Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Annotated Index to Gunsmoke Magazine

by Peter Enfantino

            Gunsmoke featured gritty, realistic western stories written by the most respected writers of the day. The content mirrored that of its sister publication, the ground-breaking crime digest, Manhunt (1953-1967). Despite, or maybe because of, its darker edge, the digest was not successful enough to warrant more than a two-issue run. Based on the contents of the two issues published, that’s a shame. This could have, eventually, become the most respected western digest published.
            Another highlight carried over from Manhunt was Gunsmoke’s use of colorful biographies of its featured writers. It’s hard to imagine in today’s world of “reference at your fingertips,” but there probably weren’t too many places a reader could turn to find information on their favorite western writers. These short, often humorous (Bill Gulick admits that he’s fond of vegetable gardening but his agent hates it), bits filled in some of the blanks.
            After the two issues were published, many of the leftover copies were bound together and released as Giant Gunsmoke. It’s not clear whether a third issue was planned and then scrapped, but it would seem the reasoning behind Giant Gunsmoke might have been to attract more readers. Whether or not that was the case, the plan didn’t work. At least we have two issues of a magazine that gave us several solid, and in a few cases classic, western tales.
            Can’t ask for more than that.


Vol. 1 No. 1 June 1953
144 pages, 35 cents

The Man with No Thumbs by Noel Loomis
(7500 words) ***
            Jonas Marson is the no-nonsense leader of a bunch of Apache scalpers. The men kill Apaches and sell their scalps to the Mexican government. One night, Al Hobart, a former comrade of the bunch, staggers into camp with a tale of Indian torture. The fact that Al has shown up minus both thumbs convinces every man but Marson, who never liked Hobart in the first place and may have, in fact, fed Al to the Indians. Hobart offers up his tracking expertise to the gang and, despite warnings of a trap from Marson, they take him up on it. Turns out Marson is right and Hobart leads the men right into the hands of the Apaches. The finale finds Marson, staked naked across an anthill, the Apaches slowly skinning him alive, while Hobart watches gleefully.
            Gruesome revenge yarn would have found a perfect home in Joe R. Lansdale’s equally gruesome anthology of western horrors, Razored Saddles. “Thumbs” is liberally spiced with beheadings, disembowelments, and descriptive scalpings of women and children:

            Hooker was down, scalping bodies. He yanked off a long, black-haired scalp with a loud pop, and held it up in the moonlight. “There’s a woman here!” He screamed at Marson.



            A door opened. A shot sounded. A groan. The door crashed in. Its rawhide hinges shrieked as they gave away. A woman screamed and there was another shot. Then children shrieked, and there was silence for an instant.


            Jeff Sadler, in his entry on Noel Loomis in 20th Century Western Writers, says of the author: “Violence shapes the work of Noel M. Loomis. There is a savage force at work…evoking the atmosphere of a harsh, untamed land. His writing captures the taste and scent of another time.” Indeed there is a gritty edge to Loomis’ short stories, be it “Thumbs” or “When the Children Cry for Meat” (found in Greenberg and Pronzini’s The Texans, Fawcett, 1988) or “A Decent Saddle” (from Zane Grey’s Western Magazine, August 1953). Loomis also found success with such 1950s western novels as Johnny Concho (Gold Medal, 1956), North to Texas (Ballantine, 1956), and The Leaden Cache aka Cheyenne War Cry (Avon, 1959). Sadler sums up Loomis: “In the field he chose, he has yet to be surpassed.”

Rock Bottom by Nelson Nye
(5000 words) ***
            Bank robber Jeff Faradine knows his obsession can get him killed. With a posse hot on his trail, Farradine hits the town of Rock Bottom, searching for the girl who has haunted his every waking moment, a girl he only caught a glimpse of months before. Convinced she’ll drop everything to ride off into the sunset with him, Farradine spends hours scouring the town until he finds her. Of course, he’s a bit surprised when he finds she’s the town’s favorite hooker at the local brothel. Convincing the girl (and attempting to convince himself as well) that her way of life will not hamper their relationship, they leave the cathouse, only to be confronted by the posse. Farradine is mowed down and his true love returns to her profession.
            Interesting character study has the hardened bank robber/lifer criminal who truly believes he can drop his evil ways for the love of a woman. The author nicely counters with a hooker who doesn’t necessarily want to  leave her “tainted” life behind. In fact, she’s very comfortable with her path.
            Nelson Nye was an incredibly prolific western novelist during the four decades he wrote, with such classic paperbacks as Rafe/Hideout Mountain (Ace Double, 1962), Bandido (Signet, 1957), and Iron Hand (Ace, 1966) under his wide belt. Nye also served as the initial president of the Western Writers of America in 1953, won the coveted Spur Award for Best Western of 1959 (Long Run, McMillan, 1959), and edited the fine anthology, They Won Their Spurs (Avon, 1962).

