Cabinet 3: Crime & Murder
Lon Gordon, The Spider Came Back. Sydney: Action Comics, [195-?]. Pulp Literature Special Collections PR9610.G676 S64;
Maurice Francis, First Light Fraser. Sydney: Frank Johnson, 1944. Pulp Literature Special Collections PR9610.F67 F57
To reinforce the notion of originality, Action Comics carried the statement ‘This is an Original Novel not a reprint’ on titles such as Lon Gordon’s The Spider Came Back, which was part of the ‘Red Back’ mystery novel series. Action Comics were originally Leisure Publications and H. John Edwards, who first published westerns. Importantly, all their stories were written by Australians.
Departing from his usual fare of sports and horse-racing books, Sydney-based publisher Frank Johnson issued First Light Fraser, an espionage thriller with the hero dealing to the Germans in Roumania. The book was based on Maurice Francis’s successful Australian radio serial show. And Incidentally, Murder! is from the stable of Original Novels Foundation, who, unlike other Australian publishers, only published material that originated overseas, mainly from America. Phantom Books was their most popular series.
Note the price difference between Australia and New Zealand.