Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Great Covers of ALL STORY

I was doing some browing on Galactic Central the other day and discovered these great ALL STORY covers from the early 1900s. Most people think of ADVENTURE when they think of great covers on the mixed-genre magazines, but I think ALL STORY certainly gave them a run for their money, at least until the mid 1910s. After that they began running a lot of covers of pretty women; don't know what the strategy behind that was, but the covers weren't the same after that.

For those of you who are new to the pulp fiction world, one of these covers is on an issue that is considered the most highly collectible pulp magazine of all. Which one is it? (Ed, Walker, and Barry: don't spoil it!)

May 1906

June 1906

August 1906

November 1906

May 1907

February 1908

March 1909

May 1909

March 1910

May 1910

October 1910

December 1910

June 1911

October 1912

June 1913

January 1914

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Deka Black said...

is June 1911, That's the Titanic! Well, a ship VERY like the titanic, right?

Barry Traylor said...

As I commented over on FB it is quite difficult picking just a few covers from All Story as there were so many wonderful ones. I remember the auction years ago at Pulpcon when a ton (or so it seemed to me) of All Story went on the block. After people figure out which issue you are referring to I shall share a story from that auction. Unless Ed or Walker beat me to it.
One of the things I have enjoyed over the years of working on the auction is seeing and handling some pretty neat stuff.

Cap'n Bob said...

The one with Tarzan is my guess.

Laurie Powers said...

Ding ding ding! We have a winner - Bob is correct. Now all you others, please tell us your stories about this Tarzan issue. I hear it's legendary.

By the way, Deka, I thought the Titanic cover was really remarkable, not only because it looks like it, but because it came out just a little less than a year before it sank.

Deka Black said...

Laurie, the reasons you say are the same for my choice. Is a very sinister coincidence. And i believe is not the only one in this case .

Walker Martin said...

Among pulp collectors, the Tarzan issue is acknowledged as the most valuable single issue of all the pulps. Over the years I've had 4 chances to get this issue and failed due to my own mistakes all 4 times. I saw one issue in poor condition go for $26,000 and another in nice shape sell for over $50,000. In my opinion right now this is a $100,000 magazine and may some day be worth a million dollars.

The one time I was successful I got the issue minus the Tarzan novel and cover. That's right, someone had excerpted the Tarzan story and made their own little book out of it. Usually such collectors then throw away the rest of the ripped up magazine but for some reason this one survived. I won it at auction for $400. So I guess you can say I have the Tarzan, ALL STORY issue, but it's missing the novel!

Laurie Powers said...

Walker, I bet that whoever did that to that copy would really regret it now....And it just shows how valuable it is if you paid $400 for a coverless copy that's missing the feature story.

Elisabeth said...

The prices have gone up some since the days when they were ten cents, haven't they! :) I have a little collection of vintage sheet music from the '30s and '40s and I always sigh over the tantalizing advertisements for 50-cent songbooks on the back and inside the covers. They had a very clever method of advertising - they'd include a page with just the first few measures of the advertised songs.

Ron Scheer said...

Thanks for the great covers. Tarzan was my guess, too, but I'm a day late and a dollar short for the prize on that one.

Ed Hulse said...

I'm still hoping I'll hit the lottery some day so I can buy Walker's ALL STORY set. He's already said he'll never sell his ADVENTURE set, so I'll have to settle for the ALL STORY run.

Barry Traylor said...

About the excerpted issue of All-Story where the Tarzan yarn was removed I am sure that person is no longer living as that was a common thing that SF Fans did in the 1930's and 1940's. My late friend Jim Ellis was still doing that in the early 1950's. In fact I have some of the books he did with pulp stories cut from pulps he gave me. He was a pretty good book binder.
I wonder if Walker remembers the coverless All-Story that came up in a Pulpcon auction? This was years ago. It was the Feb. 1912 issue with a story by one Norman Bean. The story was "Under The Moons of Mars" that copy went for quite a bit. I was pretty excited when I pulled that issue from one of the boxes I was going through for the auction.

Walker Martin said...

Barry mentions the copy of ALL STORY that had Edgar Rice Burroughs first appearance in print, UNDER THE MOONS OF MARS by Norman Bean. I was in on the bidding for that copy which I thought I was going to get for $10 because the issue was buried in among alot of average stuff. By the way it did have the cover and Dick Wald got it for several hundred. Later on he contacted me and sold it to me for alot more than he paid.

But it was worth it because the issue completed the six part serial and is worth probably more than any other pulp serial.

Then a few years later a friend and I had too much to drink and he talked me into selling the serial for a few thousand. Fortunately for me he sobered up the next morning and asked me to rip up the check because he had second thoughts. I now see the serial as being worth alot more than he was willing to pay. The moral of this story is don't drink and sell pulps. Non-collectors say don't drink and drive but we know better.

Barry Traylor said...

Thanks for clearing that up Walker. I could have sworn it was coverless. I guess that is due to the fact that so many in that lot were pretty darn rough. That was an estate sale but I can't recall which person's estate it was from.
I love the title, "Under The Moons of Mars" is so evocotive.

Ed Hulse said...

Barry, I seem to remember a Pulpcon auction with one lot that contained a handful of of coverless ALL STORYs including issues with four of the five parts of the first Zorro story, "Curse of Capistrano." If memory serves, Joe Rainone won the bidding on that lot.