Vintage Pulp Jun 4 2014
FADING STAR
Chronicle of a death foretold.


We’ve shown you a lot of early- and mid-1960s examples of the American tabloid National Star Chronicle, but for a change we have late stage Chronicle, published today in 1973. A decade on we see no substantial differences except that the layout is cluttered and hard on the eyes. Compared to other tabs of the time Chronicle is incredibly tame—there’s only a smidge of nudity, very little mayhem, and not even one story about monkeys performing oral sex on strippers. It almost feels like Chronicle is on life support, like all the trusted scribes and typesetters were let go in favor of cheapie replacements—and indeed we strongly suspect 1973 was the paper’s last year.

Chronicle’s death was probably a good thing, not just because of all the sloppy margins and crooked insets they began passing off as actual graphic design, but because when Sally Struthers and Alice Cooper are your frontline celebs there’s little doubt your peak journalistic years have passed. But even if there’s a serious dearth of good tabloid fodder in this issue, we did note the article that touted tax reform by citing instances of 24,000 wealthy Americans paying only 4.13% and 276 paying 0%, thanks to assorted loopholes for the rich. Back then such cases were outliers, whereas today, alas not so much. But fret not. There will always be bread and circuses for all us overtaxed middle masses—and we’ll do our part here on Pulp Intl. by continuing to share plenty of distracting tabloids.

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Vintage Pulp Sep 2 2013
FUNNY GAMES
Chronicle of a death foretold.


Above, the cover of a National Star Chronicle published forty-five years ago today with prostitution, sex games, and the murder of a recalcitrant wife. And of course a horny, manhunting model. All in all, pretty tame for the Chronicle. We have twelve more covers you can see by clicking here.

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Vintage Pulp Apr 19 2013
HER NEW BEST FIEND
But with fiends like these who needs enemies?

National Star Chronicle generally didn’t bother with fluff or humor. That was for other tabloids. Chronicle’s thing was torture, gore, murder, rape, incest, and tragedy, and if you couldn’t handle it that was your own damn problem. On this cover from today in 1965 readers learn that a little girl forgave the fiend who imprisoned her and shot out her eye. Amazing, considering most people won’t even forgive the guy who forgot to hold the pickles last time they ordered a sub at Quizno’s. But is the story true? We doubt it. As always, we’re amazed people actually bought this tabloid, considering the competition offered nudity, celebrity gossip, and humor, but there’s no accounting for taste. More Chronicle to come.

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Vintage Pulp Feb 20 2013
ILLEGAL UNDERTAKING
National Star Chronicle makes use of the classic vamp/victim stereotype.

And as long as we’re at it, here’s a cover of the continually provocative National Star Chronicle, from today in 1967, with a story about an undertaker/rapist. Are you sensing a theme? Is this cover and the one in the post above not a case of two pigs feeding at the same trough? These stories represent the diametric extremes of ’60s sleaze tabloids—woman as ravaged sex victim/ravenous sex beast, which is a slight variation on Freud’s Madonna/whore complex, the twist here being that the Madonna loses her purity at the hands of a rapist. At least that’s how it seems to us. But what do we know? A psychologist or sociologist might have something useful to say, but in school we majored in vodka, so our insights are probably limited. Maybe we’ll get back to this after we consult our resident experts on the evils of men—our girlfriends. More tabloids coming soon. 

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Vintage Pulp Feb 5 2013
UNHOLY COMMUNION
He was only trying to minister to his flock.

National Star Chronicle cover from today 1965. You can see nine more weird and wonderful Chronicle covers by clicking here.

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Vintage Pulp Dec 7 2012
BOILING OVER
Maybe she should have just washed his mouth out with soap.


Here’s more from the National Star Chronicle with a cover from today in 1964. Just FYI, ammonia boils at –28 Fahrenheit, which means it’s pretty difficult to handle as a liquid, and is a gas at room temperature. True science, untrue story. 

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Vintage Pulp Dec 4 2012
MARGARITA ON THE ROCKS
The trick of tabloid journalism is to always keep you guessing.

Above is a cover of National Star Chronicle which appeared this month in 1964 with a story about a twenty-year-old Argentine woman named Margarita Andrade, who we’re told was kidnapped and forced to take part in an orgy. “I was compelled to perform sexual acts that I had never heard of before,” she says. “I’m too ashamed to describe what I had to do—and what was done to me.” And then she goes on to describe it. Short version—she was stripped and shoved into a room filled with naked men and women engaged in unnatural sex acts. Which raises the question—if they had enough consenting perverts to fill a room why did they need someone who would scream, scratch, and kick various fat dudes in the nuts? And considering the severity of the crimes, why did they later take her "to a deserted spot near the town of Monte Grande and shove her out of the car," thus allowing her to be a witness and make it onto the cover of national newspapers? Mystifying, no? But this story may not be a complete fabrication. National Star Chronicle was mostly fiction, but it was often mixed with a speck of truth, kind of like here. So in the end we'll never know. That's the trick of tabloid journalism—just when you think you can write it off, they throw something (semi) real at you.

