Last week, we gave you a look at the exciting and noble career of one of the most notable of the Pulp heroes, Doc Savage. If you'll recall, we even showed you a photo of the extremely rare Doc Savage Award - of which less than 10 are known to exist. Well, this week we'd like to take an even closer look at that award.

The Doc Savage Award was a gorgeous medal charm given by Doc Savage Magazine to those who exemplified the virtues of Service, Loyalty and Integrity. The magazine, which ran from 1933 - 1949, decided that good deeds both large and small should be honored, and that those who made “the most of their opportunities” should not go unrecognized. They wanted to give appropriate credit to those who, like Doc Savage, were dedicated to helping people in need and to upholding justice at all costs. But unlike other similar medals of honor that were given to promote superheroes that believed in the same virtues, the Doc Savage Award was particularly meaningful. See, there was no magic behind Doc's heroic acts. His strength and heroism came solely from his own determination, quick thinking and self-discipline. As you'll recall from last week, Doc spent 2 hours every day in exercise and training, and he faithfully practiced meditation to keep his body and spirit sharp. Through research and consistent study, he kept his mind in shape as well. And, he strictly adhered to the Doc Savage Creed, which, among other things, stated that he “do right to all, and wrong no man.” All of this gave a human aspect to the Doc Savage Award that other awards just didn't have.

So, as you can imagine, getting the Doc Savage Award was no simple task. The folks at Doc Savage Magazine wanted to be absolutely certain that each recipient of this lofty award was deserving - therefore they had to be nominated by someone else. That someone would then fill out a special application provided by the magazine, which is in and of itself quite a rare and valuable collectible today. In the application, the person nominating would not only present a statement of why they believed their candidate was a worthy recipient of the award, but they would also provide the names and addresses of six others who knew the nominee and agreed with the statement. Just to up the ante a bit, the sixth name had to be that of a civic, religious or business leader in the community. Then, after review and acceptance from the Doc Savage Magazine Award Jury, the candidate would receive their treasured medal after about two weeks.

The Award itself was quite beautiful, and featured Doc Savage's face, with a noble stare, embossed (appropriately enough) in bronze. The top of the medal read “Doc Savage Award”, and the bottom had the words “Service” “Loyalty” and “Integrity” displayed on three separate banners. As we've mentioned before, it is an extraordinarily rare piece, and less than 10 of them are known to exist. Extraordinarily rare - just like the hero it honored!

ndy and ended with a fumbling, frustrated fop crying \ldblquote OH MIN!\rdblquote . Many of Andy's escapades even involved stints in politics - he ran for Congress on a few occasions and in a string of presidential elections beginning in 1924. \par \par Yet, for all his macho intentions, Andy's dependence on his wife Min was unquestionable. And Min (short fir Minerva), with her similarly lanky build and sensible hairdo, provided the perfect zany counterpart to Andy's antics. She was hardly as erratic as her husband, and some argue that she was even the brains of the family, but she certainly did her fair share of door slamming, book throwing and general bawling and crying nonetheless. \par \par Along with Andy and Min, \i The Gumps \i0 also included the detestable maid Tilda, the adorable, if tantrum-prone son Chester, and the filthy rich Uncle Bim - whose extravagant lifestyle provided an interesting contrast to Andy's disgruntled, middle-class existence. In fact, Uncle Bim was even one of Carl Barks' inspirations for the fantastically wealthy Scrooge McDuck! Occasional appearances by characters such as the money-hungry Widow Zander and Min's dessert-loving mother made the strip a hilarious parody of what everyday life was like in decades past. From the delivery of the new icebox to country drives in the roadster, the family-focus of \i The Gumps \i0 today provides a marvelous peek into a bygone era. \par \par \i The Gumps \i0 was also a strip of firsts - it was the first comic strip to feature a character's death (the character was Mary Gold, in 1929), the first to spawn a radio show (in 1934), and the first to be presented in such a way that each day's strip told a new chapter of an ongoing story. This soap opera-ish technique had fans clamoring for more at the end of each strip, and undoubtedly helped perpetuate its popularity. It was also for \i The Gumps \i0 that the first million-dollar contract was signed for a comi