Vintage Pulp Jul 15 2024
COMMISSION A GOURDON
When you need a high quality cover who you gonna call?


Any French publisher that needed top tier art could look to the Gourdon brothers Michel and Alain for a solution. Above you see the work of the younger Gourdon—Alain, also known as Aslan—on a set of covers for Éditions de l'Arabesque and its series Les Nymphes. These are all from 1956 and 1957, and despite the assorted author attributions, Georges Roques—credited with five of these novels—also published as Luis Della Roca, and possibly others of these persons as well. 

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Vintage Pulp Jul 11 2024
HOUSING CRISIS
Extreme volatility in the creepy old manor sector forces many from their homes.


It's the worst case scenario. You're forced out of your home in the middle of the night with only the clothes on your back. As recent home buyers, that thought is a nightmare for us. In our case, it would be bankers sending us out the door. But in romance novels it's husbands, crooks, ghosts, or just bad vibes. These are all paintings by Harry Barton made for the covers of gothic romances, which we came across while trying to find out who painted the front for The Minerva Stone, a book we talked about last month. That brilliant piece is the one just above (and we've added a zoom so you can see the details of the work). It surprised us that Barton specialized in gothic romances, but it shouldn't have—he could do anything. Look at more examples of his ability here, here, and here.

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Vintage Pulp Mar 23 2024
JOAN THE CLUB
A cover collection to help Bofill your day.


Below: a small set from Spanish artist Joan Beltrán Bofill, who signed his work as “Noiquet,” here working for a pair of Rotterdam based publishers illustrating novels by Edward Multon, who was an alter ego of Dutch author Herman Nicolaas van der Voort. These are from 1967 and 1968.

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Vintage Pulp Jan 5 2024
DAZED AND CONFUSED
Yeeess master... I will vote against my own interests and instead help enrich billionaires and corporations…

You always see the phrase “complete and unabridged” on old books. Well, here’s the other side of the coin. Robert A. Heinlein’s manuscript for The Puppet Masters, for which you see a Doubleday dust jacket above, is 100,000 words. Doubleday’s edition is abridged to 75,000 words. That's a lot of scissorwork, and we can't imagine it sat well with Heinlein. Of course, plenty of people would love his books to be excised of certain themes, and we could weigh in on that subject but we're only about the art today. The dust jacket is nice and it sent us looking for more. We came across a bunch and thought they’d be nice to share. These are from Scribner’s, Putnam, Shasta, and the art is from Mel Hunter, Jerry Robinson, the awesome Hubert Rogers (The Man Who Sold the Moon and Revolt in 2100), Clifford Geary, and others.

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Vintage Pulp Oct 30 2023
SATANIC VERSES
Caroselli is strictly the pits.


Above is a collection of covers from Italian illustrator Benedetto Caroselli for Grandi Edizioni Internazionali, all referencing the concept of Hell, and the entities conceptualized to inhabit the pits therein, including Satan, devils, demons, and incubui. These were made for the terror series I Capolavori della Serie KKK Classici dell’Orrore. You can see more Hell covers at this link and this one, and in this collection.

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Vintage Pulp Jun 1 2023
TRAINSPHOBIA
In pulp you're always on the wrong side of the tracks.


We're train travelers. We love going places by that method. It's one of the perks of living in Europe. Therefore we have another cover collection for you today, one we've had in mind for a while. Many pulp and genre novels prominently feature trains. Normal people see them as romantic, but authors see their sinister flipside. Secrets, seclusion, and an inability to escape can be what trains are about. Above and below we've put together a small sampling of covers along those lines. If we desired, we could create a similar collection of magazine train covers that easily would total more than a hundred scans. There were such publications as Railroad Stories, Railroad Man's Magazine, Railroad, and all were published for years. But we're interested, as usual, in book covers. Apart from those here, we've already posted other train covers at this link, this one, this one, and this one. Safe travels.

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Vintage Pulp Apr 26 2023
BOUND TO HAPPEN
Lines in the sand have a way of getting crossed.


Considering our website's focus on beautiful art, you must be asking how we came to read Stanley Ellin's 1970 novel The Bind, with its beige post-GGA cover treatment by Joe Lombadero. What happened was we decided to watch the 1979 Farrah Fawcett movie Sunburn, but stopped during the opening credits when we saw that it was based on a novel. We'd decided to see the movie because it was helmed by cult director Richard C. Sarafian, and also because its premise interested us, but we figured that premise was probably more fully and interestingly developed in the source novel. We won't know for sure until we watch the film, but it's pretty much a given when you compare literature to cinema.

