The New Doc Savage Movie Idea Page
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New Doc Savage Movie Idea Page Here
September 1, 2013 Update: School And Work Are Back From Summer Break: Doc Savage movie news should start picking up now that Labor Day is upon us. In the meantime I'll bitch about the usual. I'd stop for a while but people are visiting from all over the world for news on Doc Savage and any references to things like meat muscle suits, anal lubes, mullets, and 50 shades of cosplay.
So this guy is half-kidding when he writes about the stereotypical Doc Savage image from the paperback-comic book era. You'd be amazed how many people think Doc Savage is pretty much that guy.
In this cropped image Doc at least has a head of hair instead of an industrial carpet sample glued to his scalp. The ripped right shirt sleeve looks like a shriveled white third arm. Regardless, I still need it explained to me how the original Doc Savage source materials have been relegated to irrelevance by paperback book covers that age him substantially and reduce him to a one-note cliche.
That's pretty much all I have this week. I'll save for a future time the endless array of cheap Doc Savage toys and novelties that came out of Argentina in the 1970s.
August 25, 2013 Update: Random Thoughts On Specific Things: With Netflix I feel no responsibility to finish anything. It was different when I had to drive twenty minutes and pry open my wallet. That was an investment and commitment. Now a movie has to win me over right away or lose me to more inter-surfing.
Crying Wives Call In Their Husbands For Dinner, Interrupting Playtime
Blockbuster comic book movies run too long and are bound to expensive sets while being completely over-awed with their own faux-Shakespearian awesomeness and full-orchestra soundtracks. Dramas are TV movies starring Hollywood actors. Comedies live and die based on the attention span and weed consumption of writers and their college buddy the director. Low budget films compensate for lack of funds with edgy directing and attitude - failing more often than not.
Last week I watched part of Gallowwalkers (stylish but makes its point in fifteen minutes) and Bullet To The Head, as unoriginal a film as you'll ever see, starring Sylvester Stallone in a film you'd only think a major star would agree to if he owed millions in back taxes. Between age, HGH, and plastic surgeries Stallone is someone you can't not look at, and, for all the wrong reasons. Bullet contains the worst dialogue of exposition/psych101 crap I've ever heard. If you've seen it it's the line where the buddy cop tells Stallone he didn't kill the hooker because she had a cat tattoo and Stallone's daughter also has a cat tattoo. My expired college degree in English wept. Jason Momoa plays the bad guy. He looks like a bad guy. Doc Savage has to look like the hero before he even speaks or does anything.
The look and tone a new Doc Savage film is apparent to me but I'm open to other choices since most of the time I have no idea what I'm f--king talking about. Lord knows the established Doc Savage intelligentsia chases the butterflies of mostly fabricated trivia while the gates of quality control and cohesiveness are left wide open for the comic book industry to toss in their worst writers and artists to create "product" they fully intend to write off come tax time.
A new Doc Savage film should be peak human (and human scale) while enhanced seamlessly to create an enhanced visual experience. The Bourne movies did this very well. The tone should be serious with comic relief incidental and leaning towards dark humor. The movie must involve action along with mystery, detective work, retro-future technologies, and displays of mental, teamwork, and physical skills. Exposition should be limited, never stop the progress of the story, and should never involve things the characters should already know very well. The story can't be a cycle of Exposition-Run-Fight-Run. Etc. etc., for now.
A Letter From Walter M. Baumhofer:
The fan letter above sold on the eBay and I kept a digital copy because Mr. Baumhofer painted the earliest and by far best Doc Savage covers. Also of note is that his letterhead font is what's commonly known as Walt Disney Script.
The worst new art is Doc Pauly D:
Opinions Not My Own: Cash Gorman of Pulp Reader chimes in on a new movie and the last Will Murray Doc Savage insomnia cure, and most all I agree on is that Pat and the pets should be left out. His casting choices are TV-based, which would be great for a TV series. I did like Simon Baker as Ham but Jason Segel evokes only Judd Apatow; Matthew Gray Gubler may lack the physicality for stunts; Jonathan Young - never seen him but he has a decent resume; Scott Caan lacks the mass and simian features needed for Monk; and as I wrote before about Jason Momoa, "6'4" is a decent height but Jason looks like he should either be in a Conan movie or the next Predator film."
Paul Cook of AmazingStoryMag fills inter-space with three films he finds inspired by Doc Savage. The first is the obvious yet obviously weak favorite Buckaroo Banzai. As I recall his backup-band/aides don't do much while Peter Weller, always welcome in any film, is 5'10" on his press agent's best day and must have weighed 160 lbs back in 1984. Paul then opens random pages of a film guide to come up with Predator and, yes he does, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou.
A member of the brain trust at the IMDB came up with Johnny Depp to play Doc Savage, which would work because "Doc Savage" only exists as a name from a long time ago and a deformed crew cut from a long time ago but not that long.
August 17, 2013 Update: I Earned My Doc(torate) Savage Diploma On-line In Six to Twelve Months: In 1943 Doc Savage creator Lester Dent sailed his boat, The Hum Dinger, to The Nestle Isles and ran aground on coals. While awaiting Triple Ocean-A he scripted a never published Doc Savage story about Doc literally tin-foiling a plot by unnamed enemies of the Allies to distribute radioactive condoms to American troops, making them easier to spot at night with their pants down in situations of prostitution. Dent took his ideas to his editor, Scott Millwork, and publisher, Clarence Stumpmuffin, who insisted all references to whores be replaced with "Strumpet", "Fallen Woman", "Harlot", "Woman Of The Streets", and "Mom?!". Dent assigned this task to his New York assistant, Betty McConicle, who wrote longhand with her right and could only type with her left. The story appeared in 1942 as "The Deadly Ghost Peni".
For The Love Of God Don't Tell Al Sharpton!!
None of this really happened but that's how much I care about Doc Savage "academia". Even the stuff I find interesting evokes a "that's nice" from me. I can't think of anything less important than knowing the random names, places, and circumstances of the Doc Savage world. I also find the individual novels secondary to whatever good things you can take from then individually and combine into a superior whole of what makes Doc Savage good, great, and worthwhile.
Doc Savage is like Bazooka Joe - it's great because it's great (and here's why) but the particulars of the makings of this sausage I'm enjoying aren't of great interest to me. Do I care if someone finds all things Doc Savage interesting? No. It's good to have hobby. Do I think it adds up to nothing beyond expertise in the depths of cultural trivia? Yes I do. I knew someone who proudly memorized literally everything about the Godzilla world monsters. I assigned it a 50-50 split of "That's Great!" and "That's, uh... great".
Why do I bring this up? Nothing's happening in the Shane Black Doc Savage arena so I'm fulfilling my weekly Doc Savage blog quota thusly.
The Origins Of Doc Savage, Take 87: Someone on the eBay was selling this sketch card signed by Jim Steranko, who here is the poor person's Frank Frazetta. I'm coming to realize Sketch Cards are inexpensive paper tchotchkes artists sell at collector shows for a few bucks here and there. I'm glad Jim rendered Doc as handsome, with human hair, large-yet-proportioned, and not dressed/undressed like a horsey-military stereotype. This random internet comment probably gets it right based on what I found out about the tale:
"I have this issue (and the others in the series). It
contains a story called The Savage Gentleman by Philp Wylie. It concerns a
man raised in seclusion by a group of men to be a perfect physical and
mental specimen. It's not a lot like Doc Savage, but it has a few things in common. I enjoyed the tale (which I believe was in two parts). MAYBE it was the inspiration for Doc, but I don't think
there's any real evidence to support it. Now, Wylie's Gladiator and Superman- that's a different story."
This on the other hand annoys me for all the usual reasons. Doc's wearing a cut up rubber swimmer's cap on his bald head, he's what, a young 53 years old, and he has a horrible turkey neck. The back faux-paperback cover is clever, except why does Monk look like an older Kevin James?
If I've said this once I've said it least once before - how the hell can you make a movie if nobody can agree on what Doc Savage is, does, or even looks like?
This fanzine contains not one drop of a reference to Golden Showers, Pee Play, or Wee Wee We're Having Fun Now. My subscriptions to Urine Trouble and Pee Pee's Playhouse lapsed and a man's gotta do. This one left me dry and sad.
August 10, 2013 Update: Philip Jose Farmer Had A Book, E I E I O, And In This Book He Combined Great Research With Nonsensical Irrelevancy, E I E I O:
I received my signed copy of the reprint hardcover above with its least awesome cover ever! Pick up yours today from this link. Here's how they're promoting it:
The newly revised edition also features a brand new
foreword by Farmer and pulp expert Win Scott Eckert, updates to the “List of
Doc Savage Stories” including the latest novels, and rare Wold Newton Family
tree material culled from Mr. Farmer’s notes.
The deluxe hardcover edition, in addition to the above, features tributes by other Farmer and Doc experts, including John Allen Small, Keith Howell, Rick Lai, Art Sippo, Christopher Paul Carey, and current Doc Savage writer Will Murray, as well as other bonus materials not seen in prior editions, such as:
• Doc’s Coat of Arms, reconstructed by Win Scott Eckert and illustrated by Keith Howell, from notes by Philip José Farmer
• A List of Doc Savage Comics by Win Scott Eckert and John Allen Small, a rundown of authorized Doc Savage comics which supplements Mr. Farmer’s List of Doc Savage Stories
• Writing Doc’s Biography by Philip José Farmer
• Afterword to Doc Savage Omnibus #13 by Philip José Farmer
My negative thoughts on the Wold Newton Family uselessness aside, for the collector this is a nice book to add to your collection of things you probably shouldn't have bought in the first place. The guest articles lean towards describing the where, when, why, and how of authors falling in wuvs with Philip Jose Farmer and Doc Savage - points so trivial yet so important in the Doc Savage fan world they even compiled such stories into a book you can buy and show to your wife while she cries in a whisper "This is the man I married!":
I bought my copy hoping Doc Savage, a real person (wink wink), goes on a twelve state killing spree and the price of his serial killer memorabilia skyrockets.
