Saturday, December 7, 2013

Blue Book March 1933

I've always liked Blue  Book, most of the ones I've turned up at Flea Markets and Antique Malls have been the larger bed-sheet size issues, that's the 8x10 inch regular size magazine issue's.  Wonderful issues and generally pretty reasonable, from Free to 3, 4 bucks.  This one is more the pulp size issue, with OMG trimmed edges!  Yeah, am a sucker for those, you can actually page though the issue, unlike all the other pulps of its ilk, with rough edges.  They still crumble the same when you read them, mostly over my jeans or the bed depending where you read the things.  This one I picked up from a friend in trade for some other books, he had about 5 or so of these, plus other pulps.

This one has a great Joe Chenoworth cover, who was from Indiana, went to the Chicago Art Ins. ( and taught there also), worked for McCall's (who was BB's publisher) which may have helped him get a job at Blue Book. A wonderful source of material on pulp artists is, its one of my favorite sites.  I really like his design on this cover, the W shape of the woman, the male figure intersects this and the shape of the land brings the whole thing around again to the figures, very nice.  I would have bought it, in the day.  The cover story is about the H. Bedford-Jones story "The Pearl of Price", 1500 miles south of Honolulu, pearls are found on a little charted reef and rats too!  A woman is found adrift with 2 dead men, a girl on a ship is found to be the "Devils Luck"!  Great story by Jones as usual.  I really find the novelette length stories are the best in a pulp, gives enough pages to suck you into.

The first story is "Power Smoke" by Roy Norton a very prolific writer of general fiction for Popular mag as well as many others.  Tells a modern western tale, mixed with Chicago style gangsters.  A decent short story of Deputy Bill Adams holding the mine down for the good guys.

One of my favorite stories contained here is "The Chief Engineer" by Bigelow Neil, a wonderful tale of a beaver and how he helps the humans.  Great teller of animal tales.  Looks like he spent his whole writing  career at Blue Book.  You couldn't go wrong writing for them, they paid very well, even in the thirties.

"Knave of Diamonds" by Henry LaCrossitt and very well done illo's by Joe Chenoweth.  The story is a good one an how a thief steals some diamonds and how they end up in the least expected place.  Seems he wrote a lot of stories, for Adventure, Complete, Sat. Evening Post and of course Blue Book.  Romantic adventure seems to be his ticket.

"Breakers Away" bu Frederick Bechdolt a well told yarn about Chineese human contraband.  An unusual choice of story matter.  Very  well done.  He wrote for everyone, Sat. Evening Post, Cosmo, Liberty, and lost of pulps.  He did very well for himself, I would think.

"Flying Justice" by Sidney Bowen a flying and sports writer, in the pulps, puts out a tale of a pilot and bank robbers.  He wrote a lot of pulp material and Blue Book was not left out of this.  The illo's by George Wert, is another blog entirely, so will get back to him soon.

"The Secret of Zorga Island" by Wm J. Makin a Red Wolf of Arabia story and a top notch spy tale.

"White Owl Milk" by Akers is a rather racist story, he wrote a lot of them for Blue Book, well told though...

"Abducted Premier"  a Freelancers of Diplomacy story by Herbert New a regular feature like the previous 2 tales.

"Murder Master" by Roy L. Hinds the featured novel in the issue is a very smooth tale of oriental murder, he's a terrific  storyteller.  He did tons of work at  Popular, Short Story and Argosy. 

All very accomplished professionals in the prime of their writing lives, this makes for a very well spent 15 cents back in the day, OK, so I spent  15 bucks on this deal, but still a very great value. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A pulps cover...

While picking out something to write about pulp-wise, you can't help looking at the covers.  Yeah, back in the day I would have bought a ton of these things just for the cover.  Here's a good example from Populars line of Dime Mystery, this is the ones that came after the name change to 15 Mystery Stories.

I think the cover is by Sam Cherry, its a classic.  The novel in the mag is William Campbell Gault's Keeper of The Cat-Bride,  a very good tale in my opinion.  I find most everything he did here and in Dime Mystery to be unique and well written. 

