Thursday, July 28, 2011

Arriving at PulpFest 2011

It's amazing how many people are in the LAX airport at 1 AM in the morning. Where are all these people going? And the Delta terminal was so packed, there must have been some kind of fire sale on red-eye flights.

I put my foot down this trip to PulpFest in Columbus, Ohio, and declared that I would not pay for checked-in luggage, so I managed to put everything into a carry-on and a shoulder bag. In my carry-on was a laptop and six copies of PULP WRITER to sell (RIDING THE PULP TRAIL was shipped directly from the publisher, Thank God), some snacks including a bag of cookies and a small bag of clementines and candy (I hate hotel food), and a minumum amount of clothes. By the time I got to Houston - my layover - I was so worn out by hauling these boulders around I wished I had checked them in.

But guess what? My next flight from Houston to Columbus was on a small plane that did not have the overhead room for my carry-on so I had to check it in at the gate anyway. (I wasn't the only one, there must have been a dozen of us.) I was rather happy to do that to tell you the truth. And because they had me check it in at the plane, I didn't have to pay a checked luggage fee. The bad news? All my cookies got smashed.

Anyway, I arrived here in Columbus about noon local time today (9 AM Pacific) and, oh, do you remember the post from a few days ago when I was complaining about the heat in California? I take it all back. It doesn't hold a candle to the sauna known as summer in Ohio.

Thank goodness we'll be in the hotel much of the weekend, although some of us are talking about venturing out one night for dinner somewhere else. I hope we won't have to walk. There's a lot going on here at the convention though, with all the panels in the evenings, that I'll surprised if we make it.

PulpFest looks to be great this year. The rooms booked for the convention is way up this year from last, and the dealer tables are at an equal pace to last year. What's interesting is that this convention there are a lot of beautiful and rare pulp fiction magazeins, but I'm seeing a lot of collectible books too. And there are reprints of pulps everywhere. And some art. And the regular gang of people who I love to hang with.

So if you're in the area over the next three days, drop by the Ramada Plaza in Columbus and say hello. The daily entrance fee is only $15, and if you want to come for the entire three days, the fee is $35 for three days. The dealer room opens at 9 AM both Friday and Saturday and 10 AM on Sunday. All of the info is over at the PulpFest website.

I'm tired out, even though I had a three hour nap this afternoon, so I'm hitting the hay. More info and photos tomorrow. Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dealing with the Heat

Rick over at The Broken Bullhorn posted a short sympathy note tonight for those of us who are broiling in the summer heat. Rick, you see, lives in Portland where it was 70 degrees today. (Insert jealous comment here.) I left a comment saying that it seems that the older I get, the less tolerant I have of the heat. But now that I think about it, I think I've been less than tolerant of summer for many, many years - probably dating back to when I lived in Hawaii.

Yes, Hawaii is beautiful, but damn it gets hot in the summer and can be quite humid too. I worked as a scuba instructor for a while which was great - I was underwater for up to three dives a day and the heat never bothered me. But then I couldn't dive for several months due to ear problems and my job changed to working in the office - an office that was basically an open air boathouse and right on the beach. But there was no air conditioning, unless you consider the afternoon tradewinds a/c. I remember running to my car after work so I could just turn on the air conditioner in the car.

Then for a couple of years after that, I found myself in Massachusetts at Smith College, arriving at school in the late summer of 1997. Funny, before I moved to Mass, I always thought of it as nothing but beautiful fall colors and really cold winters. Then, the first day I arrived at school, I got off and I could swear the humidity dripped off the tree leaves. I also found out that day that my room in the dorm was on the fifth floor, there was no elevator, and I had to haul up my computer (these were the days when monitors weighed like fifty pounds - remember those??) and all my suitcases. I was younger then and the adrenaline of starting a new life kept me going (and climbing those stairs).

