Looking to buy? See our books on amazon.com Get Reading Now! Age of Aces Presents - free pulp PDFs

The Spider takes on the Empire State in comics — and this time he’s bringing some friends!

Link - Posted by Chris on November 28, 2012 @ 2:37 am in

Masks #1 cover by Alex Ross

Today Dynamite Comics releases Masks, an eight-part mini-series teaming the company’s Pulp-era licensed characters for one epic battle. What menace could be big enough to draw together The Spider, The Shadow, The Green Hornet, Kato and Zorro? Writer Chris Roberson (iZombie, Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love) explains in an interview with Newsarama:

The genesis of the idea was a well-known storyline that ran in The Spider pulp magazines in the 1930s, over the course of three novels: The City That Paid To Die, The Spider At Bay, and Scourge of the Black Legions. In the original story, written by Norvell Page (as Grant Stockbridge), a political organization called the Party of Justice takes over New York State, and quickly institutes a fascist police state. It was an allegory for what was happening in Europe at the time, and saw the Spider go from being a vigilante who fought crime to being a full-blown freedom-fighter protecting the citizenry from an oppressive government.

Yes, the Spider’s “Black Police Trilogy,” which Age of Aces Books had the privilege of putting back into print (as The Spider Vs. The Empire State), is coming to comic shops! And the New York Rebellion of 1938 is bigger than ever: In addition to The Spider, The Green Hornet, The Shadow and (a 1930s-era) Zorro, the struggle against the Party of Justice will see the rise of “new” heroes too — The Black Bat, Miss Fury, Black Terror and The Green Lama. With so many 1930s vigilantes sharing the spotlight, the narrative necessarily deviates from Norvell Page’s 1938 tale, yet — judging from the capsule descriptions of future issues — The Spider thread of the story remains pretty much unchanged. As Roberson told Check Point Interviews:

The idea was that, while the Spider was off having his adventure, the other vigilante characters who were operating at the time would have also had to deal with this fascist police state.


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.


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.


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.



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

It’s Time To FIGHT

Link - Posted by Chris on July 27, 2010 @ 5:28 pm in

March of the Black Police

Age of Aces is proud to announce the launch of FightTheEmpireState.com as an intriguing new promotional site for The Spider Vs. The Empire State.

What if our history was pulp history? This new site treats the central conflict of the Black Police Trilogy as if it were real, offering photographs and posters from the New York rebellion of 1938 to delight fans of the book and to hook non-fans into the crazy world of The Spider.

I’m something of a purist when it comes to the pulps, so the book I designed includes only what was in the magazines. I allowed myself to create my own cover, but otherwise it’s all Gould and Howitt visually. And yet as an artist there was so much more I was inspired to do with the world of this imaginative Norvell Page epic. That’s how the “movie poster” advertising image originally came about, which was similar to the cover in its composition, but didn’t fit visually with the book. But what about other “scenes” from the revolution? And shouldn’t the Black Police have a cool logo? You can now find these things at FightTheEmpireState.com.

We wanted to mark PulpFest 2010, the first anniversary of our  top-selling book, by giving something back to the fans who have made it a hit for us. Hopefully we can also capture the imagination of people not steeped in the pulps, and grow the audience for this remarkable story and for pulp fiction in general.

The War for New York is Here!

Link - Posted by Chris on July 31, 2009 @ 11:46 pm in

The Age of Aces team is currently at PulpFest where we have just debuted our newest release, The Spider Vs. The Empire State! The book is a huge hit and we’ve sold out of it on our first day! In hindsight, we could have brought more than 25 copies with us. We’ve stepped up our presence at the con and are having a great time. The topper to the day is that the book just became available on Amazon.com, and now everyone can get it! (Including the disappointed folks we meet on the floor tomorrow.)