Interior art pretty cool also, I don't know who's the artist, but nice.

Another classic pulp cover this time for DM, this time I think its Stan Drake he used this model a bunch of times, maybe his wife.  The novel in this issue I thought was the strongest story, it by Franklin Gregory and the title is Once in a Murderer's Moon.  He wrote some in DM and his output at this time was mostly in Adventure and Blue Book.  I also like the story Dark Inquest by Cyril Plunkett who was a very prolific writer of detective fiction writing for everyone it looked like in the pulps and a bunch for Popular, New Detective, Detective Tales DM, etc. 

An interior drawing from DM, looks to be either Everett Raymond Kinstler or Gerald McCan, they are oddly similar in style sometimes.  Both of their bio's can be found at Pulp artists field guide. 

So, if I was browsing the racks back in the late 40's early 50's, I would positively snag these 2 issues!  OK, well if I had the dough 15 to 25 cents a pop, I would have bought doubles of each for trading purposes later, just like buying doubles of all #1 issues.  An old comic book deal.  Anyone else do this?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Humorama continues!

Humorama was a great little pin-up and men's humor digest mag from the 50's to the mid 60's.  It was a Martin Goodman publication, who had one of his relatives Abe Goodman run the show.  It wasn't a big money maker, like his full size true detective magazines.  But, it did make enough dough for run for a long time and it was twenty five to thirty five cents, so cheap anyway.  Lets face it guys that worked for them didn't make any to much either.  Seems odd that guys like Jack Cole, who could get work at Playboy, worked there.  I would think any of the other guys I like from this mag, like Bill Ward and Wenzel etc. could have made it elsewhere too.  Who knows with Timely Pubs what the deal was.  Humorama, Joker are from 1962-3 and the Smiles is 1955 not sure of the publisher, which had offices in Silver Spring, MD. 

Years ago, 1990 or so I had the opportunity to look over great stacks of Humorama type of originals, wonderful stuff, I bought as many of the "good" ones as was possible to walk away with.  Don't know where Ferd got them, he was from Canada and had links to one the larger dealers there, can't remember who he was, but I would guess he picked them up somewhere, maybe they reprinted the things in Canada, anyone know?  In any case, cheap a couple of bucks each. 
An nice sample from Joker Nov. 1963 by Bill Ward, I have a few originals left in my collection of these large charcoal drawings, he did them on cheap newsprint, so they don't hold up so well.  His pen and ink ones do though like this original I have.  It is sighed on the bottom left.

On the back the caption is "Of course I could love a person for years and years-but I'm afraid It wouldn't always be the same person!"  It was first printed in Humorama somewhere, then reprinted in Zip for Jan. 1970 and reprinted in Joker for Oct. 1970.  They certainly got there money's worth out of the art! 

Another nice Ward from Humorama, beautiful stuff. 

A wonderful Wenzel Girl. 

Here's a the link to the Ward page<>  good material there. 
And, here is some more nice Wenzel art, very cool.  <>

There are more fellas who did work for the pin-up mags some time later I would like to get to Tim Troup, Camil,  and other favorites in the Humorama  and like mags. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Humorama and other men's magazine art

eOK, well I really enjoy this politically incorrect art.  I know what that indicates, but that's the fun of it.  Here are some  very excellent pen and ink art that I enjoy quite a bit.  First up Kirk Styles an excellent dry brush man.  That is to say when you dip your brush ( like a #2 Windsor Newton red Sable available at any art store ) in the ink you wipe it on a piece of paper until it starts to dry and use it then on the art.  Look at these: The one on the right is Styles and the other one is Bill Wenzel.  I like both of these guys very much, one very different from the other.  Here under them on the right Dan DeCarlo and Bill Ward.  You will know DeCarlo from his Archie comics work on Josie and the Pussycats and other stuff over there.  I like the backs also of these originals, they indicate where and how many times they were reprinted, very cool.  Click on them and get a larger view, very nice.  In the middle 2 nice Wenzel's, his was the best at men's cartoons. 


