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 and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Jenkins, Billy. Billy Jenkins (1885-1954) was a German-born circus rider and animal trainer who worked in his youth as a cowboy in the American West and achieved international fame in the 1920s as a circus performer. Beginning in 1930 he was the hero of several German Celebrity Pulps, including Billy Jenkins #1-4 (1930), Die Abenteuer Des Billy Jenkins #1-264 (1934-1939) and Die Abenteuer Des Billy Jenkins #1-370 (1949-1963).
The fictional Jenkins is a Wanted Man secret agent for the U.S. government. Jenkins is active in the American West, in Alaska, and in Central and South America. He has his very own arch-enemy and is wanted by the law in Arizona for a crime he did not commit. Jenkins also has a Cheyenne sidekick, Hunting Wolf, and a companion wolf named Husky. Jenkins is skilled with both the gun and the lariat. Jenkins’ stories have very Gothic settings--decayed graveyards, abandoned mines, and the like–and involve things like car hijackers, gold thieves, killer plagues and zombies. He fights the KKK, finds the lost treasure of the Inca, finds a living mammoth in Patagonia, fights pirates in the Amazon, and fights a cowboy air pirate. He also finds Lost Race Aztecs in Mexico. On a few occasions he teams up with Hans Stocsh-Sarrasani.
In 1939 Billy Jenkins was replaced, at the orders of the German government, with Robert Ramm (see: Robert Ramm).
Jenkins appears in stories with titles like “The Fight With The Grizzly Bear,” “The Devil of the Savannah,” and “The Pirates of the Amazon.”
* I'm including the Billy Jenkins stories in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because of the ideasplosions within them. The Jenkins stories were tremendously popular with the German reading public, as can be seen by the number of stories and length of time the heftromane starring Jenkins appeared. I think one of the major appeals of the series was the fact that many of the Jenkins stories were Westerns, but the authors of the Jenkins stories weren't shy about including non-Western story elements, tropes, motifs, and plot devices in them. The end result was the mix of genres described above. Western heftromane were common; heftromane that combined the Western and the Gothic (or fantastika, etc.) were much less common, and thus much more appealing.
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