Vintage Pulp Oct 7 2020
A PERFECT STORM
When it rains it pours talent.


Giovanni Benvenuti was an illustrator of unique skill. We've posted a couple of wonderful collections of his covers (you can see those here and here, and we really recommend them because it's all very striking work), but have neglected him these last several years. That stops today, because he's a top tier artist. Above you see the cover he painted for Dominique Dorn's thriller Véronique et la St. Médard, published by Éditions Ditis for its Collection la Chouette in 1961. There's a lot to like about this piece, but we're most struck by the indistinct lights seen through the veil of rain. They're suggestive but could really be anything.

Dominque Dorn, appropriately, could really be anyone. It was the pen name of Marie-Anne Devillers, who also published as Mario Ropp, Maïa Walbert, Maïa de Villers, and Michèle Vaudois. That's a lot of names, and she used them to write a lot of books. Ropp was by far her most prolific pseudonym. She published more than one hundred novels under that identity. On the whole, Dorn churned out novels at an astounding rate, sometimes publishing six a year. That's a lot of output, so we'll probably run into her again. See another here

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Vintage Pulp Jun 10 2019
CRIME AMERICAN STYLE
Four U.S. authors make their mark on France and on film.


Above, four covers from Éditions Ditis for its La Chouette collection, circa late 1950s. All of these were originally published in the U.S. and translated into French after being adapted into films. The first three were turned into the film noir classics Sudden Fear, A Kiss Before Dying, and Black Angel, while the fourth became the French crime thriller Bonnes à tuer, which is known in English as One Step to Eternity.

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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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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 20
1939—Holiday Records Strange Fruit
American blues and jazz singer Billie Holiday records "Strange Fruit", which is considered to be the first civil rights song. It began as a poem written by Abel Meeropol, which he later set to music and performed live with his wife Laura Duncan. The song became a Holiday standard immediately after she recorded it, and it remains one of the most highly regarded pieces of music in American history.
April 19
1927—Mae West Sentenced to Jail
American actress and playwright Mae West is sentenced to ten days in jail for obscenity for the content of her play Sex. The trial occurred even though the play had run for a year and had been seen by 325,000 people. However West's considerable popularity, already based on her risque image, only increased due to the controversy.
1971—Manson Sentenced to Death
In the U.S, cult leader Charles Manson is sentenced to death for inciting the murders of Sharon Tate and several other people. Three accomplices, who had actually done the killing, were also sentenced to death, but the state of California abolished capital punishment in 1972 and neither they nor Manson were ever actually executed.
April 18
1923—Yankee Stadium Opens
In New York City, Yankee Stadium, home of Major League Baseball's New York Yankees, opens with the Yankees beating their eternal rivals the Boston Red Sox 4 to 1. The stadium, which is nicknamed The House that Ruth Built, sees the Yankees become the most successful franchise in baseball history. It is eventually replaced by a new Yankee Stadium and closes in September 2008.
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