April 13, 2014 Update: "Hello, Shane?... Yes Sir, Mr. Black,
got it... It's Chet again?, from Sony Studios?, checking in to see if
there's any news on that Doc Savage movie we paid you to... Chet, yes,
Chet from Sony... Have you... Yes Sir, sorry Mr. Black, I didn't realize
it was nap time... Yes Sir, I'll tell my bosses "Mars Needs Bourbon", and
you're Mars... Yes Sir, very clever for nap time. Sorry again Sir...
I'll call you again next we... ok, month... Ok, gotta run... I have to
sort and deliver the mail... Bye (click)."
I Read Slow If I Read At All:
I'm on page 123 (of 186) of my Kindle edition of
Doc Wilde and The Frogs Of Doom (click the link and I get NOTHING!)
and it's obvious to me Tim Byrd is the most qualified person to write or
consult on a new Doc Savage film. He gets Doc Savage. He's
modified and adapted the Doc Savage oeuvre for his young adult
literature needs but what he takes and how he uses it is pretty darn
awesome. His story constantly moves forward, stuff happens, thought and
research are combined as if by Lester Dent magic, and great Doc Savage
details large and small come into play.
For yucks and my purposes I imagine Bagarozzi and Mondry are still
submitting scripts to Shane Black that consist of variations on Action
Guy (Doc Savage) and his comedy-duo friends (Monk and
Ham) fight Main Antagonist (Snidely Whiplash) and his Plot
Device Weapon (A Zapper Of Some Kind) while sorting through
Issues (Daddy) and Post-Modern Subtext (America and Heroes
Suck). Standard script-writing software Mad-Lib fare.
Mr. Black, Shane, Dude, hire Tim Byrd to write your movie for you.
Hey Kid. Yeah, You. Ya Got $17,000.00?: 178 issues of the Doc
Savage pulps are
on sale for
$17,000.00, the early run just missing Dec. 1934. That's $90.90 per! A
billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real
money! Fantompress has
sell ya too, kid, if money's an object ya haves to give.
Others Make My Argument For Me Without Realizing It Or Caring To Have
An Opinion On It Either Way:
Forbes dissects the scheduling wars between big Hollywood studios
for capital "M" Major Motion Pictures with plenty of built-in audience
awareness and cross-platform synergy, and the scope and scale of the
stakes involved are daunting if not Depends-bulging terrifying. I've
long believed it takes a
Psychopath to effectively swim these waters, and that's why
Hollywood is, if you take at face value most things you read and what I
hear here in L.A., crawling
with a-holes sporting personality disorders.
Doc Savage is not a blockbuster property and it's not the fault of the
character. I sometimes doubt there's two people who effectively agree on who and
what Doc Savage is, forget about what he even looks like. He's been
bastardized by comic books, rendered haphazardly in art and statues,
made a joke by the 1975 film, turned into a parody of sorts by paperback
covers, and ill-served in general by his small cult of followers and
chroniclers desperate for any crumb of acknowledgement.
What a new Doc Savage film represents is an opportunity to get the
character and story right, and without widespread name recognition or a
unified, clear set of ideas (running against the prevailing and existing
lexicon the studios have mostly likely already discovered on their own)
nobody will sign off with sincerity on a major motion picture titled
"Doc Savage - The Man Not Actually Made Of Bronze But He IS Reeeeally
First, last, and always make the best Doc Savage movie you can by
creating the best and also most accurate 1930s Doc Savage pulp fiction
science & mystery adventure. Don't make a blockbuster film
plugging in the name "Doc Savage" and adding three "Doc Savage"
ingredients for flavor. Doc Savage can't win by existing to compete
against Studio B's Summer holiday weekend heavyweight. It has to make it
on its own merits by being great. Once that happens we'll talk again
about going head-to-head with "Angry Birds II - Now We're F--king
Mad" on Arbor Day 2017.
Winky-Dink Suggest This Linky-Dink For Your Consideration (and also
that you draw on your computer monitor with permanent black marker):
April 6, 2014 Update: Are you as tired of reading me type there's no
new news on a new Doc Savage movie as I am of typing there's no new news
on a new Doc Savage movie? He asked by typing...
Sumpin' Ta Read: A learned man by the name of Tony Jones posted a
blog piece titled
"Doc Savage – what can we learn from 181 pulp magazines?"
As a writing instructor he attempts to reduce Lester Dent's Fiction
Master Plot writer's guide to something even I can understand.
He gets the "First 1,500 Words" part wrong heavily due to not having
read any of the books himself and relying on outside sources which don't know
their arses from their elbow macaronis. Dent's guide would apply to
anything you want to put in it but as
some of us know Doc Savage stories as frequently as not opened with the mysterious
deaths of strangers and except for a time in the 1940s Doc wasn't
concerned with sorting out any personal problems. He was too busy being
Doc Effin' Savage.
Musing Is My Muse: I watch movies and TV shows at work because as
long as my one-man department's work is covered I can entertain myself
as I choose. Television programs like "Person Of Interest" and "Sleepy
Hollow" give me more bang for the buck than theatrical releases that
fit into generic molds so predictable the plots might as well come from
high-concept Mad Libs books. As I
watch films I think of them in terms of how I see a new Doc Savage movie
succeeding creatively, historically, and financially. I firmly believe
the only way to do this is to successfully blend the demands of both
Lester Dent's Master Plot guidelines and Hollywood's three-act, sixty
minute-in turning point dog-and-pony show. A few recent things I've seen:
Match, which I previously assumed could be fully understood by
looking at the movie poster, started off surprisingly well with strong
performances all around, especially the sadly under-used Kevin Hart -
the new and improved Chris Tucker! The A-story of the fight and environs
was strong but the B-story was neutered by a ponderous
C-story straight outta'
Lifetime movies. I know women are like regular people, only
different, but damn did the movie come to screeching halts with long
scenes of actors staring at and talking to each other with
feeeeeeeeling. The B and C-stories should have been combined more
efficiently-effectively, and what Grudge Match needed more of is scenes
with Hart and Alan Arkin - the just as old yet just as great Burt
Young! The answer is YES - you can fully understand the movie by looking
at the movie poster.
Homefront, written by Sylvester Stallone for himself but handed off
to odd Doc Savage fan-casting favorite Jason Statham once Stallone
realized he was too old to have a daughter even doing post-graduate work,
also gets a little Lifetimey but in a more interesting fashion I didn't
want to spend too much time on because watching white trash be white
trash all the live long day isn't on my to-do list. Stallone's a
sentimental sap of the first order. I'll bet he cries when alone for
random sentimental reasons.
Castaway On The Moon from South Korea is one of the most endearing
quirky films you'll ever see, and
World pays dividends, but getting back to Doc, a Doc
Savage movie should be a pulp fiction action serial that moves from
scene to scene with swift determination. Whatever B-story you want to
add for flavor better be seamless and serve the A-story directly.
Duh...Uh, Duh... (repeat)
By John Farnum. Doc as Arnold and The Creature From The Black
Did You Know Lester Dent and H.P. Lovecraft Were Pen-Pals?:
Well, now you do.
2014 Update: Open With A Joke Via The Onion:
Hollywood Maintenance Crews Sent Out To Patch Up Film Industry’s
Plotholes. "Numerous Hollywood maintenance
crews were reportedly dispatched early Thursday morning to fix a rash of
plotholes that have developed across the film industry, with laborers
called to fill in unresolved third acts and smooth over illogical
character arcs at worksites on the Warner Bros., Universal Studios, and
Paramount Pictures lots."
Things I Do But Don't Want To Do, But Do For You, Not Me:
Kilgore Trout. Chris Roberson is
Trout wrote science-fiction filler for porn publications at a time when
a legal loophole allowed the sale of pornographic images as long
as they were found in books of literature. It was similar to 1970s NYC
laws mandating porn be hidden in the back of the store while the front
contained regular books and magazines. When I lived in Las Vegas
twenty years ago there was a great video store stocked with thousands of
original over-sized VHS tapes of bad horror and comedy films, from the
first rush to license everything all at once. In the back was a porn
"arcade" but at one time they had to have the legitimate tapes up front
to have the shooting gallery in the back.
Chris Roberson writes the new Doc Savage comics for Dynamite
Entertainment and they've been horrible, just horrible. What sounded
promising before it debuted has wasted my time and money in horrible,
horrible ways. Cabbage Patch dolls with facial features scrunched in
close (either the female characters look male or all characters are
asexual) do nothing Doc Savagey while cliché bombs and Post-Modern
mortars spew off in every direction. Issue #4 takes place in 1979
because that's when Punk Rock was the only music that mattered.
"Bollocks!" (I laugh at the awesome simplicity of this because I wrote a
punk zine for 13 years). There's a
Contingent character on board to tell us there's No Future. In the
entire book one thing happens and there's neither tension, plot, nor
reason to finish the story, which does gratefully end quickly.
Political Correctness points taken off for calling a black character
"Watts". At least
his full name wasn't "Watts
Chris Roberson writes Kilgore Trout comic book filler for a comic book
series that exists only to print variant covers for the sad old market
of sad old Doc Savage fans who'll eat anything off a spoon as long as it's
bronze colored and named "Pat".
This reviewer hated the book while
this one accepts that the limbo bar of comic book writing quality is
to the untrained eye resting on the floor.
Hal And Lou Yeah! Somebody Wrote Me!: Tom (real name Mike) wrote:
"I've given up hope Shane Black will do this movie. Too much time has
gone by. If he was the fan he says he is we would have heard of casting,
a script, or I don't know maybe some PROGRESS on it.
The only Doc Savage movie I think we'll see is probably The
The same day I read
this article in The Atlantic and guess what picture
tops it all:
The comments section is worth reading (for once). I too don't see
how Shane Black stays on board with a property both he and Hollywood
can't seem to figure out correctly. Hollywood doesn't care to know but
that's another story. The easy work and fame are in sequels and big
budget - low brainer entertainment by numbers. Clever-cute pays the
bills these days. I wouldn't blame him one bit and would do the same if
I had the skills and opportunity. What I'd like to see is Mr. Black attaching his clout
to a legitimate pulp fiction Doc Savage film in the naive spirit of the
original Star Wars film, which putting aside the art-house pretension of
The Hidden Fortress was based on
Flash Gordon serials. In its wake The Indiana Jones movies kicked
revisionism to the curb for fun and adventure. Doc Savage done correctly
can re-introduce the paradigm of great script + great acting + fun +
entertaining = Win For Everyone. And it won't have to cost a ton of
money. And it will remind Hollywood that bean counters fart from the
Free Less The Cost Of Media Mail Postage:
You can have this lovely RadioArchives book for free less the price of a
stamp. Contact info is
firstname.lastname@example.org. I only have one so internet now!
2014 Update: Another Slow Week In Slowsville: It's just
me again tap-dancing and making fart noises with my underarms to distract
you from the reality that no news is still the only news on the Doc
If You Need A Douchey Cover
For Your Doucey iPhone, Pick Up This Doc Pauley D Cover, You
This March 17th article on Sony execs Mike De Luca and Hannah
Minghella contains this quote from Mr. De Luca, "I'm managing the
next Dan Brown book, 'Inferno', with Imagine, and Shane Black's
follow-up to 'Iron Man 3', 'Doc Savage', which is an original
franchise." It's both odd and encouraging to call the new film the
first of a franchise. Remember how the 1975 Film Of Shame was the first
film of a franchise? Well, do you!?
If you own a tablet you might want to peruse this article on the bidet,
"10 Pulp Comic Book Heroes Who Deserve An Epic Movie Comeback".
#6. At first I was offended by the writer calling pulp fiction
characters "Comic Book Heroes" but his list also includes comic book,
comic strip, and radio heroes, so the title might just be an unfortunate
way of condensing the idea down to a few words. It does annoy me that
anyone would think comic books and pulp fiction novels are pretty much
the same thing.
Here's a free pdf file of a thing called
"The Man Of
Bronze: Doc Savage In Print And On Film", by John A. Small. There's
plenty to learn and then immediately forget because it's not
that important in the grander scheme of things. You can find other Doc
Savage pdf files on this
On The Left Is A Dynamite
Variant Cover, Which I Think Is The Only Thing Dynamite Cares To
Do Well. On The Right Is Tintin. To Me They Look Similar.
