The Naked City Dec 12 2014
THE CIRCUS COMES TO TOWN
He’s more of a laughing-on-the-inside kind of clown.

We would love if this issue of Uncensored Detective published this month in 1946 had a story relating to the desperate clown on the cover, but no such luck. You can read the text of the issue at this link, but we’ll summarize for those short of time—you learn about cheating spouses, a killer cop, and a millionaire con artist, but no clowns. The stories are all interesting (as are the photos and photo-illustrations posed by models that probably barely earned meal money for the week), but the tale of double homicide on Lowry Air Force Base in Denver is the one that caught our interest. The details of the murders are not in any way fantastic, but because the parties of interest are all Chinese cadets Uncensored Detective gets to drop lines like this one: The workings of the Oriental mind are strange indeed. And this one: What secret mechanism in the Oriental mind caused a normal Chinese student to go berserk and commit murders for pride? Oh, those inscrutable Chinese. The story is a classic case of framing the banal as somehow alien when it involves other ethnic groups, and it’s a lazy, vicious form of journalism you see often in both old magazines and modern cable news. The mechanism of murder in the Denver crime was indeed pride, and that’s not so secret or strange. The other murders in the magazine were committed for jealousy, money, and lust, and there’s nothing secret or strange about those either. What would be strange is clowns. But there isn’t a single damned one in the magazine.

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Vintage Pulp Dec 11 2014
WHO'S UP FOR PIE?
This oughta really blow your skirt up.

We had no idea there’s a porn star named Rebecca Lane, nor that she has starred in something called Creampie Surpise, but you learn something new every day. That Rebecca Lane is not to be confused with the author Rébecca Lane, who wrote Surprise-Party for Éditions Le Styx’s collection Les fruits verts in 1958. Not to say the other Rebecca Lane isn’t talented in her own right. She very likely is. Creampies are hard to make, especially if they have those crumbly crusts. Anyway, judging by Aslan’s art, the party Rébecca Lane writes about here must have been a real surpise to get such a reaction. Alternatively, the pair could be dancing. But that’s always true, isn’t it? We all could be dancing. Okay, we’re done in France. Back home and back to other types of posts tomorrow. 

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Vintage Pulp Dec 11 2014
AMONG FRIENDS
Amis du Soleil makes nudism look like paradise on Earth. Now just wait until the guys show up to ruin it all.

Is it pulp? Of course it is, nos amis. There are countless mid-century novels about nudism. So, we couldn’t pass this up. It’s a special issue of the French nudist magazine Amis du soleil. This appeared around 1950, but the magazine went on for a long while, publishing hundreds of issues well into the late 1960s, so we’re told. We’re also told it was actually a satellite publication of Sonnenfreunde, which was the official publication of the German, Swiss and Austrian Nudist Federations. We’ve talked once or twice about how the Germans feel about this stuff, remember?

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Vintage Pulp Dec 11 2014
SOPHIE'S CHOICE
Is it best to follow the head or the heart?

Sophie et le crime is from Hachette as part of its Collection Point d’Interrogation, and was written by Cecil Saint-Laurent, aka Jacques Laurent, 1953. It’s a whodunit. A youthful and beautiful aspiring journalist is convinced the murder of a neighbor was committed by someone other than the missing husband. When the spouse appears on her doorstep proclaiming his innocence, she decides to solve the crime. But is he really innocent? There’s no artist info on this cover and no signature, which is too bad, because it’s excellent.

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Vintage Pulp Dec 10 2014
LEAPING AHEAD
Speaking of jumping me, what are you doing later?

It had been two years since we found any cover art from Louis Carrière, but Bordeaux solved that problem. Above you see his front for L’amour se joue aux dames, written by Christiane Leleu-Mazeron and published in 1950 by Éditions S.T.A.E.L. for their Collection Ciboulette. Regarding the title, “dames” means ladies of course, but “jeu de dames” actually refers to the game of checkers, or what Brits call draughts, so the complete title means “love is playing checkers.” You see that Carrière went literal with his art. If you’re interested in more of his work, just click his keywords below.

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Vintage Pulp Dec 9 2014
TOMBE RAIDER
The widow is about to join her husband.

