Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Great Comics Reread: Shi

I honestly cannot remember why I started piking up Shi.  Hell, I can't remember the first one I grabbed but over the years I've managed to collect a stack of comics about 15cm (6in) high.

Rereading the comics I found it a little frustrating -  due to variant covers I've managed to acquire quite a few duplicate copies of the same comic.  Also the reading order was problematic as there is actually several different characters called Shi.  There is the ancient Shi from 1600's Japan Yuri Ishikawa called Toro no Shi (Tiger of Death), a WWII era Shi who first appeared in Shi East Wind Rain as an  "imaginary" version of the modern Shi and the modern Shi Ana Ishikawa and it is not always clear which version the story is about.  For example Toro No Shi appears in Poisoned Paradise but it is modern Shi who is drawn on the cover.  Toro No Shi and modern Shi both appear in parallel stories in Heaven and Earth.

(I have to add a gripe about cross company crossovers being in two parts such as Daredevil/Shi #1 and Shi/Daredevil #1 how am I supposed to know the correct order for them.)

Adding to the confusion, the first Shi story Way of the Warrior has been retold twice, firstly in a two issue miniseries Rekishi by Christopher Golden and in the four issue novelisation Shi; The Illustrated Warrior by Craig Shaw Gardner. (although it was handy in filling in the gaps in my run of Way of The Warrior)

The stories start off in traditional vigilante fashion with 10 year old Ana Ishikawa witnessing the death of her father and brother at the hands of a Yakuza chieftan Arashi.  Ana is then trained by her grandfather as a samurai and eventually she seeks revenge against Arashi.  For the most part Way of The Warrior is grounded in reality.

From there the story expands adding supernatural elements such as Oni (demons) and Kitsune (fox spirits) as well as super science such as time travel.

However, I did enjoy the stories and fact that the series could change from a fuedal war between rival clans to a battle with Oni.

While Ana has a Japanese name and training, her mother was American and raised her as a Christian and many of the stories deal with Christianity.  The Tora No Shi stories deal with the persecution of early Japanese Christians.

All of the Shi books I read have interesting stories and lovely art.  I'll have to keep my eye out for more Shi stories.

I found Shi-Through The Ashes to be an especially moving story with Ana caught in the World Trade Centre during the events of 9/11.  Ana never appears as Shi in the story (she does in the artwork) which made the events all the more powerful - Ana for all her training was overwhealmed by the events of that day and the firefighters are presented as true heroes.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

I've been saving this one especially for ANZAC Day. For those non-Australians ANZAC stands Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, who landed in Gallipoli, Turkey April 25 1915 during World War One. The fighting spirit of these men, known as diggers, has become legendary. This spirit can be seen in Toobruk, Kokoda, Long Tan and other battles in World Wars one and two, Vietnam, Korea, Malaysia, Borneo and various peacekeeping operations around the world.

Every April 25 Australia and New Zealand pay tribute to their military personell.

There are very few Australian and New Zealanders to be seen in Aggressor fiction, there's Mal Rossi (New Zealand) in MARK HAZZARD: MERC and Rod Turnbull (Australia) in the S-COM series but there is only one series that features an Australian and was written and published in Australia and that is the Warhawks.

The first Warhawks book starts with Australian Jeff Hawke working a mercenary contract for the rebel forces of Costa Grande and captured by the military. After several months of torture, Hawke is eventually released by Colonel Rhodes, a former commander.

Rhodes reveals that Rhodes was his real name having changed when Hawke knew him to avoid disgracing the family name. Hawke argues that Rhodes wasn't a disgrace being one of the best known and respected mercenary commanders in the world. Rhodes agrees that that was the case until five years ago when he lead a Wild Geese mercenary team in a failed operation in Africa.

Implicitly Rhodes is in fact Allan Faulkner from THE WILD GEESE.

Rhodes has decided to form an elite mercenary team called the Warhawks for Hawke to command. After the selection process the team consists of
Dirk Paulus - Rhodesian special forces
Mitch Devlin - ex-marine and surveillance expert, a red haired freckled faced Giant
Chick Larkin - English Explosives expert
Pepe Andre - French, the most experienced veteran on the team, admits it's not his real name.
Dieter Hinkel- German Killer
The team pilot and radio operator is Christina Rhodes, the colonel's daughter.

The rest of the book describes the team's first mission, the rescue of a hijacked airliner which has landed in Costa Grande.
The team is successful and meets their final member Hanni Stein, former Mossad agent. And Hawke gets his revenge on the man responsible for his torture.

