The Genesis of the “Barbarians of the Storm” Book Series

Part I: From Idea to Comic Script to Book

*Originally posted on the Talking Pulp Press – Substack.

The final version of Dan the Destructor is very different from what it was originally intended to be and with that, the Barbarians of the Storm series is a bigger and much more refined vision of what I initially set out to do.

For those who have already read the book and know the characters, the original story that I had in my head revolved around Frank Murdock. There wasn’t a Dan, and Fenrik only came into it about halfway through, as an ally that was actually a king and married to a warrior queen (Vasilia).

For those who haven’t read the book, Frank is an important but fairly minor character in it. He’s also a decade or two older than what he would’ve been in my original idea. Although, a much closer version to that original idea is in the pipeline, as I am planning either a short story anthology or a separate series that will focus specifically on Frank’s time between his arrival in this strange world and the events of Dan the Destructor. Let me get back on topic, though.

The original concept came from my love of Italian rip-offs of the Mad Max and Conan the Barbarian movies. I was high one night, having a marathon of these sort of films, when a friend and I started discussing their origins and how we both thought it would’ve been neat if the Italians had combined the two things together in a sort of Mad Max meets Conan flick. It would have been a strange blend of those worlds but they are very similar, apart from some technological differences. However, both are barbarous, take place in a desert expanse and feature a badass hero, against all odds, doing battle with an enemy force that is much larger than himself.

The idea became something that I wanted to do in a comic book style. Initially, I wanted a four-issue miniseries, drawn in a late ‘70s/early ‘80s style and printed on newsprint, unlike comic books these days. I wasn’t sure how I was going to achieve this, as I wouldn’t be the artist, but I started to bullet point out what the script would be.

I sat on this idea for about a year but new things popped into my head and I ended up having more focus on Fenrik and a new character, Dan. I didn’t even know what to call Dan but I like alliteration and wanted something that worked with “Destroyer”, which itself was an homage to 1984’s Conan the Destroyer, a movie I adored as a kid.

When the COVID shit kicked off and I had a lot more free time on my hands, I cranked out the script for what was then called Dan the Destroyer. In the time since I started that script and got the final book out, though, another novel had come out with that title, so I switched it to Dan the Destructor. I actually have some press proofs of the book with the original title on them.

Getting back to the comic book script, I figured that I’d write it out as a four-issue miniseries of traditional floppy comics. I was also toying with the idea of doing it as a graphic novel, as it was my first attempt at a comic book project professionally and that seemed like a lot less of a headache.

The problem came when I was trying to find the right artist and nothing materialized and the few artists that did respond, fell off the face of the Earth or had such shitty correspondence that I knew that I didn’t want to work with them.

So, I sat on the script for another year and I’d periodically re-read it. However, each time I did, I got new ideas and I realized that it would serve the story better to flesh out some sequences, get a lot more action heavy and to speed up the pace of the storytelling. And really, this got me thinking of the pulp novels I loved as a kid, whether they were all the cool Conan and Tarzan paperbacks I’d check out at the library because of their badass covers or those Louis L’Amour western novels (also with badass covers) that my grandfather would let me read from his collection.

Through that lens, Dan the Destructor came to life for me in a way that it hadn’t before and I decided that it would be best for the story if it were written as a short, fast-paced, action-packed, buddy adventure that stayed focused on the main plot.

However, many of my ideas grew beyond just this story, so some minor world building had to be worked in. I didn’t want that to overpower or dilute the story, and based off of feedback I’ve gotten, I think I succeeded in that. Most people who have discussed the book with me, are already pretty eager to see where certain things are going to go. Honestly, as a writer, that makes me happy, as I obviously want people to enjoy the book and be left wanting more.

So this is how everything came together in regards to reaching what became the book, but I do plan to write more about this, as I wanted to discuss other influences I’ve had over the years that also contributed to what became Dan the Destructor. I figured I’d address this part of the book’s creation process, though, as it’s the question I seem to get the most.

Part II: Discussing Influences – Television & Film

*Originally posted on the Talking Pulp Press – Substack.