I Read Slow And Big Words Hurt Me: I'm on page 86 (of 204) of the delightful
young adult adventure tale
"Doc Wilde And The Frogs Of Doom", still on sale as a Kindle
for $5.99. So far it's great and I have no idea what age it's written
for but I'm assuming the kids have to be smart to follow the goings on.
Author Tim Byrd blogs and Doc Wilde
would make a fantastic show for kids' cable television or ABC Family. If
it comes to pass based on my recommendation and pull in Hollywood (I was
there last night!) I expect my standard referral fee of a kasha knish
from Cantor's Deli on Fairfax and my choice of dessert.
The Best Doc Savage Book Since 1949,
which is either saying a lot or
saying a little
2014 Update: Shane Black Might Die Hard: The Doc Savage
director might now also be involved in
"consulting" on a sixth Die Hard film, "Meaning, he’s not
writing, he’s not directing, he is coming on to steer the character and
franchise into a… better direction. Fox has been doing
this a lot lately, looking at top level people to oversee their big
franchises (Mark Millar oversees all the Marvel properties now). This
would be a similar deal." Mr. Black also recently appeared as an
actor in the film
Day, directed by
Branaman, who appeared (uncredited) in Iron Man 3 as Agent Danbury.
I'm thinking the only way Shane could get Branaman to be in his film
(uncredited) was to quid pro quo a spot in Any Day. Doc Savage, Death
Note, Die Hard 6, Any Day, selling oranges off the Sunset Blvd. exit
ramp from the 405 North - how does Shane Black find time to poop?
Answer, he doesn't, as he's had to become both
If Black takes the Die Hard job he's officially the next Joss Whedon,
and while that's good financially for him it's not so creatively. Die Hard is a
smug franchise starring smug actor Bruce Willis. Like Whedon, Black will
have to default to a dispensary of smug cleverness that euphemizes
itself as Intelligence. I want Doc Savage to be intelligent sans
euphamism. I want it to be clever minus the smug. I want the Shane Black
who wrote Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, not the next
But that's just me.
Thoughts On CLOCKWORKS by William Preston:
"Clockworks" is the second yeah-but-not-really Doc Savage tale from
William Preston, and while I can see where fans of this kind of fiction
are coming from in
loving it, I have separate lists of opinions as to where it succeeds
and fails. These are them.
Preston interviews himself
here and once again I'm struck by how he's having it both ways by
invoking and then disowning Doc Savage. These "Old Man" stories exist
and are only relevant because of Doc Savage. They're only interesting as
plotted stories when Doc Savage is involved, and don't think for half a
second the Old Man isn't Doc Savage. Preston surrounds him with stand-in
assistants that hint at the Fictional Five as if he lost a lawsuit over
the right to use Monk, Ham, Renny, Johnny, and Long Tom, and none of
them are interesting because these are Doc Savage stories and five lines
from (add random character name here) might as well come from taxi
drivers and doormen.
In "Helping Them Take The Old Man Down" and "Clockworks" the separate
narrators exist in a metaphysical fog of meta-introspection and
insightful outward observations. There's a solid detachment and
disconnect between a foggy mind and a foggy perception of events as they
unfold in real time. This works as a Framing Device of sorts and can be
a fresh perspective on Doc Savage storytelling. Here instead of
Third-Person Narration you have First-Person Existentialism answering
the bigger questions of Doc's role in the world and the true nature of
his moralizing lobotomies. This works well when Preston is on top of his
game of writing memorable prose like "When I'm silent, I hear him
thinking" and "What I mistake for a cough becomes crying". "Helping Them
Take The Old Man Down" had sharper writing in this regard but
"Clockworks" did a better job thematically by setting up the conflicting
modalities of Doc's surgeries vs. the Narrator's. It's discarded for the
second half (I take that back. It's there but only on a horror-story
level), which like the first story, is told as if experienced in a
dream, expressed directly by the narrator saying "It's like trying to
walk along a pool's bottom".
"Clockworks" is in two parts - inside Doc's Fortress Of Solitude and in
Chicago circa the early 60s. Doc's still young because of the miracle
plant from Fear Cay (I guess). Part One is heavy in pondering while
Part Two is action filtered through fog. Part One could have used less
intellectualizing while Part Two should have brought the reader directly
into the middle of the action. Whatever is set up in Part One is not
resolved or even relevant to Part Two. This I found odd considering the
amount of craft and time put into the opening.
William Preston is a very talented writer whose narrative
choices so far haven't done it for me. I appreciate the fresh approach
but the prose gets a little lost in the dances of its intellect and
measured detachment. I
repeat that he should attempt a real pulpy fictiony Third Person Doc
Savage novel and make it smart, in your face thrilling, and also conceptually
complete and self-contained.
Now That YOU Mention It: I was going to write something today but
decided not to until I read the latest Facebook post from
DocSavage.org founder and
cat-herder Chuck Welsh. And I quoteth, "We're at 276 members. Here's
another set who are asking to join. Anyone willing to stand up and point
to one or two you'd like to see in the group?" What is this,
Skull And Bones?
I visit Flearun and it ain't the
Round Table. This passes for awesomeness at Flearun:
Seriously, let anyone join and then delete if someone gets out of line.
Flearun in one form or another has been around since the youth of the
internet, and they only have 276 members. It's Doc Freaking Savage, not
What I was going to write about, and am now doing so, is that Flearun
members should pool their financial and creative resources to create Doc
Savage things to have for themselves and sell to others. I'd love to see
Challenge Coin and a bobble head would be nice too.
It would also be nice if Flearun became protectors of the Doc Savage
legacy, but since anything can call itself Doc Savage and
everything Doc Savage is great because it's Doc Savage, there's no
chance of that happening. Fans of The Shadow can collectively do that
because as far as I know there's no Shadow versions of the kind of Doc Savage douchery
Doc Savage fandom is so desperate to be thrown a bone they'll gladly sit
in the dirt and chew on anything. It doesn't have to be that way but
it's too late.
Die Hard Doc Savage Fan Writes A Book:
Spitzer contacted me years ago about Doc Savage and was very nice in
the process. I remember he aspired to play Doc Savage if it was
ever made into a TV series. Now he's written a book about AARP fitness
and you can buy said
book and related products from his company. Also check out his
Prog-Metal band on his own
label. Me, I was too lazy today to put on pants and drive to the Soup
Plantation in Lakewood (a yell-towards to my weekly visitor from the
city that still gives out plastic bags and refuses to accept it's a
suburb of Long Beach).
Michael Spitzer - AKA Hoist McBulky
2014 Update: If I don't repeat myself then how am I going to say the same things over and
over and over? Amiright people? Another week to report there's nothing new
on the "Internet" about a new Doc Savage film. Which can't be good. I
imagine there's an acceptable gap between the announcement of a film and
when news regarding said film starts appearing to maintain if not ramp
up momentum. Doc Savage is an unknown entity but Shane Black is a big
wheel, so the expanding black hole of news from September or so until
now can't be considered positive by anyone in the Hollywood food chain.
Here's my idiot theories about it along with quadrupled moronic
solutions the voices in my head tell me are easy fixes. Did I mention I
know I'm a moron?
It wouldn't surprise me if the screenwriting process has been a failure
because what Shane Black recalls about what made Doc Savage great is not
coming across in the material being written by his personal Brill
Building of Bagarozzi and Mondry. Either you get Doc Savage or you
don't. Either you care about his legacy or you whore him out to anyone
and anything because hooray it's Doc Savage. Either you separate the
successes and failures of the original pulp run or you don't. Either you
see him as a pulp fiction Ubermensch or a generic set of clichés easily
molded to any other format and context. Either you cater a script to Doc
Savage directly and correctly or you plug him randomly into a
cookie-cutter template that checks off all the bullet points on a
Hollywood bean-counter's to-do list.
Doc Savage is not a comic book character so you can't make a comic book
film about him. Doc Savage comic books run the gamut from not totally
excrement to what George Carlin once called a #3. He is not a super hero
and you can't make him into one. He's peak human from the 1930's pulp
world of (preferably) factual physics, ingenious inventions, and genius deductive
reasoning. Doc Savage will fail as a modern Hollywood blockbuster. He
will only succeed if you're true and respectful of the genre he comes
A creatively successful Doc Savage film most likely has to be a
vanity project, which isn't always a bad thing. Shane should
promise to make Iron Man 4 or something if he can do Doc Savage on his own terms.
He needs to determine the best way to present a legitimate Doc Savage
story and swim against the tide of categorical conformity. The budget
doesn't have to be excessive and this works in everyone's favor. The
Hollywood formula is broken, and as I've mentioned before the best work
is often found on the Teletubes.
Read this article now. I'll wait... Hollywood needs to turn back from over-hyped and over-priced high
concept numbnuttery. Make a Doc Savage movie with the same care Mark
Gatiss and (my personal hero) Steven Moffat use to create
Have you seen the S03E03 episode
Vow"? Holy F--k McDuck that was everything a great movie should be.
Yeah yeah, back-story and exposition, I get that. I also get that you
can minimize exposition by simply showing things clearly and directly.
My favorite movie of all time is
Kung Fu Hustle. You can watch the entire film with subtitles off
and still understand what's going on and why. Every scene has a purpose.
All fight scenes are interesting to look at and minimal in execution.
People don't stare holes into each other and their burdens don't weigh
them down in sadness like lead overcoats. Everything moves forward.
Nothing stalls. That's what a pulp action film should do, like
serial films but
in this case backed by the level of expert writing and production an
American major motion picture is supposed to offer.
The Man Of
I'm not a wire fu fan but I admire the production values of top dollar
Hong Kong films. Colors pop and the richness of various woods are
tangible. Crane work is smooth and action scenes are filmed in long
continual sequences. I'm tired of American action films where there's
little sense or flow
to action scenes because they appear to be edited by tweakers. The
latest Hong Kong film to impress me visually was
The Final Fight, which didn't maintain my interest but I feasted on
its craft and production values.
Also move away from the standard
color grading stuck on blue and orange.
Here's a related article. Last night I drove to Hollywood and was
bombarded by billboards saturated in blue and orange. This one made a
vein pop up on my forehead:
When A Daddy Orange Loves A Mommy Blueberry
Very Much They Hug Real
Tight, And Then Nine Months Later, Depending On Weather And Talent
Availability, They Make A Divergent
Then there's the smugly clever Postmodernism that's infected hero films
to the point where I wonder if the whole point of a hero film is to
say there's no need for heroes because they're outdated failures. Take
the next blue-orange blockbuster, Captain America: The Winter Soldier:
It's big, loud, smug, clever, cute, and as is the fashion, adorned with
do you think they're referencing - possibly all of them? Wiki doesn't
original use from Thomas Paine. Cap says "For the longest time I
just wanted to do what was right. Now I question what that means any
more". Stop. It's time to get back to making films about heroes that
don't have to validate their existence to the toilet of
The good guys aren't all perfect and the bad guys aren't all serial
killing rapists. Got it. Can we move on to making a few films
films about good defeating evil and leave the infinite shades of gray
arguments to debates involving psychopathology?
The world of Doc Savage is not witty, cute, or smug. That doesn't mean
it can't be cleverly written, but a true Doc Savage script would contain
not a single self-aware catchphrase. Monk and Ham's conversations are
the only place you should find anything approaching wit.
Superman, Captain America, and Doc Savage are supposedly boring because
they're "perfect", a derisive term put on them by people who only like
good guys with dark sides they have to control if not overcome. The
Captain kicked Nazi ass in WWII like he should and in recent times he's
living in a modern world that will never be his own. Superman has his
secret identity, his being not human, and the legacy of his Kryptonian
birth to deal with. Doc Savage was raised by scientists to become an
Ubermensch and while he's peak human he's never exactly enjoying the
moment. He's alone by choice and necessity, and his association with the
Fictional Five helps socialize him. This I've always seen clearly in the
books. Supes, Cappy, and Doc don't have perfect lives even if their
morals, standards, and physical advantages make them seem like every day
is a gift. Look at how much pain and suffering they've all endured.
