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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!

“Slow-Speed Demon” by Robert J. Hogan

Link - Posted by David on January 15, 2016 @ 6:00 am in

This time around we have a tale from the man that brought us The Red Falcon, Smoke Wade and G-8 and his Battle Aces—Robert J. Hogan! From the pages of the June 1933 number of Flying Aces, we have a tale of modern aviation—Chuck Page pits his plane he’s cobbled together against the big boys in a cross-country race!

Set an old orange crate of a ship up against a couple of low-winged speed demons in a cross-country air race—and they’d call you crazy. But some people say that a race is more a test of the pilot than of the ship, and maybe they’re right. Here’s a story of modern aviation to prove it.

The Hogan/Steeger Letters 6

Link - Posted by David on January 29, 2015 @ 6:00 am in

A few years ago, writer and frequent Age of Aces contributer Don Hutchison came up to our table at PulpFest and handed us a manilla envelope, entrusting us with its contents. When we opened the envelope, there were correspondence between Robert Hogan and Henry Steeger and a copy of the Newton, New Jersey Sunday Herald from October 21st, 1962.

While we don’t have a copy of Bob Swift’s G-8 homage that ran in the Miami Herald Sunday Magazine on July 8th, 1962, we do have an article on Robert J. Hogan that ran in his local paper, the Newton, NJ Sunday Herald in October of 1962. We posted the article—“Lurid Plots Hatched In Sussex Boro”—back in October. What follows is the correspondence between Robert J. Hogan and Henry Steeger in regard to this article. . .

 

October 22, 1962    

 

Dear Harry:

    Seemed to us the editors did a specially fine job on the local story of G-8. See pages 6 and 7 of our little Sunday Section inclosed. I’m sending a couple of copies in case you might want to send one around to agencies or whatever. If you should want more of this or the Sunday Magazine of the July 8th Miami Herald let me know and I’ll get you more.

Seems as if we might interest some soft cover publisher into trying one printing of a G-8. We could offer it with no cost to him and the use of the cover painting for the cover of the book. We could take our royalties later, if any, so the soft cover publisher wouldn’t be losing any advance money that the first try didn’t earn. If we were going to be north longer I’d take these two G-8 writeups and see what I could do canvassing the various soft cover markets. But we’re starting south in a few days. Betty’s father is worse and we want to get down nearby where we can help out.

Since we’ll be on the move by the time you receive this, I’m giving you the address of the Hogan shanty in Coral Gables.

Sorry we didn’t get together while we were north, but maybe next time, let’s hope.

                    Best,
                    Robert J. Hogan

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

October 30, 1962    

 

Dear Bob:

I was certainly surprised to see the article about our good friend G-8 in the New Jersey Sunday Herald. Even though the first World War is a long distance away, G-8 still flies all over the place. Thanks so much for sending me the two copies. I enjoyed reading the article immensely.

It would be great if we could find some soft cover publisher who would like to try a printing of G-8. It certainly would be OK with me, Bob, if you know such a publisher. I don’t believe I have any friends in this particular field.

I’m so sorry we didn’t have the opportunity of getting 
together for a bull fest. It would have been grand to 
see you, and I can tell from the photographs in the
 Sunday Herald that you look exactly the same as you al
ways did. I was most disappointed to find out you had
 been at the office while I was away. Let’s try to arrange a meeting next time you move north.

Here’s all the best to you and Betty,

 

 

Berkely Medalion would eventually publish a series of 8 G-8 and His Battle Aces unabridged paperbacks from 1969 through 1971—the first three with new cover art by Jim Steranko.

The Hogan/Steeger Letters 5

Link - Posted by David on January 28, 2015 @ 6:00 am in

A few years ago, writer and frequent Age of Aces contributer Don Hutchison came up to our table at PulpFest and handed us a manilla envelope, entrusting us with its contents. When we opened the envelope, amung other things, there were letters from Robert Hogan to Harry Steeger and back again.

The correspondence continues. Bob Swift’s G-8 piece has been published in the Miami Herald Sunday Magazine Sunday July 8th, 1962. (Steeger did not include a copy of the article with his correspondence files and we have been unable to get a hold of a copy of this article otherwise). . .

 

July 12, 1962    

 

Dear Harry:

    The G-8 piece finally came out and we all feel it was well worth waiting for. I saw Bob Swift yesterday and he said hed sent you a copy and returned the G-8 magazines you had sent him. So you should see it for yourself if you haven’t already.

    Bob Swift feels very strongly that G-8 should be a TV series and so do we all, of course. They’ve had about every type now except the World War One flying stuff and G-8 should do it well. I think if j:e could get a piece like this or this piece itself or an enlargement of this G-8 piece in a national magazine we might be on our way to the TV moneybags.

    We’re heading north July 26th so we’ll be there during August and probably the fall and hope I can drop in for a hello when we get into New York.

    A chance came along to rent our home down here to some nice folks until November 1st. They had to get in right off so we’ve taken an apartment here where we’ve been on similar occasions. Third floor and nice and cool.

    If you write after the 26th of this month better address us at our old stand:
                                    Box 248
                                    Sparta
                                    New Jersey

                    Best,
                    Robert J. Hogan

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

July 16, 1962    

 

Dear Bob:

I enjoyed hearing from you. It’s good to know that the G-8 piece finally came out and I shall look forward to having a gander at it. So far it hasn’t arrived.

We’d have great fun with, a G-8 TV shov and it’s a tribute you certainly deserve. I’ll keep ay finders crossed that something will happen.

I’m in New York City during the week during the summer and out on the Island for weekends. It’s nice and cool out there, but I remember from the past that you said Florida was comfortable even in the summertime.

Hope to say hello to you one of these days.

                    Best,

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 
And to Bob Swift at the Miami Herald:

July 18, 1962    

 

Dear Bob:

That’s a great article! I got such a kick out of it that I practically drooled nostalgia all over my desk.

The Miami Herald Sunday Magazine and your letter arrived just a few minutes ago and I read each of them immediately. You did the job to perfection and I congratulate you for having captured so well all the delights and joys of a 14-year-old’s heart. I know Bob Hogan himself enjoyed your article very much because I had a letter from him yesterday in which he told me about it. I hope it gets around to all the places where it will do the most good. If Bob could sell a TV show from it, he would indeed be a very happy feller.

I am glad you had such gratifying results from the story. I started publishing as soon as I was out of school and G-8 was one of the first publications. In about 3 years from the standing start we had the largest pulp magazine house in New York – and we were still in our 20’s. In fact, we eacj borrowed $5,000 to get it started, and no one ever had it so good as did we during the war! After that, rising costs killed off the pulp market and people became interested in a more ritzy product. It took us several years to get ARGOSY really rolling and each issue costs anywhere from 30 to 50 times what a pulp magazine would have set us back.

