Vintage Pulp Mar 4 2016
THRILL OF THE CHAISE
I feel like I let people get close to me really quickly, doctor. Probably too close.


Jason Hytes' 1965 psychotherapy sleazer Secret Session was originally published in 1962 as The Doctor and the Dike, so you can probably figure out the plot yourself just based on the titles. Basically, a high-priced headshrinker's roster of female patients heat up his sessions, but it's his lesbian receptionist who really sparks a more-than-professional interest. In mid-century fiction every lesbian is just a man-hungry freak in waiting. Paul Rader is on the cover chores for this one.  

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Vintage Pulp Jan 5 2016
SHADOW AND FRIGHT
The shape of bad things to come.

Above and below are assorted covers featuring yet another fun mid-century paperback art motif—the looming or threatening shadow. The covers are by the usual suspects—Rader, Phillips, Gross, Caroselli, Nik, as well as by artists whose work you see less often, such as Tony Carter’s brilliant cover for And Turned to Clay. That's actually a dust jacket, rather than a paperback front, but we couldn't leave it out. You’ll also notice French publishers really liked this theme. We’ll doubtless come across more, and as we do we’ll add to the collection. This is true of all our cover collections. For instance, our post featuring the Eiffel Tower has grown from fifteen to twenty-two examples, and our group of fronts with syringes has swelled from thirteen to twenty-six images. We have twenty-four twenty-eight—see what we mean?—more shadow covers below, and thanks to all original uploaders.

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Vintage Pulp Aug 25 2015
FREE AS A BIRD
Flight 69, please hold position until further advised.

We think the fabled mile high club is like the original Woodstock—400,000 people showed up, but if you count everyone who claims to have been there attendance was actually something like 8 million. If you’ve never had sex in the sky, let Paul Rader’s cover for Mike Skinner’s 1962 sleaze novel Flight into Sin inspire you (even if the cover figure hasn't gotten airborne yet). Skinner is a bit of a mystery, but we know he was credited with other books in a similar vein for Midwood, such as So Wild, The Undoing of Jenny, and The Passionate Virgin, and he seems also to have written Blondes Don’t Give a Damn as Michael Skinner for Kozy Books. As for Rader, there’s little more to add—he was one of the kings of mid-century paperback art. You can read a full bio on him here. 

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Vintage Pulp Jul 3 2015
ALL THUMBS
Well, mostly thumbs.

The hitchhiker has been a central element of many a mid-century thriller, with the results of these rides ranging from hot sex to bloody murder, and several outcomes between. Below is a collection of paperback covers depicting various characters casting their fates to the road. Wish them luck—they’ll need it. And thanks to all the original uploaders on these. 

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Vintage Pulp Mar 4 2015
TOUCH OF EVIL
Um, I think we’re going to need some revisions to this script.

Above, the cover of Amy Harris’s 1962 novel Touch Me Gently, in which a woman’s personality changes after she’s attacked and violated during a midnight dip in the local swimming hole. The virgin-to-vengeful-vamp transformation triggered by a rape is an all-too-common scenario found everywhere from sleaze fiction to ’70s sexploitation cinema to Japanese pinku films. On the one hand it’s always highly distasteful; on the other it acknowledges the existence of these terrible events and allows women violent revenge. In terms of artistic merit, you have to judge on a case-by-case basis. But that’s what it’s always about with difficult subjects, isn’t it? Done right, valuable understanding can result. The cover art by Paul Rader is excellent. No problem understanding that at all. 

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Vintage Pulp Jan 22 2015
NAME BRAND PULP
What’s in a name? Everything, if it’s the title of a vintage paperback.

Above and below you will find a large collection of pulp, post-pulp, and sleaze paperback fronts that have as their titles a character’s first name. There are hundreds of examples of these but we stopped at thirty-two. The collection really highlights, more than others we’ve put together, how rarely vintage paperback art focuses on male characters. The prose is virtually all male-centered and male-driven, of course, but because the mid-century paperback market was male-driven too, that meant putting women on the covers to attract the male eye. We tell our girlfriends this all the time, but they still think we just don’t bother looking for male-oriented vintage art. But we do. For this collection we found two novels that have male characters’ names as their titles, and we looked pretty hard. If we had to guess, we’d say less than 5% of all pulp art is male-oriented. In any case, the illustrations come from the usual suspects—Barye Phillips, Robert McGinnis, Jef de Wulf, Paul Rader, et al., plus less recognized artists like Doug Weaver. Thanks to all the original uploaders for these.

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Vintage Pulp Nov 1 2014
OFF THE MENU
Tonight I think I’m in the mood for a big, juicy piece of meat.