That's not a perfect life. They suffer for being "perfect" and that
should be enough. Write a great Doc Savage story and don't apologize to
anyone for him being rich, handsome, smart, strong, and moral. That's
Doc Savage so do it right or don't do it at all.
PS: As far as music goes please forego the
Sturm Und Drang
of comic book movies. If this was 1981 and Doc Savage needed music the
task might oddly yet accurately fall to
Today I couldn't tell you but follow the Taken-Bourne Identity route of
not drawing attention to itself with orchestral overkill.
This Comic Book Comes With Grey Poupon:
This $12.00 comic book sells for $73.00 and comes with a
Certificate Of Authenticity verifying its provenance. It's got
class, like when you're alone and you fart and say "excuse me". It's
from the Tongie Farm collection, "... found in Lawrence, Kansas and
includes full runs of most of the main Marvel titles and many DC titles
from 1962 to 1978. The original owner lived on his family farm named
Tongie Farm in Tonganoxie Kansas..."
Pedigree comic books are a thing I guess. There's the
Billy Wright Collection, and one day there will be the
Bob Bretall collection. Are they worth extra money, and who are you
going to impress anyway by spending an extra $61.00 on issue #5 of Doc
savage circa 1974? Who's going to tell his wife they can't pay the
mortgage because a piece of the Tongie Farm Collection was a once in a
lifetime opportunity? Besides a "That's Nice?" how is this a legitimate
thing? It's a goddamn comic book. Grow up, people. Now if a Charles
Manson owned it....
This Week's Random WTF:
The Father, The Son, And The Holy F--k Why Am I Still Buying These?:
I can't say this is the worst Doc Savage comic book of all time, but
you can if you want to, and you'd probably be right. Issue #3 of
Dynamite Entertainment's Doc Savage is horrible, just horrible. Did I
mention it's horrible, and that alleged Doc Savage fans will think it's
great because it stars Doc Savage? Issue #2, for maybe three pages,
tried to make up for shortcomings in the premiere issue, while this one
projectile vomits to 1961 to do nothing more than trial balloon moral
questions and quandaries in heavy-handed ways so rote
is frowning up from hell as I type this.
There's no action to speak of and everything else is wrong. Writer Chris
Roberson took plot elements from
Fear Cay and
tossed it into a wilted salad of evil drug company economics and
improper planning that dooms the success of the project in the face of
capitalist evil. The bad guy's a bit of Lex Luthor and The Kingpin - so
'ya know. Doc's eternal youth serum is given the clumsy name of Panacea,
and old man Monk thinks he's going to be twenty again. That his body
will regress to the age of twenty and then stop. Doc's not aged a day
since 1934 and nobody on the 86th floor noticed over the decades? If
parents feed Panacea to their children at their cutest age will they
stay that age indefinitely? Will the earth's population grow to 50
billion twenty year olds? Will everyone want to work for-effing-ever?
Then there's how Renny, Long Tom, and Johnny don't even appear.
Writing's hard. Monk and Ham sit on a couch like
Waldorf while Doc's new crew makes their entrance. Going forward
Monk and Ham will remain old and in the way while a new-and-improved set
of assistants take over. Nice douchebag move on the part of Dynamite.
There's nothing wrong about Doc Savage except everything, so let's
change all that and make it betterer. Or as hacks call it -
I'm done with this series. Let me know if it gets any less terrible. I
can't see how it can possibly get worse but the first three comics have
worked hard to reach new highs of lows. I'm also aware of the variant
cover scam they're working to extract as much money from
starving-for-attention Doc Savage fans as they can in the now. In a year you'll start seeing them in $1 boxes on the
dirty concrete floors of comic book
shows. Be sure to ask if they'll take fifty cents instead if you give
back the bag and backing board.
And Another (Yet Similar) Thing: I was going to rant about this
on its own but as you've at least skimmed the entry above you'll know
this complaint is similar. Combined they establish a pattern of neglect,
indifference, and laziness. Neglect in that they don't care about Doc
Savage, Indifference in that they don't care that they don't care about
Doc Savage, and probably most importantly, Laziness in that it's harder
to learn about characters and their world than it is to make up new ones
off the top of your head. You know, to make it More Relevant.
On the down-low the second draft of a movie script for Frank Darabont's
Arnold Schwarzenegger was printed as a trade paperback. It's impossible
to read it all the way through as it's generic garbage. You know all Arnold
wanted to know was a basic outline of the character, to which he quickly
added "And he smokes cigars and smiles as he makes scene-stealing wise
cracks on a basis to be determined by my manager".
It's not even that only Frick (Monk) and Frack (Ham) appear as aides,
because like Math
Barbie says, "Math Class is tough! Party dresses are fun!". Wait,
not exactly. "Writing for six major characters I didn't invent is tough!
Script-writing software is fun!" Out of the gate this script introduces
two new major characters, Captain Simon Wolf (French Legionnaire) and
equal co-star Corporal Jack Sparks - rakish and dark-haired, to be played
by Johnny Depp maybe? The movie's Arnold being Arnold and new characters
enabling Arnold. Monk and Ham are window dressing.
Secret Auction Revealed!: If you're hurting for a Bowen Doc
Savage statue and don't want to pay the current listed eBay price of
site a try. Bidding ends 3/20/2014 so internet now!
Quickie Article On Doc Savage And A New Film:
2014 Update: I dare you to tell me how this isn't the greatest
thing ever. In advance... you're wrong:
So, Shane, What 'Ya Been Up To: In
May of 2013 Sony announced they closed a deal with Shane Black to
create a Doc Savage film. A series of films was implied just to
let you know how awesome Doc Savage would be. In September Mr.
Black sat down for a chat with
IGN and tossed out a few random ideas while also fishing for
suggestions from the cameraman. Now February, 2014 is closing shop and
except for a possibly drunk drive-by quote about Doc Savage being Jimmy
Stewart there's been nothing from the Sony PR machine about the next big
thing some call Doctor Clark Savage, Jr.
Does this bode well? My knowledge of Hollywood ends with I think I know
how to drive there from Long Beach, but a fellow member of the Doc
Savage unintelligentsia floated a belief there was a rejected first
script from Bagarozzi and Mondry that sent everything back to a square
one that was best not mentioned. If so I (bio)hazard a guess that B&M
wrote a generic action guy script and Black yelled at them about the Doc
Savage books he gave them to read and obviously they didn't read them.
Doc Savage Is Six People: Doc Savage would have not have been as
successful as it was in the 1930s if the pulps did not include Monk,
Ham, Renny, Long Tom, and Johnny. Doc Savage is the story of an
organization with a base of six members. As Doc lacked a full range of
emotion the others were needed to create personality, humor, and shared
purpose. It's not easy writing six major characters and as time went on
aides were utilized more on an as-needed basis. Johnny stood out as the
least distinctive character, which is why I chose to make him a
character the audience could relate to directly. Monk and Ham were the
go-to Heckle and Jeckle team when time and creative ability were in
short supply, and in the radio scripts it was just Doc and Monk as
sounding board and comic relief.
You can't make a Doc Savage movie without all six major characters
adding major contributions. A major motion picture should be able to
accomplish this. Write Doc Savage as a team, not as Doc Savage and oh
yeah he has these other guys around. On that note, here's a fan cast from
I put up this graphic because I very much like how the backs of the
paperbacks imagined the Fictional Five. Doc as ancient mummy I could
always do without. If someone knows please remind me - someone on the
intertubes was pushing an actor to play Doc who looked like a crazed
homeless man. I'd love to find that again.
I also posted this because Mark Valley would be the most perfect Doc
Savage of all time if he was 6'2" or taller, and if he wasn't born in
1964. Doc's not fifty years old even if he looks sixty in the picture
above. I know he'd be perfect because of season one of
Target, which I just bought for
$11 postpaid because it's shelf-worthy.
What, Me (Doc Savage) Worried? Well, Yes: I
intentionally bid low on
this 17" tall Canadian Doc Savage statue. I didn't really want it
because Doc looks like he's about to fill a Depends with either panic
poop, dread diarrhea, or just straight up urine.
2014 Update: Doc Savage Scholarship Set Back Twelve
Seconds: I know these pages lack insight, analysis, and unrelenting ass-smooching of all things Doc Savage, be they good, bad, or horrific,
so I've been working on a thesis paper on the rivets used in Doc's
submarine, The Helldiver, not to be confused with a Hell Bender (see
Charles Bukowski). The Helldiver first appeared in "The Polar Treasure" in 1933,
written by Lester Dent and edited by an office drone earning $28 a week. The
Helldiver sallied to and fro under the water, using recycled body
odors from both under arm and inside rectum, filtered through asbestos
screens. [Didn't Doc once cover himself with asbestos to protect himself
from a fire?] Doc Savage sadly died in 1937 from advanced
replaced by his stunt double Farts Magoo. The rest fell ill in various
degrees and appeared less frequently in adventures as years passed.
Hi, My Name Is Bobby
Blobfish. Come See Me As Hell Diver In The New Doc Savage Flick
I immediately got bored reading the
Wikipedia entry on
rivets so I gave up, but I did ask myself what an inbred
Family member would do in this situation and decided
Riveter did all the work using rivets forged her by
Greek god of blacksmiths.
Hipster Says What?: There's a thing called
Deadline Journalism and as a writer you need the gift of first draft
excellence to make it work. Internet blogging has something similar but
it involves constantly coming up with something, anything,
to write about.
Here we have keyboard-for-hire Matthew O'Mara tripping over a random
Doc Savage paperback and deciding to
read and write about it. Up front he admits "I have done no research on
Doc Savage". That's what I call a Having-It-Both-Ways Disclaimer. Do I
care if he reads one book and makes fun of it without context or
research? Not really. I'm the first, third, and eighth person to admit
there's a lot to find odd and make fun of, but I will measure the
writer's d-bag quotient.
Eh, this is harmless blog filler. I'll forgive him this and his
expertise on all things
Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon:
This Cantonese film from 2013 is pretty damn amazing. Filmed for 25
million dollars in Hong Kong by Director Tsui Hark, it's a
detective/action/adventure/martial arts/sci-fi/fantasy/period film extravaganza
from the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon school of art-house
Wire Fu. It flows a
little better than it's predecessor, Detective Dee: Mystery of the
Phantom Flame. Sea Dragon is actually a prequel sequel, if you get that.
The official trailer is here:
You can also download a longish clip of the opening
here. What does this have to do with Doc Savage? I hope it looks as
good as this film does, and if Hark can create massive action scenes and
render a long-gone world on his budget then Shane Black should be able
to do just as much with an American budget. Maybe 25 million in Hong
Kong costs 100 million in Hollywood. What the hell do I know...
It's Been Slow: There hasn't been Doc Savage movie news since
September or so. Statcounter told me an interesting company found my
site, but I'll keep my trap shut for now. I have things to write about
but I should spread it out for when the type of high quality filler
above runs dry. I downloaded
Doc Wilde and The Frogs Of Doom for $3.99 and have two more
William Preston stories to read. I'm bidding on some things and am
working through a high lumen flashlight buying spree. All I'll say is
that the 2,900 lumens in my Fenix TK75 torch makes a whoosing noise as
the light zooms out.
The item below on the left is for sale and the puzzle I'll mail to you
for the price of postage if you want it. It doesn't come with shellac, a
frame, and a wood-paneled basement to display it though, so caviar empty
to you, the buyer. Beware.
2014 Update: Lefty, Thanks For Stopping By: Statcounter
tells me someone searched my site for "doc savage, pat savage/free porno
Two Of Six Casting: SOLVED: A while back I settled on
Domenick Lombardozzi to play Monk. He'd be tall at 6' but the guy has
everything else you need. Watch
Breakout Kings to see why I chose him. In October I posted a fan
casting Renny to be played by
Shannon and liked him just based on his height (almost 6'4") and
picture. I finally caught a film of his (The
Iceman) and this guy's Renny to a T. Someone even makes a reference
to his giant hands. Last week I said Doc Savage has to be at least 6'5".
It can be with elevator shoes or a ladder, it doesn't really matter, but
Doc needs to be Uberman height. He should be taller than Renny but if
not it has to be obvious he's much stronger. I'm still leaning towards
Shanks to play Long Tom. In my treatment Long Tom is an average
fighter and the character the audience can see in themselves, serving as
a bridge to the weird world of Doc Savage.
