pulp digest

kodachromism  asked:

For the dead fandom thing (which was a super interesting read btw!) Xena warrior princess, The shadow, a lot of the fleicher cartoons, the GLEE fandom, Tom and Jerry, Buffy (I mean, I still watch and love it, but I'd be hard pressed to see anyone else talking about it), The land of the lost, The partridge family (Sadly). Thats all I can think of off the top of my head, anyways

I addressed the Shadow, Street & Smith pulp hero fandom disappearing today. Thanks for the suggestion! Here’s the Reader’s Digest Version: pulp heroes went away because 1) the audience were kids and working class men, and the kids went to comics and the adults went to men’s adventure paperbacks, 2) there is no publishing agency to keep them alive in the public eye and merchandized, like DC and Marvel do with their characters.

The Partridge Family was such a product of its specific cultural moment, that the miracle would have been if it did survive the 1960s. I am still scratching my head over the fact that Dazzler, the Marvel roller skating disco superheroine created in partnership with a record company, intended as a disco musical starring vehicle for Bo Derek, is, incredibly, still around and kicking in modern day Marvel comics published in the Year of Our Lord 2016.

I don’t know enough about Glee to be entitled to an opinion.

Animation buffs still love Tom and Jerry, but there’s a reason it is less visible in the public consciousness: it was superseded by a later, even more insane “chase” cartoon, the Coyote and Road Runner, created to be a semi-spoof of chase cartoons by taking them to their most extreme extent. There is such a thing as an “own” that is so spot on and brutal, a parody so accurate, it’s hard to take what it was making fun of seriously again. After Team America: World Police, I crack up whenever someone mentions Rent the Musical.

It’s a shame that people remember Land of the Lost as a schlockfest because of the bad sets and effects, because, with the limits of its audience, it occasionally could be legitimately horrifying. One especially eerie scene was set around a Sleestak library, where glowing Sleestak skulls would say ominous things like “when the last human is dead, the age of the Sleestak will begin.” Brrrr.

Buffy fandom is very much alive! It helps it’s on streaming, which helps a new audience discover it by word of mouth (not being available is like being dead). I don’t think it will be visible for the next five years, but I think a pattern will emerge: the shows with living fandoms will be ones that are accessible on streaming services, and the ones that are dead are behind dusty paywalls. People share gifs on Buffy, I see merch around for it, etc. Merch is always the most foolproof test as to whether a fandom is alive or dead because of the cold hard logic of capitalism: people wouldn’t make something there’s no audience for.

The people behind Buffy are now shaping pop culture: Joss Whedon was in charge of the Marvel Universe, but more importantly, Buffy was influential. Everyone is now doing what Buffy was doing in 2000, which is a combination of self-awareness, genre-savviness, and quippy, fast-paced dialogue. The Marvel movies wouldn’t have been possible without Buffy, and every show does this now. If you want to see how different TV was before Buffy, see one of its’ contemporaries, Babylon 5, which to modern viewers, with its’ Sorkin-esque West Wing style grandstanding speeches, feels overwritten and ponderous. Can you even imagine a member of Buffy’s gang getting off an uninterrupted monologue about Winston Churchill? That happened on B5 every other episode.

Part of the reason the Ghostbusters reboot felt “off” is because the original was a very dry comedy of a kind that nobody makes anymore except the British, whereas the reboot was a broader, wittier, quippier, Whedonian movie, or at least, made the effort to be one. Hell, even the recent Star Wars movie was Whedonized: it didn’t take itself seriously, and there was less of the ominousness and anxiety of the originals. Heck, people are mad that the DC movies aren’t this way. All told, I will say that when we look back on this era of geek culture, we’ll say Buffy was one of the most important moments.

Xena fandom is as alive as you’d expect something that hasn’t legitimately been continued in any way for a decade and a half to be. I don’t think it’s dead, but it is asleep. If a new Xena show was announced next week for streaming, tumblr would crack in half with excitement.


These issues of Other Worlds are incredible examples of pulp art. Each digest-size magazine is lushly illustrated on both covers, featuring works from pulp masters such as J. Allen St. John and Hannes Bok.  Enjoy!

 Other Worlds. Edited by Bea Mahafley and Ray Palmer. Issue 26,  February 1953. Front cover by Malcom H. Smith, back cover by J. Allen St. John. 

Other Worlds. Edited by Bea Mahafley and Ray Palmer. Issue 24, December 1952. Front cover by Malcom H. Smith, back cover by Robert Gibson Jones.  

Other Worlds. Edited by Bea Mahafley and Ray Palmer. Issue 30, June 1953. Front cover by Hannes Bok, back cover by Robert Gibson Jones. 

Other Worlds. Edited by Bea Mahafley and Ray Palmer. Issue 23, November 1952. Front cover by Robert Gibson Jones , back cover by J. Allen St. John.     

Other Worlds. Edited by Bea Mahafley and Ray Palmer. Issue 25, January 1953. Front cover by H. W. McCauley, back cover by Hannes Bok. 

-Laura H.     

Sun spiders or wind scorpions are neither spiders nor scorpions. They’re classified as arachnids under the order of Solifugae. Many legends speak about how the sun spider can disembowel a camel by getting beneath it and ripping it’s stomach open, but that’s just a myth. What it does eat is rodents, birds, insects and other living meaty things. It has a speed of about 10mph so it chases it’s prey and chomps down on them turning them into a pulp so it can digest easily. They’re not venomous at all, so their strong jaws are their main defense mechanism. Luckily for us, human flesh is not something they’ve developed a taste for. #EvokeCuriosity