Vintage Pulp Apr 11 2024
A HELPING HANDSCHOEN
Eight! Nine! Nine and a half! Nine and five-eighths! Get up! I'm bought off but I can't be obvious! You think I'm a Supreme Court justice or something?


This Dutch paperback cover was painted by an unknown, but we love it. It fronts Judson P. Philips' De gouden handscheon. “Handschoen” is a pretty easy translation if you think literally—handshoe. But what the hell is a handshoe? *checking internet* In Dutch it means “glove.” Makes perfect sense. What do they call a condom? *checking internet* Sadly, it isn't “dickshoe.” Anyway, Philips was a pseudonym for Hugh Pentecost, and this was published by Uitgeverij de Combinatie in 1948.

Update: Same day update, actually, which should give you an idea how much time we spend poking around for information. Turns out the above cover was adapted from a 1936 issue of the pulp magazine Argosy. The art is signed by John A. Coughlin. Also note that Judson P. Philips has a story in the issue. That leads to the reasonable conclusion that De gouden handschoen is a Dutch translation of that story typeset to paperback length.
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Vintage Pulp Mar 23 2024
JOAN THE CLUB
A cover collection to help Bofill your day.


Below: a small set from Spanish artist Joan Beltrán Bofill, who signed his work as “Noiquet,” here working for a pair of Rotterdam based publishers illustrating novels by Edward Multon, who was an alter ego of Dutch author Herman Nicolaas van der Voort. These are from 1967 and 1968.

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Vintage Pulp Mar 1 2024
HIGHER INTELLIGENCE
How does an angel get its wings? Via cleverly repurposed cover art.


European and Australian publishers made a habit of reusing U.S. paperback art, and you see another example above. The top piece for John D. MacDonald's 1963 novel On the Run received a remix on the front of 1968's Een “kick” voor Erica, which is a translation by Dutch publishers Combinatie of Stephen Marlowe's 1967 novel Drumbeat — Erica. It's hard to improve on a McGinnis, but we think the fantasy-like transformation and giant wings—dare we say?—elevate cover number one to something even nicer. We found both on Flickr, so thanks to those two uploaders. 

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Musiquarium Jan 4 2024
L'GRECO
La Muse de l’existentialisme et Miles.

This striking music brochure promo art for French singer Juliette Gréco and Disques Fontana (a subsidiary of the Dutch label Philips Records) was created by the famous illustrator O’Kley in 1956. The art was reused for record covers, as you see below.

Gréco, an actress as well as singer, was a fixture in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area of Paris, and her acquaintanceships with such figures as Jean-Paul Sartre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty earned her the nickname La Muse de l’existentialisme—the existentialists’ muse. She was also, according to Miles Davis, one of the great loves of his life, and the feeling was
reciprocated
, so that wins major points right there because Miles was the bomb.

Moving on to the art, O’Kley was a pseudonym for Nantes-born Pierre Gilardeau, the man behind some of the most collectable Folies Bergère posters. He also illustrated many book covers and movie posters, and after a long career died in 2007. We’ve seen some good examples of his art, so we’ll try to get back to him a bit later—but we make no guarantees. You can see another Fontana post here.

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Vintage Pulp Nov 29 2023
FORMAL PROPOSITION
She can't resist a man in a tuxedo.

Above is another cover from J.H. Moriën for Amsterdam based publishers Uitgeverij Orion, this time fronting Danny slaat geld uit de vrouwen by Loren Beauchamp, aka Robert Silverberg. We're pretty sure this is a translation of his 1959 novel Another Love, Another Night. The title in Dutch means, “Danny beats women out of money,” which we assume refers to a beating of the grifter variety rather than anything physical. Moriën's art, with its beautiful color palette and sheet-wrapped femme fatale, is sublime. Click his keywords below to see more. 

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Vintage Pulp Oct 10 2023
EYES OF A SHOOTER
Of course I had a mental health screening before buying my gun. And I uh... got a perfect score.

We have a bit of Dutch pulp today, Das Schwarze Phantom by Francis Hobart, published in 1959 by Constantin-Verlag, with uncredited art of a crazy-eyed femme fatale pulling from her purse the last thing any person who's cognitively all there wants to see. Let's see if we're all there: Person, woman, man, camera, TV. Yup—we're golden! This cover was a Flickr find, which we lightly cleaned. Thanks to the original uploader. 

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Vintage Pulp Sep 25 2023
GATOR BAIT
Listen, humans are a delicacy. They don't taste very good, but eating them is about status.


We wanted to revisit Dutch illustrator Piet Marée, whose style is so unusual it's very much worth another look. There's nothing biographical out there about him, as far as we can find. But we love his work. Een boodschap aan Garcia, which means, “a message to Garcia,” was written by Luc Willink, aka Lucas Willink, aka Clifford Semper, and published by Hague based Anker-Boekenclubin in 1950. How it relates to Elbert Hubbard's dramatized 1916 essay of the same name (which resulted in a 1936 Barbara Stanwyck movie) is unknown to us. We can tell you it's the same story—U.S. soldier Andrew S. Rowan carries a secret message from President William McKinley to Calixto García, a rebel hiding in the mountains of Cuba, before the Spanish American War. But the point here is Marée's art. We love it. We'll try to dig up more from him to share later. 

