Publisher Harry Donenfeld's National Allied Publications, published these titles in the years before he brought out Superman. He would have to regularly travel around the country appearing in courts defending these covers against obscenity charges. While on the road, he would look for out of the way small towns by studying maps for bus and train lines. He would build his distribution network, by personally going to these towns and approaching a local retailer who might be interested in selling his magazines. So, when he and his pardner Jack Liebowitz collected the Superman stories that had been appearing in the first year of Action Comics, in a new title just called Superman, it sold out 900,000 copies, and started the Golden Age of Comics. This was partly due to Donenfeld building this distribution network that was able to get that Superman comic in front of 900,000 potential readers, many in small town America.
So Supes owed his success to the Spicy line. Too bad we never got Spicy Superman Stories.
My mother and father were voracious readers all their lives and started in during the pulp era. My Dad read Doc Savage, Unknown, Astounding and others. My Mom's experience of the pulps was more limited, but she swore that she'd once seen an issue of Spicy Shadow.Now of course a pulp magazine entitled Spicy Shadow never existed (alas) but she brought this up more than once and was pretty adamant about it. So I've often wondered if there was a slightly risque pulp cover that she, way back in the day, mistook for being on a Shadow magazine. More Spicy covers, please.John Hocking
John! When's your new Conan coming out?