Monday, February 6, 2017


Here's a wartime issue of the National Weekly mocking the tenth anniversary of Adolf Hitler's takeover of Germany. The fiction star this week, as advertised, is Nobel prizewinner Pearl S. Buck -- retroactively regarded as one of our least deserving laureates -- with her latest serial China Flight. Of more interest to us are this number's pulp veterans. The most prominent of those is Harold Lamb, perhaps the star writer of Adventure in its golden age, who made his Collier's debut back in 1928. After 1936 the slick weekly became Lamb's primary market until the end of World War II,  when he started placing more often in The Saturday Evening Post. This issue's "St. Olaf's Day" is a Viking story, perhaps with some contemporary relevance. George F. Worts, the creator of Singapore Sammy, Gillian Hazeltine and (as Loring Brent) Peter the Brazen, actually got his start at Collier's, his first published story appearing there way back in 1918. Like Lamb, Worts had pretty much pulled out of pulp by 1937, though both would publish in Blue Book towards the end of World War II. The seventh installment of his mystery serial Five Who Vanished appears this week. Arch Whitehouse, a stalwart of the air (or "war air") pulps, makes his one and only Collier's appearance with "Kaypees Don't Fly," after publishing five stories in the Post in 1941-2. In addition, Eustace Cockrell contributes this issue's short short story, "The Patriot," a comedy about a magician whose big patriotic trick of making a giant American flag out of a hatful of allied flags is sabotaged by his angry wife, who puts a Rising Sun flag in the hat instead. Hardy har har. Cockrell made an early splash at Blue Book starting in 1934, and made his Collier's debut in 1937. By the outbreak of war he was almost exclusively a Collier's man, though he returned to Blue Book and the revamped Argosy later in the Forties. Finally, this issue apparently has the first published story by one Pete Pedersen. The editor compares his boxing story  "They Can't Hurt Us, Kid" with the work of the legendary Ring Lardner. Strong praise for an author who never appeared in Collier's again. We mention him here because the four remaining stories of his career wold appear in Argosy and Blue Book after the war. Check it all out at

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