Vintage Pulp Feb 9 2014
This dog goes Harf Harf.

We like the work of French illustrator F. Harf, but he can be hit and miss and above you see one of his less successful covers, for Le bonheur difficile. What seems to have been difficile here was painting a dog. This is surely the world’s least convincing pooch. If it’s a dog at all. It could be a naked, neutered, armless old man. If you want to see a prettier Harf cover check here. Le bonheur difficile was published by Éditions de la Mode Nationale S.E.P.I.A. as part of their Collection Fama, and it was written by Lidone, who was in reality Marie-Madeleine Lavergne. She wrote quite a few books as Lidone, Magda Contino, Maria Mario, and Jean Namur during her thirty-year career, primarily in the romance genre. This one, also a romance, but hopefully not involving the dog faced man, is from 1956.

Vintage Pulp Nov 17 2011
Don’t it make her brown eyes blue.

We said yesterday that we had located a few more Harf pieces, and here’s the best of the lot, in our opinion, the cover for Louise Toudet’s romance Bleu sur fond noir, which would translate to something like “blue on black background.” It was published in 1956 by S.E.P.I.A. for the Fama series. This is the only book that Toudet ever wrote, according to our research, but we have a lot more great Harf art that we’ll share down the line. 


Vintage Pulp Nov 16 2011
Save the last dance for her.

Above is a really nice cover for Marylise Bessières’ 1954 pulp romance Kari la Hungara, which was number 58 in the Fama series published by Société d’Edition Publications et Industries Annexes, aka S.E.P.I.A. Bessières wrote five or six books of this type in the early 1950s, but seems to have had no output after 1954—at least not under that name. The cover is by someone who went only by F. Harf. These French artists and their initials. It would be so much easier to research them if they signed their full names, but c’est la vie. We know nothing about Harf right now, but we’re digging. In the meantime, we found some other excellent pieces from this person we’ll be sharing in a bit, so keep an eye out for those. 


History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
July 10
1940—The Battle of Britain Begins
The German Air Force, aka the Luftwaffe, attacks shipping convoys off the coast of England, touching off what Prime Minister Winston Churchill describes as The Battle of Britain.
July 09
1948—Paige Takes Mound in the Majors
Satchel Paige, considered at the time the greatest of Negro League pitchers, makes his Major League debut for the Cleveland Indians at the age of 42. His career in the majors is short because of his age, but even so, as time passes, he is recognized by baseball experts as one of the great pitchers of all time.
July 08
1965—Biggs Escapes the Big House
Ronald Biggs, a member of the gang that carried out the Great Train Robbery in 1963, escapes from Wandsworth Prison by scaling a 30-foot wall with three other prisoners, using a ladder thrown in from the outside. Biggs remains at large for nearly forty years.
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