For the last Forbidden Pulp blog of 2021, many words of gratitude.
(Every highlighted name or place below is a link…check out these marvelous people!)
After six years of authorial isolation to create, along with visionary artist Iason Ragnar Bellerophon, the immense modern pulp opus Talos Chronicle, I emerged to engage with the world through doctalos.com and the Forbidden Pulp blog, and it has been an amazing experience indeed.
Nothing in my wildest hopes and expectations came close to the thrilling reality of connecting with the family of fellow creators, readers, and fans that opened up for me across 2021. I opened the Doc Talos website in the Spring, began blogging about all things pulp, and reached out both to old friends from my long career as an author, poet, scriptwriter, actor, publisher and artist — and new friends in the community of pulp fiction enthusiasts.
Among the splendid people who welcomed me were the fanzine publishers: Chuck Welch of The Bronze Gazette, Steve Donoso of The Shadowed Circle, and Jim Main of Pulp Fan. Each graciously accepted articles of mine, covering such diverse topics as the women of Doc Savage’s life, The Shadow’s connection to historical world events, and a celebration of Pat Savage in Marvel Comics.
Graciously agreeing to interviews or contributing to blog posts at Forbidden Pulp, were Jeff Deischer (author of the Doc Brazen books), Mark Ellis (author of The Monarch of Armageddon), and Atom Mudman Bezecny, (modern pulp writer extraordinaire).
Throughout the summer, I sponsored a Doc Talos Fan Fiction contest, which resulted in the creation of some truly amazing tales from authors both new to writing and stars in their respective genres. They were collected into a special keepsake paperback and given as a thank you to each superb contributing author.
Opening up a Doc Talos Facebook page, I was welcomed into numerous Doc Savage fan groups and pulp organizations, including the Flearun, The Pulp Adventure League, The Fans of Bronze, and the Doc Savage Super Secret Group. I’ve had tremendous fun making friends in all of them.
Over the course of the year and more than 100 posts in the Forbidden Pulp blog, over 8000 visitors have come to stop by and read, many of them providing fascinating insights and sidelights to the topics.
After the immense creative effort that went into crafting the books of the Talos Chronicle, it’s been so gratifying that readers have found pleasure in them — many wrote wonderful emails and letters of appreciation to me, which touched me beyond adequate description. Once again, deepest gratitude to my creative partner in making those stories a reality, whose talent I stand in awe of: Jason Robert Bell, AKA Iason Ragnar Bellerophon. For six astonishing years (and counting) he has poured heart and soul into the literally hundreds of paintings which fill the works. A truly brilliant man and a great guy to boot…fine artist, comics creator, mystic, body double for God, Jace the Ace from Hyperspace, devoted family man…and a cherished friend.
Creativity among my amazing colleagues and peers has been truly inspiring, including Jeff Deischer’s generosity in allowing me a front row seat to cheer on his crafting of the Doc Brazen stories (and giving me the honor of contributing an Introduction to a new edition of the novel Millennium Bug).
I was also honored to write two novellas for Atom Mudman Bezecny’s Odd Tales of Wonder Publications , both of them inspired by characters and stories from her superb Hero Saga. Both Atom, and Canadian author Andre Vathier, are also creating works within the Doc Talos universe of characters and stories.
Amid all of the creativity, most precious of all have been the friendships that have grown over this past year. Every one of the amazing people whose lives have touched mine in 2021 are precious to me; I’m grateful indeed for the warmth and brilliance I’ve had the opportunity to bask in throughout the year. A special shout-out to Atom and to Alexandre LeVasseur, fellow creative souls in our Conseil du Mal (which strikes fear into the hearts of evildoers everywhere). Both epitomize qualities that I treasure: layering the joys of reading and writing with a sense of personal responsibility toward fostering hope, awareness, dignity and caring.
I’ve seen that spirit all throughout the year not only from these friends, but from so many who have crossed my path. Time and again in the pulp community I’ve witnessed extraordinary acts of caring and support. When creators support one another…when individuals go an extra mile to help out someone going through a tough time in life…that is truly when we shine the brightest. When I began writing in earnest back in the 1970’s, I tacked a quote above my then tool-of-the-trade — a Royal manual typewriter that I bought for 20 bucks at Goodwill — it reads: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Fifty years later, I don’t hammer out manuscripts with ink ribbons and carbon paper any more, but that quote is still tacked above my computer.
The future looks bright indeed. Corny as it might be, I still live my life doing my best to live up to the ideals of the Doc Savage Oath, and it will continue to inspire me in 2022 and beyond.
Happy New Year to all.
Mal Deeley AKA R. Paul Sardanas AKA Doc Talos