Thursday, January 17, 2013



Pro Se Productions, a leader in Genre Fiction and New Pulp adventures, proudly announces the long awaited newest volume of its Pulp Obscura line! THE NEW ADVENTURES OF THE GRIFFON!

Includes "The Devil and the Bloody Baroness," a new story by Chuck Miller. 

Pulp Obscura, an imprint of Pro Se Productions in conjunction with Altus Press, brings yet another rare and classic Pulp Character back to life from Pulp's Golden Era! 
Kerry Keen is a young millionaire playboy by day to hide his nocturnal adventures as a costumed airborne crime fighter! From a secret underground hangar on his Long Island estate in the Graylands, The Griffon takes to the skies in the Black Bullet, his supercharged and heavily armed seaplane on missions of justice and vengeance! 

The Griffon was created by Arch Whitehouse and appeared in Flying Aces MAgazine, his adventures beginning in the June 1935 issue.  

These new tales take Kerry and his companions, Barney O'Dare and Barbara "Pebbles" Colony back into the skies for six terrific flights of danger and intrigue!

This stunning collection features an incredible cover by Mike Fyles as well as fantastic format and design by Sean Ali! Six Tales of Action, Excitement, Mystery and Amazing Arial Adventure take flight in this collection from writers Van Allen Plexico, Chuck Miller, Phil Bledsoe, S. E. Dogaru, Don Thomas and R. P. Steeves!

Climb into the cockpit of the Black Bullet with Kerry Keen and fly off into THE NEW ADVENTURES OF THE GRIFFON from PULP OBSCURA!

Get your print copy today from Amazon at  or from Pro Se's own Createspace store at for $15.00!  Coming soon for your Kindle, Nook, and Ebook Readers!

For more from Pro

Wednesday, January 16, 2013



I was sitting at the microscope table in my lab on the 68th floor of the Benway Building, examining a slide. The substance on the slide had just been subjected to a variety of chemical tests. The results were intriguing, and not in a good way.

We had hauled the giant, invisible monster that might have been Doctor Maurice T. Almanac into the building. I foresaw great trouble if he regained consciousness, and spent a minute or two fretting over it. Prudence wanted to rip him to shreds with her bare hands. Not a bad idea under other circumstances, but I had a mystery to solve, and the invisible creature might be the key.

It was Anonymoushka who came up with the only workable idea. We cleared one of the private elevator shafts and dropped the creature down it, seventy-some-odd floors to the bottom of the shaft, a few feet below the floor of the third sub-cellar. Quite a plunge. He might survive it-- I was absolutely certain he would-- but he'd have some difficulty crawling out. I sent Gregor Samsa down to keep an eye on him. I gave the giant bug a bundle of dynamite to affix to the wall of the shaft two floors above the bottom. It was equipped with with a remote detonator Gregor could trigger with a feeler if Almanac started to stir.

Meanwhile, I had sequestered myself in the lab and left my many guests to their own devices. Using equipment from my private medical clinic, I had drawn almost a gallon of blood from the creature before we dumped him down the shaft. Had I ever taken the Hippocratic Oath, that would have smashed it into kindling. I had at one time considered going to medical school, and had acquired a certain amount of knowledge and skill on my own-- but I am uniquely unsuited for a profession whose cardinal rule is "do no harm."

Once I got everything I thought I was likely to get out of the blood sample, I unlocked the lab door, pushed it open, and gave a rallying cry to the troops, such as they were.

Proofy, Stymie, Prudence and Anonymoushka filed into the lab and stood there, looking uneasy. Gregor was, of course, down in the sub-cellar, keeping an eye on our catch, and Patience was lying unconscious on a cot in my clinic. Her condition was puzzling but stable. Her vital signs were good, and apart from a broken nose, she did not seem to have sustained any physical damage. But she could not be revived. Prudence presented a stoical demeanor, but I knew she was boiling inside.

I picked up the slide I'd been examining.

"This blood sample," I said, "is heavily adulterated with three very distinctive, very exotic substances. I think I know what they are, but I have never seen them combined."

I set aside the slide, and picked up the vial that contained the rest of the blood sample. The blood itself was visible, though the creature I had taken it from was not. That was indicative of something I could not yet pin down.

"One of the substances is, I feel certain, the reagent developed by Doctor Herbert West. He used it to reanimate dead tissue-- entire organisms, in fact, including human beings.

