Blog: Thoughts and comments on the world of the pulp magazines

A pulp beyond belief

Posted by at 2:09 pm Wednesday, February 20, 2013 in Movies/TV/Radio, Pulp Art, Pulps
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Flipping around the channels yesterday turned up what looks like an unknown pulp: Weird Stories.

It’s actually a prop created for a segment in the anthology TV series Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction, which originally aired on the Fox network between 1997 and 2002. The program was being rerun on the Chiller channel.

I caught just the tail of the hourlong show, where host Jonathan Frakes recaps the five stories told in the episode and tells viewers which segment was fiction or based on fact. This particular episode was the first one of the program’s fourth and final season. The segment was called “The News Stand.”

"Weird Stories" prop from "Beyond Belief"

In the recap of the segment, the teenager pulls the pulp magazine out of his backpack to show the news vendor. You get a pretty clear look at the cover (above).

As I said, I didn’t see the whole episode. What happened in the segment I don’t know, other than it had something to do with the teenager finding the old pulp magazine and reuniting with his father, the vendor. Turns out the segment was one of the fictional ones, not based on “fact.”

"Fantastic Novels" (November 1950)

"Argosy" (Feb. 21, 1931)Regarding the cover, the facts are these:

There wasn’t a Weird Stories pulp magazine.

The artwork used in the mockup came from the November 1950 number of Fantastic Novels Magazine (above). It illustrated a reprint of Fred MacIsaac‘s “The Hothouse World,” which was originally serialized in Argosy in 1931.

Rather than reprinting the Argosy cover (at right) by Paul Stahr, Popular Publications opted for a new, updated painting by Rafael DeSoto for its Fantastic Novels cover.

It’s always pretty neat to stumble across a pulp appearance in a movie or TV program.