Galaxy (a post-WW2 humour pocket magazine)

Galaxy 1946 Autumn

Published by The Star Publishing Corporation, GALAXY lasted from 1946 through at least 1949. Numbering is difficult for this publication. It began in January and ran successively for 8 monthly installments, concluding with the August 1946 edition. Then came the pictured edition here, simply dated Autumn. One “Eric H. Hale” is given to have been the editor, a man for whom I know nothing about.

These thin side-stapled pocket magazines contained photos of actresses and models, tons of cartoon drawings, numerous short stories, articles and advertisements. Interestingly enough, the last interior page has two ads, for Outlands: A Magazine for Adventurous Minds and for the New Realm Magazine.

The stories within are hardly noteworthy, running a page or two in length. This issue sports two known entities: Kay Hammond-Davies and N. Wesley Firth. The former supplies a tale in which a young couple and their dog move into a home and must rid their garden of a pesky rabbit. All three are gung-ho toward wanton murder until the girl has a change of heart for the innocent bunny. The husband blows its brains out and the dog pounces and she calls them beasts, much to their bewilderment. Firth’s short-short involves a French artist with poor English-speaking skills explaining why he will no longer paint any further nudes in the future. Most are general fiction tales, with a humorous slant.

The best features of this magazine are the assorted line-drawn cartoons. Contributors include the talented comic artists Denis Gifford and Denis McLoughlin.

Galaxy no 11 1947 SpringThe Spring 1947 issue (the year is actually  not given) sports neither a contents page nor are any of the pages numbered.

Noteworthy contents include the short fantasy “Flesh and Blood” by Eira Williams and a tale by David Boyce.

Artists include Hooper, Ynott, Sten, Anis, James Symington, Arthur Williams, Jones, Hix, and others.

While the gifted “named” artists are missing from this issue, there are some decent “indecent” illustrations that give way to a good chuckle, such as a man’s wife stuffing her bra….

Galaxy no 13 1947 Autumn

The Autumn 1947 edition provides the following data:
Editor: Eric H. Hale
Associate Editor: Beryl Cousins
Advertisement Manager: J. C. Robson
American Representative: Emil Zubryn
African Representative: J. J. Odufuwa

London offices are located at:
Temple Bar House, 23/28 Fleet St,
London, E.C.4

American Bureau
47 West 56th Street
New York City

African Bureau
58 Macullum Street
Ebute-Metta, Nigeria

Trade distributors throughout the world are given to be:
Rolls House Publishing Co., Ltd.
Rolls House
2 Bream Buildings, London, E.C.4

Fiction stories abound with the usual motley crew of illustrators, photos and a Hollywood article supplied by David Boyce. Talented artist Bob Monkhouse supplies a half-pager, while the best fiction tale is a one-page ghoul from beyond the grave! Patrick S. Selby also supplies a short story. His name might best be remembered for having copped the cover to New Worlds #2 with “Space Ship 13.”

Galaxy no 15 SpringAnd we wrap up this article with the last edition in my possession, the Spring 1948 issue.

Story contributors include editor Beryl Cousins, Joan Seager, and a tale by Cay van Ash, largely remembered for  bicycling to the home of writer Sax Rohmer to obtain an interview. He later became Rohmer’s secretary and then departed for Japan, the two becoming fast friends until Sax Rohmer’s death.

David Boyce supplies a supernatural article.

Artwork is supplied by all the regulars of the time, including Griff, James Symington, Housley, Hix, Kenneth Mahood, and the talented Bob Monkhouse returns with two witty pieces.

Galaxy (a post-WW2 humour pocket magazine)

Corpse from the Sky by J. Murray Crouch

GULLIVER BOOKS Corpse From The Sky
“Corpse from the Sky” by Joseph Murray Crouch (Gulliver Books, 1950)

Corpse from the Sky” was written by J. Murray Crouch and published by Gulliver Books, in 1950. The book is a 128-page digest-paperback that features artwork that is both not credited and has zero to do with the content(s) of the novel. The artwork is possibly that of Denis McLoughlin.

This is part of their short-lived Skyscraper Books series, which featured only one other known novel, “The Dead Are So Dumb,” by Leslie Cargill; he churned out over a dozen thrillers during a 15-year span.

Other books noted (on the rear cover) include the following series:

  • Starlight Westerns
  • Kismet Romances
  • It Really Happened!

Joseph Murray Crouch was born 14 March 1912 at Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England. He died 1997 in Croydon, Surrey. (Perhaps one day a family-member will read this blog and contribute something further). He attended Hatfield College, part of the University of Durham, and graduated with the Class of 1935. Come 1940, he was in the Royal Artillery, and by 1943, married on the Isle of Man. At some point, Mr. Crouch was involved with the Intelligence Corps.

To my knowledge, this is his only literary “novel” contribution. I surmise he attempted to translate some of his life experiences into writing this murder – mystery novel. He did author at least 3 short stories for London Life, a digest-magazine. Those known stories include:

  • Educated Gus (February 1947) as Murray Crouch
  • The Seventh Child (April 1949) as J. Murray Crouch
  • Get Your Man (February 1951) as J. Murray Crouch

The first tale is not the first appearance of “Gus.” The magazine blurb states “once again Gus wins against long odds.” So we know our author had at least one prior story.

In Corpse from the Sky, a man is dumped out of an airplane. The body slams into the buildings (amusing this happens in a series called “Skyscraper Books”) before slithering to the ground practically at the feet of a detective. The coincidences and poor ability of the author to create any sense of suspense is further shattered when a lovely young lady enters his office. She is Denise, daughter and heir to Arthur Vanrietz’s fortunes. Inexplicably, we learn that her father, Arthur, suggested to her to seek out this particular detective in the event that he is dead. No explanation is given as to why Arthur should want this particular detective.

So, now we have an unidentified corpse (landing literally at the feet of the detective) and a young lovely lady hiring him to look for her murdered father. She is certain that he is dead, after all. A silly assumption. Our detective, Mr. Bartle, sends her to the local police and while there, she learns of the dropped body, identifies it as her father, returns to Bartle, and tells all. He’s immediately on the case.

Traveling out to the family castle, he meets all sorts of villainous residents. There is no need to travel down the well-worn path to explain that the butler is always given the evil slant (in fact, he served time once) and that the rest are equally unscrupulous.

In the end, Bartle hasn’t a damned clue who the murderer really is but sequesters everyone in the lounge and exposes everything he knows, then, absurdly, states that the (secret) half-brother had the best motive for murder and is indeed the crafty butcher who has murdered every other person throughout the novel.


The half-brother whips out a gun and tries to affect his escape. Why? There was no proof! He could have sat there all day and laughed. Instead, the half-brother is tackled, cuffed, and arrested, and Bartle turns away in disgust, because he can’t stand the sight of persons placed under arrest.


The novel practically concludes on that note. The girl, we are given to understand, is romantically involved with the only other person in the castle that appears to have a relatively clean slate.

Honestly, the novel had me utterly flummoxed. I was hoping that the otherwise juvenile construction and plot would suddenly explode ingeniously into a ripe thriller. Imagine my disappointment…but I am quite intrigued about the author.

Corpse from the Sky by J. Murray Crouch