Vintage Pulp Feb 16 2019
CANDY COMPANY
Here's to us waking up bewildered and trying to piece together tonight from fragmentary memories and vague sensations of shame.


Above, a cover for Robert Tallant's Mrs. Candy and Saturday Night. Basically, a woman who runs a New Orleans boarding house filled with unusual renters and a ghost decides to throw a party, which turns out wilder than she expected and leads to some startling revelations about the occupants. Written to span twenty-four hours, the book was well received enough to spawn two sequels, Love and Mrs. Candy and Mrs. Candy Strikes It Rich. The success was not a surprise. Tallant was born in New Orleans, was already experienced writing about it through other published books, and obviously loved the place, quirks and all. If you're looking for real Crescent City feel in a mid-century novel, with jambalaya, voodoo, and all the rest, Mrs. Candy and Saturday Night is it. It's originally copyright 1947, with this Popular Library paperback with Earle Bergey cover art coming in 1951.

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Vintage Pulp Feb 22 2016
ENDLESS LOVE
Do you mean it'll feel like forever? Or do you mean it's a permanent commitment? Because we should talk about that.


Originally called Don't Wait Up for Spring and published in 1944, Charles Mergendahl's Tonight Is Forever was published in paperback by Popular Library in 1951 with the great Earle Bergey art you see here. The story concerns a playwright and the lead actress of his play, her convention defying decision to pursue him and do whatever it takes to generate a marriage proposal, even though he's headed off to the army in three weeks. What is a little thing like virginity, after all, when half the planet is at war?

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Vintage Pulp Mar 26 2015
YANKING HIS DICK
She’s got a dilly of a pickle on her hands.

A Yank on Piccadilly is another book that sounds blatantly pornographic, at least to us, but it's merely the adventures of an American soldier in World War II London. Mild sexual involvement? Yes, there's some of that. Dick yanking? Lamentably, no. In case you’re curious, the name Piccadilly comes from “piccadill,” which was a stiff—cough cough—collar with scalloped edges and a lace border that was the fashion rage during the late sixteenth century. The websites we checked have this cover as by an unidentified artist, but it’s Earle Bergey’s work, clearly. 1952 publication date. 

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Vintage Pulp Jun 30 2014
A SHOULDER TO SIGH ON
Sweetie, stop. I said I like sensitive men, but I meant one who puts the toilet seat down.

Merle Miller’s That Winter is one of the better post-World War II novels, dealing with the time-honored theme of veterans struggling to fit in after their military service. One has a dead end job, another believes he can function only in the army, and another is trying to hide the fact that he’s Jewish. In the area of feeling forced to hide an essential aspect of oneself, Miller knew exactly what he was writing about. In 1971 at the age of fifty-one, during a time when he was a public intellectual of considerable stature, he came out in the New York Times Magazine as gay. The article catapulted him into the forefront of gay activism, a status he maintained the rest of his life. That Winter was his first novel, appearing in 1948, with the above Popular Library edition hitting shelves in 1950. The great cover art could be by Earle Bergey, but Christopher P. Stephens’ reference tome A Checklist of the Popular Library Paperbacks lists no illustrator, so we’ll have to go with unknown on this one for now. 

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Vintage Pulp May 2 2013
INVASION EARTH
Maybe they're angry they weren't invited to the slumber party.

This chaotic scene of terrified earthlings in their pajamas being swarmed by UFOs is one of the cooler vintage book covers you’ll see. Behind the Flying Saucers was Frank Scully's discussion of the origin of extraterrestrials, with a finger pointed squarely at the U.S. government for covering up evidence of their existence. He first aired his views in 1949 in his column in the publication Variety, and the next year expanded upon them in book form. The art, which was painted by Earle Bergey, is from the 1951 paperback edition. Behind the Flying Saucers was one of the first UFO books and its influence has been enduring. Scully inspired the name of Gillian Anderson’s immortal character on The X-Files, and we’ve seen the book online going for as much as $150. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology you don’t have to pay that much, or anything, for that matter, because you can read the entire text online here, or download it just about anywhere. As to whether any of what Scully wrote was true, like we’ve said before, if aliens could fly here from millions of light years away we’re pretty sure they’d have mastered the ability to go unobserved. We also think that an advanced race—after seeing how we kill each other by the millions, destroy our habitat, tolerate mass starvation, and are locked in a bizarre system of debt peonage designed to enrich an entrenched few—would not only do a screeching U-turn back to the far reaches of the cosmos, but would put up a giant intergalactic advisory sign telling travelers to steer clear of Earth at all costs. But we digress. Since the universe is too vast not to contain extraterrestrial life of some sort, maybe visitors have been here. You never know.

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Vintage Pulp Jul 15 2009
BLONDE AMBITION
Their eyes were watching bod.

We love this cover for Anita Loos’ 1925 novel of ambition and materialism Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Brilliantly rendered by Earle Bergey, the so-called gentlemen here are leering caricatures evincing monstrous thirst for the beautiful young blonde. The book became a bestseller, and twenty-three years later a film with Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell. The book’s cover image helped establish Bergey’s reputation as an illustrator without peer, and more than eighty years later it’s one of the most common pulp images on the internet. As a bonus we’ve posted one of his Gay Book Magazine covers below, and you can see it sports an identical motif. In addition, below that, we have the American poster for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, because the film opened in the U.S. today in 1958. We’ll post more Bergey art later, and also talk about Anita Loos, who lived a turbulent, thoroughly pulp-worthy life.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
October 13
1970—Angela Davis Arrested
After two months of evading police and federal authorities, Angela Davis is arrested in New York City by the FBI. She had been sought in connection with a kidnapping and murder because one of the guns used in the crime had been bought under her name. But after a trial a jury agreed that owning the weapon did not automatically make her complicit in the crimes.
October 12
1978—Sid Vicious Arrested for Murder
Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious is arrested on suspicion of murder after the body of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen is found in their room at New York City's Chelsea Hotel. Vicious and Spungen had a famously stormy relationship, but Vicious proclaims he is innocent. He is released on bail and dies of a heroin overdose before a trial takes place.
1979—Adams Publishes First Hitchhiker's Book
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the first of five books in a series, is published by Douglas Adams. The novels follow on the heels of the tremendously successful British television series of the same name.
October 11
1976—China Coup Thwarted
The new head of the Chinese Communist Party, Hua Goufeng, snuffs out a coup led by Chairman Mao's widow Jiang Qing and three other party members. They become known as the Gang of Four, and are tried, found guilty of treason, and receive death sentences that are later commuted to lengthy prison terms.
1987—Loch Ness Expedition Ends
A sonar exploration of Scotland's Loch Ness, called Operation Deepscan, ends after a week without finding evidence that the legendary Loch Ness Monster exists. While the flotilla of boats had picked up three sonar contacts indicating something large in the waters, these are considered to be detections of salmon schools or possibly seals.
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