Tagged: Raymond Chandler

Dennis O’Neil: Welcome To Clabdabalum!

O'Neil Art 131219The natives of the planet Clabdabalum use a language which is, at its purest, non-verbal – in fact, non-communicative. However, over the millennia, it has been corrupted by verbal elements. (In Clabdabalum version of the Genesis myth, Adam and Eve are tempted by a grammar text.) This pidgin lingo lacks every part of speech that we Terrans use except one: pronouns. The Clabdabians have only one pronoun and that pronoun has no tense, nor does it have a gender, which is not surprising considering that the Clabdabians themselves have no gender, which may be why they’ve never made it big. (They may or may not have tenses. It’s hard to tell.)

Having only a single pronoun to work with, the Clabdabian writers’ output is pretty sparse and so they have not yet evolved the need for editors. Some might say that this is a sign of advanced intelligence, but I’m not among them. (Editors are splendid creatures who miss godhood by only a dangling participle or two.) But, a Clabdabian might ask, what does an editor do, exactly?

You’re waiting for an answer, aren’t you?

Well, wait! I won’t offer a concise definition because mine is not a one-size-fits-all universe. There seems to be a number of ways to be an editor and I suspect that those who eventually become good at the job decide what has to be done and then find strategies to make the task doable with their own strengths and preferences. They’re also well-advised to beware of their weaknesses and devise tricks to compensate for what they lack.

Okay, now that we have that settled… I will, shyly and timidly, proffer another suggestion. It’s not a good idea to do what I did during my first brief attempt to be a DC Comics editor, way back in the 70s, and that was to make the scripts I edited resemble the scripts I wrote. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, the best I could hope to achieve with this ill-conceived ploy was to get second- or third-rate O’Neil and what I really should have wanted was first-rate (fill in the name of your favorite comics writer). That doesn’t mean give the writer total freedom to do as the writer chooses; I have great respect for people who follow their own muses and produce what they want to produce when they want to produce it. But they, bless them, do not work for companies owned by others, as do many comics writers and almost all movie and television scripters. This need to follow… let’s call them “guidelines…” does not preclude a writer becoming emotionally and intellectually involved in the work. The great Raymond Chandler said that the trick for the commercial writer is to give the boss what he’s paying you for, but get what you want in there, too. He proved it can be done and so have legions of others.

I doubt that any of them were Clabdabian but hey… you never know.

P.S.: “Snut” is the pronoun referred to above.

P.P.S.: Heres an excerpt from an e-mail I received from Jim McLauchlin: 

Hero Initiative is a beneficiary of Amazon Smile. If you sign up Hero as your charitable choice, a percentage of qualified purchases will go to Hero at no additional cost to you! Info: http://smile.amazon.com/about

An easy way to support a worthy organization.

THURSDAY AFTERNOON: The Tweaks!

FRIDAY MORNING: Martha Thomases

 

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Black Mask Magazine: The Pioneer of the Hardboiled Detective

MysteriousPress.com’s Otto Penzler narrated this short history of Black Mask Magazine called The Pioneer of the Hardboiled Detective to promote the Open Road Media’s upcoming Black Mask ebook releases, set to launch August 27th. You can also view it on Youtube.

“The creation of the private eye in Black Mask magazine remains the most important development in the history of mystery fiction in America,” explains Otto Penzler of MysteriousPress.com. In this video, Penzler takes us back to the 1920s, to the creation of the now-iconic Black Mask magazine, where mystery greats including Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and Carroll John Daly got their start.

With an atmosphere evoking that time and place, this video proves that the tough-guy detectives of the hard-boiled mysteries of the 1920s and ’30s are not a thing of the past.

Learn more about Open Road Media here.

Black Mask Goes Digital with Jerry Tracy– Celebrity Reporter

Pulp Publisher, Open Road Media has announced plans to release digital editions of stories from Black Mask, beginning with Jerry Tracy, Celebrity Reporter by Theodore A. Tinsley.