Just as I was turning 5 years-old, there was one thing that was released upon the world that was bigger than everything else combined. That thing was the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon. To say that it captivated me, is the understatement of the century.

I watched the show constantly and I wanted every single toy, which wasn’t possible on my mother’s budget. However, she did buy me a lot more Masters of the Universe merchandise than she could probably afford.

So, while I already discussed how I came up with the concept for what became Dan the Destructor, I can’t dismiss all the other things that had a large enough effect on me to actually influence and seep into the creative process of developing and writing the book and its future sequels.

Masters of the Universe was huge for me, and even though I moved on to G.I. JoeTransformersStar Wars, and other franchise that weren’t too close to the sword & sorcery aesthetic, it still served as the foundation to a lot of what I would like in entertainment, going forward.

Other animated shows that I loved, that were also very fantasy based, were the Dungeons & Dragons animated series and ThunderCats. Additionally, He-Man had a spinoff featuring his sister called She-Ra: Princess of Power, and even though that was geared more towards girls in how the toy line differed, I still loved the show and I also had some of those dolls “action figures”.

As I got older, though, I was completely engrossed by the badass action films of the time. I discovered Conan the BarbarianThe Road WarriorBeastmaster, and so many others that blew my little kid mind. Many of them I probably shouldn’t have seen at the age that I was, but the ‘80s were a different time and for a parent to deny their ‘80s kids these cultural landmarks would’ve exposed them to the other kids as “pussies”, “dorks” and “dweebs”.

Besides, we always found ways to watch the things our parents didn’t want us to. For me, I had my friend Brian, a few doors down, and when I was staying with my dad, there was Greg, across the street, whose father dubbed every movie the video store had.

By the late ‘80s, my dad was pretty cool about letting me watch a lot of R-rated action flicks. This is when I discovered the greatness of the Cannon Films library from the American Ninja movies, the Ninja trilogy of films, all the Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme epics, and so many others. My dad also showed me cooler, hipper and funnier action flicks like the Lethal WeaponBeverly Hills Cop and 48 Hrs. franchises.

While action films like these might not seem like they influenced Dan the Destructor on the surface of what they appear to be, it was their fast-paced style, witty dialogue, and in the case of the ‘80s buddy cop action/comedies, it was that buddy element that worked its way into the relationship between Dan and Fenrik and how it evolves over the story.

I also have to talk about my general love of adventure stories and how spoiled I was with those in the ‘80s from the Indiana Jones movies, their many knockoffs, and also a lot of the cheaper sword & sorcery flicks that were pretty prevalent and not just the ones from Italy, Spain and Argentina. Some of this influence also came from my mom, as she loved watching things like Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile.

This probably all seems like a lot, but as I wrote the book and these things subconsciously worked their way in, I wasn’t initially aware of it. It wasn’t until I started proofreading the book, as a full body of work, that I could see these specific influences and where they were coming from, which I found to be kind of neat.

I initially set out to make a mash up of Italian Conan and Mad Max rip-offs. What I ended up creating was a smorgasbord of a lot of my influences, but I do like how it all came together. It wasn’t what I intended to do, it just kind of happened. At the same time, I don’t think that Dan the Destructor is overly derivative or overstuffed by pulling bits and pieces from so many very different things.

The reason I even share all of this, is that I want to be transparent about where my ideas and influences come from. I think it’s important and writers should probably share these things with other writers (and their fans), especially for those who are younger and who really want to take a crack at creating their own worlds.

Plus, I always hate when successful writers pretend that everything comes from them when it’s clear that something specific inspired them at some point. Plus, our influences should be celebrated because they are the foundation we pull our inspiration from. They’re the things that shaped us into the creators that we are.

Part III: Discussing Influences – Comics & Books

*Originally posted on the Talking Pulp Press – Substack.

While I have already pointed out how the initial concept for Dan the Destructor came from the idea of what it’d be like to see Italian rip-offs of Conan and Mad Max blended together, there are a lot of other things that have helped influence me over the years.

