Pulps and replicas
Weird Tales paid on publication, meaning that Howard had no money of his own at this time. To remedy this, he took a job writing oil news for the local newspaper Cross Plains Review at $5 per column. It was not until July 1925 that Howard received payment for his first printed story.
In conjunction with his friend Tevis Clyde Smith, he dabbled heavily in verse, writing hundreds of poems and getting dozens published in Weird Tales and assorted poetry journals. With poor sales, and many publishers recoiling from his subject matter, Howard ultimately judged poetry writing a luxury he could not afford, and after 1930 he wrote little verse, instead dedicating his time to short stories and higher-paying markets. Nevertheless, as a result of this apprenticeship, his stories increasingly took on the aura of “prose-poems” filled with hypnotic, dreamy imagery and a power lacking in most other pulp efforts of the time.
Further story sales to Weird Tales were sporadic but encouraging, and soon Howard was a regular in the magazine. His first cover story was for “Wolfshead“, a werewolf story published when he was only twenty.
If you can’t afford the originals, or like me don’t want them because of the poor quality and can’t obtain the scarce replicas, you can actually find and read online versions of the magazines from my portfolio of books and magazines.
The Replicas are almost harder to find than the originals. Some can be found on Ebay, some on certain online book shops. The best ones was made by Girasol, but Adventure House has also produced a number of great ones. Adventure house still do.
They also have a lot of Howard books and magazines, especially from the Glenn Lord collection. Beware though, they have a lot of books that have rodent damages. But as for replicas, they actually print them and I have bought from them several times.
I was told by my Facebook-friend, Ed Chaczyk that Girasol Collectables was started by Neil and Leigh Mechem. They started their business by first providing xerox copies of poor conditioned pulps to a neighbor that wanted to read them. They expanded on this when they got the idea that other people might like this too and so their facimile business was created. I contacted Neil Mechem and he was very kind and gave me a lot of background information. You can read all about that in my article.
It seems that after 9/11 there was scrutiny at the borders and it got harder for the Mechems to cross the border with their inventory. According to Bill Thom the final Girasol pulp replicas appeared in July 2015. The Mechems continued to sell back issues of pulp replica via an ebay store for several years after that. The had their final Fantastic Pulps show in May 2018.