Black Mask magazine, launched in 1920, built its reputation on fostering, and later inspiring, some of mystery’s most beloved hardboiled writers, including Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Carroll John Daly, Theodore A. Tinsley, and Paul Cain.

These tough, grim, but ultimately noble stories of private eyes and crooks represent an extremely powerful slice of American fiction. Mysteriouspress.com/Open Road Media is thrilled to announce that Black Mask stories will be available in digital format beginning August 27, 2013.

Paying homage to the original magazine, stories will be released monthly, commencing with works by Black Mask masters Norbert Davis, Steve Fisher, and Paul Cain, as well as an omnibus of stories by Theodore A. Tinsley, Jerry Tracy, Celebrity Reporter. All works feature new cover art, as well as brand-new introductions.

The Jerry Tracy, Celebrity Reporter collection features every Jerry Tracy story ever published in Black Mask, and is an invaluable compendium of one of early noir’s most original heroes.

About Jerry Tracy, Celebrity Reporter:
Manhattan’s sharpest gossip columnist tangles with brawlers, triggermen, and dames

The most important people in the world come to Broadway—to eat in restaurants, dance in nightclubs, and die in rain-slicked back alleys. Whatever the big names are doing, Jerry Tracy hears about it—and tells the world in his infamous Daily Planet column. As quick with his typewriter as he is with a .45, Tracy can break a nose as easily as he breaks a news story. But beneath his hard exterior, this columnist has a kind heart, and a sense of justice that will make him do crazy things for a woman in trouble, or a friend with a murder rap hanging over his head.

Featuring every Jerry Tracy story ever published in Black Mask, this collection is an invaluable compendium of one of early noir’s most original heroes. Written in machine gun prose that would make Damon Runyon proud, these stories describe a man whose words are tough—and whose fists are even tougher.

About the Author: Theodore A. Tinsley (1894–1979) was a prolific noir author who wrote for all of the prominent pulp magazines, including Black Mask, Munsey’s Magazine, All Detective Magazine, and Action Stories. His best-known creations are Carrie Cashin, a private eye who became pulp fiction’s most popular female character, and Jerry Tracy, a gossip reporter with a nose for sniffing out murders.

The other authors/stories launching that day are “You’ll Always Remember Me” by Steve Fisher, “Red Goose” by Norbert Davis, and “Pigeon Blood” by Paul Cain.

Learn more about Open Road Media here.

 

Dennis O’Neil: Honor

O…if he is a man of honor in one thing, he is that in all things

The quote above is from Raymond Chandler’s superb essay, The Simple Art of Murder. If you’ve never read it, do yourself a huge favor and do so, right now. Google the title and read Chandler’s prose and then come back to me. I’ll wait.

Hi. You’ve finished reading Chandler and here you are, and yes, you owe me one.

But now I want to bollix the discourse by disagreeing with Chandler. I agree with almost everything Chandler writes in the essay – almost, but not all. “...if he is a man of honor in one thing, he is that in all things”? Um, no. But it’s a qualified no. If we’re discussing a fictional man, then okay, let Chandler’s claim stand. I think most writers and critics and teachers would agree that consistent behavior is a constant – in fiction. But does it apply to real life? Maybe not. The engines that run we noble humans are deep and complicated, and the rules they follow, if any, aren’t easily visible. Ol’ Charlie there, he can be a Fearless Fosdick in one situation and a whimpering poltroon in another and does even Charlie know why?

The event in which I participated last week might prompt these musings. It was held in SoHo, my old stomping grounds, and it ostensibly celebrated…well, maybe “celebrated” isn’t the right word: Let’s say that the event recognized the 148th birthday of Dr. Fredric Wertham, author of Seduction of the Innocent and big kahuna among the witch hunters of the early 1950s. His book, and the congressional hearings of Senator Estes Kefauver, with the approval of a sub-posse of clergy and editorialists, decimated the comic book business, put hundreds of decent citizens out of work and, arguably, lamed an art form.

