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Black Mask (Detective)

Black Mask started life fairly innocuously as a general pulp running all types of fiction from adventure to romance to westerns. However, it was the advent of Joseph T. Shaw as editor in November 1926 that saw Black Mask transformed into what is generally regarded as the finest detective pulp magazine ever published. Even though Shaw was fired in 1936, the magazine continued with a consistently high standard into the early 1950s, reaching a total of 340 issues.

Note that issues from Sep-1950 on are titled Black Mask Detective. Note also that a retouched cover of the April-1928 issue was used as a prop in the film Hammett and is displayed under the real cover below.

The magazine was briefly revived in 1974, but only managed a single issue with reprint fiction, and again in 1985 as a series of paperback anthologies called New Black Mask (Quarterly).

There was a Canadian reprint edition which started as direct reprints of the US issues, but later reprinted stories from other magazines, and a British reprint edition that ran for over 300 issues from the 1920s to the 1950s.

1920      
v1 #1
Apr

v1 #2
May

v1 #3
Jun

v1 #4
Jul

v1 #5
Aug

v1 #6
Sep

v2 #1
Oct

v2 #2
Nov
v2 #3
Dec
1921 v2 #4
Jan

v2 #5
Feb

v2 #6
Mar
v3 #1
Apr

v3 #2
May
v3 #3
Jun
v3 #4
Jul

v3 #5
Aug
v3 #6
Sep

v4 #1
Oct
v4 #2
Nov

v4 #3
Dec
1922
v4 #4
Jan

v4 #5
Feb
v4 #6
Mar

v5 #1
Apr

v5 #2
May

v5 #3
Jun

v5 #4
Jul

v5 #5
Aug
v5 #6
Sep
v5 #7
Oct
v5 #8
Nov
v5 #9
Dec
1923
v5 #10
Jan
v5 #11
Feb

v5 #12
Feb 15

v5 #13
Mar 1
v5 #14
Mar 15
v6 #1
Apr 1

v6 #2
Apr 15

v6 #3
May 1

v6 #4
May 15

v6 #5
Jun 1

v6 #6
Jun 15
1923
v6 #7
Jul 1
v6 #8
Jul 15

v6 #9
Aug 1

v6 #10
Aug 15

v6 #11
Sep 1
v6 #12
Sep 15

v6 #13
Oct 1

v6 #14
Oct 15

v6 #15
Nov 1

v6 #16
Nov 15

v6 #17
Dec 1
v6 #18
Dec 15
1924
v6 #19
Jan 1

v6 #20
Jan 15

v6 #21
Feb 1

v6 #22
Feb 15

v6 #23
Mar 1

v6 #24
Mar 15

v7 #1
Apr 1

v7 #2
Apr 15
       
1924        
v7 #3
May

v7 #4
Jun

v7 #5
Jul

v7 #6
Aug

v7 #7
Sep

v7 #8
Oct

v7 #9
Nov

v7 #10
Dec
1925
v7 #11
Jan

v7 #12
Feb
v8 #1
Mar

v8 #2
Apr

v8 #3
May
v8 #4
Jun

v8 #5
Jul

v8 #6
Aug

v8 #7
Sep

v8 #8
Oct

v8 #9
Nov

v8 #10
Dec
1926
v8 #11
Jan

v8 #12
Feb

v9 #1
Mar

v9 #2
Apr

v9 #3
May

v9 #4
Jun

v9 #5
Jul

v9 #6
Aug

v9 #7
Sep

v9 #8
Oct

v9 #9
Nov

v9 #10
Dec
1927
v9 #11
Jan

v9 #12
Feb

v10 #1
Mar

v10 #2
Apr

v10 #3
May

v10 #4
Jun

v10 #5
Jul

v10 #6
Aug

v10 #7
Sep

v10 #8
Oct

v10 #9
Nov

v10 #10
Dec
1928
v10 #11
Jan

v10 #12
Feb

v11 #1
Mar

v11 #2
Apr

v11 #3
May

v11 #4
Jun

v11 #5
Jul

v11 #6
Aug

v11 #7
Sep

v11 #8
Oct

v11 #9
Nov

v11 #10
Dec
     
(movie version)
               
