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“The Kid from Hell” by Steve Fisher

Link - Posted by David on March 24, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

STEVE FISHER is best known for his hardboiled work in Black Mask Magazine and in novels like “I Wake Up Screaming”. In 1936, Fisher had a story in each issue—save December—of Popular Publications long-running aviation pulp Dare-Devil Aces. Ten of these tales featured Captain Babyface and can be read in our published collection—Captain Babyface: The Complete Adventures. To mark it’s tenth anniversary, we have Fisher’s “The Kid from Hell” which ran in the October 1936 issue of Dare-Devil Aces sandwiched between the final two Babyface tales.

Bill Baxter was tired of being a stooge for the famous Mart Morrel, a guy who specialized in glory and let the War take care of itself—whose head was swollen twice as large as the Army’s best balloon! Still nobody doubted Morrel’s nerve or the fact that he could fly—it’s just that Baxter was well convinced that wind bags must come down!

For more great tales by Steve Fisher, check out Captain Babyface: The Complete Adventures—For Jed Garrett, “Captain Babyface” of the American Special Agent’s Corps, his orders are simple: Kill Mr. Death! But who is Mr. Death? One of Germany’s brightest chemists and inventors, he had grown weary of life and entered a monastery near Alsace-Lorraine. But war came and the monastery was bombed. Severely injured, German surgeons patched him back together, though he was left horribly disfigured. And now, sworn to vengeance against the Americans, he uses his evil genius for Germany in the “War to End All War!”

It’s Our 10th Anniversary!

Link - Posted by David on March 23, 2017 @ 6:00 am in

IT’S HARD to believe it’s already been ten years since we introduced you to Jed Garrett, aka Captian Babyface, and his faithful dog Click, the hell-hound, but it has. It was ten years ago today Age of Aces Books published it’s first—Captain Babyface: The Complete Adventures, gathering together all 10 of Steve Fisher’s tales of Captain Babyface and his battles against the skull-visaged Mr. Death that ran in the pages of Dare-Devil Aces in 1936.

Over the past ten years we’ve published the best names in weird World War I fiction from the tattered pages of the old pulp magazines. In addition to Steve Fisher, we’ve published work from the illustrious likes of Robert J. Hogan (The Red Falcon and Smoke Wade), Donald E. Keyhoe (Captain Philip Strange, The Vanished Legion and The Jailbird Flight); C.M. Miller (Chinese Brady), Ralph Oppenheim (The Three Mosquitoes), William E. Barrett (The Iron Ace), Robert M. Burtt (Battling Grogan), O.B. Myers (The Blacksheep of Belogue), Arch Whitehouse (Coffin Kirk), Harold F. Cruickshank (Sky Devil), William Hartley (Molloy & McNamara), and Frederick C. Painton (The Squadron of the Dead). That’s quite a list and we’ve got more to come!

We’ve tried to make our website a place to help you Journey back to an Age of Aces by not only featuring content about our books—the authors we’ve published and artist we’ve printed, but also other aspects of the old air pulps that don’t make it into our books as well—The pulp covers and the stories behind them, the lives of the aces in pictures, and their most thrilling sky fights!

And there’s free fiction Fridays when we frequently post stories that can be downloaded and read! Since it’s our tenth year we’re trying to have more frequent content up on the site and more stories—trying to increase from one or two a month to practically every Friday—and from the authors we’ve published as well as recurring website favorites—Joe Archibald’s Phineas Pinkham and Lt. Frank Johnson’s Silent Orth.

So stop back often to journey back and here’s hoping for 10 more great years bringing you the best of old air pulps in a new package!

Premiering at PulpFest 2016!

Link - Posted by David on July 18, 2016 @ 6:00 am in

Age of Aces will be back at PulpFest again this year where we will be debuting our two new titles!

First, we have the lastest in our Captain Philip Strange series—back with six more weird WWI stories in Strange Spectres! A mental marvel from birth, who used his talents on stage as a boy, Philip Strange is now known as “The Phantom Ace of G-2″ by the Allies during WWI. “Horrors of war” takes on a whole new meaning when WWI erupts with paranormal activity: Flaming planes piloted by charred skeletons; Battleship crews that mysteriously vanish; Medieval knights falling from the sky; The spirit of the Red Baron himself haunting the frontlines! When World War I gets weird, only America’s own “Phantom Ace of G-2” has a ghost of a chance against the supernatural slaughter. Captain Philip Strange in his strangest cases yet from the pages of Flying Aces magazine!

