Vintage Pulp Aug 1 2023
You know, you spend a lot of time looking in the mirror considering I'm dating you for your money.

Above: an uncredited cover of a femme fatale and her preening man painted for Norman Bligh's 1950 novel Waterfront Hotel, about a woman named Brenda Seton who lives in a Maine cannery town and whose only ambition is to marry rich and move from the Flats to the Hill. Or perhaps not even marry. The owner of the cannery wants her for a mistress and is willing to pay in cash, house, and stock. Brenda might just accept the offer if she can't have her true love, local banker Bob Blaine, but because she's grasping, manipulative, and fake you know her plan will go pear-shaped. Just as crime doesn't usually pay in 1950s novels, neither does sex. It often—as in this case—leads to retribution from male characters via predictable means.

But there's one aspect of the book that isn't predictable—it has a couple of bizarre fights. Brenda's main rival Rhoda, who can throw knives with deadly effect, attacks Brenda, strips her naked, and makes her walk home through a driving rainstorm. Brenda gets her revenge during a fight in the cannery in which she disarms Rhoda, pins her prone, and slices her from neck to ass with her own knife. Cannery women—they'll cut a bitch. Is the book good? No. We think only a man would write a woman character who's forgiving about being raped, which happens to poor Brenda. Also, we never understood why her preferred epithet, uttered at least twenty times, was: Let him die! But we'll say this—Bligh conceived something a bit unusual here.

Intl. Notebook Jan 6 2022
West German magazine tears down the wall.

German isn't one of our languages, but who needs to read it when you have a magazine with a red and purple motif that's pure eye candy? Every page of this issue of the pop culture magazine Bravo says yum. It hit newsstands today in 1957 and is filled with interesting and rare starfotos of celebs like Romy Schneider, Horst Buchholz, Clark Gable, Karin Dor, Mamie Van Doren, Ursula Andress, Marina Vlady, Corinne Calvet, jazzists Oscar Peterson and Duke Ellington, and many others. This was an excellent find.

We perused other issues of Bravo and it seemed to us—more so in those examples than this one—that it was a gay interest publication. After a scan around some German sites for confirmation we found that it was as we thought. The magazine's gay themes were subtle, but they were there, and at one blog the writer said that surviving as a gay youth in West Berlin during the 1960s, for him, would have been impossible without Bravo. We will have more from this barrier smashing publication later. Thirty-five panels below.

Femmes Fatales Feb 5 2021
Why go out for coffee when there's a warm Capucine already waiting?

In this photo French model-turned-actress Capucine looks as relaxed as a lounging cat, which is appropriate for a woman whose film roles included The Pink Panther, Trail of the Pink Panther, Curse of the Pink Panther, Jaguar Lives!, What's New Pussycat, The Lion, and Bernard and the Lion. Just to break things up she also was in Fellini – Satyricon. Yet another one name star from the mid-century period, she was born Germaine Lefebvre but early in her modeling career took the name of a type of flower. After some years in fashion, during which she worked for Givenchy and Christian Dior, the silver screen beckoned and the results were a success. This shot is from 1962.


Vintage Pulp Aug 5 2016
Someone in the sleeping compartment isn't going to wake up.

Film noir teaches us that anyone can get in too deep, even a railroad engineer. In Human Desire, Fritz Lang's retelling of Emile Zola's 1890 novel La Bête humaine, Glenn Ford finds himself trapped between lust for Gloria Grahame and reluctance to kill to have her. He's already helped her cover up another killing and gotten in the middle of blackmail plot, but every man has his limits. This is flawed but canonical noir, with a cocky Ford, a quirky Grahame, a brutish Broderick Crawford, and Kathleen Case playing the loyal gal pal, who for our money is much more alluring than Grahame. Ford figures that out too, eventually. Too bad his realization is sandwiched between two murders on his train. Human Desire premiered today in 1954.


Vintage Pulp Oct 15 2009
One thing you can always count on is guys screwing everything up.
What would the world really be like without men? Have you ever honestly wondered? When we saw this cover for Charles Eric Maine’s World without Men we seriously pondered the question.
1: First, we’re talking about a cleaner world. Men piss everywhere. We leak like cheap faucets. That may be because of all the beer we drink, so right there, big change number two…
2: There would be no beer.
3: And on a related note, the high-five would never have been invented. That’s a given. Men high five when drinking, and the thing we high five most about is sports. Sports would still take place, of course—there would be ice skating and ice dancing, gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics, and there might even be tennis—but esoteric male innovations like mixed martial arts and alcohol funnycar drag racing wouldn’t exist. And arguably the greatest quantum leap in sporting history—the slam dunk—would never have come to pass. So there would be nothing to high five about anyway.
4: Teabagging would never have been invented. We aren’t going to defend the practice. It wasn’t one of our finer moments. However…
5: There would be infinitely more varieties of tea. And...
6: There would be infinitely more varieties of soap and lotion.
7: And speaking of skin care, waxing would not have been invented. The only reason it came about in the first place was because of the Brazilian bikini, and that wouldn’t exist because Brazil itself wouldn’t exist. Trust us, we’ve been there, and a place that geared toward male pleasure could not have come into being at all if women had anything to say about it. Instead, that entire region would be a day spa.
8: Regarding the Brazilian bikini, fashion in general would be totally different. We don’t know in what way. Perhaps women would be covered in clothing from head to toe, but we like to think that, freed from leering male eyes, they wouldn’t wear clothes at all. Scientists say humans invented clothes as insulation against the cold, but we think they were invented about ten minutes after early man first overheard early woman discussing penis sizes.

9: War, genocide, corruption, and murder would be seriously curtailed. Certainly women have been complicit in all these atrocities, but it was mainly because men were signing the paychecks. Take men out of the picture and all this stuff decreases significantly.

10: Without the aforementioned, there would definitely be no pulp. Pulp is usually violent, and often sexist, so it just wouldn’t be. That means no horror movies, no action movies, no detective fiction, and definitely no porn. The upside of this pulpless world is that it would be more nurturing, healthy and fulfilling. But on the downside, no pulp means no Pulp Intl., and then you’d have to find something useful to do with the time you currently spend here. So it’s a good thing the world is screwed. High five!


History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
February 20
1935—Caroline Mikkelsen Reaches Antarctica
Norwegian explorer Caroline Mikkelsen, accompanying her husband Captain Klarius Mikkelsen on a maritime expedition, makes landfall at Vestfold Hills and becomes the first woman to set foot in Antarctica. Today, a mountain overlooking the southern extremity of Prydz Bay is named for her.
1972—Walter Winchell Dies
American newspaper and radio commentator Walter Winchell, who invented the gossip column while working at the New York Evening Graphic, dies of cancer. In his heyday from 1930 to the 1950s, his newspaper column was syndicated in over 2,000 newspapers worldwide, he was read by 50 million people a day, and his Sunday night radio broadcast was heard by another 20 million people.
February 19
1976—Gerald Ford Rescinds Executive Order 9066
U.S. President Gerald R. Ford signs Proclamation 4417, which belatedly rescinds Executive Order 9066. That Order, signed in 1942 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, established "War Relocation Camps" for Japanese-American citizens living in the U.S. Eventually, 120,000 are locked up without evidence, due process, or the possibility of appeal, for the duration of World War II.
February 18
1954—First Church of Scientology Established
The first Scientology church, based on the writings of science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, is established in Los Angeles, California. Since then, the city has become home to the largest concentration of Scientologists in the world, and its ranks include high-profile adherents such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
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