Sunday, January 16, 2022

R.I.P. Ron Goulart, 1933- 2022

R.I.P. Ron Goulart
January 13, 1933 - January 14, 2022
Ron Goulart passed away at age 89 on January 14th.

He was one of those writers who 'wrote for a living', and thus was a regular presence on the sci-fi shelves of bookstores from the 1960s through the 1990s (and even, on a less frequent basis, the 2000s). Not only was he a prolific writer of original fiction, but he also was a major contributor to franchises like 'The Avenger', 'Battlestar Galactica', 'Vampirella', 'The Phantom', and 'Tekwar', among others. Goulart also represented via his novelizations of sci-fi films ('The Isle of Dr. Moreau', 'Capricorn One').

I never found those few Goulart original novels that I tried to read to be that rewarding. They were humor pieces, reliant on a kind of Borscht Belt, New York City, Jewish sensibility that came across as too corny to be effective.

To me, where Goulart was most successful was in his nonfiction works, as these were infused with an affection and respect for the material that was somewhat rare for analysis of pop culture during the early 70s. 

'Cheap Thrills', his 1972 history of the pulp magazines, remains one of the better books on the subject.
Goulart's 1986 book 'The Great Comic Book Artists' broke new ground in terms of showcasing comic books and their artists. This was a time when so doing was something of a rarity; the advent of 'Geek Culture', where thousands of people attend presentations by comic book artists at conventions, was only just starting to gather momentum.

In my opinion, one of Goulart's greatest contributions to the sci-fi scene of the era covered by this blog (i.e., 1968 - 1988) was to pave the way for the overwhelming success of the comic sci-fi works of authors like Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. If you like the works of those authors, then you may want to search out Goulart's titles......... 

No comments: