The Doc Savage Waiting Game

Chuck Welch
March 6, 2012 - article / featured

May 1933

For the sake of argument pretend you were born around 1920.

Now jump forward to when you turned 13. (Let’s say May 17, 1933.)

You’ve been buying each issue of the new Doc Savage Magazine as soon as it hits the newsstand. (Where are you getting the money? You sell Grit.)

You become successful. From Grit you graduate to the New York Times. Pretty soon you’re in college, but you never stop buying Doc Savage Magazine. They’re taking up room in the attic, but Mom loves to have something of yours at home.

You’re kinda sad when you buy the last issue just before your 29th birthday. You hoped to have a son and introduce him to the Fabulous Five.

Flash forward to 1964. You’re 44 and you do have a son. He’s 13 and he finds the Bantam copy of The Man of Bronze at Parrino’s Drugstore. He’s hooked!

After a few months you’re disappointed to find they’re not in the order you remember. You’d get out the old issues for the boy, but you threw them away when your wife convinced you to build her a sewing room in the attic.

You had the pool room downstairs. What could you say?

The years go by. Bantam re-releases Docs in something that looks like random order. Sometimes one a month…sometimes months between reissues. It’s OK. Your son doesn’t care what order as long as Bantam publishes them all. he’s a collector.

It’s October 1990. You’re 70. You’re on the porch with your grandson. He’s 13. (Amazing how that works.) He brings you a book he found at Hawley-Cooke. He remembered you and his Dad talking about the Man of Bronze. He’s found a copy of Doc Savage Omnibus #13.

You look over Up From Earth’s Center and get that feeling again. You tell your grandson it’s been over 40 years since you saw that story and you still remember it.

“Fourty-one years and three months, grandpa.” You’re happy the kid inherited his mother’s smarts. You think aloud, “I wonder what the longest it was between when a novel came out and when Bantam reprinted it?”

The next day your grandson gives you a printout. It’s a list of all the novels and the length of time between pulp publication and Bantam reprint publication.

“I figured it out for you Grandpa. You had to wait an average of 37 years and 8 months between the time a novel was first published and the time Bantam reprinted it.”

You give your grandson a funny look. Gas, but he misinterprets it.

He shows you the list. “See here Grandpa? The Green Eagle came out in July 1941 and Bantam reprinted it in May 1968. That’s 26 years and 10 months.”

“That would have been the shortest wait. The longest was Bequest of Evil. It was first printed in February 1941, but Bantam didn’t reprint it until June 1990.”

You look up, “That’s, uh, almost 50 years.”

“49 years and 5 months, grandpa. I put them all on that printout I gave you.”

You smile at the boy and think, “He’ll give up all this foolishness as soon as he discovers girls.”

