I have written classic pulp characters before. Over at Pro Se Press, you can find stories by me featuring Armless O’Neil, The Eagle and Thunder Jim Wade. I have a Diamondstone the Magician story over there that might see the light of day someday as well. And I am currently working on another classic pulp hero, this time for Airship 27.
This will probably be the last time as well.
I love classic pulp characters just as I love old pulps. But I also have realized that interpreting old characters isn’t really what I want to do in my writing. I want to create, to imagine and to generate, and more often than not have felt hamstrung by just using some traditional pulp character. I have went through it every time I wrote any of the characters I listed above (except, strangely, for Thunder Jim Wade).
Now that is not to say you will never see me write or use any classic pulp or comic characters. I have several stories in the works that use old pulp characters in various ways and to various effects. But all of them take the original pulp hero out of their comfort zone either in location, developmental or even identity. You will see more of the Living Legends, public domain superheroes transposed into the modern world. You will see sequels to “Domino Reborn,” my tale of a modern day descendant of the original Domino Lady. You will see a mystery pulp-style comic hero transported to the 1980s in an upcoming short story and novel that still has yet to be announced.
But you won’t see them in their original settings. I am not the man to write it. The more I try to do it, the more I realize I do not like being confined in that way. I leave that to dozens of other great pulp writers to make happen. Pulp Empire even has a great anthology in the works called Pulp Team-Up that will use classic pulp heroes, often in first time meetings. I look forward to reading and editing it.
Meanwhile, I have a whole lot of other writing to do, all with characters that truly strike my muse’s fancy.
And maybe more Thunder Jim. We’ll see.