Tag

The Digest Enthusiast

Browsing

Michael Bracken: Excerpt from the Interview

MSMM Oct. 1983

In his interview for The Digest Enthusiast No. 8, Michael Bracken gives us the background on one of his early stories:

“Vengeance to Show in the Third,” my first appearance in Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine (October 1983), was heavily influenced by reading a great many Dick Francis novels, and I was clearly trying to write an American Dick Francis story. At the time I wrote the story, I lived in southern Illinois, near a racetrack where I placed several losing bets, but I had a personal connection as well. My first wife grew up riding English and, through connections made in that environment, knew people who owned race horses, and she briefly worked as a groom.

In a way, that describes how I do a fair bit of my research: use personal connections. If I don’t have the necessary personal experience and I can’t find what I need with an Internet search, I reach out to friends and family. Additionally, other writers are a great resource, and I have tapped them for information about Catholicism, the odor of a fired handgun, and the like.

Clarion: One

Sense of Wonder No. 12
Sense of Wonder No. 12

Excerpt from “The Creative Works of Joe Wehrle, Jr.” from The Digest Enthusiast No. 8, June 2018.

“The Bandemar” was part of the first Clarion anthology, written by the workshop’s lecturers and alumni, published by Signet in 1971. Joe also drew a four-page wordless comic version that appeared in Sense of Wonder No. 12. By this time, Fawn, who encounters the bandemar, was modeled after Karen Wehrle and appears with lighter hair.

In 1981, the story was translated into German (“Der Bandemar”) for Germany’s Science-Fiction Story Reader.

Sense of Wonder No. 12 back
Sense of Wonder No. 12 back cover

The story and the comic version appear together in The Digest Enthusiast No. 9, Jan. 2019.

Joe’s bibliography appears on the Larque Press website.

The Case of the Deadly Drops

The Case of the Deadly Drops by Gerald Benedict

An excerpt from Steve Carper’s series “One-and-Dones” that appears in The Digest Enthusiast No. 7–9:

“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.’”

Now Available from McFarland: Steve Carper’s Robots in American Popular Culture, a comprehensive reference volume that includes a companion website: robotsinamericanpopularculture.com.

Joe Wehrle, Jr. at Clarion

Where is Janice Gantry?

Excerpt from “The Creative Works of Joe Wehrle, Jr.” from The Digest Enthusiast No. 8, June 2018. His story, “Kromaflies,” appears in The Digest Enthusiast No. 10, June 2019. (Quotes gleaned from Joe’s interviews or correspondence.)

In 1968, Robin Scott Wilson organized the first Clarion Writers’ Workshop for fantasy and science fiction at the Clarion State College in Pennsylvania. The staff of visiting lecturers during its first year included Judith Merril, Fritz Leiber, Harlan Ellison, Kate Wilhelm, and Damon Knight. Joe Wehrle, Jr. was one of several students lucky enough to attend.

“When I attended the workshop in 1968 (with Karen and five-month-old Jill outside on a blanket among the trees),” Joe said, “Harlan Ellison told us, ‘I know we’re talking science fiction writing here, but if you want to study a really good modern writing style, you guys should be reading John D. MacDonald.’ Two I particularly remember enjoying are Dead Low Tide and Where is Janice Gantry, and his dozen or so Travis McGee stories are all very good too. The last one, The Lonely Silver Rain, is compelling, because, along with the mystery, Travis discovers and gets to know a daughter he had no idea existed.”

While at the workshop, Joe told me in 2010: “I wrote a story called ‘Kromaflies,’ which Robin Scott Wilson liked, Fritz Leiber felt showed that I had put a lot of thought into the development of the society I wrote about, and Harlan Ellison pretty much hated, although he did agree I was a ‘plotter,’ which was high praise from Harlan, who had no patience with anyone who wrote off the top of their head with no object in mind.”

Joe’s bibliography appears on the Larque Press website.

Kromaflies

Hardboiled No. 9

Contents
Wayne D. Dundee “Straight from the Shoulder Holster”
Joe R. Lansdale “By Bizarre Hands”
Daniel Rowe “The Dispeptic Diogenes”
Hal Charles “The Peacemakers”
Michael Bracken “Partners” (Nathaniel Rose)
Max Allan Collins “Mourn the Living” (Part 2 of 4; Nolan PI)
Will Wyckoff “A Christmas Story”
Charles Hoffman’s Ninja: Hardboiled Comics for the Eighties
Paul Bishop “Day of Asphalt, Day of Guns”
Wayne D. Dundee “Dirty Business” (Joe Hannibal)

Hardboiled No. 9 Winter/Spring 1988
HB Enterprises
Editor: Wayne D. Dundee
Cover by Kevin Farrell
6” x 9” $2.95

Tequila Sunrise

In his interview in The Digest Enthusiast No. 8 (June 2018), Michael Bracken gave a brief character sketch of detective Rose:

“Nathaniel Rose is a St. Louis-based private eye who made his first appearance in “Partners” (Hardboiled, Winter/Spring 1988), and all seven Rose stories are collected in Tequila Sunrise (Wildside Press, 2000).”

