Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday Morning Bonus Pulp: Adventure, October 1, 1930

I didn't know you could still buy pith helmets, but I checked on Amazon and they have a bunch of 'em. I'll have to give that some thought. In the meantime, here's another great issue of ADVENTURE with stories by H. Bedford-Jones. Arthur O. Friel, Hugh Pendexter, L. Patrick Greene, and an article by W.C. Tuttle. No wonder ADVENTURE is regarded as one of the best pulp magazines ever published.


Bill Crider said...

If you buy a pith helmet, put it on, take a picture, and post it immediately.

Keith West said...

What Bill said.

Jerry House said...

I've always wondered who would buy one of those and why they are lisping.

Keith Souter said...

I have one!

Stephen Mertz said...

What Bill said.

Peter Brandvold said...

What Bill said, and…I'll give you fifty bucks to wear it through Walmart. But Livia's going to have to videotape for evidence.

James Reasoner said...

Walmart? Who would notice? But I'm tempted to do it anyway. Fifty bucks is fifty bucks. (The code of the freelancer.)

Cap'n Bob said...

I've seen them at military surplus stores. "Hoo-ray for Captain Spaulding..."

S. Craig Zahler said...

There aren't many Adventure writers whose work I enjoyed as much as that of Harold Lamb, but Arthur O. Friel and L. Patrick Greene are way, way up there.

Does Mr. Reasoner or anybody else have a favorite issue or story or series from this great pulp magazine?

Walker Martin said...

Craig asks if anyone has a story or favorite series from ADVENTURE. It's my favorite fiction magazine and I have all of the pulp issues, 753 issues from 1910 through 1953. I've been collecting and reading the magazine since around 1970, that's over 40 years now.

BLOOD n THUNDER MAGAZINE had a special issue devoted to ADVENTURE. The Summer 2010 issue is available from for $11.95. It's over a 100 pages and you can get it by simply typing in BLOOD n THUNDER, Summer 2010. There is a long article on Gordon Young but the main article is a long piece by several collectors concerning their favorite issues of ADVENTURE.

I picked out a dozen issues mainly from the 1920's and explained why each issue was a favorite. My picks are on pages 50-56. As to a particular story, I would recommend BAREHANDED CASTAWAYS by J. Allan Dunn in the December 20, 1921 issue. It's a complete novel and is available as a reprint from and It is one of the greatest desert island stories ever written completely turns inside out all the clich├ęs and themes usually found in such tales. The readers loved it and voted it as a favorite story.

S. Craig Zahler said...

Mr. Martin,

Thanks for the thoughtful response. And WOW that's impressive that you have a FILE of Adventure---I have only about 10 issues (mostly ASH era) and am reading the 25th anniversary issue right now. I just finished Armadilho by O'Friel, which was really terrific, sombre, and emotional. Not many better writers than that guy.

A year ago I read, really enjoyed, and reviewed Barehanded Castaways (this review I posted on Amazon & Goodreads). It is really strong, and quite different from the other J. Allan Dunn stories that I've read. I like all of his work that I've come across, though his tone is often less sympathetic/more arrogant than what is found in the works of Greene, Mundy, Lamb, Nason, O'Friel, etc.

I also read that issue of Blood N Thunder that you mentioned a couple years ago, but though I enjoyed it, I did not find it quite as helpful as I would've liked, since so often "a chunk of a serialized story" was the main reason that people chose their favorite issues. I read all of my pulps cover to cover--ask adventure, campfire, even lost trails, etc.--except only that I will not read incomplete stories, so an issue that has "a piece of a novel" might as well not have that piece unless I am getting all of the other pieces. Perhaps there were some exceptions to those kinds of recommendations, but my memory of the piece in BnT was that most collectors valued issues highly for having these incomplete, serialized bits.

Great complete novels, great novelettes, and great shorts are what I am most interested in, followed perhaps by 2 parter serials.

Walker Martin said...

Craig, I just looked at my piece on my favorite issues of ADVENTURE and yes I did pick many serials for praise. But I also mentioned my favorite complete stories and authors in the dozen issues that I picked as the best.

