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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Fighting Crime One Dime At A Time

Fighting Crime One Dime At A Time (Hero Pulp Fiction)
By Ed Hulse
Murania Press
ISBN #978-1976273452
Price $24.95
220 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

This 8.5 x 11 inch production is a fun read, covering the hero – or single-character pulp titles that began with The Shadow in 1931 and dominated the newsstands until 1953, 22 years that saw good versus evil in literature, and good always triumphed. The heroes began after the Roaring Twenties, when readers were fed up with gangster rule, and the Depression laid low the working class in our society. Aimed at young audiences, they offered masked crime fighters who sometimes wore colorful or eclectic costumes that intrigued youthful minds. Their reign would end only after a world war, and an economy bouncing back from the abyss, and youngsters grown and looking for more mature fare. This book discusses the rise of story papers to dime novels, and eventually the pulp magazines, and finally the pulp hero. Most of it has been written before by earlier researches, but the writers involved visit the history again, in their own way, and I enjoyed every page.

Edited by Ed Hulse, who also writes the Introduction and some of the articles; we have these subjects: “The Great Transition: Story Papers and Dime Novels Yield To Pulp Magazines by Larry Latham; The Man In The Black Cloak: Did This Story Paper Character Influence The Shadow? By Joe Rainone; Reminiscences of Nick Carter: The Dime-Novel Precursor of Pulp Heroes by John Coryell; The House of Heroes: Street & Smith’s Single-Character Pulps by Ed Hulse; The Hero-Pulp Revolution Continues: Standard, Popular, Ace, and Fiction House Titles by Ed Hulse; Dithering Over Doc: Launching One of The Most Famous Hero Pulps by Will Murray; Disposable Heroes: Pulpdom’s Forgotten Crimebusters by Mark Trost; Archie Bittner and The Spider: The Case of the Missing “Master” by Will Murray; How Not To Write A Hero Pulp-Novel: Anatomy Of A Phantom Detective Outline by Mark Trost; Masked Rider of The (Pulps) Plains: A History of The Lone Ranger Magazine by Albert Tonic; The 20 Most Underrated Shadow Novels: Overlooked Entries From The Long-Running Series Chosen by Blood ‘n’ Thunder’s All-Star Panel of Judges; The Strange, Sad Story of Zarnak: The Pulp Hero Everybody Hated by Mark Trost; Three Aces In One Draw: Pulp Heroes In Comic Books by Mark Trost; Last Hurrahs: The Twilight of The Hero Pulps by Ed Hulse and Mark Trost; Appendix: Four-Color Fakery Reprinting Two Comic-Book Stories Adapted From Hero Pulps: The Mask and Major Mars.

It was nice seeing familiar names like Larry Latham and Albert Tonic in new publications once more. Their names were part of pulp fandom for many years. Will Murray and Joe Rainone have continued to be involved through the years, while Ed Hulse and Mark Trost - who began the Blood ‘n’ Thunder fan magazine in 2002 - have published ever since. Perhaps what is missing from the book are credits – there are many research books that preceded this tome that details Story Papers, Dime Novels, and the Hero Pulps, and should have been mentioned, if not credied. However, I highly recommend this book for any fan of the Pulp Heroes, be they Doc Savage fans, or Shadow fans, or any of the other heroes. It’s not only a good read, it gives insight to some of the happenings behind the scenes, and that’s always fun.

Tom Johnson


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