Musings and Mumbling on What I Read and Watch and Listen To.
Friday, November 30, 2012
Blogging Austin Briggs’ Flash Gordon, “The Menace of Mysta” / “Home”
“The Menace of Mysta” was the tenth installment of Austin Briggs’ daily Flash Gordon comic strip serial for King Features Syndicate. Originally published between March 27 and April 25, 1944, “The Menace of Mysta” is a very brief episode that starts off with Flash and Dale and their nameless Elvin guide crossing Lost Lake when they pass through a patch of fog and become embroiled in a spider web. A giant spider rises from the lake to attack them. Flash dispatches the creature easily enough and the trio soon comes ashore on a strange beach where they quickly find themselves among the invisible kingdom of Queen Mysta.
Mysta’s kingdom appears to function magically with visibility and seemingly inter-dimensional passage under the beautiful but mysterious Queen’s control. Dale and their Elvin guide are taken captive. Flash passes through the invisible portal into the kingdom and eventually fights his way into Mysta’s castle. Once Mysta determines that Flash poses no real threat, but is an honorable man fighting for Dale’s freedom, she pulls aside a curtain to unveil the scientific genius that allows her kingdom to operate on what seems to be magical principles. The genius is none other than Dr. Zarkov.
Readers were doubtless as flummoxed as Flash and Dale at this revelation and no sooner are they reunited with their old friend than he is bustling them off into a rocket ship on a secret mission he refuses to tell them anything about which leads this curious and very brief penultimate adventure into the final storyline of Austin Briggs’ daily strip.
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I was licensed by Sax Rohmer's Literary Estate to continue the Fu Manchu thrillers. THE TERROR OF FU MANCHU was published in 2009 and was a Pulp Factory Awards nominee for Best Pulp Novel. THE DESTINY OF FU MANCHU was published in April 2012.
My short fiction has appeared in THE RUBY FILES (2012/Airship 27), GASLIGHT GROETESQUE (2009/EDGE Publishing), TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN (2009/Black Coat Press), and LES COMPAGNONS DE L'OMBRE (2010/Riviere Blanche) and in the magazine, Van Helsing's Journal.
I am a former weekly columnist for The Cimmerian and am currently a weekly columnist for The Black Gate. My articles have been published in the magazines Blood 'n' Thunder, Van Helsing's Journal, and The Official Magazine of The Peter Sellers Appreciation Society. I was very honored to be nominated for a Rondo Award for Best Article of 2010 for a contribution to Van Helsing's Journal.
I recently collaborated with Tom Bleecker on the screenplay adaptation of his new novel, TEA MONEY. Still to come is THE OCCULT CASE BOOK OF SHANKAR HARDWICKE (a collection of short fiction featuring an original Edwardian detective) and a hardboiled detective novel, LAWHEAD.