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Peter Enfantino

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Manhunt Detective Story Monthly

Manhunt No. 1 coverPeter Enfantino’s multipart review/synopses of Manhunt, kicking off with the Jan–Apr 1953 issues, begins in The Digest Enthusiast book six. Here’s an excerpt of his series:

Manhunt By the Numbers
14 years (1953–1967)
114 issues
500+ authors
1100+ stories
13,000+ pages
6,000,000+ words
countless writers influence

Some of the guilty parties: Robert Bloch, Gil Brewer, Leslie Charteris, Jonathan Craig, Harlan Ellison, David Goodis, Ed McBain (and all his aliases), John D. MacDonald, Richard Prather, Craig Rice, Mickey Spillane, Donald E. Westlake (and Richard Stark), Harry Whittington, and Charles Williams.

A collection in paperback, The Best from Manhunt, was published in 1958 by Perma Books.

There were thirteen editions of Giant Manhunt, four-issue collections of regular issues, rebound with the covers removed into Giants. Which four issues varies, the point was for the publisher to recycle returns and make some additional sales. AHMM also used this approach from 1957–1968, titled Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Sampler.

In the UK, stories from Manhunt were published by Tom Boardman as Bloodhound Detective Story Magazine for 14 issues from 1961–1962. In Australia, 13 editions of Manhunt Detective Story Magazine were published by New Century Press in a size larger than the US editions. The Australian run went from 1953–1954.

Coming soon to virtual newsstands near you:

TDE8: Western Magazine spread

The print proof for The Digest Enthusiast book eight is due May 17th. If the final review goes smoothly, the print and digital versions should be available near the end of the month.

Among the features inside is Peter Enfantino’s overview and synopses of Western Magazine and its pardner publication, 3-Book Western. Here’s an excerpt:

“By 1955, western fiction was everywhere. On the TV, on the radio, in paperbacks, in the funny books and, perhaps most of all, in the pulps. A good percentage of the oaters (in all the various print incarnations) were published by Martin Goodman and his publishing empire. When Good- man decided to add digests to his résumé, he did so with an uncharacteristic tentativeness . . .”

Manhunt January 1953

Manhunt January 1953 coverManhunt blazed onto newsstands with Mickey Spillane’s “Everybody’s Watching Me,” serialized over its first four issues. Reprinted in June 1955, and in January 1964 as “I Came to Kill You,” it became one of the few stories ever to run three times in the same magazine.

Manhunt 1953 Sept. thru Dec.

Proofread the layout for Peter Enfantino’s synopses of Manhunt 1953 part three, today. This will conclude his wrap-up of the magazine’s first year of publication. Peter also includes his “top ten” stories from the magazine for that year.

Tom Brinkmann emailed a few corrections for his fascinating piece on Connie Kreski, so lots of progress today, as TDE8 comes together.

Richard Matheson’s The Frigid Flame

Story splashpagePublisher Martin Goodman started both Non-Pareil (Justice) and the Lion paperback book line, so it’s no surprise the novels featured in the digest magazine first appeared as Lion paperbacks a few years earlier. The seventh, and final story in Justice Amazing Detective Mysteries #3, October 1955 is Richard Matheson’s “The Frigid Flame,” which was first published as Someone is Bleeding by Lion in 1953.

Matheson is best remembered for his science fiction and horror novels, but he wrote suspense and thrillers too, and this one could be labeled as such—or noir. Young Davie Newton falls hard for the beautiful, but unpredictable Peggy Lister, a young woman with a past. The story is ripe with action and plot twists, and Matheson’s excellent writing does a good job selling the sometimes melodramatic events and dialogue. The mystery here is whether the story is true noir, or a crime drama that wraps things up with a happy ending—and you won’t know for sure until the final page.

Someone is Bleeding coverJames Reasoner’s Rough Edges and Admiral Ironbombs’ Yellowed and Creased cover reviews of the paperback version of the story.

“The Frigid Flame” gives this issue of Justice a strong finish, but overall I’d give the previous edition from July 1955, a slight edge.

Peter Enfantino provides synopses for all four issues of Justice in The Digest Enthusiast book five.