PULP INK 2: LAZARUS SLEPT
Just so we’re straight, Roy Scherer is me.
Well, he’s a smidgeon me. The guy is far more gung-ho and proactive in diabolical situations, ones in which I’d probably curl up in a corner and cry. We share a certain amount of cynicism, though he takes his to extremes, and I like to think I’m a lot nicer than Roy. I hope I am, anyway.
Where we meet is in a lack of love for zombies.
I don’t know what it is, but I never had a soft-spot for brain-eating fiends lurching about above ground. When it came to horror, I much prefer my terrifying aliens—The Thing from Another World still gets to me—and vampires, so long as these babies are free of the vices of Anne Rice and Stephenie Meyer.
Which is one of the reasons that I approached the genre when Nigel and Chris invited me to pen my first published “horror” story for Pulp Ink 2.
At the time I was researching the great Peter Lorre, partly an idea I had for a character that is part homage in my upcoming novel One Hundred Years of Vicissitude, and otherwise because Lorre reminds me of a Polish mate of mine, Mateusz Sikora, an artist with whom I started a record label years ago.
Lorre, for me, is one of the highlights in John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon, and he rocks his brief scenes in Casablanca.
Anyway, wasn’t I talking up zombies?
In retrospect, the yarn is a bit of a cop out. The solitary zombie in my Pulp Ink 2 story ends up not being a zombie at all, but someone suffering from Lazarus syndrome—actually a real enigma; look it up on Wikipedia.
For the story I decided to conjure up two new characters, the hardbitten, grouchy Roy Scherer I’ve already mentioned, and his younger, bookish-yet-dizzy partner in supermundane investigations, Suzie Miller.
They came out of some recess of my brain that’d lapped up odd-couple interaction from the likes of, well, The Odd Couple, along with the ‘70s Rock Hudson vehicle McMillan & Wife, and more obvious recent telly offerings Moonlighting and Remington Steele. I’d be remiss to add that The Thin Man is vaguely in there as well.
Obviously Roy and Suzie clicked for me—straight after the Pulp Ink 2 story, I wrote two others featuring the bickering, constantly irritated duo. I’m thinking more.
So, anyway, I hope you find the time to check out this inaugural piece. There are far better stories by the other writers like Patti Abbott, Eric Beetner, Heath Lowrance, Matthew C. Funk, Richard Godwin, Christopher Black, James Everington, Julia Madeleine, Katherine Tomlinson, R. Thomas Brown, and Court Merrigan.
And what a dark, pulpish, occasionally fun romp it all is.