Michael Shannon (born 1974)
It's Me Again, Annoying And Being Annoyed: I try not to troll Doc
Savage internet pages. I mean, why? I will say that something on IMDB
made me do a rare Spit-Double Take combination with my breakfast
bourbon. In passing someone wrote "Especially if they are going with a
theme that was 'Doc dealing with growing up perfect' as a central plot
of sorts, according to Black." So here's me babbling...
Does a Doc Savage movie need a "theme"? Shouldn't it be about Doc Savage
and his associates doing Doc Savage pulp things circa 1935? Does every
"hero" movie REALLY have to be about something else? Like a
statement on politics, the grayness of morality, or someone's
abandonment issues being resolved through the power of forgiveness? Is
there a studio test where every script has to be about something else,
or have everything turned upside down, or adapted for Justin Timberlake
to play Doc and One Direction the Fictional Five?
Not every film requires the protagonist to be reborn or work through a
horrible personal crisis. Indiana Jones and Taken are two examples. A
Doc Savage movie is an opportunity to make a film about Doc Savage.
Don't make it an excuse to accomplish something else. That's weak sauce.
Two Things Indirectly Doc Savage Related:
Toothpaste tubes were a major threat potential last week to the
Sochi Olympics, and as a Doc Savage fan I wondered if the pulps were
ever translated into Arabic. Doc and Monk spent half their time mixing
things together to make things go Boom, and Doc had fake teeth with said
ingredients inside. Elsewhere, at Cracked, this image appeared in an
"41 New Events That Would Get Us To Watch The Winter Olympics".
you all know, Doc Savage designed The Rocketeer's jetpack, because comic
books totally have the right to add onto the works of Lester Dent:
Two Movies I Rented Recently That Made Me Think About A New Doc
Escape Plan could have been worse but it's stuck in the 80's
quality loop. There's a line of horrible exposition that should be a
lesson to Shane Black and Co. on what not to do. Rapper 50 Cent
plays a guy who does something vague and instead of having him do enough
to know what and who he is, Stallone shortcuts it for us with a forced
line that reads something like "Where else am I going to find a thug
hacker as good as you are?" He's a thug and a hacker and good at it.
Gretel was amicably almost watchable but they added a
slacker-stoner dude character who would say things like "That was
awesome!" just like they did in 1812. Please don't make Doc Savage
characters from 1935 talk like modern hipsters.
2014 Update: A Fun Fact About Aaron Eckhart: Duh Kidz
on IMDB are yapping about
Eckhart playing Doc Savage. Eckhart is the Bill Pullman of his
48-year old generation, and while I acknowledge the work that went into
his fat-reduction shrink-wrapping for
I, Frankenstein, you may not know
listed height is 5' 10¾". "Listed" is the numbers way of saying "Photoshopped".
First of all, he's not tall enough to play Doc Savage, but who does that? Throws in a 3/4 inch measurement.
It's like when kids say they're eleven and three-quarters years old. And
wasn't Frankenstein eight feet tall in the novel?
Aaron's also too old
for the Doc Savage role.
a thing on when Doc Savage was born. 1901 it says - so Doc was
32 or so when the first pulp came out in 1933. Eckhart would be playing Doc
when the last adventures were printed in 1949, and by then the books lacked
consistent quality for a long time. Men hit their muscle
mass peak at thirty and start losing it at forty. That's the
range, and he shouldn't be a CW-Men's
Health pretty boy either. The CW is what you watch when you're too old
for The Disney Channel, and Men's Health is filled with twinks who take
steroids but don't lift heavy.
Aaron Eckhart, Average Gym Guy
And Maxed Out Version
Doc has to be a youthful yet mature 35 year old. His age should also
reflect the peak of the pulps in terms of writing.
Doc Savage has to be, in lifts even, at least 6'5" to be the Uberman of
the pulps. He's not a mutant, alien, or science experiment. Well, he
was in a way a science experiment but it was all about developing
natural abilities. He's the
result of great genetics, capacity, and training. The pulps upped his
height from 6' to about 6'8" to make his feats less science fiction and
more science possible, but 6'8" is way too much to ask for in the
Munchkin Land of Hollywood.
Hollywood turned Jack Reacher into Tom Cruise but
you can't do the same with Doc Savage. He's the source code for this type
of hero. You want to take 6'5" Jack Reacher and have 5'7" Tom
Cruise play him? To Jack Reacher fans that's a crime, but Jack Reacher
is an nth degree derivation of Doc Savage. Don't make every tall icon a
tall midget. Especially Doc Savage.
6'5" and 35 years old. That's Doc Savage. If you don't like that I
feel very sad... for you. And for me, because you are so sad.
Less Arty, More Farty:
As y'all know, for a long run the Doc Savage pulps stopped featuring Doc
Savage (or anyone really) on its covers. Was it because everyone but
Walter Baumhofer made him look like a completely different person or
was it just cheaper to have graphics instead of a painting - if these
aren't paintings. What the eff do I know about 1940's arts and
I consulted an art student friend about what the examples above might be
in terms of art history. He said it looks like 40's Dadaism, or maybe
surrealist, or possibly abstract expressionism. So maybe he didn't know
maybe? I figure Freud, collage and "futuristic" design were all
factors too. If anyone knows please let me know.
Check out Walter giving Norman Rockwell a run for his money!
Linky Dinks: A new fitness page on blogspot calls itself
Fitness. It has nothing to do with Doc Savage but here's
site-master Kristen Sorenson knowing and not knowing at the same
time. Google him, lady!
Who is Doc Savage? To be honest, I don't
really know. What I do know is this:
I know that my Dad would always pound his chest and yell "Doc Savage!"
before he did anything crazy.
I know that with every physical competition my family had, whether racing to
the top of a mountain, jumping off the largest rock or diving into icy cold
lake, whoever won received the "Doc Savage Award", which meant you were
stronger and braver than everyone else.
I know that Doc Savage was awesome and that if I ever get a tattoo on my
arm, it will be of him.
And I know that his creed went like this:
"His mind? Of mental marvel,
His body? Of physical phenomenon,
His fight? To right all evil,
His name? Doc Savage!"
With a body of physical phenomenon and such moral virtue, how could I not
name my blog after him?
Goodreads.com is filled with reviews of Doc Savage books new
and old. Add your reviews today!
Football!: It's today's suggested activity. Or, you can
go to the mall and nod at all the other intellectuals who know
what really matters. Being with other people who hate
football in a setting of mutual appreciation.
2014 Update: Open With Another Reminder There's No News To
Report On A New Doc Savage Movie: Done.
Page: To the left is a link.
1936 color newspaper panel found at
Doc Hermes, not to be confused with his cousin Prof. Herpes.
And Another Thing: My big point last week, which I may not have
screamed out loud enough, is that if The Lone Ranger is a blank-stare
mystery to today's cineplex audiences, Doc Savage not only has zero name
recognition, he's starting off with a negative because his name sounds
stupid. He's a Doctor Of Savagery. Strike One! The Man Of Bronze is
Strike Two! and Trilling a big whiff for Strike Three! This is one
reason why fan-casting annoys me as much as it does. Who's
spittle-screaming at their agent to get them on that Doc Savage
movie? Nobody. A-List wishing is as useful as your fantasy football teams
consisting of all
Resident Evil monsters. Here's the latest one from IMDB:
Doc: Dewayne Johnson
Monk: Michael Chicklis
Ham: Hugh Laurie
Johnny: Doug Jones
Renny: Jared Padilecki
Long Tom: Wm. H Macy
Doc’s Father: Bruce Willis
Patricia Savage: Nyna Rivera
It falls short partly because it doesn't cast for Stormalong Savage
(Sean Connery), Renny's favorite doorman Henry (Ian McKellen), John
Sunlight (Sting), Betty Boop (Cindy Lauper), Ernest Hemingway (Leonardo
DiCaprio), Habeas Corpus (Arnold Ziffel), and Chemistry (Jack Black).
Feel free to add your fan-castings on your computer screen with a
permanent black marker, then hit Control+Alt+Delete six times:
I Enjoy Decorations And Entertainment As Much As The Next Guy, But
Aberrations Of Talent Don't Make You A God: That's what you say the
next time someone makes it seem like "artists" are a Master Class of
humanity. And the next time sometime pretends books are holy relics,
remind them that most books are horrible, just horrible, and they were
printed on the crushed corpses of old growth forests that served as
Doc Savage Is Very Opinionated: A few people use the name "Doc
Savage" as their handles when leaving comments on news sites.
The avatar below is from a person with about 2,800 comments to
their credit. The world will learn about Doc Savage through
Dynamite Entertainment Doc Savage #2 Review: Dynamite prints a
bunch of variant covers so saves ups yer moneys and collect them all,
because one day you may be in need of quality four-color kindling. One
$175.00. By worth I mean good luck finding someone that stupid.
Issue #2's 22 pages went by quickly. It's first five pages were a marked
improvement over the first issue and I figured the premier was all-in
exposition to set up a more nuanced run for the rest of the series,
where Doc ages slowly and the story shifts to modern times. There's
hints of that set-up but starting with page six it's once again random comic book
filler with nods to the deconstructed horror of Doc's "college" and
various means of transport. Doc crashes in for a quick resolution and
some medical Deus ex machina. Wow this wasn't good. I've read
free comic books with Spider-Man and Superman promoting tooth-brushing
and literacy that were more complicated than this.
On page three Monk and Ham look sixty years old, which doesn't jibe with
any progression from the last book. Then on the last page they're back to
around forty and Monk resembles Ernest Borgnine. Pat is Laura Dern at
age 23. Facial features aren't as scrunched into the middle like before but
as with another Doc Savage comic book series I read there's a Cabbage
Patch thing going on with faces.
Doc uses the guns he never carried outside of comic books and statues,
Johnny's use of larger yet perfectly understandable words are translated
as if they're Sanskrit, and Doc defies all laws of physics but not splatting into a bony paste on his way into the
Dynamite is stupid, I'm stupid, or they assume I must be stupid if I
spend $3.99 for a comic book. I spent $3.99 plus tax and the price of a
bag and board so I must be $4.69 worth of stupid. I do this for you, not
me, and I'll turn this blog around if I have to!
2014 Update: Open With Another Joke: Thank you for
inviting me to speak at this year's Doc Savage FanFic Confab. Join me
later in the Motel 6 Grand Ballroom for the panel discussions "Doc
Savage - A Eunuch Opportunity", "Male PMS - A New Chronology", and "Pat
Savage - Keeping It In The Family"
But first, hey, what did Doc Savage call it when Johnny yelled out too
soon? A Premature Ejaculation. Thank you (pause to take sip of water)
Doc Savage - Pilates Man: Someone found this page my typing
"Would Doc Savage do P90X?" The answer is no, unless he enjoyed
exercising to date-rape music and staring at himself in the mirror while
screaming fascist aphorisms. Doc built his mind through a variety of
eccentric weirdness but physically he was into
and a bit of
Calisthenics, which is why the idea of Doc lifting weights annoys me
only a touch less than him street-sweeping with a machine gun.
Link to article titled
"The First Transhumans, or Why Doc Savage Lost His Superpowers"
The Bone Stranger: It took me thirty minutes to realize I was
watching a porno and not "The Lone Ranger". In my defense, the "The Bone
Stranger" came in on budget and had a compelling plot with
well-defined characters. Thirty minutes into 2013's
Ranger" I realized I wasn't going to make it through its
run-time of 149 minutes. I skimmed the rest.
I experienced the same feeling of Entertainment Hopelessness (a
condition I just invented) viewing
which rightly left off "Of Mars" and the comic-book derived "Warlord Of
Mars", just as a new Doc Savage film should avoid "The Man Of Bronze"
for the non-starter that is. Is he made of metal? No, he's really
tan. Nailed it!
