Saturday, 2 December 2017

We Are Experiencing A Lull

Aside from Lucky Comics, it seems that publication of Black Bat material has ground to a halt for the time being. Probably the most we can hope for, at least early in the new year, are more reprints of original tales from the 1940s from Altus Press and/or Adventure House.

I was using the free time that was thrust upon me to add to the Pabel Fledermaus cover collection.  With several hundred Black Bat stories published in Germany, that's a task I may never live to see fulfilled to my expectation. But while searching out more covers from that series, I found out that the Black Bat caught on to some degree in other parts of the world as well.

From what I've been able to uncover, DetektivMagasinet was published in Norway between 1928 and 1966. It included a few Black Bat stories, under the name Svarta Pantern, but did not embrace the character to the degree that Pabel Kriminalroman did when they made the character their leading feature.

Somewhat oddly, Svarta Pantern actually translates to Black Panther, not Black Bat, so I am slightly curious as to how the translation handled references to the character's appearance, specifically the ribbed cape made to look like bat wings.

And the pretense of being blind was so much more appropriate to a bat-themed character. It seems like deviating from that causes more problems than it solves.

In any event, I'm going to attempt to record which stories were reprinted and when. Finding covers to display may be more problematic but as you can see from the example at left, they tend to be knock offs (and poor ones, at that) of the original Black Book Detective covers anyway so that may not be much of a loss. As far as I can tell, the story Murder Among The Dying was the first to be reprinted, in 1947.

The Black Bat also had a presence in Sweden, it would seem.

Nyckel-Bockerna ran from 1934 to 1970 or so. In its final years, it tended to publish Westerns more so than pulp detective stories but for some time it did reprint original Black Bat tales.

As you can see from the cover at right, like DetektivMagasinet, Nyckel also duplicated the original Black Book Detective covers (rather poorly, mind you) and credited G. Wayman Jones. It also inexplicably used the Black Panther name.

The more I write that the less I get it. That's like taking Spider-Man and and naming him The Red Mouse.

But whatever. I shall track down some info about these as well. In order to make room, I've combined Dynamite's Masks series covers and the Black Bat 12-issue series pages into one and I will create a new page specific to Norway/Sweden reprints and whatever graphics I can find.

Hopefully that gets me through this dead zone and we can have new Black Bat material to look forward to.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Coming Next Year: The Bat #1

At this rate, I might as well self-appoint myself as the unofficial Lucky Comics blog...

The Bat #1 Arrives This Winter! 
Michael Quinn, the Modern Black Bat, is unleashed in his own title from Lucky Comics this winter with The Bat #1!!! 
This two part story titled "All Points Bulletin" will set the tone and kick off this ongoing series as Hill Top PD hunts the mythical Bat creature. With story by John Michael Helmer and stunning art by Daniel Solano, The Bat will hit Lucky Comics with a bang. 
Dan Solano is no stranger to the Lucky Comics Universe as he brought his creator-owned title "Cyber Jane" and her ultra police force "Unit Black" on board in 2016. Now, Daniel is helping launch the Black Bat, spilling from the pages of Beetle Girl, as a modern vigilante bent on bringing his own brand of justice to the world where the police and the justice system cannot. Co-starring Cyber Jane and Unit Black. 
Join us for The Bat #1 in early 2018.
Pages: 8
Format: B & W
Price: $2.00 (print) .75 (digital)
Black Bat Tales will continue to provide, well, tales of the '30s version of the character, no doubt.

Wait a minute...Michael Quinn? Have we got a multi-generational thing going on here? Let's find out in a couple of months!

Monday, 30 October 2017

And Still More Updates On Black Bat Projects From Lucky Comics

Only a few days after sharing posting news about upcoming Black Bat projects from Lucky Comics, additional update were posted on the publisher's own blog. I copy those below, with more than a little anticipation and giddiness.
Lou Mougin has ramped up his Black Bat scripting (to include) several 1932 adventures and has plans to continue his Eliot Ness/Black Bat trilogy as the two work through their tumultuous relationship.  
Lou has another Pulp Legends tales in mind as he continues to expands The Black Bat Golden Age Universe at Lucky Comics.

Publisher John  Michael Helmer has scripted three Black Bat stories: Black Bat vs. Houdini and Black Bat vs. the Pearl Thief are some of the notables. He's also produced "Fantom Face #1" and the "Masked Angel #1" which occur in the Black Bat universe of the 1930's.  
Look for a team-up book consisting of Black Bat, Miss Fury, Masked Angel and Fantom Face in the spring of 2018.
Lots to look forward to there. Miss Fury used to be a co-star on this blog but got bumped when her material dried up and, frankly, I became more interested in The Black Bat both past and current.  She's not new to Lucky Comics though. She appeared in an issue of Girl Commandos.

Fantom Face and Masked Angel, to the best of my knowledge, are new characters or based on public domain character but renamed. My guess is the former. Either way, the notion of a Black Bat "universe" with a set continuity, recurring villains and fellow crime fighters is welcomed.

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 interesting to watch 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...