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The New Doc Savage Movie Idea Page

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 New Doc Savage Movie Idea Page Here


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 more things to 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 Tan".


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):


Doc Savage Tales


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 we all 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:


Grudge 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 Adult 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 Lagoon

Did You Know Lester Dent and H.P. Lovecraft Were Pen-Pals?: Well, now you do.


March 30, 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 Kilgore Trout. 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.


Anyhoot, 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 Bromley 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 Compton".


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 Expendables."


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 name dropping 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 head.

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 I only have one so internet now!




March 23, 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 Savage front.

If You Need A Douchey Cover For Your Doucey iPhone, Pick Up This Doc Pauley D Cover, You Douche

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, titled "10 Pulp Comic Book Heroes Who Deserve An Epic Movie Comeback".  Doc is #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 page.

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 download 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


March 16, 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 Any Day, directed by Rustam 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 Breatharian and Sleepless Elite.

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 Bruce Vilanch. 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 founder and Flearun 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 Algonquin 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 the Opus Dei.


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 a colorful 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 seen below:


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: Michael 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


March 9, 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 from.


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 Sherlock. Have you seen the S03E03 episode "His Last 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 Bronzer

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 Ip Man: 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 self-loathing. Which "Winter Soldier" do you think they're referencing - possibly all of them? Wiki doesn't reference the 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 cultural marxism. 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 Tangerine Dream. 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 Mile High Collection (more here), 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....



March 2, 2014 Update: 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 Bertolt Brecht 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 Statler and 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 - More Relevant.


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 $639.00, give this site a try. Bidding ends 3/20/2014 so internet now!


Quickie Article On Doc Savage And A New Film: Here.


February 23, 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 2011:


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 Human 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.


February 16, 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 Mesothelioma, 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 Wold Newton Family member would do in this situation and decided Rosie The Riveter did all the work using rivets forged her by Hephaestus, the 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 Pokemon.


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.



February 9, 2014 Update: Lefty, Thanks For Stopping By: Statcounter tells me someone searched my site for "doc savage, pat savage/free porno videos".


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 Michael 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 Michael 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.


 Domenick Lombardozzi (born 1976)


 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 article titled "41 New Events That Would Get Us To Watch The Winter Olympics". As 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 Savage Film: Escape Plan could have been worse but it's stuck in the 80's Golan-Globus 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. Check!


Hansel & 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.




February 2, 2014 Update: A Fun Fact About Aaron Eckhart: Duh Kidz on IMDB are yapping about Aaron 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 his 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. Here's 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 graphics anyway?

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 Doc Savage 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? 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.


January 26, 2014 Update: Open With Another Reminder There's No News To Report On A New Doc Savage Movie: Done.


Flearun Facebook 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 wildlife corridors.


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 trolling insults!


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 is "worth" $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 College. Either 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!


January 19, 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 Isometrics 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 "The Lone 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 John Carter, 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 Jim Savage

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 deconstruction 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, here, and here.



January 12, 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 the funny:

 “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 mynameisinugomontoya.


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 relevant example, look 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 Tom 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 on television these days.


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 sausage.


At least movies tell better stories than does radio. If you exclude NPR.



January 5, 2014 Update: 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 One Direction

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.

First World Crisis:
Rotting Paper Corpses Vs. Nerd B

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 dues.

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 will."

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 some examples:


"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 Man’s service."


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 organization shadows 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.



December 29, 2013 Update: 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 extent.


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 Death 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. Cower 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.


Death 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 = Easy 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 to come.

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 next year.




December 22, 2013 Update: Reviewing A Doc Savage Comic As If Doc Savage Is A Comic Book Character: 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 Tijuana Bibles, or appreciating The Shadow from the Alec 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 understand.


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 - a rapper, a 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.


December 15, 2013 Update: Dynamite Entertainment Doc Savage #1 Review:



[Spoilers Warning] 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 responsibility.


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 Zachery Ty 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 Shazizzle


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.


Anyway,  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. Henry Cavill 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.


Grabbers: Grabbers 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 Grudge Match? You don't even have to see the trailer to have seen the whole thing. 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.




December 8, 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.


Buy Buy: 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 crowd...

Pricing Douchery: There's a thing called the 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.



December 1, 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 around.


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 company."

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".


November 24, 2013 Update: 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 Wold Newton 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.

