Tag Archives: Joe Wehrle Jr.

Joe Wehrle, Jr.’s The Obvious Danger

obvious_dangerArtist and writer Joe Wehrle, Jr. has a story in every issue of The Digest Enthusiast, including book seven, which will be out in about a week. He often creates an illustration or two to go with his stories, like this one for “The Obvious Danger,” which appears in TDE5. Here’s the opening paragraph:

“The evening sun coaxed long shadowy fingers across the mossy ground, deepening the gloom within the small clearing. I had long since laid my book aside, content to just witness the grove’s nightly metamorphosis.”

Joe Wehrle, Jr.’s Strangers in Need

Strangers-in-NeedOpening lines to “Strangers in Need” by Joe Wehrle, Jr. from The Digest Enthusiast book four:

“The snow-covered hut stood alone, a tiny, silent bastion against the thoughtless winter’s cruelty, its smoke billowing up against the sombre gray sky. Through a chink in the wall, a small girl’s eyes gazed out at the icy stillness.”
Note: A short hiatus over the Fourth holiday weekend, posts will resume on Wednesday, July 5th.

H.G. Wells Society Newsletter

wells_30Excerpts from Joe Wehrle, Jr.’s review of the H.G. Wells Society Newsletter #30 from TDE4:

“This may be a somewhat unusual entry in the catalog of digest-size publications, but I think the newly-redesigned H. G. Wells Society Newsletter certainly qualifies for inclusion. I recently received issue 30, Autumn 2015, with cover illustration by J. Begg, reproduced from the Illustrated London News of 25 January 1913.

“I find articles in the Wells Society publications to be very carefully researched and highly literate. A majority of the writers and the editorial staff have doctorates and associations with prestigious uni- versities. They tend to delve deeply into the subject matter, avoiding superficiality and the stereotypical.

“This newsletter is issued twice a year, and there is also a thicker, and very scholarly annual, The Wellsian.

“Subscriptions and general enquiries may be addressed to secretary Eric L. Fitch, 20, Upper Field Close, Hereford HR2 7SW, UK.”

H.G. Wells Society website

Feed the Beast by Lesann Berry

The last remnants of comfort slid off Kiefer, leaving him exposed and naked, fearful.

The Digest Enthusiast’s mission is to explore the world of digest magazines—past and present. First, we’re making a record of this corner of publishing history. Second, we want to generate interest for current newsstand digests like Nostalgia Digest, EQMM, Fate, AHMM, F&SF, Analog and Asimov’s—and those today’s technology makes possible like Weirdbook, Paperback Parade, Betty Fedora, Pulp Literature, Crime Syndicate, Morpheus Tales, etc.

We’re celebrating short genre fiction, and balancing each edition with coverage of non-fiction titles like Beyond and Borderline, plus a few original fiction stories of our own. Most of the feedback supports this approach, but some digest enthusiasts see our fiction pages displacing other features. I appreciate that perspective, but I think the variety helps make the total package better. James Reasoner summed it up precisely in his review of TDE2 on Rough Edges: “Rounding out the issue, appropriately enough, are four short stories by Joe Wehrle Jr., D.D. Ploog, Richard Krauss, and John M. Kuharik. These are excellent crime and fantasy yarns.” AirShip 27 publisher Ron Fortier wrote on Pulp Fiction Reviews: “…[TDE] features a wonderful balance of articles, interviews and short fiction.”

The Digest Enthusiast book five includes three short stories by Lesann Berry, Richard L. Kellogg and Joe Wehrle, Jr. Lesann’s is the first episode of her Alternate History Archive, “Feed the Beast.” Here’s the opening:

“Kiefer turned his back but the cops kept talking. Shoulders hunched down, he shuffled away. He hated pity. The last thing he wanted to deal with right now was some yahoo’s good intentions. The bottle in his pocket victimized him enough. Blinking, he counted off three breaths before scanning the alley entrance.


“Relief flooded through him. Sometimes the creatures skulked in the shadows, watching and wait- ing. On occasion the thing stared directly at him, snapped its pointed teeth like a rabid dog. Every so often he believed they might even be real.”

And let’s not forget the great artwork that accompanies the fiction. Three beautiful pieces from Michael Neno, Brian Buniak and Joe Wehrle, Jr. Shown here are the pencils for Michael’s finished piece that appears in the issue.

TDE5 is available in print, Kindle and Magzter.

Planetstorm by Joe Wehrle, Jr.

Illustration for "Planetstorm" by Joe Wehrle, Jr.

Illustration for “Planetstorm” by Joe Wehrle, Jr.

