The Wild Adventures of Pat Savage

Jun 21, 2017 by

Will Murray discovered Doc Savage in 1969 when he picked up the Bantam Books edition of DUST OF DEATH. Within a few short years, he began contributing to Doc Savage fanzines, starting with THE DOC SAVAGE READERSoon thereafter, he began placing articles in other fanzines, including ECHOES, THE PULP COLLECTOR, and PULP VAULT, writing about Doc and other pulp characters and the magazines in which they appeared. Today, nearly fifty years later, Will is one of the most respected authorities on the pulp magazine, having authored countless articles and books, including THE DUENDE HISTORY OF THE SHADOW MAGAZINE and WORDSLINGERS: AN EPITAPH FOR THE WESTERN.

In addition to his many non-fiction works on the pulps, Murray was the ghost-writer for about forty of the Destroyer action-adventures novels. He has also written twenty Doc Savage novels and two Tarzan novels. He also serves as the literary agent for the Lester Dent estate and as the co-editor of Sanctum Books’ highly regarded pulp reprints.

In 2016, Murray decided to give many fans what they wanted and penned a solo Pat Savage novel — SIX SCARLET SCORPIONS. Well, almost solo, as Monk Mayfair joins Pat on her adventure:

“When a man so anemic that he could be a vampire’s victim comes to Patricia Savage for rescue, the impetuous girl can’t say no. Excitement is her meat and danger her dessert.

“Accompanied by Doc Savage aide, Monk Mayfair, Pat finds herself in the worst danger of her life. Wanted for murder, hounded by the minions of a weird mystery figure calling himself Chief Standing Scorpion, narrowly evading the hordes of the Vinegarroon tribe, the bronze-skinned golden girl battles her way to a sinister secret cached in an ancient ruin.

“From the oilfields of Oklahoma to the forbidding Ozark Mountains, the trail of scorpionic doom winds. Will Pat Savage’s first great adventure also be her last?”

Of course, for longtime fans of the Man of Bronze, SIX SCARLET SCORPIONS is actually the second Pat Savage novel. In “I Died Yesterday,” her final pulp appearance — published in the January/February 1948 issue of DOC SAVAGE SCIENCE DETECTIVE — she is the first-person narrator of the story. As he does in Murray’s recent novel, Monk teams up with Pat to work on the case.

Members of the Narada Radio Company and their PULP-POURRI THEATRE will perform a reading from Will Murray’s SIX SCARLET SCORPIONS, the first book in THE ALL-NEW WILD ADVENTURES OF PAT SAVAGE series, published by Adventures in Bronze in association with Altus Press. Based in Corpus Christi, PULP-POURRI THEATRE is an audio drama anthology series that has its origins in vintage pulp fiction, but presents its stories in the modern way. Pete Lutz is the company’s producer-director. You can sample their work online or via iTunes.

“The Wild Adventures of Pat Savage by Will Murray,” a reading by PULP-POURRI THEATRE, will take place on Saturday, July 29, at 8:50 PM in the PulpFest 2017 programming area at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry — just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City.” You can join PulpFest by clicking the Register for 2017 button on our home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree. They’re going fast!

(Walter Swenson painted eleven DOC SAVAGE covers from January 1947 through September 1948. The January/February 1948 number is a good example of his cover art. His interior illustrations can be found in some issues of John W. Campbell’s ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION. They were also published by Street & Smith, right around the same time as his Doc Savage covers. Little more is known about the artist.)

Somewhere a Roscoe: Dan Turner and SPICY DETECTIVE

Jun 13, 2017 by

“From the window that opened onto the roof-top sun deck a roscoe sneezed: Ka-Chow! Chowpf! and a red-hot hornet creased its stinger across my dome; bashed me to dreamland.”

That’s Robert Leslie Bellem communicating through Hollywood gumshoe Dan Turner. The story is “Lake of the Left-Hand Moon,” originally published in the December 1943 issue of HOLLYWOOD DETECTIVE.

