Monthly Archives: August 2017

Men of Violence #8

Editor’s Notes
A Pair of Claws
Machine Gun Preacher
The Good, the Bad, and the Very Bad by Paul Bishop
John Benteen Series Checklists
· Fargo
· Sundance
· Cutler
· Ranch Bravo
“Walter Kaylin, come back!” by Bob Deis
Lyle Kenyon Engel
The Fantastic Novel Factory Paperback Impresario: Cranking Out Books, Raking in the Money by Joseph McLellan (Washington Post Feb. 12, 1979)
A Working Checklist for the Books Packaged by Lyle Kenyon Engel by Joe Kenney

Men of Violence #8 July 2017
56 pages, ~6” x 8” (A5-size) saddle-stitch binding
Editor/Publisher: Justin Marriott
Copy Editor: Jim O’Brien
The Paperback Fanatic website

Pulp Horror #6 Wrightson Tribute

The Postbag of Horror
The Axeman Cometh: A Visual guide to the art of the late Bernie Wrightson
1977; Year of the Mad Dogs: Jim O’Brien looks at the trio of rabid dog books that terrorised the UK in 1977
Rumour, Fear and the Madness of Crowds: Tom Tesarek reviews Shirley Jackson’s classic The Haunting of Hill House
Peter Saxon; The Disorientated Man: An overview of the horror books carrying the Press Editorial pseudonym of Peter Saxon
A Saxon Horde: Kev Demant’s review of select Saxon titles, including Scream and Scream Again
The Pack: More devil dogs, but this time the US pack that followed the success of Jaws

Pulp Horror #6 Bernie Wrightson Tribute August 2017
128 pages, ~6” x 8” (A5-size) perfect bound, full color throughout
Editor/Publisher: Justin Marriott
Copy Editor: Jim O’Brien
Contributors and Scanners: Andreas Decker, Jim O’Brien, Kev Demant and Tom Tesarek
Front cover: Rik Rawling
The Paperback Fanatic website

Men of Violence! #7

mov_7A trio of zines from Justin Marriott arrived yesterday, two issues of Men of Violence! and Pulp Horror #6. More on the content of the others in the days ahead, but let’s begin with MOV! #7:

Mailbag of Violence: LOCs from John Gallagher, Andy Boot, and Art Black
James Leasor Update
A Dirty Way to Die: Peter Enfantino’s recap of The Sharpshooter paperback series by Bruno Rossi
Flying High: Gavin Tudor Lyall paperbacks
The Sheriff of Rockabye County: J.T. Edson’s paperback series
In the Interrogation Room: Stephen Mertz—An interview by Paul Bishop

48 pages, ~6” x 8” (A5-size) saddle-stitch binding
Editor/Publisher: Justin Marriott
Copy Editor: Jim O’Brien
Cover: Image from The Sharpshooter #11 Triggerman
The Paperback Fanatic website

Dean Evans’ Hot Eyes

Stories from Suspense Magazine #4 Winter 1952: “Hot Eyes” by Dean Evans

A businessman, blinded on principle, can’t see the monumental abuse his wife heaps upon him until his loyal secretary bursts his illusions. His new found knowledge triggers an ability to spontaneously ignite the sources of his anger. Dean Evans was one of several pseudonyms used by Robert Arthur (of Mysterious Traveler and Three Investigators fame), and this yarn certainly seems to fit his MO. However, it was also a pseudonym used by George F. Kull, whom this story is attributed to at Galactic Central.

Ted Stratton’s Find the Witness


Mobsters April 1953 with “Time to Kill” by Terry Spain

Stories from Suspense Magazine #4 Winter 1952: “Find the Witness” by Ted Stratton

Ed Emshwiller produced a striking scratchboard-style illustration that depicts the story’s witness watching a woman as she’s thrust over a balcony railing by her murderer. It’s a police procedural that follows the thin trail of the victim’s clues that eventually lead to the witness, the murderer, a potential romance and a satisfying conclusion. Stratton was a prolific crime fiction writer during the pulp era. He also wrote at least one story under the name Terry Spain.

