Dieselpunks

Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Greetings gentlefolk, I’m always on the lookout for more DieselPunk fiction, whether it be movies, TV, books or other media.  I thought I’d list a few that are maybe not so well known and perhaps y’all could join in as well.

Oh and period pieces that work as DP are also welcome.

 

Television

Tales of the Gold Monkey:  A one season wonder from the early 80’s. It was an Action-Adventure show set in the South Pacific during the 30’s with an Indiana Jonesish feel to it. I was a big fan as a kid but alas it was screwed by the networks.  I picked up the DVD set a while back and it’s not quite good as I remembered but I still recommend it.

Batman the Animated Series:  Much more successful as a series was B: TAS going from the early to late 90’s.  It had a very retro, Film Noirish look that was called Dark Deco but is very much what we call DieselPunk today with a mix of 30’s architecture/fashion with higher tech items.

 

Books

Doc Voodoo: Aces & Eights by Dale Lucas.   Something a little different, an African-American hero somewhat in the mold of the Shadow but with Voodoo inspired powers.  It’s set in Harlem in 1926.

Empire State by Adam Christopher.  Very different.  Set in a parallel universe NYC in the early 30’s. It has elements of fim noir, superhero comics and pulp fiction.

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As I mentioned in another post, I LOVE pulp magazines (especially Doc Savage and similar characters; The Shadow; and The Spider) and movie serials (favorites are Mysterious Doctor Satan and the Commando Cody/Rocketman films).

At the same time that "Gold Monkey was on the air, Bruce Boxleightner was starring as Frank Buck in "Bring 'Em Back Alive," which I really enjoyed but it didn't even last a season.

DC Comics (sadly) short-lived First Wave line was VERY DieselPunk, with modern technology like cell phones operating alongside zeppelins and cars with running boards as a setting for new versions of Doc Savage, The Avenger, The Spirit, and The Bat-Man to fight crime in.

Hey Alena, thanks so much for the raccomandations ^_^

I have never heard of The  Tales of the Gold Monkey. I'll have to check it out. 

I read a preview of Doc Voodoo and it was in fact quite different. But I haven't decided yet whether I want to buy the book. I've only heard about Empire State. Thanks for mentioning it ^_^

Have you read the two books? Are they any good?

I have some of the Shadow pulp reprints and have been thinking about getting some of the Doc Savage reprints from the same company.  

My dad was a fan of the Shadow radio show, he used to quote the opening lines on occasions.  "Who knows..."

I also read a Shadow novel as a preteen, I don't remember the title but it was set in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. In one scene the Shadow confronted a man dressed as Mephisto.  

Speaking of period pieces.  I had meant to include this in my original post.

Period Work

Red Harvest and The Dain Curse.  Dashiell Hammett’s Contental Op in his only two novel length appearances.  Arguably the prototype for the hard-boiled detective.  

The DC comics line sounds interesting, I may have to see if they have a collected trade paperbacks edition.



Brian JP Craig said:

As I mentioned in another post, I LOVE pulp magazines (especially Doc Savage and similar characters; The Shadow; and The Spider) and movie serials (favorites are Mysterious Doctor Satan and the Commando Cody/Rocketman films).

At the same time that "Gold Monkey was on the air, Bruce Boxleightner was starring as Frank Buck in "Bring 'Em Back Alive," which I really enjoyed but it didn't even last a season.

DC Comics (sadly) short-lived First Wave line was VERY DieselPunk, with modern technology like cell phones operating alongside zeppelins and cars with running boards as a setting for new versions of Doc Savage, The Avenger, The Spirit, and The Bat-Man to fight crime in.

Hi JazzFeather.

I have read both books and while I can't give them an unqualified recommendation I would give them a tentative thumbs up.   I would rate Doc Voodoo as being a bit better than Empire State if I had to choose between the two.


JazzFeathers said:

Hey Alena, thanks so much for the raccomandations ^_^

I have never heard of The  Tales of the Gold Monkey. I'll have to check it out. 

