Thursday 29 June 2023

Star Weekly Novel - Part VI

I've mentioned that I estimate around 1880 Star Weekly Novels were published. This assumes they were published every week from 1938 to 1973. So far the oldest I've seen is May 1938 and latest is November 1973. 

The number of titles is an estimated 1700. The reason is a number of two- and three-part novels were published from 1960 to 1973. That works out to an average 2.1 books for each of the estimated 800 authors. Here are three who are among the estimated 600 with only one book.

Murder's Web by Dorothy Dunn (1913-1952) who published over sixty short stories in pulps but this appears to be her only novel. First published by Harper & Row (1951).

Rendezvous on an Island by Tod Claymore (1898-1964), pseudonym for Hugh Desmond Clevely. First published by Cassell (1957).

Black William by Robert Neill (1905-1979). First published by Hutchinson (1955).

Star Weekly Novel - August 26, 1950

Star Weekly Novel - August 20, 1955

Star Weekly Novel - December 7, 1957

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Star Weekly Novel Part V

I've mentioned authors and artists in earlier Star Weekly Novel posts. Here I'll start looking at genres. The series lasted for 36 years and nicely lines up with the middle third of the 20th century. From the annexation of Austria into the German Reich and the discovery of fission in 1938 to Watergate and the oil shock in 1973.

It was a time when the number of readers in the US and Canada grew very fast. The post war world of increased education levels and popularity of cheap paperbacks are some of the reasons for this change. The popular fiction genres were historical, romance, crime/thriller and Westerns. I don't yet have any numbers but each is well represented among the Star Weekly Novels.

Here are three Westerns.

Boss of the OK by Brett Rider, pseudonym of Arthur Henry Gooden (1879-1971)

The Galloping Ghost by William Colt MacDonald (1891-1968)

The Big Corral by Archie Joscelyn (1899-1986)

Star Weekly Complete Novel - December 29, 1951

Star  Weekly Complete Novel - May 8, 1943

Star Weekly Complete Novel - October 23, 1948

Sunday 18 June 2023

Star Weekly Novel Part IV

I've been able to find title/author information for 1460 Star Weekly Novels, 80% of the estimated 1880 published. So far I have identified the artwork on only 93 issues. There are 34 separate artists. Here are some examples.

Dance Without Music is illustrated by Mabel McDermott (?-?).  

Stranger in the Little House has an illustration by someone well known to readers of this blog - Harlequin cover artist Paul Anna Soik (1919-1999).

Where is Jenny Now? - art by American George Sottung (1927-1999). Here is more on this novel.

Star Weekly Complete Novel - December 3, 1960

Star Weekly Complete Novel - September 11, 1948

Star Weekly Complete Novel - January 11, 1958

Wednesday 14 June 2023

Star Weekly Novel Part III

In the first part of this series about the "Star Weekly Complete Novel" series of newspaper inserts I estimate that around 1880 issues were published. I continue to work on an accurate and complete list for this fascinating series. This post is about the authors.

I estimate there are between 750 and 850 authors whose works were published. From Edward S. Aarons to Phyllis Brett Young and Erle Stanley Gardner with at least 64 to Betty Friedan with one.

Here are some examples.

Star Weekly Complete Novel - July 21, 1945

Star Weekly Complete Novel - July 19,1947

Star Weekly Complete Novel - October 2, 1943

Monday 12 June 2023

Jesse James in Canada

Jesse James (1847-1882) came to Canada thanks to the self-styled "king of the Canadian pulp writers", Thomas P. Kelley

Kelley wrote a biography of James that was published by Toronto's Export Publishing Enterprises in their News Stand Library imprint. Export put out two editions with different numbers, one for each of the Canadian and US markets. The US version came in two variants, one with and one without a dust jacket.

Less well known is a shorter version published in Outlaws Ride the Range, a collection from Toronto's Pastime Publications described as an "Action Novel". Published circa 1946/47 for the post war UK market, it is a rare book, and Kelley is using one of his many pseudonyms, T. P. Monahon. The book has 15 chapters, the first five about various "outlaws", the last ten on James. Here is a detailed look at the book but I'll focus on chapters six through 15.

Chapter six is titled "Bad Bill" and describes the life of Bill Bailey who is killed by James. The first chapter in Export's book is titled "What Happened at the 'Bucket of Blood'". The first few paragraphs are different then the versions are nearly identical. The Export book has a further 16 chapters vs nine in the Pastime version. Here is how they line up, Export first then Pastime.

Chapter 3 ---> Chapter 7

Chapter 4 ---> Chapter 8

Chapter 5 ---> Chapter 9

Chapter 6 ---> Chapter 10

Chapters 7 and 8 ---> Chapters 11, 12 and 13

Chapter 9 ---> Chapter 14

Chapter 13 ---> Chapter 15

Export chapters 2, 10-12, 14-17 are not in the Pastime version. I haven't done a detailed comparison of the chapters but I would guess over 95% of the texts are identical.

News Stand Library 92 and 15A - January 1950

News Stand Library 92 and 15A back

News Stand Library 15A with Dust Jacket - January 1950

Pastime Publications [nn]