I wonder if it would be possible for you to send me 2 more copies of the Sunday Magazine. I’d like to send one to John Fleming Gould, illustrator for the G-8 stories, because he, too, enjoyed doing this work so much. I’d like to send the second one to a New York advertising agency in the hope that some interest might be sparked for a TV show.

Thanks for sending back the copies of G-8 and His Battle Aces – and good luck.

                    Regards,

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

 

Dear Harry:

Here are a oouple more issues of the magazine. Hope John Gould enjoys seeing his old stuff in print again. Bob Hogan is probably en route north by now so expect you’ll see him shortly. I hope either you or Bob will let me know if you do anything further with G-8, in print or on TV.

Regards,
Bob Swift

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

August 9, 1962    

 

Dear Bob:

Many thanks for sending along the two copies of G-8. I’ll use them where they’ll do the most good, I hope, and if there are any TV or other offers I’ll keep you advised.

Kindest regards.

                    Sincerely,

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 
And to Edward J. Degray of Degray & Associates:

August 9, 1962    

 

Dear Ed:

I have a possibility in mind for a TV show. It may be remote and unusable, but you are the guy to judge. It’s concerned with an old magazine we published called “G-8 And His Battle Aces”. This was pure kid stuff but it appealed to kids all oyer the United States and, like the Model A Ford, copies of G-8 are now selling for 50 bucks apiece.

The author wrote me recently, saying there had been some talk of a TV show and, as usual, the letters TV brought you immediately to mind. I have an article from the Miami Herald Sunday Magazine telling all about G-8 And His Battle Aces – and if you’d like to have a gander at it, please let me know and I’ll shoot it along.

Kindest regards.

                    Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

 

 

As far as we’ve been able to assertain, a possible G-8 and his Battle Aces tv show never got beyond the talking stage. Sadly, Robert J. Hogan would pass away the following year

The Hogan/Steeger Letters 4

Link - Posted by David on January 27, 2015 @ 6:00 am in

A few years ago, writer and frequent Age of Aces contributer Don Hutchison came up to our table at PulpFest and handed us a manilla envelope, entrusting us with its contents. When we opened the envelope, amung other things, there were letters from Robert Hogan to Harry Steeger and back again.

The correspondence continues but this time with a series of memorandums between Henry Steeger and Bob Swift, editor of the Miami Herald Sunday Magazine, as he prepares to publish the article on Robert J. Hogan and G-8 and his Battle Aces. . .

 

Feb. 17, 1962    

 

Dear Mr. Steeger:

Sorry to be so late returning your file copy of g-8, but my color lab people kept experimenting to see if they could get a better reproduction of the cover.

I’m just about set to go with the story about B0b Hogan. But first, can I impose on you to send me a few more copies of G-8? I really would like to quote from more than one novel and use illustrations from several books if I can. Besides, I’d like to read the damned things. They take me back, with all that jazz about Spandaus and tarmac and ach du liebers.

Thanks again for your help.

Sinceraly,
Bob Swift, Editor
Sunday Magazine

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

February 26, 1962    

 

Dear Mr. Swift:

I got quite a kick out of going through that copy of G-8 myself. I’ll try to dig up a few mora for you and shoot them along. I’d appreciate it if you’d return them to me when you’ve finished with them so that we can restore them to the files.

I’ll be looking forward to your article.

                    Sincerely,

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

March 13, 1962    

 

Dear Mr. Swift:

Thanks for returning the June 1935 issue of G-8 AHD HIS BATTLE ACES.

We’ve dug up three more issues – October, November and December 1936 – and these are enclosed, You can shoot them back when you’ve finished with them.

                    Sincerely,

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

July 11, 1962    

 

Dear Harry:

Here are your copies of G-8, and I must say I return them with great regret. There’s a great deal of nostalgia about the pulps and I mourn their passing, as you may gather from my story about Bob Hogan and G-8.

The response to the story has been gratifying, with a great deal of comment from balding, bespectacled guys in their 30’s and early 40’s. Most of that comment concerns the nostalgia they felt for the old days in the small towns, journeying to drug store or news stand for G-8 and all the other pulps, the whole flavor of being 10 or 14 or so during that era.

Actually, I cheated a little. I was only four years old when G-8 first appeared and didn’t actually pick up on him until about 1939 or 1940. But I made up for it by buying all the old copies I could find in the second hand book stores.

Anyway, thanks for your help and patience. By the way, if you’d like to run a story about Hogan and G-8 in one of your present books I’d like the assignment. Perhaps a similar story?

Regards,
Bob Swift

 

 

 

 

The Hogan/Steeger Letters 3

Link - Posted by David on January 23, 2015 @ 6:00 am in

A few years ago, writer and frequent Age of Aces contributer Don Hutchison came up to our table at PulpFest and handed us a manilla envelope, entrusting us with its contents. When we opened the envelope, amung other things, there were letters from Robert Hogan to Harry Steeger and back again.

The correspondence continues . . .

 

Feb. 3, 1962    

 

Dear Harry:

    It was so nice to heer the enthusiastic agreement with our 50-50 idea on good old G-8. We’re working on it. Betty came up with an idea a while ago. She said it seemed that Walt Disney would be the only outfit on the coast or anywhere to do justice to G-8 if he came back for movies and/or TV. Betty always was the brains of our family and that proves it. Of course, Disney, when the time is right. I believe this is something that needs care and good, Efceajiy buildup (if we live so long) if we can get the idea off the ground at all. But strange things happen. Sax Rohmer’s brother-in-law is a friend of ours down here. Bill said some outfit paid Sax $4,000,000 for all rights to Fu Manchu not long before his death and the old Chinaman had been outmoded and outdated for many years. TV is a hungry monster and no telling which ways the giant jaws may snap. Certainly not our way, likely, but it’s just as well to be prepared.

    I liked the way Erle Gardner handled Perry Mason for TV. Of course we haven’t got a Perry Mason but the approach (and it does seem we do have a sizeable ready-made audience), seems to me, should be the same, slowly and carefully until we get things right. I could use a little or a lot of money myself at this or any time (who couldn’t) but not to the extent that we have to make a quick sale at sacrifice to a well done product. Last night I watched the rehash of the 1946 spy movie 13 Rue Madeleine on our TV. The review said it was GOOD. I decided after watching it that some of the old G-8s could show Madelein some real suspense. Kind of got me itching to get things going. Anyway, we’ll see.

