creative ideas, inspirations
Jack's Jungian psychoanalyst Doctor Kwan, now based in Stoke Poges, would call this page a kind of free association or stream of consciousness. All those weird and wonderful things that have mysteriously surfaced then bounced around inside Jack's head, and eventually found their way into his books - often in quite unexpected ways...
and crime in an alternative
Zig-zag interiors, plots
Those terribly nice Japanese army people are in town and the dance hall girls are blackening their teeth geisha-style in steely anticipation.
Madam Sin deals a mean hand of mahjong tiles in a Chinese shop house.
Triad gangs fight it out on the docks while a dead film star haunts the back lot of a Siamese film studio.
The temple drains are being cleared.
Out on the Plateau of the Ancients a cross-dressing Englishman puts the final touches to an extraordinary theme park.
A mysterious ghost ship arrives in port...
and forgotten superheroes
e.g. Gail Garrity
Uncanny Asian backdrop
Noir Age = 1940 to early 50s
Atomic Age = mid to late 50s
throw in a little roots of Rock and ROLL
Anna May got lost in the stereo-TYPE.
(not in Dial B for Bangkok, Ambulance AND Shadows)
Anna May starred in the great British silent film Piccadilly in 1929. But after that she was passed over by non-Asian actresses for lead roles. Then obscurity.
Love and Hate
Bob Mitchum in The Night of the Hunter (1955) by British director Charles Laughton. Film critic Derek Prosser described it as one of the most daring, eloquent and personal films to have come out of America. The Love and Hate tats were an inspired addition by Bob himself.
The magical river journey by the two children in Hunter - itself reflecting German Expressionist roots - inspires the surreal dream sequence towards the end of Dial B.
Love and Hate - Ying and Yang - East and West - Transcending Opposites.
Breathing new life into
40s and 50s mean streets
pulp zen genre
Genre: 'Siamese Gothic'
Setting: alternative history,
Cleopatran Paris and Old Siam
Frame reference based on painting
in a Madrid museum
Gothic and occult elements
base on real events...
Zen and the Bible
"It's a long walk up to salvation," said the Baron as he prodded Doctor Vinkle in the back with his umbrella.
The incredible religious structure in Buri Ram, north-east Thailand. Renamed the Temple of the Destroyer in Shadows. It provides a dramatic backdrop to the action in the novel at a time when the temple had largely been abandoned and it's religious importance degraded. The contemporary site is once more a bustling, exciting place of pilgrimage.
Two out of the three temples in Shadows can still be explored.
Link to Patinir’s masterpiece in the Prado, which provides the framing narrative for Shadows. The Grail legend, religious symbolism and redemption are embedded in Shadows. For example, the dead pelican and the perfectly formed apples that spill from it's beak.
Counterpointed by anarchic comedy action.