Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Pulp Western and Reprinting of Covers

In the later years of the Western pulp, many magazines were struggling and it wasn't uncommon for a magazine to reuse cover art that had appeared before in an earlier issue. In WILD WEST WEEKLY, I've seen this many times. But this is the first time I've found one of WILD WEST WEEKLY'S covers, namely this 1937 cover by H.W. Scott featuring one of my grandfather's stories, reprinted later in another magazine owned by a different company. Check out these two.

WILD WEST WEEKLY, May 29, 1937

FIGHTING WESTERN, January 1947.

WILD WEST WEEKLY was a Street & Smith magazine; FIGHTING WESTERN, which ran from 1945 to 1950, was published by Trojan Magazines. As far as I know, Trojan wasn't connected with Street & Smith, but maybe I'm wrong?

Did this copying between two non-related companies happen frequently? You'd think there'd be a outcry from Street & Smith when this occurred.


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9 comments:

Deka Black said...

in spanish pulps is seen sometimes too. But in this case i think is due for the weekly release schedule. Sometimes the artist did not make the deadline and they have to reuse old art. or simply the editor was lazy.

Barry Traylor said...

Either Ed Hulse or Walker Martin will more than likely have a definitive answer, but without seeing the magazines up close I will take a guess. Are they both Scott covers? If not then another artist swiped the the art on the S&S magazine. Or Scott got his cover art beack from then and then changed it a little so he could resell it. I will have to do a little research to be sure. Just did a little checking. All the Spicy titles such as Spicy Wester, Detective and Adventure were published by Culture Publications until December 1942 and in January 1943 the titles were changed to Speed, etc. and were then published by Trojan. Was Culture sold to Trojan or was it simply a name change? I suspect the latter. I hope Ed or Walker can give an answer as this is the sort of thing that keeps me fascinated by the pulp magazine industry.
I think Dave Saunders did a bio of Scott for Illusration magazine. I'll have to dig out my copy and see what Dave had to say.

Barry Traylor said...

Whoops! I should do a little research first as there were two artists (which I forgot) with the last name of Scott. John Walter Scott (signed J.W. Scott) and H.W. Scott.

Chap O'Keefe said...

Multiple uses of western cover art is a phenomenon that has gathered pace in recent years. Several of the Chap O'Keefe large-print reissues "share" cover art with Louis L'Amour paperbacks! E.g. Sons and Gunslicks/Guns of the Timberlands, Ghost Town Belles/Kiowa Trail.

Walker Martin said...

This is interesting and unusual because I've seen many covers reused but always by the same publisher. We may never know how two separate publishers got involved with the same artwork. Perhaps Scott did get the artwork back and resubmitted it later to a different publisher, with changes. However, usually the publisher kept the artwork.

Probably Street & Smith never even noticed the cover being reused. Also due to censorship problems, the spicy titles changed their names to Speed but it was the same company, etc.

Alfred Jan said...

This is most unusual. Culture-Trojan, publishers of the Spicy pulps often re-used covers for later titles like Speed Detective or Private Detective but covered up the women with more clothing. There was no connection to Street and Smith. The two signatures on the lower right corners look different, so the Trojan artist could have used Scott's concept and added his own touches to it; they are similar but not identical. The editor either did not know or did not care.

Sylvia Ney said...

I'm so glad to find your blog! The information you share about magazines, your grandfather and the golden age of westerns is truly fascinating. I actually have a short story western I want to have publishd, but I can't seem to find a market for it. Do you have any suggestions?

If you're interested, you can find me: http://writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

Thank you for sharing. I look forward to visiting again!

Laurie Powers said...

Hi Sylvia: you might want to check out the web site Rope and Wire, which publishes short Western works. If you're interested in getting it into an anthology, try Sandra Seaman's blog My Little Corner -she's always listing available markets for publishing short stories. thanks for visiting and feel free to comment any time.

Sylvia Ney said...

Thank you for the tips!