Rediscovered: Belknapius Comicbookmanius

The other day we ran a 1946 inscription from Frank Belknap Long — Young Belknapius of Lovecraft Circle fame — in a copy of his first release from Arkham House, The Hounds of Tindalos.

But it turns out there is more to that story, and Steven Rowe dropped me a note with the info:

“The autographed book is interesting,” Steven said, “but it’s also worth noting that Richard Hughes, who the book is signed to, was Long’s editor at ACG Comics, when Long wrote stories for Adventures Into the Unknown #1 Fall 1948.

“Hughes had been editor for Ned Pines’ comic book line, where he also wrote many of the stories. It is not known if Long wrote anything for Hughes prior to 1948.”

The fact that Long had done some comic book work had slipped from my active memory (I’m not that big a fan of FBL’s writing), but his pal and fellow Lovecraft Circle stalwart Don Wandrei also did some comic scripting — I did a little note on the subject in an early issue of Studies in Weird Fiction. And a few writers more associated with comics — Gardner F. Fox, for one — also did some prose fiction for the pulps. Fox even cracked Weird Tales, where the Lovecraft Circle made its name. (I think of Fox as an example because I always liked his scripts — Hawkman, for one — and because a recent biography has brought him back onstage.)

Reminds me of the conversation I once had on the pulps transitioning over to comics with Mike Friedrich — from the Pulp Jungle to the Comic Book Jungle.

But now the idle thought comes up that if Lovecraft himself hadn’t died in 1937, just as the comic book medium was forming, would there have been any chance his pals Long and Wandrei might have dragged him into doing a little something?

No, probably not.

Then again. . . .

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