Blood ‘N’ Thunder Vol. 2 #1
Magazine – Murania Press – Summer 2019 – 91 pages
Between 2002 and 2016, Blood ‘n’ Thunder was the premier journal for devotees of adventure, mystery and melodrama in American popular culture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This award-winning magazine, written by enthusiasts for enthusiasts, eventually expanded its readership to include casual fans of vintage storytelling mediums: pulp fiction, motion pictures, Old Time Radio drama, and so on. BnT, moribund for three years, has now returned in a new format but with the same excellence of writing and research. The articles and essays are scholarly without being dry or academic in nature; no publish-or-perish tedium here.
This revival issue covers a variety of subjects, all related to pulp fiction. David Kalb documents the history of the long-lost 1941-42 radio series featuring Street & Smith’s Avenger; he compares recently uncovered scripts to the novels from which they are adapted. David Saunders, whose father Norman was among the most prolific painters of lurid pulp covers, profiles the forgotten publisher J. Thomas Wood. Novelist and pop-culture historian Will Murray weighs in on pulp pulchritude—an appreciation of artists whose covers sported alluring women. Indefatigable researcher Rick Lai offers a detailed chronology of the Jimgrim saga, a multi-novel series penned by pulp-fiction giant Talbot Mundy. Blood ‘n’ Thunder editor Ed Hulse celebrates the Zorro centennial (he first appeared in a 1919 issue of the legendary All-Story Weekly) with a behind-the-scenes account of the making of Douglas Fairbanks’ 1920 swashbuckling hit The Mark of Zorro. Ed also documents the making of Hawk of the Wilderness, a 1938 cliffhanger serial adapted from the popular imitation-Tarzan novels that appeared in the venerable pulp Blue Book.