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Vintage Pulp Jan 8 2023
FEMINIST FATALE
She can Rigg a solution to any problem.

British actress Diana Rigg stars on this Flickr sourced cover of 1968's Lijken in Actie, which was a Dutch translation of John Garforth's The Laugh was on Lazarus, a novel derived from Rigg's hit television show The Avengers. She played the indomitable Emma Peel, who kicked ass with great counterculture style while partnered with the older and more conservative Patrick Macnee. The lettering that says De Wrekers, is not the title. That translates literally as “the avengers,” so it's just letting book buyers know they're looking at an adaptation of the show. The title is at the bottom.

This was the second of four Avengers novels by Garforth. As befits a show that had grown more fantastical each year, the story here deals with people being raised from the dead for nefarious purposes. You'll notice that the cover is signed. Dick Bruna is attributed with its creation, because by 1968 we've entered the age where graphic design is occasionally being considered creditable art. The most artful part of this is actually his signature, but okay, nice work. It's hard to go wrong when you start with an unbeatable photo of one of the most popular television spies of the era.
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Vintage Pulp Dec 10 2022
DARK SCHADUW
Now is de Winter of her discontent.


We wanted to bring back Dutch illustrator J. H. Moriën, so above you see a signed cover for Jan de Winter's 1960 novel Schaduw over Scheveningen, published by Nederlandsche Keurboekerij for its S.O.S. series. The main reason we're revisiting Moriën is because there's confusion about his identity. The Amsterdam-based auction site Catawiki, which we figure is pretty well informed, tells us this signature belongs to a J.H. Moriën, who was active during the 1920s and 1930s, then again during the 1950s and 1960s. He was born around the turn of the century, so he'd have been working into his sixties, which was common for illustrators.
 
But we've now seen some Dutch covers signed Moriën E. Beck, and though the signatures on those are slightly different, they're on Nederlandsche Keurboekerij S.O.S. editions from the same period, leaving little doubt it's the same person. But is his name J.H. Moriën or Moriën E. Beck? Hell, if the Dutch can't agree, what can we possibly say? American illustrator Ernest Chiriacka signed some of his work as Darcy, so maybe it's a similar situation. The answer will probably present itself in time. Until then, you can see two more brilliant Moriëns here and here.

Edit: What did we tell you? We got an e-mail from Bert:

I am reacting to your article about the book covers of J.H. Morien. I am preparing an article about his work and so I discovered that he had an office in the fifties in Amsterdam where he worked together with C. Beck, Damrak 45. They were specialized in commercials and advertising, but they also worked together for book covers (C. Beck the lettering?). I hope you can use this information.

Yup, we can use the information alright, Bert. And an immense thanks to you for taking the time to write.

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Vintage Pulp Dec 6 2022
TELEPHONE LINE
Only losers wait their turn.


Here's an unusual Dutch cover that caught our eye for Martin Porlock's Het Mysterie van de Telefooncel—“the mystery of the phone booth”—published in 1949, with art by Piet Marée. The two characters here sort of look like they're dancing, but they're fighting, probably over which one cut in line for the phone booth (the Dutch are famously bad at queueing). Anyway, this is beautiful work. We can't find more info about Marée, but we'll keep digging, as always. Martin Porlock was a pseudonym used by Philip MacDonald, and the book is a translation of his 1932 novel Mystery in Kensington Gore, which is also known as Escape

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Next Page
History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 12
1945—Franklin Roosevelt Dies
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies of a cerebral hemorrhage while sitting for a portrait in the White House. After a White House funeral on April 14, Roosevelt's body is transported by train to his hometown of Hyde Park, New York, and on April 15 he is buried in the rose garden of the Roosevelt family home.
April 11
1916—Richard Harding Davis Dies
American journalist, playwright, and author Richard Harding Davis dies of a heart attack at home in Philadelphia. Not widely known now, Davis was one of the most important and influential war correspondents ever, establishing his reputation by reporting on the Spanish-American War, the Second Boer War, and World War I, as well as his general travels to exotic lands.
April 10
1919—Zapata Is Killed
In Mexico, revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata is shot dead by government forces in the state of Morelos, after a carefully planned ambush. Following the killing, Zapata's revolutionary movement and his Liberation Army of the South slowly fall apart, but his political influence lasts in Mexico to the present day.
1925—Great Gatsby Is Published
F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby is published in New York City by Charles Scribner's Sons. Though Gatsby is Fitzgerald's best known book today, it was not a success upon publication, and at the time of his death in 1940, Fitzgerald was mostly forgotten as a writer and considered himself to be a failure.
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