I talked about the movies and television shows that inspired parts of the book (and budding series), but I also wanted to continue to give credit where credit is due in regards to other forms of entertainment that did their part. In this installment, I wanted to discuss comics and books.

Similarly to how the Frank Frazetta book covers for ConanTarzan, and the Pellucidar series blew my little mind when I saw them on bookshelves, so did the painted covers for the comic book magazine The Savage Sword of Conan. In fact, it blew my mind so much that I own about half of the comic’s 235 issue run from 1974 to 1995.

While I also dug the hell out of the regular Conan the Barbarian and King Conan comics, it was Savage Sword that really spoke to me because of the painted covers and how it was also much more adult in content and boasted exceptional black and white art inside. I especially loved the issues done by Barry Windsor-Smith.

When I was writing Dan the Destructor and decided that I needed to beef the story up with a few more monster battles, I found myself flipping through my issues of The Savage Sword of Conan, where I found inspiration. In fact, many issues gave me some ideas for encounters in the next few books.

Beyond my adoration for Savage Sword, I also loved the Solomon Kane and Red Sonja comics that Marvel put out in their original runs. The Solomon Kane material that was printed in black and white magazine format is incredible and frankly, some of the best stuff that Marvel Comics ever produced, especially outside of their standard superhero material.

As for Red Sonja, more than seeing her in a chainmail bikini, I always loved her spirit and how badass she was. There was something believable in her ability to fight bigger men, bigger beasts and find ways to survive through her drive, fierceness, savagery and cunning. Even at about seven years-old, I’m pretty sure I was saying to myself, “Damn, that’s wifey material, bruh.”

There are other comics that used to peak my interest in a similar way as well. I liked whenever Marvel did their Weirdworld stuff, and I wish that they would’ve explored that territory more. I also liked those ‘80s Dungeons & Dragons and Dragonlance comics.

One specific character that captivated the hell out of me is Illyana Rasputin a.k.a. Magik of the New Mutants. My love for her was born out of the cover of the fourth issue of her original miniseries, Storm and Illyana: Magik.

The story and art in that miniseries was just so cool and I reread the four-issue miniseries almost quarterly for several years. My love of Magik and all the things hellish that were tied to her character, propelled me into being a massive New Mutants fan. I also loved everything that led into and was tied to the X-Men mega crossover event, Inferno. Illyana’s influence will probably be felt greatly in a character that is debuting in my second book.

Moving beyond comics, if I wasn’t reading Find Your Fate books for G.I. Joe and Indiana Jones, I was reading a lot of fantasy. In many cases, these books were the sword & sorcery novels that featured Frazetta art, be they books by Robert E. Howard or novels from a plethora of other authors.

It was always Frazetta’s art that sold me on books, though, as I honestly was too young to really know how much of the art I saw was from one guy. Anything that kind of captured that same sort of energy, usually meant that I was going to give it a shot, though.

It was this kind of art that inspired me to pickup a Kull book for the first time, and even though it was written by Howard and featured a character that one could easily mistake for Conan, Kull was very different and it made me realize that not all “barbarian” characters had to be the same. One thing that I wanted to make sure with my barbarian character, Fenrik, is that he wasn’t a carbon copy of Conan or what people assume is a somewhat generic archetype.

In more recent years, I’ve found myself influenced by authors who themselves were influenced by Robert E. Howard. Yet these are writers that produced very different heroes and with that, inspired me as well. These are authors like Michael Moorcock, Charles R. Saunders, Karl Edward Wagner and Fritz Leiber.

I should also point out that I was greatly influenced by other writers like J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, H.P. Lovecraft, Andre Norton, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Jules Verne. I’m pretty sure all of them have already influenced things that have come out of my brain and made it into print.

Part IV: Discussing Influences – Pinball & Video Games

Growing up when I did, it’d be hard to not be lured in by the flashing lights and cool electronic noises of the pinball machines and video games of the time. Whenever my mum went shopping at the mall, I was in the video arcade spending her money, one quarter at a time. However, I made a pretty good friend in the arcade manager and he used to give me quarters after I ran out. While he probably wasn’t the best manager because of that, he’s had half a lifetime’s worth of appreciation from me, whenever I look back on his kind and awesome deeds.