Internet guy 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 shortcomings. You 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 limited edition item from the last Doc Con. Mine was $20 with $5 shipping. Here's the description:

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 comic strips are standard 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!!


November 17, 2013 Update: 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.

Oddly Enough 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. Tony B. has a page at IMDB and as of this week so does Chucky M. Congratulations.

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 Death 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: Argentina was 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:



November 10, 2013 Update: An Ear Of Cracked: Funny and informative humor site 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. Taken did this well. So did Jack Reacher. The Bourne Identity dealt heavily with issues of origin, purpose, and personal discovery, but the action more than compensated to make it a kick-arse action-adventure.


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.


November 3, 2013 Update: 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 the camera.



This Forbes article addresses Black's brave act of initiating a dialogue with fanboys upset with liberties taken with The Mandarin. 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 idiotic.

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: Here's 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 here.

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 shipping $7.00.

Who's Hungary for a Doc Savage movie poster? Me, I guess. $50.00 including shipping from over-the-seas.


October 27, 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. Then 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 setting."

"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 Aaron Allston. Seems there was a sequel from 2001 titled Sidhe Devil. The author can be found at the Aaron Allston's 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:


October 20, 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 Sherlock 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 expectations 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 this season's Castle. 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.

My Next Film After Doc Savage: After my ideas get turned into a new Doc Savage film and I'm interviewed in My Weekly Reader, 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:

Frankie: I could be a court reporter. Whenever I watch those crime shows, I always know who the criminal is before they reveal him.

Mike: I don't think you'd actually be solving crimes.

Frankie: No, no, I'd just be assisting. But the cops would come to rely on me for my expertise.

Original Art? Sure, Whatever You Say, Pal:
Irony or 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.


October 13
, 2013 Update: Oh God No Let's Do More Fan Casting, subtitled My Man-Crush For Howie Long: Here's more of who inter-geniuses have deemed worthy for a new Doc Savage film, but first here's this. Nobody suggested for Doc Savage so far has rung my bell as a definitive choice. I see a bunch of kiddie faces transposed on Men's Fitness models and a few guys with a large, twisted nose or something that makes me think Doc Savage can't be played by a much better looking Steve Buscemi. Doc can't look like he lost as many fights as he's won. In the pulps he was physically flawless and should be so in a new film. As only the Walter Baumhofer template will ever be taken seriously on these pages, I proceed with this thought.

The classic Baumhofer Doc has our hero with a pronounced cleft chin, which to me is not the best but maybe if I had a pair of chin testes I'd feel differently.

On the left is my favorite Doc Savage cover. His cleft is minimized and his effortless strength, agility, control, and fearlessness are all there in one collegiate-casual package. The pics above these show Doc to be handsome with a capital Macho. The one above left has a softer handsomeness I don't call effeminate because it's not. This brings me to my long-term man-crush on Howie Long. The Defensive End Football Hall Of Famer is 6'5" and I assume Wikipedia is giving his playing weight as 268 lbs. He had a short movie career but I'm not suggesting him for a middle-age Doc Savage. I'm saying he's a damn good looking man and if Shane Black can find someone with his balance of hard and soft features a new Doc Savage movie will get that aspect of casting right.

James Badge Dale as Doc:

 Born 1978. Suggested by JoBlo,  He's only listed as 5'10", so how tall is he exactly then?

Michael Shannon as Renny:

 Born 1974. At 6'4" I like this choice a whole lot. Look at that Renny Mug!

David Frampton as Doc:

 Born 1977. 6'2" and British. Can he do an American accent? Yikes, he has a Model Mayhem page.

Jackie Earl Haley as Monk:

 Born 1961. 5' 5 1/2" height. Weight: 42 lbs (figuratively). No, it's not Danny Bonaduce. I loved Haley in Human Target and who didn't shed a tear of joy when he delivered this line in Watchmen - "None off you all seem to understand. I'm not locked in here with you... you're locked in here with me!"

Jackie isn't Monk. He's the polar opposite of Monk. I think I only listed this fan-fuk choice because of the person years ago who suggested Bud Bundy for the role and was butt-hurt when I mocked the idea.

