Friday, August 26, 2016


Here's twofold exploitation in a 1939 Detective Fiction Weekly. Warren William had made a hit playing Louis Joseph Vance's Lone Wolf, Michael Lanyard, in The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt earlier that year, and Columbia Pictures, which had been making Lone Wolf pictures sporadically for years, was now committed to putting out films with William more frequently. He'd play the part eight times more in the next four years. To take advantage, DFW makes a big deal out of reprinting the 25 year old novel with which Vance introduced the character. Since The Lone Wolf originally appeared in Munsey's, I imagine the Munsey corporation didn't pay Vance much, if anything, for the reprint. At least they didn't go for a blatant Warren William on the cover. It probably was a sign of trouble at Munsey that both DFW and Argosy were actually publicizing reprints in 1939. In Argosy's case it was A. Merritt's Seven Footprints to Satan.  For DFW the reprint overshadows an okay-sounding lineup. Richard Sale contributes a Candid Jones story, while Roger Torrey continues the adventures of Mike Hanigan and Irving Kowalski with the eighth novelette in a series that started in July 1937. Hugh B. Cave also has a novelette and Bert Collier, R. V. Gery and Herbert Koehl have short stories. It's a shame all this new material is forced to the background by a reprint, but I suppose it wasn't as easy in 1939 to find an old copy of The Lone Wolf as it would be now to find something comparably old. In that case, I suppose DFW was doing a public service -- at a profit, of course.

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