About the Author
Pulp fiction is making a big comeback in collector circles. Australia has published large numbers of paperback fiction books since settlement, with Fergus Hume's The Mystery of the Hansom Cab (1886) seen as the start of the modern style.
From then until the late 1920's a chain of railway book kiosks sold over 200 cheap paperbacks, mostly of the crime genre. However, the golden era remains the immediate postwar period, when Australian authors such as Marc Brody ruled the newsstands. His trademark was a lurid cover, and a sensational tabloid style based on American themes and slang. At the time his books were widely dismissed as trash because of his formula of sin and sex. "Only recently has pulp fiction attracted scholarly attention," says Toni Johnson-Woods, author of "a collector's book of Australian pulp fiction covers". "Almost too late, as much of the material was printed to be discarded and has not survived." What has survived is now, suddenly, very collectable, and valuable, provided that it is in good condition.
The cover art is valued by most collectors as much as the text. A book with a mint condition cover can be worth up to five times that of a creased or ripped example. The relative rarity of his books makes these more valuable to collectors. Plus, they had great covers. Works of Marc Brody are becoming scarce and demand a premium price. Collectors can expect to pay AU$35 for a good quality copy of Brody's works. Marc Brody was a pseudonym for W. H. (Bill) Williams and he was a journalist, and Editor, for 'The Truth' He wrote some 80 titles in a 15 year period, all in his garden shed. Marc Brody was not just the name of the author, it was also the name of the hero in all the books, a crime reporter, who worked for a mythical paper called 'The News' and traveled around the United States solving crimes.
(There should be around 80 of these books... needless to say we've not found them all!)