    I’m writing mainly to say thanks and to give you our new temperary address. Don’t feel you must answer this, but any ideas are always welcome. We’ve rented out Coral Gables shanty till April 10th to some nice folks (we hope) from Darien, Conn. So we’re very comfortable near Betty’s folks In a one bedroom apartment where we’ve spent two winters before this, secomd floor overlooking a lovely garden, coconut palms, avacado and grapefruit trees outside the window and such. And right now it’s in the mid 70s. How about you and Shirley coming on down? We’ve got the big, old Chrysler to get around in.

    Bob Swift of the Herald Sunday Magazine said last time I talked to him that the photo lab hasn’t brought down your G-8 mad yet. Soon as they do he’ll return it to you. Meantime, he’s slated the article for Sunday magazine early in March.

                    Best,
                    Robert J. Hogan

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

February 5, 1962    

 

Dear Bob:

    Let’s all Keep our fingers crossed that G-8 hits the TV screens!

    It was good to hear from you again – and let’s hope a sale is made. I agree with you that G-8 could show many of these programs some real suspense.

    Be sure to send me a copy of the Herald Sunday Magazine when G-8 makes his bow early in March.

    Wish we could get down to see you, but Shirl and the kids and I usually go north to ski during the winter time.

    Your set-up sounds terrific and I can lmaglne life must really be pleasant in your Florida home.

                    Best,

 

 

The Miami Herald Sunday Magazine feature on Robert J. Hogan and G-8 and his Battle Aces would not see print until July of 1962. Our correspondence picks up next week with notes between Bob Swift and Henry Steeger.

The Hogan/Steeger Letters 2

Link - Posted by David on January 22, 2015 @ 6:00 am in

A few years ago, writer and frequent Age of Aces contributer Don Hutchison came up to our table at PulpFest and handed us a manilla envelope, entrusting us with its contents. When we opened the envelope, amung other things, there were letters from Robert Hogan to Harry Steeger and back again.

Responding to Steeger’s letter of the 11th, Hogan fills Steeger in on the interview with Bob Swift for the Miami Herald Sunday Magazine and talk of the rights structure to the G-8 stories and the possibility of a G-8 television show. . .

 

January 22, 1962    

 

Dear Harry:

    So good to get your letter of December 11th. Thanks for your congrats and your always kind words.

    We’ve had the interview with Bob Swift, Editor of the Miami Herald Sunday Magazine, and photographer. Also met Jim Eussell, Business and financial Editor of the Herald, who as a Louisiana boy had G-8 mania. These G-8 fans I’ve met and heard from in recent years are a high-type bunch of guys, literate and respected. Fact, I’ve never met or heard from a G-8 reader who didn’t seem someone to be proud of. The G-8 interview, with pictures, was supposed to consume about an hour last Tuesday afternoon. It consumed 3½ hours Instead, and two days later Bob Swift talked for an hour and a half on the phone, all of which I enjoyed, of course.

    Bob is returning the magazine you sent him as soon as the photo lab at the Herald gets squared away for their color print from the cover. Then, I believe, he hopes to ask you for several more to choose typical passages from for the article. Also, he said, “I’d read every one if I could get them again.” That seemed to me a fantastic angle. Bob read G-8s as a boy. Now he’s editor of one of the largest magazine Sunday supplements in the country and still likes to read them. He said he enjoyed reading the novel you sent him just as much as when he was a kid. Said, as before, he couldn’t lay it down.

    That seems to be the opinion of others who have grown to positions of responsibility. A letter arrived the other day from an old reader who got our Coral Gables address from a recent SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. It was written on the stationary of one of the larger Madison Avenue advertising agencies and he signed himself; “Executive Producer Radio-TV Programming Department.” I’d like to think it’s a feeler for some use of G-8 in either of his mediums, but more than likely not. Anyway, it could be a wedge. He says, in part: “With regard to G-8, I would certainly like to see more of this kind of reading for my boy who is just about the age I was when I was first Introduced to our hero.” He also said he deplored a lack of back copies of the magazine and was trying to think of some way to get the past ones reprinted possibly as paperbacks. He went on about settling a little bet with another G-8 fan as to whether there was ever a woman villain in any of the G-8 stories. He ended the letter: “With many thanks again for everything you have done for us indirectly —-” There must be some smoke behind all these little signal fires, which might be to our advantage if handled correctly.

    You mentioned in your letter, Harry, that you had no sales set-up for a G-8 renaissance and suggested I try selling G-8 to one or several mediums. So far as adapting or scripting any of the old stories for TV or whatever, I’ve never done a script although my/stuff has sold to TV in GE and Loretta Young and to the movies, all of which was adapted in the studios, the only thing I might help out in, beside sales, would be in an advisory capacity. I’m also afraid any efforts to write new G-8 stories would lack the old zing of twenty or more years ago. Anyway, there were a hundred odd old stories, which the old readers have forgotten and, according to their many expressions of hope, would like to read over again in newly published paperback editions. Also new reader possibilities.

    I’ve thought of the autobiographical book I mentioned in my other letter (a backward look at the old pulp days with a G-8 novel added) as a possible build-up to a string of republished G-8 paperbacks, if we could sell the idea to any of the paperback publishers. This might eventually lead to the sale for TV. In any event, it Is a very long shot in the dark. However, with all the furor the old readers have whipped up, particularly in the nation-wide organization known as “The Society of World War I Aero Historians,” which boasts a pretty impressive membership of successful young executives, including the advertising guys I mentioned, something might go.

    Betty’s father, Vic Lambdin, lives near us. He, my father-in-law, has been political cartoonist and newspaper man all his life (now retired). He says this thing busting out as a feature in the Miami Herald Sunday Magazine could very well bring what is needed to set off G-8 as a big thing. Turns out there are upwards of 5,000,000 readers of the Sunday Magazine down here at this time of year, with Florida loaded at the peak with what some laughingly call “the nation’s most important people.” Vic says they’re likely to burn up the Hogan phone with various offers or whatever. I don’t count on it, but it would be fun up to a point and, If so, it would be well to be prepared. With that in mind, it seems that maybe we should have some better idea of rights, mine and yours, in this thing.

    Here is the way I recollect the G-8 set-up as to ownership. I remember near the start you told me it was understood that the magazine was yours. As long as I wanted to and/or could write the G-8 stories, that was fine. But if anything happened to me, you wanted Betty to understand that you would have to get someone else to write it under Robert J. Hogan. Of course we agreed.

    As to the rights to all stories I wrote for you, at first you purchased only first serial rights. Then, because some writers were selling second serial rights to competing magazines, you bought all serial rights. At the time you explained this to me, you said that at any time I had legitimate sales for my writing to mediums other than competing magazines you would release the rights back to me.

