Friday, May 20, 2016


Short fiction was a mainstay in vintage men's magazines. Any publication that dared emulate the successful PLAYBOY had to include stories along with articles about cars, booze, and ... of course, photos of the ladies.

Presented here is a story entitled, "Treasure From the Mummy's Tomb" that appeared in the January 1967 issue of the quarterly BLACK MAGIC (Vol. 3 No. 4). BLACK MAGIC was a relatively short-lived magazine from the American Art Agency in North Hollywood and was distributed from the same editorial address by Parliament News, Inc. It attempted to obliquely reflect the occult mania that permeated popular culture in the 1960s. With features tediously titled "The Witch Watch" (news), "The Ghost Post" (letters), "The Wit Pit" (humor), and "The Leprechaun's Sex Hex" (fiction), the magazine was crawling with alliteration.

"Treasure From the Mummy's Tomb" is by Richard L. "Rick" Sargent, a pulp writer active in the 1950s and 1960s. Besides this story in BLACK MAGIC, he wrote men's adventure fiction in other magazines such as ADAM. He also penned tales for other pulp magazines, such as ALFRED HITCHCOCK MYSTERY MAGAZINE. MANHUNT, THE SAINT MYSTERY MAGAZINE, TRAPPED MYSTERY MAGAZINE, and GUILTY DETECTIVE MYSTERY MAGAZINE.

"Mummy's Tomb" is the well-worn tale of reincarnation and love beyond the grave (in this case, the tomb). The "Ka" (soul) of priestess Mashalla is haunting the life of Larry, a modern-day aerospace engineer and is jealously trying to keep him from falling in love with another woman. There are tinges of the occult here as The Cult of Kalganos is used as a setting for a secret ritual and the theme itself has a supernatural tone. Disappointingly, the sex is very tepid and is titillating at best. A writer like Ed Wood may have infused it with a little more spunk, but nevertheless, it's an entertaining few minutes to spend.

NOTE: If you are curious to see a sample of what else was in the magazine (wink-wink, nod-nod), click HERE.

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