A good solid read and well worth getting if you can find it.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Cape: The Complete Series (2011) starring David Lyons & Summer Glau.

(yes that is signed by Summer Glau)

I got really excited when I heard about this series – the promos looked great. It was a plot I ate up with a spoon, good cop framed for crimes he didn’t commit adopts the identity of The Cape, a superhero comic he read with his son.
Then the series aired and the reviews were less than stellar, the order of 13 episodes was cut to 10 and the finale only aired online in America.

The show aired in Australia on digital channel 7mate where it was banished to the wastes of 2am fairly quickly.

Did it deserve its rapid death? Well I feel it didn’t. One of the problems with modern life is we want instant hits, if a show doesn’t rate through the roof from day 1, it gets cancelled. Some shows need to build up an audience, look at Law & Order or Star Trek. Both were initially low rating but built an audience in reruns and became very successful franchises. 9 episodes is a very short period to build an audience.

Another criticism that I’ve heard is that The Cape was unoriginal, ripping off a number of other superhero /science fiction properties. Robocop, Heroes and Batman are the main examples cited. Nothing is totally original. C. Auguste Dupin inspired Sherlock Holmes who in turn inspired everyone from Sexton Blake to House, The X Files was inspired by Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Shadow begat a slew of imitators such as The Spider. This blog is devoted to the series that The Executioner inspired.

Another problem was that people had a lot of expectations for this series. NBC aired this the season after Heroes was cancelled so many saw it as a replacement to that series.

I really liked the premise Vince Faraday (David Lyons), one of the few honest cops in Palm City, is framed as the local crime lord Chess. In the chase there is an explosion and Faraday is believed dead.

Of course he survives and is rescued by a circus troupe who are also criminals. They train Vince in various martial arts, including Baritsu*, hypnotism and stage illusion and provide him with a costume including an impenetrable vest and a cape made of spider silk. The cape is able to stretch and retract and has incredible strength. (Frustratingly in one of the later episodes there is a hint of just why a criminal team would help train a vigilante, which won't get expanded on now)

Faraday then creates the identity of The Cape, based on his son’s favourite comic book. The Cape is also aided by a hacker named Orwell played by Summer Glau.

The big arc for the season is Faraday attempting to reveal Chess’ real identity as Peter Fleming the head of the Ark Corporation, a private security firm that has taken over the police duties for Palm City.

The other villains were interesting, a collective of assassins known as The Tarot who identify themselves by tarot cards who are hired by Fleming to kill business rivals and The Cape, a crime boss known as Scales.

The episode Dice has The Cape protecting Fleming from a precognitive. Another episode has a former owner of the cape trying to get it back.

The Cape was a really pulpy character that calls to mind The Shadow. Hopefully someone will take the character and make a comic series or series of continuation novels.

* Bartisu is a martial art first mentioned by Sherlock Holmes in The Adventure of the Empty House and was mentioned in the DC Doc Savage/ Shadow Crossover and one of the Victorian era Tales of The Slayer stories

Why Oz Pulp? David Lyons is Australian.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Simone Kirsch Quartet by Leigh Redhead

I’ve already expressed by love for Christa Faust’s Money Shot here. After reading that, I tried to recreate that feeling. One of the ways I tried to do that was reading everything I could by Christa Faust, the other way I did that was by trying other similar books. I grabbed some of the other books by Hard Case Crime. I started seeing reviews for other books that mentioned Money Shot – things like if you liked Money Shot you’ll like this. One of the books that came with such a recommendation was Peepshow by Leigh Redhead.
And that’s how I met Simone Kirsch, the stripper turned private eye who operated on the mean streets of Melbourne.

The first book Peepshow, started with the murder of a strip club owner. Simone’s best friend Chloe had rejected his sexual advances and threatened to kill him. So when he turns up dead, his brother blames Chloe and attempts to kill her.
The only way for Simone to save her friend is to investigate and discover the real killer. In order to investigate Simone must go undercover in the strip club.

The second book Rubdown, has Simone again going undercover this time in a massage parlour to follow the wayward daughter of a lawyer Emery Wade. Once the girl turns up dead, Simone must find the killer.

Cherry Pie has Simone searching for a childhood friend who had gone missing after asking Simone for help. The mystery takes her to Kings Cross in Sydney and uncovers a secret from her own past.