Honestly, though, I think he knew that my mum didn’t have a lot of money and he was a bit smitten with her. But whatever, he was cool and he constantly gave me great movie recommendations, as well. I hope he’s still alive, well and happy.

There were three pinball machines that I remembered playing all the time, and funnily enough, they were adorned with badass sword & sorcery style art, which is what drew me to them in the first place. They were GorgarLost World, and Catacomb. The only one I’ve played in recent years is Gorgar, but I would actually like to own all three machines if I’m ever financially able to. Plus, I need a house but the current real estate market in Florida is making that exceptionally difficult, right now.

I think that Gorgar had the biggest effect on me, though, as it has given me inspiration in the book I’m writing now. Plus, I own a replica of the scoreboard, which sits next to me at work, along with the scoreboard from the Creature From the Black Lagoon pinball machine.

Beyond pinball, I played video games and I leaned more into them as I got older and they got better.

When it came to arcade games, there were truly awesome ones like the Golden Axe series, the Gauntlet series, Altered Beast, and this bizarre fantasy fighting game I liked called Hippodrome. Man, I sucked ass at Hippodrome.

As far as console games at home, I was captivated by the first two Legend of Zelda games. However, it was the Dragon Warrior series that consumed most of my time, overall. And there are definitely things about the Dragon Warrior games that stuck with me, especially in regards to long, epic adventures and monsters.

These are just a few of the fantasy games that I played but they’re the ones that stand out the most and that I still think about. When I started writing the chapter that featured the dragon-men in Dan the Destructor, in my head, they resembled the dragon form that the player can take in Altered Beast. And since my brain settled on that physical look, it’s kind of hard to shake. Although, I did give them golden scales like King Ghidorah from the Godzilla franchise, so they are an amalgamation of those two things.

Part V: Conclusion

In the end, I honestly don’t mind sharing what my influences are and I wish more authors would do the same, instead of just acting like it all just came from them or in some cases, flat out denying that they borrowed from something obvious. It’s impossible not to be influenced by things you love, especially when writing pulpy fiction.

I think that the real magic of writing is how these things are processed and eventually come out on the page in a way that works. Besides, if things create wonder in your mind and your spirit, why wouldn’t you want to let it inspire you and hopefully others through your work?

Talking Pulp: Probably Going to Move Off of Substack

I started this Substack newsletter as an experiment. I do like writing it and it’s important for me to write about my creative process, as it helps me and could potentially help others. I still stand by the ideas and objectives I outlined here. However, this platform is ineffectual and feels pointless, unless you already have a massive following and are able to pull people here from elsewhere in an attempt to monetize your content.

As a place to write or grow an audience, Substack is pretty useless. Unlike some of its older, better competitors, there is nothing within Substack that is better than the platforms it wants to pull its creators from. Can it get there, though? Sure. But it has a long way to go.

Being that I was frustrated with a lot of the things being forced upon its users by WordPress, I felt like it was time to find an alternative. I came here because on paper, it sounded like a cool platform to jump in on and those who love it, LOVE it.

On WordPress, however, I was able to grow an audience pretty easily and naturally, as the platform pulls readers into your content and has the sort of backend tools that help people discover you.

Substack relies on you doing all the work. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do the work, but an assist would be nice, otherwise, why should I use a platform over another one that gives me an edge?

Since I’ve been using this, around the start of the year, I haven’t gained a subscriber beyond those I added to get started. I also haven’t had any engagement: zero. Since I’ve left WordPress (or paused it, really), I’ve gained a few dozen more subscribers and still had some engagement. And over there, I haven’t done a thing.

Maybe this isn’t the right platform for me because I don’t have any interest in monetizing my words. That’s what my book series is for, but that’s also a different animal and I’m not doing that to make a living. Although, that’d be nice some day.

If Substack wants to survive like very few ambitious platforms do, it needs to help its users. It needs to make them excited to use the platform because ultimately, they’ll be more effective than any amount of money dumped into marketing and promotion.