The Crooked Nail by Frank O’Rourke
(5400 words) *
            Dan Morgan returns to the town where he and four of his buddies stole thousands of dollars worth of bonds. Dan never saw a penny though because it disappeared, along with two of his partners. Seeking answers, and his share, he coaxes the truth from the man who was once his best friend and is now his betrayer.
            Very slow, with an expository (involving the titular hardware) that defies logic and instead invites chuckles. O’Rourke wrote a batch of baseball novels and short stories in the 1950s. Some of his short western fiction was collected in Ride West (Ballantine, 1953) and Hard Men (Ballantine, 1956).

Thirst by John Prescott
(5000 words) **
            Reakor assists two bank robbers in their getaway. Sensing a double cross, he murders them first and hightails it into the desert. Hot on his tail is the town’s sheriff. Though the story itself is nothing to get excited about, the author manages to spice it up with some fine writing:


            It was long after sun-up when they came upon the bodies at the hole. The buzzards and coyotes had been at work and it was not a pretty sight. The deputy was a hardy man, but his stomach was sometimes weak. He nearly vomited.
            “Gawd almighty,” he said, blanching, with the muscles in his face drawn tight. “It always gets me when I see them eyeballs that way.”
            “Good food for the buzzards,” the sheriff said. “I don’t know why it is, but they always seem to like them eyes.”


            Prescott wrote several western novels in the 1950s, including The Renegade (Bantam, 1956), Wagon Train (Bantam, 1956), and Guns of Hell Valley (Graphic, 1957). He won a Spur for Best Historical Novel for Journey by the River (Random House, 1954). Two of his short pulp western novels, “The Longriders” and “The Hard One” were reprinted by Tor in their Double Action Western Series in 1990.

Gunsmoke Selects: A Six Gun Salute by Parke Dwight
(500 words) a non-fiction feature about Mutual Broadcasting System’s “Western Week.”

Newcomer by A. B. Guthrie, Jr.
(3400 words) ***
            For some reason known only to himself, the town’s black sheep Chilter just doesn’t like the new school teacher, Mr. Ellenwood. Chilter makes this apparent several times until inevitably things turn violent and Mr. Ellenwood has to prove that even a school teacher can reach a breaking point. To protect his son, Lonnie and himself, Ellenwood beats the man down. Our final glimpse at Ellenwood is not of a man satisfied, proud and boasting, but saddened at the turn of events.
            Ellenwood would have been played by Gary Cooper and Jack Palance would have been a natural for Chilter, but Shane had just been made (and would be previewed in the following issue’s “Gunsmoke’s Movie of the Month”.) Sure, it’s the same kind of story, but I enjoyed it just the same. Again, a familiar story is invigorated by sharp writing and visuals:


            Mr. Ellenwood was stepping forward, not back, stepping into the wicked whistle and cut of the quirt, his head up and his eyes fixed. There was a terrible rightness about him, a rightness so terrible and fated that for a minute Lonnie couldn’t bear to look, thinking of Stephen stoned and Christ dying on the cross – of all the pale, good, thoughtful men foredoomed before the hearty.


            Ironically, the following year Guthrie would win an Academy Award nomination for his screenplay for, you guessed it, Shane.

The Killing at Triple Tree by Evan Hunter
(5250 words) ****
            The posse’s ready to lynch the scum that raped and murdered the sheriff’s wife. So why won’t the lawman let the town have its fun? Evan Hunter shows that he’s just as good at depicting violent life in the West as in the East. The final few paragraphs come fast and furious like a load of buckshot to your face, leaving an unforgettable vision in your mind. “The Killing at Triple Tree” could just as easily have been placed in Manhunt and fit in nicely.