Highbrow Fashion Meets Lowbrow Culture: Andy Warhol's Interview Magazine, on what must have been the slowest week of the century, weighed in with casting choices for the upcoming New York heroin-chic art-film Doc Savage: The Man Of Armani and Prada. It's an excuse to toss up random fashion stills from random actors. Here it is. I personally don't want to see a new film populated by male anorexics.
Perky 'Til Ya Puke: Nothing against this perky young woman who most likely knows and cares nothing about whatever is on the teleprompter in front of her, but the Prozac and Saccharine cocktail she's serving up about Doc Savage is embarrassing me on behalf of The Universe - especially the horrible comic book covers that make Doc a douche. Take it away, Bunny, or Melissa, or whatever your name is:
August 3, 2013 Update: The Father, The Son, And The Quest Of The Spider:
Doc's Mind Meld Pokes The Third Eye And Is More Sanitary
The Trilogy has come to pass. For $70.00 postpaid I ebayed the third 1930s Doc Savage hardcover book Quest Of The Spider. It will join its siblings The Man Of Bronze and The Land Of Terror in a box in my closet, never to be seen or thought of again. I'm surprised these books don't sell for more since they're from the freaking 1930s and there were only three titles published.
Still Free, Free At Last, If You Want Them:
Man, I can't even give these things away. I have an extra puzzle in decent-fair condition and issues 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, and 13 of the RadioArchives reprints for anyone near Long Beach, CA. I'll even leave them at a local comic book store under your name if you're afraid the sole purpose of this site since 2009 has been to lure organ donors into my Econovan. Which it might very well be.
I Was Born A Ramblin' Man: If anyone has something to contribute the e-mail is at the top of the page. The intertubes are quiet, maybe too quiet, about a new Doc Savage film. I know there's a thousand possible approaches to a new film made no easier by the fact that Doc Savage is ill-defined to the point of almost not existing at all. If everything is Doc Savage than nothing is Doc Savage.
Doc's Motorized Longboard Also Had A Sidecar
Television is better at effective storytelling than movies these days, and if my vote counted I'd have Steven Moffat (Dr. Who, Sherlock) on board on a new Doc Savage film as long as he doesn't get caught up in too much whimsical fuggery. I'd love to see Jean-Pierre Jeunet (the French Tim Burton) involved if he's capable of toning down his whimsical buggery. And here's a yell-towards to Guillermo del Torro and Peter Jackson. If Shane Black crafts a new Doc Savage film like Moffat does an episode of Sherlock everyone will win. By everyone I mean me. You're all on your own.
Crap. Double the budget of a Sherlock episode and make a Doc Savage movie with the same care and craft as they do. If it works the studio will make sequels until even I get sick of them.
Check Out THIS Whimsical Sidecar Fugg-buggery!
July 28, 2013 Update: Hey A-Guiseppe! Looka These-A Doc Savage Books: Mama Mia!: As the link states, "In 1974 and 1975, the Italian science fiction magazine published 18 translations of Doc Savage tales. All had covers by Karel Thole." Great weird art:
Savage Art - An Impulse Item:
For $11.00 I bought
this book because one day I will own a coffee table, and when said day
comes I'll be ready. It has a sister titled
Shameless Art, the latter going for $10.24. They're both 112 pages. The
seven-page intro by Frank M. Robinson is great and the illustrations neat as
all get-out but the array of illustrations are in no way representative or
comprehensive, and it leaves you expecting and wanting more. It gives you
your $11.00 worth but also the lingering feeling it should have been
expanded into something more in the 30-40 dollar range. Savage Art is
something I wager was created for the check-out line at Barnes & Noble next
to other impulse items like a reading light built into a headband and a tiny
book on juggling that comes with 3 bean bags.
Dead Horses Beaten At No Charge:
“Number one tip is to keep budgets reasonable, number two is to have a great concept and number three is to make a movie that is actually good,” Dergarabedian added. “As for number four, have the star serve the movie. Not the other way around.”
Doc "Fosse" Savage Defeats You With Jazz Hands:
July 21, 2013 Update: As I Was Saying Last Week: I can't imagine anyone involved in the new Doc Savage film taking their job seriously until they get back from rehab after the Labor Day weekend. So, like weatherman Tex Antoine said in 1976 about rape and the weather (still too soon?), lay back and enjoy me wasting your time until something newsworthy drops by.
Doc Savage - The Twink Years
This article from The Telegraph expands Sony's recent bad luck to the entire movie industry. Godwin's Law rules the comments and the money quotes are:
"Analysts said the failures were partly a result of competing studios trying to release too many big movies at the same time. There are more than 20 films with a budget of more than $100 million being released this summer, six more than last year."
"One exasperated studio head told The Hollywood Reporter: "You had too many $100 million-plus movies, not to mention $200 million-plus movies, jammed on top of each other. There isn't enough play time, and the result has been more movies that wipe out."
My argument has always been that a new Doc Savage movie should not be a blockbuster summer movie but a thinking person's action adventure period piece. Blockbusters are high concept, and on a surface level, sadly encouraged by Doc Savage fans, Doc's all pointy-headed, ray-gunned, and soldier-of-fortuned. This is a recipe for failure and stupidity equal to the Batman-camp of the 1975 film-of-shame some dare call Doc Savage: The Man Of Bronze, which oddly enough isn't about a cardiologist composed of metal.
Given the luxury of retrospection, the historical and larger literary and cultural themes found in the best of the 1930s Doc Savage pulps offer a wonderful opportunity to create something better than summer entertainment. You can have something unique, interesting, fun, deep, thrilling, and meaningful. You can do all these things in the same film if you put the work in and don't make crap because it's, to borrow a phrase, "Good enough for government work". Made a December film no matter what month you decide to release it.
Doc Savage with Blimp, Contradictory Plane-Helicopter, and Welding Gun
The Formula For Formulaic Filmmaking: Slate explains why so many movies look and feel the same. They blame/credit a book by Blake Snyder titled Save The Cat: The Last Book On Screenwriting You'll Ever Need.
Mr. Snyder wrote Blank Check and Stop! Or My Mother Will Shoot, the latter winning/losing three Razzies in 1993. Those that can't do, teach! A looooooong time ago Lester Dent penned his "Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot" guidelines. Snyder's book isn't the first, last, or possibly best book on the subject, but it's one of the easiest to understand, and maybe it appeals to the same people who rely on screenwriting software, whose templates by default has to reward formulaic storytelling. Maybe screenwriting has become a computerized version of Mad Libs.
Crickets And Tumbleweed: So, there's a small annual science fiction and fantasy convention in Indianapolis (the Paris of Marion, Indiana, and several adjacent counties) called InConJunction. This year the following took place:
"The WCRS Radio Players recall the Golden Age of Radio with the production of an unproduced script for the pilot of the 1934 Doc Savage radio series, based on the novel "The Man of Bronze" by Lester Dent as Kenneth Robeson with additional dialogue and production by Mark C. Dooley. Our featured players are Terry O'Connell as Princess Monya, Michael Bryan Walt as Monk Mayfair and Renny Renwick, and Mark C. Dooley as Doc Savage, Ham Brooks, Long Tom Roberts, Johnny Littlejohn, King Chaac, the Feathered Serpent, and a variety of evil Mayans. Guest appearance by the Sonic Screwdriver as the Ultra Violet Ray. Performed July 7th at InConJunction 2013."
"Well, welcome, everybody!" I hope somebody was there besides the cameraperson.
Doc Con 2013:
Hazzah! This year's Doc-Con is taking place at a hotel and not someone's suburban tract home! Here's a Facebook page! This year they should focus almost exclusively on deciding little things like, maybe, who Doc Savage is and what he looks like. The era of Anything-And-Everything-Is-Great-Because-We-Love-Anything-Doc Savage-No-Matter-What has to end. Crap isn't pudding because you like pudding so much. Calling back to Tex Antoine, if everything is Doc Savage than nothing is Doc Savage. Presently Doc Savage is the elephant a bunch of blind men are feeling up to blindly describe.
July 14, 2013 Update: Bombs Oy Vey: Doc Savage film sugar-daddy Sony has a few not-quite-hits on their hands with White House Down, After Earth, and The Lone Ranger, the latter a $250,000,000.00 production. They obviously have to rethink what they're agreeing to finance. The Star + Budget + Ad Campaign = Boffo Box Office formula is now a losing gamble, star power isn't what it used to be, and your average young movie patron lags in the areas of culture, history, cultural history, grammar contractions, class, taste - and they're badly losing the personality vs. attitude war.
What you, I, and movie execs consider common knowledge is Sanskrit to the Instagram Generation. The Lone Ranger? Crap, culture forgot The Three Stooges so what chance did a Western character from 1933 have? 1933 is also when Doc Savage first hit the stands, and if The Stooges and The Lone Ranger have been dustbined what chance does Doc Savage - a property even diehard fans can't agree on in any area - have?
God Bless James Bama And All That But Paperback Covers From The 1960s Cannot Null And Void Lester Dent's Creation From the 1930s Because Fanboys Discovered Doc Savage In Their Youth From Them
All this bad news plays into the evil hands of my hopes and aspirations for a new Doc savage movie, which I've been writing about since 2009! [To quote George Carlin: "From before you were born. Remember, kids?"] This new film is a one-time-only chance to vaporize the stain of the 1975 production and present the best Doc Savage to the world so he gets all the credit he deserves and I no longer have to explain who the hell Doc Savage is and why they shouldn't think I must be so very lonely. Doc helped birth Superman but he's not getting a re-boot if this one tanks.
I don't want the Star + Budget + Ad Campaign lazy gamble. I want a great story about great characters doing great things. I want perfectly cast actors reading from a great script that isn't full of holes, inconsistencies, implausibilities, and missed opportunities. I want everything to be easily understood no matter how dense the plot so nobody sits in the theatre and wonders WTF is going on. I want fights to be filmed without jagged cuts so you see the techniques and know the actors, stunt people, and fight choreographer aren't putting on a mime show. I don't want fights to drag on endlessly and numb the senses. I want each character to shine as a team and alone, and the plot should have them together and in various groupings. I want the research put in to make Monk a real expert on Chemistry and Doc an expert on pretty much everything. I don't want large set pieces demanding staying in one location for too long. I want a pony!
