Tag Archives: Johnny Shaw

LEE, an anthology of fiction inspired by Lee Marvin

LEE cover-I am a HUGE Lee Marvin fan.

Survivor of the carnage of World War Two, drinker, larger than life character, enduring icon of masculine cinema, the star of some of  my favourite films, including The Big Heat, The KillersPoint Blank, Prime Cut and The Dirty Dozen. The man who, in the words of his most recent biographer, “cemented the most purposeful and consistent portrayal of man’s violent and primal inner demons in the history of modern American cinema”.

Well over a year ago myself and fellow Marvin fanatic and Crime Factory editor in chief Cameron Ashley, were sitting in a bar drunkenly bullshitting about future projects, when we stumbled across the idea of doing an anthology of stories inspired by the life of one of our favourite movie stars.

The final product of that conversation, LEE, will be unleashed onto the world in a few weeks time. In the meantime, I thought readers might get a blast out of feasting their eyes on the cover above.

While putting together the book was not without its challenges, finding fellow crime writers who shared our passion for Marvin and who where prepared to put pen to paper to celebrate him and his movies, was not one of them. … Read more

Pulp Friday: mercenary pulp

This week’s Pulp Friday is a selection of covers from the seething, sweaty, bloody, intrigue laden world of mercenary pulp.

I picked them celebrate the fact that I have a story in issue 2 of Blood and Tacos, which launches today, called ‘Bastard Mercenary: Operation Scorpion Sting’. Well, it’s not my story. It was written by a guy called Arch Saxon, one of the mainstays of the local pulp fiction scene in the seventies and eighties.

I discovered Saxon living in a down at heel rooming house in Brunswick, while researching a piece for this site. After he’d drunk his own body weight in beer and caged a hundred dollars off me, he agreed to let me submit a story of his featuring his little known creation Bruce ‘Boomer’ Kelly to Johnny Shaw’s Blood and Tacos series.

Kelly aka Bastard Mercenary is hard-bitten Bangkok-based Australian mercenary who’ll undertake any job so long as the beer is cold and the money right. Much like Saxon himself.

The rest as they say is history.

Blood and Tacos is an affectionate homage to the crazy, over the top world of late seventies, eighties pulp fiction. A time when titles such as Penetrator, The Liquidator, Death Merchant, Black Samurai and The Executioner rubbed muscular shoulders with each other on the pulp paperback rack of the local newsagency.… Read more

Pulp Friday: pulp from the seventies and eighties

“When he has to, Shannon can be as vicious as the worst Mafia thug who ever used a blow torch on a stoolie.”

We usually associate pulp fiction with the classic hard-boiled covers of the fifties and sixties. But pulp endured well into the seventies and beyond, before finally dying out and in the late eighties.

Today’s Pulp Friday is a selection of pulp covers from that latter period of pulp, the seventies and eighties.

I’m not sure why, but the pulp from this period seemed more extreme than it’s earlier iterations, if that’s possible, more turbo changed and over the top. The violence was more pronounced. The characters were PIs, mercenaries, spies and adventurers, like their predecessors, but they were even more starkly drawn, often to the point of being bizarre.

If you doubt me, check out the following.

Shannon #3: The Mindbenders features a private eye who lives “in a penthouse on Manhattan’s swank Upper East Side, but most of his work is done in the gutter”. He is the number one agent for a boutique government spy agency called Morituri, run by a priest referred to as Number One. Shannon is handsome, independently wealth and writes PI novels in his spare time. This book involves the suicide of a woman Shannon was close to which he ties to other deaths involving the UN.… Read more