Vintage Pulp Nov 1 2014
OFF THE MENU
Tonight I think I’m in the mood for a big, juicy piece of meat.


Paul Rader once again demonstrates his genius with this cover for Brad Curtis’s Man Trap, brought to us by always reliable Midwood Books, 1963. Curtis was a pseudonym used by Giles A. Lutz, predominantly a writer of westerns who made a few forays into thrillers. What we really like about this cover are the spangles in the background hinting at some wonderful nocturnal metropolis, doubtless rife with sex, sin, and other worthy pursuits. Pretty nice, too, how Rader slipped his signature—in this case a single “R”—onto the back of the menu. 

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Vintage Pulp Oct 29 2014
LA VIA BENVENUTI
Giovanni Benvenuti shows the way.

We thought we’d revisit the awesome work of Italian illustrator Giovanni Benvenuti. We shared a set last month, but just had to do another. These are once again part of the La Chouette collection published by the French imprint Ditis during the 1950s and 1960s.

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Vintage Pulp Oct 26 2014
A LESSON IN MANNERS
Keeping his eyes on the objective.

We love this cover. It looks very much to us like the man who’s being choked was staring at a woman’s breasts and can’t take his eyes off them—even while being choked. That’s dedication. Y’en a marre… p’tite tête, by the way, means something like “fed up… little head.” Presumably that’s another of those French terms you have to be French to really understand. We'll await illumination via e-mail.

Update: Jo B. comes to the rescue again: "Petite tête" means that you have no brain, that you forget everything you've got to do or that you've been told. It means also that you're absent minded. On the contrary, "forte tête" which means "strong head" is used to design a person with a rough character, who doesn't like rules, who contests everything, doesn't like discipline and is always against the law. In roman noir, he's a bad boy, quite a gangster, the guy who doesn't tell anything to the police even if he's tortured or beaten. As the expression is used on a roman noir cover, I would say that the "petite tête" is used to design a bad guy who ain't got any future in gangster life, who will never be a "forte tête," who will be a loser and say everything to the police if he's arrested. It's pejorative and insulting.

Thank you again, Jo. You've been a great help, and thanks so much for continuing to visit the site.

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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 | Femmes Fatales Oct 22 2014
VIEW TO A GILL
No, not gill like a fish—gill like a Gillian.

Gillian Duxbury was a British actress who appeared in only a few television shows, but she managed another type of fame, starring on many magazines, tabloids, album covers, and—importantly for this website—1970s crime paperbacks. Movie stardom it isn’t, but it’s good enough for us. We have a few examples below.
 

 
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Vintage Pulp Oct 18 2014
SPACE INVADERS
Spain conquers the cosmos.

Above, assorted covers of the Spanish science fiction series Luchadores del Espacio, or Space Fighters, from Editorial Valenciana, created and written by Pascual Enguídanos Usach under the pseudonym George. H. White, with other authors like Alfonso Arizmendi Regaldie, José Luis Sanchis Benet (writing as Joe Bennett), and Pedro Domingo Mutiñó (as P. Danger) also involved. Art is mostly by José Luis Macias, with a few contributions from Vicente Ibáñez Sanchís and José Lanzón Piera. A couple of these images came from audiolibrosdebolsillo (where you can download audio copies), so thanks to them. 

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Vintage Pulp Oct 17 2014
MORBO FASCINATION
Artist C. Renè makes a bold statement in blue.

Finally, an Italian horror novel that wasn’t illustrated by the incomparable Benedetto Caroselli. This time the artist is someone billed as C. Renè, and he/she’s created a beautiful blue cover for Mark Hawk’s Morbo Azzurro (Blue Disease), opting to show a very detailed eye and set of lips rather than a whole face. Very effective work, we think. This appeared in 1961 and was a ristampa—a reprint—of a 1960 release.

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Vintage Pulp Oct 15 2014
MASTERFUL KEY
Glass Key paperback art is tops thanks to another Italian master.

Brian Donlevy and Veronica Lake’s film noir The Glass Key, which was Hollywood’s second try at Dashiell Hammett’s novel, premiered this month in 1942. To be exact, it opened yesterday in New York City and throughout the U.S. on October 23. The poster most often seen online is the theatrical release version we showed you several years ago, but alternates were produced and two of them appear below. What we really wanted to share, though, is this great paperback cover from UK-based Digit Books. It’s from 1961 and features the art of Italian illustrator Enrico de Seta, who we’ve mentioned before. If you haven’t watched The Glass Key we recommend it, and if you haven’t read the book, just know that it was Hammett’s personal favorite. 

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Vintage Pulp Oct 11 2014
A REAL MOUTHFUL
Not only is she fun—she’s easy to swallow.

Souris à croquer means “chewable mouse.” Nothing more to add there, really, except to speculate that maybe it’s a slang phrase. French friends help us out. Moving on, you may already know the master illustrator Jean David, who signed his work J. David. Did he write this book? We have no idea, and neither did anyone else we asked. Considering J. David painted from the 1940s onward, and this book by Jean David appeared in 1958, it’s certainly possible they’re the same person. Note to selves: more research. Souris à croquer, by the way, means “chewable mouse.” Did we mention that already? Well, it bears repeating. The cover art here is not by J. David, but by Jihel, aka Jacques Leclerc. 

Update: Jo B. from Marseille has the answer, writing: "Souris à croquer" means "a mouse to eat."  "Mouse" is a little slang term (not vulgar) to designate a pretty girl. "Croquer" is the way you eat an apple, a bar of chocolate or something like that. I don't know the real word in English (munch, crunch?). Maybe we have two mice to crunch on the cover as "souris" can be one mouse or many mice.

Thanks so much Jo.

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Vintage Pulp Oct 9 2014
ROMA AMORE
You can't spell romance without Rome.

Nous Deux was an ongoing concern that spawned dozens of romance novels. Éditions Mondiales-Del Duca put out a Collection Nous Deux, of which the above, Sous les platanes de Rome, aka Under the Trees of Rome, is number 95, appearing in 1958. It was written by Lucienne Peverelly, aka Luciana Perverelli, aka Greta Granor, who penned several Nous Deux novels. Peverelly was possibly the same person as Lucienne Royer, but we’re still trying to confirm that. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
November 01
1938—Seabiscuit Defeats War Admiral
At Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland, the thoroughbred stallion Seabiscuit defeats the Triple Crown champion War Admiral in a match race that had been promoted as "The match of the Century" in horse racing. The victory made Seabiscuit a symbol of triumph against the odds during the dark days of the Depression, and his story became the subject of a 1949 film, a 2001 book, and a 2003 film, Seabiscuit, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
October 31
1984—Indira Gandhi Assassinated
In India, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two of her own Sikh security guards in the garden of the Prime Minister's Residence at No. 1, Safdarjung Road in New Delhi. Gandhi had been walking to meet British actor Peter Ustinov for an interview. Riots soon break out in New Delhi and nearly 2,000 Sikhs are killed.
October 30
1945—Robinson Signs with Dodgers
Jackie Robinson, who had been playing with the Negro League team the Kansas City Monarchs, signs a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers to become the first African-American major leaguer of the modern baseball era.
1961—Soviets Detonate Super Nuke
The Soviet Union detonates an experimental nuclear weapon called Tsar Bomba over the Arctic Circle, which, with a yield of 100 megatons of TNT, was then and remains today the most powerful weapon ever used by humanity.

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