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Saturday, 30 September 2017

On the occasion of the 136th birthday of Donald A. Kennicott, the long-time editor of Blue Book magazine, I'm happy to present to you this article written by him in the November 1954 issue of Blue  Book magazine, 2 years after he had stopped editing the magazine. It's a great companion to Mike Ashley's article about Blue Book which covers the magazine during Kennicott's tenure.



ADVENTURES IN EDITING
DONALD A. KENNICOTT

The gentleman and scholar who was a Bluebook editor during 42 of this magazine's 50 years looks back on an exciting and distinguished career.



First issue of the magazine that became Blue Book
First issue of the magazine that became Blue Book


After a long experience in magazine editing, Burgess Johnson wrote an autobiography which he called “As Much as I Dare, ” taking his title from Montaigne: “I speak the truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little more as I grow older. ” Ellery Sedgwick, recalling his 30 years of “adventuring in human nature” as editor of the Atlantic, chose “The Happy Profession” as the title for a memoir of those years. After my 42 years with Bluebook, I am inclined to think that Burgess Johnson chose the better title.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Jay Paul Jackson - Artist (1905-1954)

Jay Jackson was the name he gave as an artist for the pulp magazines in Chicago. I came across his work when i was reading an issue of Golden Fleece magazine which had illustrations by him. Not finding much about him on the web, I did a little research and found this article on him which I thought was worth sharing for the picture it painted of a struggling African American artist in the days of the Great Depression.

Cover for Golden Fleece, December 1938 jointly credited to Jay Jackson and Harold S. DeLay
Cover for Golden Fleece, December 1938 jointly credited to Jay Jackson and Harold S. DeLay
(Image courtesy the FictionMags Index)

This autobiographical article appeared in the October 1941 issue of Fantastic Adventures. The only other article about him that i could find on the web was this one: https://www.artslant.com/la/articles/show/40444

Jay Paul Jackson aka Jay Jackson (1905-1954)
Jay Paul Jackson aka Jay Jackson (1905-1954)

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Charles Richard Beeler aka Caddo Cameron - Cowboy, Railroader, Author

Charles Richard Beeler wrote under the pen name Caddo Cameron. He had many novels starring a pair of Texas Rangers – Blizzard Wilson and Badger Coe - in Short Stories, all of which were later issued in hardcovers. This was in addition to a series of stories about a pair of troublesome Texas twins – Paint and Pinto Hawkins. All worth reading, for he was one of those men who had witnessed the settlement of the American West, and could write with earthy humor about it.

Charles Richard Beeler aka Caddo Cameron (1881-19??)
Charles Richard Beeler aka Caddo Cameron (1881-19??)

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Pulpfest 2017 - photos

Attended Pulpfest this year and took a few photos which I thought were worth sharing. All thanks to the wonderful work by the organizing committee - Jack Cullers, Barry Traylor, Mike Chomko, Chuck Welch, Sally Cullers and William Lampkin and a supporting cast of thousands :-). This was a tough year, with a changed venue and first time setup to deal with, but they pulled off a magic trick and got us a better location than last year, with better lighting and facilities.

Convention hospitality room was through the door to the left of the elevator banks


View of the DoubleTree Cranberry hotel lobby late at night (taken from the elevator)
View of the DoubleTree Cranberry hotel lobby late at night (taken from the elevator)

I arrived late, left my luggage in the car and went straight to the registration desk - hoping to beat my fellow collectors to the early bird shopping spree.

The registration desk; dealers room is in the background.

Entered the dealers' room - a veritable Alladin's cave of dusty paper treasure, piled up in boxes all over the place.

Dealers room entrance
Dealers room entrance

Dealer's room - view from the entrance
Dealer's room - view from the entrance

View of the dealer's room at the furthest point from the entrance
View of the dealer's room at the furthest point from the entrance

Some of the great dealers and deals I found there:

Chris and David Kalb from Age of Aces Books
Chris and David Kalb from Age of Aces Books

Curt Phillips had a few tables
Curt Phillips had a few tables


A new dealer - Frank N. Stein
A new dealer - Frank N. Stein


Walker Martin wondering if he missed out collecting any pulp in the Fictionmags Index
Mark Hickman had a couple of boxes of pulps and some artwork
Mark Hickman had a couple of boxes of pulps and some artwork 
Laurie Powers and Sheila Vanderbeek
Laurie Powers and Sheila Vanderbeek
George A. Vanderburgh of Battered Silicon Dispatch Box with his new
collection of Seabury Quinn's Jules De Grandin short stories 

Volume 1 is available now, 2 and 3 are available for pre-order.



