Black Mask (magazine)

Black Mask
BlackMaskFalcon2.jpg
September 1929 cover of Black Mask, featuring part 1 of serialization of The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett. Illustration of private eye Sam Spade by Henry C. Murphy, Jr.
EditorH. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan; Philip C. Cody (1924-1926) later Joseph Shaw
CategoriesHardboiled
FrequencyStarted monthly, then twice a month after August 1922, then monthly in 1926
PublisherPro-Distributors Publishing Company, 1920-40; blackmaskmagazine.com

Black Mask was a pulp magazine first published in April 1920[1] by the journalist H. L. Mencken and the drama critic George Jean Nathan. The magazine was one of several money-making publishing ventures to support the prestigious literary magazine The Smart Set, which Mencken edited, and which had operated at a loss since at least 1917. Under their editorial hand, the magazine was not exclusively a publisher of crime fiction, offering, according to the magazine, "the best stories available of adventure, the best mystery and detective stories, the best romances, the best love stories, and the best stories of the occult." The magazine's first editor was Florence Osborne (credited as F. M. Osborne).[2]

Editorial control

After eight issues, Mencken and Nathan considered their initial $600 investment to have been sufficiently profitable, and they sold the magazine to its publishers, Eltinge Warner and Eugene Crow, for $12,500. The magazine was then edited by George W. Sutton (1922–24), followed by Philip C. Cody.[3] Cody had significant interests and expertise in the publishing world serving as Vice President of Warner Publications publishers of such mass market magazines as Field and Stream, and pulp genre publications such as Black Mask. Under Cody's editorship, the content of Black Mask became more sensationalist. Cody, who had a keen sense for what appealed to the public marketplace, focused on what had the most reader allure. Under Cody, the stories chosen for publication were longer, more intricately plotted and strewn with more blood, guts, gore and sex. Cody served as both circulation editor and general editor from 1924 to 1926. In 1926, Joseph Shaw took over the editorship.

Other Languages
dansk: Black Mask
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Black Mask (magazin)