Remember how 2012's "The Three Stooges" (which did make a profit)
was ridiculed as an intellectual property long forgotten? If so you can
kiss goodbye The Little Rascals, The Marx Brothers, and possibly Abbott
& Costello. I'm guessing Jim Carrey's career keeps the door open for a
Jerry Lewis biopic (which can only happen after he dies), and I assume
people my age assumed there's a shared common-knowledge base for things
that dominated American culture since before we were born until the
moment we realized we were wrong. Today there's too many options, from
video games to 650 cable channels to sexting while falling into
sinkholes. In NY we had CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, and channels 5,9, and 11,
playing re-runs of The Honeymooners, The Odd Couple, and The Little
Rascals until they were internalized verbatim. That's gone, and the idea
of Nostalgic Archetypes has taken a brutal beating.
Nostalgic Archetypes are given weight in Hollywood as part of a lazy
formula for success, where trends and past success are remanufactured
into new titles and then promoted into the ground for a big opening
weekend, followed by a precipitous fall. Is the only goalpost now a big
opening weekend? I don't know. I'm asking you.
From the awesome collection of
Sitting through "The Lone Ranger" and "John Carter" reinforces my
conviction that for a new Doc Savage movie to not suck it has to assume
nothing and avoid the litany of mistakes these films make out of
laziness, indifference, and outdated assumptions. First write a great
story that's compelling and easy to follow. Then fill it with great
characters. Don't outstay your welcome. Don't fill it with filler. Don't
make it a political diatribe or get cute with
that turns everything on its head because the moral compass of Hollywood
often is pointing towards the anus of a child (pause to to take sip of
water). Don't say the point of anything positive is to point out how
it's not positive after all. Doc Savage is a great archetype for the
great American hero. You can either go with that or piss all over it and
willingly fail to serve a marxist construct uber alles.
Reviews of The Lone Ranger, with valid points applicable to a new Doc
Savage film, can be found
here, and here.
2014 Update: Open With A Joke: Here's an old Soviet
Union jab that may apply to new Doc Savage movie news. I'm using Comic Sans to emphasis
“How are you doing?”
“About average – worse off than I was last year, but better off
than I’ll be a
year from now. So about average.”
Helping Destroy Communism Through Doc Savage Capitalism:
I received an e-mail from a fellow who has the God-or-Satan-bestowed
ability to etch Doc Savage logos on glass. If you want a Doc Savage
logo on your favorite form of glassware please e-mail him directly at
Doc Savage And The Gauntlet Of Five Mannequin Heads: At the end
there's a both poor and inexact analogy, which isn't even an
analogy, but it's my story and I'm sticking to it.
At this stage a new Doc Savage movie fills me with fear and trepidation.
Fear it will stink through knowing and willful neglect, and Trepidation
because unless shown otherwise I can only assume the Hollywood movie
sausage factory will do what it does first, last, and not best - crank
out sweet and fatty product that appeals to everybody and therefore
nobody, rendering Doc Savage a generic action hero reduced to a widow's
peak and a ripped long-sleeve shirt.
I look at IMDB and Netflix and am struck by how movies are more
predictable, high concept, and risk-averse than television programming.
I can understand if it's a matter of return on investment, but then
movies have become an art form below television. More Time + More
Money + Better Talent should equal a superior product, but, as a
what's on Doc Savage movie Producer Neal H. Moritz's plate. Seven films,
most of them remakes and sequels. He recently gave us R.I.P.D. and the
worst vanity project of recent memory, The Green Hornet. On time and on
budget are probably Jobs 1 & 2. I think Hollywood has priced itself out
of artistic merit. Stop the media overload, reduce bloat, and make a
product that's More Time + More Money + Better Talent = Superior
Product. The same could be said about the record industry.
Will Sony make a Doc Savage movie or an action movie starring a
character almost randomly named Doc Savage? I don't want to see a
generic action movie about a guy possessing three familiar invalid
clichés. I'm not like 99 percent of Doc Savage fans who don't care as
long as the name "Doc Savage" appears on a poster, or if he's 5'11' and
reduced to an enraged old-timey soldier of fortune with money to burn
and a thing for the ladies.
Doc Savage Rule #1: Doc Savage Does Not
Carry A Gun
There are aesthetic, historical, and artistic qualities that make Doc
Savage an exceedingly important component of our present popular
culture. By present I mean starting with the creation of Superman. Most
don't know this because of the horrible 1975 film and the neglectful
stewardship of the Doc Savage brand by everyone from whoever owned the
rights to whoever nullified him in comic books. The Bama paperback
covers were cool for what they were but they turned the Baumhofer Doc
Savage into Sgt. Pointy Mummy, AARP, a middle-aged model posing in front
of a green screen.
A new Doc Savage film is a one-time opportunity to prove the importance
and validity of Doc Savage. Can a new Doc Savage movie succeed as high
concept nonsense? Of course it can, but do Jack Reacher fans praise the
Cruise film? Do
Constantine fans forgive the Keanu Reeves film? Oddly enough I liked
both very much, but I'd never tell a fan of either property to lighten
up. Not as an Old Testament Doc Savage fan. That would just be douchey.
As a blog post this is running long so I'll get to my original idea. I
want a Doc Savage movie to be better than the usual crap that passes for
Hollywood entertainment. I want the people involved to care about Doc
Savage as much as they do about getting this or any of seven films in
the can on time and on budget. Instead of having Doc doing the same
thing in a different way have him do something different and make it
just as effective. Adapt the rules of successful Hollywood filmmaking to
fit Doc Savage more than the other way around. They do it all the time
Here's The Gauntlet Of Five Mannequin Heads: I picture the various
departments and experts of Hollywood pride themselves on knowing the
real bottom line creatively and technologically, and everything
thrown at them can be adapted into five choices (a random number). All
stories are either a quest, a conflict, a rebirth, etc. Your music
choices are these, your color palettes these, your plot structure this
or that, and your poster one of five templates everyone uses because
those are the five choices. I literally picture an office where there's
five mannequin heads representing acceptable leading men. Shane Black
comes in and the exec says "I don't know anything about Doc Savage. Show
me a picture and describe him to me in three sentences... Ok, you take
Head #3, Bippity-Boppity-Boo, color the hair, add the world's least
noticeable widow's peak, and here's your Professor, I mean Doctor
Savage. Next!" Repeat in several other departments until you have
At least movies tell better stories than does radio. If you exclude NPR.
No new news on new Doc Savage film news.
Shiffy's Decree: As we're all smart and stuff we know
Godwin's Law, so
I'm just typing here, to make quota, the original definition of "As a
Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison
involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." As fan-casting will heat up
again once white smoke replaces black from Shane Black's Hollywood
Bungalow, when needed I will invoke Shiffy's Decree, which states "All
Doc Savage fan-casting devolves to the excrement of Justin Timberlake
and One Direction."
Shiffy's Decree: Doc Justin Timberlake and
Battle Of The $3,000 Items: Off the bat I find it a bit douchey
to ask $3,000.00 for something silly and then tack on a few bucks for
shipping. But, if you have $3,000.00 plus s&h you can own either
80 Doc Savage pulps or the coveted
Doc Savage Award. In these lean times it's always best to scrimp and
save for emergency hookers and blow, but a Doc Savage fan and his money
are soon parted so I'll see you on the River Derchi. Does anyone know
the value of the first pulp? That has to be more than $3,000.00
plus $8.50 shipping.
Rotting Paper Corpses Vs. Nerd Bling
Short Story Commentary: For $2.99 one (you) can
download two Doc Savage-inspired tales from
William Preston: "Helping
Them Take The Old Man Down" and "Clockworks". That's dirt cheap
even as a charitable contribution to an 11th Grade English teacher. Here that would be William Preston. So far
I've read "Helping Them Take The Old Man Down" and penciled in time
for the second one. I just ordered the third one,
"Unearthed", for 99 cents, not even a dollar being almost literally
the least I could do. Nothing against words but there's nothing in a book
you can't learn twice as fast on TV (I heard that on sports radio last
week and fell over laughing). Calm down, I was an English major. I've paid my
William Preston: English teacher. Author. Spouse. Parent.
Dog-owner. Book-stacker. Tree-watcher. Napper.
"Helping Them Take The Old Man Down" was first published in
Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine in 2010, followed by a prequel,
"Clockworks", in 2011. Another prequel, "Unearthed" came out 1/13.
According to Preston's blog, "Each in His Prison, Thinking of the Key"
appeared in Asimov's mid-year 2013. A 5th tale, "The World Will Be The
World Again", has yet to be published (if even yet written) and is
likely a sequel to the first story. To confuse things even more, Preston
adds, "Though the stories jump around chronologically, they should be
read in the order in which they were written: 'Helping Them Take the Old
Man Down,' 'Clockworks,' and 'Unearthed,' which take place in 2001/2,
1962, and 1925, respectively. The new story takes place in 2006. As for
the final story . . . you'll see."
The preface tries to have it both ways when it comes to how much Preston
bases these stories on Doc Savage. The first tale is so thinly veiled
it only has one
side, but afterwards I could take his word for it.
"Helping Them Take The Old Man Down" works as hard to be
not Doc Savage as it does being Doc Savage. Preston writes
"They are the first two stories in a chronologically disarranged series
of stories about a heroic man who, though first conceived of as an
homage to pulp hero Doc Savage, is in fact, as becomes increasingly
clear with each tale, not meant to be confused with that character.
Though there are repeated nods to Doc Savage’s raggedly constructed
“history,” no actual congruence between the two characters’ histories or
motivations is intended, leaving me free to do with my character as I
Before I get into my opinion of the story, I will and must say William
Preston is very good at expressing concise and precise thoughts. Here's
"As for himself, he never used a gun. A master of disabling the most
solidly built enemy with a single blow, the Old Man believed in the
nobility of the human spirit but saw the human body as a machine rife
with 'off' switches."
"And for all the arcane weirdness most people associated with the Old
Man, even our most bizarre cases had rational explanations— though I
must say that my idea of 'rational' expanded profoundly while in the Old
William Preston should attempt an original, straight-on 1930's Doc
Savage pulp actioner within the template established by Lester Dent.
Preston has a way with words and I'd love to have him try.
I don't want to get into detail on what's Doc Savage-y or not, but the
narrator by vocation is based on Johnny, Doc is seventy years old, his
The Shadow, and The Old Man's slow aging might be the basis for the
new comic book series from Dynamite Entertainment. Preston should sue
for a cut of that long comic book green.
The story of
"Helping Them Take The Old Man Down" is standard
hero deconstruction fare, written from a detached perspective that's
nicely introspective and "Meta", but also distant and removed. The
narrator sees the story's big action scene far in the distance through
binoculars, while immediate events are experienced in a stupor fog. Was
he lobotomized at Doc's college? Did he recently come out of a coma?
There's a whiff of Kafka too, which is impressive in itself but the
story lacks immediacy while the narrator thinks and acts in slow motion.
"Helping Them Take The Old Man Down" sets up a decent basis
for a series of stories, and William Preston is grossly talented, but
hopefully for me as a reader the stories that follow are less
existential, and experienced by a lead character of clear mind who acts
and reacts instead of slowly looking around and figuring out what's
happened in retrospect.
My Year End Prediction: [This is not a tirade against Shane
Black even though it seems like it!] So, what was it, September when it was
announced with great fanfare that Shane Black would be taking on Doc
Savage for not just a film but a franchise? Since then there's been a
possibly drunken statement about Jimmy Stewart punching people, something where Black
admits he has no idea what a Doc Savage might actually be after all, and
an interview where Black asks his friend what's the name of that blonde
actor and do you think he might be available. That's pretty much the
Meanwhile, Black and his rookie writer pals Anthony and Chuck are busy
multi-tasking. As previously stated, "Shane Black is writing
Doc Savage (I imagine Bagarozzi and Mondry are doing most
of the work), directing
Note (announced), and executive producing
Deathless, listed as pre-production. Anthony Bagarozzi is
directing Deathless and writing Doc Savage, Death Note, and Deathless.
Chuck Mondry is producing Deathless and writing Doc Savage, Death
Note, and Deathless."
I'm a card carrying member of the Doc Savage Brotherhood Of Bronze.
at my legitimacy!
I'm blatantly playing the Doc Savage Card when I say my money's on
that Shane Black will not be making a new Doc Savage movie
any time soon, if at all.