Boo and hiss, Dr. W., you stinky old psychiatrist.

We comic book guys have tended to demonize Wertham for sixty-plus years. But last week’s give-and-take yielded information about Wertham that may have been new to many in the room. He fought for public school integration. He provided psychiatric care for residents of Harlem for a quarter a session, or a dime. He seemed to be a decent and useful professional. Until he wandered into comic book land.

Carol Tilley, a librarian at the University of Illinois, was one of my co-panelists in SoHo. Ms Tilley performed the useful, and much overdue, task of actually digging into Wertham’s papers. She discovered that Wertham faked much of the “research” he used to bolster his accusations. So…this successful and respected and charitable man of science cooked the books. A couple of columns ago, I speculated on his possible motives and reached no conclusion, and although the SoHo event was interesting and informative, no conclusion was reached there, either.

We can call Dr. Fredric Wertham a man of honor. He just wasn’t a consistent one. Maybe he should have been fictional.

Friday: Martha Thomases

Saturday: Marc Alan Fishman

 

Mindy Newell: The Agony And The Ecstasy Of Writing

Ah, the joys of writing.

Well, not when you’re working on your capstone project, the culmination of the past 18 months, the paper that will lead me to that walk down the aisle in mortarboard and gown to the hallowed, somber notes of Pomp and Circumstance. How did that get to be the graduation processional march anyway? Wait, I’m going to look it up. Tawk amongst yawselves….

This is what Wikipedia says: “The Pomp and Circumstances Marches, Op. 39” are a series of marches for orchestra composed by Sir Edward Elgar. In the United States, the Trio section,” Land of Hope and Glory” of March No. 1 is sometimes known simply as” Pomp and Circumstance” or as “The Graduation March,” and is played as the processional tune at virtually all high school and college graduation ceremonies. It was first played at such a ceremony on 28 June 1905, at Yale University, where Samuel Sanford, Professor of Music, invited his friend Elgar to attend commencement and receive an honorary Doctorate of Music. Elgar accepted, and Sanford made certain he was the star of the proceedings, engaging the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, the College Choir, the Glee Club, the music faculty members, and New York musicians to perform two parts from Elgar’s oratorio – “The Light of Life” and, as the graduates and officials marched out, “Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1.” Elgar repaid the compliment by dedicating the “Introduction and Allegro, Op. 47” at the first London Symphony Orchestra performance later that year. The tune soon became de rigueur at American graduations, used primarily as a processional at the opening of the ceremony, although it is still used now only as at Yale.”
Oy, the things you and I learn because of this column!

As I was saying, academic writing is not at all like writing fiction, or like writing this column – which could be fiction. Some of it, anyway. You’ll never know, will you? Academic writing is about rules that must not be broken under any circumstance, although I think that only God knows why. I’ve had arguments with several professors – before I learned better – about why academic writing must be so dry and impersonal and polysyllabic. In other words, b-o-r-i-n-g. “Look,” I said. “Doesn’t it make sense that if the writing’s engaging, fun, and inclusive of the audience, that audience will enjoy reading it, and if the audience enjoys reading it, then the audience will r-e-m-e-m-b-e-r it. As in, the audience will not need ten cups of coffee just to get through the abstract.”

“Ha-rumph!” said the professors, looking down their snoots. “Balderdash! Ms. Newell, we assume you want to pass this course.

”Yes, sir,” I said. “Yes, ma’am.”

In other words, just shut up and do what they say, Mindy. And I do. And my academic writing is damn good, if I do say so myself, even if those last two sentences would never get through the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Editon. Because they start with conjunctions.

But fiction writing – now that’s, as the doorman to the Emerald City said to Dorothy, a horse of a different color.

You can have fun when you’re writing fiction. Oh, there are rules about plot and structure and grammar. But those rules are easily broken. It’s about style. And style, baby? That’s the fun part. Style belongs to you. You, the author.

