The origins of Real Detective are obscure, as is the case with many of the oldest pulp magazines. It’s believed that it started in 1922 as a magazine called Detective Tales and it was an all-fiction magazine. However, when the publisher ran into financial trouble two years later, Detective Tales was sold to a new publisher who started to mix true crime with the short fiction. The name of the magazine was changed to Real Detective Tales and Mystery Stories, which was certainly a mouthful.
Then, 1931, the name of the magazine was changed again, this time to just Real Detective. The magazine’s format was now exclusively true crime and salacious scandal. The new format proved popular enough that Real Detective ran until 1985. Below are a few covers from the early days of Real Detective. (Around 1954, Real Detective went from hiring illustrators to draw their covers to hiring photographers to take pictures of distressed-looking models.) Where known, the artist has been credited.
Can you guess what Fight Stories was about?
Fight Stories made its debut in 1928 and it was the first all-fiction magazine to be devoted to an entire sport. Every issue was full of boxing stories from some of the most well-regarded of the pulp authors. Robert E. Howard, who is best-remembered for creating Conan the Barbarian, was one of the writers who was regularly featured in Fight Stories.
Published at the height of boxing’s popularity, Fight Stories was an unqualified success and ended up running, off-and-on, until 1952. In all, there were a 106 issues of Fight Stories. Below are just a few of the covers of Fight Stories. Not surprisingly, they all follow the same basic theme:
Who was Captain Future? He was Curtis Newton, who was born on the moon and who, after the murder of his parents by intergalactic spies, was raised and trained by a scientist and two robots. Captain Future kept the solar system safe from crime and other extraterrestrial threats. His adventures took place in the distant future year of … 1990. (At the time his stories were published, that was the future!) Captain Future headlined his own magazine from 1940 to 1951, with additional stories appearing in publications like Startling Stories and Amazing Stories.
Below are a few covers from Captain Future’s adventures. The majority of these were done by Earle Bergey, though Rudolph Belarski and Jerome Rozen did some work on the series as well.
Tomorrow is Mardi Gras. For many people, it will be their last chance to celebrate and indulge before the start of Lent. Though there are annual celebrations across the country, the city that everyone think of when they hear the words “Mardi Gras” is New Orleans. If you’ve not going to be able to get down to New Orleans this year to celebrate Mardi Gras, don’t worry. Through the Shattered Lens has got you covered with these New Orleans and Mardi Gras-related pulp covers!