Sunday, September 30, 2012

Really great $1 Pulpls!

OK, I know what your thinking, man, Love pulps, but 'cha know pretty good reads and I was attracted to one of my favorite writers for Dime Mystery Francis K.Allan. He had one novel in Love Novels April 1954, called All My Tomorrows.  Which to me sounds like a soap opera.  But the story which I had to read was very good, about a singers agent finding his best singer on the porch of his building.  But, she has a secret of course.  Allan's stories in Dime Mystery would have had a weird twist, but this one turns out  well.  And, oddly enough, I find that looking at the Fiction Mags site that he has another name he writes under, Joe Kent, and he has another story in the same issue, The Girl He Wouldn't Believe.  The illustrations on the Tomorrows story is excellent as you can see, and to me, it looks like Gerald McCann, he did a lot of fine drawings for early 50's Ranch Romances and for some reason Vince Colleta comes to mind here too. He did a lot of romance comics with ghost pencil guys.  I dunno, looked at Who's Who and doesn't say much about pulp art, but he did work at Better Pubs, probably on the comics end doing Popular Romance and Thrilling Romances in the 50's. 

I do like the cover art very much here also, not only wonderful art, beautiful women, and all unsigned, which must have been Popular Pubs way of doing business.  They more likely didn't want other publishers to steal away thier talent.  Its amazing to me that these are all Popular mags, they must have had great distribution in this area, I run across their western pulps all the time too.  On the other had, I don't run into Popular's detective, mystery or adventure pulps in the real world much.  I suppose I wouldn't get them for a buck each anyway. 

Francis K Allan had another good story in this last batch of pulps, Dangerous Lady from Brooklyn, about an ex-sports star turned editor who helps a girl with unusual ideas of traffic control. Nice read and good art and title lettering. 

I notice that Agnes Best Nafzinger has a story, The spell of Turquoise in the March 1954 issue of Love Book, its a novel cover featured.  Seems as if she is a relative of Ray Nafzinger, as she writes with him on several stories  in Colliers and Saturday Evening post.  She writes in Love Book on her own, and most of her stories for Ranch Romances. Another reason, I think that can link the two of them together is that Ray lived in New Mexico and the Turquoise story made me put 2 and 2 together, OK, it may not have anything to do with that, but interesting.  Always good mystery stuff going on in the pulps! 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Action : Adventure : Treasure Trove

That's what I saw this week hunting up some pulps when I had some time.  I was at this antique store and notice the above looking out at me from a rack of magazines.  Being the good pulp hunter that I think I am, pulled it out to find this great mag.  Sea Story Anthology #1 and only, 1948, Street and Smith publication.  Filled with great stories of the sea,  and mind you some excellent western writers too!  Ernest Haycox, and Tom Roan are here as well as better know sea writers, Linclon Colcord, Albert R. Wetjen, and James F. Dwyer.  Most of the stories are reprinted from the 20's, but some good ones none the less.  I read the Roan story because I had to know how he would handle a sea tale, it does have a tendency to read like a western, right down to his use of the words savvy and gat (which is more like a later detective term, the story is hard to put a time to). Either way a good story.  The cover by H. C. Murphy, is an excellent painting, being that he died in 1931, was probably used on a early Sea Story cover.  The cover at one time was a nice slick paper, but after 64 years has faded somewhat.  The whole mag is printed on what looks to be coloring book paper and about the size too!  Dunno, I really like the bed-sheet size pulps like this.

 And, speaking of  bedsheets, the mag,

 I found next to this was nice too, a Blue Book December 1947 it was a cover-less copy, but tucked into the mag was the cover!  And, just to set everything off the price on the Blue Book was Free!  OK, the price on the Sea Stories was $1, yup, a buck!  Man, can't beat that!  I just love these Blue Books, Bed Sheet size, cover by Stoops covering his states issues, this one on New Jersey.  The stories are  just amazing to me, I mean to start off with Theodore Goodridge Roberts' Strike Hard! Bite Deep!  The Quest of the Mazed Knight in ancient Britain/ King Arthur's day.  Its the first story I'm gonna read here and there are some others too. The illustration is by Frederick Chapman, very nice, he worked largely for Woman's Home Companion and The American.  Other stories here include Grandpa and the Werewolf by Georges Surdez, The Golden Cup By H. Bedford-Jones a cool looking story about clipper ships and the China Trade, but the most interesting story is by Ross De Lue called The Flight of the XS-102 a SF story with great illos  by Wilson Thomson, don't know much about him, or de Lue.  Should be a good read.  Finally in this issue, there looks to be a wonderful story by the prolific Wilbur S. Peacock  called A Gambler's Reputation with some great drawings by one of my favorite artist for Blue Book, John Russel Fulton, I can't look at Blue Book without thinking of his work, so good.

