Vintage Pulp Sep 2 2023
ANIMAL DESIRE
Eclipse Books strips buyer motivations bare.


We just talked about Bruno Fischer's The Lustful Ape, but we're circling back to it to highlight this cover from Eclipse Books because it's an example of a brief trend in crime and adventure paperbacks of nude models on covers. We shared a few French examples seven years ago, and we have more we may compile into post later. Obviously, the classic painted GGA covers sold sex too, but subtle like. Here Eclipse has stripped away the fig leaf of artfulness—along with everything else. Still, it's a nice bit of erotic photography.

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Vintage Pulp Jun 30 2023
GORILLA TACTICS
He definitely isn't one of the great apes.


Bruno Fischer's 1950 novel The Lustful Ape has a strange title, which comes from an even stranger character, Ape Jones, so nicknamed not only because of his appearance, but due to his behavior. The protagonist, though, is a detective named Dirk Hart, whose amoral estranged wife is murdered. Explicit photos of a high society woman point to the killing being revenge for blackmail, but subplots abound as Dirk tries to solve the crime. He lives with a sister who's mixed up with the local crime lord's top henchman, has a best friend who knew his dead wife far better than he ever admitted, employs a secretary who's in love with him, and is hired by a client who commits suicide under suspicious circumstances. It's all in a day's existence for a mid-century private eye. Fischer weaves the threads together adequately and makes a readable mystery of it all, surprisingly punctuated by an extended sequence of cruel and somewhat sexualized torture. The episode makes sense, in terms of the narrative, but you don't usually come across stuff so uncompromising in tales from 1950. Our edition is from 1958 for Red Seal Books. 

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Vintage Pulp Dec 9 2021
SAMBA DO CRIME
It's a carnaval of mayhem in Brazil.


We wanted to call attention one last time to an interesting Facebook page dedicated to vintage crime paperbacks published in Brazil by Edições de Ouro and Editora Tecnoprint. We started our webpage in 2008 and back then we had a lot of company. Somehow or other, regretfully, we've outlasted many of them. Maybe in the age of Twitter and Instagram, blogs with actual words have died. But for that reason it's exciting to see someone launch something new—especially dedicated to such an exotic (from our point of view) niche of paperback style. It was actually launched in 2017, but we saw it only recently. We can tell you this—we love Brazil, have been there for carnaval, and if we'd known these books were down there we'd have brought back more than just a long lasting cachaça hangover. We knew Brazil had produced some pulp style paperbacks—much of the art was repurposed from U.S. editions—but we didn't know it was this extensive. Carnaval 2022? Well, probably not. But one day, return we will, to old Brazil.

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Vintage Pulp Aug 28 2021
COLLECT FROM BRAZIL
Never leave a blonde on hold.


This is one tasty photo cover. It was was made for Bruno Fischer's A Bela Assassina, which is a Portuguese translation of The Lady Kills, put out in 1951 by the Brazilian publisher Edições de Ouro, and is number five in its series Seleção Criminal. We've little doubt the cover star is a known actress, by the way, but we can't place her. Feel free to clue us in. It took us a while to figure out where this came from, but we finally traced it to a Facebook page dedicated to Brazilian vintage paperbacks. There's some nice stuff over there calling your name, so it's certainly worth a look. You can also see another Bruno Fischer book from Brazil here.

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Vintage Pulp May 15 2015
OF CORPSE HE CAN
Oh, there you are. Can you stop screwing around and take out the garbage like I asked?

Above, cover art by Barye Phillips for Bruno Fischer’s mystery The Flesh Was Cold, originally The Angels Fell. Fischer, who also wrote as Russell Gray and Harrison Storm, published this under its initial title in 1950, with Signet’s paperback edition hitting shelves in 1951.

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Vintage Pulp Feb 7 2015
UNHAPPILY CARRIED
For better or worse, in sickness and health, women in pulp don’t have a heck of a lot of choice about it.
 
Pulp is a place where the men are decisive and the women are as light as feathers. We’ve gotten together a collection of paperback covers featuring women being spirited away to places unknown, usually unconscious, by men and things that are less than men. You have art from Harry Schaare, Saul Levine, Harry Barton, Alain Gourdon, aka Aslan, and others.
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Vintage Pulp Aug 9 2010
FRAGMENTS OF FEAR
Be afraid... be very afraid.


Below, fifteen pieces of pulp art with terror as their central theme. The cover in panel three from Erle Stanley Gardner is the German version of 1948's Perry Mason and the Case of the Vagabond Virgin, retitled Perry Mason und die Unschuld vom Lande, or Perry Mason and the Innocence of the Country.

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Vintage Pulp Jun 1 2010
BOSSA NOVEL
Non-stop to Brazil.

Above is a Brazilian cover for German-born author Bruno Fischer’s Os Túmulos Não Falam, which would translate as something like “Graves Don’t Speak”. However, Fischer never wrote a book with that name, so this is one of those occasions where the original title was scrapped, which means we can’t tell you which English language release this corresponds to. We do know it’s a Ben Helm mystery, and that it involves a hypothetical perfect murder. It also involves perfect cover art, though sadly it goes uncredited. Fischer was a popular author, thus he deserves a more detailed treatment, which we’ll give him a little ways down the line. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
February 27
1922—Challenge to Women's Voting Rights Rebuffed
In the United States, a conservative legal challenge to the nineteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution establishing voting rights for women is rebuffed by the Supreme Court in Leser v. Garnett. The challenge was based partly on the idea of individual "states rights" to self determination. The failure of such reasoning as it applied to basic human rights created a framework for later states rights losses involving the denial of voting rights to African-Americans.
February 26
1917—First Jazz Record Is Made
In New Orleans, The Original Dixieland Jass Band records the first ever jazz record for the Victor Talking Machine Company in New York. The band was frequently billed as the "Creators of Jazz", but in reality all the members had previously played in the Papa Jack Laine bands, a group of racially mixed performers who helped form the basis of Dixieland while playing under bandleader George Laine.
February 25
1947—Prussia Ceases To Exist
The centuries-old state of Prussia, which had been a great European power under the reign of Frederick the Great during the 1800s, and a major influence on German culture, ceases to exist when it is dissolved by the post-WWII Allied Control Council comprised of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union.
1964—Clay Beats Liston
Heavyweight boxer Cassius Clay, aged 22, becomes champion of the world after beating Sonny Liston, aka the Dark Destroyer, in one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. It would be the beginning of a storied and controversial career for Clay, who would announce to the world shortly after the fight that he had changed his name to Muhammad Ali.
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