Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Curse of the Golden Bat III – the First Superhero

After meeting a horrid human being like General Doihara, we need something to lift our spirits, and so this third instalment of the post series based on my research for Guillotine Wind and the strange case of the Golden Bat cigarettes.
And we go in a whole new direction as we go back to 1931, and meet a character created as a tie-in with the cigarette brand.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Ogon Bat

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Curse of the Golden Bat

One thing I learned from Ian Fleming is branding my characters.
Which sounds kinky – and quite fitting, given certain tastes exhibited by Fleming in his time – but what I mean is simply calling stuff by their brand name, as a shorthand to convey certain details to the reader.
Bond shaves with a Gilette razor, lights his cigarettes with a Ronson lighter.
Before it became the product placement we see in movies, it was a writing trick to give substance and weight, and definition to what were otherwise cursory descriptions.

This works quite nicely with weapons – “he drew a gun” is different from “he drew a Remington .44” at least to some of the readers. And maybe those readers will be happy, and that’s a good thing.

I am finishing the first Pandora story – that will be called Guillotine Wind, by the way – and the branding issue came up again.
Cigarettes, in particular.

Turns out that during at least the early phases of the Russian Civil War, the Great Powers were quite happy to supply the White forces with anything they may need – money, weapons and ammo, uniforms, medical supplies and, of course, cigarettes.
And cigarettes came from Japan.
So, what is Pandora smoking?

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