So Here The Comic Book Industry Has Doc Savage Modeled After Pauly D. From Jersey Shore, And He's Levitating A Hologram. NOW Do You See Why We Can't Have Nice Things?
A new Doc Savage movie should not be a mega-budget film bound by mega-budget rules. It should do everything well-compensated experts are paid to do right in the first place - creating and bringing to life a classic story.
Julian Perez Sez: This fellow has many opinions on a new Doc savage film and also reviews original pulps, so check it out!
I Now Have A House Band:
I'm excited to announce that to and from commercial you'll be hearing from our official rock cover band - Doc Savage! They just unironically played at the St. Rita School For The Deaf, and in September will be performing at my favorite bar in Cincinnati, the TBA! The merch page threatens a Doc Savage t-shirt which I will unironically buy if it's affordable.
July 7, 2013 Update: "What If Errol Flynn Delivered Toast Door To Door?": A scat jazz set of jaw-dropping randomness came from Shane Black in a recent TMZ-style interview with Collider.com. Watch the video. The line he walks back in the comments section is "What if Jimmy Stewart were a stone-cold killer?" The full paragraph is:
“We’re shooting it as though it’s in the 30s, including all the Capra-esque elements of 1930s films like You Can’t Take It With You. The idea of ‘What if Jimmy Stewart were a stone-cold killer?’ basically. It’s that kind of combination which we enjoy.”
Once sober he came back with:
"Allow me to clarify... Doc has always been a character with the kindness and social conscience of a Jimmy Stewart character -- qualities which persist to his core, in odd counterpoint to the his jaw-dropping physique and unique fighting skills. The abilities of a killing machine and the soul of a pacifist. And don't worry, M.H. -- we're in the actual 1930's."
He's responding directly to comment section guy "M.H.", who wrote:
"Sorry to be a stickler for details but Black said 'We’re shooting it as though it’s in the 30s,' and not 'we are shooting it in a 30's setting.' What he said sounds more like they are taking the character and putting him in a modern setting, but that they are using more of an old school style or aesthetic of filmmaking, hence the reference to Capra. Meaning it sounds like it will take place in modern day, but the character will act exactly like the Doc Savage character from the 1930's would. Or in other words expect no big changes to the character's core."
I know where M.H. is coming from but he may be confused by cheap 70's and 80's films where budgets and talent often didn't allow the luxury of realistic 1930's settings and costumes. Johnny Dangerously anyone? Nowadays you can replicate anything you want quite convincingly. To mix modern with new now would only work in a light comedy, which the terrifying You Can't Take It With You reference points to, but more on that later.
If I Had The Technical Skill I'd Put The Actor Jimmy Stewart's Head On Muscle Man Jimmy Stewart's Body, But I Don't, So Here's A Picture Of Both And F-You For Thinking I Should Know How To Do This By Now If I Want To Be Taken Seriously.
James Stewart was 6'3" (and weighed less than a buck 50), his first film role was in 1934, and Doc was in draft form intended to look like Clark Gable, but besides that you're one fail away from suggesting Doc was like Fred Astaire because he was light on his feet. In a new Doc Savage movie Jimmy Stewart would be playing Johnny.
Frank Capra is as far removed from Doc Savage as pretty much anything I can think of. "Capra-esque" means either screwball comedy or melodramas reflecting the social issues of the day. I'm more a Preston Sturges man myself, but either way you wind up with either Oh Brother Where Art Thou? or Lucille Ball on the chocolate assembly line. Or You Can't Take It With You - and am I supposed to be grateful Mr. Black didn't instead picture a Marx Brothers farce where Groucho and Margaret Dumont say things like "Why, I never!" and "Well maybe you should!"
Doc "Groucho" Savage And The Terrific Three
Mr. Black - may I call you Mr. Black, Shane? Don't lounge around your rumpus room with your two script-writing pals coming up with interesting combinations you enjoy. If you want bigger, more familiar touchstones than the pulps themselves look at what was similar and also popular at the time. James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson starred in gangster films that ruled the 30s and 40s. The nasty and gritty Dick Tracy strips started in 1931, two years before Doc Savage, and it's obvious to me at least that Lester Dent yoinked the idea of colorful, quirky bad guys from Chester Gould. Dent's masterminds were often nobodies really, but the crew leaders they hired usually had something interesting going on. Look at the cool things that influenced Doc Savage, and then the cool things Doc Savage influenced. There's no underlying socialist social commentary to be found in Doc Savage. There's abso-fugg-lutely nothing Capra-esque about Doc Savage. Make a Doc Savage movie first, last, and only.
General Indifference On Fearing The Reaper Miniatures:
Before, After, And Still Only 1.5 inches Tall
Above is a tiny role-playing pewter piece called P.B. Pugh, Pulp Hero, from Reaper Miniatures, who as far as I can tell make chess pieces for role-playing games they make up themselves for the express purpose of selling these unpainted figures and the paint supplies to gussy them up. They're like toyetic cartoons for the Dungeons and Dragon set. I love the paint jobs on the figures found on their site. These things are tiny! You need the hands of a surgeon, a paintbrush with three bristles, and a decent pair of these to custom paint these miniscule objects. Check out their selection because they're ripping off everyone and giving them slightly different names and looks. P.B. Pugh. What the hell kind of name is that? The unpainted figure on the left retails for $5.00. The finished one recently e-bayed for $21.50.
Another Faux Doc Savage Character: My rage boiled one again when I read a comment on the new Doc Savage film that went something like "I'll have to read a few of the comic books so I'll know who he is." The comic books are excrement. Excrement.
Here's info on a comic book series based on Doc Savage and other legendary pulp characters. I've never read Planetary but I'm sure it's as awesome as anything the comic book industry has unclenched their collective sphincter to bless us with scatologically.
The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Pulp Fiction Edition
June 30, 2013 Update: A special yell towards to my visitors from Fountain Valley CA, where my gym is, and Oceanside NY, where I grew up. I apologize to everyone from the middle east who find themselves here by mistake looking for some kind of ungodly porn. Statcounter knows and tells all.
For $11.03 I Amazoned the 112 page picture book Savage Art: 20th Century Genre and the Artists that Defined It. This and two cases of finger condoms (don't ask) got me free shipping and bippity boppidy boo there you have it, another day keeping communism at bay via unbridled Capitalism.
There's The Pitch And It's A Strike To The Balls!: I'd love to know how the new Doc Savage movie was pitched to Sony by Shane Black. $3.72 says it was green-lighted based on Black's success with Iron Man. It wouldn't bother me if it was granted as a vanity project because maybe then they'll leave him alone to make the film he wants - hoping and assuming Black wants to be creative and not formulaic.
Doc de Milo Assures You It's Only A Flesh Wound
A high-concept pitch is "Blank meets Blank" as in "Pearl Harbor: Pretty in Pink meets Tora Tora Tora meets Raid Over Tokyo." What was the pitch for Doc Savage? Indiana Jones meets Batman? Eddie Munster USMC meets The Punisher? Sherlock Holmes meets Buckaroo Banzai? Indiana Jones meets Batman actually works best as long as you go out of your way to not make Doc like Indy and Bats. Doc Savage is Doc Savage. He inspired Indy and Bats and was inspired by Holmes and Tarzan. First make a Doc Savage movie (office site mantra). Make connections through subtleties - not screaming neon signs.
Posting Movie Posters: You may have noticed there's a finite number of layouts in movie posters, and the various genres are specifically self-limiting. Until I watched the trailer the poster for R.I.P.D. annoyed me to no end:
First Dead Heat came to mind. It starred Joe Piscopo, the Jim Belushi of his generation. Then there's the weaponry and back-to-back stance as seen in a few other things you might have seen. The trailer for R.I.P.D. is great. It's the next Men In Black franchise and my love for James Hong knows no bounds.
The Doc Savage point of all this is that I'd like the posters for it to be as different yet easily understandable as the movie itself should be. Why are movie posters so visually butchered and obviously painted over poorly? Why do heads and bodies rarely look like they're from the same person? Why not have Doc Savage movie posters use unretouched photographs with limited word clutter? Why not have the posters force you to pay more attention to them because they're not so poorly rendered and conceived?
Fan Casting Continues:
Joe Mangeniello As Doc: Born 1976 and a towering 6'5". I also like that he's a classically trained film and theatre actor. Doc doesn't have a beard, mustache (or even a soul patch) so I'd have to see Joe without it to better judge.
Doc Arnett As Ham: Born 1970. He's a brilliant comic actor who's also been on The Sopranos, so maybe he has the range. Whoever plays Ham has to look like a brilliant lawyer and look great in finely tailored clothes. I can see it with him.
Michael Shannon As Renny: Born 1974. He's got the look, the resume, and the right height at 6'4". Another good choice, internet!
Jason Momoa As Doc: Born 1979. 6'4" is a decent height but Jason looks like he should either be in a Conan movie or the next Predator film. When people talk about Doc being multi-cultural, does Hawaiian ever come up?
I Found Doc Savage: link
June 23, 2013 Update: The Tao of Doc Savage: For someone who couldn't tell you the basic plot of a single Doc Savage novel or even what he exactly looks like based on said texts I sure seem to have a herd of horses in the race with this new Doc Savage film. I blame the former on my steel spaghetti strainer memory and the repetitive qualities of 180+ works of fiction. The latter comes from my general appreciation of the characters and their adventures, and a culturally belligerent desire not to see the worst made out of something that can actually be the best. A great Doc Savage movie can be made if the high concept laziness of Hollywood and the comic book industry are not allowed to turn a potential revelationary opportunity into another exercise of quick, easy, dumb, generic, and formulaic.
Sorry, Paperback Cover Loving Fanboys.
This Is What Doc Savage Should Look Like.
