Willie Klump

Created by Joe Archibald (1898--)

Not too bright, not too shiny...

Pug-ugly beat-down gumshoe and walking sartorial disaster WILLIAM J. "WILLIE" KLUMP turned out to have remarkable staying power, surviving in the cutthroat world of the pulps for a good ten years, starting in Popular Detective in 1938, appearing in around sixty short stories and novellas. It couldn't have been his looks -- his clothes tended to the shabby side, nor his winning personality -- he was pretty much a sad sack. The interior illustrations didn't help either -- he was generally portrayed as an oaf.

Nor was he a particularly brilliant detective or a shrewd business man -- he was a plodder who often went weeks without his collecting the fees from his deadbeat clients. The "president" of the Hawkeye Detective Agency, Willie was occasionally referred to as the "Hawkeye Hawkshaw" but he was always the same Klump, a hapless schlub whose success was more often due to pals such as Satchelfoot Kelly, who viewed him with amused and affectionate contempt, and Gertie Mudgett, Klump's surprisngly attractive girlfriend and secretary, who invariably proved both tougher and smarter than Klump.

Not that that was so hard.

Yet, despite his inadequacies, Willie proved quite popular with readers, appearing regularly, often referred to in editor's introductions as "laugh panics" or "howlers."

His creator, Joseph Stopford "Joe" Archibald, was a prolific pulp writer, selling western, flying and sport stories as well as mysteries, and seemed to have a penchant for created amusingly named series characters, including such winners as flying ace Phineas Pinkham, the Dizzy Duo and Ambrose Hooley.

UNDER OATH

  • "Archibald is another pulpster who likes to inject a good bit of humor into his yarns. James Thurber, he ain't. But it'll probably get you to chuckle out loud a couple of times."

-- PulpGen, which hosts several Klump stories

SHORT STORIES

  • "Bird Cagey" (January 1938, Popular Detective)
  • "Cat Nipped" (August 1938, Popular Detective)
  • "Yegg Stains" (October 1938, Popular Detective)
  • "Poison and Ivy" (December 1938, Popular Detective)
  • "A Killer'"s Heel" (June 1939, Popular Detective)
  • "Dumb Is the Word for Willie" (August 1939, Popular Detective)
  • "Scent to the Jug" (October 1939, Popular Detective)
  • "No Place Like Homicide" (April 1940, Popular Detective)
  • "Fifty Grand Finale" (June 1940, Popular Detective)
  • "Death for Jewels" (August 1940, Popular Detective)
  • "Klump Sugar" (December 1940, Popular Detective)
  • "Shoe Treed" (February 1941, Popular Detective)
  • "Taken for a Slay Ride" (April 1941, Popular Detective)
  • "Alibi Bye" (June 1941, Popular Detective)
  • "Socks and Blondes" (August 1941, Popular Detective)
  • "Dog Collared" (October 1941, Popular Detective)
  • "Murder Wrap" (February 1942, Popular Detective)
  • "Steal Trap" (April 1942, Popular Detective)
  • "The Knife Thrower" (June 1942, Popular Detective)
  • "The Firebug" (August 1942, Popular Detective)
  • "Homicide Squab" (October 1942, Popular Detective)
  • "Physical Wrecked" (December 1942, Popular Detective)
  • "Of Maestros and Gunmen" (February 1943, Popular Detective)
  • "Sham and Eggs" (April 1943, Popular Detective)
  • "Almost a Photo Finish" (June 1943, Popular Detective)
  • "Dick Tracery" (August 1943, Popular Detective)
  • "Klump to the Rescue" (October 1943, Popular Detective)
  • "F.B.I. Opener" (December 1943, Popular Detective)
  • "William Klump, Nursemaid" (February 1944, Popular Detective)
  • "It Could Only Happen to Willie" (April 1944, Popular Detective)
  • "Skip Tracer Bullets" (June 1944, Popular Detective)
  • "Meat Brawl" (August 1944, Popular Detective)
  • "Defective Bureau" (October 1944, Popular Detective)
  • "Two-Timing Willie" (December 1944, Popular Detective)
  • "Trance Figured" (February 1945, Popular Detective)
  • "One Tooth of the Law" (April 1945, Popular Detective)
  • "The Witness Share" (June 1945, Popular Detective)...Kindle it!
  • "One on the House Dick" (August 1945, Popular Detective)
  • "Tooth and Consequences" (October 1945, Popular Detective)
  • "Nursery Crime" (December 1945, Popular Detective)
  • "Murder in the Worst Degree" (February 1946, Popular Detective)
  • "Morgue Sheet Music" (April 1946, Popular Detective)
  • "Where There's a Willie There's a Way" (June 1946, Popular Detective)
  • "An Ace and a Pear" (August 1946, Popular Detective)
  • "Hubba Hubba Homicide" (November 1946, Popular Detective)
  • "Fit to Be Tried" (January 1947, Popular Detective)
  • "The Mourning After" (March 1947, Popular Detective)
  • "Two Grand Finale" (May 1947, Popular Detective)
  • "Kilroy Rides Again" (July 1947, Popular Detective)
  • "When a Body Meets a Body" (September 1947, Popular Detective)
  • "Stalling All Cars" (January 1948, Popular Detective)
  • "Photo Finish for a Dame" (March 1948, Popular Detective)
  • "Jail and the Harvards" (May 1948, Popular Detective)
  • "Klump a la Carte" (July 1948, Popular Detective)
  • "Stuck with the Evidence" (September 1948, Popular Detective)
  • "What a Shamus!" (November 1948, Popular Detective)
  • "State Penmanship" (January 1949, Popular Detective)
  • "Sitting Bulls" (Spring 1949, Mystery Book Magazine)
  • "Dying to See Willie" (March 1949, Popular Detective)
  • "The Gat and the Mouse" (May 1949, Popular Detective)
  • "A Lam to the Slaughter" (July 1949, Popular Detective)
  • "Cheesecake and Willie" (November 1949, Popular Detective)
  • "Accidents Anonymous" (May 1950, Popular Detective)
  • "The Defunct Blonde" (November 1954, The Saint Detective Magazine)
  • "The Crime of His Life" (March 1959, Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine)

Respectfully submitted by David Nobriga and Kevin Burton Smith.


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