Bantam # Magazine # Wait # Bantam Title Years Months
24 101 1 The Green Eagle 26 10
25 95 2 The Devil’s Playground 27 5
29 83 3 The Other World 28 9
30 76 4 The Flaming Falcons 29 5
23 68 5 Fortress of Solitude 29 6
37 81 6 Hex 29 7
40 82 7 The Dagger in the Sky 29 9
2 17 8 The Thousand-Headed Man 30 3
41 77 9 Merchants of Disaster 30 3
39 74 10 World’s Fair Goblin 30 4
42 75 11 The Gold Ogre 30 6
3 13 12 Meteor Menace 30 7
9 23 13 The Mystic Mullah 30 10
14 34 14 The Fantastic lsland 30 11
28 56 15 The Deadly Dwarf 30 11
12 29 16 Quest of Qui 31 0
7 14 17 The Monsters 31 2
15 33 18 Murder Melody 31 2
5 11 19 Brand of the Werewolf 31 3
21 43 20 Cold Death 31 4
57 79 21 Poison Island 31 5
13 25 22 Land of Always-Night 31 6
1 1 23 The Man of Bronze 31 7
6 7 24 The Lost Oasis 31 7
11 19 25 Fear Cay 31 8
4 4 26 The Polar Treasure 31 10
33 50 27 The Terror in the Navy 31 10
34 51 28 Mad Eyes 31 10
16 26 29 The Spook Legion 31 11
59 72 30 The Yellow Cloud 32 2
10 10 31 The Phantom City 32 3
8 2 32 The Land of Terror 32 4
50 61 33 Devil on the Moon 32 4
20 27 34 The Secret in the Sky 32 6
27 36 35 Mystery Under the Sea 32 6
36 45 36 Resurrection Day 32 6
56 65 37 The Giggling Ghosts 32 6
49 57 38 The Sea Angel 32 7
58 66 39 The Munitions Master 32 7
48 55 40 The Feathered Octopus 32 8
55 58 41 The Golden Peril 33 0
65 69 42 The Green Death 33 0
66 71 43 Mad Mesa 33 0
67 73 44 The Freckled Shark 33 0
63 64 45 The Submarine Mystery 33 2
32 32 46 Dust of Death 33 3
47 47 47 Land of Long Juju 33 3
62 62 48 The Pirate’s Ghost 33 3
54 53 49 He Could Stop the World 33 4
64 63 50 The Motion Menace 33 4
61 59 51 The Living Fire Menace 33 5
46 42 52 The Midas Man 33 7
53 49 53 The Mental Wizard 33 7
17 6 54 The Red Skull 33 9
18 8 55 The Sargasso Ogre 33 9
26 20 56 Death in Silver 33 9
52 46 57 The Vanisher 33 9
45 38 58 The Men Who Smiled No More 33 10
31 22 59 The Annihilist 34 0
19 5 60 Pirate of the Pacific 34 2
51 40 61 Haunted Ocean 34 2
22 9 62 The Czar of Fear 34 4
38 24 63 Red Snow 34 5
94 143 64 The Hate Genius 34 5
35 18 65 The Squeaking Goblin 34 8
44 21 66 The Sea Magician 35 2
78 78 67 The Crimson Serpent 35 2
98 146 68 Cargo Unknown 35 3
106 154 69 The Screaming Man 35 7
60 31 70 The Majii 35 8
97 141 71 Satan Black 35 8
43 12 72 The Man Who Shook the Earth 35 10
100 142 73 The Lost Giant 35 10
79 70 74 The Devil Genghis 35 11
82 86 75 The Evil Gnome 36 1
96 125 76 Mystery on Happy Bones 36 3
74 48 77 The Derrick Devil 36 5
75 52 78 The Land of Fear 36 5
81 80 79 The Stone Man 36 5
85 87 80 The Boss of Terror 36 6
101 136 81 The Pharaoh’s Ghost 36 7
104 137 82 The Man Who Was Scared 36 9
71 35 83 Murder Mirage 36 10
72 37 84 The Metal Master 36 10
73 39 85 The Seven Agate Devils 36 10
86 84 86 The Angry Ghost 36 11
87 85 87 The Spotted Men 37 0
103 134 88 The Whisker of Hercules 37 0
107 140 89 Jin San 37 0
70 30 90 Spook Hole 37 1
99 127 91 Hell Below 37 1
90 89 92 The Flying Goblin 37 2
77 44 93 The South Pole Terror 37 4
109 138 94 The Shape of Terror 37 5
76 41 95 The Black Spot 37 9
114 145 96 The Ten-Ton Snakes 37 9
83 67 97 The Red Terrors 37 10
91 91 98 The Purple Dragon 37 10
110 132 99 Death Had Yellow Eyes 37 11
130 178 100 The Swooning Lady 37 11
102 119 101 The Time Terror 38 0
129 177 102 The Angry Canary 38 1
69 15 103 The Mystery on the Snow 38 2
92 88 104 The Awful Egg 38 4
111 131 105 One-Eyed Mystic 38 5
93 90 106 Tunnel Terror 38 6
84 60 107 The Mountain Monster 38 7
108 121 108 The Black, Black Witch 38 7
105 117 109 They Died Twice 38 8
68 3 110 Quest of the Spider 39 0
113 123 111 The Talking Devil 39 7
142 175 112 The Pure Evil 39 7
89 54 113 The Magic Island 39 10
112 113 114 The Man Who Fell Up 39 11