    So, from the above, you own the magazine and I own the story rights. Now it seems to me with the bare possibility of something some day coming of this G-8 furor in paperbacks, TV, radio or whatever, there could be overlapping of rights and interests here and there. Also, we’ve always had the best relations with each other, Harry, and never a line of written contract. It seems to Betty and me that the best way to handle this, for all concerned and our joint good, would be on a fifty-fifty basis on all past G-8 stuff. If G-8 went into paperbacks I would like to write a forward for each, telling how that particular story came to be written and how I got the idea for that menace or war machine which seems to be the main part that the old readers still go nuts over. That would be part of our joint paperback sales, if any.

    In other words, whatever we could make out of old G-8 we would split the gross take, you and I, fifty-fifty. We might need an agent, but so far we have never needed one, and if contracts required a careful check, your Popular Publications attorney might take care of it.

    There probably isn’t a chance in the world that this G-8 comeback will amount to anything. However, some crazy things are happening these days. And wouldn’t it be fun to see the old boy diving in again with Nippy and Bull flying wing in Spads 13 and 7?

    If this idea is agreeable with you—the feature story is due out in a week or two—would it be well for Bob Swift to mention in the article that the G-8 stories, series or whatever, are being submitted or negotiated for paperback and/or TV? How would you suggest wording it on the chance of raising some interest?

                    Our best to you and yours, Harry.
                    Robert J. Hogan

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

January 25, 1962    

 

Dear Bob:

    Needless to say, I enjoyed your letter of January 22nd very much. It was nice to hear from you and it was good news that the popular demand for a return of G-8 and his Battle Aces appears to be growing.

    I think your idea for a fifty-fifty split on possible sales is very fair and I agree with your letter in every respect. Since I agree completely, I am sure it won’t be necessary for me to requote these points.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see a pocketbook of G-8 stories or a television program? I’m sure that either one would be a real success. In fact, just the reading of your letter made me feel nostalgic again about Nippy and Bull.

    Here’s wishing us luck, Bob – and my kindest personal regards to you and the family.

                    Sincerely.

 

 

The Hogan/Steeger Letters

Link - Posted by David on January 16, 2015 @ 8:00 am in

A few years ago, writer and frequent Age of Aces contributer Don Hutchison came up to our table at PulpFest and handed us a manilla envelope, entrusting us with its contents. When we opened the envelope, amung other things, there were letters from Robert Hogan to Harry Steeger and back again.

On December 7th, 1961, prompted by the growing nostagia over World War I and G-8 and his Battle Aces in particular, Robert J. Hogan took the time to write to his old publisher and friend Harry Steeger. . .

 

December 7, 1961    

 

Dear Harry:

    For some time I’ve been going to drop you a line on the matter of an old friend. Tempus fidgets and none of us is getting younger, except one old geezer who seems to be looming out of the past to haunt me, bless him. He, according to books, mailed reports, phone calls and magazines articles, seems to be growing younger and it does me good to think that I gave birth to this full sized adult who, defying the laws of Nature and Biology, seems to be gradually taking a second hold on life. Namely good old G-8 and His Battle Aces.

    I received my first inkle of this shot in the arm for the old boy perhaps three years, yes? over three years ago, when a guy phoned me long distance from somewhere to tell me how much he used to enjoy G-8 and to ask me if I had any copies of G-8 magazines I would care to part with. I said I had none for sale or loan but that I did love his flattery. He went on to say that he had been trying to buy some old back copies of G-8 and recently had been offered a brace of three, without covers, but assured that the first page of contents was there WITH THE AUTHOR’S NAME visible. The back number mag merchant would part with these three for the meager price of $7.00 for the three. He said he had asked what he might get one or more with covers and in good condition for and was told that if such a rare item could be found anywhere they would run from $10. each up and up and up. That was well over 3 years ago.

    A year ago Betty picked up a well written contemperary paper back novel wherein some guy was sounding off on “My country right or wrong,” after which he apologized by saying, “Damned if I don’t sound like G-8 and his Battle Aces.” Then continued a few sentences of dialogue something like, “Damned if you don’t look like G-8,” and “Wasn’t that the best damned set of character stories that ever hit print?” etc. etc.

    Next thing, one of the boys in the Sparta PO said someone had come through asking where the house of Robert J. Hogan was. Said he wanted to see where G-8 stories were written. This was nearly 15 years after publication was suspended.

    I’ve had the general run of pleasant flattery all the way. But a few months ago the magazine section of the Miami Sunday Herald came out with a piece about World War I planes and the furor that is now cooked up. Mel Torme, the singer, is head of a club, as you likely know, who hold a kind of worship for World War I fliers and planes and who make a thing of collecting G-8 and his Battle Aces magazines. This article referred to G-8 as a fast returning popular character. I phoned the editor of the mag section and asked him, a nice guy named Bob Swift, how come he had mentioned G-8. He said, “Because it’s the hottest thing in present day collectors’ items. I read it, every issue, when I was a kid. Used to sit on the curb in front of the mag store where I bought it because I couldn’t wait to get home to read it.”

    The upshot of all this is that he wants to run a piece on ye old creator and writer of G-8 and His Battle Aces. I told him I had nothing on G-8 down here with me. He said he would write you and ask if you might have an old proof sheet or something you could send him of one of the old cover prints. He wants to do a special in full color in the Sunday mag. No doubt you have heard from him by now.

    On top of that comes an article in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED? October 30th 1961 issue, by Robert H. Boyle, titled HELL’S OLD ANGELS. On page 61 on and on under the paragraph head THE FLYING SPY he does some nice stuff on old G-8 and says that Hollywood and other sources are now probing the possibilities of making TV series out of World War I stuff and—well you can read it. You’ll get a kick out of it, I know.

    Wouldn’t it be something if they saw a good TV series in G-8 and His Battle Aces? I know that if or when G-8 sells to TV or whatever interests, you’ll see to it that they make fitting payment to the guy who originated and wrote the series. Believe me, we can use it.

    For now, I’m writing about another angle of this new G-8 popularity. Because of this furor that seems to have been growing over G-8, bless his handsome heart and diary, I’m planning to do a sort of autobiographical book about the old pulp days as I knew them and the development of said G-8 and His Battle Aces and how they grew. So many amazing and Interesting things connected with the writing of the magazine and the pulps in general. Why and how come practically every owner of a seat on the NY stock exchange came to read G-8 and His Battle Aces, a magazine aimed at age 14 I believe you said, and never missed a copy during the 30s. The fun we had writing for the pulps and the funny things that came up from the thousands of letters we received from fans all over the world. And I’m hoping I could have your permission (when I get the autobiog. part done) to publish one of the G-8 novels at the conclusion of the book, with illustrations, cover and all. At least some arrangement so any cost for such rights, if any, wouldn’t come out of me and my royalties.

