Reports on Windy City Convention are Coming In. Here’s a Link to a Good One.

The Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention was this last week. I’ve never been able to attend – April always ends up being the worst month in the year for me – and I always wish I could go.  Sai over at Pulp Flakes has posted an amazing number of photos from the convention, go here to check them out. There was a lot of artwork, and I think I saw some paintings that ended up being WILD WEST WEEKLY covers. I’m looking forward to reading more reports about the convention and will post links to them when I learn of them.

If it’s any consolation, I was home writing and reading like mad all weekend, so at least I was productive.

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Listen to the LOVE STORY MAGAZINE RADIO PROGRAM – “Two Diamond Bracelets”

Want to hear some old time love on the radio?  Here is an episode of LOVE STORY MAGAZINES radio show. This is a story called “Two Diamond Bracelets.”

The LOVE STORY MAGAZINE Radio Program was produced by the Columbia Broadcasting System and ran in 20 major east and Midwest cities;  it was a half-hour program on Thursday evenings, from 9:30 to 10 ET, 52 consecutive weeks, starting on 10/1/1931.  It ran originally in 1931, and then repeated in 1937.

This recording is from the 1937 season.  I’m looking for where the original story ran in LOVE STORY and will post it when I find it.

Special thanks to Barry Traylor, who found these on YouTube.

Rest in Peace, Ron Scheer

Ron Scheer lost his battle with cancer today. Many of us who knew him, either personally or in the blogging world, are devastated.  I met Ron at the Republic Pictures 50th anniversary celebration in Studio City a few years back, and we had a very pleasant lunch together at some tables in the back. We share some common interests: in the western story, in publishing,  in writing, and in blogging. I treasure that memory now.

Ron Scheer

Ron was a brilliant writer who chronicled his battle with cancer on his blog Buddies in the Saddle, in ways that no one else I know has done. Beautifully, poetically, without one shred of sentimentality.

David Cranmer, who worked with Ron in publishing his two-volume set HOW THE WEST WAS WRITTEN, will be a guest blogger on Buddies in the Saddle eventually to pay tribute to Ron.

Ron did this video in 2009 on his native land, Nebraska.

Rest in Peace, Ron.

New Orleans Trip Report, Part 2.

After my early morning tour of the French Quarter on Friday morning, I headed over to the conference to listen to fellow pulp historians present their papers.  If I haven’t mentioned it before, each area of study (Pulp Studies) was divided into categories. For example, The Pulp Southern Gothic” contained talks on how the Southern Gothic was present in pulp studies or how it influenced writers. Each category contained 4 presentations of 15 minutes each.

I did not attend all of the pulp studies segments due to my late arrival on Thursday, and for other reasons, so I am only mentioning the ones I attended here.

In the Pulp Southern Gothic segment, these were the talks presented:

Zombies from the Pulps!: Race, Imperialism, and the Dawn of the Living Dead Genre (Jeffrey Shanks); 􀂘The Brooding, Fear-Haunted Side: Voodoo and Conjure Stories of Robert E. Howard (Karen Kohoutek); 􀂘Pigeons From Nawlins: A Horror Story’s Roots in the Crescent City; (Rusty Burke); and 􀂘The Crescent City Weird Tale: New Orleans and the Liminal Uncanny (Jonas Prida).

I was very pleased that in two of the presenters in this segment, Jeff Shank’s and Jonas Prida’s, showed the Weird Tales cover from June 1925 that featured my grandfather’s story “Monsters of the Pit.” Here’s Jeff with his:

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Karen Kohoutek’s presentation on the presence of voodoo in Robert E Howard’s stories was fascinating too, especially considering that Karen and I had visited the voodoo museum the day before.

In the next pulp section, “WEIRD TALES: The Unique Magazine,” the following presentations were given:

Weird Tales, Modernism, and the Gothic: The Search for Literary and Cultural Territory in Working-Class Culture (Justin Everett); 􀂘 Strange Collaborations: Shared Authorship and Weird Tales (Nicole Emmelhainz); Disintegrating Verse: The Poetry of the Weird Tales Writers (Jason Carney); and [Who] Can Write No More?: The Contested Authorship of CM Eddy’s “The Loved Dead” (Daniel M Look).

I was REALLY intrigued by Daniel’s presentation because he discussed stylometric analysis, which uses mathematical algorithms to analyze stories to try to determine the “real author” of a story, whether it be the credited author or perhaps an editor who partook in some heavy rewriting. Certain word choices and placement and patterns are entered into the algorithms to come up with an answer. I know I’m over simplifying this, so if I can find anything online about this subject and how it affects pulp history I will post it.

