Jack Webb made sure that Joe Friday was a policeman that other policemen could relate to and that listeners enjoyed. Played almost to understated perfection, Friday walks listeners through every episode, unfurling the case as he sees it in stark detail. While most of his fictional peers were cracking wise on other shows, Webb took a different approach with Friday. Stripped down, essential dialogue in a tone that oftentimes bubbled with an emotional undercurrent was Friday’s trademark.
Webb also imparted a particular humanity to Joe Friday that many other fictional policemen and detectives of the era lacked. He remained a bachelor for the entire run of the show, living with his mother. He showed sympathy for those who deserved it and sarcasm for those who earned it. He playfully picked on his partners. He never rushed to violence first. In essence, Joe Friday was as real a cop as a fictional one could be, thanks to Jack Webb.
by Will Murray, Based on a Concept by Lester Dent
The guillotine rose and fell, and American patriots died for daring to defy the Purple invader, supreme from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In sun-bleached Death Valley, Operator 5’s outlawed, ragged army chafed within the cordon of the great Purple army. Only a military miracle would arouse despairing Americans and free those lost legions... To make possible that miracle, Operator 5 gambles boldly with Death at the very heart of Emperor Rudolph’s colossus of strangling steel. What has become known as the “War and Peace of the Pulps” commenced with the searing novel, Death’s Ragged Army, which appeared in the July, 1936 issue of Operator #5 magazine. The legions of Emperor Maximilian swept in and took over New England, initiating the Second War of Independence. Jimmy Christopher and his friends and allies in the Intelligence Service were enlisted in a desperate undertaking to hurl back to Europe the forces of the Purple Emperor. The legendary Purple Invasion series had begun and lasted an amazing 13 installments. In order to enjoy the unfolding storyline, it's best to start with Death’s Ragged Army and read sequentially through to The Siege that Brought the Black Death. These 13 novels represent the most daring and unique departure ever in this kind of pulp magazine. Operator #5 and the Purple Invasion series returns in vintage pulp tales, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $2.99.