Blood ‘N’ Thunder Vol. 2 #2
Magazine – Murania Press – Fall 2019 – 89 pages
The second issue of the revived Blood ‘n’ Thunder opens with a special section devoted to Jimmie Dale, alias the Gray Seal, Frank L. Packard’s World War I-vintage protagonist whose adventures in Street & Smith’s People’s Magazine presaged the Depression-era hero-pulp phenomenon. Award-winning writer, editor, documentarian, and pop-culture historian Don Hutchison makes his first appearance in BnT with “Death to the Gray Seal!”, an overview of the legendary character. Then editor Ed Hulse offers “The Celluloid ‘Seal’,” which recounts Jimmie Dale’s brief but tumultuous history on film.
Novelist and pulp historian Will Murray is back with “The Spicy Mrs. Schwartz,” another of his fascinating examples of literary detective work. This time Will trains his attention on one of Spicy Detective‘s most unlikely contributors.
BnT presents a long-forgotten short story by Richard Sale, prolific fictioneer who eventually became a Hollywood hyphenate (writer-producer-director) but is best known for his detective yarns in the Munsey pulps. Sale’s 1935 “Mellow Drama” is a clever send-up of rough-paper magazines in general and hero pulps in particular.
The making of Republic Pictures’ episodic epic Spy Smasher (1942), based on the popular Fawcett Publication comic book and still considered one of the finest chapter plays ever, is fully documented in Ed Hulse’s “Anatomy of a Serial,” which presents material gleaned from Republic studio files and first-hand interviews with selected cast and crew members. This 8000-word essay chronicles production from the 1941 licensing of screen rights to the efforts of exhibitors to promote the serial while it was in release. Nothing like it has ever been written by the form’s historians.
That relentless researcher of all things Old Time Radio, Karl Schadow, contributes “Avenger Addendum,” a brief article that supplements last issue’s piece on the 1941 series that adapted Street & Smith’s character The Avenger.
The latest BnT also includes reviews and reference material sure to be of interest to pulp-fiction aficionados. And, as always, the magazine is profusely illustrated.