Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Anybody want some WILD WEST WEEKLYs? I just put up for auction on ebay a lot of 21 issues of WWW, with issues ranging from 1933 to 1943.

They are all in good condition. Only one has a cover that is starting to separate from the spine. All of them have their back covers. A lot of them appear to never have been read.

Why am I selling these? First of all, none of these have any Paul Powers stories in them. They were collected over the years as part of lots that we purchased when we were hunting down Paul Powers stories. And I have enough WWWs that have Paul Powers stories to keep me plenty busy reading for many many years.

I'm also on a de-cluttering kind of kick. How many of you have looked around your house at some point and thought, "How the hell did I get all this stuff, and why???"

Rather than selling these piecemeal, I'd rather just sell them as a lot and be done with it.

Buyer pays postage, and I weighed these suckers and it'll run about 8 pounds. If you want them parcel post, it'll be around $15.00 for shipping. That's an estimate - it may be less.

While you're over there, I do have some other books and back issues of magazines for sale.

The ebay listing has a list of all the issue dates.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Report on Mission Hills Paperback Show

Today I went to the Paperback Show in Mission Hills that I've been telling you about. Despite the downpour of rain from the biggest storm this entire year there was a good turnout. I can always tell whether there's going to be a good turnout by the number of people that have to park in the overflow lot behind the hotel, and today was no exception.

But this year was somewhat of a disappointment for me as there was almost no pulps for sale. There was one dealer that I could see that had pulps of any number, and those probably totaled two boxes of DOC SAVAGEs and some science fiction. Another dealer had a smattering of WEIRD TALES. It wasn't my imagination either. I met up with Paul Bishop from Bish's Beat, and the first thing he mentioned was the lack of pulps for sale. This was a huge turnaround from last year when there were several dealers with many boxes of pulps for sale.

My only pulp-ish purchase was a WEIRD TALES anthology. For the first time since I can remember, I came home with most of my money still in my pocket.

Paperback fans probably had a great day at the show. Pulp fans, I'm sure, were disappointed.

Perhaps it's time for a West Coast pulp show, folks.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Reminder: Mission Hills Paperback and Pulp Show

Don't forget - this Sunday is the Black Ace Books Paperback Collectors Show and Sale in Mission Hills.

Hope to see you there. Bring your wallet.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Annie's Guide to Life

I'm sure most of you have seen these tips before, maybe a million times, but today they seem appropriate. Time to get back to the basics.


With a little help from Annie

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you’re not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.


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Monday, March 19, 2012

William Boyd's Hollywood Home Up For Sale

According to LA Curbed, this house located at 2030 Vine St in Hollywood used to be owned by William Boyd of Hopalong Cassidy fame. It is now for sale. The place has a courtyard entryway, two-story living room "with Spanish galleon motif," and gardens "that were once the home of an unofficial Hollywood Canteen during the war." The house was built in 1918 and has "four to six" bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, and a two-bedroom guesthouse. Asking price is $1.399 million.

Photos courtesy of Redfin - go here to their site to get more information on the house; there are plenty more photos there too.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Off to One of My Favorite Places Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning, rain or shine, I'll be at the Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens for a photography class that will be running for three Saturdays in a row. It's supposed to be raining and I'm dragging from a chest cold, but whatever it takes I'll be there.

For those unfamiliar with the Huntington, it's located in San Marino just south of Pasadena. It was founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington, an businessman who made a fortune in railroad companies, utilities, and real estate holdings in Southern California.

The library has many rare books and manuscripts on display, including the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, a Gutenberg Bible on vellum, the double-elephant folio edition of Audubon’s Birds of America, and a world-class collection of the early editions of Shakespeare’s works.The Huntington Art Gallery was originally the Huntington residence. Gainsborough’s "Blue Boy" and Lawrence’s "Pinkie" are both there.

The gardens include a Rose Garden, a Japanese Garden, a Chinese Garden, a Shakespeare Garden, an Herb Garden, An Australian Garden, a Camellia Garden and a Children's Garden, and more. I've been there more times than I can remember and I have yet to visit all of the gardens.

