A few weeks ago I received my copy of Blood 'N' Thunder magazine, and I was stunned by its new look. Whereas before the quarterly was running 36 pages and then most recently at 28 pages, it now comes in at 106. You read that right. It's also got a new cover design. It also runs three times a year now instead of four. And it's cover price has almost doubled: from $6 to $11.95. But, believe me, the increase in price is worth it.
For those of you not familiar with Blood 'N' Thunder, this is a magazine devoted to the pulp fiction magazine with articles for those interested in either collecting the mags or scholarly research or both (I have a feeling most of us readers into both categories). I think it's safe to say that it's one of the very few periodicals out there devoted to the pulps on a regular basis. The quality and regular appearance of fanzines can be spotty and many suffer from lack of vision and a dedicated staff to keep them going. Not this one.
Editor Ed Hulse explains in the Editorial Comments that the new and expanded Blood 'N' Thunder was a long time coming. The magazine had not been economicaly viable in the past few years, and the page count had even been reduced from 36 to 32 and then to 28 pages. Then, the current recession almost pushed the magazine over a cliff and Hulse admits that the staff was close to letting go of their grip and letting it fall. But instead, they decided instead to change strategies. The old printer - who had always been cooperative but couldn't help the magazine save any more costs - was let go and the mag switched to a Print On Demand printer. The number of issues was cut down to three a year instead of four, and the number of pages increased. Brilliant. Like I've always said, economic recessions can be the perfect time for change and rejuvination.
And, as usual, the articles don't fail to interest and educate me. I have a hard time picking up any magazine nowadays and actually reading it due to my lack of time - I'd rather spend my time reading books. But when you've got articles on the Gangster Pulps of the Prohibition Era, a comprehensive history on a Walt Coburn story that ended up as the B-movie Western The Return of Wild Bill, a Tricks of the Trade regular column that reprints some of the old how-to-write pulps articles for pulp writers, and a portfolio of Norman Saunders, on of the great pulp cover artists, written by his son David...well, you get the idea.
Thumbs up to Chris Kalb, Art Director, for the design and professional appearance of the mag. Not that it didn't look good before, but it looks great now.
Hulse is also the author of the Blood N Thunder Guide to Collecting Pulps, which I wrote about several months ago. Another must if you're interested in collecting pulps or just expanding your knowledge.
If you're interested in picking up an issue of Blood N Thunder for $11.95, or an annual subscription that runs $30, contact Ed Hulse at email@example.com. They accept PayPal, by the way. There is a shipping charge if you order individual issues of $2.50 for domestic addresses (probably a bit more for international).
I'll be seeing Ed at Pulp Fest at the end of next month (July 31-Aug 2 in Columbus, Ohio), and I look forward to meeting him and getting the summer issue of Blood N Thunder.