Born in Philadelphia and trained as a newspaper reporter, Bellem began writing for the pulps in 1928. “I was thumbing through a magazine one day. I stumbled on an illustration to a story . . . It depicted two or three native South Seas island gals — clad in no more than the law allowed — surrounding one rather embarrassed-looking beachcomber. I squinted at the daub and got a definite inward reaction. I sat down at my typewriter and batted off ‘Eden Island,’ a sex yarn. It was the first sex farce I’d ever written. I sent it to PEP. They bought it and yelled for more of the same. That’s four years ago — now I sell about five or six sex farces a month, and hardly get time to write anything else!”

In 1934, Harry Donenfeld’s Culture Publications introduced SPICY DETECTIVE STORIES. Edited by Frank Armer, the former publisher of PEP, Bellem would be on board from day one, penning the adventures of Dan Turner, “six feet plus and one hundred ninety pounds of wisecracking, .38 toting, whisky-swilling, womanizing private eye.” The character would go on to fight, shoot, and kiss his way through a “good two hundred tales,” published in SPICY and SPEED DETECTIVE STORIES, as well as HOLLYWOOD DETECTIVE STORIES.

A prolific writer, Robert Leslie Bellem “knocked out hundreds of other stories, at one stretch selling about a million words of fiction per year.”

He wrote a variety of fiction including adventure, detective, western, mystery, weird and of course the sex farces. During the 1930s Bellem regularly appeared in the Trojan/Culture pulps SPICY DETECTIVE, SPICY MYSTERY, SPICY-ADVENTURE and PRIVATE DETECTIVE (and their later incarnations as the SPEED titles) both under his own name and a stable of pennames. On more than one occasion an entire issue of a pulp was comprised of works by Bellem under several names. Bellem also published fiction in REAL DETECTIVE STORIES, DETECTIVE FICTION WEEKLY, THRILLING DETECTIVE, MAMMOTH DETECTIVE, THE GHOST, THRILLING SPY STORIES, SUPER DETECTIVE, and POPULAR DETECTIVE, to name a few.

As the pulp market contracted and died, Bellem turned to the television industry, scripting for DICK TRACY, PERRY MASON, THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, 77 SUNSET STRIP, CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT, THE F.B.I., BROKEN ARROW, WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE, DEATH VALLEY DAYS, THE MILLIONAIRE, and others.

Join PulpFest 2017 on Thursday, July 27, at 9:40 PM as we welcome author, editor, and publisher John Wooley for a look at Robert Leslie Bellem and Dan Turner. Immediately following John’s talk, members of the Pulp-Pourri Theatre will perform a reading from one of Bellem’s entertaining tales of “Hollywood, U.S.A.’s number one gumshoe.”

One of the first books John Wooley sold — to Bowling Green State University Popular Press — was a collection of Dan Turner stories. He has since written, co-written, or edited over three dozen books, including the current HOMICIDE HIGHBALL: THE LOST DAN TURNER MOVIE SCRIPT (Bold Venture Press), which spotlights the alternative screenplay for the Dan Turner made-for-TV movie. John has also written comic books, trading cards, and thousands of magazine and newspaper stories, most of them in conjunction with his work as the music and horror-movie writer for the TULSA WORLD, a position he held from 1983 through 2006. Winner of the Lamont Award in 2006, Wooley is co-owner, with John McMahan, of the pulp-related Reverse Karma Press. In 2015, John was inducted into the Oklahoma Historians’ Hall of Fame.

(Beside the outrageous writing of Robert Leslie Bellem and his peers who wrote for Culture Publications, the Spicy line of pulp magazines is collected for the pulp art of the talented H. J. Ward and others. Ward contributed the cover illustration for the December 1937 number of SPICY DETECTIVE STORIESThe artist began working in the pulp industry in 1931, selling freelance pulp covers to many different publishers, including Munsey, Dell, Popular. However, the majority of his work was published by Culture/Trojan. Ward became the publisher’s top artist.