Doc Con 2013 Is Nigh:

The Man, The Myth, The Tahir Bahatti

Glendale, Arizona hosts this year's Doc Savage fan gathering so head on up, down, left, or right to see Tahir's micro-world famous Doc Savage costume, complete with helmet hair and ripped white shirt. Tell 'em yer old pal Farts Magoo sent ya. Doc Con 2013. Ask for it by name at the check-in desk of the Comfort Suites, located at 9824 W Camelback Rd, Glendale, AZ 85305.

A Post About Posters: Two eBay wins came in the mail this week. This poster from 1975 announces another poster will soon follow:

It's a nice simple poster. $55.00 including shipping.

This 3-sheet monster measures 41" X 77". $67.60 including shipping.


October 6, 2013 Update: Fantasy Casting: A serious, long-term group blog called Blue Sky Disney gives Doc Savage some consideration to who should play Doc Savage. I'm still waiting for someone to pique my interest but here's one list to check out.

Holy Toledo!: The Toledo Free Press employs a comic book reporter. Mr. Pulitzer is on line two with great news. Here Mr. James Beard (he also has a beard, scoring five meta-points) references Doc and the forthcoming comic book series from Dynamite Entertainment. The seeds of media awareness are being sown, and mighty Toledo, OH is at the forefront.

Variant Comic Cover Follies: CBR (Comic Book Resources) interrupts this blog entry to announce a variant cover for the forthcoming Doc Savage comic book series. Here 'tis:

"That is not only not right, it is not even wrong!" - Wolfgang Pauli

Most, and by most I mean pretty much all, Doc Savage comic books have failed the Doc Savage legacy to the point of retroactively redefining him downward to a generic, one note mediocrity. From Wikipedia: "... with Doc Savage Comics #5 (1941), he was turned into a genuine superhero when he crashed in Tibet and found a mystical gem in a hood. These stories had a Doc who bore little resemblance to the character in the pulps." He wore a hood with a magical gem in the forehead. I forget if he could also fly. Remember a few years ago when Doc slowed his fall down an elevator shaft by digging his fingers into the shaft walls as he fell, defying all laws of reason and physics? Awesome. Is it impossible to write a comic book that accurately conveys the look and feel of pulp fiction, or is it just assumed anything in a comic book has to conform to the whims of juveniles?

Doc wears a short-sleeve khaki shirt open to the navel, his receding Prince Namor doo is white, and he slapped on Wonder Woman wrist bracelets to (I assume) deflect bullets. Without breaking stride he's crashed through a door and the alien pinhead is waaaay past S&M role playing. And, do all Jodhpur pants have superfluous wings? It's nice how The Rocketeer has doomed Doc Savage as much as James Bama paperback covers.

Nothing's happening with the new Doc Savage film and it's 92 degrees in my apartment. We'll try again next week. Once again we close with a prayer:

"Let me strive, every moment of my life, to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, that all may profit by it. Let me think of the right, and lend all my assistance to those who need it, with no regard for anything but justice. Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage. Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens and my associates in everything I say and do. Let me do right to all, and wrong no man." - Doc Savage


September 29, 2013 Update: O Say Can You AMC Movie News?:

Did you know Doc Savage appeared on television? Neither did I, but the intern who wrote the copy read by this generically perky announcer seems to think so. The two opinionators she consults with give the idea an Up green arrow graphic, so that's good. One who doesn't particularly like Doc Savage feels Shane Black will at least make it "funny and fun to watch". I agree and think the humor will be darkish and not self-mocking and campy like the first failed attempt. The other fellow wants to see the film set in the 40s or 50s. Doc Savage generally misfired in the 40s and dragged itself over the finish line in 1949. The Bama paperback covers depict Doc Savage as someone in his 50s so maybe there's a logic to this. A Doc Savage movie should be set between 1933 and 1937 (or so). Anyhoo, it's nice to see the publicity machine is slowly moving in the direction of a new Doc Savage movie becoming a reality.

More Of A Similar Bent:

This article from the Hollywood Reporter references the same content as last week's lead story. It includes the cool graphic above. It's nice they're using a classic Baumhofer cover and not a paperback Sgt. Mummy portrait or comic book cover abomination. It links to this article on the new comic book series from Chris Roberson. I like this quote from Roberson and it seems I'll be buying these funny books starting in December:

"Doc Savage is really the wellspring from which so much of popular culture has sprung," Roberson said, explaining the character's draw. "You can see elements of him in Superman, Batman, and the Fantastic Four, but he also arguably was a big influence on characters like Indiana Jones and James Bond. I think one of the most appealing aspects of Doc Savage is that, in him, we get to see those kinds of adventure hero elements in their original form, stripped down and lean, without encumbering mythologies and continuities."