About a year later I lived in Washington DC one summer while I worked as an intern. (No, I wasn't at the White House.) And that swamp heat about broke me. I didn't have my car with me, and so I relied on the Metro and my two feet to get me everywhere. That was a very tough summer. I did enjoy the spectacular thunderstorms, though, something that we don't get much of here in southern California. It's also green and lush in DC, and once in a while a nice rain cleaned everything.

So what the hell am I doing here in Santa Clarita, where it's probably one of the hottest places in the Los Angeles area. Well, there are a lot of reasons, some personal, that trump the heat card. When I moved here last fall, I figured that I could tough it out - I had already been in southern California for several years by then - but I still had my doubts. All last winter I dreaded this summer. And then one day I just gave up. I just surrendered mentally. I figured that hey, it's like living in Phoenix: you don't go out during the day, and do most of your outdoor activities in the very early mornings or late evenings. And I keep reminding myself that the other three seasons here are wonderful, which makes up for the July-September inferno.

And for the most part it's been okay. At least we don't have the humidity here that the rest of the country suffers from. But Portland's sounding mighty nice right now. Or England. Or the Arctic.

How are all of you coping with the summer? Do you find yourself less tolerant of it now, or more? What are some of the things you do to keep yourself from completely losing it during these heat waves?

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

SAVAGES by Gordon Ray Young AND The Best of Blood N Thunder: What Else Do You Need??

It's been said many times that while the 1930s were considered the Golden Age of Pulp Fiction, we are now living in the Golden Age of Reprints. I'm happy to announce that my friend Ed Hulse and his press Murania Press have finally decided to jump on the bandwagon and join the rest of us delightfully crazy and slightly delusional people who are doing reprints.

Anyone who knows Ed and his magazine BLOOD N THUNDER and its companion, THE BLOOD N THUNDER GUIDE TO COLLECTING PULPS, know that Ed has very high standards when it comes to reading quality AND what he collects. Which is why I'm confident that Murania Press's choice for reprint is a fantastic one. It's one of the finest stories that appeared in ADVENTURE MAGAZINE: SAVAGES by Gordon Ray Young.

Here's the description as provided by Ed:

"Meet Hurricane Williams . . a white man who shuns his own kind in favor of Tongan and Samoan natives, he’s the skipper of a speedy schooner known as the terror of the South Seas. Tanned and bearded, with steely gray eyes and a well-muscled frame, he is naturally taciturn but always has the aspect of a leopard about to spring. He’s been accused of piracy, smuggling, blackbirding, and whisky-running, but nobody really knows exactly who or what Hurricane Williams is. Not even young Gilbert Lang, who befriends this enigmatic figure in the Solomon Islands while on a quest for vengeance against the deep-dyed villains responsible for his brother’s death.

“When Savages first appeared as a four-part serial in the pages of Adventure, Gordon Ray Young was a relatively new writer who had published 22 stories of various lengths and types in that magazine during the preceding two and a half years. Savages was his twenty-third, and his first serious attempt at a novel. The result is one of the greatest tales of South Seas adventure ever to appear in the pulps."

Besides SAVAGES, Murania Press is also releasing THE BEST OF BLOOD N THUNDER MAGAZINE. This is a long awaited collection of the best articles that appeared in the magazine:

"Since 2002, Blood ‘n’ Thunder has explored American popular culture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries as manifested in its popular fiction—dime novels, story papers, nickel weeklies, pulp magazines—and such derivative storytelling vehicles as stage melodrama, motion pictures, and Old Time Radio programs. Blood ‘n’ Thunder’s readers include not only veteran fans and collectors of such material, but also newly interested hobbyists born decades after the heyday of pulps and related narrative forms.

This 340-page book collects the finest articles and reviews that appeared in Blood ‘n’ Thunder’s long-out-of-print first ten issues—over 125,000 words of history, biography, and commentary, impeccably researched and lovingly presented by devotees for devotees. It’s a one-volume encyclopedia for aficionados of vintage adventure, mystery and melodrama.

