Thursday, December 29, 2016

THE PULP CALENDAR: December 29

One more look, at least, at how Western Story celebrated Christmas in its year-end issues. This one's from 1934, but there's nothing inside I can automatically identify as Christmas content. My best guess is that Dabney Otis Collins' "Mesa Miracle," a four-page short story, may have something to do with the holiday. Otherwise it looks like standard western stuff, and while there are no big names inside, at least in retrospect, Frederick Faust is hiding in there under the wrappings of Hugh Owen. This is a name Faust used only briefly; "Owen" made his debut in the December 8 issue and took his final bow on February 16, 1935. The explanation probably has something to do with these being Faust's last-ever contributions to Western Story, apart from one short story in January 1938. For more than a decade, under his various aliases (the best known being Max Brand) he had been ubiquitous in the Street & Smith weekly. A new era was beginning for author and publication alike.

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