Have Time To Waste? You're Here, So Of Course You Do: TV Tropes has a Doc Savage page where they look down their big list of clichés, categories, themes, etc. and figure out how Doc Savage fits the bill. Here you'll learn Monk is a "Kavorka Man" and that Doc Savage pulps adhere to the trope of "Exit, Pursued By A Bear". Fun stuff.

This One Time, At Band Camp, Doc Savage Met Buffy The Vampire Slayer


September 22, 2013 Update: Shane Black Says All The Right Things: I watched this interview and I'm overjoyed that so far Shane Black gets Doc Savage. He's knows exactly what he's dealing with. An article about this article offers some quotes:

"Obviously in the books there’s an element of ‘goody goody’ that we like," says Black. "But we needed something more, so we beefed up the sort of rationale behind what it would take to be a perfect person and to be trained as such from childhood and how that would scar someone."

As for who might play the title role, Black isn't certain, although he does have a checklist of physical attributes that any prospective star would have to measure up to…

"Here’s the problem," explains Black, "they kind of gotta be tall. He’s the perfect physical specimen and when people look at him, they’re overawed by the sort of symmetry and perfection that he exudes."

"I don’t know that you could use, like, James McAvoy as Doc Savage. You couldn’t do it. He’s a fine actor, but we need someone big. Back in the day Schwarzenegger was talked about to play Doc Savage. I don’t know who we’d get."

One to watch then, although if you fancy a flutter, Black seemed very amenable to the idea of Chris Hemsworth, reacting to the suggestion by replying: "that's not a bad idea… what's he doing?"

Watch the interview. Black expresses his ideas beautifully. He brings up the issue of Doc being a perfect person as if that can't work. Doc is theoretically perfect but there's a big asterisk next to it. He can be that as long as he's not a self-aware douche about it, which he wasn't. Doc is serious, intense, and quiet. He never shows off and is uncomfortable with attention, especially from women. Doc's about the mission - his furthering of science and medicine, and fighting evil on a grand scale. Doc's not Superman - he can be hurt and killed. Doc Savage stories are scientific detective procedurals on how a Peak Human goes about overcoming and defeating evil.

Walter M. Baumhofer All The Way. The Rest Is A Joke

Doc's life is not perfect. His relationship with the world and everything in it is on a professional level. By that I mean he didn't have a normal childhood and as an adult there's entire areas of experience he seems to have missed out on, such as casual socializing and just plain relaxing.  His upbringing was itself a science experiment. I especially don't see the need to make a Doc Savage movie about a Father-Son relationship that was mostly referred to in passing in the pulps. It's much, much more important to show who Doc Savage is and what he can do than to delve into Psych-101 explorations of his supposed suppressed mental frailties. Doc is not damaged - he's mostly just missed out on the down-time activities of everyone not being raised from an early age to excel at everything. It's not like he was being taught to do bad things. Just the opposite. Also, don't underestimate how Doc's fellowship with his aides humanizes and normalizes him.

The point of a Doc Savage movie is to take the best elements of the pulps and make a movie that presents that content and context perfectly on film. It's not a What If, it's a What Is? If anyone says Doc Savage can't work because he's too perfect the answer is not to make him a loser in search of redemption through a gauntlet of defeats and personal lows. It's to make the best movie you can and then say, asshole, watch the f--king film because you don't know what you're talking about. The movie should prove them wrong while also showing Doc as someone you respect, admire, like, can possibly relate to, and is the #1 person in the world you want on your team when the poop hits the fan.

That's When I Don't Reach For My Revolver:

Now that I think Shane Black understands some of the basics of what a decent Doc Savage film requires, it's time to put out into the universe the major make or break decision on Doc Savage and guns. Doc Savage didn't carry a gun just like Tarzan, Bruce Lee, and Magilla Gorilla didn't carry one. The decision of many artists to depict Doc brandishing a revolver or Flash Gordon ray zapper is, to bottom-line it, childish, and it spits on one of Doc Savage's defining characteristics. Doc's do-not-kill policy started a few pulps in so I see the wiggle room of someone making that bad choice, but Doc not carrying a gun and explaining why he doesn't carry a gun is a cornerstone of the Doc Savage universe.