Thrill City has Simone hired by a mystery writer for research for his new book. The writer’s ex wife is murdered and Simone is suspected of being an accomplice so she must investigate and find the real killer.
I really enjoyed these four books. It was nice to see a book set in Australia with Aussie slang and products so a character will light up a Winfield Blue. I enjoyed seeing the character of Simone grow and develop. This was paralleled by the growth of Redhead as a writer.
I recommend all four of the books and hope that at some point Redhead will write one called Bad Medicine.

UPDATE:  according to Leigh Redhead's site she is working on the fifth Simone Kirsch novel Repentence Creek. 

Simone also appeared in the short story "Shafted" which appears in The Crime Factory: The First Shift.  Shafted is a prequel to Peepshow and has Simone solving a murder during her stripping career.  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Great Comic Book Reread: Rob Hanes Adventures

Recently, I was organising my study and as I was going through my comics I realised that many of the things I was collecting I either hadn't read or read in a meaningful way.  In some cases it may have been I found a great deal in the back issue bins and I just didn't get to read them all or I found them out of sequence so my memory was jumbled.

So I decided to reread all of my comics on a particular title and review them here.

Today's reread is The Rob Hanes Adventures.  Back in 2006,  I attended The San Diego Comic Con.  As I walked around there was so much stuff. I'm talking insane amounts of stuff.  There were a ton of publishers, writers, artists selling their wares.

Anyway I noticed this stand which had a comic Rob Hanes Adventures.  It looked like an adventure comic. I had a chat to the guy behind the counter Randy Reynaldo.  I don't remeber what he said exactly but there was mention of Johnny Quest.

I quickly grabbed the nine issues that he had for sale.  I did read them at the time and I did enjoy them.  Back in Australia, I found the Volume 0 Rob Hanes Adventures &Volume  1 The Rob Hanes Archives  collecting the various versions of Adventure Strip Digest which featured the earlier adventures of Rob Hanes.

RH Archives trade paperback cover

So I started my reread with these books.  Like all good adventurers Rob Hanes travels the globe finding trouble.  Rob and his sidekick Abner work for an international private security company Justice International which has offices all over the world.

Each issue is self-contained although there are several recurring characters. Like all good adventure heroes there are a bevy of women all over the world.

Randy wears his influences on his sleve with references to Terry and the Pirates and James Bond but he cleverly updates the adventures to the world where the Cold War is over and everyone is struggling with the new status quo.

This is a really good series and worth tracking down.  I do forgotten just how a good a series this was and repayed my rereading.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Wild Justice by Kelley Armstrong (2013) Plume

Wild Justice

Nadia Stafford is back in the concluding novel in the trilogy.  As you will have noticed that I have reposted my reviews of the first two books and the interview I did with Kelley Armstrong three years ago.  Well finally here is the end of the story.

In reading this story I was reminded of this quote from Scream 3:

"Because true trilogies are all about going back to the beginning and discovering something that wasn't true from the get go. Godfather, Jedi, all revealed something that we thought was true that wasn't true.... Number 3. The past will come back to bite you in the ass. Whatever you think you know about the past, forget it. The past is not at rest. Any sins you think were committed in the past are about to break out and destroy you."

Because in Wild Justice Armstrong takes what we thought we knew about Nadia's past and shows us just how little Nadia and the readers really know about her. In the review of Exit Strategy I summed it up as  "Nadia Stafford came from a cop family and when she was 13 witnessed her cousin Amy getting raped and murdered, only to see her killer found not guilty and walk away unpunished."

Wild Justice reveals that there was much, much more to the story when Nadia's hitman mentor Jack tracks down the man Nadia blamed for the death of her cousin - Drew Aldrich.  But when Nadia goes to confront him, she finds him already dead and a search uncovers Aldrich's journal of all his crimes.  

Nadia is shocked to discover that while Aldrich was involved he did not rape and kill Amy.  In fact his involvement was with Nadia - a discovery that makes Nadia question everything.

Wild Justice then becomes about tracking down Amy's real killler.  There is action aplenty as the killer knows that Nadia is after him and he sends several hitmen to kill her - none of who know that she is a hitwoman.  

The Contrapasso Fellowship introduced in the second book plays a significant role in this novel also as the killer may have a connection to them.

I really enjoyed this book, my only gripe is that there is a significant subplot about the romantic triangle between Nadia, Jack and Quinn that runs through the book - although not to the point of dominating the book.

