From its launch in 1920 until its demise in 1951, the magazine Black Mask published pulp crime fiction. The first hard-boiled detective stories appeared on its pages. Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Erle Stanley Gardner, and John D. MacDonald all got their start in Black Mask. The urban crime stories that appeared in Black Mask helped to shape American culture. Modern computer games, films, and television are rooted in the fiction popularized by the magazine.
We thought: If customers like this brand of retro-horror so much, why not go back to the dark well from which it all sprang? That meant Dime Mystery Magazine, the pulp that started the Weird Menace sub-genre back around Halloween of the horrific year of 1933. Since we were planning on celebrating the 80th anniversary of Popular Publication's G-8 And His Battles Aces and The Spider during this autumnal epoch, why not do the same for their sister publication?
In the Fall of 1937, Popular Publications launched a new type of detective magazine, one that combined the weird-menace-style stories that had made Terror Tales and Horror Stories so hot with readers with hardboiled detective-action tales. They called it Strange Detective Mysteries. In his first-issue editorial, managing editor Rogers Terrill set the stage: "Remember the time you read that one perfect knockout detective story - bizarre, mysterious, thrill-packed, different? It still remains the detective story for you."