|Vintage Pulp||Mar 7 2022|
|Vintage Pulp||Dec 8 2019|
|Vintage Pulp||Aug 31 2015|
An argosy is a type of boat, and this 1953 Argosy—the self-billed “complete men’s magazine”—has a type of boat on the cover and a boatload of interesting features within. Much of them focus on hunting, which has been in the news Stateside of late due to several rich folks being outed for killing African animals. Argosy glorifies hunting in a way that was typical of the 1950s, when guys like Ernest Hemingway and John Huston mainstreamed knowledge of the practice.
All of this means no large animal exists in true abundance. It doesn’t matter if a person shoots one of 50,000 of a species or one of the last 50. If a market exists for killing even one of them, the species is ultimately doomed, because stoppage is not structured into market systems—only higher pricing. There’s no doubt about this at all. The jury’s in. Anybody who doesn’t recognize it is lying to himself or herself. And extinction or near-extinction is too high a price for the ecology to pay in service to human ego. Scans below.
|Vintage Pulp||Nov 2 2014|
We’re reaching all the way back to 1907 for this issue of The National Police Gazette, making it the oldest one we’ve found. A 1907 publication may seem pre-pulp, but the pulp era is considered by many to have begun around 1896 with Frank Munsey’s all-fiction magazine The Argosy, which was distilled from his earlier The Golden Argosy. What struck us about this particular Gazette is the weird cover, on which you see famed vaudeville dancer Gertrude Hoffman imitating fellow vaudeville entertainer Eddie Foy, who we assume must have had a well known ballerina-in-drag routine. She looks positively frightening, at least to our eyes. But lest you think Hoffman’s cross-cross-dressing had to do with a physical resemblance to Foy, consider that she was also famous for her impersonations of female stars like Anna Held, Eva Tanguay, and Ethel Barrymore, and also regularly performed a Salome dance that landed her in jail more than once for lewd conduct. She simply had a chameleonic ability to convincingly imitate people of both sexes. Later she showed business acumen by forming and becoming director of her own dance troupe and touring the U.S. and Europe. We have a half dozen scans below, and more from the National Police Gazette and other tabloids than any other website. You can see all of it—just click here and scroll down.
|Vintage Pulp||Jan 20 2013|
Here's the latest page from Goodtime Weekly with a shot from Don Ornitz of February 1958 Playboy centerfold Cheryl Kubert. Kubert is a bit of a mystery. Early Playboy centerfolds were pretty demure, and she showed less than normal. She had already appeared in magazines such as Pageant, Gala and Argosy, and after her Playboy appearance was featured in their 1959 calendar, but after that there’s only a bit appearance in the movie Pal Joey, and a bit part in 1980’s Smokey and the Judge. She died in 1989, supposedly from suicide. The calendar quips are below.
Jan 20: “Many a girl is only as strong as her weakest wink.”—Sam Cowling
Jan 21: “A girl is grown up when she stops counting on her fingers and starts counting on her legs.”—Irv Kupcinet
Jan 22: “A wizard is a man who can describe—without gesture—an accordion or a girl.”—Quin Ryan
Jan 23: “Fashion is what a her does to a hem to get a him.”—Joe Hamilton
Jan 24: “A clever girl is one who knows how to give a man her own way.”—Tom Poston
Jan 25: “The greatest mystery in the world is a woman who is a bachelor.”—Loretta Young
Jan 26: “A confirmed bachelor is a guy who’ll go to a drive-in on a motorcycle.”—Scott Brady
|Vintage Pulp||Jan 2 2012|
This cover scan of Archie Joscelyn’s 1950 western Border Wolves was sent over from National Road Books, which is good timing, because the art is by George Gross and we featured one of his very best pieces back in October and said we’d get back to him. Gross (who should not be mixed up with German painter George Grosz) was a prolific artist who, as we mentioned in that previous post, was incredibly diverse, producing covers for Argosy, Baseball Stories, Bulls Eye Detective, Northwest Romances, Wings, Fight Stories, Saga, and many others. He was born in 1909 in Brooklyn, New York, began painting pulp covers in the 1930s and worked steadily through the 1980s, dying at the ripe age of ninety-four. You would suspect, looking at the shooting technique of the cowboy on the cover of Border Wolves, that Gross didn’t know much about guns. While that’s possible, we think the weird shooting position is a result of wanting to fit the cowboy’s entire arm on the cover. But he must have liked the result, because he used this awkward stance twice (see below). There are quite a few web archives of Gross art, so if you want to see more, let your fingers do the walking.
|Reader Pulp||Jul 18 2011|
Below are three Argosy covers sent to us by our friends over at National Road Books, where the trove of these they found are continuously making their way onto the NRB website. In the magazine’s pages each month were eight to ten original adventure tales, and often pieces of novels that were being serialized across numerous issues. The heavy focus on interior art pulp is known for was not a characteristic of these early Argosys, but there were a few illustrations, and the covers were always beautiful. These particular examples, from 1938 through 1940, were painted by Rudolph Belarski (top two) and Emmett Watson. You can find more details here. (update: defunct)
|Vintage Pulp||May 7 2011|
Above, four issues of the weekly pulp magazine Argosy from 1937 through 1940 with three covers from Rudolph Belarski and one from Marshall Frantz, plus early fiction from L. Ron Hubbard. These all came courtesy of our friends over at National Road Books, whose store you can visit via the little linkee here.
|Vintage Pulp||Feb 24 2011|
You know we’re fond of anniversaries around here, so today we have an Argosy that was published seventy-one years ago today, in February 1940. The cover has Rudolph Belarski art, and inside is a slate of pure escapist fiction, from Eric North’s tale of Australian mysticism and adventure “The Green Flame,” to Charles Marquis Warren’s tale “Then I’ll Remember,” set aboard Noah’s Ark. And speaking of arks, in case you’ve wondered, an argosy is a merchant ship laden with an abundantly rich cargo. So it’s a fitting, if obscure, name for a magazine that publishes adventure fiction. As with all our recent Argosys, this one comes from National Road Books, and if you visit their website you’ll find that they’re laden with an abundantly rich cargo as well. Thanks again guys.
|Reader Pulp||Jan 28 2011|
The guys at National Road Books have fed us more scans from their large Argosy collection, and above are five from 1938 through 1940. In these issues there’s fiction from Max Brand, C.S. Forester, and a raft of capable in-house writers. The cover art is from Rudolph Belarski (panels one and two), G.J. Rosen (three and four), and Emmett Watson (five).
After two years of finding almost nothing from Argosy suddenly we have a pipeline into a treasure trove thanks to NRB and we’re ecstatic, because Argosy was the first real pulp magazine, launched on a $500 budget by Frank A. Munsey in 1882. The venture wasn’t an instant success. Munsey had conceived a children’s publication and that version of Argosy went bust immediately. But Munsey managed to keep ownership of the idea and kept publishing on a shoestring budget.
As he learned the market, he realized a children’s magazine wasn’t the direction he wanted to continue. By fits and starts, he began shifting from young readers to pulp fiction and eventually transformed the magazine into an American staple that lasted until 1978. We’ll have more on Munsey’s publishing adventures later. Got any pulp treasures of your own? Feel free to do what National Road Books did and use the pulp uploader in our sidebar. Our mailbox is always open.
Edit: The Pulp Intl. uploader is on the fritz and has been for a long time. We keep meaning to fix it, but you know how it goes.