Image from Galactic Central.

Art Taylor on the fallout from relationships


EQMM Nov 2014 with Art Taylor’s “The Odds Are Against Us”

An excerpt from Art Taylor’s interview in The Digest Enthusiast #4 in June 2016.

TDE: Most of your stories explore relationships, reactions and decisions that characters have to live with. What appeals to you about this approach?

AT: Basically, I think those themes are just at the core of my own interests and obsessions. A fellow writer, E.A. Aymar, pointed out to me—nicely—that I wasn’t very good at branding my work, since my stories were all over the place in terms of subgenre and tone and whatever: noir here, cozy there; traditional structure here, something more experimental there; etc. And I’m certain that readers who have enjoyed some of my darker stories might well be bewildered by some of the lighter comedy of On the Road with Del & Louise. But to me, so many of these stories come down to the same elements: the responsibilities inherent in being in a relationship; the times when that relationship is tested; the decision to respect or betray the relationship; the fallout from that decision. Whatever the circumstances or situation that might drive that central storyline, and whatever the various combinations of choices and consequences that might result, those questions and that theme are what I return to time and time again.

Michael L. Cook’s Mystery, Detective, and Espionage Magazines

mlcook_colorAdmittedly, the number of reference volumes on my bookshelves
is modest. Nonetheless, Michael L. Cook’s Mystery, Detective, and Espionage Magazines is the most essential, complete and informative book on its topic that I’ve encountered. Its 1983 publishing date is its only real drawback. Until recently, most of the action in genre fiction magazines occurred on newsstands prior to 1983. But with the rise of self-publishing/online distribution, change is rapid and every year dates a reference volume like this one.

Cook explains in his Preface the why and wherefore of the book. Since escapist literature—mystery, detective and espionage in particular—is a preferred reading choice of the general public, Cook advocates it’s an important resource to understand the attitudes and morals of the people who read it, within the context of the era in which it was published.

“There can be no claim made for completeness, although coverage of magazines published in the United States, England and Canada is fairly complete. Magazines included here are of both the professional and amateur categories, and nonfiction magazines providing commentary, as well as magazines providing fiction are included.”

Defining the cutline for what’s relevant and what’s not, can be a source of controversy for researchers and collectors. Cook devotes a page and half to clarify his decisions.

Information on yesterday’s popular culture has always been held in the hands of a few and not necessarily preserved through generations. In the pre-internet world it was often difficult to find authoritative resources and impossible to provide easy access to the information gathered. Few libraries valued and preserved this aspect of popular culture. Cook provides a list of the few who were building their collections in 1983.

A work of this size and scope can only be compiled with the assistance of many experts and contributors. Cook fills a page with his acknowledgements, many names familiar to collectors and avid crime fiction readers.

In the book’s introduction, Cook provides a concise history of fiction magazines beginning with story papers and dime novels, then moving on to pulps and digest magazines. He touches briefly on key publishers, writers and characters and ends with an acknowledgement to fanzines. “Fanzines have made for themselves a significant place in the study, development, and enjoyment of popular fiction and are a vital part of it.” No wonder a few, like The Not So Private Eye, are included in his listings.

The listings make up 627 pages, arranged alphabetically by magazine title. Each entry begins with
a narrative summary of the title’s significance, highlights of its run, a contents overview, key contributors and stories of particular note. Far too many fiction magazines saw only a handful of issues and Cook sometimes speculates on the reason a title ended such as poor funding, distribution, low quality, etc.

The wide-ranging sources of information gathered for each entry is noted, encompassing other reference volumes, private collectors, libraries, articles from magazines and fanzines, etc.

The publication history includes any title changes, number of issues, publisher, editors, original price, dimensions and page count, and current status— which for most is “discontinued.”