"The second is more problematic. I'd be willing to bet, though, that we are looking at a modified form of the legendary Griffin Formula. It is claimed that this formula can render living creatures invisible. H.G. Wells once penned an interesting case study. The chemical mixture is agitated by the electrical activity in a human or animal body, which causes it to emit an energy field that bends light around the affected organism. That's one theory, anyhow. There are others, but this one does have the advantage of almost making sense, in a way.

"How they managed to make inorganic dirigibles invisible is beyond me at the moment.

"Now, I am on firmer ground with regard to the third substance. That, I have seen before, and not so long ago. I know its source, and where that source may be found. Since it's the only one of the three I'm certain of, that is where we will start."


"What we seem to be dealing with," I said half an hour later, "is a group of people who can raise the dead, make them invisible, double their size, and increase their physical strength by something like one thousand percent. More or less."

"Well, ain't that just peachy?" said my friend Stan Bartowski, a detective lieutenant in the Unusual Crimes Division of the Zenith Police Department. We were sitting in his private office in the City Hall building across the street from the Benway. I had hurried over there as soon as I finished making my notes on the blood analysis. I had told him what little I knew about the dirigibles and their strange appearance and disappearance, omitting all reference to the invisible maybe-Doctor-Almanac at the bottom of my elevator shaft.

"I have no clue who they are," I continued, "Not even a glimmer. But they have a lot of money and resources behind them, obviously. They appear to have a small army at their disposal."

"Of course!" Stan said sourly. "It wouldn't be a party otherwise! You know, if  I wanted to, I could just walk right out of here, pack up the wife and kid, and drive straight on down to Mexico."

"Chin up, Stan," I said encouragingly. "They aren't omnipotent. I killed one of their dirigibles." I didn't mention that I had also captured one of their giant, invisible resurrectees, and that this individual appeared to be none other than the dreaded Doctor Almanac. Stan was very close to blowing a gasket as it was. I wanted to avoid that for as long as possible.

"And dumped about two tons of toxic crap into the Bay," he uncharitably pointed out.

"You are complaining?" said the woman seated to my right. "My client acted with exemplary wisdom and verve. It is a big damn shame that your own department could not do likewise. Unusual Crimes Division, my malodorous nether parts! What do you define as unusual, hey? An albino child with twelve toes stealing bubble gum from a church? You should go back to being a gaishnik

I shushed Anonymoushka before she could get Stanley any more agitated. She had insisted on accompanying me, and for some reason, I thought it was a good idea. I had affixed a false nose to the spot on her non-face where a real nose ought to be, and pair of dark glasses were perched on it. We had done the best we could to apply lipstick to her small, virtually lipless mouth. For reasons known only to her, she had decided to pose as my attorney, using the strange name "Vionna Vernet." She must have thought I was in some sort of trouble with the law. People who have lived under totalitarian regimes tend to have that paranoid mindset.

Fortunately, it would take Stanley at least five minutes to untangle her outlandish discourse and realize his department had just been insulted. I didn't intend to give him those minutes. I forged ahead, though I knew he wasn't going to like what I had to say, either.

"I won't mince words, Stanley," I said quickly. "I need to do something that will take much too long if I go through legal channels. The same thing applies to you, I'm afraid, but you're in a better position to finagle. What I need... What we need is to get in as soon as possible and have a talk with Crusher Cranium."

Stanley's jaw dropped.

"Centipede," he said, "he's in a federal lockup. Beyond maximum security. Hell, the facility he's in doesn't even exist, officially. It's the same place where they were going to stash Doctor Almanac. He was on his way there when... you know. There's no way to get to Cranium other than through channels, and that cannot be done quickly. You know this. It would take six weeks to get permission to speak with him on the phone."

I nodded. "I know all that. Crusher Cranium got the death penalty, but they couldn't kill him. After the sixth try, the governor commuted his sentence to life. They have him locked down tighter than an old maid's chastity belt."

"Oh," Anonymoushka exclaimed, "what a disgusting metaphor! You degenerate!"

"It wasn't a metaphor," I snapped, "it was a simile. Please don't interrupt me."

"That was vile," she continued, ignoring my admonition. "Nor did it make any sense. For what reason should an old maid even maintain a chastity belt?"

"Okay, I withdraw the remark."

Anonymoushka nodded, mollified. Stanley gave me a look that I interpreted to mean Who the hell is this screwy broad and why the hell did you bring her here? All I could do was shrug.