    Best to Al Norton, Eva, Peg and any others of the old bunch who may still be about. And the best of the best to you, Harry. It’s beginning to look like we created an era that may live for some time in the memory of the old G-8 readers. How many total readers, would you guess, G-8 really had during the years? Seems about every young man I’ve ever talked to of that age range read the mag at some time.

                    Yours,
                    Robert J. Hogan

 

— ✪ ✪ ✪ —

 

December 11, 1961    

 

Dear Bob:

    I can’t tell you what a big kick I got out of your letter of December 7th. It’s been a long time since we exchanged letters, and I’ve often wondered how you were doing.

    One of my chief regrets has been the demise of the pulp magazines. I thought they were great fun and G-8 was one of the best. I, too, have noticed the resurgence of popularity for G-8 and have seen his name mentioned even in newspaper pieces and magazine articles not mentioned in your letter. He must have struck a tremendous note of popularity which even we were not quite aware of. I was fascinated to read all of the listings made by you of his recent appearances. The old boy had a lot of fight in the beginning and he still has a lot of fight in him. More congratulations and felicitations to you, Bob. You did a magnificent job and you brought great happiness to what looks like all the kids of America. Certainly a large percentage of them.

    As you know, World War I planes are still very popular. People like to collect them and to look at them, much the same as old automobiles. They also like articles on old planes. Each time we’ve run an article in ARG0SY on old planes it has been extremely popular.

    Yes, I think a good TV series on G-8 and his Battle Aces would be quite some thing. Maybe you could sell some breakfast food company on the idea. There would certainly be no better person to write it than your noble self. However, we do not have any salesmen in this particular realm and, hence, could make no effort on our parts toward selling the property.

    An autobiographical book about the old pulp days would be most amuslng and I think quite a collector’s item. If you do it, I’m sure you would please many readers. If there is any way in which we can help, just call on us.

    It would be hard to guess how many total readers we had for G-8 during the years because, as you know, kids love to pass copies of the magazine around—so that each magazine could have had anywhere from 1 to 10 readers. In any event, it was a mighty large number.

    I am so glad for you and for us—but particularly you—that this resurgence of popularity has occurred. You certainly deserved it and we had a grand time putting the product together!

    All the best to you and your family, Bob.

 

 

At Home with Robert J. Hogan

Link - Posted by David on October 13, 2014 @ 12:00 pm in

A few years ago, writer and frequent Age of Aces contributer Don Hutchison came up to our table at PulpFest and handed us a manilla envelope, entrusting us with its contents.

When we opened the envelope, there were correspondence between Robert Hogan and Henry Steeger and a copy of the Newton, New Jersey Sunday Herald from October 21st, 1962. The Newspaper contained a lengthy article on former Sussex resident, Robert J. Hogan, nicely illustrated (although there are a few inaccuracies in the captions).

Here is that article:

Lurid Plots Hatched In Sussex Boro

Newton, New Jersey, Sunday Herald • 21 October 1962 (vol.1 no.19)


G-8 creator, Robert J. Hogan, displays the first and last of the drawingings made by John Flemming Gould for the “Battle Aces” series which Hogan wrote between 1933 and 1942. The author has the original cover drawings at his Sparta home.[1] (Staff Photo)

40 Bank St. Birth Place Of Spy King

Improbable though it may seem, a stately home on a quiet Sussex Borough back street was the hatchery for some of the most diabolical, bloodcurdling international spy plots that rocked the English speaking world less than 30 years ago.

The nefarious schemes that pour from the sparsely-furnished little room upstairs at the rear of the hall overlooking Clove avenue make today’s U-2 flights, satelite “spy-in-the-sky” and CIA cloak and dagger shenanigans sound like Sunday School stories.

For here, in the house at 40 Bank street, now owned and occupied by Dr. and Mrs. Lester Eddy, was born the dauntless G-8, the “Master Spy” and his “Battle Aces”, a fearless group of fliers who thwarted the cruel and ingenious enemies of the United States at every turn—in pulp magazines from coast to coast and around the world.

G-8, the “Spy King of the Pulps”, was the brainchild of Robert J. Hogan, one of the world’s most prolific writers, who now lives at 8 Tamarack Road, Sparta. Back in the depression days of the 1930’s, Hogan thought nothing of pounding out 200,000 words a month for the pulp magazines.

Two Stenographers

His agile, racing mind kept two stenographer-typists busy on split shifts as he produced a complete novel and two short stories every month for the G-8 series, and sandwiched in a cops and robbers series called The Secret Six and a Chinese menace series known as Wu Fang. Each of these called for a 60,000-word novel a month plus enough short stories to fill the back of each magazine.

And G-8 would not have been born in Sussex Borough had it not been for a couple of ice cream cones.

Hogan, who now divides his time between Sparta and Coral Gables, Fla., recalls his introduction to Sussex County in 1931. He and his wife. Betty, were house hunting. They had been living in Melbourne, Fla., when he started his writing career, but decided they wanted to be closer to New York City, editors and the magazine markets.

So, they piled their belongings in their old car and headed north. They had previously seen and liked the old stone houses around Kingston, N.Y. But Kingston was a little far up the river to run into New York and back in a day. (The budding author had to watch his pennies.) Newton seemed to be a good distance, beyond the high rent, daily commuting area.

“It was the hottest day we ever hope to see; the afternoon must have been over a hundred when we pulled into Newton and parked by the square,” Hogan recalls. From Steve Case, who then operated a real estate business on High street next to The New Jersey Herald, they learned the only rental available in Newton was half of a two-family house for $65 a month.


This is 40 Bank street in Sussex where Hogan launched his spine-tingling G-8 stories for the pulp magazines in 1933. The one-story front has been added to the house since the days when the Hogans rented it from Ben Simmons. Today it is occupied by Dr. and Mrs. Lester Eddy. (Staff Photo)

Rent Too High

The Hogans wanted a single house. “Besides, $65 was twice too high for us,” Hogan points out. They asked about Sussex Borough.

“Rents are out of sight in Sussex,” they were told. “High Point Park has boomed the whole area.”

Discouraged, hot and unhappy, the Hogans returned to their car. We were miserable. We looked at our road map and talked about heading for Kingston as a last resort, but with no assurance of finding what we wanted when we got there,” Hogan continues.

“We saw that Sussex was on the way to Kingston. They might have cold ice cream cones in Sussex. We drove on; every mile was torture. We were sweltering, lost children becoming more and more defeated.”

