Category Archives: Neo-Pulp

HOMBRE (1981): SPAIN’S POST-APOCALYPSE HERO

HombreAT THE END OF THE RIVER – More Weirdness at the End of the World, this time with an adventure featuring Spain’s answer to Mad Max: Hombre himself. This character was created by Antonio Segura and Jose Ortiz in 1981 in the Spanish publication Cimoc. Hombre went on to appear in notably “adult” comic books and magazines around the world, including reprints in Heavy Metal here in America.    

In this age of non-stop comic book adaptations for movies and television I’m amazed that the excellent Hombre series hasn’t been tackled in some form. The adult sexuality, graphic violence, Alien-style mutated life-forms, relentlessly grim storylines and gratuitous nudity are tailor-made for a cable series or R-rated films.

Hombre 2The title character Hombre roams our post-apocalypse planet armed to the teeth and ready to kill or be killed on a daily basis. His first-person narration echoes the best aspects of hard-boiled Film Noir detective stories while the action and mis en scene combine the best elements of Spaghetti Westerns, Post-Apocalypse movies and Martial Arts flicks. Think Six-String Samurai but without the rock and roll samurai.

There is no optimism in the world inhabited by Hombre. Antonio Segura’s writing features often tragic endings which must have put 1980s readers in mind of the downbeat stories on Hill Street Blues and Saint Elsewhere.

Hombre 3Segura mostly avoided easy narratives and my least favorite storyline involved Atila, the badass woman warrior. The character was great, but the tale seemed very UN-Segura-like to me. I probably would have liked her in her own spin-off story but having two such nigh-indestructible figures in one tale put things too far into the realm of upbeat fictional tropes to me. I’m virtually alone on that, by the way, since most fans LOVE the Atila story.

AT THE END OF THE RIVER – Back to the main topic of this blog post, one of the Hombre tales that best exemplifies the series’ aesthetic sensibilities. Our protagonist is the best there is at what he does, but in a much grimmer and more adult way than Wolverine ever managed.  Continue reading

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Filed under Future History, Neo-Pulp, Superheroes

FLASHMAN NOVELS: NINTH PLACE

For Balladeer’s Blog’s Number One Harry Flashman Novel click HERE . For background info on George MacDonald Fraser’s infamous anti-hero Harry Paget Flashman you can also click that link.

Flash for Freedom9. FLASH FOR FREEDOM (1971)

Time Period: 1848-1849

Favorite Book Blurb: “Only Harry Flashman could start out running for a seat in Parliament but wind up fleeing England over a gambling scandal, shanghaied onto a criminal slave ship, clashing with one of the African kings selling his own people to slavers, conning the American government, reluctantly working for the Underground Railroad and ultimately facing down a pack of southern slave-hunters side by side with a young Congressman named Abraham Lincoln.”  

Synopsis: Wealthy John Morrison, Flashman’s hated father-in-law, still has Harry under his thumb money-wise. Morrison decides he wants a Member of Parliament in his control and figures Harry’s status as a hero of two wars and an amphibious campaign against Borneo pirates will make him a can’t-miss candidate.

Flash for Freedom 2For his part our scurvy protagonist gleefully anticipates all manner of graft money and getting to vote to send other people off to war for a change rather than being sent himself. With Morrison’s financial backing, Flashman finds himself in the political arena – an arena where other people are more skilled at cheating than he is.

Harry being Harry he also finds himself snogging in the grass with the real-life Fanny Locke (later famous as Fanny Duberly) and trading parlor-room insults with the likes of Benjamin Disraeli and Lord George Bentinck. At length a card-game scandal coupled with a charge of violent assault wind up forcing Flashman to flee the country for a few years.

Flash for FreedomWith very few transportation options open to the on-the-lam scoundrel, Harry ends up on an outbound ship owned by his father-in-law but finds that he has once again gone from the frying pan into the fire. To Flashman’s great shock he learns that the ship he’s stuck on is a slaver – and that the illegal trade is a large part of John Morrison’s shady fortune.

Amid all this bad luck fate at last smiles on our protagonist when a crew-member that he befriends turns out to be an undercover Royal Navy Officer assigned to infiltrate and bring down Morrison’s sizable slaving operation. That officer – Lieutenant Beauchamp Comber – has clandestinely assembled a mound of incriminating evidence against Morrison and his agents.        Continue reading

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Filed under Neglected History, Neo-Pulp, Pulp Heroes

DYSTOPIA NATION: THE NEW COLONIALISM

FOR A LOOK AT MY PREVIOUS DYSTOPIA NATION POSTS CLICK HERE

Mascot sword and pistolTHE NEW COLONIALISM – Here’s another situation to embellish and extrapolate from in standard Dystopian Literature format. It’s the way that isolated, heavily-populated regions of pompous snobs, cowardly hypocrites and hilariously pretentious asses consider themselves the rulers of the entire rest of the nation.