Many thanks to Tom Roberts of Black Dog Books for his highly informative afterword to CORPSE ON ICE, quoted in this article.)

 

Pulp-Pourri Theatre Presents “Return to the Sabbath”

Jun 10, 2017 by

For the last week or so, PulpFest‘s web posts have been discussing this year’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Robert Bloch. The author of more than 200 stories, nearly thirty novels, and a large number of non-fiction articles, screenplays, and teleplays, Bloch got his start as a writing professional in the pulp magazines that are celebrated each summer at PulpFest.

Bloch discovered the pulp magazines in 1927, courtesy of his Aunt Lil. As he wrote in his autobiography, ONCE AROUND THE BLOCH: “And it was thus that I was introduced to a magazine which changed my life, my very first copy of WEIRD TALES. . . .”

It was through that magazine that Robert Bloch began a correspondence with the author H. P. Lovecraft. At the urging of “The Old Gentleman” — as Lovecraft called himself — Bloch began to write fiction. Before long, the young man was a published author: “But in July, 1934, less than a month after graduating from high school, I received a letter of acceptance for my story. . . . I had suddenly and almost miraculously become a professional writer, a contributor for the very magazine which published the work of my favorite author and present pen pal. . . .”

Robert Bloch’s early fiction was strongly influenced by Lovecraft and his “Cthulhu Mythos.” Bloch even made Lovecraft a central character in “The Shambler from the Stars,” published in the September 1935 WEIRD TALES. He also created two of the often cited texts of the Mythos, Ludwig Prinn’s DE VERMIS MYSTERIIS and Comte d’Erlette’s CULTES DES GOULES.

Following Lovecraft’s death in 1937, Bloch continued writing for WEIRD TALES. He became one of the magazine’s most popular authors, appearing in its pages nearly seventy times. Perhaps his best known tale for “The Unique Magazine” is “Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper,” published in the July 1943 number.

Whereas Lovecraft’s later fiction took on science fictional overtones, Bloch’s WEIRD TALES fiction was, by and large, ground in horror and the supernatural. For instance, from 1936 through 1938, a number of the author’s stories — “Fane of the Black Pharaoh,” “The Eyes of the Mummy,” “Beetles,” and others — were probably inspired by the 1932 Boris Karloff film, THE MUMMY. Others explored such horror motifs as voodoo, wax museums, and black magic. Robert Bloch’s “Return to the Sabbath,” originally published in WEIRD TALES for July 1938, is an example of the latter.

Originally published under Bloch’s Tarleton Fiske pseudonym, “Return to the Sabbath” was published when the author was twenty-one. Narrated in the first person by a Hollywood public relations man, it’s the story of a European actor brought to the United States to star in a satanic horror film. But the actor — who had dabbled in devil worship himself — disappears after he learns that a former colleague has been murdered in Paris by cultists. Bloch’s story was later adapted and filmed for television as “The Sign of Satan.” It aired on THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR in 1964.

On Friday, July 28, at 11 PM, PulpFest 2017 welcomes the Narada Radio Company and their PULP-POURRI THEATRE to this summer’s convention. The group will be dramatizing Robert Bloch’s “Return to the Sabbath” in the old radio-play format. Based in Corpus Christi, PULP-POURRI THEATRE is an audio drama anthology series that has its origins in vintage pulp fiction, but presents its stories in the modern way. Pete Lutz is the company’s producer-director. You can sample their work online or via iTunes.

According to Narada’s Pete Lutz:

My life’s dream has been to create “radio” plays and be an actor in them. I was looking at copies of pulp magazine covers and followed a link to scans of pulp stories. I started reading them and immediately began to mentally dramatize them for audio. My wife came up with the name PULP-POURRI THEATRE. I feel this hints at the wide variety of pulp genres available. The possibilities are endless. There are thousands of pulp-fiction stories available. Action becomes dialogue. Narration becomes action. Once the last voice is “in the can”, I start production. Voices get cobbled together first, and then I add music and sound effects. Then I listen to it a half-dozen times to make sure I haven’t overlooked anything.