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Some new Astounding Pulps

Some really nice Astounding came my way, just love reading these awesome issues from March, July Aug , Nov, Dec, 1940 and Jan. 1941.  Some excellent stories from Heinlein's If this Goes On, to Slan by A E van Vogt ( with a drawing by Schneeman).  I have only gotten though the March 1940 issue with the conclusion to the Heinlein story which was excellent.  It also has what I thought was the best story in the mag Chapter from the Beginning by Alexander M Phillips a story of early man and a later evolution of same, hunting him.  Excellent tale of possible historical cross-over of the species, very cool. 
Seems that according to Fictionmags excellent site that he did work for Top Notch in 1936, some Shortstories in the 40's, probably more Astounding than is listed. The Wiki mentions work for Amazing, Wonder and Unknown.  It also mentions his being a president of the Phily SF society.  I thought the tale was very good, but, me, I just am a sucker for this kind of yarn. 
Some really nice art here from The Stars look Down drawn W A Koll, whom I don't know much. Nice work though

And one of my favorite guys illustrating pulps Edd Cartier.  Pulpartists says he went to Pratt and studied under Harold Scott ( who influenced a lot of pulp artists and was a very prolific one himself)  and William James ( who was an art director at Street and Smith) gave him his start at S and S.  He went on to do over 800 illo's for The Shadow mag. 
Another Cartier, he did say that he likes to put humor in his work and he does come across and does a nice light job of it.
Some more nice illos's...
Possibly some of the most excellent reading you can get in a pulp magazine, plus some of the better pulp drawings in one mag.  You really got you 20 cents worth of entertainment back in the day!  You can't exactly end without mentioning  John Campbell the editor who made it all happen, and had a real lively letters section too!  Wonderful stuff!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wisconsin Foodie 2 Nettles and Pasta Pesto!

Right, the above is Pasto D'urtaica which is to say Pasto with Stinging Neddles.  Yup, thats the stuff when you touch it gives you a hell of an itch.  It grows in our yard like a weed, I pick the new growth off the top with gloves and yank the rest of it out of our garden.  It comes  back like a vengence.  To make this dish, I blanch the whole bunch in a  pasta pot for a few minutes and the stingers go away.  Let cool and remove the stems.  Blend it in a food processor, with about 3 cloves garlic, olive oil, fresh basil, chives and oregano, till smooth.  Add Parmasean cheese to blender.  We added popcorn cauliflower, cut into small pieces and roasted with some olive oil, turning frequently in a large pan and finish in a 400 degree oven to caramelize,  tossing well, add the Pesto and any kind of pasta you may wish, we added Cellentani, awesome, and stir until combined.  Free, fresh food out of the yard!  Google the Stinging Neddles if you don't know what they are, I bet you have some too!  To die for,  really excellent stuff!  Ya, gotta love the Italians for thinking this up!  And my wife, CBJ, did her take on it, with the fresh herbs and the roasted cauliflower.   

Interesting Pulp magazine uses...

Here is a really unique item I ran across in The Richmond Bookstore, Richmond, VA and a cool story to go with it.
OK, its a purse, it has two clapboard images to it, the back was a bra ad or something.  It has the strap, clasp, and sides that made it about 3 inches wide inside and really looked professionally done, never seen one of these things before.  I really like the idea of including the dice with the Gambling Lady cover!  Bob the owner of the store and a buddy of mine tells me that when he was at one pulp show or another and I think it was the one in New Jersey that a guy came up to him and was interested in romance pulps which Bob had a bunch of, but not with him.  So the guy buys what he has, tells him about using them for woman's handbags, and he never hears from him again.  Well Bob shops everything from Fleas to backyard sales and right in Richmond, runs across 2 of these things, at a yard sale, the other one wasn't a pulp cover, but had the same 7 x10 image from another mag.  He couldn't remember if this was one of the pulps he sold to the guy in New Jersey, and Fiction Mags does not have it in that site either.  There are 3 or so Gambling Lady titles, one by Frank Gruber no less, but not this cover.  The cover image looks to me like it should be the 1950's, but the 10 cent price tag seems of question for a 50's pulp.  So it could be a composite image, even if it is its a nice one. And, no I did not buy it, if anyone wants it, its still there I would think. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Old school, now New school

