Pulp Detective magazine is a monthly short story magazine aimed predominantly at 9-16 year olds and it is based on the concept of the pulp fiction magazines popularised in the first half of the 20th Century. It features three short stories set in the fictional world of Bay City, each dealing with the shady underworld surrounding the city at the time of the Great Depression and Prohibition in 1930’s America.
I spotted mention of this on another blog a couple of weeks ago and immediately got in touch with the good people at Plesio to enquire further. They replied very quickly, sending through a pdf of a very impressive looking first issue. In fact, I was so impressed that I popped into town last Saturday to pick up a copy from the local branch of WH Smith. Yes, this magazine should be available in pretty much every town centre, and also in many newsagents. Quite a feat for a new publication - someone somewhere who has clout obviously has great taste as well.
Outside of specialist comic shops there are very few monthly publications available for boys in this age group (and yes, sorry girls but I will make that distinction here as you have long had the monopoly on monthlies in this country). It would appear that magazine publishers forget that teen boys exist until they hit eighteen and start buying lads' mags, and it is great to see Plesio trying to rectify this situation with Pulp Detective.
Issue #1 of Pulp Detective contains three stories, the first of which finishes with a classic "To be continued .....", the intention being that readers will want to buy the next issue to continue reading the story in the next issue. The next two stories all come to an end, but I would imagine that future issues will feature some of the same characters. All the stories are set in Bay City, with a map of the city very helpfully included, with key locations from the stories labelled. All three stories are very well written and beautifully illustrated, and at 125+ pages readers are certainly getting their money's worth with a cover price of only £3.25.
I really hope that Pulp Detective becomes as successful as The Phoenix Comic, giving readers something to progress on to as they mature. There once was a time when pulp magazines ruled, and a return to that day would be fabulous, perhaps even with a widened range of titles to include science fiction and horror as well. However, it is still very early days for me to be making wishes like that, so go on out there and get your hands on a copy for the 9+ boy(s) in your life.