PULP-POURRI THEATRE embraces the thrilling world of pulp fiction from the last century. We present audio dramas with a few modern touches, such as full sound design. We bring you the most exciting stories from the finest pulp writers. We also throw in an occasional new story from a guest playwright.

The PulpFest 2017 cast of Narada Radio Company’s PULP-POURRI THEATRE will be Austin and Barbi Beach, Ross Bernhardt, Randy Coull, Derek, Keane, and Pete Lutz, and Greg and Rhiannon McAfee. Please join them at PulpFest 2017 from Thursday evening, July 27, through Sunday afternoon, July 30, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the exciting city of Pittsburgh. You can book your room directly through the PulpFest website. Just click the “Book a Room for 2017” link on our home page or call 1-800-222-8733. Be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the convention rate.

Start making your plans now to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of PSYCHO author Robert Bloch at the “pop culture center of the universe” called PulpFest 2017.

(Robert Bloch’s “Return to the Sabbath” originally ran in the July 1938 issue of WEIRD TALES, featuring front cover art by the great pulp and fantasy artist, Virgil Finlay. The artist got his start during the Great Depression when he sent unsolicited illustrations to his favorite pulp magazine, WEIRD TALES. In addition to “The Unique Magazine,” he also contributed interior illustrations and covers to AMAZING STORIES, ASTOUNDING STORIES, CAPTAIN FUTURE, FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES FANTASTIC ADVENTURES, FANTASTIC NOVELS, GALAXY, STRANGE STORIES, SUPER SCIENCE STORIES, THRILLING WONDER STORIES, WORLDS OF TOMORROW, and other pulps and digests. Even today, Finlay remains one of the most highly regarded and collected artists in the fields of science fiction and fantasy.

Pete Lutz, the producer-director for the Narada Radio Company, used the August 1942 cover of SPICY ADVENTURE STORIES as the basis for his PULP-POURRI THEATRE advertisement. The artist is H. J. Ward, who painted many covers for the Spicy line of pulp magazines. For a great overview of this artist’s career, we suggest you track down a copy of David Saunders’ book H. J. WARD, published by The Illustrated Press in 2010.)

Pulp-Pourri Theatre Presents “The Adventures of Mr. Fye”

Jun 9, 2017 by

Following numerous requests, live theatre returns to this year’s PulpFest. On Thursday evening, July 27, at 11 PM PulpFest welcomes the Narada Radio Company and their PULP-POURRI THEATRE to this summer’s convention. Based in Corpus Christi, PULP-POURRI THEATRE is an audio drama anthology series that has its origins in vintage pulp fiction, but presents its stories in the modern way. Pete Lutz is the company’s producer-director. You can sample their work online or via iTunes.

“The Adventures of Mr. Fye” introduces a new hero inspired by classic pulp fiction and the single character hero pulps.

In her final moments of life, an ancient Chinese mystic passes on her powers to an unsuspecting police detective named “Jinx” Duncan. After a series of strange events, Jinx realizes that his life has been forever altered. He works to control his new powers and use them to help the innocent and battle crime. To do so, he becomes Mister Fye (say it with a New York accent and you’ll get the meaning).

According to Narada’s Pete Lutz, “PULP-POURRI THEATRE embraces the thrilling world of pulp fiction from the last century. We present audio dramas with a few modern touches, such as full sound design. We bring you the most exciting stories from the finest pulp writers. We also throw in an occasional new story from a guest playwright.”

The PulpFest 2017 cast of Narada Radio Company’s PULP-POURRI THEATRE will be Austin and Barbi Beach, Ross Bernhardt, Randy Coull, Derek, Keane, and Pete Lutz, and Greg and Rhiannon McAfee. Please join them at PulpFest 2017 from Thursday evening, July 27, through Sunday afternoon, July 30, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the exciting city of Pittsburgh. You can book your room directly through the PulpFest website. Just click the “Book a Room for 2017” link on our home page or call 1-800-222-8733. Be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the convention rate.

