Vintage Pulp Oct 12 2018
DEVIL IN THE DETAILS
Stop calling me that. It's Stan. My name is Stan.


Satan in Malibu came from Vega Books via the brain and typewriter of Frank Cannon, and it deals with a man who tries to solve his brother's murder. He learns of the death when a telegram arrives, but is the woman who sent it to him really trying to help, or is there more to her story? The hero's investigation takes him to Santa Cruz Island off the coast of Southern California, and when he gets there he runs across a band of satanists who may have done the killing.

We last ran across Frank Cannon when we shared a cover for his 1964 effort Hide in Hell. The hell in that book was figurative. The hell in Satan in Malibu is a slightly less so, since the villains actually believe in it, but the reason for the murder is rooted firmly in the mundane world. We don't know who painted the cover art, but for Vega Books it's not bad. The copyright on this is 1961. 

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Vintage Pulp Jul 8 2017
QUICK ON THE DRAW
It was fun. Next time just try to remember that being a fast shooter is only good for gunfights.


Above, cover art for War at Bluestem Basin by John Nemec, the prolific author behind books such as Naked in the Night, The Spy Who Came to Bed, and The Case of the Naked Nympho. This one is about two brothers who end up on opposite sides of a land war, and the copyright is 1962 for Vega Books. The art is signed Chesnutt, but we have no info on who that might be.

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Vintage Pulp Nov 25 2016
BILL COMES DUE
Bill Edwards paperback art gains new recognition.

Bill Edwards' profile as a paperback illustrator has risen considerably in recent years. Like others who painted for sleaze imprints, it is not so much his technical ability that has garnered the attention, but rather the subject matter and a strong style. Edwards is a guy whose work you can identify in a millisecond. His women almost always have sharp cheekbones, ski jump noses, and a prominent beauty mark. The cover above for Rick Rand's New Girl in Town shows you all three elements up close. Edwards was also prolific like few other painters, which makes finding his work easy. Below are many more illustrations, some for novels with subject matter well beyond the pale, and we have other Edwards pieces populating Pulp Intl., for example here, here, and here.

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Vintage Pulp Sep 15 2016
A FOOL AND HIS HONEY
Hi, babe, I'm back early from— Aw, shit. Not again.


Twice a Fool was published by Vega Books, above, and by Fabian Books, a version that was identical in every way except the company logo. That's because both Fabian and Vega, along with Saber Books, were owned by Sanford Aday, as we've mentioned before. Bunny Strand was in reality sleaze author Bernie Strahn, who also wrote such highbrow classics as Reaching High, The Bedroom Imposter, and Sex Party: The Rape of Lori Grant. Info on him is scarce, but we'll keep digging. Twice a Fool is copyright 1960 with uncredited cover art. 

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Vintage Pulp Dec 29 2015
AN ARROW MARGIN
These between-the-legs shots are safer with you than with my previous partner. He was something, lemme tell you.


Above, the cover of Stella Gray's lez sleaze classic The Naked Archer, for Vega Books, 1966. We haven't read this one—it sells for way too much money. But the cover blurb gives the gist, and typically, because the readers were mostly male, lesbians in these books didn't stay lesbian for long, so we're pretty sure we know how this one goes. The art is by the underrated Bill Edwards. 

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Vintage Pulp Oct 24 2014
DON'T FORGET TO ZIGZAG
Come here, baby. You sprint out there and draw his fire while I cover you from back here.

We love Vega Books. Nearly everything they released was patently terrible, but the cover art was sometimes quite funny. You can thank Bill Edwards for that. 1961 on this. 

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Vintage Pulp Oct 1 2014
ROAD TO HELL
Trust me, this is the last place they’ll look for us.

Above, a Vega Books front for Frank Cannon’s Hide in Hell, with art of a fugitive and his female companion, who’s probably wondering why they can’t hide in the Bahamas or Bali. Cannon, by the way, also wrote Satan in Malibu, so apparently even the Prince of Darkness didn’t like spending time in Hell. 1964 on this, with uncredited art (but it's Bill Edwards).

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Vintage Pulp Dec 9 2013
WHEELING AND DEALING
Sigh. Maybe I would’ve had better luck selling aluminum siding.

We haven’t read this book, so we don’t know what’s in the suitcase, but clearly it’s not a product many people want. Whizzinator anyone? Automatic banana peeler? Mary Fletcher was almost certainly a pen name, but one that was used perhaps only for this effort, so we can’t tell you who the author really was. But we can tell you we think this is Bill Edwards’ cover art. He painted many of Vega’s covers, and this looks very much like his work. You can compare for yourself by looking at an Edwards collection here

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Vintage Pulp Jun 26 2012
WHISKEY BUSINESS
Actually, you’re drinkin’ the kerosene I use for my lantern. The moonshine’s over yonder. But I am duly impressed.

Above, the cover of Clouded Passion by Arthur A. Howe, for Fabian Books, 1962, with Bill Edwards cover art of a country girl chugging booze like a Zeta Tau Alpha. Fabian, as well as Vega Books and Saber Books, was owned by Sanford Aday, who made himself a constant target for various morality groups, including Citizens for Decent Literature, which was headed by that paragon of virtue Charles H. Keating. Aday was eventually convicted of obscenity, along with his associate Wallace de Ortega Maxey, for shipping a single copy of the book Sex Life of a Cop to Michigan. Aday got twenty-five years, but the conviction was overturned by a Supreme Court decision. The novels from Adey’s three publishing houses are somewhat collectible today, and most of the covers were exactly like this one—amusing but low quality. If you’re interested, you can see a group here. 

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Vintage Pulp Mar 12 2012
ROOM WITH A VIEW
When you say "enormous", what you mean is he’s really overweight, right?

Our American vacation continues as we leave Denver behind and head to San Francisco. In the meantime here’s a random sleaze paperback we spotted yesterday, a little something from Vega Books called All for One. Author Arnold Marmor worked during the ’50s and ’60s, producing titles such as Boudoir Treachery, Abnormal Desire, and Lust Lodge. He also wrote a couple of books in the Nick Carter series. This particular effort, with its voyeur-themed cover art by unknown, appeared in 1962.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
December 19
1984—Britain Agrees to Cede Hong Kong
Great Britain signs over Hong Kong to China in an agreement stipulating that the colony be returned to the Chinese in 1997. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher signs the Joint Sino-British Declaration with her Chinese counterpart Zhao Ziyang, while political groups in Hong Kong push futilely for independence.
December 18
1912—Piltdown Man Discovered
A hominid fossil known as Piltdown Man is found in England's Piltdown Gravel Pit by paleontologist Charles Dawson. The fragments are thought by many experts of the day to be the fossilized remains of a hitherto unknown form of early man, but in 1953 it is discovered to be a hoax composed of a human skeleton and an orangutan's jawbone. The identity of the Piltdown forger remains unknown, but suspects have included Dawson, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Arthur Conan Doyle and others.
December 17
1967—Australian Prime Minister Disappears
The Prime Minister of Australia, Harold Holt, who was best known for expanding Australia's role in the Vietnam War, disappears while swimming at Cheviot Beach near Portsea, Victoria and is presumed drowned.
1969—Project Blue Book Ends
The United States Air Force completes its study of UFOs, stating that sightings are generated as a result of a mild form of mass hysteria, and that individuals who fabricate such reports do so to perpetrate a hoax or seek publicity, or are psychopathological persons, or simply misidentify various conventional objects.
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