Raymond Chandler. Edna Ferber. Alan Moore. Toni Morrison. Ernest Hemingway. Anne McCaffrey. Brian K. Vaughn. Gail Simone. Neil Gaiman. Louise Simonson. Grant Morrison. Lynda Barry. Harvey Pekar. Mari Naomi. Frank Miller. Alison Bechdel. Each of these wonderful writers with their own style, their own voice. It’s one of the reasons, maybe the reason, why they are loved, why their books are snatched off shelves and downloaded onto e-readers.

Or maybe it’s not so fun. Maybe it’s hard, maybe it’s heartbreaking, maybe it’s terrifying, maybe it’s cathartic. Maybe you don’t really know where these words are coming from or why you have these ideas, but you only know that if you don’t get them out of your head or your soul and down on paper, someday they will eat at your guts and corrode your brain and destroy what’s left of your humanity.

Fiction as primal scream therapy.

Tuesday Morning: Michael Davis Continues With His Black Thing!

Tuesday Afternoon: Emily S. Whitten Reveals You, Too, Can Get Started! 

 

DENNIS O’NEIL: ‘Tis The season, continued…

According to some recent news, the sun seems to be bouncing stuff off an invisible, planet-sized object near Mercury. Of course, the smarty-ass scientists have an explanation – don’t they always? – something about how the pictures are processed. Other, more sensible, people have speculated that the invisible thing is a spaceship hidden by a cloaking device, maybe spying on us from two planets away. (Really big binoculars?) I’m afraid that misses the mark, too. The obvious answer is…Santa’s sleigh! Think about it – a cloaking device. Of course. That explains why we’ve never seen it. And the size of a small planet (which is still pretty big)? Well, it can’t exactly be tiny, not when it carries all those toys for good girls and boys.

Now, it’s true that as I look about me I don’t see many good girls and boys. None, in fact.  So maybe the invisible sleigh is full of lumps of coal to be put in the stockings hung by the chimney with care, assuming anyone hangs stockings anymore.  This could be glad tidings. If the coal comes from Mercury – and surely it might – why, we might just have ourselves a source of clean energy.

Isn’t it grand when truth meets science?

***

About 15 years ago, give or take, a movie-involved bearer of my DNA put a video cassette into our VCR and showed us a short cartoon that was going around titled, just a bit sacrilegiously, Jesus vs Santa. The plot was simple: the Jolly Old Elf and Our Lord and Savior duke it out to determine who’s the king of the holiday. I forget who won and that isn’t really important (and herewith I resist the impulse to launch into a diatribe). What is important, or at least interesting, is that the two young guys who perpetrated the cartoon were (and are) named Trey Parker and Matt Stone and what played in our living room was the predecessor of Comedy Central’s champion half-hour, South Park.

The story probably doesn’t have a moral, or even a point, but if you really need one, you could try, You just never know, do you?

***

Jerry Robinson, a man I was proud to know, is gone. Others have celebrated his achievements and accomplishments, his generous spirit, his activism, and his art. I have nothing to add.

But, thinking of Jerry, I remembered a quotation from Raymond Chandler’s Simple Art of Murder: “He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world”

That was Jerry.

RECOMMENDED READING: Jerry Robinson, Ambassador of Comics. By N. Christopher Couch.

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases

DENNIS O’NEIL: Writers vs Editors… Forever

So there I was, sitting at my desk, surrounded by the detritus of the editorial life, not being productive, listening to the voices coming from across the hall: a fellow editor and a freelance writer engaged in something about half way between discussion and argument.

Editor: It’s not the kind of thing we publish.

Writer: But it’s what I want to write!

But we don’t do stuff like that.

But it’s what I want to write!

Another volley of buts, both articulated and implicit, and the meeting ended with the writer still needing to find a way to pay his bills.

I was an editor for more than two decades; you know whom I sided with.

But…what was with the writer, anyhow? Was this an instance of an ego bloating up and strangling its host? Or – and here we enter The Region of Psychological Murk – was the writer subconsciously sabotaging himself so he wouldn’t have to face the possibility of failure?