The novel wraps up Nadia's story quite nicely but leaves us open for more adventures if Armstrong decides to write them   You'll have to read the book to see if she joins the The Contrapasso Fellowship or if she retires from the life.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Kelley Armstrong Interview

Well it seems that January has turned into Kelley Armstrong month here at The Serial Vigilante Blog. I contacted Kelley Armstrong and asked her about the Nadia Stafford series.

Brad: Nadia Stafford is a fascinating creation with a rich back story. Tell us what sparked the idea of an ex-cop turned hitwoman.

Kelley: I started writing Exit Strategy way back in 2003. I was done the 3rd in my Otherworld series, but the release date on the 2nd one kept being pushed back, and the publisher hadn't bought the 3rd yet. I was getting very worried that my new career as an author was about to tank. To calm me down, my agent suggested I write something different. We talked about it and I said I'd be interested in a thriller without paranormal elements. I wanted something with the same dark elements as my paranormal fiction, though, and I didn't want the traditional detectives--police, PI, lawyers, amateur sleuths etc. She suggested a criminal protagonist and I latched onto that idea and decided that the type that would interest me the most was, naturally, the darkest one: a professional killer.

Brad: You've cited Stephen King and Anne Rice as writing influences on your Otherworld series. Which crime writers have influenced your writing?

Kelley: Oh, there are plenty! While I read a lot of horror and paranormal fiction, I read more crime/mystery. I grew up on Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Dorothy Sayers. You won't see a lot of them reflected in the Nadia books, though. My influences there are far more modern. I love dark or psychological thrillers and I'm a huge fan of Jonathan Kellerman, John Connolly and Karin Slaughter. One series that did influence this one was the Carol O'Connell Mallory series. It was the first time I'd seen a female protagonist who was a clear anti-hero. Nadia isn't as dark as Mallory, but she was an influence.

Brad: I've read that you weren't comfortable with the idea that Nadia was an ethical hitwoman, at the time you made that statement Exit Strategy was still being written. Has you opinion changed since you completed the book?

Kelley: My publishers described the series as "ex-cop turned ethical hitwoman." While I know what they were trying to say--Nadia has her own moral code and won't just do any contract--I think "ethical" is pushing it. What I've tried to do with the series is explore ideas of justice and, yes, ethics, but I don't offer conclusions, such as saying that what Nadia does is ethical.

Brad: In your Otherworld books, you have a rotating cast of narrators. In the Nadia Stafford books, you have stuck with just Nadia. Will potential future volumes change narrators or will we continue to follow Nadia?

Kelley: I see this as a short series, following a character arc. There would only be another book or two before I completed Nadia's arc. After that, I'd like to continue in crime thrillers and in this darker vein, but it would be a completely new set of books, rather than spinning off to a character from the first set, as I do with the Otherworld.

Brad: Nadia is reluctant to embrace the idea of becoming a vigilante. What are your thoughts on vigilantism?

Kelley: Honestly, I don't have a firm opinion. I think, in some ways, Nadia and I are exploring it together. I don't have a problem with the purest form of vigilantism, where action is taken where traditional justice has failed. But there's such a capacity for abuse. The zeal for justice may over-ride reason--the vigilante may act without sufficient proof or inflict a punishment worse than the crime. And it may attract those who are less interested in justice than simply having an excuse to commit violence.

Brad: Will we be seeing more of Nadia Stafford and her world? I'd love to see Quinn take centre stage, or Evelyn back in the day.

Kelley: I do plan at least one more book, and I'd love to do some short fiction with the other characters. While I get many requests to contribute stories to paranormal anthologies (more than I can handle!), I'm not yet getting them for mystery/crime ones, which would be the perfect excuse to expand Nadia's world. Maybe someday!

Well that wraps up my first interview and I am extremely grateful to Kelley for her time and thoughful answers to my questions. For more on Kelley Armstrong and her books visit her site

Monday, January 6, 2014

Made to be Broken by Kelley Armstrong (2009) Bantam

After reading Exit Strategy I was quite excited to discover that there was a sequel.
Made to be Broken

When I finished the last book Nadia was still in the air about becoming a vigilante for hire. Made to be Broken opens with Nadia (or Dee to her colleagues) helping vigilante for hire Quinn take out one of his targets who had escaped the law. Quinn and Nadia had met in Exit Strategy and their relationship forms one of the subplots of this book.

Nadia then returns to her regular life running her wilderness lodge and dealing with a problem new employee Sammi Ernst. Sammi is a teenaged single mother from the worst family in town. When Sammi and her baby disappear nobody seems to notice or even care, everyone had written Sammi off from birth but Nadia is determined track down her missing employee.

