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

Selling the pulps in ads, II

Posted by at 10:00 am Thursday, February 23, 2017 in Pulp Art, Pulp Collectibles, Pulp History, Pulps
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Selling the pulps in ads, II

'Love Story Magazine' logoLast week’s post looked at ads for Street & Smith Publications‘ pulp magazines that appeared in its movie-fan magazine, Picture Play. Those ads ran from September 1932 through March 1934.

We pick up with that same March 1934 issue of Picture Play this week as we look at full-page ads for Love Story Magazine.

Romance pulps, along with western pulps, were among the best-selling pulp magazines, yet often get short shrift in favor of hero, detective/mystery, science fiction, and fantasy pulps. Love Story, in particular, hit a circulation of around 600,000 copies in the 1930s, which may have been the highest circulation for any pulp magazine, according to some sources.

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Selling the pulps in ads

Posted by at 10:00 am Thursday, February 16, 2017 in Pulp Art, Pulp Collectibles, Pulp History, Pulps
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Selling the pulps in ads

Nick CarterWe usually think of pulp magazines as selling themselves — that their garish, often lurid covers splashed across newsstands were all it took to propel the fiction magazines into the hands of eager readers.

But pulp publishers weren’t satisfied with simply relying on the magazines themselves. They turned to tried-and-true methods of advertising.

Think of this as installment four of a series on “selling” the pulp magazines to readers.

The first post, “Selling the pulps with posters,” was way back in July 2014. “Selling the pulps with posters, II” appeared this past December. In both of those posts I took at look at posters that pulp publishers gave to magazine vendors to promote sales.

A couple of weeks after that first post in 2014, “Ads for The Shadow” featured a collection of full-page ads for The Shadow Magazine that appeared in Picture Play, a movie-fan magazine published by Street & Smith Publications Inc.

We return to the pages of Picture Play today with a look at a few full-page ads for other Street & Smith pulps.

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Selling the pulps with posters, II

Posted by at 10:00 am Tuesday, December 13, 2016 in Pulp Art, Pulp Collectibles, Pulp History, Pulps
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Selling the pulps with posters, II

street-and-smithIt’s easy to think of the pulp magazines as solitary items today — 70, 80, 90 or more years after they were for sale on newsstands — and forget that there was a whole business behind them. There were writers, artists, editors, publishers, printers, secretaries, vendors, and others who depended on getting magazines sold so that they could get paid.

Just like with retailers today, pulp publishers in the first half of the 20th century had to advertise to make readers eager to shell out their nickels, dimes, or quarters for the latest fiction magazine. The covers did a lot of the selling, but posters provided a larger canvas to promote the magazines, one that could be seen farther away.

A couple of years ago, I featured a selection of posters that publishers used to advertise their pulp magazines. I thought it would be fun to take look at a few more.

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Genesis of the lightsaber?

Posted by at 10:00 am Thursday, January 28, 2016 in Movies/TV/Radio, Pulp Art, Pulp History, Pulps
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Genesis of the lightsaber?

George Lucas has made it very clear that the Star Wars series was heavily influenced by films of the 1930s and ’40s. But I don’t recall ever seeing a lightsaber-like device in any film from that era (or any film prior to the original Star Wars, for that matter).

Movies from that time used traditional swords — even science-fiction adventures. Take the 1936 movie serial Flash Gordon for instance. In addition to rayguns, swords figure in the combat, such as when Flash (played by Buster Crabbe) uses one in a “tournament of death” in Chapter 8 (shown below).

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Jon Arfstrom: 1928-2015

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, December 4, 2015 in News, Obituaries, People, Pulp Art, Pulpsters
Estimated reading time: 1 minute

"Weird Tales" (January 1952)

“Weird Tales” (January 1952)

Jon Arfstrom, likely the last surviving artist for the original Weird Tales, died Wednesday, Dec. 2. He was 87.

Arfstrom got his start with fantasy illustrations in fanzines in the late 1940s. His interior artwork first appeared in Weird Tales, as well as sf and fantasy digests, in 1950; his first cover was January 1952. A more extensive profile of Arfstrom appears on the PulpFest website.

He was the special guest at PulpFest 2015 in Columbus, Ohio, in August. At the con, Arfstrom participated in a question-and-answer presentation with artist and pulp art historian David Saunders.

An audio recording of that presentation is available in ThePulp.Net’s PulpFest 2015 coverage or as a Pulp Event Podcast.

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Bits of pulp: Amazing, whispers, a passing

Posted by at 10:00 am Thursday, October 29, 2015 in Bits of Pulp, Movies/TV/Radio, News, Obituaries, People, Pulp Art, Pulps, Pulpsters
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

"Amazing Stories"AMAZING STORIES RETURNING: Late last week news began circulating that Amazing Stories, originally produced by Steven Spielberg, may be returning to television.

Entertainment Weekly says that Bryan Fuller will be leading the revived series for NBC.

Fuller was showrunner for NBC’s Hannibal, which was canceled last spring, and is developing American Gods, a series based on Neil Gaiman‘s novel, for Starz.

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