The listings are comprehensive and I have seldom run across a title that is not represented.

As mentioned, the main section covers U.S., Canadian and UK titles, but it’s followed by a section devoted to “Overviews of Foreign Magazines” that includes entries for Australia, Denmark, France, Norway and Sweden.

“Book Clubs in Profile” provides a rare look into the history of the book clubs that advertised in many of the magazines covered in the listings. Some like the Detective Book Club experienced amazing growth—from “the humble office in 1923 that rented for $480 a year” to a 23,000 square foot office on Long Island by 1954. Book clubs covered include Ellery Queen’s Mystery, Masterpieces of Mystery Library, Mystery Guild (US and British), Mystery Library, Raven House Mysteries, Thriller (British) and Unicorn Mystery.

A: Magazines by Category provides a quick reference to check formats. Separated into three groupings for the U.S., Great Britain and Canada, magazines are grouped as Dime Novels, Pulp Magazines or Digest Size Magazines. Further divisions separate fiction from nonfiction magazines.

B: Key Writers in the Golden Age “While this list is by no means complete, either for the authors listed or for the magazines in which they were published, it will serve to identify many of the early markets for these selected writers.” A list of author pseudonyms follows.

C: Chronology provides the year in which each magazine originally appeared, beginning with 1882 (New York Detective Library) and ending with 1982 (Hamilton T. Caine’s Short Story Newsletter, Mystery News and Spiderweb). Paging through the years it’s easy to see when publishers felt most optimistic, and browsing the titles testifies how difficult it is to launch a title that lasts.

D: American True-Detective Magazines provides a partial list of magazines, noted “if for nothing more than identification, since many bear titles similar to fiction magazines.” A list of 41 titles is certainly better than nothing, but I wish it were more exhaustive and included their size. None
of the few pocket- or digest-size titles I’ve run across are included.

E: Canadian True-Detective Magazines

F: Sherlock Holmes Scion Society Periodicals “While some are of general interest to all who like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, others are primarily of value only to their own members.”

G: Other Periodicals of Interest to the Collector Although its unlikely any of the 25 titles listed remain active, it may provide collectors new titles to seek out in secondary markets.

The final pages of Cook’s volume include a two-page Selected Bibliography, Index and seven pages of Contributors.

Mystery, Detective, and Espionage Magazines
Greenwood Press, 1983
Hardcover, 6.25” x 9.5” 800+ pages
Prices ranges from $50 to $200 in secondary markets
Available at many libraries for reference

Duane Yarnell’s Ask No Quarter

Mantrap_backStories from Suspense Magazine #4 Winter 1952: “Ask No Quarter” by Duane Yarnell

The introduction to Yarnell’s story reports: “He sold his first seven stories before turning 21, and his slicks, pulps and network shows are legion.” Beyond Suspense Yarnell’s stories appeared in Five-Novels Magazine, Trapped, Detective Tales and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. But his main body of work was centered on sports—from team sports to hunting and fishing. Even his Suspense story is really a boxing yarn, with a twist ending that likely helped him place it here.

Yarnell wrote novels too, primarily sporting stories, but his novel for Crest, Mantrap (1957), appears to be genuine crime fiction. The back cover copy, written by the publisher, tells readers the book “packs a wallop like Mickey Spillane.”

Galaxy Novel #25

gn25Opening lines of The Last Starship by Murray Leinster, reprinted as Galaxy Novel #25 in 1955:

“Kim Rendell stood by the propped-up Starshine in the transport hall of the primary museum on Alphin III. He regarded a placard under the spaceship with a grim and entirely mirthless amusement. He was unshaven and hollow-cheeked. He was even ragged. He was a pariah because he had tried to strike at the very foundation of civilization. He stood beside the hundred-foot, tapering hull, his appearance marking him as a blocked man.”

Available in a 2007 reprint from Wildside Press.