I was pleased as punch yesterday to see that the latest issues of BLOOD 'N' THUNDER had arrived. Note I said "issues" - that's because one of the issues is a little late. But believe me, it is worth the wait.
The Fall 2011/Winter 2012 issue is the "All Westerns Issue", and it's huge - 234 pages. Muriana Press says on their website that this issue is "our most ambitious yet. The main feature is a 22,000-word essay on Zane Grey and his involvement with Hollywood, illustrated with more than 60 rare photos. Other articles cover Tom Mix’s silent-movie adaptations of Max Brand novels, the evolution of Western fiction in pulp magazines, the making of Republic’s 1938 cliffhanger serial featuring the Lone Ranger, an overview of the Doubleday-published pulp titled West, and a behind-the-scenes report on the discovery and marketing of Roy Rogers. Finally — and this last item would be worth the price alone — we reprint a classic 1919 Western novella by Stewart Edward White, The Killer, which has been out of print for decades and was the inspiration for the 1932 George O’Brien Western titled Mystery Ranch."
Publisher Ed Hulse writes in the Editorial Comments that he wanted to include an article based on the letters that my grandfather received from Ronald Oliphant and other editors of WILD WEST WEEKLY. I had lent Ed the letters and asked him to write an article on them. But time wasn't permitting Ed to write the article the way he wanted to. And so that article will arrive in a future issue.
But what's cool too is that there is a full-page ad for RIDING THE PULP TRAIL - thanks, Matt and Altus Press!
So I highly recommend getting this issue of BLOOD N THUNDER before it sells out. Go to Murania Press's website to order. While you're there, check out Ed's blog post on the news that Al Tonik will be auctioning off his collection at PulpFest this year.
The other issue (and by "other" I don't mean that it's any less exciting) of BnT out now is a SPIDER cover, and features a Will Murray essay on the Spider. There's also an article written by Old-Time Radio historian Martin Grams Jr. - a comprehensive overview of the short-lived 1948 Green Lama radio series, and a 1941 writers-magazine article written by Frank Gruber that stresses the importance of invention in plotting mysteries, and a classic hard-boiled detective story (William E. Barrett’s “The Mobster Man” from 1933).
All this news has got me really wishing I could go to PulpFest this year. I was all but resigned to the fact that I couldn't go, and a visit to the dentist last week pretty much sealed the deal with the news that I'm going to need at least two grand's worth of dental work.
But.....I'm almost inclined to say "Oh, hell with it," and pull out the credit card and buy a plane ticket to Columbus.