Sunday, March 21, 2021

Sunday Morning Bonus Pulp: Smashing Detective Stories, December 1952

That's a striking cover on this late detective pulp from Columbia. As usual, editor Robert Lowndes has assembled a good-looking pulp with some very good authors inside, even on a low budget. In this case, that group includes Richard Deming, Robert Turner, Seven Anderton, Thomas Thursday, and Richard Brister. Those guys are nearly always worth reading.

UPDATE: Lowell Wilson points out this cover is a swipe from Ray Johnson's cover for CHARLIE CHAN CARRIES ON. I assume that Johnson did this SMASHING DETECTIVE cover, as well. I've seen several mentions of Johnson's work lately. He was an excellent cover artist.



Unknown said...

I was struck by the familiarity of that cover image and checked my Avons and it's definitely a swipe of the Ray Johnson classic cover to Avon #350 Charlie Chan Carries on by Earl Derr Biggers. I don't know if/how to post an image here but can provide one for comparison if you like.

- Lowell Wilson

James Reasoner said...

Great catch! I got an image of that Avon cover on-line and will update the post. I've seen several people mention Ray Johnson lately. I like his work.

Unknown said...

Thanks James. It's hard to say if Ray did the pulp cover. I assume there's no cover credit inside? I may have to try to get a copy to study it up close. The gent's face doesn't look like a Ray guy but it could be. We're uncovering more about his work all the time. The woman has the look but it could just be a skilled copyist.

Ray did a bunch of Men's adventure mag covers but I've never seen an actual pulp cover by him, nor have a group of collectors I'm working with to figure out the bio of the guy dubbed "The Great Mystery Man" of paperback covers by some!

Thanks so much for posting this. I'm sure my friends will find it very interesting!

James Reasoner said...

Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of that issue. The image came from the Fictionmags Index, which doesn't include an artist credit for the cover. In looking closer at the two images, I kind of agree that the pulp cover may not be by Johnson but rather an actual swipe by somebody else. The guy's face is considerably different.