1929
v11 #11
Jan

v11 #12
Feb

v12 #1
Mar

v12 #2
Apr

v12 #3
May

v12 #4
Jun

v12 #5
Jul

v12 #6
Aug

v12 #7
Sep

v12 #8
Oct

v12 #9
Nov

v12 #10
Dec
1930
v12 #11
Jan

v12 #12
Feb

v13 #1
Mar

v13 #2
Apr

v13 #3
May

v13 #4
Jun

v13 #5
Jul

v13 #6
Aug

v13 #7
Sep

v13 #8
Oct

v13 #9
Nov

v13 #10
Dec
1931
v13 #11
Jan

v13 #12
Feb

v14 #1
Mar

v14 #2
Apr
v14 #3
May

v14 #4
Jun

v14 #5
Jul

v14 #6
Aug

v14 #7
Sep

v14 #8
Oct

v14 #9
Nov

v14 #10
Dec
1932
v14 #11
Jan

v14 #12
Feb

v15 #1
Mar

v15 #2
Apr

v15 #3
May

v15 #4
Jun

v15 #5
Jul

v15 #6
Aug

v15 #7
Sep

v15 #8
Oct

v15 #9
Nov

v15 #10
Dec
1933
v15 #11
Jan

v15 #12
Feb

v16 #1
Mar

v16 #2
Apr

v16 #3
May

v16 #4
Jun

v16 #5
Jul

v16 #6
Aug

v16 #7
Sep

v16 #8
Oct

v16 #9
Nov

v16 #10
Dec
1934
v16 #11
Jan

v16 #12
Feb

v17 #1
Mar

v17 #2
Apr

v17 #3
May

v17 #4
Jun

v17 #5
Jul

v17 #6
Aug

v17 #7
Sep

v17 #8
Oct

v17 #9
Nov

v17 #10
Dec
1935
v17 #11
Jan

v17 #12
Feb

v18 #1
Mar

v18 #2
Apr

v18 #3
May

v18 #4
Jun

v18 #5
Jul

v18 #6
Aug

v18 #7
Sep

v18 #8
Oct

v18 #9
Nov

v18 #10
Dec
1936
v18 #11
Jan

v18 #12
Feb

v19 #1
Mar

v19 #2
Apr

v19 #3
May

v19 #4
Jun

v19 #5
Jul

v19 #6
Aug

v19 #7
Sep

v19 #8
Oct

v19 #9
Nov

v19 #10
Dec
1937
v19 #11
Jan

v19 #12
Feb

v20 #1
Mar

v20 #2
Apr

v20 #3
May

v20 #4
Jun

v20 #5
Jul

v20 #6
Aug

v20 #7
Sep

v20 #8
Oct

v20 #9
Nov

v20 #10
Dec
1938 v20 #11
Jan

v20 #12
Feb

v21 #1
Mar

v21 #2
Apr

v21 #3
May

v21 #4
Jun
 
v21 #5
Aug

v21 #6
Sep

v21 #7
Oct

v21 #8
Nov

v21 #9
Dec
1939
v21 #10
Jan

v21 #11
Feb

v21 #12
Mar

v22 #1
Apr

v22 #2
May

v22 #3
Jun

v22 #4
Jul

v22 #5
Aug

v22 #6
Sep

v22 #7
Oct

v22 #8
Nov

v22 #9
Dec
1940
v22 #10
Jan

v22 #11
Feb

v22 #12
Mar

v23 #1
Apr
 
v23 #2
Jun

v23 #3
Jul

v23 #4
Aug

v23 #5
Sep

v23 #6
Oct

v23 #7
Nov

v23 #8
Dec
1941
v23 #9
Jan

v23 #10
Feb

v23 #11
Mar

v23 #12
Apr

v24 #1
May

v24 #2
Jun

v24 #3
Jul

v24 #4
Aug

v24 #5
Sep

v24 #6
Oct

v24 #7
Nov

v24 #8
Dec
1942
v24 #9
Jan

v24 #10
Feb

v24 #11
Mar

v24 #12
Apr

v25 #1
May

v25 #2
Jun

v25 #3
Jul

v25 #4
Aug

v25 #5
Sep

v25 #6
Oct

v25 #7
Nov

v25 #8
Dec
1943
v25 #9
Jan

v25 #10
Feb

v25 #11
Mar
 
v25 #12
May
 
v26 #1
Jul
 
v26 #2
Sep
 
v26 #3
Nov
 
1944
v26 #4
Jan
 
v26 #5
Mar
 
v26 #6
May
 
v26 #7
Jul
 
v26 #8
Sep
 
v26 #9
Nov
 
1945
v26 #10
Jan
 
v26 #11
Mar
 
v26 #12
May
 
v27 #1
Jul
 
v27 #2
Sep
 
v27 #3
Nov
 
1946
v27 #4
Jan

v28 #1
Feb

v28 #2
Mar
 
v28 #3
May
 
v28 #4
Jul
 
v29 #1
Sep
 
v29 #2
Nov
 
1947
v29 #3
Jan
 
v29 #4
Mar
 
v30 #1
May
 
v30 #2
Jul
 
v30 #3
Sep
 
v30 #4
Nov
 
1948
v31 #1
Jan
 
v31 #2
Mar
 
v31 #3
May
 
v31 #4
Jul
 
v32 #1
Sep
 
v32 #2
Nov
 
1949