Or did he have something?

I mean, the writers (and artists) are the creative ones, right? Shouldn’t they be allowed to go where their instincts take them, tugging readers, publishers and those rat bastards known as editors along behind them?

In a word: no. But this is a qualified no.

Begin with the implicit contract between publication and consumer. People have a right to the kind of entertainment (or information) they’ve paid for. Fail to provide it and they’ll fail to continue buying your product.

Now, the qualification on the previous but: What was stated in the preceding paragraph is not an insistence on storytellers repeating the old, shabby tropes, month after month, year after year until the sun cools. If they do, they’ll lose their audience as surely as if they weren’t delivering what the audience is paying for. The material has to be either current or somehow timeless and current is a lot easier. If it isn’t, the audience won’t be able to identify with it and they probably won’t be interested for long. Things change – things must change. (Sorry, you anti-Darwinists, it’s that kind of universe.)

I’m not advocating change for its own sake; that might be another form of ego-bloat. No, I’m saying that an altered world – altered technology, altered mores, altered institutions – suggests new kinds of storytelling that can be achieved without violating the premises of character or genre. Or writers might try delving into what already exists – finding elements already in the material that have been ignored and using it for the sort of story fodder that readers will find fresh and entertaining while, again, preserving character and genre. Or a writer might involve his fiction in subject matter that is new to it, but – yes, again – doesn’t wreck what the reader already likes.

Does all this squash self-expression? Not a bit of it. A long time ago, Raymond Chandler said that the trick to writing genre fiction was to give the reader what the reader wants while getting what the writer wants in, too. Chandler himself proved that it can be done.

RECOMMENDED READING: Ego: The Fall of the Twin Towers and the Rise of an Enlightened Humanity, by Peter Baumann and Michael W. Taft. This splendid little book delivers exactly what the title advertises.

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases

PULP EMPIRE BRINGS ALL PULP PIRATE PULP FICTION AND INTERVIEWS!

To celebrate “Talk Like a Pirate Day”, PulpEmpire.com is proud to offer our newest anthology Pirates & Swashbucklers, a seventeen story collection of great pirate pulp fiction! Pirates & Swashbucklers author Kameron W. Franklin interviewed his fellow writers of the new Pulp Empire anthology out now!


Today he sits down with Jason Kahn, author of “Voyage of the Hangman”.


When did you first realize you were a writer?
It changes depending on my mood. Sometimes I think it was when I sold my first short story. Sometimes I think it was my first (and thus far only) professional short story sale. Sometimes I don’t really consider myself a writer at all because I don’t write fiction for a living. Sometimes I think that’s ridiculous because I do make a living writing and editing, just not fiction. Then there are other times when I think that if and when I have an actual novel published, like I hopefully will with the one I just finished writing, I can then honestly look in the mirror and say, Chum, you’re a writer, you are.


What authors influence or inspire you?
Early on, I would say authors like Raymond Feist and David Eddings influenced me the most as I tried to write fantasy-adventures, but lately, much more James Ellroy, Elmore Leonard, Joseph Wambaugh, and Donald Westlake as I’ve been writing more noir crime fiction. I read several detective fiction authors as I worked on some of my recent pieces. Raymond Chandler, Peter Lovesey, and then I read Ellroy. The Black Dahlia, L.A. Confidential, and many more. I wasn’t prepared, my mind exploded. I could not put them down.


Do you consider yourself a “pulp” writer? Why? Is there another genre you like to write?
Some of the writing projects I’m involved with currently are very pulp-ish, noir detective type stuff, so at the moment I definitely feel that way. But I also write fantasy and hard scifi, so it varies. Basically I just like to write a good story. Whatever style fits is okay with me.


What book(s) have you read more than once? What drew you back?
The first book I remember reading more than once was A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin. I read it when I was a boy, and it was my first real introduction to fantasy literature. Quite a primer, right? I re-read it constantly, the language, the world-building, the characters. It was all there.