And then there's the Tea Room. Without a doubt the finest place to have tea in Southern California. It's actually a buffet of tea sandwiches, salads, delicacies like caviar, and desserts. It's pricey and you should have a reservation, but it's worth it.

For those of you who haven't been to the Huntington, here are some pics I've taken over the years.

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Walker Martin over at The Mystery File

Walker Martin, one of the most respected collectors around today, has a new post over at the Mystery File on his favorite magazines.

I consider Walker a kindred soul, as he and I are the only ones in the universe that are interested in collecting LOVE STORY MAGAZINE.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Orange Pulp: Major Exhibit on the Pulp Fiction Magazine Opens in NY

A great new exhibit on pulp fiction has opened in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Called "Orange Pulp: the Pulp Magazine & Contemporary Culture," it is running through April 12 at Syracuse University's Palitz Gallery.

The New York Times ran an article on the exhibit today, and it starts with:

"COMIC book characters like Superman and Spider-Man have inspired devoted fans and been celebrated and vilified as they’ve leapt from printed page to live-action films, animated series, musicals and memorabilia. Yet were the pulps, those throwaway dime-store magazines of old, the forebears of such passionately followed multimedia crossovers? The exhibition “Orange Pulp: the Pulp Magazine & Contemporary Culture” makes a strong case.

The show, running through April 12 at Syracuse University’s Palitz Gallery on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, is an introduction to the world of pulp, the mass-produced magazines mainly from the first half of the 20th century that were known for their bold covers, melodramatic narratives, low price (typically 10 cents) and cheap paper. “Orange Pulp” focuses on the writers, mostly men, who created their sometimes lurid tales, their publishers and the audiences who devoured them. The exhibition encompasses more than 60 works from the Syracuse Library’s Special Collections Research Center and includes letters, photographs, manuscripts, paintings, and, of course, pulp magazines."

Also featured in the exhibit are paintings by Norman Saunders, the artist behind more than 860 pulp magazine covers, more than 50 of which are in the university’s collection.

The first reviews are in on the exhibit and they are very positive. So if you're in the area over the next month, definitely check it out.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

HBO's "Luck" Canceled Due to Third Horse Death

Michael Mann's new series "Luck" on HBO has been cancelled due to a third horse death during filming.

The LA Times reports:

The low-rated drama, which is set at a racetrack and stars Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte, was abruptly canceled Wednesday after the injury and subsequent euthanasia of a horse used in the production led to widespread criticism. The show was already facing intense criticism from animal rights activists, who were investigating two previous horse deaths connected to the series last year.

The cancellation comes just days after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent HBO a letter charging that “Luck’s” producers ignored advice from animal safety experts and created conditions that posed “unacceptable” risks to equine performers.

The third horse died from head injuries when, in the barn area, it suddenly reared, flipped over on its back, and hit its head. It was later euthanized. This does happen once in a while, unfortunately; a horse will spook and rear over something as innocuous as a kleenex on the ground, or a car horn, or someone who inadvertently scares the horse by suddenly appearing in his line of sight. A racehorse is strung tighter than a violin.

And while this third death sounds like something that could have happened anywhere and was not the fault of anyone at the production company, still, it was what set an already controversial show off the cliff.

The Times article continues:

However, PETA was already moving forward with a complaint about the deaths of two horses, Outlaw Yodeler and Marc’s Shadow, during filming of the drama’s first season last year.

According to a necropsy report, those animals had been in severe pain and were under heavy medication at the time of their deaths.

In a letter dated March 6 to Michael Lombardo, the HBO president of programming, and Bruce Richmond, a vice president of production, Kathy Guillermo, PETA’s vice president of laboratory investigations, warned: “We are hearing from multiple credible sources that horses are once again at risk on the set of ‘Luck.’

“We understand that there are currently no licensed humane officers on the set. This is inexplicable, unacceptable, and dangerous. While the American Humane Assn. may have a representative present for filming, this is inadequate. We ask you to return at least one, and preferably more, California licensed humane officers to the set and to ensure that their recommendations about the choice of the horses used and the filming methods are followed to the letter.

