Vintage Pulp Oct 31 2022
HOW IN THE HELL
When bad books happen to good readers.


Every novel can't be a winner. Lloyd Royce's H Is for Hell, which came in 1963 from Intimate Editions, has a nice cover painted by Chet Collom, but it's a really bad book. It's half-baked, dreary, and infantile. The story deals with the line of succession in a large business called Ace Sales, how the dying patriarch's alcoholic son and drug addict daughter are passed over in favor of his nymphomaniac niece, and what happens when the mafia tries to take over and the company's product manager Mike Lawe steps in to play hero. That may sound interesting, but the book is a front and rear cover folded around a gaping void where writing skill should be. Royce uses the word “withdrawl” not once, but three times. Three. And it got past his editors too. We're not perfect. We make occasional mistakes or typos here, but we write thousands of words a week, and with no editors at all. Inexcusable stuff from Royce. 

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Vintage Pulp Mar 20 2019
SOMETHING IN THE AIR
That's a lovely compliment, but I haven't showered since yesterday. I did make some muffins earlier.


This is an interesting cover for the 1962 novel Sweet Smell of Lust by Arnold Marmor, with its mirror perspective and extra large Oscar standing on the bureau. Basically, it's the story of two women vying for the same plum film role. One woman is older, desperate, and ruthless enough to pull dirty tricks for the role, while the other is young and naive to the point that she'll do whatever she's asked, even if it means ending up on her back. There's something in the air indeed—pheromones. Agents, directors, criminals, hardcore partiers, and the obligatory oversexed lesbian round out the cast. There are numerous vintage books in this Hollwood sleaze category, so many that the genre cries out for a cover collection. Maybe we'll put one together. 

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Vintage Pulp Mar 12 2019
BARE MINIMUM
This book strips everything off—logic, subtlety, humor, character development...


Strip, Wench... or Die! This one had us at strip. Plus it was cheap, a mere five bucks. And you get what you pay for sometimes, because this was really bad. Basically, Rip Austin is an insurance investigator posing as a rep for the local strippers union in order to look into the death of a dancer. He finds himself involved in an organized crime scam, and soon more strippers are dying. But not before they get naked and he manages to fall into bed with a few. Typical passage:

Naked women were hardly anything new in the life of a loving rounder like Austin, but he was hardly used to having one come to the door of a fashionable mansion in broad daylight. He looked at the massive mounds of her breasts—huge but beautifully formed with nipples that jutted upward with almost virginal audacity.

We get it—it's not supposed to be taken seriously. But it should at least be written in engaging fashion. Author Gene Cross, aka Arthur Jean Cox, obviously didn't give a shit about this as long as he still got paid. In that way he's a bit like a stripper himself. But again, at least the book was only five bucks. And there's a character named Kooky Marsh, which we think is kind of cool. Those are the sum total of the book's merits. Alas, onward and upward.
 
Oh, a final note: regarding the cover, the dancer is identified in a couple of places online as Libby Jones at the Zamboanga Club in Los Angeles. We think that's an IRE (internet replication error). While the "Libby Jones" from the source of that identification may be same person you see above and below, if you search for Libby Jones elsewhere online, the many images which are definitively labeled as her are a different person. We may investigate in more detail a little later.
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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
July 24
1915—Ship Capsizes on Lake Michigan
During an outing arranged by Western Electric Co. for its employees and their families, the passenger ship Eastland capsizes in Lake Michigan due to unequal weight distribution. 844 people die, including all the members of 22 different families.
1980—Peter Sellers Dies
British movie star Peter Sellers, whose roles in Dr. Strangelove, Being There and the Pink Panther films established him as the greatest comedic actor of his generation, dies of a heart attack at age fifty-four.
July 23
1984—Miss America Resigns
Vanessa Williams, who had been crowned Miss America and was the first African American woman to win the prize, resigns her title after Penthouse magazine purchases and slates for publication a series of lesbian-themed nudes Williams had posed for when she was younger. After resigning she files a $500 million lawsuit against Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione but later drops the suit.
July 22
1992—Cocaine Baron Escapes Prison
Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, imprisoned leader of the Medellin drug cartel, escapes from a posh Colombian jail known as La Catedral after he learns authorities intend to move him to a real prison. His taste of freedom doesn't last—he's killed in a shootout a year-and-a-half later.
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