In 25 words or less, how would you define “pulp” as a genre?
Pulp as a genre takes me back to the old serials: over the top heroes and villains, nonstop thrill-ride action. That’s only 20!


What made you decide to submit a story for the Pirates & Swashbucklers anthology?
I always wanted to write a sword-and-sorcery adventure on the high seas with people who go “argh!” This was the perfect opportunity.



Read more of Kameron’s interviews at PensAndSwords.com.




Pulp Empire Presents: Pirates & Swashbucklers is now available at Pulp Empire.com. Until October 10th, use the code “62QUSQGC” at our CreateSpace bookstore to receive 15% off on the book!

PULPS!-Second Column from Mark Halegua!

PULPS!- A Column by Mark Halegua
Continuing from the previous column-
During the next six years from 1917 through 1923 there was a further explosion in titles and publishers.
The titles ranged from short runs like Thrill Book, to long running weekly titles like Western Story, both by Street and Smith.  Western Story was the first all western title, renamed from a nickel paper, New Buffalo Bill Weekly.  For most of 20 years it was published weekly.  Street and Smith also published Love Story (another weekly) and Sport Story (twice a month for a long period).

 

 

Other important and long running titles in this period include Ace High (which later become Ace High Western), Action Stories, Black Mask, and Weird Tales.
The latter two were never best selling titles.  Weird Tales in fact, by many accounts, was hanging on by the skin of its teeth with bankruptcy never far from the door.
But, they were important far beyond their sales for what they published.  They were important for their impact on the pulps and later popular literature, for the authors and artists they introduced and the style of writing.
Initially Black Mask was created to help pay for another magazine with poor sales figures, The Smart Set – which was supposed to compete with the New Yorker.  It wasn’t making money, but it was a prestigious title and so H. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan decided to try publishing a pulp to help pay the bills.  This wasn’t their first, having published Parisienne and Saucy Stories. 
From the beginning Black Mask was a general fiction title.  One of many in the period.  It advertised on its covers Detective, Adventure, Mystery, Romance, and Occult stories.  Early issues also published westerns.  The quality of these early issues wasn’t high but they sold the title for a huge profit from their initial investment.
Still, it took the new publishers a couple of years before an editor took over who changed the face of the magazine and crime fiction forever.  Joseph “Cap” Shaw took over the reins in 1926 and decided that crime fiction should fit the times, gritty, direct, and powerful.  He was also in favor of justice and depicting criminals as cowardly and no account.
Even at this stage of the pulps, entering their third decade, crime fiction was still somewhat laid back.  No longer the drawing room mysteries of years earlier, but relatively soft.  Yes, you had gun battles, Private Investigators, police, criminals, but it was still didn’t have the hard edge,  the punch it would have under the new editorship.
Under Cap Shaw that punch was delivered.  The stories started at a 60 miles per hour pace and just revved up, non-stop.  Shaw also realized Black Mask couldn’t compete as a general fiction magazine against such titles as Argosy, Adventure, Blue Book, and Short Stories, among others.  Black Mask had to concentrate on detective stories.  It took awhile, but eventually detective was all it published.
In 1923 Carroll John Daly wrote his first story for Black Mask, titled “Three Gun Terry,” about private investigator Terry Mack.  He would write later stories about Race Williams.  Williams wasn’t the first detective, but he was an uneducated, rough talking, rough acting individual, and always with something to say.  He was a street fighter and used his gun without compunction or remorse.  If he thought you deserved a bullet in the brain, you got it.
A year before Daly introduced Race Williams one-time Pinkerton agent, Dashiel Hammett, wrote about the Continental Op.  You never knew his name.  This first story, “The Road Home” appeared in the December 1922 issue of Black Mask under the name Peter Collinson.  In December 1923 Earle Stanley Gardner’s first story appeared, “The Shrieking Skeleton,” under the pen name of Charles M. Green.  Gardner would later leave the Black Mask stable as he chaffed under the constant editorial hand of Shaw trying to shape all of his writers after Hammett.   In 1933 Raymond Chandler joined the pulp.
And so, with these and other authors, was born the hard boiled detective!
For 10 years Cap Shaw helmed Black Mask, and circulation grew.  Never a best selling title but one with great respect accorded to it.  How could it not with stories like the Maltese Falcon?
In 1923 Weird Tales entered the picture.  This was the first all fantasy and horror title.  Over its 30 year history it would change physical formats from pulp to bedsheet back to pulp and, finally, near the end in the 50s digest.

