General Fiction - Argosy, Adventure, Short Stories, Blue Book & more
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88 posts in this topic

Argosy, June 9th, 1934 - Cover by Paul Stahr

In this issue, we find the combination of Surdez and Bedford-Jones in Argosy. Bedford-Jones' entry is the one listed atop the cover: "John Solomon of Limehouse" while Surdez, of course, provides a Legion short story.

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Adventure, August 15th, 1935 - Cover by Walter Baumhofer

One of the classic covers in Adventure, part of a 3-issue set and my favorite of the trio with the sailor and the monkey by Baumhofer.

This issue features Talbot Mundy on the cover, promoting a Tros novelette. 

Talbot Mundy's life has been the subject of two biographies so, for a short version, please refer to the extensive Wikipedia coverage here ---> Talbot Mundy - Wikipedia

Mundy's travels and experiences in British India and East Africa helped provide him with the material for his start in writing but he continued from strength to strength.

Adventure was the main market for Mundy and, as a result, his fiction appeared in 158 issues of the magazine from 1911 to 1937, including 13 in 1919 and one in 1941, published postumately. I did not count additional articles he provided to some of the issues.

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Adventure, August 1st, 1930 - Cover by Hubert Rogers

Another regular for Adventure is featured on this superb cover: Ared White, better known as George Ared White (1880 - 1941).

White's stories are typically spy / war stories. This is another case of the author relying on his background. White had a life-long career in the military both with the National Guard and the military bouncing from one to the other as war necessitated it. A summary of his career is sketched at Wikipedia, including his role in the foundation of The American Legion - George A. White - Wikipedia

You'll note that Wikipedia only has a throwaway mention of his literary achievements. His career with Adventure is shorter than prior authors featured. White had his work in the magazine from 1929 to 1939 but in those mere 11 years, he appeared in 50 issues. Prior to cracking Adventure, White's words appeared in Everybody's.

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Adventure, March 1st, 1931 - Cover by Leonard Cronin

My appearance counts have been gleaned from philsp and I only realized today that PulpFlakes did some similar counts here - Pulp Flakes: Stars of Adventure There might be discrepancies here and there but the tallies look similar. Photos as can be found of the authors are available in that link.

On the cover today is Raymond Spears with his Wolves of Howling Butte story. Similar to my count, PulpFlakes shows Spears work appearing in 73 issues of Adventure. Note though that he also contributed articles to another 10 issues. As per Spears' Wikipedia entry - Raymond S. Spears - Wikipedia - his specialty is linked to the great outdoors as he travelled the back-country and was President of the American Trappers' Association. So in addition to fiction writing, he also contributed articles not only in Adventure but elsewhere. His work in Adventure ranges from 1913 to 1945 but the '20's and early '30's were his most actives. In addition to the usual suspects (Argosy, Everybody's, Short Stories, Blue Book, ...), Spears appeared extensively in Nort-West Stories, a natural market for his fiction.

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Adventure, April 1st, 1927 - Cover by Rockwell Kent

Starting in late 1926, the magazine tried to "up" its presentation / prestige starting first by having monochromatic covers with just titles in text (à la literary / digest journals) before introducing covers with Rockwell Kent work on the cover as the one below. The experiment lasted 20 issues (10 issues with just text and 10 issues with the Rockwell Kent covers). The experiment lead to an editor change and ultimately to the return to business as usual.

Leonard Nason is our content leader here. Nason's work appeared regularly in Adventure between 1922 and 1928 and a single story in 1944. His fiction appeared in 42 issues and he had another 33 articles published in the magazine. Nason used his experience at Adventure to move on to slicks, mostly Saturday Evening Post.

PulpFlakes has a great entry on Nason - Pulp Flakes: Leonard H. Nason - Soldier, Writer

Most of Nason's output relies on his World War I's experiences and as PulpFlakes puts it: "He wrote about war and soldiers, and his characters are not respectful of authority. Typically, they are trying to find a way to come out ahead, though not at the expense of the war effort. His accounts of war focus on an individual in relation to the whole war machine, and the way the machine grinds all down."

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Adventure, February 10th, 1922 - Cover by B.J. Fullmer

I thought I should next pull a pulp featuring the one author who appeared in the most issues of Adventure: Hugh Pendexter.

Pendexter's life and his writing methods are covered at PulpFlakes - Pulp Flakes: Hugh Pendexter

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Pendexter represents the other sprectrum of Adventure writers, those whose own adventures took them only as far as the local library and wrote based on extensive research. As a reader who loves historical fiction, works from Pendexter are not a step down. Because a lot of his writing was serialized in the magazine, he racked up a large count of appearances: 194 by my count, 193 at PulpFlakes. I'd trust PulpFlakes. That's not counting his articles that appeared in 54 issues of the magazine.

Behind the cover, Pendexter's story is about the Revolutionary War.

