Sunday, 28 February 2010

Thomas P. Kelley - Prince of the Canadian Pulp Recyclers

A 1982 article (John Robert Colombo, "Has Anybody Seen Thomas P. Kelley?", The Globe and Mail, January 9, 1982, p. E13) about Kelley referred to him as the self-described "King of the Canadian Pulp Writers". I suggest he is also "Prince of the Canadian Pulp Recyclers".

Four collections of his true-crime stories were published by four publishers - Harlequin Books, Arrow Publishing, Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Canada's White Circle and Federal Publishing (under a pseudonym). There were 67 stories in the books but 10 were published twice and two, three times, leaving 53 different stories. The Arrow and Harlequin collections each had one-half of the stories duplicated. None of the stories were duplicated exactly. All but two had different titles and those in the White Circle were 2/3 to 3/4 shorter. Title changes reflect the intended audience with Federal's being the most lurid.

Only the White Circle gave the original printing of the stories - in New Liberty Magazine. The other stories were likely first published in the true-crime magazines. The Federal is magazine size, the rest mass market.

Oddly, Export Publishing Enterprises, while publishing three books by Kelley, didn't have a collection from him. Export did publish a collection of detective fiction by various contributors, any one or more of whom might have been a Kelley pseudonym.

1)      Arrow 115 The Hairy Man / Harlequin 435 The Hairy Man
2)      Arrow 115 The Terrible Donnelly Feud / White Circle 378 The Donnelly Feud
3)      Arrow 115 Rev. Wilson - Safe Cracker / White Circle 378 Reverend Wilson - King of the Cracksmen
4)      Arrow 115 Red Ryan - Bank Robber / White Circle 378 Rise and Fall of "Red" Ryan
5)      Arrow 115 Four Bad Men / White Circle 378 The Murderin' McLeans
6)      Federal Big Book 1 Toronto's Lewd Lady / Harlequin 435 Unholy Passion / White Circle 378 Where is John Hogan?
7)      Harlequin 435 The Midnight Riders / White Circle 378 The Midnight Riders
8)      Federal Big Book 1 Quebec's She-Devil / White Circle 378 Quebec Witch
9)      Harlequin 435 The Toronto Terror / White Circle 378 The Blazing Deathbed 
10)    Federal Big Book 1 Silky Siren of Disaster / Harlequin 435 Betraying Jezebel / White Circle 378 The Crime of Doctor King
11)    Federal Big Book 1 Backwoods Sister of Sin / White Circle 378 The Gowan Triangle
12)    Federal Big Book 1 Witch With an Axe on Fire / White Circle 378 The Headless Victim

Arrow 115 February 1950 - 10 stories

Federal Big Book 1 1950 - 16 stories

Harlequin 435 August 1958 - 11 stories (art by Norm Eastman)

White Circle 378 1949 - 30 stories

News Stand Library 123 August 1950

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