Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, May 15, 2021


 The Green Lama was a pulp hero who began in the April 1940 issue of Double Detective, pupblished by the Frank Munsey Company.  Munsey had wanted a hero to compete with Street and Smith's The Shadow.  The character was created by Kendall Foster Crossen, who wrote the stories iunder the name of "Richard Foster."  True to pulp fashion, Jethro Dumont, who donned the robes of the Green Lama, was extremely wealthy.  Dumont had spent ten years in Tibet studying to be a lama, while gaining mystical powers.  When he returned to New York, his intention was to spread the teachings of Tibetian Buddhism but soon realized that America was not ready for such enlightenment and that he could far more good by fighting crime.  In this he was assisted by a wide variety of associates -- Tsarong (a Tibetian lama), Gary Brown ( a reformed gangster), debutante Evangl Stewart, Dr. Harrison Valco (a radiologist), John Caraway ( a police detective), Ken Clayton ((an actor), Jean Farrell (an actress), Theodore Harrin (a magician), Magga (a woman of mystery, nev er explained), and a healthy dose of "radioactive salts" (which gave Dumont superhuman powers to add to his mystical powers.  Crossen eventually wrote fourteen adventures of the Green Lama for Double Detective.

Crossen also introduced the Green Lama to the comics, writing stories for twenty-seven issues of Prize Comics from 1940 to 1943.  This Green Lama acted more as a sorceror who could time travel and raise the dead, as well as fighting Satan's minions.  Crossen then started his own small-press comic book publishing company, Spark Publications, issuing three titles -- Green Lama, Atoman, and Golden Lad.  The Green Lama title lasted for eight issues, while the others lasted for two and five issues, respectively.

Each issue of Green Lama featured a story written by Crossen, as well as stories about other characters written by a host of talented writers.  The Green Lama comic book adventures were mostly drawn by the Great Mac Raboy.

A brief radio show appeared on CBS in 1949 for eleven episodes, with the Green Lama voiced by actor Pul Frees.  The Green Lama remerged in the modern pulp era from publishers AC Comics, Dynamite Comics, Moonstone Publishers, Airship 27, and Altus Press (now Steeger Press).

Back to Green Lama #2 from Spark Publications:

The Green Lama faces off against "Willie the Sleeper!"  Willie is the boss of a criminal network and has offered a $10,000 prize to whoever has the best idea for an underworld crime wave.  

Other stories in the issue are:

  • "A Genius in the Family" featuring the Boy Champions, in which Tuffy writes what he believes is a good book, but the publisher is using it as a cover for crime.  This one was written by Joseph Greene, the creator of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet and the Dig Allen Space Explorer books.
  • "Youth is a Curse!" featuring Mac Erc, who runs into a student of the balck arts planning to release Paracelsus from his centuries-old imprisonment.  This one was written by Bruce Elliott, a magician and pulp writer who penned eight adventures of The Shadow.
  • 'Censor Trouble" featuring Rick Masters. who runs into trouble when he and a friend start a commercial air operation.  This was also written by Bruce Elliott, using his "Walter Gardner" pseudonym.
  • "It Pays to Advertise" with Lieutenant Hercules, aka Wilbur Klutz, who feels he's underpaid as a bookkeeper and decides to cash in on his superpowers.  Science fiction writer and founding editor of Galaxy H. L. Gold wrote this one.
  • Artist Al Liederman contributes a two page story about "Pop Flys," whose som is nervous about a big fight against Joe Clutch.
  • And Joseph Greene returns with a two-page text story, "Murder on the Water," about a man strangled on a life raft with half a dozen people watching.

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