Paul Rader once again demonstrates his genius with this cover for Brad Curtis’s Man Trap, brought to us by always reliable Midwood Books, 1963. Curtis was a pseudonym used by Giles A. Lutz, predominantly a writer of westerns who made a few forays into thrillers. What we really like about this cover are the spangles in the background hinting at some wonderful nocturnal metropolis, doubtless rife with sex, sin, and other worthy pursuits. Pretty nice, too, how Rader slipped his signature—in this case a single “R”—onto the back of the menu. 

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Vintage Pulp Sep 15 2014
EASY RADER
I think it’s really cute when a guy wears pajamas, but I have something even more comfortable you can slip into.

This is one of the prettiest Paul Rader covers we’ve seen, which is really saying something considering he painted this and this. But this stellar turquoise and gold effort for Joan Ellis’s Sooner or Later may be our favorite Rader yet. Note how the placement of the girl’s elbow suggests an erection on her tormented brother-in-law. Joan Ellis was in reality author Julie Ellis, and she also wrote as Linda Michaels, Jill Monte, and Susan Richard. She went on to author serious fiction, but even if those later books were better written, we bet none of them looked as appealing as this.

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Vintage Pulp Jul 7 2014
BRUSH FIRE
Blaze consumes acres of grassland. Authorities seek cause.

Above, the cover of March Hastings’ The Heat of the Day, one of many lesbian themed novels published by Midwood-Tower. It’s the story of two girls whose blackened skeletons are found in a fire-scorched field. Well, not really. It’s actually about two girls who meet at a summer camp and develop a scorching attraction for each other. 1963 on this one, with art by Paul Rader. 

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Vintage Pulp Dec 5 2013
DOCTOR IN THE BLOUSE
Well, yes, it’s unorthodox, but I’ve found this to be just as accurate as using a stethoscope.

Actually, if the doctor tried to speak at this point it would sound like, “Mmmph mmmph mmmph,” and nurses don’t wear blouses, but hey, coming up with more than two-thousand headers isn’t easy. Anyway, Loren Beauchamp was a pen name of award-winning sci-fi author Robert Silverberg, and his Nurse Carolyn, one of many sleaze novels he wrote to pay the bills, first appeared in 1960. The above cover is from the 1963 second edition and was painted by Paul Rader.

Update: We got an email about this cover from Ruben: "Just wanted to let you know that today's book cover, Nurse Carolyn, was likely painted by Stan Borack, though I'm not 100% certain. However, I AM absolutely certain that it is NOT a Paul Rader cover."

Thanks for writing in, Ruben. Our info comes from the comprehensive website Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks, which writes: "Rader also did the cover for the second edition, which is less striking but still Rader." So at this point we'll throw it to the masses. Anyone have definitive info about this one?

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
May 01
1945—Germany Announces Hitler's Death
German radio in Hamburg announces that Adolf Hitler was killed in Berlin, stating specifically that he had fallen at his command post in the Reich Chancery fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism and for Germany. But in truth Hitler had committed suicide along with his mistress Eva Braun, and both bodies were immediately thereafter burned.
1960—Powers Is Shot Down over U.S.S.R.
Francis Gary Powers, flying in a Lockheed U-2 spy plane, is shot down over the Soviet Union. The U.S. denies the plane's purpose and mission, but is later forced to admit its role as a covert surveillance aircraft when the Soviet government produces its remains and reveals Powers, who had survived the shoot down. The incident triggers a major diplomatic crisis between the U.S. and U.S.S.R.
April 30
1927—First Prints Are Left at Grauman's
Hollywood power couple Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, who co-founded the movie studio United Artists with Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith, become the first celebrities to leave their impressions in concrete at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, located along the stretch where the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame would later be established.
April 29
1945—Hitler Marries Braun
During the last days of the Third Reich, as Russia's Red Army closes in from the east, Adolf Hitler marries his long-time partner Eva Braun in a Berlin bunker during a brief civil ceremony witnessed by Joseph Goebbels and Martin Bormann. Both Hitler and Braun commit suicide the next day, and their corpses are burned in the Reich Chancellery garden.
1967—Ali Is Stripped of His Title
After refusing induction into the United States Army the day before due to religious reasons, Muhammad Ali is stripped of his heavyweight boxing title. He is found guilty of a felony in refusing to be drafted for service in Vietnam, but he does not serve prison time, and on June 28, 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court reverses his conviction. His stand against the war had made him a hated figure in mainstream America, but in the black community and the rest of the world he had become an icon.

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