At the same time, Nadia offers her mentor Jack a place to recover from a broken foot and he soon joins the investigation.

Nadia and Jack eventually find Sammi without her baby Destiny and the rest of the story is trying to track down the baby. Quinn joins the team and helps them. To say more than that would being giving too much away.

Matters are complicated by the arrival of Evelyn with a possible offer of a vigilante gig with a mysterious group called The Contrapasso Fellowship. Whilst Nadia rejects the offer, the idea of a group that exist to make the punishment fit the crime is intriguing and hopefully they will appear in any sequels.

One theme that ran through the book was that of destiny. Sammi's daughter is named Destiny. Nadia talks about Sammi was "made to be broken" and it was essentially Sammi's destiny to end up that way. Nadia compares Sammi to her cousin Amy, another girl everyone had written off and seemingly destined for the fate that awaited her. Nadia at one point ponders her own destiny questioning the vigilante darkness that makes her hunt down evil men.

Once again Armstrong has delivered a book with strong action scenes and soul seraching. I found myself pondering if we are too quick to judge people based on their background and what level of crime is okay to take a life. I went into the book expecting that Nadia would make a decision one way or the other about a vigilante lifestyle but I was not disappointed with the outcome.

Highly recommended.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Exit Strategy by Kelley Armstrong (2007) Bantam

Recently, I received a gift voucher to my favourite bookstore Pulp Fiction ( So I was looking through the shop and I discovered Exit Strategy by Kelley Armstrong.
Exit Strategy

In my vigilante reading, I have never been very happy with the series with female leads, with a couple of exceptions* they focus on women who seem only to screw their way from case to case. Don't get me wrong, I love The Sexecutioner, The Baroness, The Girl Factory, etc. but I wanted to read about strong capable women working outside the law.

Enter Nadia Stafford. Ex-cop with a tortured past turned hitwoman. She works for the Tomassini crime family under the alias of Dee taking out gangsters who step out of line for them. But that's only the thumbnail version when we dig deeper things become interesting.

Nadia Stafford came from a cop family and when she was 13 witnessed her cousin Amy getting raped and murdered, only to see her killer found not guilty and walk away unpunished. Years later, Nadia joined the police force and shot and killed a suspect who gloated that he would be free soon.

With that Nadia was off the force and started a nature lodge. Working for the Tomassinis helps keep the lodge afloat and allows her to keep her vigilante desires in check.

That is until the Helter Skelter Killer (HSK)came on the scene. When the FBI believe that this serial killer is a renegade hitman, it becomes bad for business and Nadia's mentor Jack brings her a couple of other hitmen to track down the HSK.

What makes Exit Strategy interesting is the relationship dynamics between the hitmen.

Firstly we have Jack, Nadia's mentor in the ways of the hitman. In some ways, Jack and Nadia's relationship echoes that of Remo and Chuin, Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin and Steed and his various proteges. Some other reviewers were hinting that there was strong possibility of a romantic attachment between the pair but I'm not so sure.

Next is Evelyn, Jack's mentor. Evelyn was one of the first female hitters back in the day and she has retired to a mentoring role and information brokerage service. We discover that Jack was supposed to introduce Nadia to Evelyn so Evelyn could be Nadia's mentor but Jack decided to do it himself and Evelyn starts trying to tempt Nadia to work with her offering a contract on a paedophile.

This mentor triangle doesn't resolve in this book but it says a lot about Nadia and her reluctance to became a vigilante for hire.

Then we have Quinn, a member of law enforcement who moonlights as a vigilante for hire. He is comfortable with his double life.

The other important character is the Helter Skelter Killer, a hitman who has gotten off on the rush of killing.

Each of these characters have different interaction with Nadia as she sorts through what she wants to do, how she deals with the desire to kill those who escape the law. Each one represents potential outcome and paths for her. What makes this book fascinating is that Nadia wrestles with this issue. For characters like The Executioner and The Punisher there is no questioning if this is the life they should lead, they do it because they beleive it has to be done. Dexter does it because of his compulsion to kill which has been channeled towards those who escape the law.

Nadia is different. I love the fact that she wrestles with this choice, I really like the idea that she is still learning. But this psychological depth doesn't come at the cost of action as the team of hitmen race after the HSK trying to stop him claiming another life.

Highly recommended.

