THE SUBGENRE: Comic book noir.
THE HERO: Hardnosed detective Dick Tracy.
THE VILLAIN: Crime boss Alphonse “Big Boy” Caprice.
THE LOVE INTEREST(S): Loyal “Girl Friday” Tess Trueheart and gangster's moll Breathless Mahoney.
THE SETTING: A 1920's metropolis.
Pulp fiction gets a bad name in my opinion—no, not the Quentin Tarantino flick where Travolta jams a giant needle into Uma Thurman's chest and Christopher Walken has the creepiest speech ever about a watch.
When I talk about pulp, I'm talking about a brand of story that jumped straight off of 20th-century magazine shelves and WHAM!-ed and BAM!-ed their way across the big screen.
Gruff detectives, flying aces, adventurers, and early superheroes abound in pulp flicks. There are a lot of fedoras, trench coats, goggles, and impressive boots on display. Our hero carries a pistol or a knife, maybe even a magic ring or jetpack.
They travel to exotic locales or prowl dark city streets, ever on the watch for an innocent in need of saving, a damsel in need of smooching, and a baddie in need of a swift punch to the jaw.