Introduction   On Racism   Epigraphs   A History of the Pulps   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z   Glossary   

Breakdown by Character Type   Breakdown by Country of Origin   Bibliography    Table of Contents

Epigraphs

(Which is to say, some quotes that are illustrative of my approach to researching this book, of my feelings about spending a decade researching a topic that only a handful of people will ever care about, and my general reaction to most of the characters and stories I read). 

It is not by the direct method of a scrupulous narration that the explorer of the past can hope to depict that singular epoch. If he is wise, he will adopt a subtler strategy. He will attack his subject in unexpected places; he will fall upon the flank, or the rear; he will shoot a sudden, revealing searchlight into obscure recesses, hitherto undivined. He will row out over that great ocean of material, and lower down into it, here and there, a little bucket, which will bring up to the light of day some characteristic specimen, from those far depths, to be examined with a careful curiosity.

- Lytton Strachey, Eminent Victorians

When you speak of those who comment on popular fiction, speak gently. They are childish in their enthusiasms, these commentators. They scratch endlessly in that gray-lighted immensity of forgotten novels, sniffing at the track of the past.

Bits of brown paper cling to their clothing. Their eyes are huge. Soiled papers bulge in their pockets, notes scribbled in the stacks. For they have had valuable insights and scrawled these down, so that the thoughts might not escape, not one–although how easily blunted these are when transmuted from thought to the written word.

Speak gently of these commentators. Their thoughts are not of this present. Their bodies consume dinners and feel the sun and even drive automobiles on public highways. But their minds, all interlocked with speculations on the past, balance the merits of books no one cares to read. In doing so, they achieve a sort of dusty happiness. Their candle dwindles. But little they notice that shrinking light. There is still another Nick Carter to read, another Cleek to consider, another cracksman to emplace in the shabby mosaic of their thought. They honor the forgotten. They search earnestly, stumbling from volume to volume, seeking to understand what is of dubious importance. Accident guides their minds as much as design.

Drop a nickle in their cup and hurry by. For Heaven’s sake, hurry! That one wants to tell you about Jimmie Dale.

- Robert Sampson, Yesterday’s Faces: Glory Days

This is fantastic! More! More! You’re all so wonderful! Why did they ever have to remove you from the continuity? You’d have made for marvelous stories!

- Grant Morrison, Animal Man

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