Topics, authors and characters covered in The Best of Blood ‘n’ Thunder include Tarzan, The Shadow, Doc Savage, The Lone Ranger, weird-menace pulps, L. Ron Hubbard, The Phantom Detective, Charlie Chan, the I Love a Mystery radio series, Frederick C. Davis, Nick Carter, “B” Westerns and horror movies, Tod Browning, one-shot pulp heroes, a gaslight-era precursor of The Shadow, Lester Dent, and cliffhanger serials of the silent and early Talkie eras."

If that isn't enough to float your boat, issue #30 of BLOOD N THUNDER magazine is also out:

"The just-completed Blood ‘n’ Thunder #30 (Summer 2011) is the biggest yet, coming in at 116 pages. Its highlight is “The Life and Times of Frank A. Munsey: The Man Who Made The Argosy,” an extremely interesting biography of the father of the pulp magazine written by Argonotes blogger Nathan Madison. Part Two of “He Always Knew What Evil Lurked” continues Martin Grams Jr.’s history of The Shadow’s early years on radio, leading up to the period just before Orson Welles assumed the role. A 1939 article by Erle Stanley Gardner laments the sorry state of the pulp market and singles out the weird-menace magazines for criticism. Off-Trail Publications’ John Locke remembers the late Bill Blackbeard, legendary collectors of comics and pulps. Mark Trost tracks down three Ace Publications pulp heroes—Secret Agent X, Captain Hazzard, and The Moon Man—who made it into comic books in heavily altered versions. And Daniel J. Neyer weighs in on Drums of Fu Manchu, the 1940 Republic serial widely believed to be among the best chapter plays ever made. Rounding out the issue is a South Seas yarn written by Robert Leslie Bellem for a 1941 issue of Spicy Adventure."

Prices: SAVAGES is $19.95, and THE BEST OF is $24.95. Postage for each is $5 extra, although Ed is offering free shipping as a pre-publication discount to anybody who orders both together before August 1st.

Single copies of BLOOD N THUNDER MAGAZINE can be purchased for $11.95 plus $2.50 postage, although the better deal is a one-year, four-issue subscription for $40 postpaid.

If you're not going to PulpFest, you can pay via PayPal (Ed's email below) or via snail-mail. Make your check or money orders out to editor/publisher Ed Hulse and send them to him at 2467 Rt 10, Bldg. 15-4B, Morris Plains NJ 07950. Ed accepts inquiries and Paypal payments at

Postscript: My apologies to Ed for misspelling Murania in an earlier version of this post. "Murania" is the correct spelling.

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Paul Powers' Legacy Featured in Great Article Today

I try to spread the word about pulp fiction and it's fascinating history whenever I can, so I was very pleased this morning when I opened up The Signal, the local Santa Clarita Valley's newspaper, and found a great article on yours truly and my grandfather's career as a pulp fiction writer. I think the article is fantastic - thanks so much to Michelle Sathe who wrote it! I knew Michelle would do a great job because she's a terrific writer. And Dan Watson took some great photos too, so go check it out. Annie and Chloe even got their 15 minutes of fame! The only thing I found that should be pointed out as an inaccuracy is the price mentioned after RIDING THE PULP TRAIL: it should be $24.95, not $19.95.

Later today I'm going to be posting information about the three new publications that Muriana Publications (that published the BLOOD 'N' THUNDER magazine) has just released, one of which is a reprint of SAVAGES, Gordon Ray Young's serial set in the South Seas that is one of the greatest tales of South Seas adventure ever to appear in the pulps.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

A New Saturday Morning Tradition For Western Pulp Fans

For those of you who can't get enough of the pulp Western, James Reasoner has a great post today on BULL'S EYE WESTERN, a short-lived magazine from 1934. James writes about a specific issue of a Western pulp every Saturday with his series "Saturday Morning Western Pulp." Now you have something to take the place of all those Western television shows you used to watch every Saturday morning as a kid.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

RIDING THE PULP TRAIL is now available on Amazon!!

