Monday, November 23, 2009

Cowboy Monday - Danny Hogan on Reading Pulp Westerns For the First Time

It's Cowboy Monday and to celebrate, go to fellow blogger's Paul Brazill post today. He has a guest blogger, Danny Hogan, who has written a delightful essay on discovering pulp Westerns.

As for me, I'm going to leave you with a few more WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE covers and call it a day (or at least a morning). I love the work on these early covers - truly magnificent.















14 comments:

Rick said...

These are fantastic. As a 20+ yr graphic designer and artist, there is nothing I appreciate more than covers like these. Keep your Matisse, keep your Rodin. I'll take Margarer Brundage, George Rozen, and HJ Ward anyday.

Laurie Powers said...

Yes, these really are fantastic. I liked the 20s decade for this magazine for than any other when it comes to the covers.

Paul D. Brazill said...

Ta for the hat tip. And smashing covers.

Walker Martin said...

I noticed one post on the blog mentioning that Zane Grey did not write for the pulps, but he did appear with serials in the teens for Argosy, All Story, Popular Magazine, and Blue Book.

I collect Western Story and agree with Laurie about the 1920's covers. The 20's often picture typical scenes from a cowboy's life while the 1930's and 1940's mainly show the usual shoot em up scene with six guns blazing.

Laurie Powers said...

That was my post on the Zane Grey. I have always been under the impression that any of his stories that appeared in pulps were serializations of novels that he had already published. I don't remember where I heard that.

Evan Lewis said...

Nice. Do those GM brands mean these are not from your own collection?

Barry Traylor said...

I imagine Walker will want to tie me to an ant hill for saying this, but I collect
Western Story Magazine mainly because I love the cover art so much.
I became hooked on the 1920's issues because of seeing the ones Jack Cullers has.

Ed Hulse said...

Laurie, Zane Grey was essentially discovered by THE POPULAR MAGAZINE's editor Charles Agnew MacLean, who serialized HERITAGE OF THE DESERT in 1910 prior to its publication in hard covers by Harper & Brothers. Although Grey had previously written three novels, HERITAGE was his first big success, and he later credited MacLean with "discovering" him.

I could be wrong, but offhand I think Grey's last novel to be published first in a pulp was THE U.P. TRAIL, serialized in BLUE BOOK in 1917 or '18.

Walker Martin said...

Barry mentions collecting Western Story because of the excellent covers. This is not so unusual among pulp collectors; many do not read the magazines and collect because of the cover art. And look at many first edition collectors who do not even want to touch the books for fear of decreasing the value. Not to mention the unspeakable comic book practice of "slabbing" the book thus making it impossible to read.

On the other hand I know of at least two collectors who like to collect coverless pulps simply because they are interested only in reading the stories. One of them even excerpts his favorites stories from the coverless magazines and makes his own personal bound volumes. Coverless pulps are not worth much but this process makes them worth even less!

Laurie Powers said...

Dave: yes, they came from a CD I bought several years ago.

Barry: I think I'm one of those middle of the road collectors: I love the art but read the stories as well.

Ed: Thanks for the clarification on ol' Zane. I think his history has been misrepresented many times. Bottom line is I don't think anyone who wants to start reading Westerns should start with him.

Walker: to each his own, I guess. Like I told Barry, I'm a mixed bag.

Barry Traylor said...

I really should clarify my statement of collecting for the covers. It only applies to Western Story Magazine. I wish some of these artists had done work for mags like Bluebook or Argosy. Not quite sure why I love a well told Western film but can't seem to be able to read the printed word Westerns.
Perhaps Walker could point out a few good ones for me to try.

Walker Martin said...

Barry asks for recommendations of good pulp westerns. Try WC Tuttle's series starring rangeland detectives Hashknife and Sleepy. These novelets can be found in your Adventures and Short Stories. Dane Coolidge is good if you have all parts of a serial in Popular or Short Stories. Also Ernest Haycox in Short Stories. If you don't like any of these then you might as well forget about magazine westerns.

However if you want to read the novel in the running for best western, read Lonesome Dove. It's long and not pulp but I'll be surprised if you don't like it.

Barry Traylor said...

I forgot about how much I liked Lonesome Dove (the book).
Oddly enough there are parts of John Jakes series The Kent Family Chronicles that are set in the West and I enjoyed them quite a bit.

Laurie Powers said...

I've heard good things about John Jakes too.