Additionally, I hate how this platform works. It’s obvious that it’s made by designers that can’t think outside of their own box. It’s overly minimalistic to the point of not being user friendly. It lacks options, it lacks style, and it certainly lacks the most important element a writing platform needs: creativity.

All that being said, Substack is frustrating and it feels like it’s been a waste of my time in regards to getting my writing beyond just my own eyes. I’m not sure what I’m going to do, as I want to continue to chronicle the creative process of the Barbarians of the Storm series, but maybe I’ll just go back to WordPress, despite my issues with it. At least, over there, I can get traction, engagement, and actual feedback.

Talking Pulp: Some of the Social Media Marketing for “Dan the Destructor” – Phase Two

*Originally posted on the Talking Pulp Press – Substack.

I figured that I’d post some of the GIFs and posts I’ve made to promote the first book in the Barbarians of the Storm series. Mainly, because those here, probably don’t follow me on Twitter or Instagram.

So with that, BEHOLD!

Talking Pulp: Some of the Social Media Marketing for “Dan the Destructor” – Phase One

*Originally posted on the Talking Pulp Press – Substack.

I figured that I’d post some of the GIFs and posts I’ve made to promote the first book in the Barbarians of the Storm series. Mainly, because those here, probably don’t follow me on Twitter or Instagram.

So with that, BEHOLD!

Talking Pulp: The Quest for Art in the “Barbarians of the Storm” Book Series

*Originally posted on the Talking Pulp Press – Substack.

I have been struggling with the art for the Barbarians of the Storm series.

Ideally, I want the book covers to reflect the energy and style of the books that made me fall in love with pulp paperbacks when I was a kid in the ‘80s. Those books were predominantly sword & sorcery reprints from the ‘70s that featured Frank Frazetta art or the art of other great fantasy artists that just knew how to capture, for lack of a better word, epicness.

This is what I would like for my book covers and I’d actually like to have an artist that I can work with for a long time, as I plan to do a lot of books in this series. There will be the main series and its dozen or more books, several character specific short story anthologies, and spinoffs that explore this universe in different times and places. I want all of the book covers to be consistent in style and quality.

Leading up to the publishing of the first book, Dan the Destructor, I had two different artists, whose work I liked, but they flaked out on me. Because I had my own deadlines set, I had to come up with my own cover on a whim. Good thing I’m an artist too, otherwise I would’ve been screwed and incredibly delayed.

The thing is, I’m not the type of artist that I actually need and while I’m okay with Dan the Destructor’s cover, it still isn’t what I ultimately want. However, if I don’t find someone before the next book is ready to go to print, I’m probably going to do the covers myself and keep the same sort of aesthetic because for obvious reasons, I want branding to be consistent.

Even though I’m a creative director, as my day job, finding the right type of artists can be a real bitch. Especially, when you’re looking for art in a style that’s kind of dead. When I give examples and explain the type of art I’m looking for, I am immediately bombarded with sales pitches on social media with art that is pretty much the antithesis of what I’m looking for: low-tier Tumblr cartoonish manga mixed with those Homies toys that come from gumball machines. The fact that they pitch me this kind of art with added cockiness is baffling to me, considering that they were oblivious to the actual art examples I gave in the first place.

Beyond the covers, though, I also need maps for the books. So I’m looking for someone with some cartography skills. I have chicken scratch maps already drawn in my notebook, but I really want something much better than what I can do, which means I need someone with experience in this realm.

Additionally, I also need someone that can do simple character and conceptual sketches, as these are things I’d like to use for reference, promotion, visual aid on Substack and social media, as well as for the eventual wiki-style website where I plan to have organized character profiles, info, etc.

But wait, there’s more! I have a lot of ideas for different types of merchandise that I want to develop that ties to the series. Granted, I need to get the series rolling and the books in front of people first. This is more of a long-term objective but I’m already thinking of some shirts to make, at the very least.

In a perfect world, it’d be great to find someone that can do all of these things. I’m looking at the work of a few artists, but I haven’t made a decision, as my real job has been kicking my ass and the rest of my time has been devoted to getting the second book going.