The Tao Of Doc Savage
"Doc Savage seemed not to hear the inquiry, which was another of his traits. The bronze man, as those who came in contact with him soon learned, rarely voiced a theory; only what were in his own mind proven facts. Rather than make evasive answers, or indulge in a long argument about what might or might not be the facts, he simply became deaf to inquiries"
As fiction churned out at a pace akin to speed reading the Lester Dent novels are impressive in how they aren't filled with plot holes as much as reveals that don't pay off their build-ups. By that I mean it's easier to come up with mysteries than answers to mysteries. Anyway, in the books you'll find nicely phrased insights into the characters and the quote above is a favorite. It's as much a cornerstone of Doc's persona as him not relying on a gun, and I hope the new film creates the Doc Savage of the best pulps and not a comic book version thereof. Doc doesn't need to express every thought in his head and he especially doesn't need an array of Arnold-brand witty catchphrases. Doc's assistants can provide the witty dialogue Doc Savage by nature isn't known for.
Authorize My Ass: This review of the new Will Murray fan-fiction novel Skull Island caught my eye with its opening line:
"The new Doc Savage novel by Will Murray contains a record number of authorized firsts for the character. Murray digs deep into the Savage family history, Doc's relationships with his father and grandfather, and Doc's personal journey toward becoming the man we know."
Uh, Doc, Behind You...
Where to start. Doc Savage is specific to the 1930s and 40s and is only valid for the best of what his creators made of the characters and plots at that time. Will Murray is authorized to fabricate his Doc Savage backstories only in the sense that Doc Savage and King Kong are the intellectual properties of whoever legally owns them. You need their permission to write a novel with their characters and they usually have a say in what a writer plans on doing with their income-producing properties.
The bigger and more important issue is Artistic License, which in my opinion Murray hasn't proved himself worthy of exercising. I for one believe Doc Savage doesn't require an endlessly explored and layered back-story to validate his existence. It's nice and all but I'm the guy who'll always interject with "Write a great Doc Savage adventure first and tell me the gut-wrenching story of his first day in kindergarten later if not at all." Doc Savage is about "Doc Savage". It's not about "Why" Doc Savage. His grand theme is the Ubermensch and his role in fascist times specific to the 30s and 40s, not anything Freudian, whose themes of mommy lust and bed-wetting do nothing but diminish the core of what made Doc Savage great. The goal is not to make Doc "more human" but to make him do and be the best Doc Savage we all remember.
If Will Murray wrote entertaining Doc Savage novels I might allow him artistic license and not call his works fan-fiction. Which I do.
Go Outside And Play: I'm off to see the Anaheim Angels play The Baseball. As far as I can tell nothing big is happening with the new Doc Savage film. Announcements were made and now it's like a school project not due until the end of the semester. In the meantime here's a great article titled Early Pulp Pastiches Of Doc Savage. I think a pastiche is a flaky pastry stuffed with liver and raisins.
June 16, 2013 Update: Like I told the nice policemen before they tossed me into the back of their cruiser, I was minding my own business when I read this article - 'World War Z' and the Art of Bumping Movies. A $200 million dollar budgeted movie was pushed back six months for additional work because "The film lacked a third act". In layperson's terms, the ending sucked. The budget shot up to $400 million dollars. They'll make it back on video store rentals!
How the holy hand grenade do you start production on a $200 million film without a workable script? What, they signed Brad Pitt to star and the rest falls into place as they go along? Is that how the Hollywood machine operates? Build sets, hire actors, and sew wardrobes but then have no idea what to do after that? Brilliant.
What does this have to do with a new Doc Savage film? Get the script right before you put major thought into who'll provide Craft Services. #1- Script. #2 - Actors, #3 - Director, #4 - Production Designer, #5 - Editor, #6 - Sound Design.
Why was I arrested? I'm an Excitable Boy.
Neil H. Moritz Owes Me A Personal Apology, Personally: Today I watched and skimmed through the horrible 2011 disaster some dare call The Green Hornet, produced by Neil H. Moritz, he of the new Doc Savage movie. The development section on Wikipedia is interesting. Like our boy Clark Jr., The Green Hornet was bouncing around for a long time and nobody knew what to do with him. In 2007 Moritz gained the rights and then casually tossed it over his left shoulder to Seth Rogen to co-write, star in, and for a few extra bucks executive produce. It wasn't a Green Hornet movie but a Seth Rogen film.
I know what you're all thinking - hey, but didn't Bob Hope take the Damon Runyon short story The Lemon Drop Kid and turn it into just another Bob Hope film where Bob Hope plays Bob Hope being Bob Hope? Sure, but Bob Hope wasn't a making films about douchebags for douchebags. Runyon only wrote in the present tense - even when referring to the past and possibly future! The Green Hornet is an eight-layer Douche Cake served on Douche Plates using a Douche-plated Douche Cake Server.
S--t Blows Up Because That's What S--t Does
I don't have much of an opinion either way on Seth Rogen except I don't think his association with Judd Apatow has given him the talents of Judd Apatow. The Green Hornet makes stabs at witty meta-perspective dialogue but cannot rise above the douchosity of everything in the script, from the comedy to the action to even the special effects and props. I'd love to hear the cretin cackle of people who laughed at The Green Hornet's jokes because that would be what Beavis and Butt-Head sound like today. This movie is what happens when clever people get high all day and high five each other whenever they come up with something that makes them laugh.
In September 2008, Columbia Pictures announced a June 25, 2010, release date, and that Hong Kong star Stephen Chow had signed on to direct and to co-star as Kato. Chow, a fan of the TV show as a kid, explained, "The idea of stepping into Bruce Lee's shoes as Kato is both humbling and thrilling, and to get the chance to direct the project as my American movie debut is simply a dream come true." Chow dropped out as director the following December over creative differences.
Stephen Chow is a god to me for Kung-Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer. The Green Hornet would have been excellent if he was given control. The creative differences he left over are seen in every minute of The Green Hornet. Please, Neal, I'll forgive the 90 minutes of my life you stole from me with your film if you promise you'll care or at least pretend to with Doc Savage.
Doc Hermes Reviews: For great, honest, and all-around swell Doc Savage pulp reviews please visit Dr. Hermes. The rest of his site is worth a peek too.
June 9, 2013 Update: Oh God No Let's Get Started With Fan Casting: Fan casting assumes every actor is ready, willing, and able to step up and play Doc Savage and his Band Of Mensa Men. Some fan casting is realistic while most are really bad ideas and a waste of rhetorical time, like arguing with a child about why they can't have candy for dinner. Here's some of what the intertubes have regurgitated so far. Keep in mind the age of these actors and if you want a new Doc Savage movie to feature a bunch of old farts. Mind you I dread a twenty-something cast even more but I'd like to stick with the ages of the characters as they were in the mid 1930s, the prime of Doc Savage as a pulp icon:
Dwayne Johnson as Doc: Born 1972. 6'3" is a decent height and The Rock has the build, but he's not the world's greatest surgeon and a composer of classical music. I'd love the role to go to a serious actor first, and hunk of he-man somewhere else down the list. I want this to be a serious film and not a novelty flick with awesome stunt casting.
Jason Statham as Doc: Born 1967. Lord knows I love me a good Jason Statham flick, and if you want a 5'10" thug who looks like his nose been used as a mallet most of his life to play Doc Savage, here's your guy. His American accent is serviceable but not eloquent as the role would require.
Kevin Sorbo as Doc: Born 1958. He's too old to play a 30-ish year old character. Yeah, I know, the paperback covers moved his age to that so everything's on the table. Because of paperback reprints. Back around 2000 he would have made a good choice if they were going to make a Doc Savage tv series.
Brad Garrett as Renny: Born 1960. I don't see a new Doc Savage movie as a dumping ground for tv actors but I do credit Garrett for pulling off a highly rated imitation of Jackie Gleason in a 2002 CBS production. He's 6'8" but starting to become old-man emaciated looking.
Ron Pearlman as Renny: Born 1950. I thought he was a lot taller than 6'1". AARP Renny. Sweet!
Ralph Fiennes as Ham: Born 1962. Sure, why not. That would be a coup. Maybe he can make room with the six other films he has going in 2014.
Michael Chiklis as Monk: Born 1963. As an actor he would be a catch but Monk should be a hulking ape figure, not a bald suburban dad with a sinking torso, which leads to my choice of...
Domenick Lombardozzi as Monk: Born 1976. Born in The Bronx, Domenick has the accent, size, and features a Doc Savage film needs. Watch an episode of Breakout Kings and you'll agree.
To be continued on an on-going basis...
In Ugly Book Cover News: Coming soon is a fancy reprint of Philip Jose Farmer's Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, a 50/50 split of excellent research and batpoop crazy Wold Newton Family literary incestuous inbreeding:
Every Fictional Character Is Real And Related To Every Other Fictional Character Because, Uh, Who The F--k Really Knows Why, And I Blame It All On Kevin Bacon, Retroactively
On a technical level pretty much everything about this cover is poorly conceived and horribly executed. There's nothing about this that makes visual sense - from lighting to angles to proportions to shading it's something I have to tip my hat to for its insistence on being wrong. Extra points for having the lady give Doc a lap dance in a time of peril. Is the point to be so wrong you can't take your eyes off the cover? Definitely not, but I thought I'd tease some credit where it's not due.
Sky Captain Crashes In Sin City On The Spirit's Dumb Face: Some are recommending a new Doc savage film get the Sin City / The Spirit or Sky Captain & The World Of Tomorrow visual treatment. Read here about Sky Captain's production and here for both Sin City and The Spirit. The operant term is "Digital Backlot".
I can see the appeal in creating a noire feel and rendering the weird occurrences in Doc Savage pulps in ways that seem natural to their own environment. I also realize its limitations and novelty.
Sky Captain & The World of Tomorrow is beautiful to look at but couldn't sustain its 106 minute run time. There's only so much Blue Screen acting you can look at in one sitting:
If they chose a similar mix of live set and animation used in 1929's Metropolis, Sky Captain would have been a classic:
Sin City succeeded partly because it looked exactly like the comic books they were based on. The other 85% of its appeal to fans was its brutality, cruelty, and embrace of smug gutter assholishness - like most Quentin Tarantino films.
The Spirit could have succeeded using the Sin City template if the story stuck to the storytelling format of Will Eisner's original seven-page story layouts. As episodes or a feature length film.
