Rediscovered: H.C. Witwer, Author & Boozehound

Do yourself a favor and surf over to Brian Leno’s latest post on the TGR site about the bestselling 1920s boxing writer H.C. Witwer, one of legions of forgotten key-pounders of yesteryear — but I suspect Brian just gave him a renewed toehold on immortality.

Brian got tipped to Witwer by the Steve Eng list of books in Robert E. Howard’s personal library that appeared way back in 1984 in The Dark Barbarian — as Brian hints, one of the most electrifying moments ever in Howard Studies, and I not very humbly suggest that it didn’t hurt that the list appeared alongside all the completely groundbreaking essays in that volume. The parts were great — the sum of the parts, even greater. A tsunami. A big mag earthquake. Needless to say, Howard Studies have never been the same since.

From a Witwer letter in his own vast collection of autographs (and books, and ephemerae — I’ve got to get up to Bismarck someday and see what the trove looks like), Brian lets you know how much loot Witwer once dropped on a two-week drinking binge.

Two weeks.

I thought Hammett spent money and drank to glorious excess, but now I’m thinking he may not have even been in the running with a guy like Witwer.

Read Brian’s post and I bet you’ll always remember it, and will agree with me that Witwer effortlessly stakes out a niche in the Boozehound Hall of Fame.


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