Monday, March 31, 2014
Monday Morning Digest Magazine: Doc Savage, October 1946
We think of DOC SAVAGE as a pulp first, and rightly so since it's one of the most iconic pulps ever. But for a good part of the Forties it was a digest magazine, like Street & Smith's other former pulps THE SHADOW, WESTERN STORY, and ASTOUNDING. I know some people don't care for the series, but I was a huge fan after picking up the Bantam reprint of METEOR MENACE from the spinner rack in Tompkins' Pharmacy after school one afternoon in 1964. (Fifty years ago! Hard to believe.)
Anyway, I bought and read those Bantam paperbacks faithfully all through junior high and high school, and so did my friend Gary Looney. We rehashed the plots endlessly. I knew the novels had appeared originally in pulp magazines, although I had never seen one.
Then one day at school, Gary handed me a copy of the October 1946 issue containing the Doc Savage novel DEATH IN LITTLE HOUSES. He had found it at the First Monday flea market in Weatherford and wanted me to have it, since he knew I was an even bigger Doc fan than he was. Sure, it was a digest, and the cover's nothing to write home about, but it was an actual DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE, not a reprint. In fact, at that time it would still be years before DEATH IN LITTLE HOUSES was reprinted, so I was able to read a story that your average Doc fan in those days couldn't. It was a wonderful thing.
Later I bought some more Doc digests at Collectors Bookstore in Corpus Christi and was glad to have them, too. To this day, I've still never owned a pulp-sized issue of DOC SAVAGE, although I've read most of the novels in reprints, as well as some of Will Murray's new Doc novels.
Is DEATH IN LITTLE HOUSES any good? I haven't read it since high school, but I remember enjoying it. Maybe I'll reread it one of these days.