*Modesty Blaise and The Domino Lady

Friday, January 3, 2014

K-20: The Legend of the Mask (2008) dir: Shimako Sato Starring: Takeshi Kaneshiro

Inspired by the works of Edogawa Ranpo.
Set in an alternate 1948 where Japan didn’t enter into World War II and class system is strictly enforced, the kaijin or mystery man known as K-20 The Fiend with 20 Faces has been stealing from the wealthy elite. 
When K-20 discovers that Nikola Tesla’s wireless electricity device has been built in Japan he tries to steal it.  The device is rumoured have been responsible for the Tunguska explosion in 1908.  As part of his plot K-20 frames a circus acrobat Heikichi Endo for his crimes.
Endo is a poor and idealistic circus acrobat/illusionist who is hired by K-20 to be at the scene of a crime to take photos of the engagement party of Yoko Hashiba a wealthy heiress and Kogoro Akechi an upper class police detective for the pulp magazine The True Story.
Endo is arrested but is rescued by the honourable thieves of Thieves Alley when they steal the bridge that the prison transport is traveling on.  Endo trains in the ways of the thief so that he can fight K-20 and clear his name.
This is a fun and pulpy romp through a Japan where the police patrol in blimps and fly autogyros – in many ways this film would make an ideal companion piece to Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.  I was also reminded of The Cape – the idealist is framed for crimes he didn’t commit, trained by thieves who helped him escape death to become a hero.
There were several twists throughout the film and I have to admit that one of them caught me by surprize.   There were several parts that had me giggling with glee like when the thieves stole the bridge as well as the final confrontation between Endo and K-20. 

This an enjoyable film and well worth tracking down.  Whilst it appears that there was no sequel made to this, it has whetted my appetite to try the works of Edogawa Rampo and see how he uses K-20. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thoughts of an Aussie pulp writier

Yesterday I mentioned that the promotional material for Black Pulp made me think.

Some of things said were that it was important to be able read about and watch someone who looks and sounds like you and I remembered the thrill I got reading the first Simone Kirsch mystery Peepshow by Leigh Redhead when somebody pulled out a pack of Winnie Blues.

What heroes do I as an Aussie reader have, that are homegrown?  As I pondered this I watched Iron Sky and what's the name of the Australian Spaceship?  Dundee.

I then watched an episode of Slyvester and Tweety Mysteries Outback Down Under where Australia's greatest hero Alligator Dundee advises some sheep farmers to hire Granny to solve the mystery of their missing sheep.*

In looking for a picture I discovered that Alligator Dundee was also used in Super Mario Brothers show in live action segements.

Could it be that the best Australia has to offer in the hero stakes is Crocodile Dundee?  Don't get me wrong I think those movies are funny and I love Hoges.  But surely there must be more.

In one of the Black Pulp interviews Derrick Ferguson asked where was the Black Captain Kirk?    There were no Australian shows/books/comics or movies to serve as the equivalent to formative works like The A Team, Knight Rider, Sherlock Holmes or even The Hardy Boys.

There were Australian shows soap operas like A Country Practice, Neighours and Home and Away but nothing for an adventure hungry boy like me.

I looked at my own creative output virtually all of it set in America with American heroes.  New adventures of Senorita Scorpion, Johnny Nickle, or original characters like The Silhouette or Apache Blood.  For Tales of the Shadowmen I mashed up English characters like James Bond or The Saint with French characters L'Ombre and SAS but I hadn't really wirtten anything Australian.

Who might be my literary Australian ancestors?

I had very few to call upon immediately and I decided to do some research.  I decided for me to call a story Oz Pulp it had to have some connection to Australia - either one of the key creative people (writer, artist, actor, director) is Australian, The main character is Australian or the story is set in Australia.

There was more than I thought when I started to look around.  I'd forgotten about Skippy (1968 -1970) and The Adventures of Skippy (1992-93)

The Bony Mysteries by Arthur Upfield (which was the basis of the TV series Boney 1970-71) and sequel series Bony about his grandson David (1990 movie and 1992 TV series)

I found other ancestors to explore as well as peers like Kerry Greenwood, Tara Moss, Leigh Redhead, Paul Mason, Chris Sequiera.

My Australian TV viewing has gotten better with Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, 2012-2013 2 seasons possibly more in 2015)

Dr Blake Mysteries (2012) season 2 to air early 2014

Mr & Mrs Murder (2013 one season)

Wild Boys (2011) one season

As explore the world of Oz Pulp I'll make a tag for all to join me on this journey.

*This episode does have one of my favourite gags Sylvester sees a mob of kangaroos and exclaims "Giant Mice! I haven't seen them in years"