Saturday, June 04, 2011

Saturday Morning Western Pulp: West, May 5, 1926

Here's a rather simple cover from the simply titled WEST, which had a long run from 1926 to 1953. For most of its existence, it was part of the Thrilling Group, published by Better Publications, but it started out as a Doubleday pulp, and during that part of its run the setting sun along the upper edge of the cover (or is it a rising sun?) was a standard feature, like the more famous "red sun" on the covers of SHORT STORIES, another Doubleday pulp. This issue had a good line-up of authors and stories, including a "Complete Novel of Banditry by Murray Leinster", who was much better known as a science-fiction author despite having written a little bit of everything in the pulps. Other authors in this issue are one of my favorites, W.C. Tuttle, the always dependable Frank Richardson Pierce, and prolific Western pulp author Stephen Payne. Plus a feature on the inside front cover called "Worked Over Brands" by none other than Charles M. Russell. Definitely a dime and a nickel well spent for readers in 1926.


Walker Martin said...

When readers and collectors talk about the best western pulp magazine, they usually pick WESTERN STORY. But I've always thought WEST during the Doubleday years was perhaps even better. During 1926 and into the middle 1930's, WEST was published by Doubleday and had the same high quality western fiction as did SHORT STORIES. Then Doubleday sold the title in the mid thirties and it became just another western magazine.

There is an excellent anthology of stories from the magazine titled, WEST, edited by one of the editors, Collier.

Ron Scheer said...

Thanks, James. I like the 1920s covers. Did Russell ever illustrate for the pulps? I should know this, but I don't. I see he died the same year of this issue, 1926.

Walker Martin said...

Ron, I remember one cover by Russell for POPULAR MAGAZINE, otherwise I would not consider him as really an artist working in the pulp jungle.

Todd Mason said...

Walker, most of the people I speak to suggest that DIME WESTERN gets the nod among the western pulps, perhaps mostly as the great innovator in the field. But I'll believe the early WEST was in the same league.

James, just because of the red/yellow sun dichotomy, I'll bet that's supposed to be a morning sun, but it isn't Setting In the West that way, is it. And I think we remember Jenkins/Leinster as an sf writer, as the field he wound up in, but at this point he was, as you note, a utility fictioneer.

A handsome cover.

Walker Martin said...

I agree that DIME WESTERN and even STAR WESTERN were also top quality magazines for western fiction. Nick Eggenhofer, one of the greatest of the western illustrators, did alot of interior art for WESTERN STORY and DIME WESTERN and STAR WESTERN.

The cover artist for this issue of WEST is James C. McKell(He is credited on the contents page). McKell was one of the better artists and did many covers for the magazine.

beb said...

I've noticed that with a number of pulps Murray Leinster shows up in the first few issues with a bunch of stories then fades away as the magazine begins to find its stale of regular writers. I've wondered about that. Did he pursue new titles and shower them with spec fiction or was he sought out by publishers who knew he would write reliable good fiction for them.