Sunday, May 7, 2017


For the past two weeks I've found myself unusually busy and too preoccupied by other reading to give this blog the attention its readers deserve, but I'm just about over the hump now and posts should become more regular shortly. For the moment, and for the sake of getting something pulp-related written, here's an update on my pulp collection.

As readers may know, my pulp interests are mainly in the adventure and western genres. Adventure pulps predominate in my collection, and Argosy predominates among adventure pulps -- though some might label the venerable weekly a general-interest pulp instead. I currently own 29 issues of Argosy, the earliest from 1933 and the latest from 1938, but most from the 1934-5 period I deem the magazine's golden age.

After Argosy the magazine with the most issues in my collection is Blue Book. I have ten of those, the earliest being one of my very first pulp purchases, a 1935 issue, and the latest, two from 1952, acquired at the same time. I own nine issues of Adventure, including the oldest pulp in my collection, a 1928 issue. My most recent Adventure is the March 1948 issue. Rounding out the so-called big four, I have only four issues of Short Stories so far: one from 1938, one from 1944 and two consecutive issues from the summer of 1948, the magazine's last full year on its twice-a-month schedule.

My western collection consists of 22 magazines, including two issues of Dell's digest-format Zane Grey's Western Magazine. I have no special favorite among western pulps; instead, I tend to buy issues with authors I've come to like. The collection includes three issues apiece of Popular Publications' Star Western and Fifteen Western Tales, and two apiece of Dime Western and .44 Western. From the Thrilling Group, latter-day publishers of Ranch Romances, I have one issue apiece of Popular Western, Giant Western and the short-lived Texas Western. From Martin Goodman's pulp empire, the same people who gave you Marvel Comics, I have two issues apiece of Complete Western Book and Western Novel and Short Stories. My only Fiction House pulp is a 1951 issue of Two Western Books, and my only Columbia pulp is a 1955 issue of Real Western. Chronologically, these pulps coincide with the advent of the "adult" western in movies and paperback originals. The Real Western is the latest of all pulps in my collection, while the May 1948 Dime Western, which I've scanned and uploaded to the internet, is the earliest western.

For now, I own no science fiction, detective, horror, air, war, sports or romance pulps.I list these genres in the rough order of likelihood of my acquiring any issues. I own nothing from Street & Smith, though I'll probably try some Western Story issues eventually.

Thanks to my membership in the Yahoo pulpscans group, I own a few hundred scanned pulps that I carry around on my trusty e-reader. At this moment I'm making my way through a 1934 issue of Adventure and a 1947 issue of Lariat, a Fiction House western, and I hope to find time to review some of their contents shortly. For a devoted reader pulpscans is a gift that keeps on giving -- though it's sometimes better to give than receive -- but there's something about reading a physical pulp magazine while holding it in your hands that guarantees that the collection on my shelf will continue to grow as long as I can afford its growth.

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