Rediscovered: Norvell Page

Brian Leno’s back on deck to do his thing for Autograph Hound Super-Sunday. Take it, Brian:

Norvell Page is a worthy subject for Super Sunday.

“Without Page, the pulp magazine series The Spider may never have acquired the readership it had in the thirties — and maintains today.

“Page wrote the majority of the adventures, gripping, bloody tales of action and super science. Under the house name Grant Stockbridge, of course. His only real competition during those halycon days of pulpdom was The Shadow and Doc Savage.

“Page wrote many stories for other pulps. This check shows he received payment for ‘Three Roads to Glory’ which saw life in Ace G-Man Stories on March-April 1938.

“He even wrote some heroic fantasy, two of these being the novels Flame Winds and Sons of the Bear-God. (‘In the Conan tradition’ declares the Jeff Jones cover of the Berkley Medallion edition — like so many other Sword-and-Sorcery novels riding the publication tidal wave of the Howard Boom.)

“I was a fan of Norvell Page before I ever read any of his stories.

“Robert Kenneth Jones’ The Shudder Pulps: A History of the Weird Menace Magazines of the 1930s (1975) introduced me to the writer who ‘stormed about in hat and cape, muttering and gesturing, an eccentric figure indeed.’  

“Jones quotes Harry Steeger  — who signed the front of the Page check — as saying that the pulp author would ‘show up at the office with a black cape and dark slouch hat, wearing a Spider ring and stalking about as though he were going to perform some miracle of fiction.’ 

“Now that — I thought then and still do — is a writer.”

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