Our other title is from the pen of Frederick Painton, a prolific pulp author and venerated newspaper man. We’ve collected eight of his stories that ran in the pages of Sky Birds magazine in 1935 and are publishing them under the title Squadron of the Dead. The Squadron of the Dead contained all the hellions of ten armies! Men without hope; men courting death; men who loved to kill; men who laughed and fought, drank and cursed, lived hard, and died harder. Americans, British, Russians—even Germans—made up their ranks, and only one bond held them together: Death lay ahead of them. They were assigned the grim missions no other squadron dared to take—for they had all been condemned to die!

Painton’s Squadron of the Dead is a departure from our usual titles that feature a scrappy band of aviators flying through various adventures. Each of the eight stories in Painton’s Squadron of the Dead is the story of a different pilot who has been condemned to death and sent to the squadron to serve out his sentence. And die they did, dropping spies, bombing impossible places, strafing infantry for harassed Allied battalions. These men flew recklessly, savagely, knowing they could live again only when death really claimed them. Then their names would shine once again in the casualty announcements and they would be posthumously awarded the Legion d’Honneur.

In addition to these two volumes we’ll have all of our other titles that are still in print as well as our convention exclusive—Arch Whitehouse’s Coffin Kirk. So if you’re planning on coming to Columbus for PulpFest this year, stop by our table and say hi and pick up our latest releases!

Battle Aces Covers Gallery

Link - Posted by David on November 2, 2015 @ 6:00 am in

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve posted anything, but we’re back with a gallery of covers from Battle Aces magazine. Battle Aces was Popular Publication’s premiere aviation pulp debuting in October 1930 as one of Popular’s first four pulp magazines along with Gang World, Detective Action, and Western Rangers.





Unlike other Popular Publications aviation titles, Frederick Blakeslee did not paint all the covers! Don Hewitt provides the first cover, October 1930; with Rudolph Belarski doing honors for two early issues––November 1930 and January 1931; and Sidney Risenberg applying his talents for the February 1931 number. The December 1930 issue is Blakeslee’s first Popular aviation cover and he would take over the honors with the March 1931 issue and from then on for all Popular aviation titles–Dare-Devil Aces, Battle Birds, G-8 and his Battle Aces, etc.

Stating with the June 1931 issue, an editorial decision was made to feature actual war-time events on the cover and artist Frederick Blakeslee would provide a story behind these covers. We’ve featured a number of those Battle Aces covers over the past year as part of the Story Behind the Cover feature. And we’ve provided links to those posts in the gallery so you can learn more about those covers we’ve featured.

While we’re still building our Dare-Devil Aces Cover Gallery, The Battle Aces Cover Gallery collects all 27 covers and includes links to those whose stories we’ve posted. Check it out!

Strange Enemies Desktops

Link - Posted by David on August 28, 2012 @ 8:00 am in

We have more of Chris Kalb’s great splash page designs for the second volume of our Captain Philip Strange series. It was hard to pare it down to only three, so we’re throwing in a bonus wallpaper and making it four! So we have the cross-shapped daggers raining down from Devil’s Bait; Strange vs the giant black Zeppelin of Raid of The Red Reaper; the flame belching U-boat of Dromes of Hades; and the the Bat Staffel itself from Drome of the Bat Staffel! Of course you can check out all of Chris’ designs from Strange Enemies on the Strange Enemies Design page!


They are available in our Age of Aces Desktops Gallery in a variety of aspect ratios—pick the one that best suits your computer!

New Strange Desktops

Link - Posted by David on August 21, 2011 @ 2:38 pm in

We can’t stop harping on about the excellent art work that doesn’t get enough credit in our books. Frederick Blakeslee and John Flemming Gould were masters at rendering airplanes in flight while our own Chris Kalb’s inventive designs are simply the coolest out there.

In our books the spine breaks up the tableaus—and in the interior art galleries we present the art as it was originally published. We spend some time mending the images back together to create a complete image—with a majority of our work ending up in the gutter of the book anyway. Some of these images are just so good we felt the needed to turn them into desktops for you to enjoy on your computer everyday. And we’re getting the ball rolling with three of Chris’ splash page treatments from our latest book, Captain Philip Strange: Strange War. You can choose from the plane vs. pterodactyl of Scourge of the Skies; the bullseye cocarde of Cocardes of Courage; or the green flaming bombs, in black and white here, of The Unholy Horror!


They are available in our Age of Aces Desktops Gallery in a variety of aspect ratios—pick the one that best suits your computer.

We plan to add to the gallery with images from previous books as well as those to come!

More Great Blakeslee Covers!

Link - Posted by David on March 2, 2011 @ 8:06 pm in

For anyone who’s seen a number of G-8 and his Battle Aces covers, then you know Frederick Blakeslee was not as adept at rendering the human form as he was machinery. Trained as a draftsman and with his work at the Curtiss-Sperry Company, Blakeslee excelled in the minutia of areoplane design. And no where was this more evident than in the beautiful and dynamic covers he painted for Popular Publication’s air war anthology series: Battle Aces, Battle Birds and Dare-Devil Aces. The covers were never reflective of the stories within, but Blakeslee usually supplied a brief write-up of the events behind his monthly cover spectacular!