We have liftoff!! The Amazon link for RIDING THE PULP TRAIL is now live! And it's in stock, so you could feasibly get it as early as - well, not tomorrow because we're kind of end of the business day - but the day after tomorrow if you do overnight shipping!! If you have Amazon Prime, (which I think is the best thing ever), you get two day shipping free. So mosey on over and get yer copy!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On a Lighter Note

Just to prove that it's not all sad and morose around here, here's a pic of Annie taken a few days ago. Some of you on Facebook have already seen it, but I can't get enough of this picture if I do say so myself.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pensive Tonight

It's been four months since my Xena went away. I still feel the loss so much.

I still can't look at a German Shepherd. There are days when I'm filled with crushing regret over having put her to sleep. Should I have waited longer? Did I rush into putting her to sleep? Maybe she would have gotten better. What would she be doing now? I know I shouldn't second guess my decision, but I can't lie - I do.

I try to look on the bright side. The hole left by Xena was later filled by Chloe. I would never ever have considered getting a cat while Xena was alive - she loved cats but she couldn't resist chasing them. So while I feel sometimes that I let Xena down, I saved another life.

To salve my pain, I built a new garden in the backyard and I call it Xena's Garden. It was rototilled just about two weeks after she died. When I got her ashes back from the veterinarian, I sprinkled some of them on the newly tilled ground and then worked it into the soil. That might creep some people out, and I don't know if it made a difference, but I do know this is the fasting growing garden I've ever had. This is only after 3 months.

And now we have a cat in the garden. (Yes, she's on a leash.)Chloe likes to sit in the garden and just check things out.

And that's where we're going right now. It's a beautiful evening.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Pulps 1st - Great Site for Buying Pulps and Related Goodies

If you're looking to buy original pulp fiction magazines, I recommend going over to Mark Haleuga's site Pulps 1st. He's got a good inventory of pulps available for sale, as well as t-shirts, mugs, and CDs. Mark has, for a long time, been offering CDs with pulp covers, and he has an extensive inventory of them for sale.

I noticed that one of his T-shirts is one with an EXCITING WESTERN issue that has one of my grandfather's stories.

Also, over at the pulps for sale, there's a copy of RANGE RIDERS WESTERN, which has one of my grandfather's stories, "The Snow Ghost," featured on the cover. Although "The Snow Ghost" is in a Western magazine, it's more of a frontier story and is also a wonderful dog story. It will be included in the NEXT Paul Powers collection that will be coming out next year. I already have several copies of this issue, otherwise I'd grab it. Maybe one of you might want it - the price is right.

I'll be seeing Mark at PulpFest next week, so I'll need to remember to congratulate him on his great Web site.

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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


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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Thursday, July 14, 2011

My nemesis this week

For the last two days I've had no power from 8 to 5, thanks to three of these lovely things behind my house that Edison, in their infinite wisdom, have decided to replace - all in the same week. So, because I have no power, I have no Internet connection either. And because my land line phone is connected through the Internet, I've had no land line either. Tomorrow is day #3, and hopefully the last day.

It's not until you have no access to the outside world that you realize how much you depend on these things like electricity, phone, and the Internet. Because I can't get a wireless connection at home other than my own, I've had to toddle down to the city library in order to get any work done. And while I'm there, it's a mad dash to get caught up on all my emails from work. Almost 100% of my communication at work is through email, as well as meetings with webinars and the transferring of all my work. So you can see the havoc this has created.

Some people have asked me why I just don't go down to the local Starbucks. Well, that would be nice if there were tables available. And besides, I know the first thing I'd do would be to order a latte. And another. And another. Those things are fattening.

So no blogging for another day or so. I hope to get caught up on Saturday.

I must be getting old, because this glitch has made me all out of sorts. And tired.

The only good thing is that our weather has been unseasonably cool this week, so I haven't had to worry about no air conditioning.

