Saturday, 15 March 2014

On hold for a month or so

First of all, thanks for reading my blog. I am especially thankful to those who took time to comment on my work, either by leaving a post on this blog, sending me an email, or sharing my articles on social media.

You have really kept me motivated, and I am very grateful to be part of such a community of readers and (th)inkers.

I am working through some life stuff - nothing bad, just don't have the time to research and blog.  Should be back in a month or so.

Meanwhile, if you would like to write an guest article for this blog, you could reach me on email:

pulpflakes _AT_ gmail DOT com.

Replace _AT_ with @ and DOT with . to get the email address.

Readers may also want to pay attention to the recent comments on the articles on Gordon Young and H.D. Couzens.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Mystery artist revealed: Laurence Sterne Stevens

The illustration I posted last week was by Laurence Sterne Stevens. It was from Adventure magazine, January 1944 and was an illustration for the poem Vulture Blood by Helen von Kolnitz Hyer, who went on to become the poet-laureate for South Carolina. It's really a story in poem form. You can read it here.

 He was a professional illustrator who never became as famous as Virgil Finlay, but his style was quite similar, and his interior illustrations for Famous Fantastic Mysteries and Adventure magazine were among his best work.

 Some more illustrations from Stevens

Hope you enjoyed them.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Guess the artist: illustration for Adventure magazine

I know Blue Book magazine is the pulp that is supposed to have the best illustrations of all of the pulp magazines, and from the few 1940s issues I've read, I've no doubt that on average the illustration quality was much better than other pulps.

But I've also read Adventure in the 1940s and think that was an amazing decade as far as illustration quality. I know these weren't the peak days of the magazine, but the stories are still very readable, and most of the illustrations were quite good, and some are stunning.

I have here an illustration for a poem. Can you guess who the artist was for this amazing illustration? Leave your answers in the comments. I'll post the answer next week along with the poem itself.

Illustration of Mayan priest in Adventure magazine
Illustration of Mayan priest in Adventure magazine

Saturday, 22 February 2014

In the Grass - short story by Gouverneur Morris in Collier's magazine

I read about this story by Gouverneur Morris in an article from Michael Dirda where he said it was the only thing the author was remembered for. I had already read (and liked) the novel, Yellow Men and Gold, that appeared in Adventure magazine, so I decided to seek this out.

I read the story in its original magazine form - it appeared in the Christmas Collier's magazine, December 16, 1911. The illustrations were good, but I didn't realize quite how good till I stumbled upon this original painting of one of the illustrations. I thought the interior illustration in the magazine must have been a pencil drawing because it was in black and white.

The illustrations were done by Lucius Wolcott Hitchcock, who was a prominent illustrator of the time. He also illustrated Mark Twain's classic story of the downfall of a small town corrupted by its own pride - The Man from Hadleyburg.

For comparison:

Interior Illustration (black and white) by Lucius Wolcott Hitchcock for In the Grass by Gouverneur Morris
Interior Illustration (black and white) by Lucius Wolcott Hitchcock for In the Grass by Gouverneur Morris
Illustration by Lucius Wolcott Hitchcock for In the Grass by Gouverneur Morris
Illustration by Lucius Wolcott Hitchcock for In the Grass by Gouverneur Morris
Image Courtesy Heritage Auctions

If you want to see a much larger image, where you can practically trace the brushstrokes, click here. It may take some time to load.

You can download the story here. Enjoy.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

St. Ann's Big Boy - Fact article from Adventure, November 1949

In the 1940s, Adventure magazine started including some fact articles along with the fiction. This particular one caught my eye because of the caption below the illustration: "Watch your language, lad," Angus replied patiently. “I wouldn't want to hurt a little fellow who don't weigh a drop over three hundred."

St. Ann's Big Boy, from Adventure, November 1949
St. Ann's Big Boy, from Adventure, November 1949
I read the article - it's about Angus MacAskill, also known as Giant MacAskill. The man was 7 feet 9 inches tall, weighed about 425 pounds and had a 80 inch chest.

Angus MacAskill's hand
A photo of Angus MacAskill's hand, courtesy this blog

McAskill was also part of Barnum's Circus, along with Tom Thumb. A photo of the two from EBay:

Angus MacAskill with Tom Thumb
Angus MacAskill with Tom Thumb (Courtesy EBay Seller)

If you visit Nova Scotia, there's a museum to see. More details on this blog.

The article from Adventure has some interesting stories. Not sure how believable they are, but fun to read. Especially the one about the sailors who stole rocks from MacAskill's field, and the giant's response. Download it here.

PS: I wonder if the author is the Harold Preece who was Robert E. Howard's friend? If anyone knows, leave a note in the comments section.