Start making your plans now to celebrate the “hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and a few psychos” at PulpFest 2017. Don’t miss out on the chance to meet “Mr. Fye” at the “pop culture center of the universe.”

(The Narada Radio Company and their PULP-POURRI THEATRE will perform Pete Lutz’s original audioplay, “The Adventures of Mr. Fye,” at PulpFest 2017. The initial performance will be on Thursday evening, July 27, at 11 PM. There will be a special repeat performance on Saturday afternoon, July 29, at 3:30 PM. The company will also be performing a Dan Turner SPICY DETECTIVE reading and a Pat Savage reading at the convention. Watch for details in our upcoming posts. A new one appears every Monday through Friday here at pulpfest.com.

The Mr. Fye poster was created by Pete Lutz, based on a Robert O. Reid cover for the March 23, 1940 issue of COLLIER’S. The magazine was probably the number two general-interest magazine in America during the thirties, forties, and fifties, behind the SATURDAY EVENING POST. COLLIER’S ceased publication in 1957.)

Happy Halloween from PulpFest

Oct 31, 2016 by

dime-detective-32-05

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us . . . to PulpFest 2017!

As part of its celebration of “Hardboiled Dicks, Dangerous Dames, and a Few Psychos,” PulpFest will be honoring the 100th anniversary of the birth of Robert Bloch, author of PSYCHO. The convention is pleased to announce that the Narada Radio Company will be bringing their Pulp-Pourri Theatre to next summer’s PulpFest. The group will be dramatizing Bloch’s “Return to the Sabbath,” a short story that originally appeared in the July 1938 WEIRD TALES. Based in Corpus Christi, Pulp-Pourri Theatre is an all-new audio drama anthology series that has its origins in vintage pulp fiction, but presents its stories in the modern way. Pete Lutz is the company’s producer-director. You can sample their work online or via iTunes.

Additionally, PulpFest is planning to have presentations on DIME DETECTIVE, the villains of THE SHADOW MAGAZINE, “The Dangerous Dames of Kenneth Robeson,” Hollywood detective Dan Turner, Señorita Scorpion and the Domino LadyPhilip José Farmer, and much more.

We’ll keep you informed about all  of these exciting topics through our website and social media sites. So please be sure to bookmark PulpFest.com and visit at least once a week. We’ll be offering a new post every Monday morning around 9 AM, eastern time. Alternately, you can read our posts via our facebook site or catch our tweets by following us via our Twitter page.

(Debuting with its November 1931 number, DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE was one of the leaders in its fiction category. Part of the reason for its success was its great artwork. William Reusswig painted the covers for the first 37 issues of the Popular Publications pulp, including the May 1932 issue. Reusswig sold freelance pulp covers to general fiction magazines such as ARGOSY, SHORT STORIES and ADVENTURE and contributed cover art for the detective, war, and western genre magazines. Additionally, he illustrated stories for COSMOPOLITAN, LIBERTY, OUTDOOR LIFE, THE SATURDAY EVENING POST, SPORTS AFIELD, and other magazines.)

Happy Labor Day from PulpFest 2017

Sep 5, 2016 by

Dime Detective 41-11On this day when we honor America’s laborers, PulpFest is pleased to announce that the organizing committee is working to find a new venue for our 2017 convention. Due to the business decision of the Hyatt Regency to concentrate on larger groups than the 400+ pulp fans who have been attending the Columbus-based PulpFest since 2009, the summertime pulp con will have a new home come next year. It’s a tough job, but your organizing committee — particularly convention chairman Jack Cullers and volunteer coordinator Sally Cullers — are up for the task. No wonder we’ve decided to call our 2017 confab, “Summer’s Hardboiled Pulp Con!”

