Pete Beard’s Video Channel

Pete Beard video header

In this week’s ROCKETEER I’m talking about a great find on YouTube–Pete Beard’s Video Channel. If you’re a fan of good illustration, you’ll love this channel. It’s full of well researched videos about illustrators from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the pulp era! You can read (and listen to) it here.

Keyhole Kerry, Newshawk of the Kilocycles

Keyhole Kerry meme 2b_this one sm

I love puzzles, especially when they involve vintage stories. What was the writer thinking about when they wrote it? Were they influenced by something in their environment? Of course, without telepathy we can’t really know but thinking about it and looking for clues is a fun pursuit. Sometimes I discover a story (or series) that assumes knowledge of something contemporarily “pop culture.” I don’t usually know that at first, but often a lucky instinct or synchronicity will point the way. Previously, my favorite connection of this sort had been between…

Artists of The Spider!

Artists of The Spider

Pulpfest has asked me to make a few videos highlighting various pulp artists. My first one, “Artists of The Spider” is now up on YouTube. In this case, we’re talking about four pulp artists: John Newton Howitt (1885-1958), Rafael DeSoto (1904-1992),  Walter Baumhofer (1904-1987) and John Fleming Gould (1906-1996). You can watch the video here. Here are some of The Spider covers highlighted in the video:

Bronzed Men and Space Rovers: Doc Savage and his stereotypical brothers

Doc Savage meme

Well, here we are…finally a post about Doc Savage! It had to be done at some point. Doc is one of the most beloved of all pulp heroes. His debut ninety years ago made such a splash that it generated a whole host of Doc Smith-type copies, including one of my favorite pulp heroes, Captain Future. Read all about it in the ROCKETEER today!

The Moon Man Rises

I’ve been obsessing lately about Frederick C. Davis’ “Moon Man” stories from the mid-1930’s. That all came about through a series of synchronicities, the kind that make you think you have something important sitting in your lap. I’m a big fan of Davis’ writing in “Operator No. 5,” another 1930’s series. I like him so much I wanted to read more of his works. I noticed that he had a crazy character with a globe on his head that reminded me of Spiderman’s “Mysterio.” But this seemed a bit different…

New Article — “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?”

Brother Can you Spare a Dime meme

I’ve subtitled this article “How The Great Depression Influenced the Pulps” because I believe that when society is truly down there are still bright sparks who transcend what’s happening around them and create anyway. There seems a parallel in today’s society. Those who can still create after two and a half Covid years, a war, and (in the U.S.) madly rising costs of food and fuel, as well as other shortages…well, then you’re doing okay. I had the idea for this article quite a few months ago, noting that the…

Reproduction of the “Serpents of Siva” pulp cover

Serpents of Siva comparison

George Rozen cover painting for The Shadow magazine featuring “Serpents of Siva” in the April 1938 issue. This copy was something of an experiment. I was struck by the luminous green color of the buddha and wanted to try to recreate it with colored inks and densely-applied colored pencils. I set it up on Stonehenge paper. This is a heavy paper with good tooth and can take some wetting. I feel the results are a mixed bag. The luminosity comes through but the color isn’t dense enough. Probably, casein or…

New Article – “The Harp and The Blade: A Bard’s Adventures in Old France”

Harp and Blade meme

I’ve a new article in the online magazine, Black Gate: Adventures in Fantasy Literature. Ironically, the book I’m reviewing is not a fantasy story, even though it was marketed as one for several decades. In fact, it’s an adventure story, originally serialized in Argosy magazine in 1940. The review is meaty, more in depth than I usually go. This time I felt it was well worth my time to dig deeply as it’s an interesting tale and highly enjoyable. You can still find The Harp and the Blade in print…

“Tomorrow We Die!” Thrilling Detective Pulp Cover


When I saw this pulp cover from October 1938 (left), I was immediately struck by the beauty of the woman holding the smoking gun. I’m still researching the original cover artist but it was certainly one of the now-famous pulp illustrators. As per usual, the original was most likely painted in oils. I can tell because of the glazing of the skin. When I do a copy like this I work as though I’m painting in oils and not in watermedia. This approach has pluses and minuses. On the plus…

Happy Birthday to Murray Leinster (and a new article)

Today is Murray Leinster’s birthday. He is, without a doubt, one of my very favorite science fiction writers. Leinster started publishing before 1920 and was was still publishing sci-fi teleplays and novels into the late 1960’s for TV shows such as “Time Tunnel.” (And since he pioneered (YES, pioneered!) the entire subgenre of multiple reality sci-fi stories, working on “Time Tunnel” is entirely appropriate.) My new article — “PulpFest Historical- 125 Years of Murray Leinster” is live now at the PulpFest blog so head over there and check it out!…