"They have Cranium locked down," I went on, "like some kind of mind-bendingly malevolent and dangerous wild animal-- which is entirely appropriate, given that he is nine feet tall, bloody-minded as they come, and has the strength of a hundred men. He also has an intelligence quotient that literally cannot be measured under the Stanford-Binet test. They gave up somewhere around 200, I understand."

Several months ago, Doctor Robert Bruce Bodog-- now known as Crusher Cranium-- had been a scientist in some unspecified field, working on some unspecified research and/or project for some unspecified branch or division of what might or might not have been the United States government. Probably. Nobody seemed to know, nor did anybody know of anybody who might admit to knowing anybody who might know.

What we did know was that he had developed a formula that, when introduced into his system, had transformed him from a short, slight, bespectacled scientist of solid but unspectacular intellect and ability into a hulking, nine-foot super-genius. It was in that capacity that he got up to some very inventive and lethal mischief. Thanks to my own rather more modest genius, augmented by my incredible daring, we had managed-- barely-- to capture and restrain him.

He had been, with some difficulty, tried and sentenced to death. They tried a specially-modified electric chair three times, with no success. He was hanged twice, to no avail. When a military firing squad failed, the governor commuted the sentence and Crusher Cranium was bundled off to the secret prison in whose bowels he now languished.

Attempts to analyze the serum in his bloodstream-- carried out by a team of scientists, as well as yours truly-- had produced no useful data. But the stuff had a very distinctive and absolutely unique molecular structure, which I had recognized in the blood I'd taken from the invisible monster.

"Ha!' said Anonymoushka, "He is as clever as an old maid's chastity belt!"

I had no idea what she meant by that, if anything. Stanley, similarly nonplussed,  sat and blinked at her for a few seconds. When he finally spoke, he said, "What the hell kind of lawyer are you supposed to be, anyhow? I never heard of you."

"She's new in town, Stanley," I said. "She just recently went into private practice. Miss Vernet clerked for Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. until he retired last year." I don't know what it was about Bartowski, but he always inspired me to concoct the most extravagant falsehoods.

 Anonymoushka nodded. "I was his Watson," she said. "The man had the most magnificent mustache I have ever been privileged to witness. He was known to groom it for 18 hours at a stretch. I was never permitted to touch it, more's the pity."

Stan shook his head and said, "Whatever. I don't know where you find these characters, Centipede." He sighed. He closed his eyes. He pursed his lips. He scratched his head. He drummed his fingers on his desk blotter. He grimaced. He opened his eyes.

"Okay," he said. "If you say it's necessary, then that's all there is to it. I'll get us in. I got no idea how, but I'll do it. You just take your... attorney, here, and leave me alone while I work it out. When I got something, I'll call you on your special line, okay?"

"That's swell, Stanley," I said, rising from my chair and shaking his hand. "You can do it. I know my faith in you is not misplaced. You don't know the meaning of the word impossible. Why, just the other day, I was saying to President Roosevelt..."

"Okay, okay," he replied gruffly, "I said I'd do it, you can lay off the goddamn bullshit..." He gave a start, stopped short, and glanced at Anonymoushka. His cheeks reddened slightly and I knew he was embarrassed at having used a rude word in the presence of a lady. Stanley was very old-fashioned in that regard. He stammered out about half of an apology before my "lawyer" spoke:

"It is no shitting problem, Lieutenant, I goddamn well assure you. You must regard me as just one of the boys, though my private areas might seem to tell a different story, yes? I am a goddamn sonofabitch at heart. I was the son my goddamn father never wanted." 

I grabbed her by the goddamn hand and led her out of Stanley's goddamn office, before his goddamn head could explode. Glancing back over my shoulder as we made our exit, I saw that he was already on the phone. A true man of action! I had not been bullshitting when I praised his ability. Though I often copped one attitude or another with him, I respected the man immensely.

Anonymoushka and I made our way down the stairs to the ground floor and were on our way across the lobby when I spied a familiar figure entering the building through the main door. It was Percival Doiley. He saw me, waved, and yelled:

"Centipede! Jesus, man, I been trying to find you."

As he approached, I saw that Percy was not alone. Behind him was another familiar figure-- someone who had been in my thoughts very recently, though I had all but forgotten him in the recent chaos.

Moviegoers would recognize him as "Doctor Reverso," the arch-fiend from the motion picture "Blood of the Centipede." I recognized him as Mag DeMilby, Junior.

The man who was apparently involved in a plot to kill the Black Centipede.