Our programming theme for 2017 will be “Hardboiled Dicks, Dangerous Dames, and a Few Psychos.” Mike Chomko, the convention’s marketing and programming director, is already lining up a fine slate of pulp culture scholars. We’ll have presentations on DIME DETECTIVE, the villains of THE SHADOW MAGAZINE, “The Dangerous Dames of Kenneth Robeson,” Hollywood detective Dan Turner, Señorita Scorpion and the Domino LadyPhilip José Farmer, and much more.

PulpFest 2017 will also be honoring the 100th anniversary of the birth of Robert Bloch, author of PSYCHO, and offering live theater on Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon. The convention is pleased to announce that the Narada Radio Company will be bringing their Pulp-Pourri Theatre to next summer’s PulpFest. Based in Corpus Christi, Pulp-Pourri Theatre is an all-new audio drama anthology series that has its origins in vintage pulp fiction, but presents its stories in the modern way. Pete Lutz is the company’s producer-director. You can sample their work online or via iTunes. The group will also be performing several readings at the convention.

PulpFest auction coordinator J. Barry Traylor is already lining up some exciting material for next year’s Saturday Night Auction. Once again, we’ll be offering pulps from the collection of Woody Hagadish. A longtime collector and reader of books and pulps, Woody often attended the old Pulpcon and bought a wide array of magazines. Primarily interested in western pulps — particularly WILD WEST WEEKLY — Woody was a reading enthusiast and enjoyed his collection. We’ll be offering magazines from such diverse genres as sports fiction, air stories, westerns, science fiction, and the detective field. The estate is hoping to find good homes for all of these collectibles, getting them to the people who would best appreciate them, as Woody Hagadish had done during his lifetime.

Advertising director and PULPSTER editor William Lampkin is putting together some knock-out concepts for our 2017 marketing campaign as well as planning our award-winning program book. If you’re new to PulpFest and are not familiar with the magazine that Bill puts together each year, a few copies remain of our 2016 PULPSTER. Centered around “90 years of AMAZING STORIES,” a collection of essays on the history and legacy of the first all-science-fiction pulp magazine written by many of its editors, including founder Hugo Gernsback, Howard Browne, Joseph Wrzos (Joe Ross), Barry N. Malzberg, PulpFest 2016 Guest of Honor Ted White, Elinor Mavor, and Patrick L. Price, you can learn more about THE PULPSTER #25 and how to acquire a copy by visiting http://www.pulpfest.com/2016/08/copies-pulpster-25-available/.

Of course we couldn’t market PulpFest 2017 without technical and social media director Chuck Welch keeping all of the nuts and bolts of our various websites in line. As always, Chuck is tinkering in the background to make sure you won’t meet up with any glitches when you try to register for next summer’s convention. Of course, our registration page won’t be ready until we have a time and place for next year’s convention. So please stay tuned by visiting www.pulpfest.com at least once a week. We’ll be offering a new post every Monday morning around 9 AM, eastern time. Alternately, you can read our posts via our facebook site or catch our tweets by following us via our Twitter page.

(While training for the priesthood in his native Puerto Rico, Rafael DeSoto began taking private art lessons with a local artist. He emigrated to the United States in 1923 and soon found work at an advertising company. He began to draw interior story illustrations for Street & Smith’s western pulp magazines in 1930. Two years later, he started to sell freelance cover paintings to all the major pulp magazine publishers including Clayton, Dell, Fiction House, Popular, Street & Smith, and the Thrilling Group. It was DeSoto who created the cover art for the November 1941 issue of Popular Publications’ DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE.

DeSoto continued to produce pulp covers up until the demise of the industry during the 1950s. He also sold freelance illustrations to slick magazines, many paperback book covers, and covers and interior story illustrations for men’s adventure magazines. The artist retired from freelance illustration in 1964 and began teaching at the State University of New York, Farmingdale. He taught art for the rest of his life and embarked on a very successful career as a portrait artist.)