RE: RARA-AVIS: RE: Browne's Spillane

From: Todd Mason (
Date: 06 Jun 2001

Ziff-Davis threw Browne something of a budget for FANTASTIC, as it was meant to be a semi-slick successor to their dying pulp line (which included AMAZING STORIES, FANTASTIC ADVENTURES [which soon merged with FANTASTIC], and MAMMOTH DETECTIVE), and the first year of FANTASTIC had excellent design and handsomely saturated color covers. AMAZING was retrofitted simultaneously, and had its own ghosted materials (a parody of the Jack Lait
& Lee Mortimer [city-name] CONFIDENTIAL mapbacks entitled "Mars Confidential" being the most obvious). TALES OF THE SEA was in the same format, apparently.

Likewise the "Spillane" issue of FANTASTIC apparently was their bestselling.

I dunno...the face-sketches were so amateurish in both magazines that I wonder if anyone could've done them...and I would suggest that the early FANTASTIC covers were, if anything, even handsomer than the early MANHUNTs I've seen. TM

-----Original Message----- From: Dick Lochte [mailto:]

That issue of Fantastic -- Nov-Dec., 1952 -- also has stories by Richard Matheson, whose short bio says he was making "fancy airplane parts out in Los Angeles" at the time, and Cornell Woolrich ("The Moon of Montezuma"). In addition to gathering a pretty good assortment of writers, Howard Browne also used the same unnamed artist who provided Manhunt with its pen sketches of authors. The story illustrations had that Manhunt look, too. Cover is a magnificently garish wrap-around of a blonde in a red peignoir being attacked by little demons with sharp spears that are dripping blood from a dead guy on the floor. A real beauty.

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