I wanted to share a treasure unique to my work space. To the left is a frame of three Adventure magazine covers. A few of you may know that I purchased much of my Harold Lamb pulp collection from the widow of Dr. John Drury Clark, some time writer, perhaps best known by some as one of the co-writers of a letter to Robert E. Howard that inspired him to write an overview of Conan’s career.
Like Robert E. Howard, Dr. Clark was a big Harold Lamb fan, and he had carefully preserved a large stack of Harold Lamb stories in a hinged wooden box, each carefully separated from different issues of Adventure magazine. He’d also hand bound a few other tales into small hardback books, and my guess is that he’d planned to bind the rest into additional home built hardcovers but never got around to it. That box was a treasure trove that included perhaps 70 – 80% of all the uncollected Lamb Adventure stories, and without him having preserved those texts, I wouldn’t have been able to scan them and prep them for the Bison Book collections. (Yes, more work was required by myself and other scholars and fans to track down other tales, but THIS was the mother load.)
At the bottom of that box were three separated Adventure covers that were almost as vibrant and striking as the day they were printed. Early in our marriage, my wife thought it would be a nice gift if she took those covers and had them framed for me at a local store. She’s a great lady. Whatever house I’ve lived in since, THIS particular picture frame has been somewhere beside my desk. It’s a pretty awesome reminder of the kind of great fiction that lies behind all of us modern writers of any kind of heroic adventure tales. If you click on the picture to get a larger view, you’ll see a long list of famous contributors to Adventure. What a thrill it must have been to get this particular magazine in the post a couple of times a month…