I read a preview of Doc Voodoo and it was in fact quite different. But I haven't decided yet whether I want to buy the book. I've only heard about Empire State. Thanks for mentioning it ^_^

Have you read the two books? Are they any good?

Yeah, pretty much everything by Dashiell Hammet is fabulous. Related and in the motion pictures, I love the Maltese Falcon, but I think some of my favorite films are the Thin Man movies. I could watch them over and over again. Definitely more of an "upscale"  period piece, but Nick & Nora always looked great and they had the kind of banter I wish I could think up on the spot!

I remember watching the Thin Man's film as a kid. My granny was a fan of mystery films, so I watched a lot of them on tv and back in those days (it was the 1970s) lots of b/w movies were aired. I always think this is probably the reason why I'm a dieslepunk now ;-)

Read both of Dashiel Hammett's novel and greatly preferred The Dain Course. The Maltese Falcon is on my TBR list :-)

I'm big fan of the Thin Man movies as well.  Last New Years Eve TCM ran a marathon of all 6 Thin Man movies so I had a chance to record them.

Witty banter and a superhuman tolerance for alcohol that's my Nick & Nora. ;-)

Brian JP Craig said:

Yeah, pretty much everything by Dashiell Hammet is fabulous. Related and in the motion pictures, I love the Maltese Falcon, but I think some of my favorite films are the Thin Man movies. I could watch them over and over again. Definitely more of an "upscale"  period piece, but Nick & Nora always looked great and they had the kind of banter I wish I could think up on the spot!

I had a similar experience JazzFeathers.  We had something called the 9 o'clock movie on a local independent station and they showed old movies with many of them being black & white.  The frustrating thing was that they would break at 10 for a half hour of news and I wasn't allowed to stay up and finish watching the movie. :-(

I never understand why they would break a movie in half like that...

And I prefer the Dain Curse as well.  I have an omnibus edition with all 5 of Hammett's novels that I picked up for a college course. I kept the book but didn't get around to reading all the novels for another decade or so.

I've been thinking about tracking down his short stories as well but have yet to get around to it.



JazzFeathers said:

I remember watching the Thin Man's film as a kid. My granny was a fan of mystery films, so I watched a lot of them on tv and back in those days (it was the 1970s) lots of b/w movies were aired. I always think this is probably the reason why I'm a dieslepunk now ;-)

Read both of Dashiel Hammett's novel and greatly preferred The Dain Course. The Maltese Falcon is on my TBR list :-)

In addition to works which could be termed DP we also have TV shows which, while not DieselPunk themselves, have had DPish episodes.

I’ll list a few here in chronological order.

Magnum, P.I.  had a couple of episodes in which Tom & co had adventures in the Diesel Age.  One in particular was "Flashback" a dream episode that had the added bonus of being in black and white.  Magnum dreams he's in 1936 - populated with versions of his friends - where he's working for a young woman whose father, a union leader, has been accused of the murder of a construction magnate. 

Xena: Warrior Princess had the episode “The Xena Scrolls” set on an archeological dig in Greece at the beginning of WWII this Indiana Jones homage was actually a clip show but was several notches above the usual flashback show.  The episode centers on the descendants/reincarnations of the shows protagonist’s Xena and Gabrielle and sparked a whole genre of what is known as “uber” fan fic in the Xena fandom.  

Star Trek: Voyager had a few episodes featuring the holodeck adventures of Captain Proton, a homage/parody of 1930's Republic Film Serials heroes like Flash Gordon. A fun feature, like the Magnum episode, is that everything on the holodeck adventure, including the Voyager personnel, is in black & white.  Also of note is the tin can robot “Satan’s Robot.”  Captain Proton usually only appears for a few minutes but in the Voyager episode “Bride of Chaotica!” the whole episode is devoted to a Captain Proton holodeck adventure gone awry.  

Thanks for sharing this Alena :-)

Diesel Era episodes seem to the quite popular in all series. I often stumble upone some, even in now no specific one comes to mind. On th eone hand, it's nice that they seem to be poopular enough that many shows what to give a shot at them. On the other, it's kind of sad that this seems to be just a fun thing to do, not really a proprer way to tell a story  éè

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