Old Chief’s Mountain by Bryce Walton
(5320 words) **
            The only survivors of an Indian massacre roam the desert in search of water: three soldiers and a scout. The scout is convinced that water is only a mountain away. His endless dronig, “Cool water, cool sweet water” reminded me of the old I Love Lucy episode with the actor who repeatedly says “Slowly I turned, step by step…” Though the story didn’t do much for me, it does contain some harrowing descriptions of what days in the desert without water will do to a man.
            Bryce Walton isn’t widely known for his westerns (in fact, there is no listing for Walton in 20th Century Western Writers), but published several dozen science fiction shorts (under his own name and several pseudonyms) in such digests as If, Fantastic, Vortex, and Future, and dozens more crime stories in Manhunt, Mike Shayne, Alfred Hitchcock, and Pursuit. The Long Night (Falcon Digest, 1952) is the only Walton novel I can find reference to.

Judd by Jack Schaefer
(6800 words) ****
            Judd Birkett sits on his porch and watches as all his neighbors pack up and move away. Only old Judd wants to stay and fight the state men who plan to flood the valley once the new dam is built. Judd’s little shack stands smack dab in the middle of progress. He won’t give in even after his property is condemned and law moves in to remove him. “Judd” works as both a nicely told morality play and as an analogy of the old west herded out by the new. The story concludes with the chilling images of the water flooding the valley and an old man who’s left with only one way out.
            Schaefer’s claim to fame lies with his novel, Shane, perhaps the most acclaimed and influential (certainly, to this day, one of the most-borrowed western storylines of all time) western of the 20th Century. Shane was, of course, made into the equally acclaimed 1953 flick starring Alan Ladd and the viciously evil Jack Palance. Brian Garfield once wrote “(D)espite its pretensions Shane codified the essence of the Western, and it remains one of the few altogether towering movies of the genre.”

Great Medicine by Steve Frazee
(11,650 words) **
            A Blackfoot Indian named Little Belly believes he can become all-powerful if he steals the “great medicine” from a risky adventurer. Though this is one of Frazee’s most reprinted stories, it’s one of my least favorites. Surprisingly (for a Steve Frazee story, that is), it’s slow-moving and uninvolving.

The Gunny by Robert Turner
(3200 words) **
            Fred Maurer is a professional assassin hired to pick fights and win them. After his latest job is completed, the past seems to catch up with him and he’s haunted by visions of the men he’s cut down. Very ambiguous and confusing, and ultimately unsatisfying. Robert Turner (aka Roy Carroll) sold hundreds of mystery tales to the pulps and over 60 stories to crime digests such as Manhunt, Pursuit, Hunted, and Guilty, including my favorite Turner title, “Frogtown Vengeance,” in Hunted #2 (February 1955). Manhunt’s bio on Turner states that he was an agent and an editor before turning to full-time writing because it “made less ulcers.” Eleven of the eighteen stories collected in Shroud 9 (Powell, 1970) originally appeared in Manhunt. Novels included The Tobacco Auction Murders (Ace, 1954), Woman Chaser and Strange Sisters (both Beacon, 1962), and The Night is For Screaming (Pyramid, 1960). Turner wrote a short piece on “The Not-So-Literary Digests” for Xenophile #38 (1978), wherein he opined that Gunsmoke died a quick death “probably because the typical western story fan didn’t go for off-trail stories.”

Gunsmoke’s Movie of the Month: Ambush at Tomahawk Gap
(100 words) Non-fiction feature.

The Boy Who Smiled by Elmore Leonard
(5000 words) ****
            Mickey Segundo has carried a man-sized chip on his very young shoulder since the day he watched T.O. McKay and his men lynch Mickey’s innocent father for no reason other than to watch him swing. Bad mistake on McKay’s part leaving the boy to live. Mickey grows up enough to exact a terrible revenge ala Charles Bronson’s character in Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West.
            Engrossing tale switches viewpoints at various stages. You can see the beginnings of a wonderful storyteller emerging from Elmore Leonard, and while he makes millions from such crime novels (and millions more from the inevitable films and TV) as Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Stick, and Fifty-Two Card Pick Up, he cut his writing teeth on the western. The Bounty Hunters (Ballantine, 1953) and Escape from Five Shadows (Dell, 1957) are every bit as dark and exciting as his crime fiction. Leonard’s complete western short stories were collected by Morrow in 2004, tales perfect for those who shun the genre because their idea of a western is Little Joe and Hoss.