Guns in a new Doc Savage movie should be tools of expediency. They're a means to an end. You can't have the aides always packing and shooting. They have their own skills and a Doc Savage movie has to be about teamwork, gadgets, science, smarts, and fighting ability. It's not about guns. Age up, people. It's awesome to be fourteen years old in your mind but Doc Savage needs more adult consideration if a film about him is to succeed.

Doc Savage Cufflinks:

Etsy has these on sale for $19.75 plus shipping. The seller will put anything you want on cufflinks. Esoterica has never been this stylishly inappropriate for any formal event calling for a shirt that requires cufflinks.

Fantom Press Is Having A Secret Sale: Fantom Press is a fundraising campaign on behalf of artist Bob Larkin and his family. I'm on their e-mail list and received notice of something of which I cannot speak of or look at directly. It comes with this, which uses everything but caps to make its point:

***As I've stated before, these projects are TOP SECRET!. Please do not discuss them on ANYWHERE online, post of Facebook, seller on eBay , post on your blog, whatever.
These are not intended in any way to compete with the work that is currently going on in the Doc Savage arena, they are intended for the Doc completest  and are intended for your enjoyment only.***

If the past is a guide this Double Secret Probation premium will soon be available on eBay, but in the meantime visit Fantom Press and e-mail Terry about his September 13th super-double-scooper secret offer. Tell him me, yer 'ol pal Farts Magoo sent you.


September 15, 2013 Update: This Is Me So Very Much:

MAN: Okay, how many of you kids would like Itchy & Scratchy to deal with real-life problems, like the ones you face every day? (the kids all cheer and agree) And who would like to see them do just the opposite - getting into far-out situations involving robots and magic powers? (more cheering) So, you want a realistic, down-to-earth show... that's completely off-the-wall and swarming with magic robots? (The kids agree)

NELSON: Yeah, good.

MILHOUSE: And also, you should win things by watching!

The man sighs. The light is turned on in the observation booth, and Meyers appears at the mirror.

MEYERS: You kids don't know what you want! That's why you're still kids: 'cause you're stupid! Just tell me what's wrong with the freakin' show!

He turns the lights out. Ralph starts crying and turns his knob to the left.

RALPH: Mommy!

At this point of development I'd just like to know if Shane Black & Co. have settled on who and what a Doc Savage is. Is he from the pulps, the paperback covers, or (Oh Hell No!) comic books. Or is he an easy rewrite of an old script Black wrote in college about drug-snorting mercenaries? To me anything but an optimized take on the most heroic pulps will fail and fail hard. I snipe, snark, and snort but I know I'm just another d-bag with an opinion and the megaphone of a site with the visual appeal of WordPad and the industry standing of a troll comment on 4Chan.

“You Know What Real Class Is? It's When You're Alone And You Fart And You Say “Excuse Me!” That's Class.”: Thank you Rodney Dangerfield. It used to be a thing years ago, in the D.C. area at least, where people bought hardcover books in bulk to fill fancy bookcases in their fancy homes. All that mattered was colorful spines on musty old books. Now that's class.

$173.00 and $173.00 = $0.00

Above are vanity-bound collections of Doc Savage magazines and comic books commissioned by Rudy Rankins, who wrote this comic book. They're on the eBay. Here's the seller's descriptions:

"Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze bound collection includes the complete run of Doc Savage (1975 Marvel Magazine) issues 1-8. The selected magazines have been professionally trimmed and bound into book form using oversewn binding and primarily feature classic pulp stories adapted to comic form, written by Doug Moench, with most interior art by Tony DeZuniga. GRADING NOTE ON BOUND VOLUMES: Even while the actual condition of the bound issues often appear higher, due to trimming, and also for the general purpose of placing a value on the bound volume, the comic books are counted to be in a condition of 4.0 VG."

"Contains 11 total issues. Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze bound collection includes the complete run of Doc Savage (1972 Marvel Comic) issues 1-8, plus Giant Size Doc Savage #1. It also includes two '70s crossover issues with Spider-Man and The Thing, in Giant Size Spider-Man #3 and Marvel Two-In-One #21, respectively. The selected comics have been professionally trimmed and bound into book form using oversewn binding and primarily feature pulp stories adapted to comic form, written by Steve Englehart, with most interior art by Andru Ross. GRADING NOTE ON BOUND VOLUMES: Even while the actual condition of the bound issues often appear higher, due to trimming, and also for the general purpose of placing a value on the bound volume, the comic books are counted to be in a condition of 4.0 VG."

