Vintage Pulp Jun 9 2017
WRITTEN IN THE STARS
Your future is uncertain, however I do see lots of guns.

Above, ten covers from the popular French thriller series Les aventures de Zodiaque, published by Éditions de Neuilly throughout the 1950s, with cover art from Aldé, aka Gaston Martineau, aka Gaston Martin.

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Vintage Pulp Feb 4 2016
BARRIO BLUES
The prince and the pauper are one and the same.


This striking promo for the Mexican comedy El rey del barrio was painted by Ernesto Garcia Cabral, who we discussed briefly in this post featuring a small collection of his creations. Garcia Cabral was born in Huatusco, Veracruz and would become one of the most published artists in Mexico, churning out cartoons, caricatures, and general illustrations. His early work, with its stylishly elongated flappers and sheiks, fits right into the art deco period, and his later work evolved to take on the form you see above. El rey del barrio premiered in Mexico today in 1950, and tells the story of a working class Joe who leads a double life. By day he's a kindly wage earner, but at night he dons zoot suit and cape—yes, cape—to become a thief and gangster. He's in love with a girl from his neighborhood, but keeping his second identity secret becomes increasingly harder as he bungles his way from caper to caper. You've see this story before, but probably not set in 1950s Mexico, and not with Germán Valdés, who was a rare comedic talent in the spastic mode of Jerry Lewis or Bob Hope. Silvia Pinal as his love interest is just the right mix of sweet and sassy. Add a bit of singing and some sexy nightclub dance numbers and you've got yourself a winner. The potential bad news is that there's no English language or subtitled version, as far as we know, but you've all learned Spanish by now, right? ¿No? Mas vale tarde que nunca, gabachos.

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Vintage Pulp Nov 14 2013
EVERY SECOND COUNTS
The Zodiac is watching your every movement.

Les aventures de Zodiaque was one of France’s most poplar pulp-style serials. Published by Editions de Neuilly throughout the 1950s, this one is entitled Cinq, quatre, trois, deux, un zéro and appeared in 1957, making it the 183rd entry in the series. The man who worked overtime to churn these out was Gaston Martineau, aka Gaston Martin, and the stories involved the exploits of Zodiac and his sidekicks Elayne, Dede and a reporter named Gaston Martin (subtle, no?). The cover was painted by Aldé, who we gather was Martin in disguise. You have to be impressed. You’ve probably noticed the black “Europe n° 1” on the cover. That isn’t part of the title. Martin had been interviewed on the recently launched radio network Europe n° 1 by Pierre Maintigneux, and the cover was publicizing that fact. There’s a photo of Martin and Maintigneux on the rear of the book from the interview. We’ll get back to this series pretty soon, but for now you can see more covers at Muller-Fokker’s excellent webpage here.

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Femmes Fatales Dec 9 2010
VIVA VALDES
Ballad of the lonesome dove.


1963 publicity photo from the Spanish magazine Triunfo of Spanish actress Paloma Valdés, who appeared in numerous films and television shows during the sixties before giving up acting to concentrate on music. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
September 23
1952—Chaplin Returns to England
Silent movie star Charlie Chaplin returns to his native England for the first time in twenty-one years. At the time it is said to be for a Royal Society benefit, but in reality Chaplin knows he is about to be banned from the States because of his political views. He would not return to the U.S. for twenty years.
September 22
1910—Duke of York's Cinema Opens
The Duke of York's Cinema opens in Brighton, England, on the site of an old brewery. It is still operating today, mainly as a venue for art films, and is the oldest continually operating cinema in Britain.
1975—Gerald Ford Assassination Attempt
Sara Jane Moore, an FBI informant who had been evaluated and deemed harmless by the U.S. Secret Service, tries to assassinate U.S. President Gerald Ford. Moore fires one shot at Ford that misses, then is wrestled to the ground by a bystander named Oliver Sipple.
September 21
1937—The Hobbit is Published
J. R. R. Tolkien publishes his seminal fantasy novel The Hobbit, aka The Hobbit: There and Back Again. Marketed as a children's book, it is a hit with adults as well, and sells millions of copies, is translated into multiple languages, and spawns the sequel trilogy The Lord of Rings.
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