Above is another treasure from Saturday—Une tombe pour la veuve, which means “a grave for the widow,” 1961, from publishers Éditions de Lutèce for their L’Agence Héléna series. The book is billed as an unpublished novel from Francis Fortunas, a pseudonym of Jean Denis, and it cost us two little euros at the Place de Quinconces. Art is uncredited, but signed GB, which is probably Georges Boland. 

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Femmes Fatales Dec 9 2014
WONDER BAR
Wow, you’re blurrier and taller than you were earlier this evening.

French actress Nathalie Delon was born in Oudja, Morocco as Francine Canovas, during the period when the North African country was occupied by France. She appeared in more than thirty films, including Bluebeard, Sex Shop, and Un sussurro nel buio, aka A Whisper in the Dark, and she also wrote, directed, and recorded music. We love this photo because not only was it shot in the world’s swankiest bar, but because it looks like it was photographed from the perspective of someone who got drunk and fell off his stool. No beer goggles here, though—Delon is a celebrated beauty. The shot is from 1977. 

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Vintage Pulp Dec 8 2014
PAINTING THE PLUNGE
Aslan dreams up a wish that comes true.

Above, L’Auberge des étreintes written by A. Clavelle for Presses de la Nuit’s collection Les quatre vents de l’amour, 1958. The great cover art of a femme fatale in a plunging swimsuit is by Aslan. We’re pretty sure swimwear like this didn’t exist in 1958, but they soon became this revealing and even more so. The guy was a visionary.

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Intl. Notebook Dec 8 2014
ALL A BORDELAIS
It’s sometimes called Petit Paris but it’s a unique city all its own.

Despite the nickname people from Bordeaux aren’t Petit Parisiennes. Instead, they’re Bordelais, and one thing Bordelais (and Bordelaises, who are female) really appreciate is old books. We found some nice items we’ll begin posting soon, but for today all we have time to show you is a couple of interesting Bordelais snapshots. We took the top photo next to a bookstore, which was closed, but which had mounted a free book crate on an adjacent door. We found nothing there, but in the center of the city in a seasonal market on the Place de Quinconces we dug through stacks of printed matter and uncovered a few choice nuggets. There was also a flea market—a bit more of a bohemian, Arab, and African undertaking—on the Place Maynard in the shadow of the amazing Basilique and Clocher Saint-Michel, and there we came across a few interesting magazines, some pretty cool vendors, and a whole row of nice cafes. Next mission—find a scanner.

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Vintage Pulp Dec 7 2014
HODGE PODGE
Virtually unknown French artist James Hodges shows he’s a top tier illustrator.

Above are fifteen more covers from French artist James Hodges, who we’re still trying to learn details about. Was he actually French, with a name like James? That much seems certain. Was he a genius? Clearly. We’ll keep digging until we know all there is to know.

Update: On the other hand, he could be less of a genius than we thought...

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
December 18
1912—Piltdown Man Discovered
A hominid fossil known as Piltdown Man is found in England's Piltdown Gravel Pit by paleontologist Charles Dawson. The fragments are thought by many experts of the day to be the fossilized remains of a hitherto unknown form of early man, but in 1953 it is discovered to be a hoax composed of a human skeleton and an orangutan's jawbone. The identity of the Piltdown forger remains unknown, but suspects have included Dawson, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Arthur Conan Doyle and others.
December 17
1967—Australian Prime Minister Disappears
The Prime Minister of Australia, Harold Holt, who was best known for expanding Australia's role in the Vietnam War, disappears while swimming at Cheviot Beach near Portsea, Victoria and is presumed drowned.
1969—Project Blue Book Ends
The United States Air Force completes its study of UFOs, stating that sightings are generated as a result of a mild form of mass hysteria, and that individuals who fabricate such reports do so to perpetrate a hoax or seek publicity, or are psychopathological persons, or simply misidentify various conventional objects.
December 16
1985—Gotti Ascends to Mafia Throne
In New York City, mafiosi Paul Castellano and Thomas Bilotti are shot dead on the orders of John Gotti, paving the way for Gotti to assume leadership of the powerful Gambino crime family. Gotti is eventually arrested by federal authorities in 1990, and dies of throat cancer in 2002 in a federal prison hospital.

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