However, if you do fit what I’m looking for, hit me up. Worst-case scenario, I may just take another creative director friend of mine’s advice and try out a couple people on Fiverr.

Talking Pulp Update (2/16/2022): Talking Pulp Press Is Live!

My new book, the first in a long series, is now out (buy it here) and my focus has switched to promoting that and working on its first sequel, as well as a short story anthology.

This has begun to monopolize my time. Also, my annoyance over WordPress shenanigans has my attention away from this blog and more focused on developing and growing what I hope is a new publishing imprint that can create and distribute a lot of stories I love.

I’ve launched Talking Pulp Press, which is currently where I’m at on Substack. It’s main purpose, for now, is to chronicle the creation of my Barbarians of the Storm book series, as well as some future anthologies featuring other genre fiction writers.

I’m also planning on releasing books with some of my writing on film, most of which has been featured on this site.

For now, you can find me here on Substack.

As far as this blog goes, I don’t plan on nuking it. In fact, when things are moving at a normal pace and I have some balance and more free time, I think that this blog will get rolling again. I just don’t know when that will be.

Talking Pulp Update (2/7/2022): Am I Done with Talking Pulp?… Probably Not

If you’ve read my previous site update or any of my last few reviews, you’re well aware of my frustration with the WordPress platform. However, I found that you can still edit in the Classic Editor without paying $300 per year for plugins, thanks to a link in a not so obvious place.

Still, I’ve moved on to working on my book series, the first one already being published (see here). I’m already working on the follow-up book to that, as well as the first short story anthology. These projects are going to monopolize a lot of my time and I’ve kind of really enjoyed my two months off from writing here. It was a much needed break that allowed me to get the first book done, as well as having the holidays to relax when I wasn’t writing.

Anyway, I don’t think that this is the end of Talking Pulp, I think I’ll naturally ease back into it when I’m ready. But I don’t know if I’ll ever post as often as I have been for over five years now. I reviewed a ton of stuff and accomplished my goals with the site, at least those goals that had actual finish lines.

In the meantime, I’m thinking of starting a sister blog site where I discuss my books and writing in general throughout each pulp novels creation process. I’ll post a link in an update below whenever I get that up and running.

Lastly, I’m thinking of collecting big batches of reviews on specific genres and subjects and releasing them as cheap books. The first of which would probably be all of my Mystery Science Theater 3000 reviews. 

Talking Pulp Update (1/5/2022): The Book Is FINALLY Published – Introducing ‘Dan the Destructor – Barbarians of the Storm, Book I’!

For those who have been following this site for awhile, you might already know that I wrote a graphic novel script about two years ago when all the COVID stuff was kicking off.

You might also know that I wanted to expand on the ideas and stories in that script and decided to restructure it into a pulp novel format. Well, that’s finally done!

Physical copies of the book can be purchased here. The book is also on Amazon: the Kindle version is here and the physical version is here.

However, physical books are better and since this is patterned after the pulp novels of yesteryear, I think that the physical pocket book is a lot cooler.

So what’s Dan the Destructor about? Well, here’s the blurb from the back of the book:

There have been countless legends and with that, countless heroes destined to be the “chosen one”. Dan is not that person.

Sucked into an exotic, barbarous world, Dan meets a jovial warrior and finds himself on an adventure he could’ve never imagined – battling monsters, demons, armies, and evil sorcerers.

Dan the Destructor is a mixture of sword & sorcery and post-apocalyptic B-movies presented in a quick paced pulp novel format. It’s fun, badass, fantastical, and action-packed.

Beyond that, the original idea for this concept came when I was imagining what it would be like if the ’80s Italian and Spanish rip-offs of Conan the Barbarian and The Road Warrior merged into one thing. I have always loved these sort of movies and was pretty much raised on them and all the Cannon Films action flicks. So this blends all those badass things together and tries to keep that tough as nails but awesome spirit alive.

This is also very much influenced by the pulp novels and pulp heroes I’ve read since I was a kid.

