this buck rogers illustration by frank frazetta was the direct inspiration for me to include a giant tentacled monster in FANTASMAGORIA, my homage -- in 21st century pace and style -- to the pulp fiction of the 20th, which, with apologies to mr. tarantino, includes a helluva lot more than noirish crime fiction (although that too), things like:
B-movie-style blood-and-gore horror
saucy and torrid softcore melodrama
and yes, the book is all of those things mashed together.
there is a scene at the end (different than the one below) that references this illustration. the main protagonist, a mechanical gunslinger, is fighting a ten-foot samurai that everyone assumes is male.
Zen-ji is actually a woman exiled from her homeland for studying the martial arts. but the gunslinger's nemesis, a mob boss who is nothing but a brain in a vat, purchased her freedom, thus she is honor-bound to serve him, even though she is not in the least bit evil. for her, it is honor above all.
"I want everybody we got left looking for Vernal the Infernal. Shut down the casinos. Drag the carnies out of bed. Get the dealers off the streets. Call in the books. I want everybody not mothballing the Dark Red out looking for that venereal half-pint and the wisps of hair on his scrotum-shaped head!”
Togo nodded. “And him?” He pointed at the blubbering boxer.
Blood dripped from Dobie’s crotch to the plastic below. He clung to life by a fingernail.
“Take him upstairs and feed him to Archie.”
Togo gulped. “Right.” He hated feeding the giant squid. The beast had twelve very long tentacles. You could never keep track of them all. “And Jack?”
“Zen-ji!” Erasmus moved his contraption back around his desk and settled in. “Don’t worry about Jack.”
The ten-foot samurai blotted the doorway to Erasmus’s office. He had to bow to fit under the frame, and his footsteps shook the floor. As always, his face was invisible.
“Go to the Arcade. Keep an eye on things, but stay away from Jack. If those wackos kill him, get the body. If not, I wanna know where he goes.”
The giant warrior bowed, turned, and strode like a hunting cat out of the room.
The fluid in Erasmus’s glass tank started bubbling and his eyes bounced off each other. “The Hand will slow him down, buy us some time. But in the end, Jack Fulcrum will come to us.”
Togo grunted and lifted the limp, dying fighter over his shoulder. “How can you be sure?”
“Because this has happened before.”