OK, As you can tell my old school ways have transformed into a much more easy to handle form of music.  Sampling is so much easier to do with the iPod Touch, and instant email, maps and a ton of music on the road, where I spend all my time.  Also I became a part of the portable hard-drive gang, with this preloaded rock and roll bonanza , all 1.5 terra bites of it.  About, what? 35 years of continuous listening?  Who would have thunk?  And for all those who know of these things, yes, the song Thunk by The Jefferson Airplane/Starship is on there!  So, the Decemberists, Springsteen's Waiting on a dream, Dylan's Tempest, Charlie Musselwhite, David Bowie's Hunky Dory, and Neil Young's After the Gold Rush, are going on shuffle for a good 8 hours or so!  Nice to plug in in my dash on the semi and cruise on down the road!  Yeah, I love it, gotta get some wireless speakers and use it at the house too!  Oh, it came as a very nice gift from my wife ( the iPod) and the hard-drive from my good friend Mike, nice when things work out like that!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

New tunes

There are days when I want to go out and get some new music and end up not caring much for my choices.  So with my old school ways went to the library and checked them out to listen to them first.  Here are the 3 new ones I took with on the road.
I know you can down load samples of the above and get the whole deal burned to your Ipod or whatever you use, BUT, I prefer the real thing yet, love to read the notes.  The Clapton Album has a lot of wonderful tunes on it that he must love.  Its an album that at first listen, I didn't like, and some Clapton heads probably won't either.  But, the second times the charm, the guest artists on this album make it for me Taj Mahal on Harp on the opening tume Further Down the Road, also written by him.  Angel has J J Cale on Guitar, possibly one of the best songs here is Gotta Get Over with Chaka Khan on vocals, its written by Doyle Bramhall the other guitarist on the CD, very good too.  All of  Me is a song I've heard a few times, notable by Willie Nelson, here with Paul McCartney on bass and vocals.  And, one of my favorites is Goodnight Irene done old school a wonderful tune written by Huddy Ledbetter, better know as Leadbelly for a fight he got into in prison, got stabbed 5 times in the gut and survived!  Overall, the guitar playing is excellent and I really got into the various styles he plays here, including some Peter Tosh, Otis Redding and the Gershwin Brothers. 
All day yesterday was Record Store Day, a day of old albums on vinyl.  I heard a ton of music on that format coming though Indiana and Chicagoland ( Wxrt)  Great stuff made me look though some of mine, am gonna hafta dust of the record player and check some out, like the above!  Man, I have some great ones, I have not heard in a long time, like the Masked Marauders ( said to have Mick Jagger on the first tune) they were a great garage band, gotta love it, lots more.  Fodder for another day...

The David Bowie CD is another I had a hard time liking the first time though, but, man does it grow on you its awesome!  Its been 10 years since his last album, he's had a heart attack to recover from but, back like a great rocker.  The album is a pretty quiet affair, heck the cover is a post-it note over his Heroes album, no notes here, no musicians listed.  Great tunes, The Next Day, The Stars, Valentines Day ( reminds me of Pete Droge's 4th of July is a good day to die, they'll remember you each year, your departure from here).  BTW, the video of The Stars is a very good short film, can be seen on YouTube.  OK, the album is a rocker, not quiet, it has Earl Slick on Guitar pretty good if you ask me, he replaced my favorite guitar player in Bowie's band Mick Ronson a great player on Ziggy Stardust and other albums.  He died at age 46 of liver cancer, way to young. 

The Heart Album on the other hand is one that I like all the way though the first time, a fine bit of hard rock, these woman can do it all, even with strings the ladies rock.  This year they were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  I think this album is to prove that they belong there.  Dear Old America and Skin and Bones both excellent tunes.  You can't go wrong getting this CD. 

