Saturday, January 27, 2018

Fanzine flashback #3.5:
Fantasy Advertiser from 1948

(It's been a redonkulous 174 weeks since the last installment of this series. This will only be a partial treatment, though, so I'm not counting it as full-fledged #4.)

Fanzine flashback #3.5: At a glance

  • Title: Fantasy Advertiser
  • Issue: Volume III, No. 2
  • Date: July 1948
  • Primary purpose: Articles and numerous advertisements
  • Pages: 24
  • Size: 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches
  • Binding: Two staples
  • Planographed by: John S. Swift Co., Inc.
  • Printed in: St. Louis, Missouri
  • Price: 10¢
  • Editor: Gus Willmorth
  • Awesome cemetery-themed cover artwork: Henry Ernst
  • Description: "'The Amateur Professional for Professional Amateurs', published bi-monthly at 1503-3/4 12th Avenue, Los Angeles 6, California, by Gus Willmorth as a service to fantasy fans everywhere."
  • Advertising rates: Ranged from 50 cents for a small ad to $5 for a full page.

Sampling of advertisements

  • King Bros. Books of San Francisco was selling Beyond the Wall of Sleep, by H.P. Lovecraft, for $30. (That's $310 in modern dollars! If this, however, is indeed the Arkham House edition, it would have been a bargain at that price. Depending on the condition, it now sells for between $500 and $2,000.)
  • Will Sykora, a "scientifictionist" and "science hobbyist" living in Long Island, promised to answer all letters sent to him.
  • In a full-page ad, Ernst Schwartz of Tiny Novels Inc. in Lake Placid, New York, promised one free book with every order of 10 or more books. The free book would be The Pocket Book of Short Stories, The Pocket Book of Science-Fiction, or Oliver Twist. Also, if you ordered more than 20 books, the price dropped from 40 cents per book to 33 cents per book.
  • Gorgon Press of Denver, Colorado, was selling a limited edition of 1,000 copies of Moonfoam and Sorceries by Stanley Mullen (illustrated by Roy Hunt). The cost was $3.
  • Volumes being sold by The House of York included Mistress Masham's Repose by T.H. White (89 cents), Star of the Unborn by Franz Werfel ($1.39), and The Beast of the Haitian Hills by Philippe & Pierre Marcelin ($1).
  • Paul Skeeters of Pasadena, California, was offering his full run of Astounding Science Fiction from January 1930 through July 1948 for $150.
  • The Devil's Foot Book Shop in Providence, Rhode Island, in a full-page advertisement, had offerings including John Silence by Algernon Blackwood, The Lords of Ghostland by Edgar Saltus, The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Hans Heinz Ewers, and The Fallen Race by Austyn Granville. Most books were priced between $5 and $10.
  • E.A. Martin of Hartford, Connecticut, was looking for someone who would sell him issues 4, 5, and 7 of the Fortean Society's "Doubt."
  • Joseph B. Baker of Chicago was selling A Treatise of Ghosts, described as "written in French by the Learned FATHER NOEL TAILLEPIED of the Order of the Capuchins, and now first translated into English. With an introduction and commentary by Montague Summers." Price was $7.50.
  • Interplanetary Games of Fulton, New York, was selling, for just $2, Interplanetary, a "game of astronomy" in a "De Luxe Set" with "108 Beautiful Plastic Pieces." Immediate delivery was guaranteed.

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