Vintage Pulp May 27 2015
A SOMMERY FEEL
Aussie publisher spices up thriller with an image of Elke Sommer.


Last week we shared some images of Elke Sommer from the debut issue of the French magazine Stop. Those were a deliberate preface to today's post, which shows the cover for Carter Brown’s, aka Alan G. Yates’ mystery Death of a Doll from Australia's Transport Publishing, the paperback division of Horwitz Publications.

You can see that the designer used Sommer for his inspiration. Her normally blonde hair was changed to match the hair color of the story’s redheaded femme fatale, but what’s really interesting about this cover is the yawning pose. At least a couple of images from the Stop layout would have worked better, we think, but that’s just our humble opinion.  

At first we thought the designer here was Bernard Blackburn, who made many of Horwitz-Transport’s photo-illustrated covers during the mid-1950s, but then we learned that this “reprint by demand” edition appeared in 1960. So we have no idea who created the cover, but he/she had good taste in models, though we seriously doubt Sommer received any compensation for her starring role. Check out the rest of those rare Stop images here and see if you don’t agree about the designer making a weird choice.

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Vintage Pulp May 21 2010
THE HELLE YOU SAY
Red eyes at morning, Wheeler take warning.

Cover art for Dutch language pulp novel The Hellcat, circa 1962, part of the Al Wheeler series written by Carter Brown, aka Alan G. Yates. Interestingly, “hellcat” in Dutch would actually be something like “helkat”. “De helle” means “the whole” and “veeg” means "sweep". At least, that’s what Babelfish tells us. 

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Vintage Pulp May 15 2009
FLOOR SHOW
Dood, I am so stond right now.


This Dutch issue Carter Brown novel may look like it’s about either getting paralyzingly baked, or testing the effectiveness of various upskirt angles, but no, it’s actually the detective thriller The Lady Is Available, retitled to Death Modeled because, well, we don’t know why. We’ll have to consult our Dutch friends on that question and get back to you. The cover subject here is supposed to be dead, but since he was so rude as to croak with his eyes open someone will have to shake him, then see if he steams up a spoon, maybe even give him CPR. Anyway, the novel is one of Australian author Carter Brown’s, aka Alan G. Yates’, bestselling Al Wheeler thrillers. When we say bestselling, we mean they spread like brush fire. Certain sources credit him selling an astounding fifty million novels. So maybe the dood here isn’t dead, just stund by Carter’s good fortune.

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Vintage Pulp Nov 14 2008
GET CARTER
Carter Brown sold fifty million books in his career and you haven’t read a single one.

He was born Alan G. Yates in Australia, but as Carter Brown he published 150 crime stories, starting in 1953 with The Mermaid Murmurs Murder and continuing until 1981 when he published The Wicked Widow. All his tales were set in the Unites States (including these four with Robert McGinnis cover art), but strangely, American readers never embraced him. Instead, it was in Europe that he made his mark, where his noir plots filled with classic twists and hard-boiled dialogue did as much for international pulp as any figure who ever lived.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
May 25
1938—Alicante Is Bombed
During the Spanish Civil War, a squadron of Italian bombers sent by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini to support the insurgent Spanish Nationalists, bombs the town of Alicante, killing more than three-hundred people. Although less remembered internationally than the infamous Nazi bombing of Guernica the previous year, the death toll in Alicante is similar, if not higher.
1977—Star Wars Opens
George Lucas's sci-fi epic Star Wars premiers in the Unites States to rave reviews and packed movie houses. Produced on a budget of $11 million, the film goes on to earn $460 million in the U.S. and $337 million overseas, while spawning a franchise that would eventually earn billions and make Lucas a Hollywood icon.
May 24
1930—Amy Johnson Flies from England to Australia
English aviatrix Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Northern Territory, becoming the first woman to fly from England to Australia. She had departed from Croydon on May 5 and flown 11,000 miles to complete the feat. Her storied career ends in January 1941 when, while flying a secret mission for Britain, she either bails out into the Thames estuary and drowns, or is mistakenly shot down by British fighter planes. The facts of her death remain clouded today.
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