Thomas Thursday

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Thomas Thursday (18941974) was a lesser-known pulp writer who ended up having one of the longest careers writing for the pulp magazines. [1] His first published short story, "A Stroke of Genius," appeared in Top-Notch (April 1, 1918). He submitted the story to them after finding an old issue in the subway. He used the penname "Thursday" after glancing at a calendar. His real name remains a mystery. He was still appearing in the pulps in the late 50s, after which the magazine format all but disappeared from the newsstands.

Top-Notch Magazine is an American pulp magazine of adventure fiction that existed between 1910 and 1937. It was published by Street & Smith.

Thursday was primarily a humorist, one of the few in the pulps. He appeared regularly in Top-Notch through the mid-20s, then transitioned to Argosy . Many of his story titles featured wordplay, e.g. "Illiterature" ( People's Favorite Magazine , April 10, 1919), "Young Mild West" ( Argosy All-Story Weekly , February 28, 1925), "Of Lice and Men" ( The Phantom Detective , September 1940). Many of his stories centered on circuses and sideshows. Thursday had worked for numerous circuses in his youth. Swindles and scams were a frequent theme.

Argosy, later titled The Argosy and Argosy All-Story Weekly, was an American pulp magazine from 1882 through 1978, published by Frank Munsey. It is the first American pulp magazine. The magazine began as a children's weekly story–paper entitled The Golden Argosy.

The Phantom Detective

The Phantom Detective was the second pulp hero magazine published, after The Shadow. The first issue was released in February 1933, a month before Doc Savage, which was released in March 1933. The title continued to be released until 1953, with a total 170 issues. This is the third highest number of issues for a character pulp, after The Shadow, which had 325 issues, and Doc Savage, which had 181. In western titles, Texas Rangers would have around 212 issues of their main character, known as the Lone Wolf.

During the early Depression, his career seemed to peter out for a few years. Likely, with the increasing specialization in pulp magazines, the market for general humor became too narrow. Thursday resurfaced in the mid-30s, adding a number of other specialties to his repertoire. He wrote humorous sports stories for the growing sports pulp field; straightforward detective stories; and articles for the true-crime magazine market. The true-crime stories all concerned Miami, Florida cases, where he had relocated (from New York) in the late-20s. He was never one of the prolific fictioneers, so it's likely he wrote on the side.

Throughout his career, Thursday frequently published articles in writers' magazines like Writer's Digest and The Author & Journalist . Though always amusing, these how-to articles took on an increasingly bitter tone, as Thursday became more and more disgusted with the hardships of the writing business, especially the collapse of word-rates after the onset of the Depression. He reserved his most severe wrath for the pulp magazine editors, who he dubbed "idiotors." [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Writer's Digest is an American magazine aimed at beginning and established writers. It contains interviews, market listings, calls for manuscripts, and how-to articles.

Thursday published true-crime article into the late '60s. He was a columnist for the Miami Police News until it folded in late 1967.

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References

  1. "A Beezark From the Bozarks," by John Locke, Blood 'n' Thunder #12-#13.
  2. "Why I Write for Money," by Thomas Thursday, Writer's Digest , May 1921.
  3. "To Hell With the Pulps," by Thomas Thursday, Writer's Digest , May 1939.
  4. "Humor Is Supposed To Be Funny," by Thomas Thursday, The Author & Journalist , October 1943.
  5. "Wild Editors I Have Known," by Thomas Thursday, The Author & Journalist , August 1952.
  6. "The Pulps--May They Rest in Peace," by Thomas Thursday, Report to Writers , October 1952.
  7. "45 Years a Freelancer," by Thomas Thursday, Writer's Digest , August 1956.
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