Its really great when your bands of the past still can produce good music, I have the new Niel Young and Springsteen albums that I find to be really good also.  In this day and age when people are retiring it feels good to hear them doing their art and on the road.  Heart is out and about, close to me, in Highland Park, Il. Bowie, on the other had is not out promoting his new one.  Clapton probably is.  The last time I saw him live was at Alpine Valley, WI. (1992)  It was with Stevie Ray Vaughn and Robert Cray.  It was a wonderful show, with a great jam in the end, you can not believe how good that was!  The sad part was that was the night Stevie Ray went up in a helicopter and crashed in to the side of the hill there and was killed.  It was a very foggy night.  Man, that was hard to take, one of our favorite  guitar players was gone.  Clapton rocks on...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pulp Stuff

The below is  part of the reason I don't seem to get anything done.  This is the top of my desk, I'm sure one or two of you have about the same kind of room that I have there.  Geeze, all's I want to do when I get to it is look at all this cool stuff, like the stack on the left which is pretty much Doc Savage for 1934 and  up to 1938 or so, on the right a bunch of Adventure for the 20's and 30's, Some Spicys, Short Story and Thrilling Wonders among others.  Of course in the back, some Street and Smith Thick Books, vintage paperbacks and what have you!  OK, I do get to some reading, like these below. 

The Doc on the left is January 1934 with the 1st appearance of Pat Savage story Brand of the Werewolf,  a very up to date gal for 1934 and an excellent story for an early Doc.   Classic Baumhoffer Werewolf cover and some good stories on British Guianna,  and Pearl Divers.  The issue on the right is April 1934, Classic Baumhoffer cover for The Monsters, great use of what is more modern tech, TV and 2 way wrist radio's!

The 2 consecutive issues of the Shadow, I've read recently and a while ago, with some excellent covers, like the Chest cover for Sept. 1944 by Modest Stein is excellent, I like the Shadow shadow.  I love oriental stories of mystery.  The second story in the issue is by Ralph Andrews a tale of oriental Double-cross, which I like also.  The third tale is by Talmage Powell about a killer retuning home, it sucks you right in, good yarn.  Several more tales by John Roebert about 2 guys looking to get out of crime, James Bent a story of black market meat (its the war years after all) and Death lays and Egg By Ted Stratton about a perfect crime but the husband fails to remember one thing!

The other issue of the Mask for Oct. 1944 is great, don't know the artist for the issue, but could be Stein, very nice.  The story I found to be excellent with a nice twist ending.  Also a very good Nick Carter Story by Bruce Elliott. 

Here too I have to add some nice art by Jack Gaughan, boy, double click on this and take a look at what would have been the cover to my issue of Cloak and Dagger # 3 or so around 1969 or 1970 can't remember anymore, but really fine art.  He said to me that he got up over coffee and did these drawings to warm up!  Pretty cool.  I found these drawings when my mother died, buried at her house, she never though out much.  OK, the rest of the issue on ditto masters was there too!  Here too, is the back cover to it. Ah, and one more illo from that issue, one of mine from 40 years ago!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Spicy's