“During the filming of the first season, there were reportedly four humane officers monitoring the use of horses. We are told that the production company, to its shame, did not always follow their advice, and this accounts, at least in part, for the two deaths during filming. These officers had rejected as unfit a number of horses who, we are now told, have been returned to the ‘Luck’ set for the filming of the second season.”

While I think PETA can go overboard some times, I do think they do good work when they're not involved in publicity stunts. This is one of those times when they put the animals' welfare first.

What is so ironic is that the show is about horse racing, a sport in which hundreds of horses are euthanized every year from injuries. Yet no one is cancelling racing events.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

MAGAZINES I REMEMBER, by Hugh Cave: An Appreciation

In 1930, a young pulp writer, Carl Jacobi, wrote a letter to another writer, Hugh Cave, expressing his admiration for a Short Stories story that Cave had written. Thus began a 62 year correspondence between these two writers, who both had remarkable careers as fiction writers. MAGAZINES I REMEMBER is a collection of some of those letters.

Hugh Barnett Cave (1910-2004) was one of the most prolific pulp fiction writers; in his early career he contributed to such pulp magazines as Astounding, Black Mask, and Weird Tales. By his own estimate, in the 1930s alone, he published roughly 800 short stories in nearly 100 periodicals under a number of pseudonyms. Many of Cave's stories, especially those for the spicy pulps, were published under the pen name Justin Case. Cave, shown below, was also one of the most successful contributors to the weird menace or "shudder pulps" of the 1930s.

MAGAZINES is subtitled "Some Pulps, Their Editors and What It Was Like to Write For Them," is primarily a collection of letters between Cave and Jacobi. Jacobi, (1908-1997, pictured below), wrote stories that appeared in such magazines as Short Stories, Railroad Magazine, Wonder Stories, Ghost Stories, Strange Stories, Thrilling Mystery, Startling Stories, Complete Stories, Top-Notch and of course, Weird Tales, which he and Cave often discussed in their letters.

One might assume by the title of this book that this Cave's memoir of writing for the pulps. But it is not a memoir in the true sense of the word. But both Jacobi and Cave wrote such finely detailed letters about their day-to-day activities as writers and dealing with publishers that in many ways it's better than a memoir.

Sadly, many letters from Jacobi to Cave from the early 1930s were lost in a fire, so there is a gap in the correspondence from Jacobi's side and most, if not all, of the letters from the 1930s are from Cave to Jacobi, making the reading feel a bit one sided. Letters from Jacobi to Cave started in 1972 managed to survive and are in the book. So the book begins with Cave's letters to Jacobi in the 1930s, then there are a few chapters of Cave's recollections, and then the letters between Cave and Jacobi from 1972 until 1992, five years before Jacobi's death, finish the book. Cave was not only a friend to Jacobi, he was a mentor as well, and encouraged Jacobi many times when he was discouraged by rejections.

Cave to Jacobi, 10 December 1932: This fiction factory is in the doldrums and, between you and me and the storm clouds, is getting desperate. A checkup on the year's work reveals 54 stories written so far, including a dozen long novelettes and a dozen slick-paper attempts. The slick stories were a downright gamble, so I can't legitimately call those stories a part of the routine year's work. That leaves just about 40 yarns written this year which should have sold--allowing, of course, for a few duds which creep into the best of families. Well, so what?

The files show a record of 32 stories sold. Of those, I've been paid for 19. Only in a few cases have I received more than a cent a word, and in two instances I received less than that. I'm getting low on reserve funds and yet have more than $1,500 owing to me. Did you ever see such conditions before in the fiction business?"

What is remarkable about the collection as well is that it spans the period from the golden age of the pulps, to when the pulps collapsed after World War II, to the years when nobody was interested, and the resurgence of interest in them in the 1980s and 90s. It is indeed a collection that is probably one of a kind.

