Storytelling in the Pulps, Comics, and Radio: How Technology Changed Popular Fiction in America

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McFarland, Jun 3, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 235 pages

The first half of the twentieth century was a golden age of American storytelling. Mailboxes burgeoned with pulp magazines, conveying an endless variety of fiction. Comic strips, with their ongoing dramatic storylines, were a staple of the papers, eagerly followed by millions of readers. Families gathered around the radio, anxious to hear the exploits of their favorite heroes and villains. Before the emergence of television as a dominant--and stifling--cultural force, storytelling blossomed in America as audiences and artists alike embraced new mediums of expression.

This examination of storytelling in America during the first half of the twentieth century covers comics, radio, and pulp magazines. Each was bolstered by new or improved technologies and used unique attributes to tell dramatic stories. Sections of the book cover each medium. One appendix gives a timeline for developments relative to the subject, and another highlights particular episodes and story arcs that typify radio drama. Illustrations and a bibliography are included.

 

Contents

Preface
1
The Pulps or One Darn Thing After Another
11
Unpleasant Interlude
89
The Death of the Pulps
108
An Unlikely Adventurer
115
Cops in the Comics
122
From the Jungle to the Round Table
128
Fighter Pilots Pretty Girls and the Dragon Lady
140
The Shadow on Radio
157
Superman
168
Tired of the Everyday Routine? Suspense Escape Carlton
178
Dragnet
189
Science Fiction on Radio
197
Timeline
205
Notes
213
Bibliography
221

Assigning Blame
146

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About the author (2004)

Tim DeForest lives in Sarasota, Florida, and is the circulation manager of the library at the Ringling School of Art and Design. His previously published articles cover a variety of subjects, from military history to the Wild West.

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