My Blog

Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Black Bat Companion

Coming soon from Altus Press, priced at $29.95, one of the most beloved Pulp characters, The Black Bat, is finally celebrated with this 340-Page deluxe retrospective. Author Tom Johnson has indexed each issue, listing everything you need to know about the series, along with the following highlights:

1)    A complete reprint of the rejected Black Bat adventure, “The Lady’s Out For Blood.”
2)    A breakdown of the newly discovered final Black Bat story, “The Celebrity Murders.”
3)    All 800 German Black Bat stories newly identified for the English audience.
4)    Nine complete reprints of The Black Bat Golden Age comic book stories.
5)    An interview with series creator Norman Daniels as well as his complete Payment records for the first time.
6)    Featuring additional articles by Will Murray, this is the ultimate history of the series.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

G-Man Companion

Dan Fowler: G-Man Companion by Tom Johnson, Will Murray, Robert Sidney Bowen,  Charles Greenberg, & Norvell W. Page

For nearly 20 years, Dan Fowler and his G-men battled crimedom in the pages of G-MEN DETECTIVE. Now, author Tom Johnson has indexed each issue, listing everything you need to know about the series. Also included are complete reprints of the two best Dan Fowler stories as chosen by Johnson and pulp historian Will Murray: "Give 'Em Hell" by Norvell W. Page and "Bullet Justice" by Charles Greenberg. And reprinted in its entirety for the first time: "I Cover the Murder Front," the lost, rejected Dan Fowler story.
Besides the three complete novels reprinted, this huge tome also features additional articles by Tom Johnson and Will Murray. This is the ultimate history of the series.

414 pages | $34.95 softcover | $44.95 hardcover from Altus Press

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Black Bat

This is the real version of the Black Bat as created in 1939 by Norman Daniels for Black Book Detective. Norman told me, however, that in 1943 the decision came down to turn The Black Bat into a character more resembling Walter Gibson's The Shadow, so the costume was dropped in "Markets Of Treason", Winter 1943/44. From then on, The Black Bat merely wore dark clothes and a hood, the ribbed-cape a thing of the past.  The artist must have never got the word, as they continued illustrating the interiors with the character in full costume. In the final novel, "Hot, Willing, And Deadly", author Stewart Sterling even dropped The Black Bat as well, merely having Tony Quinn (no longer pretending to be blind) investigate the crime. But it was always the character in cape and hood that I remember most fondly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Phantom Detective

Did The Phantom Detective Wear A Costume?

Actually, no.  He was a master of disguise, and often took on the identity of hoodlums. His identifying trademarks were the domino mask and jeweled badge. In the early 1930s, Richard Curtis Van Loan was usually at a ballroom when some insidious crime occurred. As a rich young man-about-town, he was likely to be dressed in top hat and tails (tuxedo). He would merely put the domino mask on and flash his famous badge, becoming the nemesis of the underworld. But just as quickly, he would discard the top hat and tails, and take the identity of some low-life criminal. As the series progressed, the setting of a ballroom to begin the story was left behind, and so too the top hat and tails. One of the problems with a recent version of the character was giving him the costume of top hat and tails. This happens when you don’t know the character. Whoever proposed the silly costume should actually read the series, and then we would get a true version of The Phantom Detective.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I thought, for a change of pace, I would post the cover of a 1964 Tarzan novel by Berton Werper. This five-book series ran from 1964 to 1965, and was written by husband and wife writing team of Peter & Peggy O'Neill Scott. Although I wasn't a fan of the new series at the time, I have to admit it was probably better than the new series now coming out of England.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

SF Magazine Podcast

This Thursday, August 16th, Tom & Ginger will join Shelvy Vic and Garrett Prescott on The Book Cave with Art & Ric to discuss science fiction pulp magazines and early SF writers. I began reading sci-fi around 1952, but Garrett and Shelvy were into the genre a few years earlier.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Comment Problems

Folks, I apologize. My Blog will not let me Comment or respond to Comments, and I haven't figured out the problem yet (sigh).  Regarding the recent Comments, EXCITING PULP TALES is only in print at this point, but Altus Press is looking at adding it to Kindle eventually.

K.G. McAbee's story has not been released yet, but is scheduled for August, so may already be available. I'm waiting for her to send me the ordering instructions. As soon as I get the Link to her book, I'll post it on the Blog. Thankfully, so far the Blog is letting me Post (sigh). Any Blog experts in the house? lol

Exciting Pulp Tales - Podcast

Tom & Ginger join Ric and Art to talk about Tom's short story collection of pulp tales in EXCITING PULP TALES on Thursday the 11th of August. Be sure to tune in to The Book Cave and listen in