For more about Rose, visit his page on Thrilling Detective.
Image and data from Galactic Central.

Masterpieces of Adventure

The Greatest Adventure Stories Ever Told

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.

Now Available from McFarland: Steve Carper’s Robots in American Popular Culture, a comprehensive reference volume that includes a companion website: robotsinamericanpopularculture.com.

Galaxy and If

Galaxy Oct. 1968
Galaxy Oct. 1968

Excerpt from “The Creative Works of Joe Wehrle, Jr.” from The Digest Enthusiast No. 8, June 2018. (Quotes gleened from Joe’s interviews or correspondence.)

“My first professional work involved doing spot illustrations for Galaxy and If digest science fiction magazines,” Joe said in 2010. “I had done comics and other stuff for fanzines, and I sent some clips to Frederik Pohl around 1967, asking if I could get some work from his magazines. He replied that he liked what I had sent, but could I show him something a little more subdued? So I worked up a small folio of illustrations that I felt were more in keeping with the style of those two magazines. Fred said ‘OK!’ and directed his staff to begin sending me galley proofs of stories slated for upcoming issues.

“The galleys were arriving regularly in the mail. I was really on my way! Then Galaxy Publications was sold, and the new editors sent me nothing more.”

Joe’s artwork appears in:
Galaxy Jun–Aug, & Oct. 1968
If May–Aug. 1968
Joe’s bibliography appears on the Larque Press website.

Mike Shayne Aug. 1984

Mike Shayne Aug. 1984

Excerpt from Michael Bracken’s interview in The Digest Enthusiast No. 8, June 2018:

TDE: Your secret agent character, Christian Gunn, appeared in Mike Shayne (Aug. 1984) and again in Espionage (Feb. 1985). Was he ever used again?

MB: The fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of both Espionage and Mike Shayne ended Gunn’s career.


Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine Vol. 48 No. 8 Aug. 1984
Contents
Brett Halliday “Shadows of the Past”
Amy E. Dean: How Crime Plays
Peter A. Sellers “Loss of a Faculty”
Buzz Dixon “Spiders”
Michael Bracken “With Extreme Prejudice”
Ray Bradley “The Bus Bandits”
Arthur Moore “Bird Bank Bingo”
Lane Marsh “First Security”
Mel Washburn “To Forgive is Human”
Richard E. Givan “The Curious Case of the Dead-Drunk Driver”
Ardath Mayhar “Knit Lady”
Vicki Shaull Carleton “The Prison Letters”
Mike’s Mail
Best by Mail (classified ads)

Publishers: Edward & Anita Goldstein
Editor: Charles E. Fritch
Art Director: Robin Schaffer
Founder: Lou Margulies
5.25” x 7.75” 130 pages $1.75

Fawn in 1964

A flyer for Fawn Press, c. early 1960s.
A flyer for Fawn Press, c. early 1960s.

Excerpt from “The Creative Works of Joe Wehrle, Jr.” from The Digest Enthusiast No. 8, June 2018. (Quotes are from Joe’s correspondence.)

By 1964, already an accomplished illustrator, Joe began work on a comic strip, Fawn the Dark Eyed. In the series’ earliest incantation, Fawn was also dark haired. “Fawn started as a self-published fanzine in ’64. We had a number of pages in color, which was unusual at that time—only one or two other people experimented with color in their fanzines.”

I know of only two issues, but as the ’70s dawned, Ed Aprill, Jr., who published a series of comic strip reprint books of Buck Rogers and The Spirit, showed interest. “At one point Ed was talking about doing a high-quality 9” x 12” book with a new Fawn story, and I had actually started work on it when he was killed in a car crash.” A tragic set-back, but Joe continued drawing and writing, with Fawn always in mind.

Joe’s bibliography appears on the Larque Press website.

Featured image: Fawn The Dark-Eyed No. 1 1964

Robert E. Howard: The Garden of Fear

The Garden of Fear by Robert E. Howard

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.

Now Available from McFarland: Steve Carper’s Robots in American Popular Culture, a comprehensive reference volume that includes a companion website: robotsinamericanpopularculture.com.