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

Exploring ‘This Island Earth’

Posted by at 10:00 am Tuesday, December 8, 2015 in Movies/TV/Radio, Pulps, Review
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Exploring ‘This Island Earth’
Raymond F. Jones

Raymond F. Jones

When I saw that actor Rex Reason had died last month, the news brought back fond memories of watching This Island Earth as a teenager in the ’70s. Back then, late nights on Friday and Saturday television were devoted to old movies before the TV stations signed off the air. (Remember that?)

This Island Earth from 1955 was one of the stand-out movies among the many low-grade horror and science fiction that often showed up on local TV at that late hour. Of course, this was before home video tape recorders — let alone DVRs. So when it aired, it was always worth watching.

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On ‘The Texas-Siberia Trail’

Posted by at 10:00 am Thursday, October 30, 2014 in Books, Opinion, Pulps, Review
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

The Texas-Siberia TrailBack in the early spring, I had the great fortune of meeting Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson, the granddaughter of Maj. Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson at a nearby convention.

I was mostly familiar with the Major‘s background as one of the founders of DC Comics. But before that, he was a pulp fictioneer.

Nicky was promoting a book of her grandfather’s adventure stories, “The Texas-Siberian Trail.” The book was edited by John Locke and published by his Off-Trail Publications.

Being known as the Major obvious indicates that he had a military background. Nicky provides a very informative preface. She discusses the Major’s service in the U.S. Army Cavalry along the Texas-Mexico border and in the Philippines, and in Military Intelligence in Asia and Russia, then on the Western Front of World War I.

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PulpFest 2014 wrap-up

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, August 15, 2014 in Events, News, Opinion, People, PulpFest, Pulps, Review
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

I’ve titled this post “PulpFest 2014 wrap-up.” But I’m sure this won’t be the last post mentioning PulpFest 2014.

A week ago yesterday, PulpFest 2014 was just getting under way. Two-and-a-half days later, it was almost over, and I was leaving Columbus, Ohio.

So much was condensed into those days at PulpFest. I got only about five hours of sleep a night, but even that seemed wasted time. The days were divided into three P’s: pulps, people and programs.

Daytime was mostly spend in the dealers’ room, looking for pulp treasure.

And speaking of the dealers’ room, here’s a five-minute, time-lapse video I shot of the room coming alive on Saturday morning:

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Fans, the gems of pulpdom

Posted by at 10:30 am Monday, October 7, 2013 in Doc Con, Events, Opinion, Pulpcon, PulpFest, Windy City
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Doc Con 2013As I’ve mentioned before I first discovered the stories from the pulps — and the pulps themselves — during junior high.

For the longest time, there were only two or three friends who shared my enthusiasm for the pulps: Charles Corder, my friend since first grade; Curtis Collins, a high-school classmate who worked at a local comic book store; and Darryl (I’ve forgotten his last name), who we met through the store. That was about it, except occasionally for a friend who had a mild interest in one or two specific pulp characters.

After college, we all went different ways as we journeyed into adulthood and “real life.” Throughout the ’80s, I was pretty much a lone pulp fan who kept his eyes out for any pulp-related reprints or studies that might show up in the local bookstore’s “Books in Print” catalog — which once discovered would be promptly order. That’s how I discovered the Crime Club’s reprints of The Shadow, and pulp scholar Robert Sampson‘s various books published by the Popular Press.

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A look at comic book artists in the pulps

Posted by at 9:00 am Friday, July 19, 2013 in Books, Opinion, People, Pulp Art, Pulps, Pulpsters, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Astounding, Mysterious, Weird & True, Vol. 1: The Pulp Art of Comic Book ArtistsEarlier this year, Steven Brower and Jim Simon published “Astounding, Mysterious, Weird & True, Vol. 1: The Pulp Art of Comic Book Artists,” a book that has an intriguing title. (I’m a sucker for books about the creators of the pulp magazines.)

This was a book that had great potential, but I’m only moderately pleased with it.

Simon has a nice essay, “Diamonds and Rust,” that opens the book. It includes a brief overview of the pulp magazines (for those who aren’t familiar with them).

Since a number of the pulp publishers also went on to publish comic books, it’s not surprising that some pulp illustrators soon found themselves working in comic books.

It’s fun to flip through the book, admiring the varied styles of illustrations that artists created for the pulps. Since pulp stories typically had only one or two illustrations accompanying them, action figures prominently in many of the examples.

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Sexism, misogyny in writing and publishing

Posted by at 4:52 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2013 in Bits of Pulp, New Pulp, Opinion, Websites
Estimated reading time: 1 minute

Writer/game designer Chuck Wendig has written “25 things to know about sexism & misogyny in writing & publishing” over at his blog, terribleminds.

And he has followed up with “Challenging responses to sexism and misogyny” and “Why men should speak out about sexism, misogyny and rape culture.”

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