Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Show Them Death, says ex-con Jack Callahan in his non-fiction cover story for this 1935 Detective Fiction Weekly, and apparently death is pink. Specifically, death in the electric chair is a terrifying pink. The sheer obscenity of the color is sure to scare those two cons straight. If it seems strange that DFW highlights a non-fiction item, please note the relative size of the word "Fiction" on the magazine cover. Just the same, that ugly white strip reminds us that there are fiction authors inside. Max Brand continues his Anthony Hamilton spy series while Fred MacIsaac continues his serial Death to a Tenor.  Pulp regulars Ray Cummings and Steve Fisher contribute short stories, as does the less familiar Robert W. Sneddon.  H. W. Guernsey (the initials stand for Guernsey's real name, Howard Wandrei) adds a novelette with the generic title (at least for this publication) "Public Enemy." You also get an Illustrated Crime and weekly columns on criminology, cyphers and the art of reading faces. I suppose that cover is as close to shudder-pulp territory as DFW ever got. At least it has people literally shuddering.

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