(MACK BOLAN COVER ART BY DANIEL CROUSE)
GUIDES TO THE MEN'S ACTION ADVENTURE GENRE
I’ve written a number of columns recently highlighting men’s action adventure paperback original series deserving of wider exposure. In those columns, I’ve also mention some reference works and a few of the sites on the web where further information on these series can be found. For this column, I wanted to gather those sites together in one handy reference and add a number of others…
I have spent way too much time perusing the many books of my misspent youth on Joe Kenny’s info packed Glorious Trash blog. Trawling the depths of forgotten fiction, films, and beyond, Glorious Trash is filled with reviews and biting commentary on an outrageous number of paperback original men’s action/adventure series. This is a must hangout for faithful acolytes of the genre.
Another site dedicated to reviewing men's adventure, pulp heroes, horror paperbacks, disposable culture, transgressive literature, and theme parks. I’ll admit this is the only site to include reviews of theme parks, but the inclusion illustrates each of these sites gives a different perspective and adds additional information on the genre.
Here you’ll find way too many desirable vintage men’s action/adventure paperbacks for sale. Spend too much time browsing and the irresistible offerings will steal cash out of your wallet like a thief in the night.
Celebrating the men’s adventure magazines of the ‘50s ‘60s and ‘70s, there is no other place on the web packed with so much information, original material, and wonderful cover scans of the men’s adventure magazines that dominated the magazine racks for three decades. Administrator Bob Dies has done a fantastic job preserving the history, cultural importance, and sheer over-the-top fearlessness of the men’s adventure magazines. Don’t go here unless you have several hours to spare. However, once you do visit, you’ll be drawn back again and again.
Kevin Burton Smith’s comprehensive Thrilling Detective website is the go to reference for almost any detective series or character ever to pull a gat, get hit over the head, or be a sucker for a dame. The listings are filled with inside info and provide full check lists of titles for every entry.
An extensive listing of detailed information on almost 6,000 spy novels from 1,000 different series. Also includes expanded details on movies, television episodes, and a ton of other pertinent information.
Subtitled, An Encyclopedia From Able Team To Z-Comm, Serial Vigilantes of Paperback Fiction is available in both physical and e-book version. Either way, it’s a wonderful experience to browse through the pages. This extensive reference is not perfect. The complete lack of related cover art is almost criminal and, beginning as it does in 1969 with Don Pendleton's The Executioner, there are some truly great series and characters missing from the listings. However, this is the first overview ever of the serial vigilante genre and it really is a terrific effort and required reading. The book examines the connections between serial vigilantes and the pulp heroes who preceded them and how the serial vigilante has influenced a variety of tough guys, private eyes, spies and cops in different media. A complete bibliography for each series is featured as well as background on the authors, including those behind the many pen names, pseudonyms, and publishing house names.
Novelizations and movie tie-ins from A(ce) to Z(ebra). Only the uninitiated would not recognize Ace and Zebra as two of the main publishers of men’s action adventure series and a flood of other pop culture related paperbacks from action adventure TV shows and movies…Pinnacle and other publishers of similar fare also get spotlighted on this ongoing blog with a deep archive of material.
Book reviews, movie reviews, interviews (Anne Francis, Pam Grier, and many more)…If it can be labeled shlock, you’ll find it covered here. Temple of Schlock also has an Endangered Species List looking at those precious gems of pop culture threatened with extinction by the passing of time.
Bruce Grossman’s column on the Bookgasm hasn’t been added to lately, but the archives of the column still hits all the high points and low points of men’s action/adventure series. Grossman is knowledgeable and has an abiding interest in the genre that shines through in his reviews.
Marty McKee defines his blog in no uncertain terms—trashy movies, trashy paperbacks, trashy old TV shows, trashy...well, you get the picture. The description is not misleading. As in other sites mentioned in this column, Johnny Larue’s Crane Shot has extensive listings and reviews of all the stuff to satisfy a genre fan’s delight.
The Paperback Fanatic is the British magazine for collectors of pulp paperbacks from the 1960s and 1970s…Jam-packed with author interviews and articles about the weird and wonderful books from that era, The Paperback Fanatic is bursting with previously undocumented information and loaded with reproductions of many rarely seen covers.
A spin-off from the Paperback Fanatic, the three out of print Men Of Violence issues are extremely worth tracking down on the used market. Men Of Violence covers the lurid, often bloody, men's adventure paperbacks of the 1970s. Topics include intriguing aspects of the genre, such as a look at Manor Books—a New York-based operation that published some of the genre's sleaziest series, including Kill Squad, Bronson, Peter McCurtin's long running Marksman series, the western series Renegade starring Captain Gringo and more. Black-and-white cover reproductions are sprinkled across the pages giving a quick visual guide to what the genre is all about.
Each issue of Exploitation Retrospect is brimming with the kind of behind the scenes details that are catnip to genre fanatics. There are often articles on many of the men's action/adventure series, such as The Destroyer, Dirty Harry, and Ninja Master, as well as articles on Nikkatsu Erotic Cinema, Nazi Zombie Flicks, and a huge DVD review section of the best and worst in sci-fi, action, horror and sleazy trash sinema.
The above are the core sites and reference guides to the men’s action/adventure genre. There are certainly many others, which you can find by following the links on the sites above…