DILLON The Odd Jobs
Edited by Derrick Ferguson, Ernest Russell, Michael Hintze, HC Playa
Created by the late Derrick Ferguson, the modern day
adventurer known as Dillon was one of the very first black pulp heroes to
arrive on the New Pulp scene. Over the past decade Ferguson gave us lots of books, short stories
and even a comic strip starring his stalwart hero. In the process, as most
writers do, he created lots of amazing supporting characters along the way
while building up a huge and devoted fan base. Thus it was only logically when
one day he openly invited his writing colleagues to contribute stories to
Dillon’s world. Four daring, and super talented scribes accepted the challenge
and this wonderful book is the result of their efforts.
“Dillon and the City of Stone,” by Erik Fromme is the longest tale in
the collection and a really terrific adventure. Fromme’s handling of Dillon is
wonderful as he clearly knows the character and his nuances and is obviously having
a great deal of fun with this story about Dillon’s running off to a small
Mexican village for a little R & R. Isn’t often the globe trotting hero
gets to simply chill with good, decent people living dull, unexciting lives.
Right. Of course this idyllic vacation is interrupted when several of the
village’s women and children up weird looking night raiders and carried off
into the surrounding jungles. All of which leads Dillon and two brave villagers
to a trail that will take them into a long lost underground city. Oh yeah, this
Dillon pulp all the way.
Up next is “Dire Learning” by Russ Anderson Jr. reintroduces
us to Mrs. Allie Pierri and her teenage son, Shon. Allie works for as an agent
for the French Ministry of Defense and Shon, having been trained from an early
age, often assist on her mission. They first appeared in the Dillon comic strip
“Escape From Tosegio” and then had a major part in the book “Dillon and the
Pirates of Xonira.” In this outing, Allie disappears while investigating a
prestigious French secondary school. Unaware his mother is being held by a
former ally turned assassin, Shon manages to get into the school as an exchange
student to try and find her. In the end, both of them uncover embezzlement on
the part of the Head Mistress while at the same time foiling a political
assignation. This is another gem with both teenage hijinks and espionage mixed
together well. Shaken, not stirred, Mr. Anderson. Bravo.
In “Dillon and the Sisters of the Machine,” Joel Jenkins
picks up our hero Xonira after its bloody civil war hoping to find a little
piece and quiet. Instead he’s the target of a self-aware computer calling
itself the Great Machine. It unleashes four sexy female Terminator-like killers
to eliminate Dillon before he can thwart the Great Machines world domination.
It’s James Cameron country and Jenkins does it justice.
“Dillon and the Devil’s Mercy,” is the final tale as written
by Mark Bousquet and has Dillon traveling to Zurich, Switzerland
to help Idell Creed, the son of his beloved mentor, Eil Creed. There he
encounters an ancient Russian myth, a plot to capture rich oil fields and a
claustrophobic underwater adventure that would make James Bond proud. All in
all a dandy fast paced thriller and marvelous addition to the volume.
“Dillon and the Writer’s Circle” is a look at the contributors’ bios and an informal history of Derrick Ferguson’s career focusing on the creation of his greatest character Dillon. It is a reminder of what we’ve lost with his passing. Though he may no long with us, his Dillon books are still out there. Do yourself a big favor and go read them now. You’ll be happier for it.