Entertainment has lost itself in recent years and its generally become an uninspiring, bleak reflection of reality. Gone are the days of adventure, fun and genuine escapism. With Dan the Destructor, I tried to bring this back.

With that, this shouldn’t be taken too seriously. I just wanted to create the book that wanted to read and I hope that other people enjoy it and that it gives them a much needed break from reality.

The novel also features a short story at the end, which tells the origin of the big villain for the book series. While that is a very dark story, I thought that it was necessary in providing the proper context for that character going into the second book in the Barbarians of the Storm series.

If people like this series, I promise not to George R.R. Martin you. I will give you your ending.

Lastly, I listen to a lot of music while writing and during the creative process, I developed a playlist that has become the unofficial soundtrack of the book for me. Honestly, all badass books deserve soundtracks and I think it helps set the tone for what to expect with the story.

Talking Pulp Update (12/6/2021): I’m Done with WordPress; The End Is Here… Well, Almost

Well, the end is here for Talking Pulp. Not exactly yet but about two months from now.

It’s been just over five years and I accomplished the goals I set out to do. Or at least the ones I could finish. But I’ve been over all that in some of the most recent site updates.

The reason why this is the end of the road is that I’m tired of WordPress’ fuckery. I hate the fucking Block Editor and want to continue to use the Classic Editor. To do that now, I have to pay $300 per year, in one lump sum, to be able to use the plugin that will allow that. This was always free until just over a year ago when they decided to strip away regular features and functions that the website has always had in an effort to force their shitty Block Editor on their customers. Among some other shitty things.

Yes, customer applies here because I’ve always given WordPress money for upgrades, domains, packages, features, etc. I paid the fucking $300, last year, simply because I hadn’t fully reached my goals with the site and I always had the plan of doing this particular site for a minimum of five years and then reevaluating on whether or not I had a reason to keep going or to move on to something else.

I’ve been using WordPress for a decade and a half. I’ve had close to a dozen different websites over the years, some of which brought in over 100K people per month.

As I type this, I loathe this Block Editor I have to use, right now. If some people prefer this trash, that’s their business. But there should still be the option between using this or the Classic Editor that doesn’t cost $300 dollars just to use a free fucking plugin. I don’t care about the other features in that $300 tier.

So with that, my posts that have been scheduled out till February 4th, 2022 will still post. After that, you’ll get what will probably be my final message.

I’m already working on other big projects that require my creative energy and writing time. Maybe, at some point, I will resurrect this all, someplace else.



Talking Pulp Update (11/19/2021): Happy 5th Anniversary to Us!

Well, it’s been five years to the day that Talking Pulp (then Cinespiria) posted its first review. Actually there were two that day: the original Django and War of the Gargantuas.

Since then, I’ve recently surpassed 5000 total posts and 2500 film reviews. Not to mention 800 comic reviews and over 200 reviews in the categories of books, video games, television shows and documentaries.

While I have always aimed for more featured articles and commentary, I’ve still produced quite a bit in that regard and have also revived relevant posts from blogs past.

Additionally, this site started with three objectives, which I have either completed or continue to work at, as not all the objectives have an actual finish line. Those original objectives were:

  1. Review every film ever featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. – COMPLETE
  2. Review every film from every major franchise or film series that I’m interested in (and some I’m not). – MOSTLY COMPLETE, I haven’t touched Fast & Furious, the Michael Bay TransformersThe Hunger Games, Shrek or Twilight and don’t have immediate plans to because I don’t hate myself that much.
  3. Draw attention to lesser-known films that deserve more recognition. – THIS CAN NEVER BE COMPLETE, granted Hollywood’s output the last few years has primarily been atrocious.

I’m also at this point where my time is much more limited than it used to be. Month after month, I feel like this site is coming very close to its end but somehow I still manage to get out enough content to have a regular schedule and to have stuff scheduled out a month in advance and sometimes more.

However, I need to buckle down and finish one book I’ve been pushing back for some time. It’s the same project that started as a graphic novel script, roughly 18 months ago. However, I want to make it a 150-200 page pulp novel and I have lots of ideas on how I want to expand it and also, make it a series going forward.

