Vintage Pulp Feb 26 2023
PAY TO PLAY
Four thousand nine hundred... four thousand nine hundred fifty... Hmm... Make it an even five thousand, then maybe.


Above: A paticualrly nice Franco Picchioni cover for Per piacere, non toccate le signore!, written by Mark Wheeler for Edizioni MA-GA and published in 1965 as part of its Il Cerchio Rosso collection. The title means, “please don't touch the ladies.” You can get more peeks at Picchioni by clicking his keywords below.

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Vintage Pulp Nov 23 2022
STRETCHED TO THE LIMIT
New and improved Picchioni dance tights! They'll never tear a seam, even if your body does!


Italian illustrator Franco Picchioni conceived a balletic cover pose for John J. Everett's Assi allo sbaraglio. If we tried this position everything we have would split down the middle, up to and including our pride. The title of the book translates to “aces in disarray,” so we'd be suffering from asses in disarray. But speaking of stretched to the limit, let's stop with this strain of thought before it wears out completely. John J. Everett was a pseudonym, of course, but we don't know for whom, and his novel is part of Edizioni MA-GA's Il Cerchio Rosso collection, though we can't pinpoint the year. Nothing is working for us today, but we'll bend over backwards trying to find more info. 

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Vintage Pulp Oct 20 2022
READY FOR TEDDY
Gratuitous sex and Violenza.


Seems like time for another cover from Italian illustrator Franco Picchioni, so here's his always excellent work on Patrick McRoy's Violenza in nero, from 1966 for publishers Edizioni MA-GA as part of its Il Cerchio Rosso collection. Haven't we seen this pose from Picchioni before? Well, never mess with success. He even painted the same undergarment (a strapless teddy, we think). McRoy is an obvious pseudonym but we can't track down his real name. Anyone with knowledge, feel free to enlighten us. And not just about books. We're mixed up on a lot of stuff these days.

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Vintage Pulp Oct 8 2022
DIRTY RATS
Don't look at the human. He can't help you. We're taking over this town, and that means you answer to us now.


We've circled back to Italian illustrator Franco Picchioni again because we love his style, and he delivers once more on this cover for Requiem per un giornalista. Obviously, “giornalista” is Italian for “journalist,” so feel free insert your own quips about the press at this point. The book was written by Obvious Pseudonym, and it's copyright 1970 for Edizione MA-GA, a company that took cover art seriously after many other publishers had thrown in the towel. This is nice work from Picchioni. We also found a cleaner piece of the art. It isn't that different, except you get to see the always neglected Rat no. 3, who was covered by text on the final version. You can see more from Picchioni by clicking his keywords below.

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Vintage Pulp Nov 30 2017
SEASON OF THE ITCH
This ought to really blow your skirt up.


Above is an epic Italian poster for the film The Seven Year Itch, which in Italy was called Quando la moglie è in vacanza, or “when the wife is on vacation.” They probably changed the title because Italians don't understand the concept of a seven year itch. They have a seven week itch—it happens about seven weeks before the wedding. The art here is by P. Franco, aka Franco Picchioni, whose work you can find more of by clicking his keywords below. There's also a very interesting West German poster for the film here

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Vintage Pulp Feb 11 2013
TAILS OF THE CITY
Dario Argento’s Code may prove difficult for most to unravel.

Above are three excellent posters for Dario Argento’s Il gatto a nove code, aka, Cat o’ Nine Tails. Only one bears a signature—P. Franco, who in everyday life was Franco Picchioni. We suspect he painted the others as well. With posters this great, plus Argento at the helm, we had to watch the movie, but while it’s a serviceable giallo with an interesting central murder mystery, it’s nothing to write home about. But it does have Karl Malden doing a bang-up job as a blind ex-newspaperman and James Franciscus as a solid lead.

And then there’s the heavenly French creature known as Catherine Spaak. You have to work pretty hard to somehow make a love scene featuring this stunner possibly the worst ever filmed, but Argento manages to make her romp with Franciscus as erotic as watching a hardware store clerk stack two wooden planks. Want your kids to avoid premarital sex? Have them watch this scene. They won’t even have a clue what happened.

The title of the movie refers to neither a cat nor a nine-tailed whip, but rather to the many leads that need to be investigated before the mystery can be unraveled. It could also describe Argento’s struggle to weave an involving narrative. In the end, even with his stylish direction framing the story, it’s Malden that carries this movie to the finish line. Plus he has a sword cane, which is always a bonus. Many Argento fans use the term “underrated” to describe this effort. That’s a euphemism for strictly average. Il gatto a nove code premiered in Italy today in 1971.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
June 20
1967—Muhammad Ali Sentenced for Draft Evasion
Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, who was known as Cassius Clay before his conversion to Islam, is sentenced to five years in prison for refusing to serve in the military during the Vietnam War. In elucidating his opposition to serving, he uttered the now-famous phrase, “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong.”
June 19
1953—The Rosenbergs Are Executed
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted for conspiracy to commit espionage related to passing information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet spies, are executed at Sing Sing prison, in New York.
June 18
1928—Earhart Crosses Atlantic Ocean
American aviator Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean, riding as a passenger in a plane piloted by Wilmer Stutz and maintained by Lou Gordon. Earhart would four years later go on to complete a trans-Atlantic flight as a pilot, leaving from Newfoundland and landing in Ireland, accomplishing the feat solo without a co-pilot or mechanic.
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