Instead they did everything wrong. A committee of experts couldn't have come up with more ways to make this any worse than it is. The Spirit is by far worse than the 1975 Doc Savage film. I'm cereal.
2013 Update: First,
Do No Make A DOC SAVAGE
The point of a new Doc Savage movie is not to give it the look or feel
of Indiana Jones, Batman, or anything that came after it owing Clark Jr.
origin debts. It's to make the best Doc Savage movie you can. He is
important enough in pop culture history (even if most don't know or
care what a Doc Savage is) to be taken seriously - as in respectful to the
pulps as gritty and exciting adventures. It would fail on any other level.
Whatever the limitations of the pulps it's up to Hollywood to research,
write, and present a worthy product. If it's successful these creative decisions can
an influence for other filmmakers dealing with classic material looking for
inspiration. A new
film is an opportunity to do something special and yes, real - or it can be a lazy and
disinterested product destined for a delayed release in January, the
31-day cemetery where unwanted films go to die.
Doc "Lurch" Savage Garbles
"Berarrrrgheee Fim Sneeeechfuuuuuguh Ta-arggggh!"
The definition of insanity is not doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Insanity is a mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior. Insanity is distinguished from low intelligence or mental deficiency due to age or injury. Getting back to Albert Einstein though, he does address Hollywood's go-to failure cycle when it comes to properties it feels are designed for children, dimwits, and hipsters in one unified demographic they probably refer to as IDIOTS. A new Doc Savage movie cannot be a comic book adaptation as he's not a comic book character. Crass caterers to children's funny book needs tried repeatedly to make him one, each diminishing and bastardizing Doc et al. to a fate worse than total obscurity.
In my bag of ideas I'd like to see almost no conversational exposition, shorter scenes taking place all over the world, only two or three set pieces, no emotional orchestral soundtrack, action limited to peak human potential, visual tension in all non-action scenes, a sense of wonder in the reveal of Doc's 1930 innovations, casting based on the needs of the characters and not marquee value, and Doc and each assistant given ample opportunity to prove their technical skills and teamwork expertise. Consult with experts in Medicine, Chemistry, Law, Engineering, Electronics, Physics, Geology, Languages, and Anthropology. Basically break from the SOPs of Hollywood's assembly-line dream factory.
Another Way To Guarantee Failure
A new film will most likely succeed creatively if it's made as a larger budget indie film with incidental if not black humor. What I'm asking from the studio and producers is to stop for a second and not view this like another hoagie pushed down the counter at Subway for mayo, pickles and onion. Doc Savage is serious 1930's pulp fiction. If they really want this to become a franchise don't aim for a big opening weekend and after that who really cares because it's yesterday's news, and on to the next project and see you in May at Cannes.
That's Really Super,
Girl Man Doc Savage:
As you read this, listen to a nice instrumental cover of the XTC song
"That's Really Super, Supergirl":
In my internet travels I'm coming across people writing Doc Savage is too perfect and nobody will relate to or care about him. That he needs to be brought down to "human" scale with problems, failings, and be in need of some kind of redemptive story arc involving him hitting bottom as a hero and person. That's a sack of crap. Superman is considered boring for reasons detailed here. Doc Savage can fall into the same trap but doesn't have to because he's human - Peak Human but still flesh and blood. He can't lift more than his human muscles can contract and bullets don't bounce off his skin.
Doc Failure Concept #412
Ray "Doc" Liotta and The Boondock Saints
Doc is great. He's handsome, rich, smart, strong, generous - a total package real mensch. He's also heavily burdened and serious. He has no ego and is devoid of personal douchosity. A great Doc Savage story is about Doc Savage doing Doc Savage things in the world Lester Dent created for him in the early 1930s. It's not about Doc Savage as a Freudian entity. It's not camp. It's dirty and poorly lit. It's not about personal highs and lows. That's what every freaking movie about a "hero" is about. How generic. This is an opportunity to make an olde-fashioned movie about action, danger, suspense, and hopefully fun - starring Doc Savage and his five Mensa Misfits. If you're going to make a Doc Savage movie make it a Doc Savage movie - not Action Prototype #1 handed over to layers of creative types for assimilation into the Hollywood Formula. Don't hire anyone into the production who'll take Doc and make him something "better" like they've done for twenty years in SoCal. A Guerilla Filmmaking mentality might be Shane Black's only chance to not have this movie turn into formula mush. If he cares or has enough control. 'Cause there's always Death Note and Cannes in the Spring.
Fan Casting Follies: I'm getting a bunch of Facebook hits but I don't know where from. Next week I'll open a can of maddening fan-casting failure. If you have something to say on a new Doc Savage movie e-mail oldpunkswebzine at yahoo.com. If it's to say Jack Black should play Monk, or the film should be shot like Sky Captain and the World Of Tomorrow, please don't. OK? Ok...
May 26, 2013 Update: Signs of The Coming Doc Savage Apocalypse: The raison d'etre, bete noire, and third French cliche literally being the word "cliche" for this retro-graphic, one-man insult festival of a web site is the spectre of a new Doc Savage film being an abomination of horribleness - a 90-minute projectile vomit of high-concept, lowest common denominator crap made by people who care as much about quality entertainment as Roger Corman, Sam Arkoff, The Asylum, Uwe Boll, Ed Wood, Tommy Wiseau, and recent times' David Zucker-Jim Abrahams all rolled into one putrid hairball of mediocrity.
The Doc Savage I Fear The Most
I lean towards thinking Shane Black is capable of making a decent if not great Doc Savage film, and then it's pointed out that Producer Neil H. Moritz birthed the remake of The Green Hornet, which elicited this Netflix review that speaks directly to my fears:
"These reviews are completely missing the point. The Green Hornet was a radio show, then a tv show with Van Williams and Bruce Lee. In tone, the tv show was actually kind of close to (and probably an inspiration for) Nolan's "Dark Knight" movies - trying to create a realistic superhero - in a realistic environment. If they'd taken that approach, simply updating the tv show, they probably would've had at least a decent movie - instead virtually every creative choice was wrong, from the tone of the film, to the casting, to the director. The result is a horrible mess. This is what happens when you let an egomaniac actor, a lot of lawyers, accountants, and people that no love of or interest in movies (or taste), try and create a film 'franchise'."
Moritz produced seven titles in 2011, three in 2012, so far has four credits in 2013, and has seven future credits in the works. Does he have time to even care about Job #1 for Doc Savage fans who care and aren't just happy anything is being made? His father worked for Sam Arkoff for 23 years as head of advertising and publicity. Do you see my concerns with Art vs. Product?
Anyhoo, in the coming months I'll add to my list of Signs of The Coming Doc Savage Apocalypse - factors which will lead to if not guarantee a future film failure starring my main man Sgt. AARP Eddie Munster and his kooky krew of bland stereotypes. Feel free to add your own directly onto your computer screen with crayon or blood:
1) Doc carries a gun (10 times amplified if said gun shoots rays).
2) Doc sports a crew cut widow's peak.
3) Doc is played by an actor shorter than 6'2" (and I'm being generous here).
4) Doc displays a full range of emotion with anger and rage as needed.
5) Doc is played by an actor who looks like he should be starring on a TV show on The WB.
7) Doc is a stud (or is even aware of his looks and build).
8) Monk is played by a lumpy fat guy as comic relief.
9) Monk and Ham have pets.
10) Any scene designed to make ten year old boys feel like they're watching something from the X-Games.
11) Doc lifts weights, or even worse gets into a bench press contest with Renny.
12) Pat Savage is involved. There's too many characters at six as is.
A Free Grandpa Doc Savage Doll Will Come
With Every Happy Meal
It's Ok To Peak, Human: As far as tone and style goes, it's paramount to remember Doc Savage is not a superhero. He's Peak Human, the highest level of achievement for someone of his size and mental capacity. Excellent physical and mental genetics combined with a lifetime of training to create an Uberman. A serious film will always keep in mind the limits of what a peak human can do. Can someone 6'5", 250 pounds and highly trained throw a 200 lb. opponent through the air fifteen feet across a room? Probably not. Can he do it if the other guy is already running in that direction? Maybe to probably. Highlight the capacities of Peak Human. Don't do anything a reasonable person can call BS on. I know you have to stretch the limits of human physics sometimes to heighten cinematic thrills but always know where the line is. As seen in Taken and The Bourne Identity.
As I Always Like To Say, Doc Has Aides: I'm firmly against Doc in a new film being openly emotional. I see his focus, seriousness, and the burden of his training and mission in life keeping most of that in check with no damage to his psyche. That's where his five assistants come in. They're the full range of personality from comic relief to deep human connection to even fear. Where Doc needs to be rescued from paperback book covers and childish action figures to become what he was in the 1930s pulps, the aides need an overhaul for the sake of storytelling and audience relatability.
In the pulps they're ugly and sometimes outright unlikable. They're misfits and maybe that's what binds them together under Doc Savage - a misfit who's the rare exception to the rule. Doc makes them all better and the assistants make Doc whole. Their characters and stories are as important to a successful new film as Doc himself and the mechanizations of the script.
Here's how I see the original characters in extremis:
Monk Is An Ape From Brooklyn
Ham Is Zachary Smith From Lost In Space
Renny Is A Golem
Johnny Is Ichabod Crane
Long Tom Is Generic Little Pissed Off Guy
In a new film they need to be friends who respect each other and work as a team where everyone knows their role. Monk and Ham's hate/love relationship should be toned down to an inside joke between the two. Monk needs to lose his cruelty and become a sympathetic character aware of his shape and appearance. Ham should use his cane for a permanent limp and not be prissy about his clothing. Renny should be outgoing, friendly, and loud but turn serious when fighting, where it can be revealed that's when he's happiest of all. Johnny should be stuck as a big-word misfit for comic effect and to not have to focus on him as much. Long Tom should be a fully normal and audience-relatable character who can't fight well and is protected by the others as a younger brother. See my Ideas page for more on this, or maybe your porn downloads are finished by now. You know what you have to do.
