Friday, August 7, 2009

It begins......

Well I am finally launching the blog! So I think I should give readers an idea what to expect. This is to be a place that I can share my love of the old adventure serials, pulp fiction, and the adventure cartoons of my fondest memory. And what ever else comes to mind in that vein. Story reviews, movies, and even self-serving snippets of stories that I write. If I had grown up in another era, I would have been one of the kids with the sling shot in his back pocket, slouch cap, and trailing dog running along a dirt track trying to find glass cola bottles to exchange for nickels so I could go catch the matinee.
I was pretty close, and like many other of my generation the first “pulp” action-adventure that thrilled me in the theater was Star Wars, closely followed by Indiana Jones and Conan. At home, the old Errol Flynn and Bogart movies would come on Sunday afternoons and I was hooked. Captain Blood and Maltese Falcon respectively, in case you were wondering. Saturday morning cartoons didn’t help with Johnny Quest and later, Thundarr the Barbarian.
Somewhere in there I started discovering the mental stimulation of reading. The first real primers I remember were, again Johnny Quest stories for really young readers, and then my father made sure we went to the library in the summer and stacks came home with me. As my tastes matured so did the subject matter and I discovered Robert E. Howard, Raymond Chandler, and Edgar Rice Burroughs. The list could go on forever with Arthur Conan Doyle, Jules Vern and so many more that I hope to explore later.
Where does this love come from for any of us that are fans of these action adventures? Is it the wish to be the hard boiled PI or rapier wielding Warlord of Mars? To have those hair raising, death defying adventures without actually risking our necks, or legal entanglements? To be that clever, that strong, or that resourceful?
I think part of it is the fervent wish that such men and women did exist somewhere out there, doing those things that only they could do; righting the wrongs only because the cosmos or fate had chosen them to do it.
Yeah, that too.
There is also a love of the art form, the turning of phrase, the poetry and cadence. As beautiful as the story telling traditions of Homer’s Illiad or the Saxon Beowulf. The innovation and imagination that brought such adventures to life in the era of the first moving pictures with stop motion special effects to the talkies and the vibrant color of the Wizard of Oz. In the case of the original Star Wars movie, the creation of special effects to bring that galaxy far far away to life as envisioned back in 1977. The lurid covers of the ‘30s pulps so epitomized by Rafael de Soto, J. Allen St. John, George Rozen, and many more; to the color and life brought to the pages of favorite comic books, which has become a literary art form itself with “graphic novels”.
I hope to explore all these and more as I ramble on about these things that I love that I have such a passion about.
So that is the beginning of this particular story. And like the old serials, there will be installments. My goal is to post as the title suggests, on Saturdays. Because that was when that kid in the slouch hat got his nickel and sat in the dark to dream with his eyes wide open.