K’ing Kung-Fu #4: The Kak-Abdullah Conspiracy (Freeway Press, 1973).

§ August 8th, 2011 § Filed under paperbacks § 4 Comments

So I was going through this collection when I spotted this paperback cover and I said to myself “that’s certainly a head drawn by Barry Windsor-Smith.”

This isn’t a paperback collection of comics, but rather one of a series of prose adventure novels with, as one might guess, a kung-fu theme. As I’ve not read any of these, I am unqualified to comment on the quality of the writing, but a random flip through the book reveals the lines

“Behind Kak he saw the albino and The Moor whirling to the death.”


“His fist flopped through the folds of K’ing’s pants.”

…so there you go.

For more details about this series, including scans of all the covers (plus the British editions), here is a message board discussion on the topic.

At one point in that discussion, someone suggests that the author of this series, Marshall Macao, is Ron Goulart writing under a pseudonym, but Goulart himself says this is not the case.

The back cover:

There’s really nothing quite like Windsor-Smith’s drawing of a face from that angle, is there? (Well, aside from Dave Sim drawing a face at that angle.)

Also, seeing the “Barry Smith” credit reminds me of this story (about a third of the way down the page) that I told you all, long ago.

4 Responses to “K’ing Kung-Fu #4: The Kak-Abdullah Conspiracy (Freeway Press, 1973).”

  • Joe S. Walker says:

    In his early Marvel days Barry Smith (as was) used to draw people as if their skulls were shaped like lightbulbs. He got better.

  • Shinwell Johnson says:

    As I recall, Smith did all the covers for this series except for the last one, which was by Dick Giordano.

    As I further recall, Bill Pronzini’s book GUN IN CHEEK credits this series to the same guy who wrote the “Death Merchant” books, one of the longer lived of the “Executioner” imitations (Ron Goulart wrote another, “The Butcher,” which may be from where the confusion comes). The Pronzini book is a sort of “Golden Turkey Awards” for mystery and crime fiction. According to it, K’ing Kung Fu’s specialty was kicking men in the krotch–sorry, crotch. Thus, in the aftermath of one battle, the losers are memorably described as “killers with inflamed balls.”

  • A.L. Baroza says:

    If K’ing (that’s not even a name!) allowed any old stray fist into his pants, did he get punched in the Kak often?

  • Glen says:

    That package does look a lot like Weird Heroes style, so I’m not surprised that Goulart’s name came up. You ever read the Weird Heroes books, Mike?