Friday, August 27, 2021

The Complete Northwoods Stories of Frederick Nebel

You will never find earnest mythology of Canadian Mountie fiction than the printed prose of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Although it has been said that Canada had no Wild West because the Mounties got there first, the truth is that before their heralded arrival Canada's frontier was as wild as any Wild West dime novel. Native murders and whiskey traders were so common that such vandalism could never be depicted accurately on screen. Such adventure stories of a frozen Northern territory in which Mounties replaced the heroic sheriffs and gunslingers of the American Western, exorcized locales such as the Yukon, offering the local color of dogsleds, fur thieves, trappers, drunk gamblers and foolish gold prospectors.

While Canadian Mountie fiction from the first half of the 20th century is still in demand for a niche crowd, very little has been reprinted in paperback. And this is a darn shame when you consider James B. Hendryx still has not received his due for the large number of Connie Morgan novels published in such magazines as American Boy, or his Corporal Cameron Downey series. Among the notable pulp magazines that provided such adventures was North-West Stories, Complete Northwest and North-West Romances... but sadly most of them have never been reprinted over the years. Fans of the red tunic have had to resort to buying the original pulp magazines, not reprints, lending credence to the statement that "Canadian Mountie fiction is not yet forgotten, but it is crumbling into dust."

As a fan of Canadian Mountie fiction during that romantic era when the Mounties never always got their man, my bookshelf contains hardcover novel reprints and 1930s pulp magazines loaded with Canadian Mountie fiction. So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered Altus Press releasing the first of Frederick Nebel's forte, chronologically. It was from this reprint that I was introduced to Corporal Chet Tyson, who would appear in multiple stories for more than six years. There is also a serial novelette, Defiance Valley, which dramatizes the adventure of R.C.M.P. Pat Quinlin. My favorite story in the collection was the 1926 short story, "The Black Fox Skin," which told not a tale of Canadian Mountie law, but of two natives who competed for the hand of a beautiful woman... for the first person to catch the skin the elusive black fox. 

Regrettably, this book was published six years ago in 2015, which makes me suspect there will not be a volume two. I hope I am wrong because future volumes will be a welcome addition to my bookshelves. In the meantime, if anyone is looking for something to read by the fireplace during the cold winter months, click on the link below and make your purchase today.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention 2021 Program Guide

The Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention returns after a year-long hiatus as a result of the global pandemic. Beginning this month, conventions, film festivals and fan gatherings are making a return and the first of the big ones is the Nostalgia Convention.

Pre-paid admission tickets broke an all-time record, suggesting the attendance is going to be huge. One of the advantages of attending is receiving a free 56-page full-color program guide packed with articles. For those who cannot attend the convention, here is the next best thing... the PDF of this year's program guide.

Among the articles is Space Patrol, The Lone Ranger, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and a biography of actor Don DeFore.


Friday, August 13, 2021

The Premiere Issue of The Shadowed Circle

Steve Donoso has created a new non-fiction, quality fanzine with articles, profiles and interviews about the pulp-radio-comic book character known as The Shadow. His first issue arrived in my mailbox and I tore into every article written by fans, collectors and historians. 

The articles vary from collectibles to the film shorts from the 1930s, zombies as portrayed on the radio program to The Shadow novels of Bruce Elliott. James Patterson, who is credited as author for the latest novel to be published, was interviewed exclusively for this periodical.


Steve Donoso made his publication known through a crowdfunding source known as Kickstarter and fans of The Shadow quickly jumped in to subscribe to the fanzine, which totals 50 pages and has a gorgeous color cover.


For subscription info contact Steve at






Friday, August 6, 2021


With the intense social events in the world these days, it is easy to get hooked into the 24-7 news cycle. Sometimes it seems like we are swimming in a sea of incoherence on all levels that is confusing, disempowering and makes us vulnerable. Contradictions from one network to another is not uncommon these days, adding to the confusion. A decade ago my applied wisdom rebelled against it and never have I regretted that decision. (Let's be honest, it is not news anymore -- it is "news commentary" designed to incite and infuriate. Nothing makes people stay tuned to the news than fear.) Thankfully, there is a generation of us youngsters who prefer to unplug from the exposure of violence. Instead, they turn to podcasts for a pleasant diversion.

There are thousands of podcasts available on the Internet now. Gilbert Gottfried has a magnificent podcast worth listening to. Leonard Maltin has one, too. I also enjoy the Columbus Moving Picture Show podcast. Just doing a standard Google search will provide you with a lengthy list. So I wanted to take a moment and mention one that you should check out. Kat Lively has a podcast titled Calling Old Hollywood focusing on intimate encounters of the actors, actresses, writers and musicians from the Golden Age of Hollywood. As an example, Alan K. Rode is interviewed on one episode about his pursuit of film noir. This is a great podcast and worth listening to when traveling to and from work through your smart phone and car stereo bluetooth. 

Just the other week I was invited to be a guest on Kat's podcast, and I mention this in full disclosure. But this is not why I am recommending her podcast. (I am a guest on two or three podcasts and/or radio programs every month and I do not dare mention them all.) Kat shares a love for classic Hollywood movies and -- more importantly -- focuses on the preservation of that passion. We need more of these. Instead of an interview, Kat has a coffee table discussion and while the subjects are retro, the primary agenda is to focus on the passion that drives our love of old movies.

Whether you are a fan of Humphrey Bogart, John Huston, Marilyn Monroe or James Dean, among others, click the link below and listen to a few episodes. You can thank me later.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

The Lone Ranger: The Early Years, 1933 - 1937

As a friend of mine once told me, I would be amiss if I did not take advantage of my blog once a year and promote a book I wrote, or co-wrote. While I always felt doing such would be a blatant commercial, I cannot argue over the rationale and today I take pride in mentioning that my latest book is now available for purchase from

For two decades I have been gathering material at various archives and tracking down family relatives of principal participants to amass a large collection of materials related to The Lone Ranger. While I was busy publishing my findings on other subjects, The Lone Ranger remained a back-burner project. Thanks to the downtime from the global pandemic, my co-author and I decided it was time to sit down and finish the book. My co-author spent two decades before me so technically this book was four decades in the works.

The reason we decided to publish a book focusing on the first five years is understood by the die-hard fans of the radio program. The Lone Ranger premiered on the evening of January 31, 1933, but it was not until February 1938 that the program was recorded on a regular basis. Thus the first five years are considered "lost" or virtually unknown. Little has been documented and even less preserved in book form. Not only did Terry Salomonson and myself document the history and origin of those five years but we also document the early adventures that do not exist in recorded form. From their juvenile sidekick Little Davey, the canine sidekick, to the historic broadcast when Tonto was engaged to Chief Thundercloud's daughter... all of the stories are preserved here in both prose and occasional script reprints. Hundreds of historic documents and photographs, never before published, are included. 

On a personal note, Terry and I are relieved that we finally got this project completed and published, knowing we filled in a gap sorely needed to preserve the legacy of The Lone Ranger.