Blue Chip Law by Bill Erin
(1500 words) ***
            Effective short-short about a mysterious poker player and the appointment he must keep at noon. The reader doesn’t learn a lot in four pages (though there are several characters, we learn only the bartender’s and the visitor’s name) but the writing keeps it intriguing.


Vol. 1 No. 2 August 1953
144 pages, 35 cents

Final Payment by Frank O’Rourke
(10,500 words) ****
            Bill McKay has gone from troubled youth to murderous bankrobber in record time. During one of his raids, he murders the father of his boyhood friend, Henry, now a bigtime lawyer/politician in Washington. McKay is captured but escapes a few years later and begins his bloody campaign anew. Collapsing under public outcry, Hanry and the Governor concoct a plan: offer McKay a full pardon if he turns over the rest of his cutthroat gang to the law. McKay, festering the wounds of years of imprisonment and Henry, equally bitter over the loss of his father, finally meet face-to-face. Henry feels that there is something in Billy to be saved, but McKay’s last laug is to turn the lawyer over to his gang and bullets fly in a tense, exciting finale.
            Unlike his previous Gunsmoke effort, “The Crooked Nail,” “Final Payment” is every word a gripping, satisfying story (one told thousands of times in the western story) about two men whose hatred for each other threatens to engulf both of them. The reader can tell who wears the black hat and whom the white belongs to:


            I was never over-possessed with courage and never foolhardiness; but I had inherited from my father and mother those principles of right and wrong they had lived by, and a stern, unbending belief in the fact that a man could not kneel to something false and cruel, and ever be a man again.
            Sometimes I think that is the reason for all war, I don’t know for sure, but it seems to have a grain of truth in its shell. I looked at Billy McKay and thought, “You poor, damned fool!” and remembered my father as he had been in life, unbending, often wrong, but never a coward.


The Hairy Mr. Fraily by Jack Schaefer
(7100 words) **
            The ballad of Baldpate Frailey, the barber, and his two sons, Greenberry and Lenader. Not that this is a poorly-written fable, it’s just that it doesn’t belong in Gunsmoke, but rather a more vaired digest like Zane Grey’s Western Magazine or Street & Smith’s Western. It’s a change of pace but, for me at least, not a welcomed one.

Homecoming by Nelson Nye
(4500 words) *
            Nor is this story, which belongs in Ranch Romances. Dode Rogers heads back to his hometown to clear his name and win back the love of his life, Tara Lord. Unlike Nye’s “Rock Bottom” in the first issue (which is essentially the same story), the narrative of the story is driven into the ground by the weight of its own clichés, including this final exchange between the hero (picture James Brolin) and heroine (how about – think low budget here – Lindsay Wagner):


            Tara said “Let’s talk about us.”
            And Dode said, taking her into his arms, “The hell with talk.”


No Guns by Louis Trimble
 (4750 words) ***           
 Beeck and Herne are the Ali and Frazier of the town known as Vigilance, duking it out for years over the smallest of differences. But after two decades of blood and battles, Herne has an idea for a less combative relationship with Beeck. Humorous tale very much reminded me of Steve Frazee’s short story “The Bretnall Feud” (first published in Argosy in 1953 and reprinted in the Bill Pronzini-edited The Best Western Stories of Steve Frazee), but with a much lighter tone and a “happier” ending. Trimble also wrote many mystery novels (The Virgin Victim, The Corpse Without a Country) and dabbled in science fiction as well (Guardians of the Gate,The Bodelan Way). Jon Clute, in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (St. Martin’s, 1993) calls Trimble “extremely competent.”


Owlhoot: Who’s Who by T. W. Raines (1000 words)
Gunsmoke’s Movie of the Month: Shane (100 words)
Both are non-fiction pieces.