Talk to you all in a few days.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011


RIDING THE PULP TRAIL, the new collection of my grandfather's Western stories, will be available on Amazon very shortly! Like maybe today! Or tomorrow!

Matt Moring at Altus Press has done SUCH an amazing job with this book. Some of it won't be noticed until you BUY it and see inside. The chapter separators, the font, the way he used this photo of my grandfather, everything, is just gorgeous and seems to be exactly what a collection of vintage Western stories should look like. I want to thank Matt again for all his hard work on this.

I'll be taking copies with me to PulpFest too, so if you're coming you can pick up a SIGNED copy (signed by me, not my grandfather...if you can get his signature on it, let me know how you did it).

I often wonder what my grandfather would think of me publishing these stories now. I hope he'd be pleased. And probably mildly aggravated at how long it took for me to find them (about 5 years after the box of manuscripts was given to me). Oh well. Better late than never, Grandpa!

Speaking of Altus Press, if you haven't done so already, go over to their Web site - it's been redone and looks FANTASTIC. I love how Matt has presented the copies of available books right on the home page.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ken Maynard Revisited, with Link to Full-Length Movie

Davy Crockett's Almanack has a wonderful gallery of Ken Maynard movie posters. If you're curious about Maynard's movies, Turner Classic Movies will be playing one of his movies, In Old Santa Fe, on Friday, July 29. You can view TCM's full schedule for the month here.

If you can't wait until the 29th, you can go here to see a full-length Ken Maynard movie that's in the public domain: Tombstone Canyon (1932).

And if you want to read (or re-read) my post on Ken Maynard from a while back, go here.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Granddaughters of the Pulps: Researching the Past for Future Generations

I'm very excited to be part of a panel at PulpFest this year, "Granddaughters of the Pulps," which will be on Friday night. The last two years I was able to chat with Karen Davis Cunningham, granddaughter of Frederick C. Davis. This year there will be two more women with family members who were pulp writers.

What I find interesting is that finding and collecting the original issues that contained our ancestors' stories has become a years or decades-long passion for all of us. I for one never thought that, 12 years after finding my grandfather's career writing for Wild West Weekly, I'd still be finding new stories that my grandfather wrote.

Why does it take so long? The sheer volume of stories they wrote is one reason. When you're talking about Karen's grandfather who wrote 1000 stories, you can see the enormity of the task. Another is that many of the magazine's bookeeping and editorial records were lost or weren't available for decades. So it wasn't as easy as looking someone's name up on Google or even going to an archives or special collections to track down records.

But through the hard work of a lot of collectors, historians and enthusiasts, a lot of these magazine's records have been researched and that information made available to others, which has helped us track down these stories. I, for one, am deeply grateful to all of those folks (some of whom read this blog) who have done this work. I'm sure the other three women are thankful too, because it's helped us collect very important family heirlooms that will probably be passed down to other family members or donated to archives. These collections would not have been possible otherwise.

Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox. Here are the bios for all four of us who will be participating in the "Granddaughters of the Pulps" panel.

Karen Davis Cunningham

Karen Davis Cunningham is the granddaughter of author Frederick C. Davis. While she grew up reading many of his murder mystery books, she knew little about his pulp career until many years after he'd passed away. When she read a passage that suggested he'd written nearly 1000 pulp stories, she began a quest to find out what they were. Her search brought her to her first PulpCon in Dayton, Ohio in 2000, where she was sucked into the vortex and has not been able to escape since. In a parallel life out in the real world, she teaches conflict management at Kent State University, and lives in Ohio with her husband Tom, four cats, Zeke the wonderdog, and has two grown children who are in the process of leaving the nest but somehow keep finding their way back.