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Vintage Pulp Jun 7 2012
CATTLE BARIN'
National Star Chronicle gets udderly ridiculous.

Above, a cover of the New York City-based National Star Chronicle published today 1965. This is a page from our big book of tabloid covers, which means we don’t have the inside and can’t tell you which illness these cattle supposedly had. Mad cow disease maybe? Well if they were mad before, they must be furious now. Bada bing! 

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Vintage Pulp Apr 26 2012
MURDER MOST BANAL
Truly awful stories about really deranged people.

National Star Chronicle devotes its cover from today, 1965, to the story of Micaela Ramirez, a pregnant wife stabbed to death by her husband of twenty years. Apparently, the extremely jealous and very drunk Vidal Ramirez expected his wife Micaela home at 4 pm, but she arrived at 4:13, so he deliberately stabbed her thirteen times to match the amount of her tardiness, then kicked around her corpse a bit for good measure. Vidal’s daughter ran from the house screaming, alerting neighbors. When the neighbors arrived and found Micaela and her unborn child dead, the rescue party transformed into a lynching party, forcing Vidal to barricade himself in a bedroom. Police finally arrived, calmed the neighbors, and carted Vidal to jail. The cover photo shows Micaela Ramirez after she’s been carried outside by the coroner. Lawrence Block once memorably wrote that there are eight million ways to die. Dying due to jealousy is surely one of the most banal. According to the Chronicle, Vidal Ramirez showed no remorse during his booking. He explained simply, “She had a lover. It was my duty to punish her.” 

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Vintage Pulp Mar 8 2012
UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH
National Star Chronicle had a catchy slogan, but occasionally had a hard time living up to it.

This National Star Chronicle published today in 1965 forgoes its usual cheesecake cover in favor of screaming text about a torturer. The person in question is Alfred Poettinger, who indeed tied a nude woman to his bed and tortured her the last three days of December 1964 in the village of Studl-Paura, Austria. The torture took the form of whippings, followed by insertions of red hot needles. It’s at this juncture that the Chronicle’s account veers into pure fiction. In the real world, the woman, Monika Einoeder, managed to slip her bonds and flee naked to an adjacent house, where she called the police. Cops arrived at Poettinger’s only to find that he had hanged himself. But in Chronicle world, Poettinger didn’t die, but rather was trundled off to jail, where Chronicle house scribe Ernst Brookman allegedly scored an interview. The point of such a blatant lie, we presume, was to convince readers that the Chronicle had a network of intrepid reporters blanketing the world. It probably worked, too, but then this little thing called the internet came along and now we can look up articles from Jan 2 1965 and read for ourselves over and over that Poettinger was swinging from the rafters when police found him. So much for the Chronicle’s motto: True Stories About True People. Well, at least they got half of it right, and to their credit the editors didn’t forget the cheesecake entirely. Inside, it takes the form of Evi Marandi, Pilar Pellicer, Janis Paige, and Paola Penni, all of whom you see below. More from National Star Chronicle later. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
December 25
1946—W.C. Fields Dies
American vaudevillian and film star W. C. Fields, whose renowned hard-drinking, misanthropic persona was only partly an act, dies from a stomach hemorrhage in a Pasadena, California hospital.
1977—Charlie Chaplin Dies
British comedian, actor, and director Charlie Chaplin, who at the height of his fame had been targeted by reactionary commie-hunter Joseph McCarthy and FBI head J. Edgar Hoover, with the result of forcing him out of Hollywood, dies in his sleep in Vevey, Switzerland.
December 24
1968—Apollo 8 Orbits Moon
The crew of Apollo 8 enters into orbit around the Moon, becoming the first humans to do so. They perform 10 lunar orbits and broadcast live TV pictures that become known as the Christmas Eve Broadcast, one of the most watched programs in history.
December 23
1913—Federal Reserve Created
The Federal Reserve Act is signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, creating the Federal Reserve Bank. The Fed was created mainly in response to a series of bank panics, in 1873, 1893, and 1907, but over time its role has evolved and expanded, and the bank has been the subject of criticism from those who see it as a tool used to control the lives of workers.
1982—Jack Webb Dies
American actor Jack Webb, who was most famous his ongoing role in the television cop show Dragnet, dies of a heart attack at age 62. Webb had been sickly since the age of 6 after developing asthma, and had been ill many times during his life.

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