Friday, January 18, 2019

Forgotten Stories: Dan Turner in BULLET FROM NOWHERE by Robert Leslie Bellem (1935)

A few days back I found a great surprise in my mailbox (and by this I mean the old-fashioned, nearly-defunct kind that hangs on the front of my house): This premier issue of Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective, published way back in January 1942. It was sent, I learned, by a generous gent named Dale Goble, a frequent peruser of this humble blog. Thanks, Gobe!

In honor of the occassion, I'm posting the cover attraction here for all the world to enjoy. "Bullet from Nowhere," like five of other stories in this mag, was reprinted from Spicy Detective (in this case from April 1935). The remaining story, also a Dan Turner yarn, appeared in a 1937 issue of Private Detective Stories.

Our Man Dan, I may have mentioned in past posts, was a very busy fellow. Debuting in February 1934, in the second issue of Spicy Detective, he appeared in the next 102 issues of that mag. In 1943 the title was changed to Speed Detective, where he starred in 28 more issues. 

Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective ran ten issues, each of which contained between six and eight Dan stories. Some of those were reprints from Spicy, but most were new. That title changed to just plain Hollywood Detective, running another 49 issues and finally bowing out as a digest in 1950. Most of those 49 contained between two and five Dan stories, and most also sported an eight-page comic book adventure of Dan. 

How many stories does that make? I don't know. It almost broke my brain figuring how many mags he appeared in. I don't know if anyone's ever come up with a definitve number, but it's a big one.

And Dan refuses to die. Since 1981, his tales have been reprinted in hardcover, trade paperback, oversized trade paperback, tiny paperback, chapbook, pulp facsimile and ebook formats. Some of the comic book adventures were reprinted in regular comic books in the '50s, and later in other editions. Eternity comics issued a run of new black and white mags in the '90s. A crummy movie called "Blackmail" was released in 1947, and another film, "The Raven Red Kiss-Off"(which I've yet to see) in 1990.

Shockingly, Dan never had a radio show, and he's yet to have his own TV series. But give him time.

Further reading:
Another Dan Turner story, "Shakedown Sham," is HERE.
I posted a few black and white comic stories HERE.
I've been posting the color comic book stories HERE.

I'll now shut my yap and let you read your Forgotten Story:  


George said...

I've read a fair number of Robert Leslie Bellem's loopy stories. Great fun!

TC said...

IMHO, "Blackmail" was meh. Not really bad, just not very good. A routine "B" movie.

The 1990 movie was a lot further down the alphabet than "B." It was shown on TV as "Dan Turner-Hollywood Detective" and was obviously a backdoor pilot for an unsold series. Nicholas Worth played police lieutenant Dave Donaldson, and Tracy Scoggins played "Vala DuValle" or something like that. Don't recall whether she was the heroine or a femme fatale. Marc Singer, doing a horrible Bogart impression, played Turner.