Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Argosy All-Story Weekly - August 5, 1922

     It certainly has been a busy month for me, which, unfortunately has led to updates not being as often as I would like. I have recently taken on archival work at my hometown's historical society, in addition to the historiographical work I do already. I also have been doing additional research into Frank Munsey's life, as a greatly-expanded revision of my previous entries concerning him are slated for publication collectively later this summer. I hope such delays do not become a habit on my part.
     I wanted to post something of a personal nature; a story from the first pulp I ever acquired. It was something I picked up years and years ago, in a "$1 bin" at an antique store I visited while on a trip. Something about it interested me, and I picked it up out of curiosity more than anything; curiosity concerning this item that seemed to me in my ignorance, to be nothing more than an old manner of comic book. The stories inside I found interesting, and enjoyable to read, but I have to say I never gave pulp collecting much thought until years later, when I began collecting pulps that were the first to feature Howard Phillips Lovecraft's stories, and then expanded my interest into other authors and genres.
     I have scanned a short story from that first issue, appearing near the end of the magazine and being a simple "mystery-revenge" plot, nothing extraordinary but still, in my mind, enjoyable and a good representative of the sort of short stories to be found in pulpish ephemera.
Thanks to the Galactic Central website's index of pulp covers, as the cover to my copy detached years ago.

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  1. I pulled my copy of ARGOSY and read this story which I never would have read except for your comments. I was surprised to find that it was an effective horror story and not the usual page filler at the end of the magazine.

    You mentioned your first pulp and I guess my very first was back in the early 1950's when my father was in the final stages of terminal cancer. The visiting nurse gave him a stack of magazines to read, which included a couple issues of STARTLING STORIES and THRILLING WONDER. He encouraged me to read them but I was too young at the time and never got around to reading them until after his death. I was immediately hooked and eventually ended up with thousands of pulps.

    I hope you notify us when your expanded work on Munsey is completed as I definitely will buy a copy.

  2. Walker - Yes, I agree, I always liked it, and as it is from the first pulp I ever read, it has a value to me in and of itself. Thank you, sincerely, for sharing the story of your first pulp readings - I find it interesting, that a good many people I have spoken to, state that such lifelong interests begin in similar circumstances. My reading of popular escapism, which led to comics, pulps, and I believe a love of reading in general that has helped me both professionally and academically, started in a hospital as well. When I was quite young, I required a lengthy stay in the hospital due to appendicitis, and, while there, I would go over every so often to a kind of "play room" where, among other things, they had a bunch of comic books sitting about; I would read those, one after another, and that, as they say, was that in regards to a lifelong fascination.

    And thank you for the interest in my expanded Munsey piece! I've just about wrapped it up (had to wait for a few old sources to arrive via Inter-Library Loan), but it should (if the editor deems it of worthy quality) be found in the pages of Blood 'n' Thunder later this summer! It is an opportunity that I am both extremely excited about, and deeply honored by. I sincerely hope you, and all its readers, like it, and that I am able to shed a bit more light on the life of Mr. Munsey.

  3. Dear Madison, You sound like a person with an encyclopaedic knowledge of short stories. I'm trying to locate a few short stories which appeared in Argosy magazine in the mid 1960s, I think. A couple of examples are "I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream"and "The Source of the Nile". There is also one I most particularly want to find, which is about a greedy and unscrupulous art dealer who gets her come-uppance in a very satisfying way. Don't know the title. I'd love to read those old stories again. Could you help me in any way? Yours, with thanks in advance, Philippe Byrne (United Kingdom).

  4. Dear Madison, Further to my last comment, if you do find out anything about those stories, could you email my friend Lily Neal who runs a bookshop in Topsham UK. (I don't have a computer - prefer reading!) Her email address is Thanks! Philippe Byrne