But back to celebrating where Talking Pulp has come, thus far.

I wanted to list out the top tags in certain categories. For one, I’m curious to see what I’ve written about most and also, maybe it helps the readers of Talking Pulp realize what we’ve covered and they’ll want to search those tags themselves. And one thing I’ve prided myself on since starting this site was curating tags in a way that made it easy for the reader to cross-reference and pull things up on specific actors, directors, genres, years, notable studios, etc.

So here we go with some top ten lists of the most tagged things in their specific categories.

Film Reviews by Decades:
1. 2010s (610)
2. 1980s (572)
3. 1990s (355)
4. 1970s (296)
5. 1960s (239)
6. 2000s (238)
7. 1950s (198)
8. 1940s (146)
9. 2020s (66)
10. 1930s (36)

Film Reviews by Years:
1. 2017 (115)
2. 1987 (81)
3. 2014 (77)
4. 1986 (73)
5. 1985 (70)
6. 2016 (68)
7. 2015 (68)
8. 1988 (67)
9. 1989 (66)
10. 2019 (65)

Top Genres Reviewed:
1. action (2015)
2. sci-fi (1639)
3. adventure (1581)
4. horror (1177)
5. thriller (1018)
6. fantasy (1007)
7. drama (956)
8. crime (947)
9. comedy (767)
10. superhero (723)

Top Directors/Producers Reviewed:
1. Roger Corman (62)
2. George Lucas (47)
3. Steven Spielberg (37)
4. John Carpenter (36)
5. Dino De Laurentiis (29)
6. Joel Silver (26)
7. J. J. Abrams (23)
8. Ishirō Honda (22)
9. John Landis (22)
10. Orson Welles (20)

Top Actors:
1. Vincent Price (46)
2. Christopher Lee (46)
3. Peter Cushing (38)
4. Samuel L. Jackson (37)
5. Arnold Schwarzenegger (37)
6. Sylvester Stallone (34)
7. Dick Miller (25)
8. Johnny Depp (23)
9. Laurence Fishburne (22)
10. Simon Pegg (21)

Top Actresses:
1. Lois Maxwell (16)
2. Jamie Lee Curtis (14)
3. Mary Woronov (14)
4. Gal Gadot (13)
5. Emma Stone (13)
6. Caroline Munro (12)
7. Sigourney Weaver (12)
8. Cate Blanchett (12)
9. Mary Ellen Trainor (12)
10. Nancy Allen (11)

Top Tagged Studios:
1. Disney (240)
2. Toho (92)
3. Lucasfilm (86)
4. American International Pictures (74)
5. Hammer Films (56)
6. Cannon Films (49)
7. New World Pictures (42)
8. Toei (39)
9. Daiei (22)
10. Amicus Productions (12)

Top Tagged Franchises:
1. Marvel (546)
2. DC Comics (369)
3. G.I. Joe (84)
4. Star Wars (70)
5. Godzilla (67)
6. Conan the Barbarian (48)
7. Star Trek (40)
8. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (37)
9. Dracula (37)
10. James Bond (33)

Top Tagged Countries/Regions (other than the US):
1. UK (321)
2. Japan (203)
3. Italy (139)
4. Canada (117)
5. France (80)
6. Germany (68)
7. Spain (45)
8. Australia (40)
9. Hong Kong (35)
10. Mexico (25)

Top Tagged Comic Book Characters:
1. Batman (168)
2. Spider-Man (110)
3. Wolverine (95)
4. Captain America (90)
5. Iron Man (83)
6. The Joker (71)
7. Fantastic Four (68)
8. Nightwing (67)
9. Thor (65)
10. Superman (64)

Top Vids I Dig Sources:
1. Cartoonist Kayfabe (79)
2. The Critical Drinker (77)
3. Whang! (66)
4. Razörfist (64)
5. Filmento (55)
6. Defunctland (50)
7. Yesterworld (48)
8. Midnight’s Edge (47)
9. Toy Galaxy (36)
10. The Attic Dwellers (33)