May 19, 2013 Update: Oh, The Places You'll Go: Here's some sites that discuss a new Doc Savage film and what it means in the bigger picture of the First World Problem of Hollywood movie daydreaming, second-guessing, and whizz-diddling.
Addressing their points, a Doc Savage film would definitely benefit from a similar treatment to what was given Sherlock Holmes, at least in production values. Doc Savage in the 1930s was partially yet specifically based on Sherlock Holmes from the 1880s. Doc was designed to be the next big level above Sherlock Holmes - the Ubermensch in all its Nietzschean glory. He's Peak Human. To make him just another good fighter is wasting the opportunity to make a film about things more important than what Generic Action Man did today to save the world. John Carter was CGI-infected sci-fi. Doc Savage can be easily followed and understood by anyone, and filmed mostly in-camera.
Doc Savage has no flaws per say but his back-story and mission does create a burden that weighs on him, and at various times in the pulps you're told he misses out on "normal" things like relationships. The female mind is a complete mystery to him. He doesn't need to be flawed. That's a cheap cliché. Incomplete or burdened can work just as well. Doc as a package is the world's smartest, richest, strongest, best looking, and most civic-minded man - yet he's devoid of ego and incapable of any form of inconsideration or douchebaggery. A Doc Savage movie should be a great Doc Savage story involving Doc Savage and his assistants. It doesn't have to be about his personality or mental health issues.
The negative aspects of a Doc Savage film looking like an Indiana Jones rip-off is real no matter how unfair since he was Indy in the real 1930's, not the fake 1930's of the Indiana Jones films. Doc Savage had a Fortress of Solitude in the tundra before Superman ripped that off. He used a grappling hook and wire before Batman swiped that one too. For a new Doc Savage film these are off the table. Boo freaking hoo. A new film should evoke in an original Doc Savage context the noir of New York City, the steam heat of Tarzan's jungle, the dry heat of Indiana Jones desert, and the unforgiving white cold of the arctic. Doc Savage can stake a claim to influencing all the more famous characters that came after him by being original and true to the source material (as long as you don't give low-information viewers obvious things to call rip-offs). It's like having to defend The Ramones as not ripping off Green Day, but hey, poop happens.
Real Statue Idea Of Doc Savage Riding A Shark Like A Horse
So Insane And Wrong And Funny I'd Probably Have Bought One
The Pulp.Net: (One of the original Doc Savage reference sites has woken up)
Slow Down, Douchey LaRue: Most articles so far are generic yet decent, or at least not dumb. This one is.
"The rugged blonde adventurer traveled the world using his near superhuman skills as a scientist, doctor, inventor and martial artist to fight evil and the supernatural."
Doc wasn't blonde, he didn't fight the actual supernatural, and I'd call Doc a highly trained fighter and not a martial artist. He knew every martial art but nothing he did was traditional martial arts in the same way you can't call Navy Seal and Army Ranger training martial arts. It's a diversion and distraction to call Doc a martial artist as then people expect a martial arts movie.
"Clad in a habitually torn Khaki shirt Doc Savage was precisely the kind of pulp fiction hero that later inspired the creation of Indiana Jones. He was a tough pistol packing intellectual who frequently squared up against the Nazis and the occult in exotic locations."
In the pulps Doc wore Khaki shirts and they were often ripped? Really? D-Bag LaRue? Or are we talking about the paperback book covers featuring a wrinkled fifty year old with a comical widow's peak? Second, Doc didn't carry a gun. That was the whole freaking point of Doc Savage - that he didn't carry a gun. He didn't frequently fight the Nazis or the occult, but why even bother. Accuracy is secondary to sounding enthusiastic about something you don't know or care about. Oh those crazy new media unpaid interns with their hippin' and the' hoppin' and the bippin' and the boppin'!
Action Figures are Go! Hero: As a $209.99 pre-order you can reserve your own 12.5 inch tall Doc Savage toy with over 40 points of articulation. That's a lot of articulation, guaranteeing hours of play for obese men in their mid to late 50s.
Wardrobe Malfunction Doc Savage, Now With Dildo Gun
Die Cast Weapons:
- 'Super Savage Machine Pistol' by Jim Steranko
(w/ Moveable Grip & 2 Detachable Clips)
- Silver Age Style Raygun
- German Lugar
Once again Doc is in his late 50s and sports Prince Namor's hairline. He carries three weapons he never actually carried with him too! I understand an action figure without a gun is like a porno without a money shot, but this is just horrible.
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2013 Update: Fair Warning: Now that
Doc Savage and Da Boyz Are Go! I fully expect to receive a Cease and Desist
order from the legal office of Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe. If this site
disappears you'll know why. I've been murdered!
Now it's For Real Real, Not Play Play: My first post on a new Doc Savage film was dated October 24, 2009. I wrote "Shane Black will write a script for the producing team of Orci & Kurtzman. I guess Michael E. Uslan is out of the picture, literally and figuratively." Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are now out, Ori Marmur and Neal H. Moritz are Producing, with Michael Uslan also listed as a Producer as he most likely still retains some rights to the property. Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry are on board as scriptwriters. Representing Columbia Pictures/Sony are Lauren Abrahams and Sam Dickerman.
It's important (or not) to look at these people's backgrounds to prognosticate the future of the now in-the-works Doc Savage film. I like Shane Black as he's first a Writer, then both a Producer and Director. As a professed fan of Doc Savage he might see himself as protector of the 1930s pulp fiction legend and not allow the film to be about an angry fifty year old army guy with a mutant widow's peak, riding pants, ripped button-down shirts, and a lust for guns. Maybe. Hopefully. His films have grit and his blockbuster scripts display commendable depths of character study. Marmur's produced some shlock while his partner Moritz has a longer list of shlock under his belt. Michael Uslan executive produced recent Batman films - which bodes well as far as set design and cinematography are concerned, but not if you're against large defining set pieces like I am.
Anthony Bagarozzi has few credits while Charles Mondry doesn't have a IMDB page. Ten Dolla American they're friends of Shane Black. Studio bean-counter/truant officer Abrahams is newish to the game while Dickerman's resume is crowded with light comedies. Production value-wise I have no concerns with the players involved. Now the question is what kind of film do they intend to make? Will it be true to what made the pulps of the 1930s great or will it be a high-concept, lowest common denominator crapshoot - and by crap I mean excrement and by shoot I mean out of an anus.
It's Simply About Simple Choices: My ideas and opinions on a new Doc Savage film are a few years old and can be found here. On this page I'm just repeating myself. Reading various articles and press releases there's either a script or a script is still to be written. I assume there was at least an outline, draft, or film treatment of some kind submitted by Shane Black to get the project green-lighted. Here's me assuming nothing has been set in stone.
Hollywood has two diametrically opposed choices with a new Doc Savage film - either make it real and true to its origins and appeal, or make a dumb comic book action film and hope it opens big before fading into nothingness, ironically sitting next to Hidalgo in the $5 bin at Wal-Mart. You can either do the research to have the characters put on display the full range of their skills and expertise, or you can just say Monk's a chemist and have him otherwise talk like he's illiterate. You can either have Doc utilize then-futuristic technologies in ways that still elicit a sense of wonder, or you can have him pull out a Buck Rogers pistol and zap a hole in a wall while smiling like he just let go into a Depends. You can make Doc either a Peak Human or a steroidal war veteran. Does he look like this:
Will the film show how Doc Savage was the Rosetta Stone for Superman, Batman, James Bond, Indiana Jones, etc., or will it be a perverse retrofitting of Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos? There's a long but eventually finite list of right and wrong choices to be made, but these are some of the big ones up front. Then there's Casting (God save us all)
The Name's Ardan... Docteur Ardan:
"Tibet, 1927. Intrepid explorer Doctor Ardan is taken prisoner by the diabolical Natas, who has discovered the secret of making gold through nuclear fusion, and rules over a city of slaves whom he controls with an unholy brand of leprosy. Can Doc Ardan, with the aid of beautiful Louise Ducharme, thwart the Oriental Mastermind's evil schemes and escape from the City of Gold and Lepers? Scientist and world-saving explorer Doctor Ardan was created in 1928, five years before Doc Savage. This ground-breaking SF adventure that predicted the use of nuclear energy16 years before the Manhattan Project has been translated by award-winning authors Jean-Marc & Randy Lofficier and includes original black & white illustrations and a historical foreword about the Ardan family, from Michel Ardan (From the Earth to the Moon) to Dale Arden (Flash Gordon)."
The French claim for inventing Doc Savage takes the form of Doc Ardan, a single story available from Amazon at the high price of $20.95. So in the original his name isn't exactly "Doc Ardan" and the book is not only translated into English but also "Adapted And Retold". Yyyyeah. And a Pepe Le Pew day to you too, Mon-sewer!
May 9, 2013 Update: Looks Like I'll Have A Lot To Write About From Now On:
April 28, 2013 Update: Well, This Might Be Good News: Here (Pow!) and here (Bam!) are articles on Shane Black's enthusiastic desire to get hopping on a new Doc Savage film project:
"Right now I’ve got this thing at Warner Bros. called Death Note that I like a lot. It’s a Japanese Manga that’s very tense and really cool. And also something at Sony I’m really excited about, something that as a kid I loved. It’s Doc Savage, the old series of pulp novels and doing Doc Savage right, finding the way to get that script correct has been one of the guiding passions of my adult life. If I can get that script and make it happen in the next 90 days or so then I’d love to make that.
We would start writing a draft when I get back from this. Three months is about the time in which we get a draft. We should be able to do it in 90 days, me and Chuck Mondry and Anthony Baggarozzi, my writing partners.
Chuck wrote the The Cold Warrior and Anthony is working on something for him to direct. He’s been my friend forever and hes a co-writer on Doc Savage. He also wrote something with me called The Nice Guys which never got made but we did a reading in Austin with Tom Jane and we got a very good reaction from that."
Here's to more good news down the road.
The Bar Is So Low It Rolls On The Ground:
[If I wrote this ten times it would come out ten ways. I could type about this until we both fall asleep so I'll try to keep it short(er) and keep to my major points].
