Vintage Pulp Nov 4 2020
OVER THE HILL
Forget it, buster. You look good now but we both know there's a useless tub of lard just dying to get out.


Careful girls—inside every hunk there's a pot-bellied sofa sloth waiting for an opportunity to emerge. All it takes is beer and time. John Garth's Hill Man, published in 1954 by Pyramid Books, concerns opportunity as well. It deals with an opportunistic country boy who marries and beds his way into property and riches. Garth was a pseudonym used by Janice Holt Giles, who under her real name wrote numerous historical novels set in Kentucky. Hill Man isn't a historical novel. It fits more into the long tradition of rural dramas we've talked about often. The cover art on this particular example is by Julian Paul. 

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Vintage Pulp Feb 12 2020
THE DAY OF UNREST
Instead of fighting about this, let's compromise. My soul will go to church with you while my body stays in bed.


Julian Paul does top work on this cover for Richard Matheson's 1953 thriller Fury on Sunday. Paul painted some nice covers for men's adventure magazines as well, two of which we showed you here and here. We read this novel, and from a complex intro that hurries to introduce five main characters, it settles into a streamlined narrative of people stalked and held hostage by a madman. Of the captives—the coward, the tart, the everyman, and the good girl—we knew right away who would be killed, which dampened some of the suspense. Another problem is that the characters do not make the smartest decisions, sometimes to the point of straining credulity. If Fury on Sunday were a horror movie they'd all be murder bait, pretty much. For those reasons the book, Matheson's second, resides in the same not-fully-realized territory as his first, Someone Is Bleeding, also published in 1953. But in 1954 he would strike gold. That year he published I Am Legend, which is a sci-fi classic and became a movie four different times. We have that book lined up for later. 

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Vintage Pulp Mar 17 2015
WORKING OVERTIME
Slow down, tiger—that isn’t the opening I had you in mind for.

This is a very successful cover. In pulp and sleaze fiction, it’s the male boss who typically attacks his female assistant, but here, by using subtleties of facial expression and briefcase style, the artist makes clear that the woman is the boss in this situation, stuck with fending off the advances of her subordinate. These days he’d probably be fired, possibly arrested, and maybe even sued. But in 1954, when Nine to Five was first published, you don’t even have to guess what happens—he gets fully up in the boss’s panties and she loves it! But that’s why it’s fiction. This edition comes from 1960 via Berkley Books, the artist is Julian Paul, and it’s unrelated to the movie starring Fonda, Tomlin, and Parton.

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Vintage Pulp Nov 15 2010
VICTORY AT SEA
Two’s company, three’s dead weight.

Pulp books and magazines reused art quite a bit, and the piece above—by Julian Paul—is a good example. Here you see a tough soldier of fortune and a native girl floating on dangerous waters, but on a version we posted from Action for Men back in March, there were three figures. We joked that whenever two men and one woman were involved, a disagreement was soon to follow. Looks like the guy with the gun won. 

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Vintage Pulp Mar 10 2010
THREE'S A CROWD
Missing man found with native girl—no sign of man’s friend.

March 1960 Action for Men with cover art by Julian Paul. This trio will soon have some serious issues to sort out, because once immediate danger passes the male mind focuses entirely on getting laid. Usually two virile guys and one beautiful, sarong-clad girl means there’s one too many swinging dicks in the picture, but it could also be the girl who’s the obstacle to hot tropical love. You better recognize. Regardless, somebody’s getting cast adrift. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
December 02
1954—Joseph McCarthy Disciplined by Senate
In the United States, after standing idly by during years of communist witch hunts in Hollywood and beyond, the U.S. Senate votes 65 to 22 to condemn Joseph McCarthy for conduct bringing the Senate into dishonor and disrepute. The vote ruined McCarthy's career.
December 01
1955—Rosa Parks Sparks Bus Boycott
In the U.S., in Montgomery, Alabama, seamstress Rosa Parks refuses to give her bus seat to a white man and is arrested for violating the city's racial segregation laws, an incident which leads to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The boycott resulted in a crippling financial deficit for the Montgomery public transit system, because the city's African-American population were the bulk of the system's ridership.
November 30
1936—Crystal Palace Gutted by Fire
In London, the landmark structure Crystal Palace, a 900,000 square foot glass and steel exhibition hall erected in 1851, is destroyed by fire. The Palace had been moved once and fallen into disrepair, and at the time of the fire was not in use. Two water towers survived the blaze, but these were later demolished, leaving no remnants of the original structure.
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