Elizabeth Bissette

Elizabeth Bissette is the great-niece of Norvell W. Page, one of the most prolific pulpsters who was the author of The Spider novels. A critically acclaimed actress, director, playwright, and producer of multimedia programs, Elizabeth is also a singer/songwriter, rhythm guitarist, fine artist, and an art and music writer for FINE ART MAGAZINE and a number of music websites. She is currently working on adaptations of Beowulf and the pulp character The Purple Scar for Airship 27. Elizabeth lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson

Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson is a granddaughter of Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, prolific pulp fiction writer, founder of DC Comics, military intelligence office and inventor among his many accomplishments. Nicky has been actively researching her grandfather’s life and work since 1997. She is a writer, editor and publisher co-owning Berkshire Media Artists with experience in audio, film, animation and book publishing. Nicky holds a Master’s Degree in Classical Greek Mythology. Her published work includes articles on the environment, Native American elders, comic book history and scripts for theatre and animated film. Nicky’s most recent published work is, as an editor and contributor to, Oil and Water and Other Things That Don’t Mix, an anthology to benefit environmental groups on the Gulf Coast and an article about “The Major” for The Overstreet Comic Book Guide. She fell madly in love with the “true” pulp genre when she bought her first pulp with The Major’s byline—“The Czarina’s Pearls,” (Argosy, July 19 and 26, 1930) and with the determination of Nancy Drew has been pursuing the elusive trail of collecting all her grandfather’s works ever since.

Laurie Powers

Laurie Powers is the granddaughter of Paul S. Powers, a prolific and successful pulp fiction writer who wrote over 400 stories for such pulp fiction magazines as Wild West Weekly, Weird Tales, Thrilling Western, Texas Rangers, and more. Later Paul wrote a successful and acclaimed Western novel, Doc Dillahay.

Laurie did not know of her grandfather's career as a pulp fiction writer until 1999 when she discovered his contributions to Wild West Weekly through an Internet search. Later that same year, she reunited with Paul's daughter Pat, who gave Laurie Paul's personal papers. In there was a manuscript, Pulp Writer: Twenty Years in the American Grub Street, Paul's memoir of being a pulp fiction writer, which was eventually published in 2007.

Laurie is currently completing a new collection of Paul Powers western stories, Riding the Pulp Trail, which will be released in July 2011 and will be available for sale at PulpFest 2011. She is a writer and editor, is active in the pulp community, and lives in Los Angeles.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Some Reading for the 4th of July: The Declaration of Independence

Happy 4th of July everyone. Here is the full text of the Declaration of Independence. Below the text are the names of those who signed the Declaration.

The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Steampunk's Origin in Dime Novels: A Teaser

I've never been accused of being ahead of my time and I tend to be the least trendiest person in the room. I still haven't figured out why iPods are so popular and even how to use one.

So it's no surprise that I've only just now started to get interested in Steampunk, that wildly popular movement of fashion/literature/design/art and whatever else it can influence. Of course I've heard of it, and have seen photos of these mysterious and eccentric costumes. I have a good friend who has been into costume design and through her I've become interested in Victorian costume. But I didn't know anything about steampunk in general nor its origins.

So when I heard that Garyn Roberts was going to be speaking at PulpFest about Steampunk in the Days of Dime Novels and Pulp Magazines, I thought, this is going to be way cool.

So I've started to do some reading and came up with some good Web sites and also a great book that Bobbi Jean Bell at OutWest lent me. Here are some excerpts from them.
says of the Steampunk literary genre:

To me, Steampunk has always been first and foremost a literary genre, or least a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy that includes social or technological aspects of the 19th century (the steam) usually with some deconstruction of, reimagining of, or rebellion against parts of it (the punk). Unfortunately, it is a poorly defined subgenre, with plenty of disagreement about what is and is not included. For example, steampunk stories may:

* Take place in the Victorian era but include advanced machines based on 19th century technology (e.g. The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling);
* Include the supernatural as well (e.g. The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger);
* Include the supernatural and forego the technology (e.g. The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers, one of the works that inspired the term ‘steampunk’);
* Include the advanced machines, but take place later than the Victorian period, thereby assuming that the predomination by electricity and petroleum never happens (e.g. The Peshawar Lancers by S. M. Stirling); or
* Take place in an another world altogether, but featuring Victorian-like technology (e.g. Mainspring by Jay Lake).