Note will be his next film. All he has to do is high-concept
Americanize the original Japanese production and put his signature on it. Sequels
Money. It's a series of arbitrary choices and not trying to make a round Doc
Savage fit into the square hole of Hollywood. Bagarozzi and Mondry could
then spend more time on their personal project, Deathless, and less on
something farmed out to them by Shane Black, who I suspect has, with the
success of Iron Man 3, been elevated into a higher realm of corporate
nerd filmmaking, along with the likes of Sam Raimi and Joss Whedon. I wouldn't be
surprised if one day Shane Black and Joss Whedon scripts become
interchangeable except for the geeky Girl Power thing.
My initial endorsement of Shane Black to do a Doc Savage film was based
on his name recognition and reputation as a writer and director. I've assumed a decent
new Doc Savage film would be made by someone with great talent and also
something to prove. I know, generally, what I think would make for a
great new film. It's based on a modified and optimized reading of the
original pulps. By me, a putz with an opinion and the bully pulpit
awesomeness of a GeoCities page.
The hoary clichés foisted on Doc Savage by paperback
covers, comic books, toys, and statues have turned a something into a generalized
nothing. You want to make him a crazed Marine? Sure! A sixty year old
mummified muscle mass? Why not! A comic book super hero who defies all
laws of physics? F-Yeah! When everything is Doc Savage then
nothing is Doc Savage. I directly blame the gatekeepers of the Doc
Savage brand for doing nothing in the area of quality control. Any
bastardization of Doc Savage makes them wet with joy as long as the Doc
Savage name is on it.
Doc Me Movie Be
Maybe, Huh? Trillllllllllll...
I wish Shane Black all the success in the world. If he's committed I'd
like him to make a Doc Savage movie. As a Doc Savage fan who actually
cares about Job #1 I
want the person at the helm to put all the work in to get it done
correctly. I don't want Doc Savage to be the next Iron Man. Doc
represents an aesthetic from the 1930s pulp world and I want to see that
brought out in the best and most successful way possible in the three
act, sixty minute turning point formula of Hollywood. If Black's
entered rarified air where everyone tells him he's below the
material or he should take Doc Savage and make him totally relevant to
test audience numbnuttery, he should do the right thing and Executive
Produce while someone else with the correct vision, dedication, hunger, and
time takes over. Doc Savage is worthy of being given the respect he deserves.
Done right a new Doc Savage film can be revelatory. Plug his name and
paperback cover look into a generic action guy script and we're all
doomed. Doomed I say!
Lego My Doc Savage:
This eBay seller takes Lego figures and
changes them into both mainstream and obscure nerd culture characters. I credit
him for making Legos of Danny
Trujillo, Black Dynamite, and Rock'em Sock'em Robots. The Doc Savage one
looks uninspired in comparison. Besides the crew cut carpet doo there's
nothing very Doc Savage about this one. He's given a little white vest to
cover his naked upper body. Doc hates shirts in general because they
hide his pecs, abs, and guns. Doc's a D-Bag, dont'cha know.
He's trying real hard but he knows it's not working, so he
stiffly wobbles away in shame to the back of the display case
where he'll look both puzzled and angry for a long time
Pages For To Look At:
This one made me smile.
This one's busy and jammed packed with large images. The Western
Front of a new Doc Savage movie has been all quiet. Maybe too
quiet. Don't drink and drive and get caught, and we'll try this again
Reviewing A Doc Savage Comic As If Doc Savage Is A Comic Book
AintItCoolNews reviews the new Doc Savage comic book and the bar for
what makes a comic book worth reading must have recently dropped a peg
or two from my day. Reviewer "Masked Man" writes "Now, I'm in no way an expert on the Man of Bronze--I've only read a few
of the comics (I've probably read more Tom Strong!). But with most
classic characters, I have a healthy respect for him and will use this
series to get to know him better (as I did with John Carter at Dynamite,
which I've enjoyed)."
The obvious thing to note is that knowing Doc Savage through comic books
is like understanding sex through
or appreciating The Shadow from the
Baldwin movie or Dick Tracy from a lunch box.
Of Course I Did Research. Dick Tracy Was A
Cripple Who Flew Around In A Trash Can, And Doc Savage Had Piss Yellow
Hair, A Bracelet, A Gun, No Forearm Muscles, And A Ripped Safari Shirt
A "healthy respect" is nice but it doesn't make up for bad comic books
or not knowing what the hell you're talking about in the first place. By
default you're a genius for divining "Actually, Doc Savage's crew was
always one thing that bugged me about Doc's concept--just too many side
characters that I can't keep straight. Each of them is unique, tough and
a genius in their own right, but they are still just five guys in suits.
Like, who really cares about a quarterback’s offensive line (aside from
the quarterback, that is)? Two to three characters, fine--but five!?
That's five ways to keep Doc Savage off camera..."
Sure, I'll say it again. Doc Savage is not a comic book character. Comic
books have done their darndest to destroy Doc Savage. Masked Man, take a
break from comic books, video games, and PornHub, and read a few Lester
Dent pulps from the 1930s. Then you can do better than write you respect
like really awesome things you don't take the time to know and
Here's another review that hits similar territory but redeems itself
with a better perspective.
I'm Too Stupid To Be Confused: On eBay there's three Doc Savages
WWII fighter pilot, and our boy, Sgt. Pointy Mummy, AARP. I was a
little confused when I first saw
this listing. I had to stare for a while to realize it had to be
publicity from the 1975 film of shame and not Lt. James
E. "Doc" Savage groupies.
(sing along) We're Got An Ugly Statue For Sale, An Ugly Doc Savage
Statue For Sale. Won't You Buy It, Take It Home And Paint It, Ugly
Statue For Sale: A usual suspect for these things sells this nasty
little 6" statue for $34.99 postpaid. Unpainted. mind you! Check out
Doc's angry pursed lips! The shirt effect is a rip-off from Vampirella.
Compare and contrast.
Dynamite Entertainment Doc Savage #1 Review:
I had to visit three local stores to find the inaugural issue of
Dynamite Entertainment's Doc Savage. The first two were sold out. That's
gotta be good, huh? The story is 22 pages and tells a short tale that
equals the first chapter of a complete Doc Savage novel (assuming the
run equals a complete pulp). The story is better than other Doc Savage
comics but also falls short in a few ways. Is it the comic book medium
itself to blame, or the storytellers? I assign a 25/75 split of
The crew on the cover is not the one inside the comic. Doc is normal
sized bulky and his features are clumped in the center of his face. He
looks like a more handsome
Bryan. Monk looks like a formerly handsome football player
whose face hit the bleachers too many times. Long Tom looks like Clark
Kent and Ham is Basil Rathbone. Johnny's regular looking and Renny is a
slightly larger fellow. Standing together on page fourteen they look
pretty much alike and Doc is the shortest! To be honest, illustrator
Bilquis Evely renders most faces familial.
The good about the story is that writer Chris Roberson keeps it real and
small "S" science-based, and focuses on the procedural aspects of a
typical Doc Savage pulp. The bad guy's not dressed like a demented rodeo
clown. It's good that it falls short instead of failing horribly as is
the way with Doc Savage comic books. Faint praise I know.
On the bad side, a Doc Savage comic should use narration instead of
making Doc chatty and others resort to exposition they already know and
would not normally speak out loud. At one point Doc says "My long years
of meditation and mental exercises", sooooooo not Doc Savage. Doc calls
himself Doc, also a no-no. Ham and Monk's "feud" is expressed in one
line from Ham given neither response nor context - so it comes across as
childish and wildly inappropriate. Johnny's wordiness is interpreted in
turn by others for the others. They're all smart and know what
Johnny's saying. They should just agree with him using one smaller word
or idea and then move on. [added 12/17: Another thing I didn't like was
when Doc hurtles himself off a building and then figures out a way not
to die. They should have had him secure the line first and then jump. No
need to make him look suicidal the way they did.]
I assume there's comic book conventions everyone involved feels must be
met, for some reason. I don't see why you can't make a graphic
representation of 1930s pulp fiction that conforms to close to zero comic book
tropes. Comic books make pulp characters worse - they make them into
comic book characters. How 'bout creating pulp fiction stories in
graphic form instead of making a comic book about pulp fiction? It is
and isn't too much to ask. I think.
DJ Doc Busta Vein
Megaphone Iz In Da
Crap And Not-So-Much Crap I've Watched Lately, And How It Makes Me
Think About Doc Savage Crap:
If you look up "Failure" in the dictionary the statue above not only
appears, it vibrates and sings show tunes. Doc Savage fans destroyed Doc Savage by
making him so effing awesome. Remember that when this movie never gets
made because anything and everything wrong is given the OK by so-called
Doc Savage supporters.
In my youth "crap" was slang for "stuff", "nothing", and actual crap!
Thought I'd open with crap about my youth.
As everything I do and think relates to a new Doc Savage
movie, I think about stuff when I watch crap via The Netflix. I never go
to movie theaters. Douchey things happen there. Here's
some films and some Doc Savage thoughts:
Man Of Steel: Maybe in retrospect it didn't hold up all that well
but I thought this was a great effort to make Clark Kent a real person
in a real world where aliens with super strength and technology
effortlessly destroy everything in their path - even the earth itself.
At 150 minutes it's a hike but it mostly kept my interest and was filmed
like an epic symphony.
would make a great Doc Savage. Even listed at 6'1" he'd be perfect.
Surround him with actors who will always make a living as long as Tom
Cruise is around. For a Doc movie film two hours and then edit it down
to ninety minutes. There were too many bits of crashing through
buildings and fight sequences ran too long, but I'll let a lot slide
with Man Of Steel.
A Doc Savage movie, if you want to keep it honest to the source
materials, should be a fast-paced ninety minutes. Fast and raw, like the
pulps. Spend the money to make it look great but there's no symphony in
Doc Savage like there is in Man Of Steel. Make the tension jagged
instead of dramatic. Don't linger on (or even write) scenes with
pregnant pauses. Don't have actors stare each other into submission. In
Doc's world there's a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it. That's
the template. Make the DVD a two hour Director's Cut.
World War Z: Here's another one I enjoyed most of the way through
even though it was riddled with plot holes and other failings. I
remember reading how WWZ was delayed by the inconvenience of there
not being a scripted ending by the time they got around to filming it.
Either that or the ending was too weak to stand.
There's a long scene at the end of walking down hallways. It never
ended. Please don't do this with Doc Savage. There's no need to build
horror movie tension in a Doc Savage film. Don't film anything that will
make most people want to hit a fast-forward button. Don't film a long
procedure where everyone knows what's going to happen. Don't film scenes
that obviously serve no purpose. Also never have the audience wonder what's
going on and think "I have no idea what's going on but hopefully I'll
figure it out eventually".
Star Trek Into Darkness: This Other Ucker was so predictable and
high concept I turned it off after fifteen minutes. Kirk's a rebel, he's
reckless, he's a danger to everyone - but he's the only man who can get
the job done when the Khan Poop hits the fan!! Make Doc Savage new,
retro-old, exciting, smart, funny, and as much as possible in the pulp
genre, unpredictable. Make every scene and conversation count.
Pacific Rim: Until Hellboy II I loved Guillermo Del Toro. Today
he's kept the fetishes but lost his outsider perspective. Pacific Rim
has cool monsters and giant mechanical robots but the actors and
relationships are anime-level. I thumbed through most of it and groaned
at characters and situations so rote they'd made Top Gun blush. A Doc
Savage film can't pretend to be about something so awesome everyone will
fall in line once they see how awesome it is. Make a great Doc Savage
movie about a classic pulp fiction character named Doc Savage. Assume
nobody knows who he is and win people over by the story being told.
Don't present a mythology that's supposed to become universal no matter
what because it should be. Have the movie earn
mythology through quality.
Leave out crap that makes no sense on its own or is comical or
problematic. On the list include trilling, lobotomies, and the
expression "The Man of Bronze". The Doc Savage belt buckle's been
pissing me off a lot lately too.
is a harmless horror-comedy from Ireland that should have been a little
more comedic, but the summation is all you need and after a while I
realized I knew exactly what was going to happen in the next sixty
minutes, so I skipped to the end and learned the good guys won and the
bad aliens lost. Close call. The IMDB summation is "When an
island off the coast of Ireland is invaded by bloodsucking aliens, the
heroes discover that getting drunk is the only way to survive."