They chugged glumly north through Ross’ Corner. A short distance past the intersection “we stopped at the side of the road and talked over our problem. The whole future seemed hopeless.”

The wayfaring Hogans drove on to Sussex, up Main street, and stopped opposite Van Inwegen’s Drug Store. Hogan went in to get ice cream cones.

“The Vanlnwegen son was behind the soda counter. I ordered the ice cream cones and; just by way of conversation while he dipped, asked if there were any homes for rent in Sussex.”

“Sure,” he said. “You can go over to the Sussex Independent office around the corner and read their ads. But I know the old Simmons mansion up on Bank street is for rent, if it wouldn’t be too big for you.” He suggested they look in the windows.

Window Inspection

Hogan continues: “We drove up Bank street. The house was vacant. We looked in the first floor windows while we finished our ice cream cones.”

“Harry Beemer came over from across Main street where he lived and told us as much as he could about the place. Ben Simmons owned it, but this being August, Ben and his family were at their summer place at Culver Lake.

“Harry said we could drive up Clove avenue, to Bill Little’s house and they’d put us up for the night. In the morning we could see Ben Simmons at his place of business.”

They not only found a comfortable room at the Little home, but also had dinner with the family and were taken for a ride to High Point “That ride to cool High Point just about saved our lives,” Hogan recalls.

The next morning they were waiting for Ben Simmons when he arrived at his store. He said, “How would $35 a month suit you for rent?” The deal was closed then and there, and the Hogans moved into 40 Bank street and remained there for three years.

Hogan continues to reminisce: “They were rough times financially. I wrote furiously, gaining very slowly. One editor said he liked a story of mine about a cowboy turned aviator, who carried his old western six-guns at his side in France. He wanted me to do a series of this character, Smoke Wade, every month, for which he would pay me 1½¢ a word.

This meant we could count on about $200 a month—a near fortune in 1932—for that one novelette (a few days work at the most), besides all the other short stories I might turn out and sell.


Author Hogan works at his typewriter, turning out another magazine story. Behind the typewriter is an illustration made almost 30 years ago for his highly successful G-8 series.[2] (Staff Photo)

Plan Collapses

“Our joy lasted nearly a week. Then came a letter from the editor saying the publishers had decided to discontinue the magazine. Not only was I out of doing the sure-fire series for him, but he, the editor, was suddenly out of work himself. So went the magazine business.[3]

“During those uncertain times, when stories were more likely not to sell than to sell, probably no tenant ever had a more sympathetic, understanding landlord than Ben Simmons.”

Hogan, who learned to fly during World War I and had worked as a cow puncher earlier in his career, used his personal experiences as backgrounds for his stories. At this period he was writing a lot of World War I air stories for Popular Publications and they had been going over fairly well. One day in 1933 the publisher called him in and suggested Hogan try his hand at writing a full book-length novel and a short story or two to fill a magazine.

“Driving home to 40 Bank street from Manhattan, everything began to click into place. Popular had a magazine called Battle Aces that was doing fairly well, but they would like to switch that title to a new magazine if possible.

G-8 Is Born

“Various branches of the Army, I knew, were designated as Gl, G-2, and so forth. Why not G-8, the Master American Flying Spy? Pilots I had known in my flying days came to mind, and from these developed the characters that were to appear in my stories. Then, what about the first novel?

“How about a gigantic German plane in the shape of a bat spewing the most poisonous gas over the unsuspecting countryside? As I drove up Main street in Sussex, along Clove avenue and into the yard, I thought of the title for the first G-8 story: The Bat Staffel (staffel being German for squadron).”

And so, the G-8 series was conceived and born, a series in which G-8 fought monsters with tentacles, men with beast brains, flying zombies, marching skeletons, mad scientists, mysterious gas, flying bombs, monster tanks with spiked treads and flame throwers, armored dirigibles and magnetic rays.

The fertile Hogan brain pulled out all stops and went to work in high gear. “I began to bang out The Bat Staffel in the little room upstairs at the rear of the hall overlooking Clove avenue. My desk was an old kitchen table found in the cellar. Ben Simmons gave us permision to glue it together and put a pressedwood top on it.”

The first of about 100 novels for G-8 and His Battle Aces was written and in the mail to the publishers in eight days. The publishers liked it and asked when he could start on the second G-8 novel.


This is John Flemming Gould’s drawing of the intrepid G-8, the principle character in the series of adventure stories written during the 1930s by Robert J. Hogan. The drawing is reproduced by permission of Popular Publications, Inc., New York City, publishers of the G-8 and his Battle Aces series. (Staff Photo)

Assistance Needed

Then Hogan realized he would need some assistance because he had committments for better than 100,000 words each month in other smaller series that were running at the same time. A secretary to take dictation was necessary.

Doris Wilson (now Mrs. Robert Hardin) had just been graduated from business school and was looking for work. She was hired to take dictation. When work piled up and more help was needed, Doris recommended a friend, Willeta Johnson, now Mrs. Harold Knoblauch

Recalling these hectic days, Hogan reports:

“One secretary would come over in the morning. I’d dictate two chapters, to her. and the other would arrive after lunch, and I’d dictate two chapters to her. It was up to them to get together and come up with a complete book. They told me later that often the one who had finished transcribing at home would wait for the other to return from dictation to learn what happened in her two chapters.”

Hogan’s publisher pushed him for copy. He was told not to bother edititing or rewriting — “Don’t even read it; just turn it out and mail it.” And he did.

“I have yet to read a G-8 story,” he says. “Wonder if they were any good?”

All Over the World

Good or bad, the G-8 stories were widely read all over the world, and although the writing was aimed at teenage boys, the writer had fans of all ages during the decade the series flourished. It was estimated by the circulation department that G-8 and His Battle Aces had more readers at its peak than all the boys book series out together.

As the words flowed out and the money flowed in, the Hogans began to think of building their own home, and they ultimately settled on Lake Mohawk. They spent nearly a year in Florida while the new home was under construction, and when they returned, Hogan continued his prolific writing, then with the secretarial assistance of Dorothy Brooks, later to become Mrs. Harold Puffer.

The advent of World War II and rising magazine production costs brought the G-8 series to an end. Hogan then turned to slick magazines, westerns, juveniles and television. One of his westerns became a movie, The Stand at Apache River. His juvenile novel, Howl at the Moon, is considered a classic boy-dog story. Many of his books have been translated into foreign languages.

But somehow, good old violent, bloodcurdling G-8 doesn’t seem to want to stay dead. There now appears to be a rapidly growing demand for reprints of G-8 and His Battle Aces in paper backs, and, as might be expected from the subject matter, television programers are showing interest in the old stories.

