Thursday, April 25, 2013


Here's the fourth and final pulp mag I bought at that Las Vegas antique store a couple of years ago. It's THE SPOOK OF GRANDPA EBEN from December 1943. 

I have never read this Doc Savage adventure but from what I've gathered from reviews posted on the internet, it's not exactly Doc's finest hour. By this point in the life of DOC SAVAGE magazine, it's clear that the title had begun circling the drain. The dimensions of the magazine were reduced to almost digest size, the page count per issue was cut and the stories featured Doc in the role of a "science detective" more than a globe-trotting adventurer. But you know what's really wrong with this pulp and the one featured in yesterday's post (THE SECRET OF THE SU)? I'll give you a second to think about the answer which should be pretty obvious to anyone paying attention.

Got it? Did you figure out that the problem with these pulps is that DOC SAVAGE IS NOT ON THE COVER OF HIS OWN MAGAZINE!? Come on, it's the middle of WWII and pulp circulation is on the decline. You want to sell as many mags as you can and what does Street and Smith do to one of their best hero pulps? They take the hero off of the cover. Who's the marketing genius that came up with that idea? 

Still, it's a genuine DOC SAVAGE  pulp magazine from 1943 and it's a keeper, even without Doc on the cover.

Here's the cover of the Bantam DOC SAVAGE Omnibus that reprinted THE SPOOK OF GRANDPA EBEN, along with three other shorter Doc adventures. Doc and the Fabulous Five make the cover here and while the artwork is nice, it's fairly generic. Not much to get excited about here. 

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