One personal note. I have to brag. In a letter to Cave, Jacobi mentions my grandfather twice. "Paul S. Powers, an English professor who wrote one story for WEIRD TALES, "Monster of the Pit," that made a great impression on me." I don't know where he got the English professor part, as my grandfather didn't even graduate from high school, but I was thrilled over seeing that. He mentions him and the same story later again.

This book, from what I can tell, is out of print. But there are copies available on Amazon as well as Abebooks.

I think it's time that this book be reprinted. It should be more accessible than it is, and in today's world of self-publishing in which anyone can produce high-quality, attractive books, this book is definitely a candidate. Besides, it needs a new cover.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Davy Crockett and Alfred Hitchcock: A Match Made in Mystery Heaven

Our friend Evan Lewis, proprietor of Davy Crockett's Almanack, has a story in the latest issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. A yarn that mixes a little of the West with a little bit of Hitchcockian mystery sounds like a hell of a lot of fun.

Davy Crockett's Almanack says: "Mr. Crockett and the Bear," in the May 2012 issue, is narrated by a modern day descendant of The King of the Wild Frontier (an attorney currently holding his ancestor's old seat in the Tennessee State Legislature), but the real star of the story is Old Davy himself, who serves as a sort of sidekick, mentor and all around pain in the ass."

You can find AHMM at places like Barnes and Noble, and this issue should be coming out soon. In addition, you can also get it now at Fictionwise. Because this is a new release, Fictionwise is offering 15% the normal price, for only $3.39. That offer is good only until Monday morning at 10am Eastern.

Congrats to Evan!

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Just Who IS John Carter?

The new Disney movie opening this weekend, John Carter, certainly has an intriguing ad campaign. But I but there are a lot of people out there who are wondering "Who the heck is John Carter??" I bet you didn't know that he had his origins in none other than a pulp fiction magazine, in a series written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan.

This year, PulpFest will be honoring Burroughs beginning on August 9th at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Columbus, Ohio. The following is from PulpFest's website:

"One hundred years ago in March of 1912, readers of Munsey’s The All-Story, were nearing the halfway point of a six-part serial entitled "Under the Moons of Mars," a story credited to Norman Bean. The work of a new fiction writer, Edgar Rice Burroughs, the novel tells the tale of Captain Jack Carter of Virginia, and of his adventures on the planet Mars.

First advertised in the January 1912 issue of The All-Story as "a surprisingly vivid Interplanetary romance," the original pulp version of Burroughs novel began with an editor’s note:

At the time of his demise, John Carter was a man of uncertain age and vast experience, honorable and abounding with true fellowship. He stood a good two inches over six feet, was broad of shoulder and narrow of hip, with the carriage of the trained fighting man. His features were regular and clear-cut, his eyes steel gray, reflecting a strong and loyal character. He was a Southerner of the highest type. He had enlisted at the outbreak of the War, fought through the four years and had been honorably discharged. Then for more than a decade he was gone from the sight of his fellows. When he returned he had changed, there was a kind of wistful longing and hopeless misery in his eyes, and he would sit for hours at night, staring up into the starlit heavens.

Thus was the reader of a century ago drawn into the mystery of Captain Jack. In the pages that followed that brief editor’s note and for the five issues thereafter, the readers of The All-Story were told a most wondrous tale, of four-armed Tharks and red-skinned Heliumites, of great and marvelous airships and many-legged thoats, of vast dead seas and long-abandoned cities, and of a lost princess and the man from another world who stole her heart, all created by a most gifted storyteller, Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Now, one-hundred years later, a new audience will be introduced to Captain Jack. In less than a week’s time, Disney’s John Carter will debut in theaters everywhere and another generation will thrill to Burroughs’ imaginings."

Go to PulpFest to register for this year's events. It's at a great new venue, the Hyatt Regency in downtown Columbus, Ohio, and with a great programme scheduled. Not to mention thousands and thousands of pulp magazines for sale, and attendees and dealers that are the nicest people this side of Mars.

And finally, here's the trailer for John Carter:

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