Born in Buskirk, N.Y., son of a Dutch Reformed minister, Hogan was educated at Blair Academy, St. Lawrence University and Harvard University. After college he drifted west and rode the range for a while before enlisting in the air branch of the U.S. Signal Corps (the forerunner of the U.S. Air Force) in January, 1918. He was discharged in November, 1918, and after that went into the business of flying and selling planes.

With a rented typewriter ($3.50 a month) he started his writing career in Florida in 1930 after reading a few stories in a pulp magazine and deciding he could do just as well. He did.

 

  • 1 The paintings are by Frederick Blakeslee, not John Flemming Gould and are from the first issue, “The Bat Staffel” (Oct 1933) and “Scourge of the Sky Monster” (June 1943). Not the last issue which was June 1944.
  • 2 The painting is the August 1933 cover of Dare-Devil Aces by Frederick Blakeslee. Incidentally, the G-8 pulp on the desk is “Death is My Destiny” (August 1941).
  • 3 He is referring to the Street & Smith run of Smoke Wade in Air Trails which folded after three stories. A fourth ran in Complete Stories Magazine the following month. The character moved to Popular Publicaions’ Battle Aces and then to Dare-Devil Aces, and eventually winding up as a supporting feature in G-8.
  •  

    “Fly ‘Em Cowboy” by Robert J Hogan

    Link - Posted by David on August 17, 2014 @ 2:44 pm in

    With the publication of volume two of The Adventures of Smoke Wade, we thought now would be as good a time as any to release the last of the pre-Popular Smoke Wade stories. This is the second of the Street & Smith stories to appear in Air Trails, following Smoke debut in the previous issues’ “Wager Flight”.

    In “Fly ‘Em Cowboy” we find Quinn has just been sent up from Insoudon—just another green replacement with visions of taking down the best German ace on the Western Front, and Smoke Wade concocts his wildest plan yet to help Quinn and win a bet in the process. (Quinn would later become leader of C flight at the 66th Pursuit Squadron)

    With the wings of a plane, or the bullets of a six-gun, Smoke Wade could cut circles around his enemy.

    Remembering Sid

    Link - Posted by Bill on August 14, 2012 @ 11:39 pm in

    If you have been following our dispatches then you already know that we lost our good friend Sid Bradd recently. Sid’s passing has left a void here at Age of Aces that just can’t be filled. And with Pulpfest 2012 happening so soon after his death, we were looking for a proper way to honor his memory.

    Sid was blessed with an incredible loving family, and we decided that the best thing we could do would be to express our feelings in person to his wife Johanne. We called her, and as luck (or fate) would have it, she extended an invitation for us to visit her on Sunday during our return from Pulpfest. Most years, the last day of Pulpfest is kind of depressing, knowing that it will be another year before you can get together again with your fellow pulpsters. But this year, for Chris, David, and I, Sunday would be the highlight of our trip.

    We made it to the Bradd’s home by late afternoon. Johanne met us at the door, along with her and Sid’s daughter Andrea. We presented them with a copy of our latest book. It was the last one Sid assisted us on, and we dedicated it to him. They were very proud of Sid’s abilities and talents as an aviation expert and historian, and we wanted them to know how much we appreciated his contributions to our work here. It was very moving to see their reactions when reading our dedication. It was clear how much it meant to them to know that Sid would be remembered by all of us here in the pulp community.

    Johanne and Andrea brought us upstairs to Sid’s incredible aviation library where we sat and reminisced for a while. Johanne told us a funny story about his unabashed collecting habits. While on their honeymoon, he convinced her that he needed to stop at a bookstore. When he came out he had a couple pulps in his hand. When she expressed disbelief that he would interrupt their honeymoon to buy new pulps, he looked at her mischievously and said, “These aren’t new, they are just in better condition than the copies I already have!”

    Johanne also told us how Sid crossed paths with some of the legends of both aviation and aviation pulps. He had met people such as Henry Steeger, Robert Hogan, Donald Keyhoe, and Charles Lindbergh. Johanne related a story about Lindbergh and Keyhoe that provided the most surreal moment of the day.

    Before he became an author, Keyhoe was a military pilot. He was appointed to fly Lindbergh on his tour around the country after his famous solo flight across the Atlantic. Keyhoe published a book about his adventures on this tour called Flying With Lindbergh. Over the years Sid had used his friendly charm to strike up conversations with many people. On one occasion—many years after the Lindbergh tour—while Keyhoe was giving a speech, he sat behind Lindbergh in the audience.  Afterwards he got Keyhoe to inscribe his copy of Flying With Lindbergh.

    His library contained many such books signed by some of the most notable names in aviation like Lindbergh and Earhart. One of the things Andrea wanted to convey to us was how meticulous Sid was with his collection and how much care he took when reading one of his books. She reached onto a shelf, grabbed a random book, and opened it. We were all stunned to see the title of the book she had pulled down. It was Flying With Lindbergh, and the page she had opened it to was the one that Keyhoe had signed. Andrea said that Sid must have guided her hand to that book. I totally agree with her!

    Johanne related another touching story to us. Because Sid’s life revolved so much around aviation, he had a deep interest in all of it’s legends and mysteries. So while speaking about their father at his funeral, one of Sid’s daughters remarked that he would now finally know what had happened to Amelia Earhart, Lindbergh’s baby, and Flight 19.

    Since you don’t visit the Bradds without having some of Johanne’s great German food, she went down to prepare a little something for us while Andrea finished showing us around the library. It seems Sid had a real passion for collecting in general, not just books. We saw his collections of old toys, old license plates, and old bottles.

    Sid was an accomplished painter and there were also many of his aviation paintings hanging in various places around the library. Andrea was also kind enough to show us the unfinished painting Sid was doing for her when he died. It was of the living room of his childhood home as he remembered it. But he was dissatisfied with how he had painted his mother sitting at the piano so he had partially erased her image leaving a ghost-like form behind.

    After eating dinner we unfortunately had to get back on the road. And while it was sad saying goodbye to Johanne and Andrea, we felt really good about having spent that time with them. Hopefully we can make that visit a regular stop on our Pulpfest excursion.

    Finally, many people have asked us if we knew what would happen to Sid’s library. Happily we learned that it will be finding a good home. While the plans aren’t finalized, they are hoping for it to be the centerpiece of a brand new aviation library and research center at the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island in Hawaii.

