, later titled The Argosy
, Argosy All-Story Weekly
and The New Golden Argosy
, was an American pulp magazine
through 1978, published by Frank Munsey
until its sale to Popular Publications
in 1942. It is the first American pulp magazine.
The magazine began as a children's weekly story–paper entitled The Golden Argosy
. In the era before the Second World War, Argosy
was regarded as one of the "Big Four" pulp magazines, (along with Blue Book
and Short Stories
)- the most prestigious publications in the pulp market, that many pulp magazine writers aspired to publish in. John Clute
, discussing the American pulp magazines in the first two decades of the twentieth century, has described The Argosy
and its companion The All-Story
as "the most important pulps of their era."
Launch of The Golden Argosy
The Argosy, April 1906
In late September 1882, Frank Munsey
had moved to New York City to start Argosy
, having arranged a partnership with a friend already in New York and working in the publishing industry, and with a stockbroker
from Augusta, Maine
, Munsey's previous home. Munsey put most of his money, around $500, into purchasing stories for the magazine.
Once he was in New York, the stockbroker backed out, and Munsey decided to release his New York friend from involvement, since they were now hopelessly underfunded. Munsey then pitched the magazine to a New York publisher, and managed to convince him to publish the magazine and hire Munsey as editor.
The first issue was published on December 2, 1882 (dated December 9, 1882,
a common practice at the time), and came out weekly. The first issue was eight pages, cost five cents,
and included the first installments of serialized stories by Horatio Alger, Jr.
and Edward S. Ellis
Other authors associated with Argosy
’s early days include Annie Ashmoore, W. H. W. Campbell, Harry Castlemon
, Frank H. Converse, George H. Coomer, Mary A. Denison, Malcolm Douglas, Colonel A. B. Ellis
, J. L. Harbour, D. O. S. Lowell, Oliver Optic
, Richard Handfield Titherington, Edgar L. Warren and Matthew White, Jr. White would become the Argosy
’s editor from 1886 to 1928.
Five months after the first issue, the publisher went bankrupt and entered receivership
By placing a claim for his unpaid salary, Munsey managed to assume control of the magazine. It was a very unlikely financial proposition; subscriptions had been sold that had to be fulfilled, but Munsey had almost no money and credit from printers and other suppliers was impossible to come by. Munsey borrowed $300 from a friend in Maine, and managed to scrape along as he learned the fundamentals of the publishing industry.
Munsey found that targeting children had been a mistake, as they did not stay subscribed for any length of time, since they grew out of reading the magazine. Additionally, children did not have much money to spend, which limited the number of advertisers interested in reaching them.
Shift towards pulp fiction
In December 1888 the title was changed to The Argosy
. Publication switched from weekly to monthly in April 1894, at which time the magazine began its shift towards adult fiction, on its way to pioneering the pulp-magazine format and eventually becoming the first home of pulp
fiction. It eventually published its first all-fiction issue in 1896.
The all-fiction Argosy
launched a new genre of magazines, and is considered the pioneer among pulp magazines.
During the period 1906-1907, The Argosy
was selling 500,000 copies per issue.
The magazine switched back to a weekly publication schedule in October 1917. In January 1919, The Argosy
merged with Railroad Man's Magazine
and was briefly known as Argosy and Railroad Man's Magazine.
The All-Story Magazine
was another Munsey pulp. Debuting in January 1905 (the word "Magazine" was dropped from the title in 1908), this pulp was published monthly until March 1914. Effective March 7, 1914, it changed to a weekly schedule and the title All-Story Weekly
. In May 1914, All-Story Weekly
was merged with another story pulp, The Cavalier
, and used the title All-Story Cavalier Weekly
for one year. Editors of All-Story
included Newell Metcalf and Robert H. Davis.
In 2006, a copy of the October 1912 issue of The All-Story
, featuring the first appearance of the character Tarzan
in any medium, sold for $59,750 in an auction held by Heritage Auctions
Argosy All-Story Weekly
In 1922 Argosy
missed a chance to launch the career of E. E. Smith
. Bob Davis, then editor of Argosy
, rejected the manuscript of The Skylark of Space
, writing to Smith that he liked the novel personally, but that it was "too far out" for his readers.
This "encouraging rejection letter" did encourage Smith to try further, finally getting his novel published in Amazing Stories
In November 1941 the magazine switched to biweekly publication, then monthly publication in July 1942. The most significant change occurred in September 1943 when the magazine not only changed from pulp to slick paper but began to shift away from its all-fiction content. Over the next few years the fiction content grew smaller (though still with the occasional short-story writer of stature, such as P. G. Wodehouse
), and the "men's magazine" material expanded. By the late 1940s, it had become associated with the men's adventure
pulp genre of "true" stories of conflict with wild animals or wartime combat.
For most of its publishing lifespan, Argosy
was "never terribly successful",
but in the late 1940s and 1950s it experienced a significant boost in sales when it began running a new true crime
column, The Court of Last Resort
Lawyer-turned-author Erle Stanley Gardner
(later the creator of Perry Mason
) enlisted assistance from police, private detectives, and other professional experts to examine the cases of dozens of convicts who maintained their innocence long after their appeals were exhausted. The popular column appeared in Argosy
from September 1948 until October 1958, and was adapted for television as a 26-episode series
By the 1970s, it was racy enough to be considered a softcore
men's magazine
. The final issue of the original magazine was published in November 1978.