The last presentation for Friday were in the category, “H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard,” contained the following presentations:

The Thing cannot be described:” The Paradoxical Appeal of the Horrible in H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulhu” (Joshua Peralta); 􀂘 Dark Sun: Lovecraft’s Challenge to the Philosophical Life (Clancy Smith);  Robert E. Howard’s DNA [Distinctive Narrative Attributes]: A Study in Subjective Stylometrics,Rhetorical Analysis, with Some Preliminary Thoughts on “Themetric Analysis” (Frank Coffman);  Local Color and Its Underlying Meaning in RobertE. Howard’s (Weird) Westerns, Southern Gothic Horror Stories and Detective Stories, (Dierk Günther).

I especially enjoyed Dierk Gunther’s presentation; Dierk is German, but has been living and teaching at university in Japan for the past 20 (I think, correct me if I’m wrong) years. It’s especially gratifying to see the interest of pulps reaching far and wide, past our own shores.

By the time these presentations were done, it was past 6 PM, and we were all fried. Nonetheless, we all met for dinner later that evening. By the time we all met up in the hotel lobby, it was 8:30 and I could not wait any longer for food. You know how it is with group dinners: by the time everyone shows up in the lobby and then walk over to the restaurant, get seated, get the waiter to present the menu, order, and then get your food, it could be 10 PM. Knowing this ahead of time, I caved and ordered a salmon dinner in the hotel’s restaurant/bar in the lobby, not caring that “bar food” could be sketchy at best. But we were in New Orleans, and the chef didn’t disappoint. It was an amazing dish. I ended up ordering dessert at the group dinner, strawberry shortcake (did I mention that I have stomach problems, so I have to eat bland) and actually that was just okay.

There were about 20 of us at the dinner, with a few spouses attending. I loved the fact that many of those in the group that presented papers were of the “younger generation” (I can’t believe I’m saying that), tattoos and all, and they have a passionate and unflagging passion for all things pulp.

But I was stunned to hear some of them say that they had never heard of the pulp conventions.  I piped up and told them ALL that the pulp conventions were full of historians who had an enormous amount of knowledge and many of them were celebrated and respected authors on their subjects. Jeff Shanks backed me up on that. But it put into relief how much the two worlds are separated. I wish there was an easy way to get the academic historians and the pulp collectors to comingle more.  It’s something that needs to be done if you ask me.

That’s all for now…back later this week with a report on the last day of my trip.

New Orleans Trip Report, Part 1

I’m back from the PCA/ACA Conference in New Orleans.  Academic papers from all four corners of popular culture studies are presented at this conference. I presented a paper on Daisy Bacon on the fourth day, and the audience was very receptive. It was also a treat to meet such great people like Jeff Shanks and Mark Finn and others. Friday night we had a huge dinner gathering with everyone from the Pulp Studies section.  This section has grown by leaps and bounds; apparently it was only a few years ago that at the first year of the Pulp Studies appearance at the conference, there were only three papers submitted. Now there were at least a couple of dozen, and the section had sessions both Friday and Saturday. It’s great that there is still a robust interest in pulp fiction history in academia.  Colleges and  universities are well equipped to pass on the history of pulp fiction through conventions like this, journals, classes, and donated collections across the country.

On a recreational level, it was a great trip, and I found myself enjoying the French Quarter more than I expected. I was a little taken aback by the prices of things and the crowds – both out of control.  But the food was amazing, of course. On Thursday, my first day, the gang went next door to the Marriott to the Palace Cafe and had lunch. Unfortunately I have to be careful with what I eat – due to recent stomach problems that I’ve found out are from gallstones – but I had a shrimp pasta dish that wasn’t out of this world and not too spicy. Except for the sausage.

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A new friend of mine who presented a paper on Robert E. Howard and I spent a lot of time exploring and visited the Voodoo Museum.

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I learned very quickly that crowds are a big issue in the French Quarter, and if you want to go to the Cafe DuMonde, you’re going to deal with very long lines most of the day. So not being one to be very tolerant of standing in lines, I got up very early Friday morning before sunrise and trekked down to the Cafe DuMonde.  It was a spectacular moment to stand outside in the fog and look at the lights of the cafe in the dark. Definitely a romantic French moment. And the coffee and the biegnets – oh man. I’ve never tasted anything so delicious.