During those 30 years Harry Houdini, H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Seabury Quinn, Robert E. Howard, Edmond Hamilton, Robert Bloch, and many others, including Tennessee Williams first story (“The  Vengeance of Nitocris”) would grace the pages with characters from Cthulu, Conan, King Kull, Jules De Grandin, Dr. Satan, and more.
Covers were done by J. Allen St. John, Margaret Brundage, Virgil Finlay,  Hannes Bok, and others, these being the most notable.  Brundage’s covers included whipping nude or semi-nude nubile young women.  Rumor has it she used her daughter as a model, and many decried the covers which, of course, brought more attention and more sales.
Never a best selling title, always on the verge of bankruptcy, its impact resonated beyond the pulp world.  One story, by C. M. Eddy, Jr., included necrophilia and forced the magazine’s removal from some newsstands.  But, it also drew interest and sold well enough to stave off the bank.
There have been several attempts to revive Weird Tales after its original run ended in 1954 and there is one now been out for a couple of years.  If you’re interested in this number of current writers (Stephen King for one) have written for it.  Go to: http://weirdtalesmagazine.com
Otto Penzler has edited a huge (over 1,100 pages) compendium of Black Mask stories in the Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask.
This book includes the original Maltese Falcon story, the first time seeing publication since its original Black Mask publication, it having been modified since that original printing.
Authors include Carroll John Daly and his Race Williams (against the KKK no less), Earle Stanley Gardner, Richard Sale, Raoul Whitfield, Dashiel Hammet (as Peter Collinson), Fredric Brown, and more.  All the stories come with the original illustrations.
You can find this book at most bookstores and on Amazon.
All of the images are from my Pulp Image Library version 7 disk, on sale at pulps1st.com.

