributed a story to volume three of Black Bat Mystery entitled The Dark Magician and has seen his work included in anthologies for Sherlock Holmes and The Purple Scar as well, among others. I don't know of any published work as an artist, however.

It seems that interest among creators is such that there may already be enough material for a second issue. They do want to get the first one out there quickly though so it should not be long until we...

Monday, 14 August 2017

The Black Bat in Superhero 2044

We are deep in the middle of a dry spell when it comes to Black Bat material. No doubt Lucky Comics are continuing to work on both of their versions (1930s and modern day) of the character, and Altus Press will announce the next volume of their reprints before too long, but right at the moment, we have little to look forward to.

Unexpectedly, the next time we see the character might be in a format in which he's never appeared, that I know of. The Black Bat will be among the playable character in a role-playing game called Superhero 2044.

Now my role-playing game days are in my distant past but I can't help but find this one interesting if only for the number of public domain characters that it features. In a press release from this past May (about Checker BPG acquiring the rights to the game), Superhero 2044 was described as follows:
...the first commercially available superhero-themed role playing game at the dawn of the industry appearing in 1977 shortly after the explosive launch of early games like Dungeons and Dragons and Runequest. Innovative for the time period it featured such specific rules as classifications for differing types of super heroes, melee rules unique to super heroes, a ranged combat system,  point based character construction, and eventually a comprehensive defined list of super powers.
And now it is being updated and upgraded. Starting on Wednesday, August 16th, a Kickstarter campaign will launch to help fund the new version. Checker will also create a collectible card game.

Let's have a look at the cast of playable characters.

A partial roster of playable HEROES:
Domino Lady, The Heap, Arrow, Arsene Lupin, Purple Zombie, Thor, Golden Age Daredevil,  Uncle Sam, The Spider, Fantomah, The Black Terror, Hercules, The Black Bat, Mister Monster, Silver Streak, Hugo Danner, Circe, Isis, The Werewolf, Atom Master, The Face, Target, The Ghost, Ms. Fury, The Flame,  Cheshire Cat,  Black Orchid,  Lady Justice,  Fantomas, Man O’ War, The Moth, Avenger, Dr. Nemesis, The Grim Reaper, Miss Masque,  Black Angel, Magno, Tesla, Kid Frankenstein, Perseus, Hydroman, Sinbad,  G-8 and His Battledrones,  Birdman, Hang-Man, Black Panther, John Henry, Monkey King, and more…
Very cool to see not only the Black Bat but a common team-up partner in Domino Lady and this site's former co-star, Ms Fury.

So we'll look in later this week, assuming plans to launch the Kickstarter campaign on Wednesday have not changed, and see if they offer some character-specific perks. Some of the art displayed on the Checker website is phenomenal but unfortunately, I have yet to see their interpretation of The Black Bat.

They also have mini figurines which might be of interest. What appears to be a work-in-progress Domino Lady is displayed below. The opportunity to create a little pulp team-up in my office, with the Black Bat front and center, might be too good to pass up if it comes to pass!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Bat Guest Stars in Dixie Squad #2

The (Black) Bat is all over the Lucky Comics line. Black Bat Tales, which features stories taking place in the 30s, recently saw the release of its second issue and a modern take on the character has appeared in a couple of issues of Beetle Girl (see, Dynamite? It CAN be done!). He was also given a spotlight during Free Comic Book Day.

And now, that modern version makes a surprise (well, to me, anyway) appearance in Lucky's Dixie Squad title.

Lucky Comics unique super hero team title featuring dynamic Southern Heroes destined to save America from ALL threats! 
In this issue:  
Dixie Squad is finally given a new commander named Colonel Hobbs! 
The Squad's next mission: Capture the BAT! 
Johnny Rebel, Mountain Man, Superfortress, Virginia Dare, Whistlin' Dixie 
With a fantastic cover by Oscar Suyama, Cássia Alves & Daniel Vardi
The treatment of the character is consistent with his appearances in Beetle Girl. His harsher methods create a perception that he's a menace that needs to be controlled and so the DS sets out to do that very thing.

That being said, a recent issue of the Beetle Girl book saw her chased by Dixie Squad as well. Could the Beetle and Bat end up on the same side? Let's wait and see.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Kill The Lady Goodbye (A Short Story)

This was a nice surprise. I spend so much time searching (and waiting) for Black Bat material yet from time to time a story will pop out out of nowhere.

A comment on a previous on June 2nd drew my attention and so thank you for that, Ray. I was on my way to my cottage so couldn't act on it until now, but I appreciate the heads up. The story had actually only been released the previous day but I had no idea it was even in the works.

Here's the sales pitch: 
Long before Wonder Woman, Supergirl or the Black Widow hit newsstands there was the Domino Lady--the first masked female crimefighter from the golden age of pulp magazines.  
Driven by the murder of her crusading District Attorney father, beautiful socialite Ellen Patrick assumes the alter ego of the Domino Lady to fight crime, break up political machines, expose corruption in the courts, as well as the Capitol. Arming herself with a .45 pistol and a syringe full of knockout serum, the Domino Lady’s most effective weapon is her sensual beauty, which often distracts her opponents before she turns the tables on them. 
In Kill the Lady Goodbye, Ellen Patrick’s steamy romance with a hotshot attorney is cut short when his father—a carnival tycoon—mysteriously disappears. An investigation plunges pulpdom’s sexiest avenger into a dangerous conspiracy involving a powerful criminal organization with ties to the highest levels of city government, a corrupt carnival empire—and into the crosshairs of the notorious vigilante known as the Black Bat
Before the Dark Knight patrolled the streets, before Daredevil prowled the back alleys of Hell’s Kitchen, the Black Bat battled the dark underbelly of New York. Former District Attorney Anthony Quinn was blinded by acid, but has gained the ability to see in the dark, enabling him a great advantage as he prowls the streets as a dark avenger. 
In this tale of blazing action, deadly intrigue, and saucy romance, two-time Bram Stoker Award nominated author Taylor Grant brings together two of pulp fictions greatest heroes. They will come face-to-face with the dark underworld of NYC and a mob boss who will stop at nothing to see them dead. 
A treat for longtime Domino Lady and Black Bat fans and a perfect introduction to the characters for a whole new generation of readers. Grab your fedora and .45s as Kill the Lady Goodbye unleashes the pulse-pounding excitement of the pulp detective fiction magazines of the 1930s and 40s.
It's said to only pay 33 pages long, so heads up on that level. You can purchase the story digitally here and learn more about Grant from his website.