Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The last issue of Pulp

I mentioned before that the last issue of my crime fiction fanzine, Isku, just came out. Now the last issue of my other fanzine, Pulp, has come out and is ready to be sent to the subscribers (of which there are not many). Pulp is not a fictionmag, it's about the different aspects of pulp and other popular fiction.

I started publishing Pulp shortly after the Finnish Western Society's magazine, Ruudinsavu (Gunsmoke), was started. The first issue of Pulp came out in 2003. It had articles on Paul Auster's first novel, Squeeze Play, William Johnston's Maxwell Smart novelizations and the Finnish translations of Peggy Gaddis's romantic paperbacks. The magazine was published four times a year. The circulation never rose above 80, and for the last issues the print run was only 40. It covered also the few libraries that have been subscribers.

There have been issues that I've been very fond of: the two issues consisting fully of Edgar Rice Burroughs-related material (the works of ERB's relatives, ERB pastiches, ERB copies and so forth), the issue that was solely about sex and sleaze in pulps and paperbacks, the issue that was solely about the Finnish pulp fiction... At times I was even able to use some of the material in Pulp in my other, more commercial work, such as my book on the forgotten works of Mika Waltari, the famous Finnish novelist and fictioneer. I also liked the logo very much. It was done with an old typewriter of my friend - thanks, Lotta!

Jukka Murtosaari was a great supporter of Pulp from early on and he provided the magazine with many interesting and meticulously (sometimes too meticulously...) researched pieces on obscure paperbacks and pulp and paperback illustrators. One could do a book solely on Jukka's articles for the magazine. It was just too bad Pulp was always a black-and-white magazine - the photos of the pulp and other covers just don't look right in b&w.

But the process really wore me out: editing the mag, writing the articles, asking others to do articles, getting the mag into print, sending out copies... I was losing money with this, so I decided to pull the plug. So it's bye-bye, Pulp, we'll miss ya. There's lots of stuff that was meant to be done (such as the theme issue on TV and movie novelizations, the kiddies' pulp, the religious pulp, the article on the Flash Gordon novels, etc.) and I really wanted to get deeper into the Finnish pulpy fiction, so this is a missed opportunity. We'll have to see if I get something published in a blog format. We'll definitely have to see...

There's also a possibility that I'll publish a collection of my own articles that came out in Pulp. That should have an interest for 50-100 buyers. At least.

On top of the post is the cover of the last issue. The issue features two articles by Jukka Murtosaari, the other one being about the Finnish reprint series of the Fawcett Gold Medal books, called Kultamitalikirjat, and the other one about the illustrator R. G. Harris. (Sorry for the bad photo: it was taken with my cell phone.)
PS. Don't bother to ask me for a copy, since they are all gone already.


Frank Loose said...

Sounds like you still have a lot of ideas for PULP. Maybe an online version will give you the vehicle to explore those ideas, and at the same time be less expensive, and more do-able. (You can have color!) Your readers would most likely, I think, accept an online subscription type thing. Good luck as you work thru these decisions!

Juri said...

Yeah, I've been thinking about this and I definitely want to try a blog version. It's just that people are used to PDFs and I don't think one can upload them in blogs. (I haven't tried Issuu.com, I think what can be done with them can be uploaded in blogs.)