Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Last of the Illustrated Political Satire Magazines. The Trumpeter. 1936

In the days on the all-encompassing internet, this magazine, its illustrator and its publisher are amazingly silent. The Trumpeter was published for thirteen bi-monthly issues between April 15th and October 25th 1936. ULS lists 16 institutional holdings 6 of which are complete. I own eight of them.
The magazine is really a combination of a satire and a campaign publication. The latter are short-run periodicals published in support of a presidential candidate. They have been around since 1828 and the ultimate reference is The People's Voice. An Annotated Bibliography of American Presidential Campaign Newspapers, 1828-1984, compiled by William Miles, Greenwood Press, 1987. Interestingly, The Trumpeter is not listed.

Here are a few examples of rare campaign papers from by collection. The Huge Paw (A Pierce item) is not in Miles or ULS.

Illustrated satire magazines have been around since the 1830's. The first was probably this one:
It is exquitely rare and contains extremely obscure references to and the earliest known illustration of Davy Crockett (RIP Fess Parker 1924-2010).

The grandaddy and most important and first successful of all illustrated political satire magazines was Joseph Keppler's Puck, (English language edition March 17th 1877 - 1918) originally published in German. Puck was the first magazine to carry illustrated advertising and the first to successfully adopt full color lithography printing for a weekly publication.

Puck was a tool of the Democratic Party. It was soon to be joined by a Republican rival, Judg

Here are a few other examples, including Richard West's favorite, The Verdict. Other than Puck and Judge (Random volumes sell between 300 and 600 dollars), all the others are quite scarce. All are highly collected.

The images on this blog of The Trumpeter are the first to appear on the web. It was published by the Young Republican Division of the Republican National Committee and obviously died along with the presidential aspirations of Alf Landon after the most one-sided election in American history (as did the large circulation Literary Digest which amazingly predicted a Landon landslide!).

The first issue I obtained was the last one (seen at the top of the blog). I particularly enjoyed the caricatures of New Dealers Farley, Wallace and Tugwell. As usual, FDR's polio is completely ignored, even in a rival publication, such was his power over the media.
Here's a few more examples:

The October 10th issue features an article by the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Frank Knox, who went on to become FDR's Secretary of the Navy in 1940. I can think of no other examples of a former opponent being in a presidential cabinet.

The illustrator was William C. Morris, a talented artist who Richard tells me had worked for Harpers Weekly and a few other magazines in the past, disappeared for a few decades then resurfaced with this title. I can find no reference to him on the web, nor is he in Sloane's comprehensive volume (nor is The Trumpeter). The editor was R.H. Sanger, equally obscure.

No similar publication has appeared since. Long live the memory of this great genre of magazines!

Happy Springtime. See you again soon.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Edgar Rice Burroughs in Magazines

My recent acquisition of the very scarce magazine below, the first episode of "Under the Moons of Mars" the first appearance of Burroughs in print, for $1320 (1200+ 10% buyers premium) in the recent Adventure House auction of the Darrell Richardson collection is the motivation for this long overdue post. I had never previously had the opportunity to get it, other than in a run of the six episodes offerred and refused at $8000 from a private collector a number of years ago. (I also acquired three other first issue pulps in a true feeding frenzy from the catalog ).

It represents a milestone in American fiction, the beginning of the serious literary career (at age 36) of one of America's most collectible writers. The manuscript of this interplanetary romance between earthling John Carter and the beautiful Martian princess Dejah Thoris was submitted to All Story on September 28, 1911 and published in six parts. Originally submitted under the pseudonym of a "Normal Bean", somehow the byline entered posterity as Norman Bean.

Far and away, the most comprehensive reference on Burroughs is Edgar Rice Burroughs. The Exhaustive Scholar's and Collector's Descriptive Bibiography by Robert B. Zeuschner: (McFarland 1996). A good price guide for individual magazine issues can be found in the Bookery Fantasy Guide by Tim Cottrill.
Burrough's went on to enjoy a long association with magazines, most famously for "Tarzan of the Apes", his second published effort, in All-Story in October 1912. Since it was published in its entirety and is featured on the cover, this magazine remains the most valuable individual issue of any, with a legitimate 2010 value in the range of $25,000 in decent condition. There are a few dozen copies known the pulp collectors and dealers (as per an anecdotal conversion with John Gunnison).

The announcement of its publication appeared on the title page of All Story the previous month.

After two rejections of his second Tarzan story by All-Story, Burrough's submitted it to New Story, who promptly purchased it for $1000 dollars and ran it in seven parts between June and December 1913. Two of the issues are featured on the cover, illustrated by the legendary N.C. Wyeth, the second of which became the dust jacket illustration for the later book.

Complete magazine runs of this story are exceedingly rare, perhaps two or three in existence in their original state. The cover issues bring about $3000 dollars each.

All-Story eventually became a weekly and went thorough a number of mergers and title changes. Here are a few of the Tarzan covers from my collection.

Burroughs' appearances in magazines remain today highly sought and valuable.

Six in All-Story
Two in New Story
Thirteen in All-Story Weekly
Nineteen in Blue Book
Ten in Argosy Weekly
Four in All-Story Cavalier
One in All-Around
One in Amazing Stories Annual
One in Idle-Hour (exremely rare)
Seven in Amazing Stories Quarterly
Three (reprinted) in Modern Mechanics and Invention
Enjoy the beautiful spring day and "March Madness". I will be spending the late afternoon and evening with my son at our annual fantasy baseball draft (another form of wacky escapist obsessiveness).

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Last Installment of the 2005 Supplement. W-Z.

Sorry for the delay. The FDR madness has calmed considerably though there are a few more interesting events on the schedule.

Here's the usual pot pourri of items, many of which I've not had the opportunity to discuss elsewhere. A few blockbusters and a lot of great rarities.

periodically yours,