Saturday, January 9, 2016
THE PULP CALENDAR: January 9
Pulps are cheap compared to Golden Age comics, but you'll pay a pretty penny or two for this 1937 issue of Argosy. One reason is obvious: this issue starts an Edgar Rice Burroughs serial. Burroughs bounced back and forth between Argosy and Blue Book in these years and his presence in an issue always jacks up prices. The other reason this particular issue will cost you is that L. Ron Hubbard, a writer with quite the cult following, has a short story inside. A lot of Hubbard's early pulp stuff has been put back into print in recent years and it's usually fairly entertaining. Yet another legendary pulpster waits inside: Johnston McCulley, the creator of Zorro -- probably the second most famous pulp creation after Burroughs's Tarzan -- continues the enticingly-titled serial "Wench Caravan." The other serial is "Baby Face," a boxing story by air-story specialist George Bruce, who not so long before had whole magazines named after him. I've only read a couple of stories by Bruce, but they're good enough to make me believe he really earned that honor. I sort of resent Burroughs's presence here because the following week's issue has a Robert Carse novella, but the next chapter of ERB's serial makes the issue more expensive than I'd like. One of the reasons my Argosy collection is concentrated in the 1934-35 period (as you'll see eventually) is that Burroughs isn't around to inflate those issues' prices.