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Jon Edgar Webb Short Story “Hello--Yes Sir--Goodbye” in April 1936 Issue of Manuscript

Jon Edgar Webb Short Story “Hello--Yes Sir--Goodbye” in April 1936 Issue of Manuscript

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The August 1935 issue of Story Magazine features the Jon Edgar Webb short story, Night after Night.

Manuscript was a bimonthly literary magazine founded by John Rood and edited by himself and his first wife, Mary Lawhead. It was published between 1934-1936 and printed at Lawhead Press in Athens, Ohio. The couple also published a pamphlet, Manuscript News.

Webb is also featured in the March 1936 issue of Manuscript News that is tipped into the issue.

Jon Edgar Webb was a crime beat reporter at the Cleveland News when he decided to try to be a criminal himself. He robbed a jewelry story and managed to get in and out of the store with the goods, but during the getaway he went down the wrong alley and ended up serving 30 months in the Ohio State Reformatory. He was the editor of the prison newspaper and learned to set type before being paroled.

While still in prison he began writing chapters for a novel about prison life and finally had it published in 1948 by Dial Press as a hardcover. Four Steps to the Wall would also be published as a mass market paperback by Bantam Books in 1953. In between, he had several stories about the lives of convicts published in magazines. Although I don’t recall any mention of prison in “Hello--Yes Sir--Goodbye”, it is probably loosely based on a job Webb took as telephone solicitor when he got out.

Webb is profiled in the Manuscript News by Hayden E. Norwood about a visit Webb made to his farm to escape New York and focus on his prison novel, which at the time was titled, “Okay, Warden.” Hayden talks about Webb’s writing habits and his general demeaner, which Hayden describes as a courtly gentleman.

As it directly relates to Bukowski, Loujon Press was responsible for transforming Bukowski into an established writer, even if fame wouldn’t occur until years later. They published Bukowski’s first true books, “It Catches My Heart In Its Hands” (1963) and “Crucifix in a Deathhand” (1965). These books are true works of art in and of themselves. The detail, the printing methods, the craftsmanship, and the pure insanity it took to undertake these endeavors was as unparalleled then and as it is today.

They also published Outsider magazine, which became the standard for poetry journals at the time. No other publication attracted nearly the talent that appeared in its pages and the production value of the magazine itself was unrivaled. Bukowski appeared in all four issues, with a large collection of poems in Outsider 1 (1961) and as the named “Outside of the Year” in Outsider 3 (1963), featuring Bukowski on the cover and a large center section.

This issue is in Near Fine condition with a one-inch tear to the cover (under the price) and some toning around the spine and edges of the paper. The issue of Manuscript News is in Near Fine-plus condition with some light toning.

Box 24

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