Pulpflakes Blog: The Secrets Of The Pulps

For over five decades, the pulp magazines entertained people all over the world. Discover the people behind them; the authors, editors, illustrators and their stories. Look behind the scenes and learn the secrets of storytelling.

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  • Simple, Fast search of the FictionMags Index

    Simple, fast search of the FictionMags Index. It’s finally here. https://pulpflakes.com/fmisearch/ The FictionMags Index (FMI) is the biggest online index of English language fiction published in periodicals. Search the FMI by author or artist name, magazine title or look for a specific issue by date or issue number. Tips and tricks While search tolerates partial……


  • Secrets of the Mask, part 16: Sex appeal

    Last week we saw Harry Widmer took over Black Mask after Ken White left. He changed the look of the magazine, but were there changes in the content to appeal to a new audience and if so, what were they? Let’s find out by examining the January 1950 issue. Sex appeal The cover harks back……


  • Secrets of the Mask, part 15: Ace Editor

    With Ken White’s departure, the magazine was edited by Harry Widmer who had previously worked at Ace (1904-1970). Widmer is a man of mystery; one of those editors whose contributions to the pulps are unrecognized even by most pulp fans. He grew up in New York, I couldn’t find out anything about his childhood and……


  • Secrets of the Mask, part 14: The new hard-boiled

    Last week, we saw Popular Publications was struggling to make money on Black Mask at the fifteen cent price point in 1946. How could they make it work? In May 1946, Black Mask went to publishing every other month, a sure sign of trouble. Detective Fiction Weekly had stopped publication in 1944. Dime Detective was……


  • Secrets of the Mask, part 13: Nickel and Dime Detective

    There’s visible improvement in the January 1942 issue of Black Mask. More pages, for a start. 128 pages excluding the covers, and a readable font. There are nineteen pages of ads, so actual fiction is around 112 pages. One more story than the Ellsworth era issue we saw recently. The price is the same, fifteen……