Thursday, November 26, 2009

Lust in the Dust: The Western Romance Pulps

Boy, are you guys and gals in for a treat. As some of you know, I've been investigating the life of Daisy Bacon, who was editor of LOVE STORY MAGAZINE. Yesterday I decided to post some pulp covers from the romance pulps. Then, seeing how many there were, I decided to narrow it down to romance Western pulps. And these are a sample what I found. I had to quit looking because my arms were getting so tired from being at the computer. I'm not kidding.

Mind you, there are no duplicate titles in here, save for one magazine, RANCH ROMANCES. That's because RANCH ROMANCES was the longest running of all pulps, lasting until 1971. (In the last year it was retitled RANCH ROMANCES AND ADVENTURES.) In honor of its longevity, I have included three of its covers throughout the years.

So tell us, which cover is your favorite? And which title?

Fighting Romances from the East and West, November 1925

Ranch Romances, August Number Two, 1931

Far West Romances, April 1932

Thrilling Ranch Stories, November 1933

Romantic Range, June 1937

Cowboy Romances, August 1937

Romantic Western, January 1938

Romance Roundup, May 1938

Rangeland Romances, May 1939

Ranch Romances, December 1941

North West Romances, Summer 1942

Lariat, January 1946

Rodeo Romances, April 1947

Golden West Romances, December 1949

Western Love Romances, February 1950

Romance Western, June 1950

Two Western Romances, Winter 1950

Romance Western Roundup, February 1951

Rangeland Love Stories, August 1951

Real Western Romances, December 1951

Fifteen Range Romances, September 1954

Ranch Romances, May 1966


Walker Martin said...

It's ironic that love pulps were probably the biggest sellers of all the pulps because of teenage girls and young women, yet hardly anyone is interested in seriously collecting them nowadays. I know a couple collectors who pick up issues but the vast majority of magazine collectors have no real interest in them.

A couple of the titles that Laurie has posted were not really love oriented at all but used the romance word to indicate adventure, especially Northwest Romances and Lariet. All the covers are of interest especially Fighting Romances. I just wish the stories were readable and not so locked into the girl/boy love formula! Of course that's exactly what young women wanted in the 1920-1950 period. I'm looking forward to the posting on the mainstream love pulps, especially the all time circulation leader, LOVE STORIES.

Barry Traylor said...

If I had to pick just one favorite then it would have to be North West Romances due to the Norman Saunders art. As a big fan of logo styles I like the one on Romantic Range although to my eye it has a comic book look to it. The Romantic Western cover looks a bit like a Spicy Western cover if the heroine's clothing was a bit more skimpy. I find it very interesting the The Lone Ranger Magazine morphed into Romantic Western.
I tend to pick up copies of the Romance Pulps from time to time if the cover catched my eye. Gloria Stoll did some real beauties for the pulps.
I will be looking forward to your posting on Daisy Bacon.
Walker, where did you see that picture of Daisy Bacon in the editorial offices?

Evan Lewis said...

I'm torn between Romantic Western (from the Spicy & Hollywood Detective line), Lariat (because this artwork once graced a cover of OWLHOOT) and Rodeo Romances (because it features a Johnston McCulley story).

Walker Martin said...

Barry, the great photo of Daisy Bacon in the Street & Smith editorial offices is in her book, LOVE STORY WRITER, available from several sellers on

I'm still hoping Laurie will do a big blow up of it when she discusses Daisy and the mainstream love pulps.

Laurie Powers said...

Walker, if it's the photo with her feet up on the desk, it's in the book too.

I don't know, the more I get into these and learn more about Daisy Bacon's life, the more interested I get - and thinking about doing something more substantial on her. I don't know if that's good or bad, because I'm hitting a wall when it comes to information about her. That's why I haven't posted a bio on her yet. I don't want to just rely on the Fiction Factory book, because even she called that book "a disgrace."

I think my favorite of these titles is "Fighting Romances from the East and West". Just brings up so many possibilities! As far as art work, there are so many that make me smile it's hard to pick one.

Barry Traylor said...

Romance Western Roundup, February 1951 looks like the Roy Rogers/Dale Evans issue. :-)

Jake Hinkson said...

This is awesome, Laurie. I like the Cowboy Romances, 1937, the best. Your project sounds really interesting.

Laurie Powers said...

Thanks, Jake! By coincidence, I just gave your color noir series a plug in my latest post.

Walker Martin said...

Laurie, I just read a couple pages on Daisy Bacon in John Locke's PULPWOOD DAYS VOLUME ONE. It's from Author and Journalist, september 1929, titled "Editors You Want to Know: Daisy Bacon". Calls her "Queen of the woodpulps" and deals with her life and career at Street & Smith. I came across her obit in NY Times but it's the exact same wording as the one I sent you from Antiquarian Bookman.

Laurie Powers said...

Walker, funny - I just found that book on Amazon. I'm going to get it. I also think I'll email Will Murry who I hear has a lot of knowledge about Street & Smith.

Thanks for reminding me about Pulpwood Days.

Night Heron said...

I have to say my favorite cover is the Rangeland Romance cover, if only because it was my favorite western pulp magazine back when I bought them every month as a teenager in the '50's. My sister and I couldn't wait till the next one came out on the news stand at the local drug store.