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I then walked through the French Quarter – it was still very early and the streets were quiet, and Bourbon Street still reeking from the smell of booze from the night before.

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That’s all for tonight. More later….

Off Tomorrow For the Conference

Sorry for the absence, but I’ve been crazy busy getting ready for the PCA/ACA National Conference and my presentation on Daisy Bacon on Saturday.  It doesn’t matter how far ahead in advance I start getting ready, I’m always going insane at the last minute.

This will be my first time to New Orleans and, even though I’ve been frazzled with getting the presentation ready and griping over the cost of this trip, I’m getting very excited about being in the Big Easy for the first time. With all the traveling I’ve done over the years, I can’t believe I’ve never been there.

I’ll be posting photos from the conference and around the French Quarter, which is nearby, when I can get out of the hotel.

And when I get back, I should have more time on my hands to get this blog up and running. I know, I know…

The Doomed SMART LOVE STORIES

I was rummaging through some of Daisy Bacon’s personal papers and re-discovered this advertisement for SMART LOVE STORIES. The cover used is from the February 1937 issue.IMG_1653

SMART LOVE STORIES started out as AINSLEE’S in December 1934. The original AINSLEE’S was a long-running Street & Smith publication that had been discontinued in December 1926.  Daisy was given the assignment of editing the new AINSLEE’S.

Cute story: Daisy doesn’t say much about either AINSLEE’S or SMART LOVE STORIES. However, columnist James Aswell wrote in his column “My New York” on August 7, 1934:

Recently Daisy Bacon, editress of one of the more romantic pulp paper magazines was presented one evening with a black kitten by a friend named Ainslee. She named the feline Ainslee in commemoration. Next morning at 9 her desk telephone rang and she was informed that the once-famous Ainslee’s Magazine was to be revived and that she had been picked as pilot. 

Whether or not that’s a tall tale concocted by the PR people at Street & Smith or whether it was true is not known. Daisy’s mother writes in her journal of a black kitten in September 1933 named Jet, who met a terrible fate by a neighborhood dog, but that’s as close as I’ve gotten. Poor kitty.

As it was, the reemergence of AINSLEE’S wasn’t a long one, and in October 1936 the title was changed to AINSLEE’S SMART LOVE STORIES, and eventually it was shortened to just SMART LOVE STORIES, which lasted until October 1938.

Altus Press Launches the ARGOSY Library

PRESS RELEASE
Altus Press Announces The Argosy Library

The First Series of Releases Features Popular Authors Such as Lester Dent, Otis Adelbert Kline, W.C. Tuttle, and George F. Worts

March 18, 2015: Altus Press today announced the premiere of its new line of books: The Argosy Library series. Founded at the end of the Nineteenth Century by publishing tycoon Frank A. Munsey, Argosy Magazine quickly became one of the most popular—and prestigious—fiction magazines of its day and spawned a publishing revolution. Known as one of the most literate pulp magazines, Argosy published thousands of short stories and novels, many of which features some of the most influential series characters in popular fiction. With the inauguration of The Argosy Library, Altus Press plans to bring back into print the best of the Frank A. Munsey Company, sourced from its suite of sibling titles such as Argosy, The All-Story, and Flynn’s Detective Fiction Weekly, among others.

The Argosy Library expects to showcase the varied mix of genres that made Argosy one of the most popular pulps of all time, and Series 1 does just that by showcasing adventure, mystery, western, science fiction, fantasy, and crime stories by some of Munsey’s most popular authors such as Lester Dent, W. Wirt, Otis Adelbert Kline, W.C. Tuttle, George F. Worts, and Theodore Roscoe, among others.

The Argosy Library will be released in series of ten books at a time—in matching trade dress—and will be available in softcover, hardcover, and ebook editions. In addition to being available separately, each series of releases can be purchased as a single, heavily-discounted set.

Series 1 of The Argosy Library is expected to be released in May.

For more information, please visit Altus Press.com.

Titles in Series 1 of The Argosy Library:

Genius Jones

by Lester Dent, introduction by Will Murray

The gold-dusted saga of a red-bearded young giant, raised in the Arctic on seal-meat and encyclopedias, who descends on civilization with a loud and solid crash. In his search for wisdom and adventure, the man Jones doesn’t have Aladdin’s lamp—but he doesn’t really need it…. Never before reprinted, it’s the longest novel Lester Dent ever published, and one of the most famous. This edition restores text cut from its original publication. Part of The Argosy Library of classics.

