Welcome to Our Readers' Private Corner. This is where we'll be letting it all hang out, where you let us know what you want, and where we give it right back to you, straight up.

If you've got something to say about this site, its contents, or our various projects, give it to us straight. We're big boys -- we can take it!



Hello!

I'm just asking if you've had any progress with the Jo Gar publishing project. I'm a reader from the Philippines and my interest was piqued when I heard about Whitfield's Island Detective. Has it gone to press yet? I'd give a lot for a copy and I'm interested in republishing them here in the Philippines, their original setting. So many of the younger generation forget about the pre-War days...

Thanks for your time and I wish you good luck!

Elsa

 

What a wonderful letter and unique letter.

The Jo Gar book is in production and should go to press within the next two months. We have included all the stories that are not part of the novel and novelette that also ran in Black Mask. Also included are the two most famous (and long out of print) essays on Raoul Whitfield and on Jo Gar. As you know, Whitfield was raised in the Philippines for part of his youth, and although I cannot speak with personal knowledge--the atmosphere feels very authentic in these tales.

You will be able to order a copy from this web site or from our co publisher, Crippen & Landru, who also have a very nice site with many contemporary collections on their current list.

Thanks so much for writing.


AN ARGENTINIAN PULP FAN WRITES...

 

Hello Keith,

I can't believe it. Sincerely my heart is near to heaven. Thanks to you, and the people working behind Black Mask!!

I`m a pulp-fan who really loves those wonderfull pulps...I think I've one of more complete pulp collections of Argentina. Although I'm 28 years old, I'm a "specialist", thanks to my "pulp-friends" from USA... I have of course Spanish editions by old Black Mask authors, and Spanish editions of pulps.

I'd love to receive some E-mail from fellow pulps studious...I'll be waiting, behind the door...

SERGIO PULP LOGIOCO!
If you can put my e-mail in the page I'd love it. It's chesergioyeats@yahoo.com.

Hey, it is great to hear from you! Tell us more about your collection. You may have copies of stories and covers that we could use on the site.

What authors and stories do you have in Spanish? Perhaps we can run a story in both English and Spanish.

It would also be interesting to run some Spanish pulp covers--so if you have a scanner send some covers and Spanish copies of stories our way. Please stay in touch.


Dear Mr. Deutsch,

I've been on vacation and have finally gotten back to my personal inquiries on my grandfather, Pettersen Marzoni. Since my first email to you, I have learned a great deal about him and pulp fiction published in the 20s and 30s.

I found you through a simple search on the web on my grandfather, Pettersen Marzoni, which listed his story "Red Ether" in Weird Tales, which then led me to Black Mask.

My grandfather was a journalist who was purported to have written the "first" weekly film criticism column in an American newpaper, The Birmingham (Alabama) Age-Herald. He also happened to be an eye-witness to a tremendous 'shoot-out' between some local gangsters (?) in Birmingham, which seems to have made his journalistic career, and may have been the impetus for his fiction, which he wrote extensively through the mid 20's to the early 30's, when he died of a ruptured appendix and subsequent peritonitis. Pretty melodramatic stuff to find out about a relative you never met! My father never talked about his dad much, so I have stumbled upon all of this only after my father's death, going through some old papers he had.

Anyway, I have since learned that granddad published in Black Mask, Weird Tales, Metropolitan and Liberty. A novella published in Liberty, "Big Hearted Jim" was turned into a Hollywood film in the 30s. I am now trying to reconstruct his entire bibliography, and would appreciate any information you could give me on the following:

1. Other source materials to check for indexes to stories published in these magazines.
2. Any people who are well versed in this type of fiction who might be willing to aid me.
3. The names of any other weekly or monthly magazines that were publishing this type of fiction during the 20s-30s.

Thanks a million for any help you can give me. My aim here is to create a complete bibliography and ultimately copies of his stories, just for my own family. I look forward to hearing from you.