Part of the inspiration for this installment came from the way Ben Franklin observed that – leading up to the Revolutionary War – even everyday citizens in Great Britain would snobbishly refer to Americans as “OUR subjects in the Colonies.”

That possibly apocryphal account easily puts one in mind of the snobbish way that Democrats pompously think they know how everyone else should live their lives. And if the people they consider to be THEIR “subjects” don’t agree, well, in the words of the fictional Darth Vader “Then they should be MADE to agree!” That’s the Democrats’ mantra. (I’m an Independent voter.)

mapAnyway, in our fictional future for this time around, the isolated areas of Democrat Supremacists or “Blue Meanies” began to panic as they felt their tyrannical grip on their “Colonies” slipping.

As far back as the early 21st Century the Democrat Supremacists had formed masked hate groups like Antifa – really KLAN-tifa – to inflict violence on dissenters.

The Dem-Sup control of the media, internet and film-making ensured that the only opinions that got wide-spread exposure were the opinions shared by millionaires. Dem-Sup contempt for the working class and the poor grew in direct proportion to the way in which the working class and the poor rejected the “One True Worldview” being forced upon them by Dem-Sup plutocrats.     Continue reading

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Filed under Future History, Neo-Pulp, opinion

DYSTOPIA NATION: TECHNO-TYRANTS OF SILICON VALLEY

Mascot sword and pistolHere at Balladeer’s Blog I write plenty of items about myths from around the world. I often mention that my blog posts about figures from the American West are along the same lines to me since I think the exaggerated tales of whatever their real-life stories were originate the same way that many religious fables do: the usual human tendency toward superstition and embellishment.

Dystopian literature is similar but instead of embellishing figures and events from the past this type of fiction involves taking contemporary problems and/ or trends and extrapolating them into larger than life menaces in the near or far future.

Soylent Green did it with overpopulation and food shortages, One Blade of Grass did it with environmental issues and Orwell’s 1984 did it with totalitarian political forces which still threaten to use his nightmarish novel as their road map. Countless other examples could be cited.   

THE TECHNO-TYRANTS OF SILICON VALLEY – The modern-day versions of the disgusting old Robber Barons might well be the corporate fascists aka techno-fascists in assorted tech industries, not just regarding Silicon Valley but also  privacy-violating rich pigs at Facebook and elsewhere.

In fact, you could make the case that people like Mark “Skippy” Zuckerberg and his fellow corporate fascists are even worse since I don’t recall bloated rich pigs like E.H. Harriman or Cornelius Vanderbilt trying to police other people’s every thought, word and deed. The invasive and ever-expanding tentacular reach of techno-fascists or in this fictional case Techno-Tyrants would make these villains a very credible threat to political freedom and freedom of expression. Continue reading

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PEARL JAM: CORDUROY

Balladeer’s Blog’s “Give Them A Shoutout Before They’re Dead” segment strikes again with this shoutout to Pearl Jam and Corduroy.  

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BEAUTIFUL TEDDI BARRETT’S BEST OF MORDILLO BLUSH

The incredibly lovely Teddi Barrett, who models as Edward Wozniak's Mordillo Blush.

The incredibly lovely Teddi Barrett, who models as Edward Wozniak’s Mordillo Blush.

Teddi Barett, the World’s Sexiest Woman, is furious that there are people who have missed out on some of her adventures modeling as Edward Wozniak’s Neo-Pulp heroine Mordillo Blush! Dr Blush is like a sexy version of Dr Who and if you’re one of the holdouts who hasn’t sampled her adventures yet here’s a look at what you’ve been missing:

TeddiB41. MORDILLO BLUSH – Our buxom heroine’s debut adventure! Millions of lives in Los Angeles will be lost if Dr Mordillo Blush cannot track down the mad scientist behind a string of nightmarish deaths. The madman’s creation:  Continue reading

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GORGEOUS TEDDI BARRETT HAS SPOTTED …

Teddi Barrett, the Sexiest Woman Alive who graciously models as Edward Wozniak's Mordillo Blush.

Teddi Barrett, the Sexiest Woman Alive who graciously models as Edward Wozniak’s Mordillo Blush.

… a glimpse of the long-awaited arrival of Spring PLUS the onset of more adventures of Edward Wozniak’s Neo-Pulp heroine Mordillo Blush. Teddi is kind enough to model as Dr Blush in her “risque version of Dr Who” escapades. 

FOR MORE OF TEDDI AND SUMMER CUMMINGS CLICK HERE:  Continue reading

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