Thursday, June 15, 2017

More thoughts on Crime pulp

So I was on Brian Niemeier's Geek Gab: On the Books podcast earlier this week, with Nathan Housley, discussing Crime and Suspense pulps.

And of course, I had a few thoughts come to mind afterwards.

Let's start with a definition of the Crime genre(yes, I know genres are mostly marketing tools). It's not inherently a mystery story, though it might be.  A great proportion of these feature "protagonists" on the other side of the law. There's a lot of deceit in the several characters, possibly including the narrator. Commonly, there's a lot of violence, and sex and language content is generally within the norm.

I wrote an overview post on the genre of crime comics. While this is a good start, it's also very much an incomplete view. There were a slew of crime comics before the comics code came into being, notably from EC, the biggest victim of the code. On the recent side, Hard Case Crime has been partnering with Titan Comics to bring some interesting stories to graphic format, and if they do quality work long enough, will unseat Vertigo as the crime comics king.

As I've already mentioned them on the podcast and in here, Hard Case Crime is a publisher of crime novels. The stories range from reprints or new work of masters like Max Allan Collins to first publishing authors. The main commonality is that these are all straight up, hard-boiled stories. There's even reprints of works from past masters like Erle Stanley Gardner.

I should also mention the book Dane Curse by Matt Abraham. I reviewed it awhile ago here, and let me say, if you like superhero books and pulp detectives from the likes of Spillane and Hammet, you will likely enjoy this.

As with all the pulps, there's a lot that is stuck in that lost land of copyrighted and out of print.

I mentioned in the podcast that Barnes and Noble has done, and continues to do some great story anthologies. The previous pulp movement had some great anthologies, from Weird Tales, to Tough Guys and Dangerous Dames. Yeah, I'm going to spread out from crime here, but they've got some great anthologies in the bargain sections. I recommend looking for the Fall River Press books and Gothic Horror anthologies if you've got a local store. Yeah, there's plenty of other options, but I figure I'd mention these due to value.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

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