Friday, January 8, 2016
THE PULP CALENDAR: January 8
If you can't see it, due to the issues I've been having lately, this is the cover for the January 8, 1938 issue of Wild West Weekly. This was Street & Smith's other weekly western pulp, and the one reputedly aimed at younger readers. Proof of this, apparently, is the prevalence of series characters. Of the six stories in this issue -- no serials here -- five feature series characters. Most of these characters appeared once a month, give or take, and had been doing so for many years. As I've never read a Wild West Weekly, though there are several issues at unz.org, I can't judge how juvenile they are, though it should be borne in mind that these stories probably aren't juvenile in vocabulary by today's standards, however juvenile they might be in content or character development. Some of the writers in this issue, particularly Walker Tompkins, published prolifically in western pulps for all ages, while J. Allen Dunn was one of the grand old men of the business. Dunn worked in the adventure, detective and fantasy genres, but by 1938 Wild West Weekly was his main gig. He had two series characters going, Bud Jones (in this issue) and The Whistlin' Kid (who shows up two weeks later) under the Emery Jackson pseudonym. Wild West kept up its weekly schedule until 1943 (as did Western Story), outlasting Argosy and Detective Fiction Weekly by a good margin. Street & Smith's westerns may be the last pulps to stay weekly. They had to have something going for them to earn that record.