This time we have his twelve covers for the year of 1938 joining those already posted from 1932 through 1937 in our Dare-Devil Aces Cover Gallery! The July and November covers include a bonus of planes battling over a train yard–Blakeslee loved to paint trains as well, providing many covers for Popular’s Railroad Magazine.

More Amazing Blakeslee Covers!

Link - Posted by David on July 18, 2010 @ 2:26 pm in

This week we have more great Dare-Devil Aces covers by Frederick Blakeslee. Popular Publications published some dynamite aviation art on the cover of Dare-Devil Aces! Sadly, we don’t use more than a sliver of it for our books. But that’s a design choice — We’re not trying to keep anything from you. And now we’ve added two more years of great Blakeslee covers to our growing gallery––1936 and 1937!

Captain Babyface Backcover ThumbnailThe June and December covers of 1936 are probably the two most recognizable Dare-Devil Aces covers and we have featured both of them now on back covers of our books. Our very first publication, Steve Fisher’s Captain Babyface, featured the June cover on the back. Captain Babyface and Mr Death matched wits through ten of the twelve issues that year––their last scrap appearing in the November issue. William Hartley’s The Adventures of Molloy & McNamara started running in the July 1936 issue with the adventure we choose to use as the title for the volume, Satan’s Playmates, in the December issue allowing us to utilize it’s cover in the cover design of that book.

Red Falcon 4 Backcover ThumbnailAs 1936 gave way to 1937, Blakeslee’s covers move further away from depictions of planes in use during the late great hate and start to feature more contemporary planes in the frenetic melees depicted on the covers. Robert J. Hogan’s The Red Falcon was also printing it last stories in 1937 with the last Dare-Devil Aces Red Falcon story being published in the January 1938 issue. The June 1937 cover seemed to work best with the crimson cover of the Red Falcon’s fourth and final volume. This is the latest cover we’ve used, but fear not, this is not the last update to our covers gallery. There are more covers to come.

You can enjoy these as well as covers from 1932 through 1935 in our Dare-Devil Aces Cover Gallery!

More Great Blakeslee Covers!

Link - Posted by David on April 18, 2010 @ 1:14 pm in

This week we have more great Dare-Devil Aces covers by Frederick Blakeslee. Popular Publications published some dynamite aviation art on the cover of Dare-Devil Aces! Sadly, we don’t use more than a sliver of it for our books. But that’s a design choice — We’re not trying to keep anything from you. And now we’ve added two more years of great Blakeslee covers to our growing gallery––1934 and 1935!

We’ve only featured two covers from this period on our books. The Red Falcon: The Complete Dare-Devil Aces Years Volume III collected his adventures from January 1934 through July 1935 and as such we used the cover from the May 1934 issue on the back cover of that book. The three planes on the May 1934 issue sort of mirror the three planes challenging the Red Falcon and Sika in the Blakeslee illustration for “The Tom-Tom Ace” used on the cover.

The other cover we’ve used was from 1935. Chinese Brady: The Complete Adventures made use of the April cover. The grey clouds worked well with the orange cover in a way the usual blue sky Blakeslee uses on a majority of the covers didn’t.

You can enjoy these as well as covers from 1932 and 1933 in our Dare-Devil Aces Cover Gallery!

Dare-Devil Aces Cover Gallery Update!

Link - Posted by David on March 29, 2010 @ 1:28 pm in

One of the great features of the Popular Publications air war anthology pulps we reprint in our books are the original Frederick Blakeslee covers. We feature Blakeslee’s interior black and white illustrations heavily throughout our books and on the covers. But the actual pulp covers were never representational of any of the stories or characters inside, so we don’t really get to feature them in our books aside from the back cover where sadly they are cropped and covered by the UPC code. But here on our site we can prominently feature Blaleslee’s incredible covers for Dare-Devil Aces in full color!

The Dare-Devil Aces Cover Gallery is a work in progress. 3 Mosquitoes 2 back thumbWe’re starting off with a good number of the covers from 1932 through 1933. We are missing a few we plan to fill in in the future. You may recognize the tops of a number of these. The April 1932 cover was used on the back of The Three Mosquitoes: The Magic Inferno. That’s the only cover from 1932 we’ve used so far, but we’ve used a number of the 1933 covers. Featured on the backs of several of our other books are the February cover which was used on the back of The Red Falcon Vol.1 while the September cover was used for Volume 2. Our first collection of The Three Mosquitoes—The Wizard Ace—employed the August cover. The May issue featured on The Sky Devil: Hell’s Skipper!

Check out the Dare-Devil Aces covers here!