Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Detective Fiction Weekly Sept. 17, 1938: Dr. Skull

This one is just eye candy. I never met a Belarski cover I didn't like, and this is sure no exception. As for Dr. Skull, I don't know much about him, and ain't likely to. I'd have to wade through the entire Part 1 of this serial to figure him out, and then be left hanging. Here's what I got with a glance: From the snow-capped mountains of Tibet to the canyons of Broadway comes crime-fiction's most fabulous character. Then, skipping ahead to end, I found this:

On the street, I corralled one of the newboys and bought a paper. Spread across the front page in screaming headlines were the words: MANIAC DEMANDS CONTROL OF CITY; THREATENS REPRISALS UNLESS POWER GRANTED. With this first ultimatum, terror began smashing at the gates of sanity. Dr. Skull was beginning to hit his stride.

Since the author's name (Lewis Clay) did not appear on the cover, I'm guessing he was not considered a big draw. This one was clearly meant to appeal more to weird menace fans than to detective readers. I bought the issue because there's another Daffy Dill story by Richard Sale, and got a bonus: a "short novel" by Roger Torrey.

For more on Daffy Dill, click here.

1 comment:

Laurie Powers said...

The editors must have taken a gamble on this one because there aren't any other stories advertised on the cover. They must have thought Dr. Skull would be enough of a draw to bring in the buyers. I wonder if it worked.