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Peek in the Stacks: publications

Unknown: “Slaves of Sleep” and “The Ghoul”

In 1933, Street & Smith acquired Astounding Stories, one of the first pulp magazines to center the genre of science-fiction as its twenty-cent selling point. In the following years “John W. Campbell would join the editorial staff of Astounding Stories in September 1937, replacing F. Orlin Tremaine as editor in 1938 when Tremaine became editorial director.....

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None But Lucifer

None But Lucifer by H. L. Gold and L. Sprague de Camp is a Faustian satire set in New York City during the Great Depression. It was published in the pulp fantasy magazine Unknown in September 1939. The story of None But Lucifer focuses on William Hale, a businessman who discovers that Earth is Hell and Lucifer is ruling it. Hale devises a plan to confront Lucifer in order to make a deal for power and immortality.

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The Persistent Gender Gap in Pulp and Comic Magazines

The representation of women in pulp literature and comics has been a subject of ongoing scrutiny and criticism in popular culture. Pulp magazines and comics have the power to shape our perception of society and the people in it. They are not mere works of imagination but reflect the society that produced them. With that in mind, this blog post aims to compare the female representation on the cover of Weird Tales in the 1930s and Marvel's The Monster of Frankenstein comics in the 1970s and how, unfortunately, it has not significantly changed over time. 

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Suicide Prevention Week

CSUN’s University Counseling Services recently hosted Matadors Unite: Suicide Prevention Week to create “awareness…promote mental health and help prevent suicide”. The campus is equipped with crisis/urgent care walk-ins, a crisis hotline, and other resources to assist the campus community when necessary. In Special Collections & Archives there are materials that reference college students who have succumbed to suicide.

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Weird Tales: A Sexualized Scare

The cover of Margaret Brundage’s Weird Tales: Satan’s Palimpsest  greets the reader with a nude blonde, seemingly excited to invite the bat-like Satan into her boudoir. Similarly, Margaret Brundage’s Weird Tales: Children of the Bat cover greets the reader with another nude blonde—this one half-bat with breasts and chained by another bat, who seems to be half-human as well. Through the covers' portrayal of hyper-sexualized, imprisoned women and bats as their captors, the Weird Tales pulp art combines both the scariness and seduction of the Gothic monster, which represents the Other in U.S. culture. 

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Batman issue number 400 “Challenge of the Man-Bat!”

Written by Frank Robbins, Batman issue number 400, Challenge of the Man-Bat1, was published in June of 1970 after a paradigmatic shift in U.S. comics censorship history. Challenge of the Man-Bat was published a decade and a half after the creation of The Comics Code Authority in 1954, which regulated or censored comic book content.

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Weird Tales and The American Sherlock Holmes: Craig Kennedy

Welcome… to Weird Tales. Initially founded in 1923, the Weird Tales pulp magazine boasts an impressive lineup throughout its just over thirty year run, having been one of the first places where American audiences could be introduced to later sci-fi staples such as Cthulu and Conan the Barbarian. Weird Tales was one of the first magazines of its kind, publishing exclusively horror and sci-fi tales, and was even the starting point for several authors who later became household names, such as Ray Bradbury and Robert E. Howard.

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Women's History: 19th Century Gender Roles for Women

The nineteenth century often invokes flowery images of romanticism and heavily-embellished architecture. By today's standards, it can also be seen as an oppressive era for women especially with regards to society, marriage, and the household. The Vern and Bonnie Bullough Collection on Sex and Gender spans many topics including birth control, abortion, homosexuality, cross dressing, sex education, and prostitution, and includes numerous works demonstrating popular public opinion and more subversive, revolutionary ideas about appropriate roles for women during the 19th century...

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