Pulp artist John Fleming Gould's son was there exhibiting and selling his father's work
(Bethlehem Art Gallery)

Many treasures on display:

Final issue of Speakeasy Stories October-November 1931, cover by Walter Baumhofer
Final issue of Speakeasy Stories October-November 1931, cover by Walter Baumhofer

Submarine Stories, March 1930, cover by Sidney Riesenberg
Submarine Stories, March 1930 cover by Sidney Riesenberg

Scott Hartshorn holding an original manuscript of a Clark Ashton Smith poem
Scott Hartshorn holding an original manuscript of a Clark Ashton Smith poem

David Lee Smith showing off a Argosy magazine newsstand advertising display
David Lee Smith showing off a Argosy magazine newsstand advertising display
Pulps on the tables in the dealers' room:





I missed getting a photo of myself holding Action Comics issue #1, the first appearance of Superman.
That's probably as close as i'm ever getting to one.

Action Comics first issue (first appearance of Superman) was on display
Action Comics first issue (first appearance of Superman) was on display







Artwork on sale:

 Imaginative Tales, May 1955, cover by Harold W. McCauley
 Imaginative Tales, May 1955, cover by Harold W. McCauley

Frank Kelly Freas illustration for story "Computer War" in Analog, June 1967
Frank Kelly Freas illustration for story "Computer War" in Analog, June 1967

Frank R. Paul illustrations for story "Wild Wullie, the waster" in Famous Fantastic Mysteries, September 1942
Peter Sterne Stevens illustration from American Weekly
Peter Sterne Stevens illustration from American Weekly

Dick Tracy premiums
Dick Tracy premiums

Finally, a few photos from Pulpfest programming:



Talk on Dime Detective magazine



The photo on the left is of Matt Moring, who gave a great talk on Dime Detective magazine's publishing history. Or is that the one on the right? I forget :-)


Gloria Stoll Karn, pulp artist, was interviewed by David Saunders
Gloria Stoll Karn, pulp artist, was interviewed by art expert David Saunders

She even autographed a couple of my copies of her covers
She even autographed a couple of my copies of her covers

All in all, an excellent show.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Robert H. Leitfred - Author

Robert Leitfred was an author working in many different genres from aviation and war at the beginning of his career (the early 1930s) and moving to detective, speculative/weird fiction and general adventure fiction in the 1940s. He wasn’t a prolific author – close to a hundred stories in the Fictionmags index, and biographical details are thin on the ground. What I have here is a skeleton of the bare facts; hopefully someone can fill in more details later.

Robert H. Leitfred (1891-1968) - Author photo c. 1918
Robert H. Leitfred (1891-1968) - Author photo c. 1918

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Ray Millholland – Engineer, Sailor, Author

Ray Millholland is pretty unknown today. Back in the day, he was famous for a series of stories in the Saturday Evening Post about a master machinist named Blue Chip Haggerty. Blue Chip is a master machinist who gets into a jam, and then out again while trying to meet the rigid specifications of the Army and Navy. These stories were later collected in a book. He’s also famous for his book on the splinter fleet of submarine chasers in World War 1, The Splinter Fleet of the Otranto Barrage, which was later made into a movie. I’m writing this article as part of a series about the authors in an issue of Short Stories that I’ll get around to reviewing soon.

Ray Milholland - Author (1894-1956) - Image courtesy Library of Congress
Ray Milholland - Author (1894-1956) - Image courtesy Library of Congress

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Alfred Batson – Soldier, Journalist, Author

Starting a new series of biographical articles about some authors who appeared in Short Stories magazine. I intend to review an issue of Short Stories where these authors had appearances, and in the process of reviewing the magazine, also took the time to unearth some biographical info about them. 

The first author in this series is Alfred Batson, who turned out to be quite an interesting character. He started appearing in pulp magazines in the early 1930s and continued till the early 1940s.
Alfred Batson (1899-1977) - Soldier, Journalist, Author

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Issue Review - Blue Book magazine, January 1936


Thought I’d begin this year with a review of Blue Book, another of my favorite magazines. It’s easy to overlook it, most of the covers are not spectacular. However, in the 1930s Blue Book was definitely better illustrated than Adventure magazine, and generally had high quality fiction spanning many genres – science fiction and humor included.

This issue is representative of the quality of the issues in 1930s overall. In the 1940s, Blue Book changed to a bigger size, and I hope to have a review of one of those issues later this year.


Blue Book - January 1936 - cover by Herbert Morton Stoops
Blue Book - January 1936 - cover by Herbert Morton Stoops


The Blue Book Magazine [v62 #3, January 1936] ed. Donald Kennicott (The McCall Company, 15¢, 144pp, pulp, cover by Herbert Morton Stoops)

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Berton E. Cook - Sailor, Teacher, Author

This article is dedicated to Matt Moring, the man behind the curtain at Altus Press, the publisher that is putting out a remarkable series of pulp reprints. Last time we met, we had talked about needing biographical information on this author. Here it is, Matt; only took around half a year.

Berton E. Cook (1889-1958) - Author, Sailor, Teacher Photo c. 1948
Berton E. Cook (1889-1958) - Author, Sailor, Teacher
Photo c. 1948