Go Full Pulp Today!
The Arbo Files
Saturday mornings are often difficult for me. Coming up with something worthwhile to write (and worthwhile for you to read) every single week is not the easiest task. Sometimes the little gray cells fart and expire with nothing to show for it. Such is life.
However, this particular morning, whilst trawling the Internet for ideas, I stumbled on a wonderful website that every member of the PVLP KVLT should be aware of. The site is Pulp Magazines.org. This website is an absolute marvel for all fans of pulp literature and culture. According to the monthly updates, the site’s administrator is currently dealing with a serious health issue (heart surgery to replace an aortic valve), so going to and enjoying this website has the added effect of increasing traffic and possibly revenue for the fine people behind-the-scenes.
But what is on the website?
“Old Comics” directs readers to five issues of Actions Comics from 1938. As you might know, the June 1938 issue of Action Comics introduced the world to Superman. If you are interested, guess what? You can read that issue as a PDF directly from Pulp Magazines.org. Speaking of reading, clicking on “Pulp Magazines” takes you directly to a slew of pulp publications from the 1890s to the 1960s. Clicking on the covers links you to the issue in question, which is re-released as a PDF for your reading pleasure. That’s right, PVLP KVLTISTS, you can right now read the original pulp magazines without having to drop a dime!
Here are some highlights from the “Pulp Magazines” section:
Multiple issues of Weird Tales that are free to read. You can enjoy the May 1924 issue featuring H.P. Lovecraft’s ghost-written story, “Imprisoned with the Pharaohs” with its original artwork. Or you can pour over the June 1928 issue featuring Lovecraft’s “The Lurking Fear,” a Jules de Grandin mystery tale, and poems by Donald Wandrei and Manly Wade Wellman. Other standouts include the June 1933 issue featuring a cover story by Robert E. Howard, and the December 1939 issue that contains a great yarn by David H. Keller, one of “Big” Dave Martel’s favorite pulp writers.
Besides Weird Tales, Pulp Magazines.org also has PDFs of Black Mask, The Shadow, The Spider (article on him coming soon), Strange Tales, Terror Tales, and even Flash Gordon. Let this be your method of entry into the writing worlds of the titans like Clark Ashton Smith and Dashiell Hammett, as well as the lesser-known heavyweights like Wyatt Blassingame, Frederick Nebel, and Hugh B. Cave.
“Audiobooks” is a great resource that links to free audiobooks representing multiple genres. One can listen to The Maltese Falcon, Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie, and The Hand of Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer in the “Mystery” section. If one prefers science fiction, then a sampling includes A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick, and a pair of novels by the immortal H.G. Wells. Not to be outdone, Western, Adventure, and Horror are well-represented by authors of the caliber of Zane Grey, Jules Verne, and Bram Stoker.
“Pulp Movies” is a fairly long list of films from the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s that are all free to watch. Personal favorites include The Ghoul (1933) featuring Boris Karloff as an Egyptologist back from the dead; Invisible Ghost (1941), which features Bela Lugosi in a rare role as a sympathetic character; Call Northside 777 (1948), a great noir with Jimmy Stewart; and The Most Dangerous Game (1932), the classic adventure film shot on the same sets as King Kong.
It is pretty simple from here. If you have time to kill, then kill it with this amazing website. Immerse yourself in the original pulp magazines, with their wonderful ads and artwork. Get lost in the audiobooks and films, all of which have connections to pulp authors and pulp themes. There is no better way to spend a day, so don’t delay.
Arbo encourages you to go full PVLP!
Love this! Thanks for sharing a great resource. I know what I'm doing this weekend.
Excellent! And thank you for the heads up, looks like a great website