v32 #3
Jan
 
v32 #4
Mar
 
v33 #1
May
 
v33 #2
Jul
 
v33 #3
Sep
 
v33 #4
Nov
 
1950
v34 #1
Jan
 
v34 #2
Mar
 
v34 #3
May
 
v34 #4
Jul
 
v35 #1
Sep
 
v35 #2
Nov
 
1951
v35 #3
Jan
 
v35 #4
Mar
 
v36 #1
May
 
v36 #2
Jul
         

Black Mask (1974)

1974              
Jun
       

New Black Mask (Quarterly)

1985  
#1

#2

#3
1986
#4

#5

#6

#7
1987
#8
     

Canadian reprint edition

Many other issues exist.

1932          
Jun
 
Aug
       
1933
v15 #11
Jan
         
v16 #5
Jul
         
1934                        
1935                        
1936
v18 #11
Jan
                   
v19 #10
Dec
1937                        
1938  
Feb
                   
1939                        
1940                        
1941              
v22 #6
Aug
 
Oct
   
1942    
Mar

v25 #2
Apr
     
Aug
 
Oct

Nov
 
1943
Jan

v26 #9
Feb

Mar

v26 #10
Apr
 
v26 #11
Jun
v26 #12
Jul

v26 #13
Aug

v26 #14
Sep

v26 #15
Oct

v26 #16
Nov

v26 #17
Dec
1944 v26 #18
Jan
v26 #19
Feb

v26 #20
Mar
v26 #21
Apr

v26 #22
May

v26 #23
Jun

v26 #22
Jul

v26 #23
Aug
   
Oct
 
1945
Jan
   
Apr

v36 #30
May

v36 #31
Jun

v36 #32
Jul

v36 #33
Aug

Sep

v36 #34
Oct

Nov

Dec
 
1949
v32 #3
Jan
         
Jul
 
v33 #3
Sep
 
Nov
 
1950
Jan
     
v34 #3
May
          v35 #2
Nov
 

British reprint edition

There were two distinct series of the British reprint edition. The first series ran for 206 issues from Jun-1923 to Oct-1939. This series was printed in the US for UK distribution; had the same covers as the US editions apart for UK price (sometimes); and reprinted the entire contents of the US edition, plus frequently an additional story or two. Initially the additional stories were reprinted from US issues that had not appeared in the UK but in later issues no prior appearance can be traced (in Black Mask or anywhere else) so they might be original stories that ONLY appeared in the UK issues. The numbering system on these issues was specific to the UK issues and ran from v1 #1 to v17 #12.

The second series ran for 120 issues from Nov-1939 to Nov-1953 (at least). This series was printed in the UK; had different covers to the US issues; typically was a partial reprint of assorted US issues, initially of Black Mask but in later years of other magazines such as Dime Detective. Atlas used a strange numbering system on these (consistent with all the other US pulps they distributed during this period) - initially they used the volume/issue number of the corresponding US issue, then they had no volume/issue numbers at all, and then they settled into a UK-specific numbering that was implicitly backdated to the first Atlas issue.

