Cinema killed the Radio star.
We found this unusual magazine in Bayonne, France last year and picked it up because of its striking cover star, who happens to be French actress Simone Renant. She had a fifty-year career in cinema but we were not aware she also worked in radio. But it says right on the cover she could be heard in Les sept mensonges de l'impératrice, aka The Seven Lies of the Empress. Radio is filled with broadcast schedules. Pages of them for the entirety of France, from metro Paris to Nice to Bretagne. But Renant’s presence hints at cinema overlap and, indeed, film star Rita Hayworth makes an appearance. And because readers cannot live on celebrity alone, there’s a bit of politics, opera, dance and, of course, boobs. This issue appeared today in 1947, which is why 47 appears in the name. The next year’s issues had a 48, and so forth, from 1943 until the publication faded away in the early 1950s, when dramatic radio was also on the way out. We have a few scans below.
All she wants to do is dance.
Though it doesn’t fit strictly into the idea of pulp, we picked up this issue of Paris Match published this month in 1949 because we liked the colorful cover. Actually, that’s not true. We picked it up because one of the Pulp girlfriends saw it and said, “Oooh, ballet!” This was in Bayonne, France back in September. When we knew we’d be in the vicinity one of the Pulp boys (BB) said “Oooh, duck hearts!” So there’s your Mars/Venus moment for today: we popped by Bayonne craving sautéed duck hearts as only the French can make, and got Paris Match for two euros. The cover star is French ballerina Yvette Chauviré, who was born in 1917, rose to become the lead dancer of l'Opéra de Paris, and later ascended to its directorship. Inside you get more photos of her, plus shots of American boxer Robert Charron, and shots of his wife (referred to only as Mme. Charron) in a ringside seat watching her husband fight. Take note guys—this is what your girlfriend/wife looks like when you’re getting the living shit kicked out of you. Also inside are photos of actress Cécile Aubry and conservative politician Paul Reynaud. All for you. Enjoy.
Qui? Police is modern pulp with a very vintage look.
It’s amazing how fertile France is for vintage pulp. It’s by far the best hunting ground after the U.S., and that’s true even in smaller cities like Bayonne. For example, Bayonne is a town that we made time to go to for one reason—because we knew of a restaurant that specialized in duck hearts. Afterward, feeling strong like a duck, we strolled the cobbled side streets and stumbled into two vintage bookshops straightaway. Actually, one was a bookshop. The other was an African handicrafts store with two big shelves of printed matter. See what we mean? Even a handicrafts store might have something great. Qui? Police has a vintage feel, but this issue actually dates from 1979, so that makes it modern pulp, the way we categorize things. So what do we know about this mag? Not much. We saw an issue published in February 1947 that was numbered 33, so on a weekly schedule that gives an inception year of 1946, with the first issue hitting newsstands in June. And that’s pretty much the extent of our knowledge. But we’ll find out more. In the meantime check out the inside of this thing. It’s a black, white, and red amalgam of true crime reportage, grainy photography, excellent courtroom art, cartoon humor, and cheesecake. Paging through it conjures all our favorite French words—crime, vengeance, rage, menace, lurid, voyeur. Did you know those were all French words? Well, there you go. You’re well on way to having the tools you need to survive a trip to France. Eighteen scans below.
When we said the Devil is in the details, we had no idea how prophetic that would turn out to be.
So, we got an email a few days ago from a reader named Paul about our Mort au diable post "The Devil Is in the Details" from last month, and we were asked if we were 100% sure the art for that poster was painted by Jacques Thibésart. Well, we thought we were. Then we realized we weren’t. Turns out the poster was from the Belgium’s S.P.R.L. Belgique, and they have a mark that, if you aren’t paying close attention, looks like Thibésart’s signature. Thibésart signed his work Mik, Tib, or with his own name sometimes, but the Mort au diable signature, which reads Wik, is obviously different (see above). S.P.R.L. is a famous press, and their signature is well known—to everyone but us, as of a couple of days ago. Below is the last portion of our reply to Paul:
It's actually rather interesting, because for us the site is just simple fun, and we often joke in our posts about how we don't take it seriously. However our analytics tell us that people are continually cross referencing here and using it for research, and the traffic is far larger than we ever expected [snip]. With that in mind, we pledged a while back to try and get all our information correct, and we are quite diligent nowadays, but something still slips through occasionally. Without readers checking our facts, we'd never get everything right, so you've done us a big favor.
So there you have it. Epic fail on Mort au diable, but every mistake makes us a little better. We’ve corrected the earlier post, but didn’t want the change to go unacknowledged. As it happens, yesterday we were in France, in a town called Bayonne, and at a vintage bookshop we saw another piece from S.P.R.L. Belgique. We didn’t have any Thibésart handy to use for a detailed comparison of the signatures, but there was no need—we already knew we’d gotten it wrong. Now the good news. First, we picked up a stack of great French pulp. And second, we’re going to get this Thibésart thing right today. All the great book covers below are his. They’re from the imprint Presses Mondiales for their series Amour et Police, and were published during the 1950s. 100% on this. Seriously. |
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1986—Otto Preminger Dies
Austro–Hungarian film director Otto Preminger, who directed such eternal classics as Laura, Anatomy of a Murder
, Carmen Jones
, The Man with the Golden Arm
, and Stalag 17
, and for his efforts earned a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, dies in New York City, aged 80, from cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
1998—James Earl Ray Dies
The convicted assassin of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., petty criminal James Earl Ray, dies in prison of hepatitis aged 70, protesting his innocence as he had for decades. Members of the King family who supported Ray's fight to clear his name believed the U.S. Government had been involved in Dr. King's killing, but with Ray's death such questions became moot.
1912—Pravda Is Founded
The newspaper Pravda, or Truth, known as the voice of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, begins publication in Saint Petersburg. It is one of the country's leading newspapers until 1991, when it is closed down by decree of then-President Boris Yeltsin. A number of other Pravdas appear afterward, including an internet site and a tabloid.
1983—Hitler's Diaries Found
The German magazine Der Stern claims that Adolf Hitler's diaries had been found in wreckage in East Germany. The magazine had paid 10 million German marks for the sixty small books, plus a volume about Rudolf Hess's flight to the United Kingdom, covering the period from 1932 to 1945. But the diaries are subsequently revealed to be fakes written by Konrad Kujau, a notorious Stuttgart forger. Both he and Stern journalist Gerd Heidemann go to trial in 1985 and are each sentenced to 42 months in prison.
1918—The Red Baron Is Shot Down
German WWI fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, better known as The Red Baron, sustains a fatal wound while flying over Vaux sur Somme in France. Von Richthofen, shot through the heart, manages a hasty emergency landing before dying in the cockpit of his plane. His last word, according to one witness, is "Kaputt." The Red Baron was the most successful flying ace during the war, having shot down at least 80 enemy airplanes.
1964—Satellite Spreads Radioactivity
An American-made Transit satellite, which had been designed to track submarines, fails to reach orbit after launch and disperses its highly radioactive two pound plutonium power source over a wide area as it breaks up re-entering the atmosphere.
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