Don't make a Doc Savage movie where you don't have to watch the entire
film to get pretty much the whole experience.
Have you seen the poster for the upcoming
Match? You don't even have to see the trailer to have seen the whole
All you need is the poster!
Red 2: I liked the first film a lot. The sequel is
enjoyable but it's no more than a cute addendum to the first film. If
you haven't seen the first film, Red 2 is smug, fat, happy, and you'll
feel you should see the first film to know why everyone talks and acts
the way they do. A good paycheck was had by all.
2013 Update: In new Doc Savage movie news it's been an
exciting week of crickets and tumbleweed.
Check back next time for more of the same.
Get it before it's gone. For $30.80 you can own a
beer mug with a Doc Savage logo etched into it. There's two types,
so make that $61.60 because you can't separate children. It's endearing
and maybe a little sad (?) that fans have to make Doc Savage things
because they otherwise mostly don't exist:
This is for ONE Custom etched Doc Savage logo
mug. 7" tall, 3.5" diameter. Holds 784 ML. I have ONLY 2 of the positive
etched mugs (sitting on tan background), but 5 of the
negative (with the streaking).
Please specify which one you want my Flea Run
There's a thing
Pricing/Quality Relationship, and being anti-communist I don't have
a problem with it as long as the items are discretionary if not
superfluous. On the eBay there's always been a Doc Savage seller who
charges too much and one who alternates between cheap and pricey in a
grand experiment in the Pricing/Quality Relationship. Now there's a
third party good for outright pricing douchery that makes little sense.
Hidalgo Trading Co.
is where you'll find the print overruns of whatever zines the seller was
involved in. He prices cheap and then expensive for yuks, I guess. Buy
low with this one.
DTA Collectibles is
legendary for high prices but they have a massive selection because they
probably pay more up front. The internet dishes they're not too
pleasant to deal with and they've received bad reviews on eBay, this one
saying a lot: "Sold me a fake. Refunded, but wouldn't refund return
shipping costs. Out $20.00". Whenever I see something priced through
the roof I assume right away it's for sale at DTA Collectibles. Their
store in Tampa must be something though, but I wager three internet
monies they treat you like you're wasting their time if you don't
immediately buy, and at their asking price.
There's a new seller called Sandr-Sales who do the weirdest thing with
pricing. On a seemingly hour-by-hour basis they change their pricing of
inexpensive items to exactly $2,233.57.
This cheap poster I bought elsewhere for about $8.00 showed
up for $2,233.57 saying they have one left. The other one sold for
$14.86. They do this a lot, which is streets ahead of douchey. As I type
this they're selling it for $32.27. Weird.
I want a new toy, to keep my head expanding. I want a new toy,
nothing too demanding. Then when everything is in roses, everything is
static. Yeah my new toy, you'll find us in the attic: My creeped-out
fascination with home-grown Doc Savage action figures expired a while
ago but to fill space there's a new one for sale.
This fella has a washer for a belt buckle, his hair is arctic white,
and his waist is high on his tummy. The stupid gun he
never carried and the bullet-deflecting wristband he never wore are just
delightful bonuses. The seller is also selling a piece of wall art
that's the most horribly great "thing" I've seen this year.
2013 Update: Another week with nothing to report on a new Doc
Savage film. This will repeat itself until a bunch after New Years. In
the meantime I'll attempt to waste your time and will
most likely succeed. On a completely unrelated note I found this
delightful summation of newspapers in the U.K.:
“The Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run
the country,” he tells his aides. “The Guardian is read by people who think they
ought to run the country. The Times is read by the people who actually do run
the country. The Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the
country. The Financial Times is read by people who own the country. The Morning
Star” — a paper founded as a Communist organ — “is read by people who think the
country ought to be run by another country. And The Daily Telegraph is read by
people who think it is.”
Here's another one: "Its been said that the difference between free sex and sex you pay for is
that free sex costs more."
Excuse me while I use a 1/8" clipper attachment to buzz my hair in the
shower. I've been away fifteen minutes but to you it's been a single
moment. I'm Doctor F--king Who! I'd love Steve Moffat to make a Doc
Savage film. My hair looks like a less horrid Bama Doc Savage paperback
monstrosity. When you have a weird hairline you either shave it all or crop it close. I go Bama. I'm 52, 6', 195 lbs. with a 34" waist, and
I exercise all the time. Sadly, in the world of Doc Savage fandom I'd
probably be the guy they'd try to be Doc Savage in the play they put on
every year at Doc Con. That's if you want a Doc Savage who looks like
James Woods and suffers from a bad back and permanent nerve damage. There
was a fellow I corresponded with a few years back with a pronounced
six-pack and matinee idol good looks who was looking to get cast as Doc
Savage in anything. He wasn't major motion picture Doc Savage but some
time after1995 he might have been called up if Sam Raimi was looking for
something to do after Xena and Hercules. A nice guy. Hope he's still
I still buy the
RadioArchives reprints but only
glance at them. There's two Doc Savage items that interest me and the first one
may not have even existed. Exhibit A - 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."
Then there's the most coveted and expensive item, the Doc Savage Award:
Here's two articles (1,
2) on this rarity. Supposedly there's only ten known examples. No
wonder, if this is true:
"To obtain the Doc Savage Award a child
had to be nominated by someone else. That individual would then fill out
the application found in the Doc Savage Magazine. In the application the
person nominating would supply a statement as to why they believed their
candidate was worthy of the award. They would also need to provide a
list of six other individuals who know the nominee and agreed with the
statement. The final individual included on the list of six had to be a
person of significance, either that of a business, civic, or religious
leader. The application and statement were then submitted to Doc Savage
Magazine and the decisions were made by a group at the pulp magazine
Crap. It's only slightly easier to convert to Judaism. I've been to
every antiques market and fair in the Los Angeles area looking for it.
Ah, you never know. This morning I bought three bars of organic soap for
$10 at the Pasadena City College Flea Market. Pumpkin, Vanilla Something
Or Other, and Peppermint. Look at this stuff! I might yet try this thing
they call "hygiene".
Another slow week in Doc Savage movie news ends with the forewarning
we're entering the Thanksgiving through New Years dead zone. Expect not
too much from Shane Black & Co. until calendar year 2014, and once
again I wager Death Note will come first because it's a trendy property
and easier to accomplish.
Doc Savage's (S)crappy Scientists:
I'm no purist when it comes to Doc Savage. The pulp run from 1933 to
1949 disallows purity. Doc evolved from 6' murder machine to 6'8"
benevolent superman, and towards the end his personality and skill sets
trended toward insecurity and dumb luck. Monk, Ham, Renny, Long Tom, and
Johnny were consistent characters whose financial situations were the
only real variable. I know what The Five look like. I honestly have no
idea what Doc looks like. Dent provided specific descriptions but they
never formed a face in my mind. The pulps are useless in this regard.
The Baumhofer covers are the best because Doc looks the most handsome
and athletic. Later on he was a surfer, twink, proto-greaser - and soon
enough they stopped having him on covers altogether. Internal
illustrations are meaningless as there's no style guide in place or in
force. The Bama paperback covers have informed the minds of a hardcore
camp of fans to where they think Doc is a 54 year old man posing for
covers in front of a blue screen recalling his adventures from decades earlier. The incestuous
Family faction, combining fact, fiction, and wild speculation into a
stew of smug dementia, probably smile upon the Bama cultists as
anything goes for beautiful minds.
So as I was saying, I know changes must be made in a new Doc Savage
film. I insist these changes be minimal and necessary. Events from 1935
must stay in 1935. "Future" technology must be reasonable
advances from 1935 shown in all their contextual wonder. The aides
have to be made less ugly and angry. I have Monk being cute-ugly, hairy,
and ape-like in size and manner. His cruelty is missing. I changed Ham
from effete snob to reflective, loyal, and in real need of a cane. Monk and
Ham's arguing is playful and an inside joke between them. I have Johnny
stuck in big words and ancient clothes, and Renny as a gregarious giant
who looks deathly serious when facing trouble (he's still happy though.
Get it, fanboyyyyz?) My act of heresy is changing Long Tom into an audience-relatable
character acting as a bridge between them and the world of Doc Savage.
Doc is the best Doc Savage from the early pulps - quiet, thoughtful,
smart, strong, graceful, and the epicenter of action and attention. He
has no catch-phrases, quips, or standard-issue costumes.
Blinky McQuade addresses the time-shifting aspects of the new comics
coming from Dynamite Entertainment and has made wholesale changes
assuming there was never a 1930s Doc Savage - done quite well actually
in the TV series
Elementary. Blinky changes many things and as far as that goes that's
fine. I resist most efforts to bring Doc Savage into the present in any
way. I did lose my mental lunch a bit when he wrote "When DC Comics
sent Doc to the present era...". Comic books did not add to the Doc
Savage legacy. They subtracted. The pulps were the Doc Savage legacy. Will Murray
and other modern Kenneth Robesons have not answered any questions or
moved Doc Savage forward. Doc Savage froze in time many decades ago. You
can only choose the best aspects and smooth out the original's
want to give Renny a cousin who needs saving? Fine. You want to define
the relationship between Doc and his father that shaped his adult life?
That's fan-fiction, not the answer to the question the pulps never asked
and genre-wise is irrelevant. That door closed
with the death of Lester Dent. Sorry kids. Ham and Monk never had sex, no
matter how that makes a Wold Family repressed genius feel better about himself.
The Fantom Of The Press:
Fantom Press, Bob
Larkin's retail page, is offering a
item from the last Doc Con. Mine was $20 with $5 shipping. Here's
Available for the art exhibition at Doc Con 2013
This 32 page 8 ½ x 11” landscape format book was produced as an art
catalog to accompany the exhibition of the original art at Doc Con 2013
Collected are the two weeks’ worth of Dave Cockrum 's strips
that were produced in 1978 as a proposal for an ongoing newpaper strip.
Book also contains the new before seem thrid week of the strip newly
illustrated by Ron Frenz and Bob McLeod . Daily strips are reproduced in
black and white and for the first time ever, Dave’s Sunday strip will
be presented in full color along with the newly drawn Sunday.
Book also contains writer Mark Hannerfeld’s essay on the strips history
and illustrated with some never before seen thumbnail breakowns of the
strip by Dave Cockrum and Ron Frenz.
This is a very nice item and a lot of work and affection went into
it. The cover is thick and has a nice gloss. Buy one before they're gone. The
character introduction fare. The two "bad" things I noticed were Doc lifting weights and Monk
looking like The Hulk. Doc's Prince Namor hair carpet is a bad cliche
but everyone but me seems to think it's awesome. For a comic strip I
deservedly lose on that count. Remember the clumsy
Spider-Man comic strip from Stan Lee and his brother Larry Leiber?
It's still around? Yikes!!
I asked myself if it's a personal attack on me that there hasn't
been any substantial Doc Savage movie news in a while. I can't get
myself to shut up about it. The answer is yyyyyyyes, yes it is, and I
don't know which voice to listen to for an answer.
This Is Also The Layout Of My Studio Apartment
The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here! I'm somebody
now! Millions of people look at this book everyday! This is the kind of
spontaneous publicity - your name in print - that makes people. I'm in
print! Things are going to start happening to me now: The math on a
screenplay for a new Doc Savage movie is Anthony Bagarozzi + Chuck
Mondry + Shane Black = Script.
has a page at IMDB and as of this week so does
Here's what's on each person's plate. Shane Black is writing
Doc Savage (I imagine Bagarozzi and Mondry are doing most
of the work), directing
Note (announced), and executive producing
Deathless, listed as pre-production. Anthony Bagarozzi is
directing Deathless and writing Doc Savage, Death Note, and Deathless.
Chuck Mondry is producing Deathless and writing Doc Savage, Death
Note, and Deathless. Do you think maybe the creative team is being spread
thin? I fear a generic script for Doc Savage in order to get it out
on schedule. Here's my five internet monies bet that Death Note gets
made before Doc Savage because it's a remake and anybody in
Hollywood can crank that out over a three-day weekend.
OK, Fan Casting. I Don't
Know Who The Guy In The Middle Is But He Looks Like His Name
Should Be Clem Savage.