Joe Wehrle, Jr. is a writer and artist. His stories and artwork have appeared in the Cauliflower Catnip Pearls of Peril, Menomonee Falls Gazette, 1971 Clarion Anthology, Vampirella, Two-Gun Raconteur, Worlds of If, Galaxy and many other publications. He’s a key contributor to The Digest Enthusiast as cover artist, reviewer and fictioneer. His SF story “Planestorm” appeared in TDE3. Here’s the opening:

“The tiny survey ship lay at rest beneath an unfamiliar sun. In the operations cubicle, Rick Mills began the complicated process of sealing himself into the bulky, sand-colored field suit. He double-checked the gear as he loaded it onto the suit and attached the proper input studs. When he installed the heat- pack, it beeped, he winced, and he hurriedly unclipped and reset it properly, hoping his grandfather hadn’t noticed the telltale sound.”

Joe will be back with a new cover for TDE5, due out in Jan. 2017.

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A tip of the ten-gallon to James Reasoner for his comments on TDE4 on Rough Edges today: “THE DIGEST ENTHUSIAST continues to be one of the very best publications out there.”

The Digest Enthusiast #4 is here!

The Digest Enthusiast #4

The Digest Enthusiast #4

The fourth edition of our book-length magazine celebrating yesterday’s and today’s digest magazine titles is now available in print and digital versions. Here’s what’s inside:


Art Taylor: Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
Editors of the new generation of digital digests:
  Alec Cizak (Pulp Modern), Jennifer Landels (Pulp Literature),
  John Kenyon (Grift Magazine),
 Kristen Valentine (Betty Fedora), Sheri White (Morpheus Tales


Suspense Magazine and Novels by Richard Krauss

Galaxy Science Fiction Novels by Steve Carper
Galaxy Magabooks by Gary Lovisi

Criswell Predicts: Fate & Spaceway by Tom Brinkmann

Shock Mystery Tales by Peter Enfantino

Max Allan Collins’ Pocket Pin-ups trading cards

H.G. Wells Society Newsletter #30
Bulldog Drummond by Sapper
Mystery, Detective, and Espionage Magazines by Michael L. Cook


“A Rat Must Chew” by Gary Lovisi

“The Hideout” by Ron Fortier
“Strangers in Need” by Joe Wehrle, Jr.

“Wounded Wizard” by John Kuharik

Artwork and Cartoons:

Sean Azzopardi

Rob Davis 

Brad Foster

Michael Neno

Bob Vojtko
Joe Wehrle, Jr.

Also includes:

Editor’s Notes
Suspense Magazine index
Social media round-up
Opening Lines

Print $8.99 (b&w interior) 
Includes ~100 cover images, 152 pages
amazon.com     CreateSpace
eBook $2.99 (color throughout) 
Includes ~ 50 cover images
Kindle     Kindle Preview

Larque Press website

Mister No: Arriva Esse-Esse

Mister No #194

Mister No #194

A recurring character in the Mister No series is the bearded Otto Kruger, nicknamed Esse-Esse (SS) due to the fact that he had been an officer in the German army. Having fought for opposing sides during the war, Jerry Drake (Mister No) and Kruger have their differences, but now usually find themselves allied against a common foe.

Excerpt from “The Italian Mister No Digest Comics” by Joe Wehrle, Jr. TDE2

H.L. Gold: Beyond Fantasy Fiction

Beyond Fantasy Fiction Sept. 1954 Vol 2 #2 (#8)

Beyond Fantasy Fiction Sept. 1954 Vol 2 #2 (whole #8)

It’s known that from the very beginning H. L. Gold intended a fantasy-themed companion to Galaxy, but he had to bide his time until the first publication proved successful. Busy enough already, he got Sam Merwin to assist him in editing Beyond. Merwin enjoyed a good reputation as an editor, and Gold particularly respected the job he had done as long-term editor of Thrilling Wonder Stories.

September 1954 Vol. 2, No. 2 (Issue No. 8)
“The Beautiful Brew” (novelette) by James E. Gunn
“It’s Not the Heat” (novelette) by Sam Merwin, Jr.
“The Root and the Ring” (novelette) by Wyman Guin
“Earth Shaker” by Franklin Gregory
“Room Without Windows” by Manly Bannister
“Double Whammy” by Fredric Brown
“See Me in Black” by Robert Beine
“Kash and the Lemurs” by Ralph Spencer

Excerpt from “A World Beyond” by Joe Wehrle, Jr. TDE2.

Joe Wehrle, Jr. “Passenger for the Night Train”

Cauliflower Catnip Pearls of Peril

Cauliflower Catnip Pearls of Peril

In 1981, Joe Wehrle, Jr. (pronounced “Wer-lee”) self-published a Big Little Book entitled Cauliflower Catnip Pearls of Peril. It was one of those singular achievements you never forget. The print run was limited to about 500 copies and if you’re lucky enough to find one these days, it will cost you about $25.

Joe was a student at one of the early Clarion workshops, either the first or the second, and one of his stories is included in the anthology that came for the group. He’s contributed three covers and three stories for The Digest Enthusiast to date. Here’s the opening from his crime story, “Passenger for the Night Train” from TDE2 (June 2015):

“At about 2:15 a train whistle moaned somewhere off in the cool darkness. I lifted the carpet-wrapped body out of the weeds and hoisted it onto the shadowy edge of the bridge.”