The Jackie Robinson Story was a hit movie starring Jackie Robinson in 1950. It was co-written by Arthur Mann. And so we come across the movie tie-in digest, which was also titled The Jackie Robinson Story and published by F.J. Low.
An ad for The Vice-Czar Murders by Franklin Charles is on the inside back cover of The Case of the Deadly Drops. No publisher is mentioned, but we know that an R. W. Company went one-and-done with a book of that title. And that’s all we know. The R. W. Company is as evanescent as the Edell Company. The address given is 11 East 44th Street, in midtown Manhattan, far removed from the then-backwoods of Brooklyn. Nor was The Vice Czar Murders published by Phoenix, nixing that connection. Yet, guess what? Its inside back cover is an ad for The Case of the Deadly Drops. Additionally, the covers of the two books are suspiciously similar in style and coloring, the back covers are identical yellow squares with white borders, and both were distributed by IND, the Independent News Company. It’s all but certain that the two companies are connected in some way.
“The Edell Company is a total mystery. Nothing online can be found about it; no reference books provide information. The one book Edell released, The Case of the Deadly Drops by Gerald Benedict, is published ‘by arrangement with Phoenix Press.’”
Published in 1945 by J.P. Feiner, The Greatest Adventure Stories Ever Told features “30 Thrillers by the world’s master story-tellers.”
Steve Carper’s research for One-and-Dones part two (The Digest Enthusiast No. 8), reveals its likely connection to Doreen Publishing, who also produced (30 Tales of) Adventure and Romance, edited by Arnold Shaw.
Published in 1945 by William Crawford, and listed in Paperback Prices by Graham Holroyd as a “Crawford Digest,” The Garden of Fear is an anthology titled after Robert E. Howard’s story, but also includes reprints by Lloyd A. Eshbach, H. P. Lovecraft, Miles J. Breuer, and David H. Keller from Crawford’s earlier Marvel Tales pulp magazine.
Steve Carper’s research for One-and-Dones part two (The Digest Enthusiast No. 8), reveals it was neither a singleton, nor a digest, but still a highly collectable volume, readily available in secondary markets.
“Jacob R. Brussel was a New York bookstore owner noted for carrying erotica, connected with the small world of taboo-breaking books and writers. He published and distributed an early (and then completely illegal) edition of Tropic of Cancer and also the much less noted Oragenitalism. An Encyclopaedic Outline of Oral Technique in Genital Excitation.
“. . . a second 1945 release, One Hundred Years of American Humor, edited by J. Brussel, whose existence knocks an otherwise perfect one-and-done example off the list. Both covers of the anthology raise questions. The front cover says “Price 25 cents”yet the “Now 10¢.” stamp is clearly not an after-market artifact. Could this rarity have two printings?”
“Bob Hope’s first book, They Got Me Covered, a self-published curiosity from 1941 that’s of interest because it sold four million copies[!] and launched Hope’s long book career of putting his name on his writers’ output. Pepsodent, the sponsor of his hit radio show, is the real publisher, although the company’s name is nowhere to be found except inside the text. Listeners had the connection beaten into their heads nevertheless by the relentless plugging he gave the book on his show and the fact that it sold for a mere dime if you accompanied that with a box (a complete box, not a box top) from a tube of Pepsodent.”
Meanwhile, McFarland has published Steve Carper’s Robots in American Popular Culture. It’s available directly from McFarland Books. And be sure to check out the companion website robotsinamericanpopularculture.com.
“In 1948 Vital Publications put out four Nick Carter novels as Vital Books, the link being that Vital Publications also issued Tom J. Hopkins’ Open Land Renegades as a Western Thriller digest, which has the telltale “An Atlas Western” all over the rear cover.”
“Bard Books, published by Bard Publishing, released Dead Giveaway by Dorothy Wheelock in 1944. That’s their only book, although oddly a Bard Publishing published two books under the Atlas Mystery imprint in 1944 and 1945.”
“My criteria are subjective, obviously. I only include fiction; anthologies and collections count alongside novels, but nonfiction is out . . . . To be included, publishers had to be legitimate companies devoted to putting out the work of others . . . . Trying to settle on a definitionof a “digest” was surprisingly difficult . . . . I do not include chapbooks . . . . This [series] is my attempt to merge all my research into a single source listing.”
Steve proceeds in alphabetical order.
“Amazing Stories Science Fiction Novel is about as awkward an appellation as publishers’ lines ever get. Fortunately, its sole book was the 1957 movie tie-in 20 Million Miles to Earth by Henry Slesar. This is a prime collectible because of its rarity and the gigantic space lizard from Venus on its cover.”
Per the criteria, not a true One-and-Done as it was published by giant Ziff-Davis, but nevertheless a fascinating one-shot.