Monday, April 2, 2012

The EXCITING series of pulps

One of the magazines that my grandfather sold many stories to was EXCITING WESTERN. This publication was one of a stable (pardon the pun) of Standard Magazines pulps put out by Better Publications, and most of them came on late in the game, starting in the early 1940s, and some not being launched until the late 1940s.

Beginning with one of the EXCITING WESTERN issues that contains a Paul Powers story, here are covers that represent almost all, if not all, of the EXCITING publications.

This is the November 1947 issue of EXCITING WESTERN. The Paul Powers story in here, "Buzzards Hate Bullets," is one of the stories included in the anthology we published last year, RIDING THE PULP TRAIL.

EXCITING SPORTS ran from the Winter of 1941 to the Summer of 1950.

EXCITING NAVY STORIES ran for possibly 3 issues, from Fall 1942 to Spring 1943.

EXCITING MYSTERY was another short-lived title, running only 3 issues in 1942-43.

EXCITING LOVE ran for 78 issues, from the Spring of 1941 to the Spring of 1958. It was the longest running of all the EXCITING titles, but not by much: the EXCITING WESTERN title ran for 76 issues.

EXCITING FOOTBALL sporadically ran for 7 issues between 1941 and 1949.

EXCITING DETECTIVE surprisingly ran for only 15 issues. According to the Galactic Central site, it succumbed to the paper shortage during WWII. Too bad - they had some great covers like this one.

EXCITING BASEBALL ran for only 5 issues, from 1949 through 1953. Question: are these considered a hard to find pulp? Being a baseball fan, I would love to get a hold of a couple of the issues.

Now that I've put this post up, maybe someone could enlighten me on the relationship between the THRILLING titles and the EXCITING ones. For some reason I can't get it straight in my head.

For those of you interested in reading some of the later Westerns that appeared in magazines like EXCITING WESTERN, RIDING THE PULP TRAIL is available in softcover and in ebook.

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Walker Martin said...

EXCITING, THRILLING, and POPULAR all had a series of titles, for instance EXCITING LOVE, THRILLING LOVE, POPULAR LOVE. All were basically published by the same company and did not pay good word rates to the authors. Though there are exceptions, they usually did not get first look at the best work of the better writers.

All the EXCITING, THRILLING, POPULAR pulps appear to be be second rate or worse. These titles were not on the level of BLACK MASK, DIME DETECTIVE, WESTERN STORY, STAR WESTERN,etc. Popular Publication for instance paid better rates than Standard Publication and it showed.

Barry Traylor said...

The people at Better Publications (Thrilling) really liked the words Thrilling, Exciting and Popular as they put the words in front of about every genre you could shake a stick at.
I have had some copies of Exciting Detective over the years and neither the covers nor the stories within overly impressed me.

Laurie Powers said...

What I've read of EXCITING WESTERN I've enjoyed, considering some of the other dreck that was out there at the time.

Leo Margulies, who was the Editorial Director, seems to have had some discriminating tastes. At least that's the impression I have from reading some of his letters to my grandfather.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm sure I would have enjoyed that football pulp. by the way, there's a free download for one of my stories at Amazon for the kindle for the next few days. The story is "Harvest of War." I don't know if you've ever had a chance to read anything by me. The link is here if you want to have a look.

Laurie Powers said...

Thanks for the tip, Charles - I'm on my way over there now to get it.

Richard R. said...

I'd have enjoyed the sport and football and baseball ones, too. I wonder if anyone has collected stories from any of the pulps (hopefully the better ones) in those genres?

Walker Martin said...

Richard, I listed the 3 sport anthologies taken from the pulps when I reviewed BALL TALES by Michelle Nolan. Check out or google BALL TALES by Michelle Nolan which will link the review.

One interesting thing we noticed was out of over 1500 sport pulp covers, only one shows women competitive sports. The cover is shown in the review.

Jack Cullers said...

While not considered as part of the "top level" of pulp magazines, they were also priced (in today's market) much cheaper than the BLACK MASK and DIME DETECTIVE category. This price difference allowed some younger fans (and older fans, for that matter) to jump into the pulp hobby and begin a collection without putting their house up for mortgage