Argentina Toy Story:
seemingly the cheap plastic toy capital of the world. There's not
anything that didn't wind up in a watch, puzzle, ring, or set of
dominoes, be it Doc Savage, Olivia Newton John, or Hong Kong Phooey.
Argentina also printed Doc Savage pulps in Spanish during the 1930s and
1940s, so they were serious about it. Here's a selection of Doc Savage
items from The Land Of Silver:
An Ear Of Cracked: Funny and informative humor site
Cracked.com posted a long podcast on the innate timeline of
expectations that informs nearly all filmmaking. Three acts, a Point Of
No Return at exactly sixty minutes, and a 120 page script are
requirements as effective as they are restrictive. It's "a recipe
that grabs and holds people", and it dates back before written
language. What irks me is that Hollywood as an institution
reflexively dismisses any variation on their dollar menu of fast
entertainment that offers no surprises and asks nothing of you except
that you consume.
Doc Megaphone Didn't
Need To Flex His Smaller Right Bicep Like That,
But He Did, For His Two-Fisted Gal-Pal
Novels have no such restrictions. On page
3 of this blog I
posted Lester Dent's how-to guide "Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot",
which breaks pulp fiction into four acts of 1500 words. So it stands out
and doesn't get lazy in execution I'd like a new Doc Savage film to both
conform to and differ from traditional filmmaking. I see Cracked's point about The Watchmen failing in timing as much as
The Tin Drum
(at least for me. I thought it ended four times!). I imagine you can
combine both Hollywood's and Dent's templates and hit every required
note on cue without selling out to convention at the expense of
storytelling. The goal should be to film a pulp fiction novel. Doc
Savage pulps did not succeed because they were novelized films. They
were action-adventure stories that painted pictures of personalities but
didn't get into issues of personal growth and life-changing decisions.
did this well. So did
Identity dealt heavily with issues of origin, purpose, and personal
discovery, but the action more than compensated to make it a
A Doc Savage film should not be about the personal journey of Doc
Savage. He was shaped and defined by his life but it's not the goal of
the film to have him end up with a resolved personality. The ideal Doc
Savage is kinda like The Terminator. The goal of a new Doc Savage film
is to present the best Doc Savage adventure ever. If it's about anything
on a personal level it's about fellowship. Otherwise it's inventions.
intelligence, action, mystery, and suspense. Doc Savage is like a porno
in that there's no need to know why the pizza delivery man barters sex for money and delivers only extra sausage.
The podcast notes a recent odd obsession with the colors blue and
orange. Ok, fine, orange, but a Doc Savage film should be infused with
metallic tinges from the 1930s.
Doc Savage Article For To Read: A
random internet person wrote a conversational piece on Doc Savage.
It's worth a read.
You Wouldn't Like Me If I'm
Angry. Or At All Really.
I'm A Steroidal Mess. I Should Not Have Bleached My Own Hair.
You Might Find This Tumblresting:
Competing with Pinterest,
Tumblr has a
small image feed of things Doc Savage.
Iron Man 3 Considered: The Netflix gods finally deemed me worthy
of receiving Iron Man 3, directed and co-written by Shane Black,
he of new Doc Savage movie fame. I mostly liked it. It kept me wondering
how they were going to get out of various jams and the dialogue
was sometimes decent. I didn't turn it off
after twenty minutes as I did with Iron Man 2 or wonder how I sat still
for the first one. According to
this article Black stepped in to save Drew Pearce's original script.
I'd like to think Black had nothing to do with the endless parade of
Comic Book Physics and statistical impossibilities. Even reality TV is
fake so I don't expect a comic book movie to adhere to any laws of God
or Man, but I hope this doesn't transfer to a new Doc Savage film. Doc
is not a comic book character and he's not a super hero. He's peak human
from pulp fiction, which granted took and retracted liberties with Doc's
abilities as whim and necessity dictated, but a new Doc Savage film
should not follow in the Iron Man 3 and general Marvel Comics movie
mold, which since The Avengers has and will settle into the new version
Joss Whedon universe of Smug + Cute + Clever = Box Office Gold. Brought in from an
older version Joss Whedon also comes dramatic, accentuated posing for
This Forbes article addresses Black's brave act of initiating a
dialogue with fanboys upset with liberties taken with
As someone who didn't care I loved the reveal of Ben Kingsley's
character. Who knew Gandhi could be both
intimidating and hysterically funny? This bit from the article
disturbed me a bit:
"He talked about the need to take
characters and stories and approach them with a new perspective relevant
to our modern world and modern events. Overcoming inherent problems with
some characters and their backgrounds, making them fit into a story with
modern relevance while turning our expectations on their heads and even
surprising fans, is a pretty impressive — and admirable — set of goals.
Even more significant is that it succeeded."
Why does a new Doc Savage movie have to be relevant to the modern
world? Was Indiana Jones relevant to 1981? Why does it have to imply an Art Deco version of 2013?
Does Monk have to say he's "efforting" an explosive made from snot and
baking soda while Doc invents the skateboard to ride a gnarly rail down
the side of a pyramid? I hope not. I
understand a new film has to be recognizable somehow to idiots, but don't pander
to idiots. Make a film that demonstrates to idiots their idiocy is
I know Shane Black reads this blog. He's the guy on my
Statcounter who lives in Compton, right? Mr. Black, you can
either write a Joss Whedon version of Doc Savage or you can make
something closer to an art house version of a blockbuster action
film. To quote Nick Kroll on New Girl with no context,
"Do it, college".
You Might Find This Pinteresting:
a seemingly endless feed of Doc Savage images, including the fantasy
paperback covers that have made grown men laugh, cry, wince, smile, and
shudder - in that order. More covers
Mine, Not Yours, Mine:
Recent eBay purchases:
I should have bought this one a few years ago when $300 sealed the
deal. I paid almost $100 more. The day after someone listed his for
$800.00. Good luck on that one.
This patch was a remainder from this year's DocCon in Arizona. With
Who's Hungary for a Doc Savage movie poster? Me, I guess.
$50.00 including shipping from over-the-seas.
2013 Update: I Had A Meltdown This Week On The
Cheap: I checked out
Meltdown Comics in Los
Angeles and the friendly staff directed me to a few numbered Bama
prints they've had in stock for so long they were willing to have me
almost name my price.
I bought three for $80 and they have a few
left so contact them and inquire. Each print
came in a large matching manila envelope that shows the print
number. I'm not a Bama fan (well why did you buy them then? Oh
shut up!). I don't like many of his choices, from
the hair to the elderly aging to always wearing the same ripped
shirt to never including Doc's assistants. I understand the need for
a simple, uniform style, and nobody loves giant floating faces more than
I, but still. At least he didn't have
Doc pack a pistol on every cover. Huzzah!
Wow, THAT Went South Fast:
A few weeks ago I was feeling good about the new Doc Savage
comic book series coming in December from Dynamite Entertainment.
this interview appeared and I'm fairly certain I'll be
skimming the first issue in a store before putting it back and
walking out backwards whistling in reverse. Read the whole thing
but here's two quotes from Chris Roberson that turned my frown
even more down:
"I think it’s important to ground Doc
in his original setting, in the 30s and 40s, to establish who he
is and why he does what he does. But then rolling forward
decade-by-decade to the present day, the trick is to keep the
core of the character and his setup intact, while adding in new
elements that make the character resonate in a contemporary
"In the first few issues, we establish
the explanation for how Doc is still running around 80 years
after his first appearance. He ages, but very slowly, at about a
quarter of the rate of other people, for reasons that will be
explained. So he appears to be in his 20s in the first issue,
and just a couple of decades older than that when we catch up to
2013 by issue 7. And the Fabulous Five and his cousin Patricia
will be on hand, as well, aging at more normal rates, so that
gradually new assistants and associates will be joining the
team, replacing those who have retired as time goes on."
Here's me being Skip, The Broken Record. Doc Savage is not a
comic book character. If you can't write a pulp adventure that
reflects the aesthetics of the 1930s and Lester Dent's
characters, don't start a project like this. At best it will be
a generic comic book story with vaguely familiar characters some
will recognize as Doc Savage and the Forgotten Five. At
worst it will be another Doc Savage comic book.
Sampling The Dark Side of Doc
Sidhe: For a few bucks I bought the 1995 paperback
Doc Sidhe, by
Allston. Seems there was a sequel from 2001 titled Sidhe
Devil. The author can be found at the
Weblog. He's written a gaggle of novels, short stories, and
even a book on how to write novels. Here he writes about getting
back the rights for his two Doc books and his plans to re-write
them "to conform to my current writing style."
The original cover is on the left. Next to it is the new
cover with Iggy Pop as imagined by Frank Frazetta. The
Amazon reviews are glowing but I had no interest in it.
Science Fiction and Fantasy are not my thing. It's random words,
nonsense words, and logic systems that adhere to no rules,
because the first rule of Fantasy Camp is there are no rules,
and this rule is strictly enforced. "You mean the Oath of
Diancecht?", Yes, that Oath, not the Pledge Of
Configrumphh. If you haven't seen
Gentlemen Broncos I highly recommend it:
2013 Update: Another Weak Week In
Doc Savage Movie News: In April it was
announced Shane Black is making a new Doc Savage film. It's now, what,
October 20th, give or take a day, and all that's come out so far is that
Black's having himself a nice, casual think about what decade the film
should take place in and if Doc should be a goodie-goodie. Planning a
movie is like developing a new car model in that a lot of people with
diffent yet complimentary skill sets need to be recruited and given
marching orders with parameters and deadlines. For all I know Black and
his two writing buds are still getting together to watch college
football and drink beers while occasionally tossing out awesome ideas
like maybe Doc should have a talking car or Johnny should be a scrappy
Filipino woman named Joni.
More Movies Should Be
Like TV Shows, Especially Doc Savage: Cable television series
like The Sopranos, Dexter, and Breaking Bad ushered in what some call
the Third Golden Age Of Televsion. This filtered down to antenna
broadcasting and today shows like Sleepy Hollow, Person Of Interest, and
regularly kick the creative ass of major motion
pictures. The indie film market is a shadow of what it once was and
studio films are bean-counted into lazy variations of anything that's
made money before, then structured in simple story arcs that set up and
then satisfy the
of simpletons who grew up watching the same
episodes of Scooby Doo 300 times because they knew exactly was going
to happen. Seriously, read the descriptions of new films at Netflix.
It's ten categories of the same thing changed only enough to prevent
a plagiarism lawsuit.
Major Motion Pictures are hamstrung by the conventions of
big budget filmmaking. Besides the pressures of creating a product
yielding snazzy commericals and opening weekend buzz, large budgets
create large sets to be lingered on and even soundtracks create
demands for long scenes and sweeping emotional shifts that eat up
time. I want a new Doc Savage film to do many things and do them
well and thoroughly. This can be done with an efficient television
approach to storytelling. I just watched the first two episodes of
As a two-parter clocking in at 88:30 minutes it told a rich and
complex story involving every character in the series along with a
set of new ones. Assuming a new Doc Savage film will be 120 minutes
that leaves an extra 31.5 minutes to work with. Paced like Castle,
Criminal Minds, Sherlock, etc. a new Doc Savage movie could do
everything and do it well. The five aides can be equal partners with
Doc as far as development and screen time. Action can take place all
over the world. It's not that hard. Don't film procedures in scenes
that waste time, as in you don't have to spend two minutes watching
a safe being opened with a chemical torch. Don't film run and
fight sequences that basically repeat themselves. Make fights efficient and
interesting. Don't have people telling each other things they
already know. Don't linger dramatically while music swells. Make
everything interesting, informative, attention grabbing/keeping,
logical, realistic, and moving forward.
After my ideas get turned into a new Doc
Savage film and I'm interviewed in
Hollywood will collectively coming knocking on my studio apartment
door for their next hit franchise. It will be a comedy where a
murder is commited and everyone from the ME to the ambulance driver
to the police to the precint psychiatrist will go about solving the
crime with only marginal interaction with everyone else solving the
crime. I thought of this years ago but was reminded to bring it up
watching an episode of The Middle and hearing this exchange:
Justice, it's all the same. These two items were next to each other
on eBay. To the left is "original" Doc Savage art. Next to it is a
comic book cover from a million years ago. How original. I mean, how
original? Not much.