1923                       v1 #1
Jun 15
1923
v1 #2
Jul 1
v1 #3
Jul 15

v1 #4
Aug 1

v1 #5
Aug 15
v1 #6
Sep 1
v1 #7
Sep 15

v1 #8
Oct 1
v1 #9
Oct 15
v1 #10
Nov 1

v1 #11
Nov 15
v1 #12
Dec 1
v1 #13
Dec 1
1924 v1 #14
Jan 1

v1 #15
Jan 15

v2 #3
Feb 1

v2 #4
Feb 15
v2 #5
Mar 1

v2 #6
Mar 15

v2 #7
Apr 1
v2 #8
Apr 15
       
1924         v2 #9
May
v2 #10
Jun

v2 #11
Jul
v2 #12
Aug
v3 #1
Sep
v3 #2
Oct
v3 #3
Nov
v3 #4
Dec
1925 v3 #5
Jan

v3 #6
Feb
v3 #7
Mar
v3 #8
Apr
v3 #9
May
v3 #10
Jun
v3 #11
Jul
v3 #12
Aug
v4 #1
Sep
v4 #2
Oct
v4 #3
Nov
v4 #4
Dec
1926 v4 #5
Jan
v4 #6
Feb
v4 #7
Mar
v4 #8
Apr
v4 #9
May
v4 #10
Jun
v4 #11
Jul

v4 #12
Aug
v5 #1
Sep
v5 #2
Oct
v5 #3
Nov
v5 #4
Dec
1927 v5 #5
Jan
v5 #6
Feb
v5 #7
Mar
v5 #8
Apr
v5 #9
May
v5 #10
Jun
v5 #11
Jul
v5 #12
Aug
v6 #1
Sep
v6 #2
Oct
v6 #3
Nov
v6 #4
Dec
1928 v6 #5
Jan
v6 #6
Feb
v6 #7
Mar
v6 #8
Apr
v6 #9
May
v6 #10
Jun
v6 #10
Jul
v6 #11
Aug
v6 #12
Sep
v7 #1
Oct
v7 #2
Nov
v7 #3
Dec
1929 v7 #4
Jan
v7 #5
Feb
v7 #6
Mar
v7 #7
Apr
v7 #8
May
v7 #9
Jun
v7 #10
Jul
v7 #11
Aug
v7 #12
Sep

v8 #1
Oct
v8 #2
Nov

v8 #3
Dec
1930 v8 #4
Jan
v8 #5
Feb

v8 #6
Mar
v8 #7
Apr
v8 #8
May

v8 #9
Jun

v8 #10
Jul
v8 #11
Aug
v8 #12
Sep

v9 #1
Oct
v9 #2
Nov

v9 #3
Dec
1931 v9 #4
Jan

v9 #5
Feb
v9 #6
Mar
v9 #7
Apr

v9 #8
May

v9 #9
Jun
v9 #10
Jul
v9 #11
Aug
v9 #12
Sep
v10 #1
Oct

v10 #2
Nov

v10 #3
Dec
1932
v10 #4
Jan
v10 #5
Feb
v10 #6
Mar
v10 #7
Apr
v10 #8
May
v10 #9
Jun
v10 #10
Jul
v10 #11
Aug