The magazine was revived briefly from 1990 to 1994 by Richard Kyle
. Kyle had intended to revive the publication in the mid 1980s, but his financing collapsed. He had, however commissioned Jack Kirby
to create a strip based on his early life in New York
. Although Kyle was unable to secure fresh financing, he pushed ahead with publication in 1990. Issue 2 of the revived magazine included Kirby's "Street Code
", shot as intended from the finished pencils.
Kyle's revival lasted only five issues, published sporadically. A quarterly published slick revival began in 2004. It briefly went on hiatus before resuming publication in 2005 as Argosy Quarterly
, edited by James A. Owen
. The focus of that version was on new, original fiction. It was only published into 2006. Starting December 2013, the Argosy
name has been revived again as a digital and print-on-demand publication, with the emphasis on pulp fiction by modern writers.
In 2016, Altus Press
Works originally published in Argosy
- ^ Kathryn Schulz (January 25, 2016). "Dead Certainty". The New Yorker. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
- ^ "Golden Age of Pulps". www.pulpmags.org.
- ^ a b c d e f g Ed Hulse. "The Big Four (Plus One)" in The Blood 'n' Thunder Guide to Collecting Pulps. Morris Plains, NJ: Murania Press. pp. 19–29. ISBN 0-9795955-0-9.
- ^ a b c Lee Server, Danger Is My Business: an illustrated history of the Fabulous Pulp Magazines. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. (1993) (pp. 22-6, 50) ISBN 978-0-8118-0112-6
- ^ John Clute, Science Fiction :The Illustrated Encyclopedia. London, Dorling Kindersley. 1995. ISBN 0-7513-0202-3 (p.43)
- ^ "The Story of the Argosy (Reprinted from the October 2, 1932 issue)". Archived from the original on January 5, 2005. Retrieved August 10, 2006.
- ^ Ashley, Michael (2000). The History of the Science Fiction Magazine, Volume 1, p. 21. Liverpool University Press.
- ^ a b c Sampson, Robert (1991). Yesterday's Faces, Volume 5: Dangerous Horizons, pp. 10-11. Bowling Green State University Popular Press.
- ^ Schneirov, Matthew (1994). The Dream of a New Social Order: Popular Magazines in America, 1893–1914, p. 117. Columbia University Press. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
- ^ a b Eggeling, John. "Argosy, The" in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, edited by John Clute and Peter Nicholls. London, Orbit,1994. ISBN 1-85723-124-4 (p. 50).
- ^ a b Locke, John. "Lost at Sea: The Story of 'The Ocean'". In Locke, John, ed. (2008). The Ocean: 100th Anniversary Collection, pp. 5-7. Off-Trail Publications.
- ^ Sumner, David E. (2010). The Magazine Century: American Magazines Since 1900, p. 23. Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.
- ^ Sampson, Robert. Yesterday's Faces: Dangerous Horizons. Popular Press, 1991. ISBN 978-0-87972-514-3 (pp 86-88).
- ^ Blek, Patrick Scott, Empires of Print: Adventure Fiction in the Magazines, 1899-1919 Taylor and Francis, 2017 ISBN 1-31-718505-6 (p.11).
- ^ a b Porges, Irwin (1975). Edgar Rice Burroughs. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press. pp. 143, 213–14. ISBN 0-8425-0079-0.
- ^ "Djuna Barnes published poetry in All-Story, The Cavalier, and Pearson's next to pulp authors like Max Brand and Edgar Rice Burroughs...". David M. Earle, Re-Covering Modernism : Pulps, Paperbacks, and the Prejudice of Form. London; New York : Routledge, 2016. ISBN 9781315604077 (p.65)
- ^ "Rare Pulp Brings Record Price at Heritage! Price of $59,750 Triples Previous Auction Record for any Pulp Magazine". Heritage Auctions. September 2006. The old record was set at Sotheby's in 1998," said Ed Jaster, Vice-President for Heritage, "when a different copy of this same pulp sold for the then-impressive price of $17,000. The $59,750 that this beautiful copy achieved sets a new high watermark for the world of pulp collectors.
- ^ Sanders p. 9, Moskowitz p. 15.
- ^ Nick Carr, Ron Hanna and Ver Curtiss (2008). The Pulp Hero: Deluxe Edition. Wild Cat Books. pp. 160, 234–5.
- ^ "The Pulp Swordsmen:Denis Burke" at REHupa Website, Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
- ^ Lee Server (2002). Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction Writers. New York: Infobase Publishing. pp. 58–59. ISBN 0-8160-4577-1.
- ^ Lee Server (2002). Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction Writers. New York: Infobase Publishing. pp. 80–84. ISBN 0-8160-4577-1.
- ^ "The Men who Make The Argosy: Charles Alden Seltzer". Archived from the original on January 10, 2005. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
- ^ "The Men Who Make The Argosy : Tom Curry". Archived from the original on January 1, 2005. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
- ^ "The Men Who Make The Argosy : Gordon MacCreagh". Archived from the original on January 10, 2005. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
- ^ Nolan, William F., Max Brand, western giant: the life and times of Frederick Schiller Faust, Popular Press, 1985 ISBN 978-0-87972-291-3 (p. 137)
- ^ a b c Schulz, Kathryn (January 25, 2016). "Dead Certainty". The New Yorker. Condé Nast: 60. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- ^ Morrow, John, ed. (February 19, 2004). Collected Jack Kirby Collector. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 129. ISBN 1893905004.
- ^ "Argosy Magazine Website". Welcome. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
- ^ moring (October 5, 2016). "Argosy, Black Mask, and Famous Fantastic Mysteries Return". Altus Press. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
Last edited on 8 June 2021, at 20:34
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