Second All Pulp Blog
History of the Pulps part 4
June 2, 2011
by Mark S. Halegua
During the next six years from 1917 through 1923 there was a further explosion in titles and publishers.
The titles ranged from short runs like Thrill Book, to long running weekly titles like Western Story, both by Street and Smith.  Western Story was the first all western title, renamed from a nickel paper, New Buffalo Bill Weekly.  For most of 20 years it was published weekly.  Street and Smith also published Love Story (another weekly) and Sport Story (twice a month for a long period).
Other important and long running titles in this period include Ace High (which later become Ace High Western), Action Stories, Black Mask, and Weird Tales.
The latter two were never best selling titles.  Weird Tales in fact, by many accounts, was hanging on by the skin of its teeth with bankruptcy never far from the door.
But, they were important far beyond their sales for what they published.  They were important for their impact on the pulps and later popular literature, for the authors and artists they introduced and the style of writing.
Initially Black Mask was created to help pay for another magazine with poor sales figures, The Smart Set – which was supposed to compete with the New Yorker.  It wasn’t making money, but it was a prestigious title and so H. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan decided to try publishing a pulp to help pay the bills.  This wasn’t their first, having published Parisienne and Saucy Stories. 
From the beginning Black Mask was a general fiction title.  One of many in the period.  It advertised on its covers Detective, Adventure, Mystery, Romance, and Occult stories.  Early issues also published westerns.  The quality of these early issues wasn’t high but they sold the title for a huge profit from their initial investment.
Still, it took the new publishers a couple of years before an editor took over who changed the face of the magazine and crime fiction forever.  Joseph “Cap” Shaw took over the reins in 1926 and decided that crime fiction should fit the times, gritty, direct, and powerful.  He was also in favor of justice and depicting criminals as cowardly and no account.
Even at this stage of the pulps, entering their third decade, crime fiction was still somewhat laid back.  No longer the drawing room mysteries of years earlier, but relatively soft.  Yes, you had gun battles, Private Investigators, police, criminals, but it was still didn’t have the hard edge,  the punch it would have under the new editorship.
Under Cap Shaw that punch was delivered.  The stories started at a 60 miles per hour pace and just revved up, non-stop.  Shaw also realized Black Mask couldn’t compete as a general fiction magazine against such titles as Argosy, Adventure, Blue Book, and Short Stories, among others.  Black Mask had to concentrate on detective stories.  It took awhile, but eventually detective was all it published.
In 1923 Carroll John Daly wrote his first story for Black Mask, titled “Three Gun Terry,” about private investigator Terry Mack.  He would write later stories about Race Williams.  Williams wasn’t the first detective, but he was an uneducated, rough talking, rough acting individual, and always with something to say.  He was a street fighter and used his gun without compunction or remorse.  If he thought you deserved a bullet in the brain, you got it.
A year before Daly introduced Race Williams one-time Pinkerton agent, Dashiel Hammett, wrote about the Continental Op.  You never knew his name.  This first story, “The Road Home” appeared in the December 1922 issue of Black Mask under the name Peter Collinson.  In December 1923 Earle Stanley Gardner’s first story appeared, “The Shrieking Skeleton,” under the pen name of Charles M. Green.  Gardner would later leave the Black Mask stable as he chaffed under the constant editorial hand of Shaw trying to shape all of his writers after Hammett. 
In 1933 Raymond Chandler joined the pulp.
And so, with these and other authors, was born the hard boiled detective!
For 10 years Cap Shaw helmed Black Mask, and circulation grew.  Never a best selling title but one with great respect accorded to it.  How could it not with stories like the Maltese Falcon?
In 1923 Weird Tales entered the picture.  This was the first all fantasy and horror title.  Over its 30 year history it would change physical formats from pulp to bedsheet back to pulp and, finally, near the end in the 50s digest.
During those 30 years Harry Houdini, H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Seabury Quinn, Robert E. Howard, Edmond Hamilton, Robert Bloch, and many others, including Tennessee Williams first story (“The  Vengeance of Nitocris”) would grace the pages with characters from Cthulu, Conan, King Kull, Jules De Grandin, Dr. Satan, and more.
Covers were done by J. Allen St. John, Margaret Brundage, Virgil Finlay,  Hannes Bok, and others, these being the most notable.  Brundage’s covers included whipping nude or semi-nude nubile young women.  Rumor has it she used her daughter as a model, and many decried the covers which, of course, brought more attention and more sales.
Never a best selling title, always on the verge of bankruptcy, its impact resonated beyond the pulp world.  One story, by C. M. Eddy, Jr., included necrophilia and forced the magazine’s removal from some newsstands.  But, it also drew interest and sold well enough to stave off the bank.
There have been several attempts to revive Weird Tales after its original run ended in 1954 and there is one now been out for a couple of years.  If you’re interested in this number of current writers (Stephen King for one) have written for it.  Go to: http://weirdtalesmagazine.com
Otto Penzler has edited a huge (over 1,100 pages) compendium of Black Mask stories in the Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask.
This book includes the original Maltese Falcon story, the first time seeing publication since its original Black Mask publication, it having been modified since that original printing.
Authors include Carroll John Daly and his Race Williams (against the KKK no less), Earle Stanley Gardner, Richard Sale, Raoul Whitfield, Dashiel Hammet (as Peter Collinson), Fredric Brown, and more.  All the stories come with the original illustrations.
You can find this book at most bookstores and on Amazon.
All of the images are from my Pulp Image Library version 7 disk, on sale at pulps1st.com.