But I've heard your complaint about serials from many collectors. It is a daunting task to try and complete a six part serial from the 1930's or 1920's. But the thing about ADVENTURE is that the quality of the magazine was so high and they usually limited serials to one or at most two an issue. Therefor you have plenty of great reading with the complete stories. This is not so true with ARGOSY and ALL STORY which sometimes had 4, 5, or even 6 serials running in each issue. SHORT STORIES and BLUEBOOK, like ADVENTURE, limited their serials to one each issue.

The editor once said that the typical issue in the 1920's contained 127,000 words of reading matter. So even figuring 27,000 words for the serial, that still leaves 100,000 words of complete stories. Frankly the magazine was so good, especially during the 1918-1927 period, that if you have the space and spare money, I'd recommend collecting the complete run.

It's not as impossible as it may sound. Ed Hulse has managed to find most of issues during the past 10 years by attending Pulpfest and Windy City conventions. You can not only find back issues of all the pulps at these shows but you also can make the necessary contacts with other collectors and dealers in order to buy more issues through the mail. And don't forget, collecting books and pulps is fun and very entertaining, not the terrible job that it may sound like. I still remember the thrill of buying a complete set of all the 1940's ADVENTURE'S in 1972 at Pulpcon in St. Louis. The issues were so good that I had to start buying the rest of the run.

ADVENTURES in the 1920's usually sell for around $20.00 each, which is quite reasonable when you consider the amount and quality of the fiction that you are getting.

For more comments on the best stories in ADVENTURE, I recommend Richard Bleiler's ADVENTURE INDEX which has a long introduction talking about the magazine and Robert Jones' short book on ADVENTURE.

S. Craig Zahler said...

Walker Martin,

Thanks for taking this time to inform me of this at the Reasonerblogspot Campfire Station. I'll review that BnT piece again--it was a while back and before I had read any Adventure.

Thanks for the tips---I'll look into both of those books.

My experiences thus far online have been that Adventure issues from the prime ASH era cost at least twice that for one in very good plus condition or better, about $40 or $50, but money isn't the factor for me either way, though space is an issue.
The main thing with me is that I am a reader first and a collector second, and every single pulp that I buy, I buy with the intention of reading, cover to cover, and additionally, I am a somewhat slow reader who soaks up every detail, so I tend to jump back and forth between genres to keep things fresh.

But yes, I have contemplated getting a few RUNS of early/mid-twenties Adventure, because, like you said, the quality is so very, very consistent. I've read about 2,000 pages of Adventure pulps and Adventure reprints at this point in my life...and of these I've read only one story that I didn't like and only a couple that were okay. And out of nowhere come quality stories by writers I've never seen discussed-- gems by Thierry (?), Bercovici (?), Skinner (?) like Foot of the Baboon, Bear Tamer's Daughter, and Quest of the Red Elk, every one worthy of reprint and wholly unpredictable. In my experience, Adventure is mainly comprised of enjoyable or good or very damn good stuff. I like the Campfire and relish Ask Adventure.

As for my collector's impulses...I am not immune, and I am certainly VERY interested in finding some original art from this pulp. I would certainly spend some bucks for one of those distinctively drawn, dotted-line headings that Will Crawford did for Adventure---those are some of favorite interiors ever in any magazine, pulp or otherwise.

I am about to travel for work and may not be able to reply for a couple of weeks, but any other thoughts you have are welcome at the digital campfire... Clearly, you are an expert on the subject of this rich magazine.

Walker Martin said...

You are right, ROUGH EDGES does seem like a Campfire Station, just like in the old ADVENTURE magazines. In fact at this year's Pulpfest in August, three of us wore special T-shirts showing the "71" which represents the Campfire Station. It's been decades since there were any stations but for that weekend we turned Columbus, Ohio into a Station for lovers and readers of ADVENTURE.

I also collect original art from the pulps and I've managed to find 5 cover paintings that were used by ADVENTURE. I also have two interiors but nothing by Will Crawford, who is one of my favorites. His detailed work is amazing but unfortunately does not show up well on the pulp paper.

James Reasoner said...

Craig and Walker, I've really enjoyed this conversation between the two of you. I like to think the comments on a blog are like sitting around a hotel lobby at a convention, shooting the breeze with fellow fans, and this has certainly seemed like that. Good luck on your trip, Craig.

By the way, for those who aren't aware of it, Craig is the author of several excellent novels.