Melvin – Our Detectorist Hero?

If the archaeologists can have Indiana Jones, then we deserve our very own hero. There have been several contenders. A rumour on FaceAche revealed that a new hobby magazine called The Treasure Searcher, published by that dynamic duo Paul Barford and Nigel Swift, was about to make an entrance. I understand that their new publication would include the derring-do’s of all ‘naughty’ detectorists. Would a hero emerge? Would anybody buy it? Would their collaborative organ stand up to scrutiny?

The short answers are NO, NO and a definite NO! But we do know that the magazine hit the shops earlier in the year but soon folded due to the publisher and editor ( Barfly and Swifty ) being the only readers. I understand that copies on sale in WH Smiths had been defaced with filthy graffiti. The BBC reported that one detectorist had been ‘shocked and dismayed’ ( name withheld ).

Perhaps it’s time to resurrect the fictional hero, Melvin Cogsworth. I first talked about him in a 2011 blog and he remains our only contender . . . unless you know different.

“Nothing metal that is lost, I can’t find” 

With these words ( slightly edited because of dodgy grammar ) Melvin Cogsworth catapults himself into the danger-filled world of a professional private detectorist. With metal detector in hand, he battles perverse fate and the minions of evil as he braves jealous boyfriends, ardent archaeologists, murderers, and the pitfalls of romance through a series of comic misadventures that take him from poverty to riches and loneliness to love. – from the book blurb . . . 

Some of you must have come across this series of novels about Melvin, the intrepid detectorist!  Not my sort of book I’m afraid, but perhaps you may find the stories interesting rainy-day reading.

This series of comic short stories is about a man who uses his metal detecting hobby to solve mysteries. There are only five stories in this volume for a total of about 20,000 words. The author, Wayne  Schmidt, says:

The image of Melvin was interesting to construct. I borrowed a picture from the cover of a western novel (giving the artist credit, of course) and used cloning in Adobe Photoshop to remove the gun in a holster he was wearing and a rifle in his hand. Then I had to add a left hand (it was hidden in the original by the rifle, and a left foot, which was off the lower border in the original. After that I placed him on a pile of gold coins. The trickiest part was putting a metal detector in his left hand. To do that I took a picture of an actual metal detector, used a trace select option to capture it, pasted it onto the picture, scaled it, then used the clone device to move his arm, which was under the pasted detector, to the area above it. All in all this cover took me 10 hours to make. 

Click HERE or on the link above to access the five stories. Remember, I am NOT recommending these stories, simply bringing them to your attention. They all have a ‘detecting’ based theme. but are unlikely to win the Booker prize for fiction. Tell me what you thinkl

I leave you with this thought: Not all archaeologists are as swashbuckling as Indiana Jones and Lara Croft. Some, but not Melvin. What about Mack?

© JW – Mackenzie Crook – Detectorists’ Hero?

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  1. In a cowboy theme the Detectorist duo remind me of The lone ranger and Silver with the offsider being Lance. Most readers of your blog would buy magazines but i don’t think the general population reads many books now.
    I was taught speed reading when i was little so i have no problem with books.

    • Except for today the hero’s would be called The Lone Detecorist and his trusty companion Pull Tab. LOL……..

  2. I will bet that the magazines will be collectable, what with the low circulation, John!!! LOL.

    Since I am a book aficionado, I will take the time to read, John.. I may get my morning chuckle… and it even rained today.. so hey.. there is my rainy day entertainment

    Micheal

  3. I’m not surprised to see book sales (or magazines for that matter) sagging John, since everything now days has to be viewed in a video format.

    Of course if you were to write things up in a format that the younger generation could understand, then perhaps you would have a hit…………wud dat be gud wid U John??

    How would you like to be a teacher at a school now?? (picture me rolling my eyes). LOL….

  4. 5 further NO’s from me john on the hero stories …even on a rainy day I think I could do something better …now watching my hero Mackenzie Crookon TV is a much better option