Robotic Lion & Warrior illustration by Greg Broadmore for Jess Nevins’ article in Issue 05.
Those of you who own Coilhouse Magazine Issues 03 and 05 will remember Jess Nevins’ pieces on Russian and Chinese pulp. You may have also seen Jess’ Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana, his many comic book annotations, or his writing on IO9. As a librarian and author, Jess has an uncanny skill for unearthing rare gems from the realms of pulp and sci-fi, such as the world’s first lesbian science fiction novel (published in 1906), the first cyborg horror story (“The Steam Arm,” 1834), and steampunk poetry from 1867. Jess Nevins can give you the entire history of mad scientists in the industrial age, provide a thorough overview of genderbending in pulps, and hypothesize whether Cthulhu appears on a 300-year-old gravestone. In short, Jess Nevins is a kind of biblio-archaeologist, discovering and preserving beautiful relics from fictional ages past.
His latest endeavor focuses on superheroes. Specifically, superheroes from comics’ Golden Age, which lasted from 1935 to 1949. The project is called The Encyclopedia of Golden Age Superheroes, and Jess is currently raising funds on Kickstarter to produce a book and a website (which will include a free download of the book’s manuscript) to catalogue 2000+ superheroes: everything from “floating eyeballs and centaurs” to “robot brains and super rabbits.” Jess needs to travel to Michigan State University in East Lansing to study up on all of these wondrous things, and estimates that it will take two weeks to get the research done. The money raised by Kickstart will go towards subsidizing Jess’ travel and building the site. The project may have hit its modest funding goal, but believe us, the bare minimum is never really enough. Plus, Kickstarter projects that raise substantially more than the required amount often have a way of evolving and deepening into even bigger, more beautiful work (for instance, Molly Crabapple’s Week in Hell or R. Stevens’ Diesel Sweeties e-book).
In celebration of Jess’ ambitious new project, we are releasing a full, free PDF of his article from Issue 05, titled “Sherlock Holmes vs. The Fox Woman: A Brief Tour of Chinese Pulp”. Lushly-illustrated by Greg Broadmore and Paul Tobin, the article provides a sweeping overview of Chinese Pulp from, from moon colonies to pirate queens. Enjoy!