Black Mask

Black Mask charted a new course for detective pulps, beginning in the early twenties. H.L. Mencken had little respect for pulps, but was successful publishing Saucy Stories and Parisienne after the failure of his higher brow effort, The Smart Set. In 1923 they printed the first adventure of Race Williams, a prototype of the hardboiled genre of private detectives to follow. Black Mask featured authors such as Dashiell Hammett, who serialized The Maltese Falcon in the pulp, Earle Stanley Gardner and Raymond Chandler.

Artwork by Rafael DeSoto (Right) didn't hurt sales either!