    The G-8 Premiums Declassified

    Link - Posted by Chris on October 10, 2011 @ 8:51 am in

    When the publishers of G-8 and His Battle Aces announced the formation of a G‑8 Club in the seventh issue (April 1934), G-8 promised that “this club is going to be different from any other magazine club in the country. It will be a secret organization.” So successful was the club that it persisted throughout the ten-year run of the magazine; So successful was the pledge of secrecy that NO evidence of its membership has turned up in the last 75 years. Until now.

    Admittedly, proof of the club outside of the monthly editor’s column, “G-8 Speaks,” is rare. As G-8 explained: “There will be no cards — no buttons — no emblem of any kind. The only ones who know they are members will be the members themselves. Just as the Secret Service is run. Get it?”

    But even though individual members did not receive identifying papers from the magazine, local chapters of five or more kids did, in the form of a G-8 Club Charter. In order to form a chapter of the G-8 Club in your community all you needed to do was find four friends who also bought G-8 every month, and mail in five club coupons from the same issue. (Some chapters were formed by individuals in different communities connecting through the G-8 letters column.) The June issue reported that the very first chapter of the G-8 Club mailed their coupons on February 28th — actually a day before the street date of the April issue that announced it.

    G8Club-charter

    Qualifying clubs received a charter, a small (7″x5″) but distinguished-looking two-color certificate with a blank for the name of the chapter (ideally to be named after a local bird) and “signed” by G-8. In addition they received the Rules and Secret Orders for the Operation of the G-8 Club Chapters a tri-fold brochure (5″x7″ folded) that consisted of one page detailing the meeting rules (including an oath) and two pages describing the club’s SECRET CODE, none of which was ever reprinted in the magazine.

    G8Club-rules

    Members of the G-8 Club apparently took their secrets all the way to the grave or the nursing home, because neither of these giveaways had ever been documented by collectors or pulp historians until two weeks ago, when one example of each turned up at auction. The only other known G-8 premium is equally rare …

    G-8 and His Battle Aces didn’t offer any other premiums for many years following the launch of the club. Then, in the November 1939 issue, came the “Special Announcement” of the G-8 Battle Aces Club Wings — silver metal wings with a blue enamelled shield in the center, measuring 1.25″ wide. As the announcement makes clear, this is not for the secretive G-8 Club (remember, that would blow your cover) but a separate, “affiliated” Battle Aces Club.

    G83911_announcement

    BattleAces-wings

    Strangely, after this “Special Announcement” there was no mention of the badge again until the April 1941 issue, when the wings coupon became a staple of the club section of the magazine through October 1942. The wings offer reappeared for two months in the final year of G-8, with a interesting variation: golden wings. Only one example of the G-8 Wings has ever turned up and yet it sold at auction in 2007 for only $800. Like the Spider Ring, the G-8 wings were produced by Uncas Manufacturing Co. of Providence, Rhode Island, and bear the company stamp of a “U” with an arrow through it.

    Silver Wings Coupon

    Silver Wings Coupon

    Gold Wings Coupon

    Gold Wings Coupon

    Comparison of G-8 wings with Shadow & Doc pins and (repro) Spider Ring

    Comparison of G-8 wings with Shadow & Doc badges and (repro) Spider Ring

    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!

    “The Spy in the Ointment” by Robert J. Hogan

    Link - Posted by Bill on March 16, 2010 @ 9:53 pm in

    When they asked for volunteers to fly that spy mission, Abe answered because he couldn’t sit down. It took another spy to convince him that medals were not always granted for bravery.

    Robert J. Hogan’s Characters On a Historical Timeline

    Link - Posted by Bill on February 18, 2010 @ 7:59 pm in

    G-8 The Flames of HellRobert J. Hogan was one of the most prolific pulp writers of the 30’s and early 40’s. His best stories were built around World War I aviators. G-8 and his Battle Aces flew and fought for 110 issues in their magazine. Barry Rand as the Red Falcon appeared over 50 times in Dare-Devil Aces and G-8 and His Battle Aces. As fictional characters, they seemed to fight the war forever. But I decided to see how Hogan’s stories stacked up against a historical timeline of the war.

    World War I went on for five long years before ending on November 11, 1918. It made a pretty big canvas for pulp writers to paint their word pictures on. But the U.S. didn’t start fighting until June of 1917. Because his characters were American, Hogan had a much smaller window for his stories. Further shrinking of that window is necessary because of references he uses throughout the tales.

    One important point in regards to the timing of the G-8 stories is the airplanes being flown. G-8, Bull, and Nippy all fly the SPAD XIII which was built by the French. They were first flown in combat by the French in September 1917, but it wasn’t until March of 1918 that the U.S. Air Service purchased 800 of them for its’ pilots. Because so many Americans had flown for France before the U.S. joined the war, it is possible that some of them would have had SPAD XIII’s before March 1918. The famous flying spy G-8 would almost certainly have had one before the rest of the American pilots. Thus September 1917 is the first possible date for the beginning of the G-8 adventures. There is another important piece of data that points to a later date though.

    Hogan often has the Germans flying the incomparable Fokker D VII. It was widely considered the best fighter plane of it’s time. Unfortunately for Hogan, the D VII didn’t enter combat until April 1918. I would consider this as the most probable beginning of the recorded G-8 stories. Historically, we have to squeeze all 110 of them into the period between April and November of 1918. Thus G-8 was facing off about every other day against the worst the Germans could throw at him.

    The Red Falcon 4The Red Falcon’s place on the timeline is governed by many of these same factors. He built his famous red fighter using parts from planes that had crashed near his Vosges Mountain hideaway. The fuselage was from a Fokker D VII, the wings were from a SPAD XIII. This would indicate a date no earlier than April 1918. However, Barry Rand also equipped his plane with a Liberty engine.

    The American built Liberty made its’ combat debut powering the British DH4 in May 1918, but Hogan states that the Red Falcon’s engine came from a DH9. This plane was not equipped with Liberty engines until August. Furthermore, only one DH9 made it to the front in time for combat duty. Assuming this single plane was shot down over the Vosges, the Red Falcon could not have gotten his engine before August 1918. His 53 recorded adventures took place between August and November of 1918.

    Having a historical start for the Red Falcon also provides a bookmark for the G-8 stories. The March 1937 issue of G-8 and His Battle Aces features a brief appearance by Barry Rand. This means that August 1918 is the earliest possible date for this story titled Fangs of the Sky Leopards. It was the 42nd issue which means that the last 68 of G-8’s adventures had to have occurred in the 4 months between August and November 1918, while the first 41 took place in the 4 months from April to July 1918.

    I’m sure the pressures of monthly deadlines far outweighed Hogan’s need for historical accuracy. His great knowledge of the machines flown in WWI is one of the factors that made his fiction so appealing, but it would have been interesting to read these stories with a more careful historical placement of the characters.

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