I just love Fulton's dry Brush technique and I like the use of color too, it adds some depth to the black and white drawing.  I like to think that Fulton added the color, but suspect that they had a color guy or gal doing that.  Check out his women, especially the one with the fan in the foreground, man that's good!  I've read, I think in the Mike Ashly story of Blue Book in Pulp Vault #14 that Fulton was fazed out because he had an old fashion style, whoever thought that was a good idea, I will never know, these drawing he did are fantastic, and will never be anything but outstanding in the world of illustrations, IMO. Be sure to check out his Facebook page his grandsons have put up for him, some great information and a photo of him working at a painting can be seen there. 

Next time the rest of the pulps from the very same store....all at a buck a piece! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Judge Magazine finds.

I ran across these 8 issues of Judge at a flea market a few weeks back, and although not much on the pulp magazine side, some really awesome illustrations like this one from Orson Lowell from the  Dec. 16 1922 issue, the feature is The Original Christmas Eve.  Beautiful painting by Lowell, gotta love naked Eve with a clothed Adam.  Lowell was born in 1871 and lived until 1956, most of his work was for Judge, Life, American Girl, around the turn of the century.  He had an excellent pen and ink style, like Gibson and James Mongomery Flagg, but I think he was better than both.  His work had got some humor and warmth to it.  Here is an example of his pen and ink style from March 10 1923 issue of Judge.
The caption reads: A Tired businessman between the acts of a mystery, "tell me who did it so I won't have to go back".  Beautiful work I think, anyway I have two originals on my walls here.  This issue is the mystery issue, so thats the one of the 8 I read and has some pulp ties.  The first story is by Fairfax Downey who wrote for Blue Book, Argosy, and Adventure, writes a humor piece of what happens when you take a girl to a murder mystery.  Other stories and the editorial are of the humor variety, interesting stuff.  Some other artist here, John Held, who did some excellent flapper/jazz age drawings, and James M. Flagg doing some odd humor stuff, he was better know for stuff in Good Housekeeping and the WW! poster of Uncle Sam I want you!  Poster.  Below is my original Lowell it was a piece he submitted to the Opening exhibit of the Art Center ( NY,NY), the title is Carrying the City Fashions back to Hickory Center.  Looks to be a humor spot possibly from Life Magazine, its huge, 3 x4 FEET! Done on two pieces of paper.  Very cool, too bad the photo is so-so.  Its amazing the detail he gets from a pen!  Finally at the bottom is a nice cover for the July 14 1923 cover for Judge, its by Robert Patterson, he did work for Life and French Vogue, he studied as did Lowell, at the Art Institute of Chicago, very stylized stuff and a wonderful cover artist.  Any of you have opinions on these wonderful illustrators?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Charles Beckman Jr. stories from my collection, all good reads.  The first one I read was the Manhunt  Dec. 1953 a attractive cover by Uppwall featuring  the David Goodis story Black Pudding a story of revenge, a dish served cold.  A very good story about a guy who does time for another gangster and the gangster steals his wife and waits for him to get out and lead him to the loot.  The story by Beckman is Killing on Seventh St. a story of a man, who just lived his life until he's praised for killing a would be robber.  He finds himself turned on by what the hood does to his wife and you know where that leads... Seems a bit like the Spicy pulps when you read Manhunt.  There is another story here called Wife Beater by Roy Carrol, with a strange twist, not unforeseen, but, another sexual tale of the Spicy variety, heck makes Spicy Detective reading seem tame at times. 

The next story from Detective Tales April 1952 with the distinctive Norm Saunders Cover, has the Beckman story A Dead Mans Chest a short story about another guy who gets out a jail and  looks for his hidden treasure, but is beaten to it in a strange way by his partner.  I like his hard boiled writing, and his locations, like Corpus Cristi, TX. of which Charles knows something about, being a native.  Nice details like his study of sea shells, adds to the story.  Beckman works a lot into  9 pages.  He was well respected by the editor at Popular Pubs as he did get cover credit.  The interior art is excellent, none signed, but I think a lot of it is by Gerald McCann who you can look up at David Saunders fine site Field Guide to pulp artists.  McCann is a fine artist, who did work in the comics, like Classics Illustrated, and I have a lot of his work in Ranch Romances, which also features some nice art by Ray Kinstler, another blog sometime. Another good tale in this issue by Richard Sale Blind Ad for Murder, is very good, a great murder frame up.  Its a reprint from Detective Tales 1938, still a very good, hard to put down novelette. 

The final story in the last issue of Dime Mystery December 1949 with the Beckman story Run, Cat, Run.   A Johnny Nickle Jazz tale, is an excellent short about a Jazz trumpeter, who records the greatest tune, the best of the best, and then it begins to haunt story.  There is a reissue of Honky Tonk Gal by Charles Beckman that has been put out by Wildside Press, that would be a good read also with Johnny Nickle.  In addition the Boeckman's his real name( and Patti his wife), have a book out featuring most of the above collecting all of his crime stories.