“The Suicide Squad” in the home stretch.

19 Feb

Last weekend, Rodney Schroeter sent me his proofed version and corrected version of the “Suicide Squad” project as an attachment. When I see him again this weekend at the American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin we will exchange the various paperwork and the projects we collaborated and are collaborating on at present.

The next step is to place the various internal and cover illustrations in the text of the stories, and print another set of page proofs with assorted captions.

The series is about 3 F.B.I agents who take on impossible tasks before and during the US entry into WWII and these fellows always rescue the beautiful lady in the red dress. All three and survive the ordeal to fight again in the next issue. This is not great literature but it is entertainment. Especially when you consider the pulps they appeared in are rare and hard to find, and the copies that have survived are either in the hands of serious collectors, or in libraries, with restricted access, and rules which make it very difficult to actually read them. And if this enough trouble, the pulp paper that the magazines are printed on is NOT acid free, and the magazines are slowing self-destructing as I write this.

Here’s a detailed table of contents of the collection. Bob Weinberg had a complete run of this pulp to share with me. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised (but I haven’t checked) that the list you can find on the internet will not be identical. But frankly I don’t want to take the time to double check — it is simple not necessary. I would say that I would like to be wrong on this point.

However, the list in Bob Weinberg’s and Lohr McKinstrey’s Hero Pulp Index is accurate, but incomplete lacking the last entry, and that’s another large project that progresses slowly but relentlessly to a publication conclusion.


1. Mr. Zero and The F.B.I. Suicide Squad (Ace G-Man Stories, May-June 1939)
2. The Suicide Squad Reports for Death (Ace G-Man Stories, July-August 1939)
3. The Suicide Squad’s Last Mile (Ace G-Man Stories, September-October 1939)
4. The Suicide Squad Pays Off (Ace G-Man Stories, November-December 1939)
5. Coffins for the Suicide Squad (Ace G-Man Stories, January-February 1940)
6. The Suicide Squad—Dead or Alive! (Ace G-Man Stories, April 1940)
7. Shells for the Suicide Squad (Ace G-Man Stories, June 1940)
8. Suicide Squad’s Murder Lottery (Ace G-Man Stories, August 1940)
No Story (Ace G-Man Stories, September 1940)
9. The Suicide Squad and the Murder Bund (Ace G-Man Stories, November 1940)
10. The Suicide Squad in Corpse-Town (Ace G-Man Stories, January 1941)
11. The Coffin Barricade (Ace G-Man Stories, March 1941)
12. The Tunnel Death Built (Ace G-Man Stories, May 1941) 201
13. Wanted—In Three Pine Coffins (Ace G-Man Stories, September 1941) 220
14. The Suicide Squad’s Private War (Ace G-Man Stories, December 1941) 236
15. —For Tomorrow We Die! (Ace G-Man Stories, February 1942) 256
16. The Suicide Squad’s Dawn Patrol (Ace G-Man Stories, April 1942) 273
17. The Suicide Squad Meets the Rising Sun (Ace G-Man Stories, June 1942) 288
18. So Sorry, Mr. Hirohito! (Ace G-Man Stories, August 1942)
19. Move Over, Death! (Ace G-Man Stories, October 1942)
20. Targets for the Flaming Arrow (Ace G-Man Stories, December 1942)
21. Blood, Sweat and Bullets (Ace G-Man Stories, February 1943)
22. The Suicide Squad and The Twins of Death (Ace G-Man Stories, August 1943)
23. The Masked Marksman’s Command Performance (Spider Magazine ??)

One response to ““The Suicide Squad” in the home stretch.

  1. Bob Weinberg

    February 20, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    The Suicide Squad series was written by Emile C. Tepperman, one of the better pulp authors of the late 1930’s. When the series first started, Tepperman was also contributing novels to the Operator 5 series and had just finished his stint writing for Secret Agent X. Around the same time, he had also been writing Spider novels, most notably the Living Pharaoh quartet. In the early 1940’s, along with the Ace G-Man series, Tepperman contributed stories involving Ed Race, the Masked Marksman, to the Spider magazine. No doubt he was writing other fiction for lesser pulps during the same period. Like many pulp writers, Tepperman was a master plotter and seemed to have no trouble writing more than a hundred thousand words a month, i.e a million plus words a year.

    Pulp collectors have used the term “million words a year” to describe pulp writers output, so often that sometimes we forget exactly how much work that entails. Remember, these writers were not working on computer keyboards where they could backspace and erase word with hardly any effort. They used big, heavy typewriters and had to hit those keys hard. I know from personal experience, having worked on an old Smith-Corona back when I first started typing in the late 1950’s. Plus, stories couldn’t be turned in on disc or sent to the publisher as an attached file. They had to be written down on paper. Lots and lots of paper that had to be feed into the typewiter by hand. Trivial acts all, but time consuming. A hundred thousand words a month translates in 400 pages of double-spaced typing from the top of the page to the very bottom. And a smart author always made a copy just in case the manuscript somehow was lost by the printer (which happened more than once).

    Tepperman wrote fast-paced stories with characters who showed true emotions during their struggles. His Operator 5 novels featuring the Yellow Vulture were entertaining, as were his Spider novels and work on Secret Agent X. But his Suicide Squad stories were better than all of those. Over the top, super patriotic, violent and fast paced, these are lots of fun for the pulp fanatic.

    bob weinberg


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