In the introduction to the anthology STEAMPUNK (Tachyon, 2008) Jeff Nevins writes:

A proper history of steampunk must begin in the 19th century with dime novels, for it is there that steampunk's roots lie, and it is dime novels which the first generation of steampunk writers were reacting against.

....The term "Edisonsade" was coined by John Clute after the "Robinsonade," or stories about lone stravelers stranded on remote islands, in the vein of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. An Edisonade is a story in which a young American male invents a form of transportation and uses it to travel to uncivilized parts of the American frontier or the world, enrich himself, and punish the enemies of the Unites States, whether domestic (Native Americans) or foreign. The Edisonades appeared in dime novels as both serials and as complete novels.

The first Edisonade was "The Huge Hunter, or the Steam Man of the Prairies." "The Huge Hunter" was created by Edward S. Ellis, a New Jersey schoolteacher and principal, and appeared in Irwin P. Beadle's American Novels #45 (August 1868.)

This is just the beginning of a fascinating introduction into the history of Steampunk, followed by a collection of stories, excerpts, and essays on the phenomenon.

STEAMPUNK is available through OutWest (which, by the way, also has a great collection of western and steampunk-inspired clothing). Check out this coat, for example.

I think it's pretty cool when something I've been interested in for such a long time, in particular dime novels and pulp magazines, have had a direct influence on one of the hottest popular culture movements around. Makes me feel like a little less of a nerd.

If you're interested in going to PulpFest to hear Garyn's talk Saturday night, go to PulpFest 2011 and go to the programming page.

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Pulp Artists: William Reusswig

Of all the artists that painted Wild West Weekly covers depicting my grandfather's characters, William Reusswig (1902-1978) is one of my favorites. His depictions of Sonny Tabor and Johnny Forty-five are lively and dramatic. Some even have a humorous tone to them, such as the "Sonny Tabor's Losing Hand" cover below.

Reusswig seems to have grown up in a relatively normal household, with the exception of the early death of his father when he was six. He grew up in New York and attended Amherst College, where he was a star athelete and captain of the football team. But after college he took a completely different track and started to study art seriously. He started to do illustrations for Colliers, Cosmopolitan, Everybody's, Liberty, Redbook, The Saturday Evening Post, and Country Gentleman.

He sold freelance pulp covers to Ace-High, Action Novels, Adventure, All-Fiction, Argosy, Complete Detective, Detective Book, Detective Tales, Dime Detective, The Frontier, Short Stories, War Aces, War Birds, War Stories, West, Western Story, and Wild West Weekly. Although his tenure with Wild West Weekly seems to have been rather short - the period from 1931-32 - he continued to work for the pulps through the 1930s.

Reusswig seems to have had the characteristics that make for a very successful career as a pulp artist. He was prolific: I counted 97 covers on Fiction Mags Index, which we all know is not a complete list; for one thing, it doesn't include the WWW covers I post here. And that figure doesn't include all the interior artwork he did for the slicks from the 1930s through the 1950s. He was also fast working and versatile: He could go from a western cover to a detective to a pirate theme to a Saharan desert adventure and back again - all within a matter of weeks.

After the war, Reusswig drew comic adaptations and continued to illustrate for magazines such as True, Argosy, Sports Afield, and Outdoor Life, and he and his wife, illustrator Martha Sawyers, co-wrote two books on the Far East that were published in the 1960s.

Although some may prefer other pulp artists' work, you certainly can't argue that Reusswig's covers were eye-catching and spot on when it came to conveying what the pulps were all about: drama, action, escape, and loads of fun.

Below are a sample of some William Reusswig covers. A special thanks to David Saunders' web site Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists, who provided the photo of Reusswig and the biographical notes.

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