From: wamartin2@verizon.net
Date: 12 Sep 2009

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "J.C. Hocking" <jchocking@...> wrote:
    > Walker Martin: "I had obtained the several issues of BLACK MASK containing the novelets and the combination of the great hardboiled, downbeat story with the pulpwood scent remains in my memory to this day."
    > I am an aging, easy-going sort of fellow, but that bit about having the "several issues of Black Mask containing the novelets" that comprise Fast One filled my soul with black envy.
    > The book is dizzyingly intense and it must have been a treat to read it on the pulpwood page.
    > John

    ------------For many years I had collected only SF pulps and digests, not realizing that the detective pulps also were available in the back issue market. In fact in Raymond Chandler's LETTERS he comments about how it is almost impossible to find the back issues of the pulps containing his short stories. But in the late 1960's, I read Ron Goulart's THE HARDBOILED DICKS which collected several stories from BLACK MASK, DIME DETECTIVE, AND DETECTIVE FICTION WEEKLY. I found the stories to be of high quality and contacted Goulart. He was nice enough to sell me his magazines that he used for reprinting the stories in the anthology.

    This led me to collecting the detective pulps and in the late 60's through the 1970's, I managed to put together extensive runs of many titles. Back then I had no competition to speak of and it was possible to buy issues very cheaply for only $3.00 to $5.00. Many issues I paid even less. Most pulp collectors in the 60's and 70's were interested only in the SF and hero pulps.

    Now of course the issues of BLACK MASK for example are rare and the Hammett and Chandler issues sell for hundreds of dollars. At PulpFest in Columbus, Ohio this year I was witness to a dealer across from my table, selling the Maltese Falcon five issues of BLACK MASK for $4.000. I told him the buyer would probably have been willing to pay even higher. Strangely enough he wanted the issues not because of Hammett, but because he was an Erle Stanley Gardner collector.

    --------Walker Martin.

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