Two recent reads mine are the above pictured pulp magazines of the Culture group, sometimes known as Trojan Publishing.  Trojan also published one of my favorite lines of 50’s crime and horror comics.  Being they printed some of the best gory and violent group of comics a guy could want!   The pictured pulp of an early nature: the Spicy Detective dated May 1941 a scarcer issue of that series and a later publication of theirs: Speed Western July 1947.  For you guys and gals who read pulps you know that this was a publisher out to fill a part of the buying public that was of an adult nature.  So, OK, your kid goes into buy a comic or pulp, say Doc Savage and the dad goes with him and gets a little something for himself to read, and asks for a Spicy.  Mostly, these were under the counter items, so you got a Spicy Mystery, Detective, Adventure or whatever you liked.   Cool, now you got a piggy-back sale, like selling a candy bar with you comics or pulp purchase.  More dough, yah know?  Anyway down the line Culture got cracked and had to tame down their line and renumbered and renamed their line Speed, hence the Speed Western from Spicy Western.  Oddly, enough at least in the Speed Western case no more “sex” but pretty violent for a western.  An example of both of these early and late series pulps would say be from my favorite detective writer Robert Leslie Bellem, the story is called Future Book a horse racing tale of a bookie who takes bets on future races ( weird, I know).  It’s a tale of Dan Turner Hollywood Detective.  To quote Dan ( and, ladies I’m sorry about the politically incorrect line, but its funny) “When I spoke to her, she drew a quavery (sic) gasp that swelled the front of her suede jacket in a most distracting way!”  Alright, kind of quaint, but, you get the idea about Spicy.  As for the Speed side, from Frontier Law by Paul Hanna: “Allan’s hand shot up and grasped that thumb, and the crack of the broken bone sounded though the room.”  Ouch, not something I’d find in a Western Story mag. yarn ( The cover quote: is stories as clean as the outdoors). 
  Let's talk about the artists with Culture Pubs.  The cover to the Detective is by Allan Anderson.  It’s a very nice design, the way the two people lean to the left and the door on that side brings the eye around over to the gun and back to the characters--a classic triangle design, good drapery and a nice on the eyes female.  An excellent cover made to sell.  The Western is by George Rosen, not a slouch in the cover painting department.  Notice the arms on the female and male that make the eye keep looking at the scene, a nice rectangle.  Makes me want to know what’s going on in the magazine.  And as for what is inside, well some very good pen and ink drawings by Parkhurst and Joe Sokoli.  Sokoli, had a relationship with the guys at Culture in a round about sort of way, which I find interesting to no end.  I read a very nice article in Illustration magazine here by David Saunders which is very long and detailed and he has the sweetened and condensed version at his very excellent Field hunters guide to Pulp Artists here.  To paraphrase some of that, Joe lived the life of the Dead End Kids ala Jack Kirby ( who did some pulp illo’s and created some character name Captain America with Joe Simon of course).  His father was a barber to many famous people, including Wild Bill Hickock, President Woodrow Wilson and a guy named Frank Costello, a gangster and a good tipper!  Joe went to Pratt to get an engineering degree, but switched to art, because of the great depression ( 1932), where the alumni of the school were making big bucks.  The teachers included, Walter Baumhofer, H. Winfied Scott, Rudolph Belarski, Fred Blakeslee, and John Flemming Gould.  They all returned to Platt to tell others how to break into the pulps.  The students included: Earl Mayan, George Gross, and Sokoli.  Seems as if Joe’s father died and at the same time the gangster Frank Costello comes in the Culture game with partner Harry Donenfield, Costello being the silent partner.  So, Joe needs a job…A last note on Donenfield is how what Dave says he may have made his money to buy National (later to merge into DC Comics) was by smuggling Canadian booze into the US in the hollow of the paper rolls he used in publishing his Spicy’s.  Just a rumor! 


Ah, now the writers had just a little to do with the mags, in Speed Western , Walter A Tomkins with Spawn of the Trigger Breed a story of a father’s rep and what happens to his son, good tale.  John Jo Carpenter, Laurence Donovan a great story on bringing Morgan horses west to sell.  William Decater, Paul Hanna and Joel McCoy about Mexico’s war with Texas, very cool.  The Spicy Detective has Luke Terry, Robert A Garron, Robert Leslie Bellen who has the destination of writing for most all the issued of Spicy Detective, Max Neilson, Carl Lennox, Walton Grey, Stan Warner and Paul Hanna again.  A lot of these guys used other names when writing here in the Spicy’s for whatever reasons.  

And Without a doubt, Culture Publications is one of the most interesting houses of the Golden Age of pulps, comics and other material.  Just scratched the surface here, more to be read! 

And Without a doubt, Culture Publications is one of the most interesting houses of the Golden Age of pulps, comics and other material.  Just scratched the surface here, more to be read!  

The above comics are notable for the way the title changed from the #1 issue with  emphasis on the Western to the Crime issue #7 and the Wally Wood Art on Six Gun, great stuff hey?  The Sally  art  on top of the Joe S. art is by Adolphe Barreaux , who is also listed as editor on the comics line, so he too was connected with Culture pubs. too.