I done did what I said I 'tweren't gonna do again. I read the latest "New" Doc Savage novel, Skull Island, written by Doc expert Will Murray along with artist Joe Devito, who I think helped with story ideas. It was cheap enough as a $4.99 digital download and Amazon reviewers were lining up to soil themselves with praise for the greatest thing to happen in literature since Doc Savage was first announced to meet King Kong in the forthcoming blockbuster titled Skull Island. You see, when all normal standards are discarded in service to nerd fetishes the fanboy's lower colon sphincter also goes limp.
The bottom line is that Murray either can't or can't focus enough to write a decent Doc Savage pulp story, and fanboys have no standards beyond having something to cheer about. Skull Island is speculative fan-fiction answering interesting yet highly secondary What If questions that are nice to know (as one person's opinion) but not at the expense of a great story at the forefront. It's not an issue of ideas but of execution. Skull Island is too long, often boring, and when not boring offering little beyond generic run-and-fight sequences. It overflows with archaic lingo and drops names and ideas as if from a shopping list. Reams of research on geography, topography, anthropology, horticulture, ornithology, and paleontology are emptied onto the page because, dammit, it took a long time to put all that s--t together. As a by-product, Rick Lai has been hospitalized with a debilitating case of "Cum-Cum Disease".
Will Murray is an expert on Lester Dent's Doc Savage. Beyond the non-standards of fan-fiction this doesn't allow or qualify him to definitively create Doc's Freudian back-story. I'd cut him more slack if he tossed in tidbits along the way of a nail-biter of a tale, but Skull Island is neurotically obsessed with Doc's Mommy and Daddy issues and devoid of 97.5% of the drama, suspense, and sense of wonder created by Lester Dent in the 1930s. You want origin story fan-fiction? Read Skull Island. You want a new Doc Savage book worthy of the genre, I don't think Murray's your guy. The earlier "new" novels utilized Dent's discarded story ideas and as finished by Murray moved from scene to scene with little happening and no sense of the story being propelled forward via mystery and suspense. They're improv scene scenarios not properly turned into finished product. I assume almost all of you have never seen an amateur improv group practice. The new Doc Savage novels are mostly like these rehearsals.
The Next Logical Step
Skull Island is a big deal because King Kong is a marquee name and the rights to said ape were granted by the estate of Merian C. Cooper, most likely as a favor to Cooper family go-to Joe Devito. Kong and Doc Savage hit the screen and printed page in 1933, so that must mean something huh maybe? Skull Island only kept my attention when Kong was involved. Doc's origin story and family history were meaningless and didn't answer questions I didn't have in the first place.
If you took a shot of tequila every time Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, or Nick Carter are mentioned as flashing neon signs of "Origin" your print copy of Skull Island would dissolve from the acids in your projectile vomit.
I know Doc Savage and his assistants need to be modified for modern tastes. I also know what made the original stories and characters great in the first place cannot be jettisoned in the name of laziness or high-concept awesomeness. Doc Savage is genre-specific to pulp fiction, bound to certain conventions as much as serial films. What matters is what you do with the stories and characters within the confines of their worlds. Many of the later Doc novels, some if not many I assume were quickly adapted from generic stories featuring other characters, stink. The earlier ones where Doc is stoic and unstoppable rule. That's called math, and math is a science! Look it up.
A few random thoughts follow and then below that is Lester Dent's original template for writing pulp fiction. Will Murray should use this as a checklist next time instead of speculation and name-dropping. There needs to be a mystery, weird occurrences, gadgets, strange procedures on Doc's part later explained as genius detective work, tension, forward movement, and a sense you're there with them in smelly rooms and dank tunnels.
For yuks you should alternate reading chapters from a "new" Doc Savage novel with an original one like Repel and note the differences. They should be much closer in style and substance than they are being done presently.
The first true action scene starts on page 94 of this 385 page Kindle book.
Endless exposition speeches are clumsily chopped up by interjections like "Tell me about them.", "Go on", "Explain it, please", and "Yes, go on. I am quite interested".
Doc's super-sniffer nose and stupid f--k s--t piss trilling are full co-stars of the novel.
It's all about the eyes.
The Lester Dent Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot
This is a
formula, a master plot, for any 6000 word pulp story. It has worked on
adventure, detective, western and war-air. It tells exactly where to put
everything. It shows definitely just what must happen in each successive
No yarn of mine written to the formula has yet failed to sell.
The business of building stories seems not much different from the business of building anything else.
Here's how it starts:
1. A DIFFERENT MURDER METHOD FOR VILLAIN TO USE
2. A DIFFERENT THING FOR VILLAIN TO BE SEEKING
3. A DIFFERENT LOCALE
4. A MENACE WHICH IS TO HANG LIKE A CLOUD OVER HERO
One of these DIFFERENT things would be nice, two better, three swell. It may help if they are fully in mind before tackling the rest.
A different murder method could be--different. Thinking of shooting, knifing, hydrocyanic, garroting, poison needles, scorpions, a few others, and writing them on paper gets them where they may suggest something. Scorpions and their poison bite? Maybe mosquitos or flies treated with deadly germs?
If the victims are killed by ordinary methods, but found under strange and identical circumstances each time, it might serve, the reader of course not knowing until the end, that the method of murder is ordinary.
Scribes who have their villain's victims found with butterflies, spiders or bats stamped on them could conceivably be flirting with this gag.
Probably it won't do a lot of good to be too odd, fanciful or grotesque with murder methods.
The different thing for the villain to be after might be something other than jewels, the stolen bank loot, the pearls, or some other old ones.
Here, again one might get too bizarre.
Unique locale? Easy. Selecting one that fits in with the murder method and the treasure--thing that villain wants--makes it simpler, and it's
also nice to use a familiar one, a place where you've lived or worked. So many pulpateers don't. It sometimes saves embarrassment to know nearly as much about the locale as the editor, or enough to fool him.
Here's a nifty much used in faking local color. For a story laid in Egypt, say, author finds a book titled "Conversational Egyptian Easily Learned," or something like that. He wants a character to ask in Egyptian, "What's the matter?" He looks in the book and finds, "El khabar, eyh?" To keep the reader from getting dizzy, it's perhaps wise to make it clear in some fashion, just what that means. Occasionally the text will tell this, or someone can repeat it in English. But it's a doubtful move to stop and tell the reader in so many words the English translation.
The writer learns they have palm trees in Egypt. He looks in the book, finds the Egyptian for palm trees, and uses that. This kids editors and readers into thinking he knows something about Egypt.
Here's the second
installment of the master plot.
Divide the 6000 word yarn into four 1500 word parts. In each 1500 word part, put the following:
FIRST 1500 WORDS
1--First line, or as near thereto as possible, introduce the hero and swat him with a fistful of trouble. Hint at a mystery, a menace or a problem to be solved--something the hero has to cope with.
2--The hero pitches in to cope with his fistful of trouble. (He tries to fathom the mystery, defeat the menace, or solve the problem.)
3--Introduce ALL the other characters as soon as possible. Bring them on in action.
4--Hero's endevours land him in an actual physical conflict near the end of the first 1500 words.
5--Near the end of first 1500 words, there is a complete surprise twist in the plot development.
SO FAR: Does it have SUSPENSE?
Is there a MENACE to the hero?
Does everything happen logically?
At this point, it might help to recall that action should do something besides advance the hero over the scenery. Suppose the hero has learned the dastards of villains have seized somebody named Eloise, who can explain the secret of what is behind all these sinister events. The hero corners villains, they fight, and villains get away. Not so hot.
Hero should accomplish
something with his tearing around, if only to rescue Eloise, and surprise!
Eloise is a ring-tailed monkey. The hero counts the rings on Eloise's tail, if
nothing better comes to mind.
They're not real. The rings are painted there. Why?
SECOND 1500 WORDS
1--Shovel more grief onto the hero.
2--Hero, being heroic, struggles, and his struggles lead up to:
3--Another physical conflict.
4--A surprising plot twist to end the 1500 words.
NOW: Does second part have SUSPENSE?
Does the MENACE grow like a black cloud?
Is the hero getting it in the neck?
Is the second part logical?
DON'T TELL ABOUT IT***Show how the thing looked. This is one of the secrets of writing; never tell the reader--show him. (He trembles, roving eyes, slackened jaw, and such.) MAKE THE READER SEE HIM.
When writing, it helps to get at least one minor surprise to the printed page. It is reasonable to to expect these minor surprises to sort of inveigle the reader into keeping on. They need not be such profound efforts. One method of accomplishing one now and then is to be gently misleading. Hero is examining the murder room. The door behind him begins slowly to open. He does not see it. He conducts his examination blissfully. Door eases open, wider and wider, until--surprise! The glass pane falls out of the big window across the room. It must have fallen slowly, and air blowing into the room caused the door to open. Then what the heck made the pane fall so slowly? More mystery.
Characterizing a story actor consists of giving him some things which make him stick in the reader's mind. TAG HIM.
BUILD YOUR PLOTS SO THAT ACTION CAN BE CONTINUOUS.
THIRD 1500 WORDS
1--Shovel the grief onto the hero.
2--Hero makes some headway, and corners the villain or somebody in:
3--A physical conflict.
4--A surprising plot twist, in which the hero preferably gets it in the neck bad, to end the 1500 words.
DOES: It still have SUSPENSE?
The MENACE getting blacker?
The hero finds himself in a hell of a fix?
It all happens logically?
These outlines or master formulas are only something to make you certain of inserting some physical conflict, and some genuine plot twists, with a little suspense and menace thrown in. Without them, there is no pulp story.
These physical conflicts in each part might be DIFFERENT, too. If one fight is with fists, that can take care of the pugilism until next the next yarn. Same for poison gas and swords. There may, naturally, be exceptions. A hero with a peculiar punch, or a quick draw, might use it more than once.
The idea is to avoid monotony.
Vivid, swift, no words wasted. Create suspense, make the reader see and feel the action.
Hear, smell, see, feel and taste.
Trees, wind, scenery and water.
THE SECRET OF ALL WRITING IS TO MAKE EVERY WORD COUNT.
FOURTH 1500 WORDS
1--Shovel the difficulties more thickly upon the hero.