Dale M. Kellogg


What an interesting personality your grandfather was. He appears to have pioneered twentieth century mass market American entertainment just at the time it moved from the melodrama which describes his life to what we consider a more modern sensibility.
He appeared twice in Black Mask Magazine under his own name, Pettersen Marzoni: "Fear" was published in the second year of the magazine's existence, in December of 1921--Volume 4, No. 3! And "The Light That Lies" appeared in April of 1922 in Volume 5, No. 1.

This was a transitional moment for Black Mask writing, and American literature. Black Mask was about to move away from the stilted narrative line, inherited from nineteenth century melodrama, develop the sparse sentences, and more natural dialogue for which Dashiell Hammett and Ernest Hemingway have become legendary originators of modern twentieth century narration.

The fact that he appeared so early in Black Mask, and also apparently made an early entrance in Weird Tales is significant. These two magazines, along with All Story Weekly/Argosy, are considered so important to the development of American popular culture, they are the only three pulp magazine preserved in the special rare collections of the Library of Congress.

The fact that he published fiction early in both the most influential detective and mystery magazine, and also in the most influential fantasy and horror magazine of the last century is a significant accomplishment.

Add to that feat his claim to one of the first weekly film critics in America makes his career worthy of investigation. I have not read anything by him so I cannot judge the quality of his writing, but we already know enough about him to want to know much more.
I can suggest a number of guides to early pulp fiction writing, but I must warn you that it was common practice for writers for the early pulps to publish under pseudonyms--so the output you uncover may only be part of his fiction production. I discussed this issue at some length in an introduction and interview to a recent collection of Black Mask stories by Hugh B. Cave, who was writing contemporary of your grandfather. You might find that information in LONG LIVE THE DEAD The Black Mask Stories of Hugh B. Cave (Crippen & Landru 2000) useful to give you some idea of what it was like to be a popular fiction writer back then. We published that book last year in honor of Hugh's 90th birthday.

An excellent guide of encyclopedic depth to the detective pulp magazines and their authors is the two volume set by Cook and Miller: MYSTERY, DETECTIVE, AND ESPIONAGE FICTION A Checklist of Fiction in U.S. Pulp Magazines, 1915-1974 (Garland Publishing 1988).

I suspect that in the end it may turn out that Pettersen Marzoni, despite his undeniable achievement, remains one of the legion of magazine writers time has passed by, and that he will be too obscure for any of the experts in the field to have gathered any special knowledge.

Thanks so much for writing to us at Black Mask. I will pass along your inquiry to the staff at our web site, and have something posted on our Bulletin Board.

There are fans and professional scholars of the pulps who go on these quests into our pulp past on a regular basis. It can be very frustrating--but sometimes it leads to wonderful and fascinating discoveries. Good Hunting!


Dear Keith,

March 24, 2001 - Just a short note to let you know how wonderful this site is. I'm a relative newcomer to the world of pulps, and your web site absolutely made my day. Looking forward to those anthologies, including my favorite guy, Frederick Nebel.

Hugh Lessig
The Frisco Foil

Thanks so much, Hugh. But you're being entirely too modest. For those of you who don't know, Hugh's stories, featuring hard-boiled newshawks such as Picasso Smith and Alamo Barnes, which have appeared in his own The Frisco Foil, Blue Murder, The Thrilling Detective Web Site and elsewhere, capture perfectly the spirit of Black Mask's own two-fisted reporters.


We're looking for letters, stories and contributions. Send them by email or by snail mail to:

Keith Alan Deutsch,
Editor
Black Mask Magazine, Inc.
26 Dixon Drive
Woodbridge, NJ 07095
E-mail: admin@blackmaskmagazine.com

or

Kevin Burton Smith
Web Editor
E-mail: kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com

Hey, like I keep sayin' --
IT'S A GOD DAMN PULP REVIVAL!

Editor-in-Chief
Rob Preston

Entire web site Copyright © Black Mask Magazine, Inc. 2000, 2001. All Rights Reserved.
Entire web site Copyright © Keith Alan Deutsch 2000, 2001. All Rights Reserved.