I have a couple of things this time (don’t get me started on the definition of “a couple”). One of them resulted from a post by George Kelley on his blog, the other from my continuing interest in reading Zorro. Here we go.
The Mark of Zorro by Johnston McCully [Wildside Press 2002 trade paper, new] – historical adventure – The original Zorro story was written by McCully in 1919. The Curse of Capistrano was serialized in five parts in the pulp magazine All-Story Weekly. At the denouement, Zorro’s true identity is revealed to all.
Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, on their honeymoon, selected the story as the inaugural picture for their new studio, United Artists, beginning the character’s cinematic tradition. The story was adapted as The Mark of Zorro (1920), a film which was a success. McCulley’s story was re-released by the publisher Grosset & Dunlap under the same title, to tie in with the film. Due to public demand fueled by the film, McCulley wrote over 60 further Zorro stories beginning in 1922. Sadly most of these are not available. The last book, The Mask of Zorro (not to be confused with the 1998 film), was published posthumously in 1959. The black costume that modern audiences associate with the character stems from Fairbanks’ silent film rather than McCulley’s original story, and McCulley’s subsequent Zorro adventures copied Fairbanks’s Zorro rather than the other way around. *
I’ve been told more than once that no one wrote Zorro as well as McCully. I’ll be reading this one very soon.
Wolf of the Steppes The Complete Cossack Adventures, Volume One by Harold Lamb [Bison Books 2006 trade edition, new] – historical adventure – Lamb wrote a lot of historical adventure books, some of the stories came close to accurate history, some barely brushed past the facts, but all of it is very readable. This is the first of several volumes Bison Books is publishing, all available.
* some of this text was based on the Zorro article in Wikipedia