147 174 115 I Died Yesterday 40 1
146 173 116 Once Over Lightly 40 3
145 172 117 Let’s Kill Ames 40 5
144 171 118 The Monkey Suit 40 7
80 16 119 The King Maker 40 8
143 170 120 No Light to Die By 40 9
116 112 121 The Speaking Stone 41 0
115 111 122 Pirate Isle 41 1
120 122 123 The King of Terror 41 2
134 152 124 The Thing That Pursued 41 3
182 181 125 Up From Earth’s Center 41 3
126 129 126 The Secret of the Su 41 4
125 128 127 The Goblins 41 5
136 155 128 Measures for a Coffin 41 5
133 149 129 King Joe Cay 41 6
181 180 130 Return From Cormoral 41 6
119 116 131 The Laugh of Death 41 8
151 166 132 The Disappearing Lady 41 8
155 169 133 Danger Lies East 41 8
180 179 134 The Green Master 41 9
88 28 135 The Roar Devil 41 11
122 115 136 The Fiery Menace 42 1
150 161 137 Fire and Ice 42 1
118 106 138 Peril in the North 42 2
121 114 139 The Three Wild Men 42 2
138 144 140 Strange Fish 42 4
141 147 141 Rock Sinister 42 5
179 176 142 Terror Wears No Shoes 42 5
154 158 143 Five Fathoms Dead 42 7
117 98 144 The Golden Man 42 10
137 135 145 The Three Devils 43 1
128 124 146 The Running Skeletons 43 2
172 165 147 The Devil Is Jones 43 3
159 153 148 Trouble on Parade 43 4
176 168 149 The Death Lady 43 4
153 148 150 The Terrible Stork 43 5
175 167 151 Target for Death 43 5
124 100 152 The Headless Men 43 6
135 130 153 The Spook of Grandpa Eben 43 6
170 162 154 Three Times a Corpse 43 6
167 157 155 Terror and the Lonely Widow 43 8
169 160 156 Colors for Murder 43 8
174 164 157 Death in Little Houses 43 8
171 159 158 Death is a Round Black Spot 43 9
177 163 159 The Exploding Lake 43 9
163 151 160 Terror Takes 7 43 10
162 150 161 The Wee Ones 43 11
168 156 162 Se-Pah-Poo 44 0
123 92 163 Devils of the Deep 44 2
158 139 164 Weird Valley 44 6
132 107 165 The Rustling Death 45 0
131 103 166 The Mindless Monsters 45 4
127 97 167 The All-White Elf 45 5
156 126 168 The Mental Monster 45 7
140 108 169 Men of Fear 45 8
139 102 170 Mystery Island 46 2
149 110 171 The Magic Forest 46 4
178 133 172 The Derelict of Skull Shoal 46 7
165 120 173 Waves of Death 46 9
164 118 174 The Devil’s Black Rock 46 11
160 105 175 The Invisible-Box Murders 47 8
166 109 176 The Too-Wise Owl 47 8
148 93 177 The Awful Dynasty 47 9
161 104 178 Birds of Death 47 9
157 99 179 The Pink Lady 47 10
152 94 180 The Men Vanished 47 11
173 96 181 Bequest of Evil 49 4

Originally published on DocSavage.Info and one of the many early incarnations of the Hidalgo Trading Company



Just how long do you wait for that Doc Savage title to be reprinted by Bantam?

› tags: bantams / doc savage / list / original article / pulps /

Comments

Comment Archive

  1. Jack Nelson says:

    I was about 12 years old when I got the Flaming Falcons. Most of my life was defined by the need to get all the Bantam reprints. Doc Savage affected me more deeply than any other book or comic I had read. And real life never distracted me enough to stop me. It was a high when I first managed to fill in my gaps. And the day I bought the last reprint was ectasy.

  2. j ferguson says:

    My first Doc novel was Worlds Fair Goblin. I bought it at a bookstand at the airport while waiting to go overseas. I would buy them as I could find them and it was a thrilling moment to see the movie with Ron Eley. My best friend and I each have the complete Bantam collection.Unless they decide to finish and print the last manuscripts. That would be impressive!!

  3. Bruce Tway says:

    I guess “my” kid will need to add a new column for reprints. For example: the reprint of The Fortress of Solitude was published 68 years and 0 months after the original pulp!

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