v10 #12
Sep

v11 #1
Oct
v11 #2
Nov
v11 #3
Dec
1933 v11 #4
Jan

v11 #5
Feb
v11 #6
Mar
v11 #7
Apr
v11 #8
May
v11 #9
Jun

v11 #10
Jul
v11 #11
Aug
v11 #12
Sep
v12 #1
Oct

v12 #2
Nov

v12 #3
Dec
1934 v12 #4
Jan
v12 #5
Feb
v12 #6
Mar
v12 #7
Apr
v12 #8
May

v12 #9
Jun

v12 #10
Jul
v12 #11
Aug
v12 #12
Sep

v13 #1
Oct
v13 #2
Nov
v13 #3
Dec
1935 v13 #4
Jan

v13 #5
Feb

v13 #6
Mar
v13 #7
Apr

v13 #8
May

v13 #9
Jun

v13 #10
Jul

v13 #11
Aug

v13 #12
Sep

v14 #1
Oct

v14 #2
Nov

v14 #3
Dec
1936
v14 #4
Jan
v14 #5
Feb

v14 #6
Mar
v14 #7
Apr
v14 #8
May

v14 #9
Jun
v14 #10
Jul

v14 #11
Aug

v14 #12
Sep

v15 #1
Oct
v15 #2
Nov

v15 #3
Dec
1937
v15 #4
Jan

v15 #5
Feb

v15 #6
Mar

v15 #7
Apr

v15 #8
May
v15 #9
Jun

v15 #10
Jul

v15 #11
Aug

v15 #12
Sep

v16 #1
Oct

v16 #2
Nov

v16 #3
Dec
1938
v16 #4
Jan

v16 #5
Feb
v16 #6
Mar

v16 #7
Apr

v16 #8
May

v16 #9
Jun

v16 #10
Jul/Aug
v16 #11
Sep
v16 #12
Oct

v17 #1
Nov

v17 #2
Dec
1939
v17 #3
Jan

v17 #4
Feb

v17 #5
Mar

v17 #6
Apr
v17 #7
May

v17 #8
Jun
v17 #9
Jul
v17 #10
Aug

v17 #11
Sep

v17 #12
Oct
v22 #8
Nov
v22 #9
Dec
1940 v22 #10
Jan
v22 #11
Feb

v22 #12
Mar
v23 #1
Apr
  v23 #2
Jun
  v23 #4
Aug
v23 #5
Sep
v23 #6
Oct
v23 #7
Nov
v23 #8
Dec
1941 v23 #9
Jan
v23 #10
Feb
v23 #11
Mar
v23 #12
Apr

v24 #1
May
       
v24 #6
Oct

v24 #7
Nov

v24 #8
Dec
1942  
v24 #10
Feb
 
v24 #12
Apr
 
v25 #2
Jun
 
Aug
 
Oct
   
1943 v25 #7
Jan

v25 #10
Feb
     
Jun

Jul
       
Dec
1944  
Feb
 
Apr
 
Jun
 
Aug
 
Oct
 
Dec
1945  
v4 #11
Feb
   
v4 #12
May
 
v5 #1
Jul
 
v5 #2
Sep
 
v5 #3
Nov
 
1946
v5 #4
Jan
 
v5 #5
Mar
  v5 #6
May
 
v5 #7
Jul
 
v5 #8
Sep
   
v5 #9
Dec
1947
v5 #10
Jan
   
v5 #11
Apr
 
v5 #12
Jun
 
v6 #1
Aug
 
v6 #2
Oct
 
v6 #3
Dec
1948  
v6 #4
Feb
 
v6 #5
Apr
 
v6 #6
Jun
 
v6 #7
Aug
 
v6 #8
Oct
 
v6 #9
Dec
1949  
v6 #10
Feb
 
v6 #11
Apr
 
v6 #12
Jun
   
v7 #1
Sep

v7 #2
Oct
   
1950
v7 #3
Jan

v7 #4
Feb
 
v7 #5
Apr

v7 #6
May

v7 #7
Jun

v7 #8
Jul

v7 #9
Aug

v7 #10
Sep

v7 #11
Oct

v7 #12
Nov

v8 #1
Dec
1951
v8 #2
Jan

v8 #3
Feb

v8 #4
Mar

v8 #5
Apr

v8 #6
May

v8 #7
Jun

v8 #8
Jul

v8 #9
Aug

v8 #10
Sep

v8 #11
Oct

v8 #12
Nov

v9 #1
Dec
1952
v9 #2
Jan

v9 #3
Feb

v9 #4
Mar

v9 #5
Apr

v9 #6
May

v9 #7
Jun

v9 #8
Jul

v9 #9
Aug

v9 #10
Sep

v9 #11
Oct

v9 #12
Nov

v10 #1
Dec
1953
v10 #2
Jan

v10 #3
Feb

v10 #4
Mar

v10 #5
Apr

v10 #6
May

v10 #7
Jun

v10 #8
Jul

v10 #9
Aug

v10 #10
Sep

v10 #11
Oct

v10 #12
Nov