Killer by H. A. DeRosso
(10,750 words) ***
The Big Die-Up by Steve Frazee
(5400 words) ****
            My two favorite “vintage” western writers are DeRosso and Frazee. I had heard a lot of good things about Frazee for years so picked up the novel He Rode Alone and found it engrossing, a noir western without the western trappings we’ve all become familiar with after watching way too many hours of The Big Valley and Bonanza. He Rode Alone is, in fact, a great Gold Medal revenge suspenser (ranking right up there with the best of Dan J. Marlowe, Peter Rabe, and all the rest of the Gold Meddlers) that just happens to take place in the Old West. Frazee could just have easily changed a few things and produced a contemporary crime novel.
            Frazee’s greatest strength is that his characters can make the staunchest Western detractor forget the western tag on the cover. He’s also dark as hell. A lot of his characters don’t end up better for their journeys and some don’t make it at all.
            “The Big Die-Up” offers up Jim Heister, a no-nonsense (but fair) rancher who’s stacked plenty of hay in anticipation of a long and nasty winter. The other ranchers who make up the town hadn’t been as foresighted and ride to Heister’s door to demand he share the feed. Heister refuses, citing his own personal welfare, and the refusal touches off a series of events that opens Jim’s eyes to the neighbors around him and personal responsibility to the community.
            Frazee wastes no lines and packs a novel’s worth of characterization into a dozen pages. Here’s a sample (the first two paragraphs of the story):


            With the warmth of the fireplace pressing against his back, Jim Heister looked east along the snow fields and saw them coming. They rode through the drifts like men with defeat upon them, and that could make them savage. Six of them. There might have been twelve, but some of the Great Park ranchers were too full of pride and some of them hated Heister too much to come begging.
            He was a lean, tall man with a look of sharp assurance on his snow-burned features. He stood in the warmth of what was his and watched the snow trail away in streamers from the legs of the laboring horses that were carrying men to Whispering Pines on a futile mission.


            If Steve Frazee dims the lamp a bit, then H. A. DeRosso shuts it out completely. Outside of Frazee, no one wrote gloomier tales of weak humans and the moral dilemmas they face than DeRosso. Take the story included here for instance. “Killer” concerns ex-sheriff Dan Baxter, who receives word from the town’s new sheriff that Jesse Olivera has escaped from prison. Years before, Dan had hunted Olivera down for rustling and, in a violent shootout, had wounded Olivera and killed the rustler’s wife. Olivera had sworn revenge on Baxter and was now obviously heading for town. Not one to wait for danger to find him, Baxter heads out in search of the fugitive. When he finds him, he gives the man the chance to avenge his wife’s death, only to beat the man in a draw. As Olivera lies bleeding to death, he thanks Baxter for the chance. Bill Pronzini calls “Killer”: “a quintessential deRosso noir vision.” I agree with Bill that shades are dark, but to fully appreciate DeRosso, seek out “Vigilante,” (originally from the September 1948 issue of Best Western and reprinted in the excellent DeRosso collection Under the Burning Sun), possibly the darkest western pulp story I’ve ever read.

Scalp Dance by Bennett Foster
(6000 words) **
            Jebs Farnford is caught between the savagery of his wife’s Sioux family and the law-abiding “decency” of his own. When his ranch is hit hard by rustlers, Jebs must choose which tact to take. Strange, meandering narrative never quite involves the reader.

Behind the Badge: Billy Tilghman by M. L. Powell
(1000 words) non-fiction piece

Snowblind by Evan Hunter
(3500 words) **
            Gary finds his son Bobby sparking up a smoke, toting his guns, and anticipating a ride into town to get himself some sack time. Not ready for middle age and the sudden maturity of his offspring, Gary does the only thing that comes to mind: he grounds the kid. This doesn’t sit well with the teen rebel and he grabs a hunk of the highway, just in time for one of those damned blizzards to hit. Feeling guilty for clipping the kid’s wings, Gary sets out to track Bobby and is kidnapped by three ornery cusses wanted by the law for… something. In the eye-opening (for Gary at least – the rest of us know what’s coming, right?) finale, father is saved by his gunslingin’ son. The lesson here, of course, is that in the Old West you grew up faster and old people just had to accept that. The final paragraph finds the two-unit family looking forward to a cup of Joe, a roll-yer-own and, presumably, a threesome with Madame Kitty.

The Courting Feud by Bill Gulick
(5500 words) ***
            Judd Kimbrough and Henry Hooker are engaged in a game of one-upmanship while courting Molly Rankin. Light and humorous, very much like one of those 1950s western romances, complete with musical interlude.

Incident at the Bar W by Robert Turner
(3250 words) ***
            Esther Womble has only her dog to protect her when a stranger comes riding into her ranch. When the rider decides to take more than just the water he’s been offered, Esther shows him how women survive in the West.

