Monday, February 7, 2011

Pulp Ark 2011 Spotlight - Martin Powell

Martin Powell received a 2011 Pulp Ark Award Nomination in the category “Best Author”.

Martin, Share a bit of background about yourself if you would? 

Im a full-time professional writer, just entered my twenty-fifth year in this crazy business.  I have written everything from mystery to science fiction, including comic books, novels, scripts for Disney, prose anthologies, and quite a number of children's books.  I have hundreds of published credits, and can never remember exactly all Ive done.  Im also a serious amateur paleontologist.

You've been nominated as Best Pulp Author in the PULP ARK awards.  First, tell us how a nomination of this type makes you feel?  

Very excited!  Im thrilled to be nominated in a field I love so much.  For example, I cant recall a time when I didnt know who Tarzan was!  Seems that hes always been there.  So, the pulps have had a profoundly positive effect on me for my whole life.

Your nomination and fan comments to the side, you don't really bill yourself as a 'pulp' author? If you're not, what about your work do you think appeals to fans of this genre?   

Well, I dont consider myself a pulp writer” mainly because its only one aspect of the type of work I do.  Ive written a lot more childrens books than I have pulp fiction, but I dont think of myself as a childrens author either.  So, I suppose Im merely a professional writer, period, and thats probably the most accurate label for me.  I have great admiration for the pulps, especially writers like Walter Gibson, Lester Dent, and Norvell Page.  These guys produced wonderfully imaginative stories, month after month, on seemingly impossible deadlines.  They frequently completed entire novels in less than a week.  No way could I ever stand alongside them.  Im a very compulsive writer myself, but these guys were practically superhuman.  They are heroes to me.

When I creatively approach characters like Sherlock Holmes or The Spider to write, I make certain that Im retaining the essence of what the original authors intended.  I think thats very important.  I dont like to see updated or radically altered versions of long established characters.  Unfortunately, theres a lot of that going on.  Why obtain a property license and publish The Spider, for example, and then set about changing everything?  Makes no sense.  Create your own properties and leave the originals alone.

If pulp fans have liked my work, I suspect its because I strive to remain true to the classic characters they already know and love.  Thats what they want to see, certainly not a reboot, and its what I want to write.  I take that part of my job very seriously.  The characters must remain authentic.

You've worked with classic characters from Frankenstein to Sherlock Holmes to The Spider and beyond.  What about these established characters appeals to you as a creator? 

Its a sort of a wish-fulfillment, I think.  When I had my first Superman and Batman stories published at DC, or when I wrote my first Phantom adventures at Moonstone, it was sort of ethereal and dream-like.  I couldnt believe I was actually adding to the mythos of these characters.  Its a tremendous thrill and a great honor.  The same goes for Sherlock Holmes, of course.

My older brothers, Wayne and Rick, introduced me to all of this before I was old enough to read for myself.  They used to read Classics Illustrated and Edgar Allan Poe aloud to me, and they also entertained me with tales of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.  This past year I won the Moonbeam Childrens Book Gold Award for my own’book about Paul and Babe.  So I really owe all of this to my brothers. Theyre terrific guys.

What might be coming up that could get you back on the Pulp Ark Award list for 2011? 

Oh my, I have lots of stuff in the works.  First up is Moonstone s THE SPIDER # 1, with art by Pablo Marcos and Jay Piscopo, plus gorgeous covers painted by Dan Brereton.  Im very excited about it.  I discovered The Spider back in high school and I never would have believed that I d be writing his first on-going comic book series, and with three of my favorite artists, too!

Also, Jay Piscopo and I have a special one-shot in the works, “THE SPIDER:  Curse of the Unholy Three, which brings pulp super-stars The Spider, Operator 5, and G-8 and His Battle Aces together for the very first time in one colorful, rip-roaring adventure.

Jay and I are also creating a new All Ages sci-fi mystery/adventure series titled LIBERTY UNLIMITED, which I m ecstatic about.  My young adult novella THE HALLOWEEN LEGION will be appearing soon, too, from Wild Cat Books, featuring very cool and creepy interior illustrations by Danny Kelly.  It s probably the most personal thing I’ve ever written.  Im going in several different directions at once, and somehow Im managing to keep track of it all.  At least, I hope so.  I suppose it helps to be an insomniac.

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