It's true: I've been a fan of 1930s pulp superhero Doc Savage (and his associates: Monk, Ham, Johnny, Renny, Long Tom and Patricia) since seventh grade. I've always thought it was one of a the zillion-and-one ways in which I am atypical.
Yeah, right. ...As Harry Ugol famously wrote,* "You're not the only one." Reading original lettercols at The 86th Floor fansite, there are a couple of letters from girls in just about every issue of the pulp!** We might not've been the target demographic but it sure looks as if good ol' Lester Dent (who invented the characters and wrote the majority of the yarns) wrote fine tales of derring-do that appeal to anyone with a yen for vicarious adventure, even using a trite plot*** and characters who prefigure the better comic book stars.
* Under circumstances far different to where I first saw Ugol's Law cited. Once I did the research (it's spelt "G-O-O-G-L-E"), I could see why it is not more widely known. He seems to have invented a general natural-law-of-teh-n3t despite himself; Harry's natural habitat was the "alt.sex" section of Usenet. And the best roses grow in lion dung. Go figure.
** Which those of us who read the Bantam paperback reprints didn't get to see. :(
***Yes, there seems to be just the one. The fun's in seeing how he spins it. A fair case could be made for the entire series forming an unintentional "metanovel" about an emotionally-suppressed ubermensch coming to terms with his feelings, forming deep friendships and learning the fultility of altruism but there's a point at which it gets too deep to even try wading through. This stuff is chewing gum for your brain.
3 months ago