2--Get the hero almost buried in his troubles. (Figuratively, the villain has him prisoner and has him framed for a murder rap; the girl is presumably dead, everything is lost, and the DIFFERENT murder method is about to dispose of the suffering protagonist.)
3--The hero extricates himself using HIS OWN SKILL, training or brawn.
4--The mysteries remaining--one big one held over to this point will help grip interest--are cleared up in course of final conflict as hero takes
the situation in hand.
5--Final twist, a big surprise, (This can be the villain turning out to be the unexpected person, having the "Treasure" be a dud, etc.)
6--The snapper, the punch line to end it.
HAS: The SUSPENSE held out to the last line?
The MENACE held out to the last?
Everything been explained?
It all happen logically?
Is the Punch Line enough to leave the reader with that WARM FEELING?
Did God kill the villain? Or the hero?
Doc Lucid Meets Himself Kinda Maybe Not Really: Personal hero and Doc Savage costume designer Doc Lucid met Ron Ely at this year's Wondercon, and here's the pudding where inside all proof can be found:
Doc Codpiece, The Man Of Piss Yellow: I know y'all wanna get up all in this ASAP, so bid now on a home-brew Doc Savage action figure:
"Normally I charge 20 for a custom but due the the rarity of the super powers figure it is built from I had to charge more, But It will be worth it Doc will come in custom wooden box packaging /display case . it is being finished as I post this will post pics when it's done."
Doc Pitches, Doc Catches,
Doc Savage Demands You Service Or Be Serviced Now!!!!
April 14, 2013 Update: I am The Rock. I'm on Long Island: Dwayne Johnson's name gets mentioned with frequency to play Doc Savage, and at almost 6'4" and vitamin-fueled (tee-hee) as seen below he's big enough, good enough, and doggone it, people like him! Still, he's not the right choice to play the smartest person in the world, and if there's anything Denise Richards taught us it's that plausibility still matters. That's Doctor Christmas Jones to you!
Vat? Me Stah In A Moo-Fee?
Doc Alf: I won/bought two pieces of original comic book art for $109.00 including shipping. Issue #41 of Marvel Comic's ALF, from 1991, features a story ribbing Doc Savage and his Alf-ized crew "Long Name", "Runny", "Port-A-Johnny", "Mink", and "Hammon Eggs", along with their pets "Suez" and "Roachclops". The classical music-derived jokes are actually funny, my favorite bit him being handed a freshly torn shirt on a hanger.
December 30, 2012 Update: DC Loses Doc Savage. Jesus Wept: The "tubes" we call "inter" inform me that DC Comics, horrid defilers of the Doc Savage legacy, has decided to not renew the license rights to Doc, The Spirit, and The Avenger. DC put out crap with these characters in it and probably lost money on all three. Golly, who'll now turn Doc Savage into Generic Military Action Guy With Widow's Peak And Ripped Shirt for a series of unreadable doodle books? Who?!
Look, Up In The 86th Floor! It's Multi-Cultural Man!!: Found in the
comments section above is a comment from "ikdks" and it goes
exactly like this:
really excited about Doc Savage when that Next Wave thing started a few years
ago. His superpower was that he was mixed race, which I guess was an exotic
thing back in the thirties. He represented the best qualities of his different
ethnicities creating a new superior hybrid human being. That’s why they call him
the man of bronze.
That’s a pretty clever concept if you ask me, and pretty edgy considering interracial marriage was still illegal in some states at the time. I was really hoping they would explore that in a modern context, but the Doc Savage title was so generic and poorly thought out. It was a missed opportunity."
Will the Real Doc Savage Please Stand Up
Doc's superpower was that he was mixed race. Wow, just wow. That's Not Even Wrong. Do I care if Doc is Latino, Black, or Native American? Not in the least, but that has to come from Lester Dent or the two guys at Street & Smith who cooked up Doc Savage in the first place. Not Philip Jose Farmer's retarded Wold Newton Family mental masturbations or the fantasies of self-described master class victim groups. The Gay argument is probably the strongest but I'll leave that for my friend Bruce to argue. A black guy at a comic book show told me Doc was black. I said "OK" and moved on.
December 02, 2012 Update: Screaming At The Netflix: On long car trips I still entertain myself with ideas on what would contribute to a decent new Doc Savage movie. In a few weeks the common search term "2012 Doc Savage Film" will dissolve into a few "2013 Doc Savage Film" and "Will There Ever Be A New Doc Savage Film?" queries. Meanwhile I'm always scanning the new releases on Netflix and muttering under my breath "How the f--k did this piece of s--t ever get made?!" Torture porn, indie romantic comedies, and guaranteed yawns from films like Virginia ("As he campaigns for state senator, Dick Tipton's career and personal life begin to careen out of control when his daughter starts dating the son of an emotionally disturbed woman he knows quite well -- perhaps a little too well.") I know there's a solid Doc Savage fan base of what, 1000 guys, but still, the world needs a great Doc savage film before it does another Step Up sequel.
Single-Handedly Keeping The Economy Alive: I have every Doc Savage book as an electronic file, a Bantam paperback, and so far every Radioarchives trade paperback. So of course I still bought twelve Blackmask reprints on eBay. Supposedly there are 72 books in the series that was planned to stop at 90. The reprints ran from 2004 thru 2006. There's nothing special about these trade paperbacks. They should have contained the original ads from the pulps. Those are sweet.
Buckle Under Pressure:
This buckle sold for $102.50 on the eBay. It appears to be a custom job. The classic one, made probably in a small batch, looks like this and is twelve times more fun:
November 11, 2012 Update: The Secret Ain't A Secret No Mo': The secret Bob Larkin books from last time aren't a sworn mystery any more since he's now selling them on eBay:
- Paper bound copy of Joseph Morhaim's screenplay for the proposed 1970's sequel to Doc Savage: Man of Bronze.
- Paper bound copy of
David Leslie Johnson's second draft of the screenplay for the proposed 2000 Doc
Savage movie to star Arnold Schwarzenegger
The production was eventually dropped because it was deemed to expensive to produce, now find out why!
"Doc Con 15 will be held October, 20, 2012 in Glendale Arizona at the Comfort Suites located at 9824 W Camelback Rd, Glendale, AZ, US, 85305. Call to reserve your room (623) 271-9005 and mention "Doc Savage Convention" for our reduced group rate. Go to http://www.facebook.com/azdoccon for additional information."
November 4, 2012 Update: The Latest New Doc Savage Movie Buzz (!): Just kidding. Nothing happening. Cue the crickets. Quiet as a mute college pep rally. The Internet Movie Database boards are cobwebbed and Google comes up with a single fanboy blog comment about how great it would be for Shane Black to be done with Iron Man so he could get back to the rocking tale of Clark Jr. and The Quintuplets. On IMDB the last idea was that Jim Caviezel should play Doc. I love the guy in Person Of Interest but he's closer to playing Lurch than The Man Of Bronzer.
More Things Me Buy: The Collector's Handbook Of Bronze:
For $19.00 total I won this book but my copy has a white cover with just the title and author's name in generic lettering. It's printed by the self-publishing empire of Lulu.com, whose print-on-demand services have obliterated the days when old women who wrote love letters to their cats had to shell out stupid amounts of cash to get back a large box of hardcovers that made wonderful gifts for the mailman and relatives who'd say "Thank you" with their voices trailing off as a question.
It's a collector's checklist of most everything Doc Savage and it includes even home-brew fan creations. The attention to detail is OCDelicious. I could stare at this book for hours - and by hours I mean the accumulated time spend looking it over while pooping at home. From this book I now have a new Doc Savage holy grail item - the Pocket Marabout Key Ring:
"It was proposed in the first books of the Marabout collection. You had to gather a given amount of coupons from several series and send them to Marabout. The key ring contained miniatures of the first book of each series (there were six of them). Each miniature had the original version and the text of the first chapter of the novel. The Doc Savage miniature was L'homme de bronze.". Dude...
Fantom Press Mystery Items: Doc Savage paperback cover artist Bob Larkin has been furiously pushing sales of his work to cover various medical expenses for both himself and his wife. Most items can be found at Fantompress.net. After purchasing a hardcover I was added to a special e-mail list of super-secret offers I'm not allowed to write about or speak of to anyone. I bought two items, involving words and paper (don't sue me, Bob!), and they're pretty impressive so if you e-mail Bob and say you might be interested in buying Secret Books under the table he may get back to you.
October 7, 2012 Update: Instead Of Bud Bundy Playing Monk, How 'Bout THIS Guy: Fantasy casting, like most things, annoy me. There's two kinds of fantasy casting - Practical, and Please Punch Me In The Nose. My view on anything Doc Savage is that it should forward the cause of a decent new Doc savage film being made. I qualified it with the word "decent". A new Doc Savage movie will only be made by the money and creative input of serious people who don't fantasize about Doc Savage as themselves if they were only taller, stronger, smarter, better looking, and didn't emit a sickly sour odor from misc. folds of skin.
I've read fantasy castings where every top star of the day lines up to play any role in the upcoming Doc Savage blockbuster. As if, and what are you, twelve? Besides Doc nobody needs to be a name actor. I have The Big Show as the lead villain so, bippity-boppity-boo, there's someone people know. I've found a great choice to play Monk, especially if you see him as the sometime sadistic brawler of the novels. His name is Domenick Lombardozzi, and I'm enjoying him immensely as Ray Zancanelli on re-runs of Breakout Kings.
There's nothing representative on Youtube but Domenik is one mean f--k. Look how wide he is in that first pic. In one episode he shoves a lit lighter up a man's nose to get information, and for yuks he gave a guy a friendly smile before punching him in the face.
"Shea, move outta da way! I'm gonna use that jerkoff to break my fall."
Meanwhile, back in the 1970s:
I forgot all about this. In the late 70s I created this collage in my college dorm room. Damn was I undercover cool back then!
Me Buy Things:
I won a nice copy of this 1933 hardcover for $75.00 total. Nobody bid against me, maybe because it was listed under "Kenneth Robeson", not "Doc Savage".
Continue Reading This Exciting Doc Savage Blog Adventure!