Monday, March 7, 2016
THE PULP CALENDAR: March 7
We're getting a little ahead of ourselves in charting the decline and fall of Argosy as a Munsey publication. There are two cover format changes to come between the hideous collage design circa February 1941 and this redesign from 1942. By this point the venerable weekly was no longer weekly; it had gone twice-a-month the previous October, and would decline to monthly by May of this year. Photo covers weren't standard; there had been four since the latest redesign. Since these movie-star photos -- Dorothy Lamour had been preceded by Henry Fonda, Sabu and Fay McKenzie -- have nothing to do with the contents inside, I wonder whether they were paid advertising from these actors' respective studios. The "Argosy" on the cover is in a new, more streamlined font, with a plane replacing the ship that had been part of the cover design since the magazine gave up on cover paintings in 1940. Since the switch to twice-monthly Argosy had put more emphasis on its non-fiction lead story; this issue's Gestapo expose outranks the Arthur Lawson novelette, for instance. The majority of the magazine was still fiction, including serials by Charles Marquis Warren and Louis C. Goldsmith. George Michener contributes a sci-fi story, "Last Stop - Earth," while Don Tracy delivers a short story. Lawson's an okay western writer and Goldsmith is pretty good, and if Warren's serial is on the level of his Bugles Are For Soldiers then even this product of Argosy's decrepitude probably is still worth having.