Showdown by Charles Beckman, Jr.
(1250 words) **
            Dave Segel has waited over two years for August Lehman’s bullet to take him down. He can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t rest. He lives in constant fear. Then, finally, one night Lehman catches up to him, or does he? In one of those O. Henry type twists that might have been fresher when the story was first published, we find out that Segel actually killed Lehman years before and, plagued by guilt, turns to booze and sees his victim everywhere he turns. We learn this in the clichéd finale at the climax.

FOOTNOTES
(1) Manhunt issued thirteen of their Giant Manhunt omnibus editions (some of the volumes contained four issues bound together). Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine issued several volumes of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Sampler, which bound together two uncirculated copies of AHMM. The difference between the bound copies of Manhunt and those of AHMM is that the publishers of Hitch would bind random copies! I’ve heard stories from collectors of innumerable combinations of issues. It’s not all that far-fetched since three of the four Samplers I have in my collection all contain non-consecutive issues.

(2) Bill Pronzini has done more to bring vintage western writers to a wider contemporary audience than anyone else. His “Best of the West” series for Fawcett in the 1980s reprinted over a hundred western stories formerly languishing in moldy pulps, including work by authors discussed in this piece. Bill is also responsible for a series of books reprinting the best of H. A. De Rosso: Under the Burning Sun (1997), Riders of the Shadowlands (1999) and Tracks in the Sand (2001), all published by Five Star.

SOURCES:
Garfield, Brian   Western Films (Rawson Associates, 1982)
Sadler, Geoff (editor) 20th Century Western Writers, 2nd Edition (St. James Press, 1991)
Pronzini, Bill   The Best Western Stories of Steve Frazee (Southern Illinois University Press, 1984)

FURTHER READING
DeRosso, H. A.   ,44 (Lion, 1953)
            Under the Burning Sun (Five Star , 1997)
Frazee, Steve   The Gun-Throwers (Lion, 1954)
            Pistolman (Lion, 1952)
Gorman, Ed (editor) The Fatal Frontier (Carroll & Graf, 1997)
Loomis, Noel   Heading West (Leisure, 2007)

This article first appeared in Bare Bones Vol. 2 No. 1 (2000), still available from Deadline Press for $10 postpaid. The issue also includes an in-depth, book by book critique of the first 17 Parker novels by Richard Stark/Donald Westlake, The Top Ten Movies and Books of the 1990s, and lots more. 70 digest pages. Drop us a line if interested at penfantino@gmail.com.

5 comments:

Walker Martin said...

Peter, this is one of your most interesting articles yet. Despite only lasting two issues, GUNSMOKE has to be considered one of the great failed experiments in the digest magazine format.

I think Robert Turner was right about the typical western fan not liking off-trail stories. I've noticed the western pulps like WESTERN STORY were full of series characters that kept repeating the same formula and plot. The same thing with the western B-movie and the TV shows. There are not too many western fans left now but they used to love the shoot-em-ups and hard riding.

I have the two issues of GUNSMOKE but I see that I've managed to bury them so well that I can't find them. However, I did discover my GIANT GUNSMOKE and I'll reread the stories while comparing my ratings with your comments.

Peter Enfantino said...

Walker!
Thanks for the kind words. I completely agree about the series stories. I can't take much more than a few pages of those. It's like reading a vampire novel, isn't it? Not much in the way of surprises. When you re-read that Gunsmoke, make sure to send us your thoughts.

Rick said...

Don't overlook Robert Turner's memoir/how-to book, "Some of My Best Friends are Writers But I Wouldn't Want my Daughter to Marry One" (Los Angeles, Sherbourne: 1970). Up there with "The Pulp Jungle," though Turner is more likable than Frank Gruber. Book seems hard to find nowadays, so I wish I'd bought 2 or 3 extra when it was remaindered by Publishers Central Bureau in the late 70s.

Walker Martin said...

I agree Robert Turner's book, SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE WRITERS BUT I WOULDN'T WANT MY DAUGHTER TO MARRY ONE, is an interesting memoir about the pulp and digest days. Abebooks.com has 10 copies for sale starting at $18.95.

oldreddy said...

Great article, very interesting! Greetings from Germany.