Here's the premise: insurance investigator Jake Dekker needs to get close to a secretive family to disprove a verdict of accidental death and save his employers a $200,000 payout, so he rents a house in their tony Miami enclave and hires an actress to pose as his wife. The family would be suspicious of a single man, but not a married couple. He's carried out similar scams and worked with the same actress over and over, but when she can't make the gig she instead sends down-on-her-luck colleague Elinor Majeski as a replacement. The fake wife aspect of Jake's scheme immediately gets complicated, both because this new actress is smarter and more curious than is convenient, and because she's unusually lovely. Uh oh. Professional comportment—out the window.

Ellin pushes his ripe premise for all it's worth. Jake insists on realism, which involves he and Elinor getting comfortable around each other, whatever intimate circumstances might arise. The only line they aren't to cross is sleeping in the same bed. Heh. How long do you think that lasts? Actually, it lasts a long while. Jake's shell is hard. He's borderline mean to Elinor, and therein lies the balancing act in the narrative. He's mean, but occasionally charming. Ellin's writing treads that crucial line well, but the book is overlong and its climax goes in a direction we didn't like. But we'd read him again. In any case, now we'll have to see what the filmmakers did with Farrah in the role of Elinor. Charles Grodin co-stars, so we expect the movie to be a bit silly, but who can resist Farrah?
 
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Vintage Pulp Apr 1 2023
ALL THAT JAZZ
Mid-century paperback artists were in tune with the times.


There are numerous jazz themed mid-century paperback covers. The jazz milieu—with its smoky clubs, passionate personalities, and idiosyncratic ways—fascinated readers. Above you see a small collection of fronts that visually reference the uniquely American (black American) art of jazz. We've also added a couple of the many torch singer and crooner covers out there that seem jazzy enough to fit. The artists are Barye Phillips, Stanley Zuckerberg, Harry Barton, Mitchell Hooks, Julian Paul, and others. We've previously posted quite a few jazz covers, and we have a few jazz themed books still to read, so in both cases you won't see those pieces here. We don't keyword for jazz, which means a search for those we've already posted would bring up a welter of books, movies, tabloids, and album covers. Therefore, in order to save you the trouble of wading through all that, here are some links. We'll limit ourselves to ten: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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Vintage Pulp Feb 17 2023
HARVEST TIME
Hammett plants a bumper crop of betrayal and murder.


We've already shown you John Vernon's and Lou Marchetti's artistic takes on Dashiell Hammett's seminal debut novel Red Harvest. Above you see another top artist running with Hammett's inspiration—Harry Bennett. This appeared on the cover of the 1961 Perma Books edition, with Bennett taking a less representational route than Vernon or Marchetti. We especially like mottled brushwork inside the red border. You may have thought that was damage to the book, but it's in the art alright. It fits what is an incredibly blood soaked tale. Bennett was tapped by Perma for a series of Hammett covers, which he painted in similar style, including unusual border work on those too. We've added those below. To see everything we have from him, click his keywords at bottom.

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Vintage Pulp Jul 21 2022
A KNIFE IN THE ART
For a fulfilling killing nothing beats a blade.


Today we have for your pleasure a collection of vintage paperback covers featuring characters on both the giving and receiving ends of knives—or knifelike tools such as icepicks. Above you see Harry Bennett art of a poor fella getting a knife from nowhere. Maybe Damocles did it. It's a funny cover because we don't think we'd grab our throats if we got stabbed in the spine, but let's hope we never find out. Below, in addition to numerous U.S. and British offerings, you'll see covers from France, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands. There are many, many paperback fronts featuring knives—we mean hundreds—but we decided to stop ourselves at thirty-two today. These do not represent the best (as if we could decide something like that), or our favorites, but merely some interesting ones we've come across of late. If you're super interested in this particular motif we have plenty more examples in the archives. They'd be hard to find, because we don't keyword for knives, so here are some links to get you there: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

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Next Page
History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
July 20
1944—Hitler Survives Third Assassination Attempt
Adolf Hitler escapes death after a bomb explodes at his headquarters in Rastenberg, East Prussia. A senior officer, Colonel Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, is blamed for planting the device at a meeting between Hitler and other senior staff members. Hitler sustains minor burns and a concussion but manages to keep an appointment later in the day with Italian leader Benito Mussolini.
July 19
1966—Sinatra Marries Farrow
Superstar singer and actor Frank Sinatra marries 21-year-old actress Mia Farrow, who is 30 years younger than him. The marriage lasts two years.
July 18
1925—Mein Kampf Published
While serving time in prison for his role in a failed coup, Adolf Hitler dictaes and publishes volume 1 of his manifesto Mein Kampf (in English My Struggle or My Battle), the book that outlines his theories of racial purity, his belief in a Jewish conspiracy to control the world, and his plans to lead Germany to militarily acquire more land at the expense of Russia via eastward expansion.
Featured Pulp
japanese themed aslan cover
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ASLAN Harper Lee cover
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