Vintage Pulp Oct 2 2014
EATING OUR FILLE
Do you ever crave something so much you can almost taste it?


You know what we love? A really good fille mignon. Rare? Of course! You want them to be a bit salty outside, but tender inside. Soft as butter. See, the juices are the key. Pay attention, because we’re telling you something important here. The difference between a juicy fille and a dry one is, well, it’s really a matter of skill. You need a deft touch. Actually, it doesn’t go too far to call it an art, getting one so the juices are just brimming in there. Even thinking about the smell makes our mouths water. We’re uh… We… Hold on—we just need to plug “fille” into the translator. Just one sec. Ah. Er, let us go back and see what we wrote. Okay… yeah, all good.

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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.

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Vintage Pulp Sep 27 2014
SNOW JOB
Murder wears a mini skirt.


Neige sanglante, which means “bloody snow,” was authored by Irving Le Roy, in reality Robert Georges Debeurre, because no French post-pulp author ever wrote under his/her own name. This book comes from Paris based Éditions Bel-Air, is number 76 in their Détective-Pocket collection, and is a romantic thriller involving a woman in love with a philandering man. Does the cover give away what happens next? Well, maybe. But you can bet he deserved it. The artist is James Hodges, and we’ll have more from him in the future. 1967 on this. 

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Vintage Pulp Sep 25 2014
BON GIOVANNI
Giovanni Benvenuti raises the bar for French crime covers.

Today we wanted to share a series of truly spectacular French covers from Frédéric Ditis’s eponymous company Ditis, published as part of its popular La Chouette—or Owl—collection. These all date from the mid-1950s to early 1960s, and there’s really nothing to say about them except that they’re by the sublime Giovanni Benvenuti.

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Vintage Pulp Sep 24 2014
JOHNNY DANGEROUSLY
Say hello to his other little friend.

This likeness of gangster John Dillinger stands in stark contrast to the highly pornographic Tijuana bible sketches of him and his little friend we shared last week. We figured we’d show Dillinger in a better light, and wearing more clothes, so above you see the cover of Saul Cooper’s Dillinger, painted by famed portraitist Everett Raymond Kinstler, who has created likenesses of everyone from Katherine Hepburn to George H.W. Bush. See more of his amazing work here, and see those racy Dillinger sketches here. You know you wanna. 

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Vintage Pulp Sep 23 2014
SUITE THING
You asked for a wake up call? I've got one you'll never forget.

Originally published in 1958 as Dead to the World, Stewart Sterling’s The Blonde in Suite 14 tells the story of a house detective (do those exist anymore?) who thinks two deaths in his hotel—the fictional Plaza Royale—are linked to a beautiful blonde guest. Sterling, who we talked about previously here, had already used house detective Gil Vine in five books and would feature him in two more. The hotel setting gave him a handy platform for introducing scenarios, and his detective character’s prime directive to protect the hotel’s reputation sets up a constant ethical dilemma—i.e., call the police and risk bad publicity, or just cover up the whole mess? Pretty good, but we can’t help but think it could have been spectacular in other hands. The very nice cover art here is by Mort Engel. 

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Vintage Pulp Sep 19 2014
TOMCAT CRUISE
Everyone on this ship is in heat.

It isn’t a top effort, but we still like this cover for Jonathon Ward’s 1964 sleaze romp Cruise for Love from Carousel Books, an imprint of Hollywood-based Frimac Publications. The story involves sexual misadventure among cruise ship passengers, and the rear cover reads: Take an ocean liner crossing the Atlantic, add men and women passengers, with normal and abnormal desires—and you’ve got an explosive package that’s sure to blow up before the ship reaches port. We just hope the cat isn’t involved in any of it. Uncredited art. 

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Vintage Pulp Sep 17 2014
DARLING NIKKI
Part angel, part goddess, and part alley cat.

Seems like one good Midwood deserves another, so here’s another effort from them—Don Rico’s Nikki, published in 1963. After years writing for comics, this was Rico’s first novel, and he would later publish other books as Dan Rico, Donella St. Michaels, Donna Richards, Joseph Milton, et al. The back cover text for Nikki is unusually entertaining, so we’ve got that below as well. The excellent art is the work of Robert Schulz.

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Vintage Pulp Sep 15 2014
EASY RADER
I think it’s really cute when a guy wears pajamas, but I have something even more comfortable you can slip into.

This is one of the prettiest Paul Rader covers we’ve seen, which is really saying something considering he painted this and this. But this stellar turquoise and gold effort for Joan Ellis’s Sooner or Later may be our favorite Rader yet. Note how the placement of the girl’s elbow suggests an erection on her tormented brother-in-law. Joan Ellis was in reality author Julie Ellis, and she also wrote as Linda Michaels, Jill Monte, and Susan Richard. She went on to author serious fiction, but even if those later books were better written, we bet none of them looked as appealing as this.

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Vintage Pulp Sep 11 2014
ALPHA BEAST
Faced with this position surrender is the only option.

Here you see a pose that appears over and over in vintage paperback art—one figure looming menacingly in the foreground as a second cowers in the triangular negative space created by the first’s spread legs. This pose is so common it should have a name. We’re thinking “the alpha,” because it signifies male dominance and because of the a-shape the pose makes. True, on occasion the dominator isn’t male, sometimes the unfortunate sprawled figure is depicted outside the a-shaped space, and sometimes the art expresses something other than dominance, but basically the alpha (see, that just sounds right, doesn’t it?) has been used scores of times with only minor variation. You’ll notice several of these come from subsidiaries of the sleaze publisher Greenleaf Classics. It was a go-to cover style for them. We have twenty examples in all, with art by Bob Abbett, Robert Bonfils, Michel Gourdon, and others.

 
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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
October 02
1919—Wilson Suffers Stroke
U.S. President Woodrow Wilson suffers a massive stroke, leaving him partially paralyzed. He is confined to bed for weeks, but eventually resumes his duties, though his participation is little more than perfunctory. Wilson remains disabled throughout the remainder of his term in office, and the rest of his life.
1968—Massacre in Mexico
Ten days before the opening of the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, a peaceful student demonstration ends in the Tlatelolco Massacre. 200 to 300 students are gunned down, and to this day there is no consensus about how or why the shooting began.
October 01
1910—Los Angeles Times Bombed
A massive dynamite bomb destroys the Los Angeles Times building in downtown Los Angeles, California, killing 21 people. Police arrest James B. McNamara and his brother John J. McNamara. Though the brothers are represented by the era's most famous lawyer, Clarence Darrow, of Scopes Monkey Trial fame, they eventually plead guilty. James is convicted and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. His brother John is convicted of a separate bombing of the Llewellyn Iron Works and also sent to prison.
1975—Ali Defeats Frazier in Manila
In the Philippines, an epic heavyweight boxing match known as the Thrilla in Manila takes place between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. It is the third, final and most brutal match between the two, and Ali wins by TKO in the fourteenth round.
September 30
1955—James Dean Dies in Auto Accident
American actor James Dean, who appeared in the films Giant, East of Eden, and the iconic Rebel without a Cause, dies in an auto accident at age 24 when his Porsche 550 Spyder is hit head-on by a larger Ford coupe. The driver of the Ford had been trying to make a left turn across the rural highway U.S. Route 466 and never saw Dean's small sports car approaching.
1962—Chavez Founds UFW
Mexican-American farm worker César Chávez founds the United Farm Workers in California. His strikes, marches and boycotts eventually result in improved working conditions for manual farm laborers and today his birthday is celebrated as a holiday in eight U.S. states.

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