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Adventure, April 23rd, 1926 - Cover by R.A. Ewing

I've been busy elsewhere but here's another one. As stated on the cover, as of April 1926, the frequency of the magazine drops from 3x a month to 2x a month. The magazine had been published three times a month since October 1921. It will continue twice a month until June 1933 when it becomes monthly. It will briefly return to twice a month from September 1934 to October 1935 but from then on and through the '40's the magazine is monthly.

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Adventure, January 1943 - Cover by Charles De Feo

So far I have not posted anything past the '30's but the magazine continued in its original incarnation up to the early '50's before seeing significant change to its format. The war years saw some wartime covers like this issue. The leading story listed at top is about a Philipino scout facing Japanese soldiers. The rest of the issue has a marked bend toward military stories with location around the globe. The Gladden story is a submarine story for example in the Chinese seas. Gladden is Commander C.T.S. Gladden from this 1955 obituary and you can see his extensive Navy experience including service in submarines to help him craft the story in this issue.

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Adventure, July 1941 - Cover by Frederick Blakeslee

Rarely seen on the cover of Adventure, we find Blakeslee here delivering a superb plane cover, the genre for which he is better known and well suited, having worked from 1915 to 1920 as a draftsman for Curtiss.

Aside from the leading story by Georges Surdez, the inside contains a tales of the South Seas by Allan Vaughan Elston who was better known for his western yarns tinged with mystery. His experience was wide as per this bio attached to his papers housed at UCLA (others are housed at U. of Oregon, including his correspondence with Munsey and his agents):

"Allan Vaughan Elston was born on July 28, 1887 in Kansas City, Missouri. Elston studied engineering at the University of Missouri where he earned a civil engineering Bachelor of Science degree in 1909. After college he worked as a transitman for railroads in the West and Midwest, a resident engineer, a cattle rancher and a consulting engineer. He began work as a free-lance writer of western fiction and mystery stories in 1924. He became well known for his western novels and was a member of the Western Writers of America."

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On 4/29/2021 at 5:29 PM, Scrooge said:

Adventure, August 15th, 1935 - Cover by Walter Baumhofer

One of the classic covers in Adventure, part of a 3-issue set and my favorite of the trio with the sailor and the monkey by Baumhofer.

This issue features Talbot Mundy on the cover, promoting a Tros novelette. 

Talbot Mundy's life has been the subject of two biographies so, for a short version, please refer to the extensive Wikipedia coverage here ---> Talbot Mundy - Wikipedia

Mundy's travels and experiences in British India and East Africa helped provide him with the material for his start in writing but he continued from strength to strength.

Adventure was the main market for Mundy and, as a result, his fiction appeared in 158 issues of the magazine from 1911 to 1937, including 13 in 1919 and one in 1941, published postumately. I did not count additional articles he provided to some of the issues.

694710437_Adventure-August15th1935.thumb.jpg.3dc2a12131ef4576d80319f522d4f719.jpg

Baumhofer was so good. 

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On 6/28/2021 at 1:17 AM, Pulpflakes said:

But this thread was the motivation to sign up and post :-)

Thank you. You posted this while I was away so it slipped by me ... but it's never too late for (worship)

Cool cover, great copy. Pull out more :popcorn:

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Found these fellows in a small bookstore in a very tiny town today.  Stopped to look for comics, and saw the tops of these guys poking out of a cardboard box.  Owner was a super nice lady who told me the box was on the way to the dumpster!  Kind of rough shape, but my first blue books.  Looking forward to giving them a read tomorrow. 

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On 3/28/2021 at 12:21 PM, 50YrsCollctngCmcs said:

Here's a $10 pickup from a local antique store that I bought for the author credit. I've yet to read but maybe I'll start today.

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You bought this solely for the Wheeler-Nicholson credit? Come on ... how many pulp covers feature RASPUTIN?

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On 3/27/2021 at 9:18 AM, Scrooge said:

Oh and I forgot to add: reading these has multiple layers. Aside from the story, I am always on the lookout for such elements as "turn of phrases" that are pulp-ish (though I will say that I am annoyed by the connotation that "pulp" as a genre has taken today; it pays no homage to the writers of, say, Adventure or Argosy, who though paid by the words did not for that fact try to deliver any less well-crafted prose. If they did, their next story would not be accepted!) or antiquated / obsolete words.

Mundy's writing is not pulpish but he can sneak in some nice lines in that vein once in a while: "Mendoza smote her one night on her impudent, sensuous mouth with a fist that had hell in its knuckles."

Mundy uses the archaic "chirurgeon" in lieu of surgeon, which was nice as surgeon in French is still "chirurgien". It was nice to see the link from old french to old english to the current version of the word.

That's amazing. I've only seen that spelling of "surgeon" from the early 1700s. It's positively Lovecraftian...

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