271 pages / $19.95 softcover / $29.95 hardcover

When Tigers Are Hunting: The Complete Adventures of Cordie, Soldier of Fortune,Volume 1

by W. Wirt

The sagas of Jimmie Cordie and his crew were among Argosy’s most popular series when it was brought to that magazine during its early ’30s renaissance. Quite clearly an inspiration for the creation of Doc Savage, this edition collects his first nine adventures. Part of The Argosy Library of classics.

240 pages / $19.95 softcover / $29.95 hardcover

The Swordsman of Mars

by Otis Adelbert Kline

Harry Thorne, explorer and swordsman, had scarcely more than heard of the Red Planet, Mars—when an amazing thing happened…. Otis Adelbert Kline is well-known as one of the best fantasy/adventure contemporaries of Edgar Rice Burroughs. This edition is sourced from the original magazine text and includes all of the original illustrations. Part of The Argosy Library of classics.

237 pages / $19.95 softcover / $29.95 hardcover

The Sherlock of Sageland: The Complete Tales of Sheriff Henry, Volume 1

by W.C. Tuttle, introduction by Sai Shankar

Once voted Adventure Magazine’s most popular author, W.C. Tuttle introduced the world to one of his longest-running, and most popular series characters, Henry Harrison Conroy, in the pages of Argosy. Collected here are the first four stories. Part of The Argosy Library of classics.

269 pages / $19.95 softcover / $29.95 hardcover

Gone North

by Charles Alden Seltzer

When Jim Fallon started for the Hudson Bay country, he wasn’t sure whether he was on a man-hunt or a wild goose chase—but he found his quest was fraught with real enough peril. Among the best novels ever written by one of Argosy’s most popular authors. Part of The Argosy Library of classics.

220 pages / $19.95 softcover / $29.95 hardcover

The Masked Master Mind

by George F. Worts

One of Argosy’s most popular authors pens this never-before reprinted novel of a trail of crime that ran from sleepy Maple Hollow to Steel City. Part of The Argosy Library of classics.

265 pages / $19.95 softcover / $29.95 hardcover

Balata

by Fred MacIsaac

Trees of living gold in the Amazon jungles, guarded by alligators, poisoned darts and rival hunters—such was the lodestone that drew an American expedition, and the unwilling Pete Holcomb…. Part of The Argosy Library of classics.

216 pages / $19.95 softcover / $29.95 hardcover

Bretwalda

by Philip Ketchum

’Twas the mightiest weapon the eyes of man had ever beheld; its mystic name meant “Ruler of Briton.” And from over the Northern Sea came a Viking’s thrall—the only man in the world who could wield that fearsome steel—to save good King Alfred and the homeland he scarcely remembered. Collecting—for the first time—all 12 stories of the Bretwalda saga. Part of The Argosy Library of classics.

479 pages / $29.95 softcover / $39.95 hardcover

Draft of Eternity

by Victor Rousseau

A groundbreaking science fiction, post-apocalyptic & time travel classic from the early days of The All-Story by an underrated writer. Part of The Argosy Library of classics.

183 pages / $17.95 softcover / $29.95 hardcover

Four Corners, Volume 1

by Theodore Roscoe

Mystery runs rampant in the quiet, upstate New York town of Four Corners…. Easily one of Roscoe’s best-written series, Volume 1 collects the first half of this lost masterpiece of the pulps. Part of The Argosy Library of classics.

201 pages / $19.95 softcover / $29.95 hardcover

The PCA/ACA Conference: Where Daisy Bacon and LOVE STORY Will Get Some Respect

I have to say I’m very excited to have a new blog site. It’s like a new toy. But customizing it might be a slow process for the next couple of weeks. I’m working on my presentation on Daisy Bacon for the Popular Cultural Association/American Cultural Association (PCA/ACA) national convention in New Orleans, from April 1 to April 4. The title of my presentation is “Daisy Bacon and LOVE STORY MAGAZINE: The powerful woman editor behind the biggest-selling romance magazine of its time.”  My presentation is scheduled for Saturday, April 4, and is in the Gender and Pulp Studies section.

The study of romance pulps is a very under-represented section of pulp studies. I’m hoping that my presentation will kindle some interest in the topic. I’m also hoping to check out some publishers while I’m there.

If you’re interested in the convention, visit the PCA/ACA website here.