To bottom-line it, Mr. Rankins spent money to destroy worthless comic books and magazines in order to have hardcover books of said items with his name in the bottom right corner. Guys did this with men's magazines and technical publications like Popular Mechanics. It was a thing.

Well It's About Time Someone Finally Made A 1:6 Scale Action Figure Of Him!: Does this mean Doc Savage is six times bigger than this doll action figure? Toychestnews rips the lid off the latest Doc Savage action figure embroglio with an interview of the thing's creator. There's now also a Double Banger Deluxe edition with two heads. You heard that right - two! Silver Age Style Likeness and Golden Age Style Likeness. It also has Ripped Shirt and Un-Ripped Shirt options, along with Silver Age Style Raygun and Golden Age Art deco Style Raygun, because along with the German Lugar Doc always never carried in his giant belt holder, he also never left the Doc Apt. without either his black penis-tipped suppository injector or his pewter rolling-ball deodorant applicator megaphone. 40 points of articulation! 'Nuff said.

$249.99 +$20.00 shipping, but did I mention it comes with "Pair Of Socks"?

Please For To Visit: It's spread out in places on this person's Blogspot pages, but it seems this fellow is creating his own Doc Savage radio play, or plays, or possibly a sock puppet show.

Adjust your bookmarks. The Doc Savage Fantasy Covers page has moved to a new basement bedroom.

FAQ you too, pal!

Please DON'T Visit: This site offers "DOC SAVAGE PDF" but you shouldn't because it's an executable file and most likely a virus. It's a train-wreck you should at least look at because it contains Doc Savage images and random word generated "comments" such as "delights, as resizing when a distinct, matured game after the Star Wars franchise doesn’t always a lot easier The Windows menu to be a certain levels, it picks up on actual map types of immersion issues. The game experience. For such a side-scrolling platform and strength of your virtual eyes of giants, one single freeze or simply do this is there are trying to implement in a certain objectives as to see vertical tags should be able to make a few images you explore the thief skills." Why someone would go to the trouble of making this is beyond me.


September 8, 2013 Update: More Doc Savage Comic Book Joy On The Way: This article announces a new series of Doc Savage comic books from indie publisher Dynamite Entertainment, described on Wikipedia as "... an American comic book company that primarily publishes licensed franchises of adaptations of other media."

Their sample art looks decent enough and artist Alex Ross is capable of photorealism - a nice change from the horrible Cabbage Patch Doll art I endured not that long ago. Writer Chris Roberson seems to have solid genre credentials. I'll hope for the best and prepare for not the worst but not that great either. The last few DC Doc Savage runs will always be the worst.

Money Makes Me A Winner: The eBay yielded me this 14" X 22" poster from Belgium, which as customary also came with a sample box of waffles. $20 plus $14 shipping equals $34.00.

Reaching Into The Mailbag: Who am I kidding. Nobody writes.

Random Thought De Jour:

A Facebook associate asked for opinions on the new Robocop trailer, which made me think of the remakes I've seen of Judge Dredd (dumb and nasty) and Total Recall (great first half, generic modern second half). I guess the "opportunity" of new versions is to use current technology, style, and cultural markers to make it more relevant to today's audiences. That's just super, but the end result is most films look the same and fail creatively because most aspects of the production are dictated by individuals who bring the same trends, focus group results, and cutting edge special effect opportunities/limitations to every production they work on. And Hollywood expects this as Standard Operating Procedure.

This is painfully evident if you spend any time on Netflix. It's as if every film genre has only ten allowable basic plots, or more correctly as if a genre is as restrictive as telling a baker they can do whatever they want as long as the result is an apple pie that's affordable and will be loved by everyone.

I'm not expecting a new Doc Savage film to be artistically off-putting. There is no acceptable David Lynch approach to Doc Savage. What I do want is for it to be true to the strengths of the source materials and driven by storytelling and characters revealing and utilizing all their skills and personality. First write the best Doc Savage film you can - then get the right creative types to bring that to the screen in a timeless fashion. Don't make Doc Savage a 2014 film. Make it a great Doc Savage film. 

Continue Reading This Exciting Doc Savage Blog Adventure!