Vintage Pulp Jun 11 2022
ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE
Obviously the poor guy tripped and fell, breaking every bone in his body and bashing his brains out. Maybe someone up there saw it.


The Case of Spiv's Secret by Anthony Parsons was an entry in the Sexton Blake Library series, and came in 1950 from British publishing company Amalgamated Press. The Sexton Blake Library is what was known as a story paper, basically a magazine with illustrations, and this one appeared two to four times a month, starting all the way back in 1915 and continuing until 1968, which is an amazing run. We had to look up the word “spiv”—with serious trepidation. But it turned out to be relatively innocuous. A spiv can be a flashy dresser, but its other definition—which we suspect is Parsons' usage here—is a sort of petty or low-class criminal. The artist on this is Eric Parker. You can see a few more Sexton Blake titles here, here, and here.

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Vintage Pulp Feb 5 2018
RUNNING FOR CONGRESS
“Think I'll walk to work,” I said. “The weather is nice and the Senate isn't far,” I said. “Maybe I'll chat with a few constituents,” I said...

Above, an entry in the long running set of thrillers and mysteries published by Amalgamated Press, Ltd. under the umbrella of The Sexton Blake Library between 1930 and 1960. This one by John Drummond is number 240, appeared in bookstores in 1950, and illustrates (to us at least) the danger involved when a politician has the momentary delusion he is anything more than the sock puppet of billionaires and corporations. One way or another this will be the last time he doesn't take his armored limousine. 

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Vintage Pulp Aug 21 2017
HELPING HANDS
99% of the time having backwards arms is terrible. But being able to do this brings a smile to my face.


This weird cover caught our eye for obvious reasons. And as guys who have to help our girlfriends get their necklaces on nearly every day, we sometimes wonder if they'd trade their normal arms for a pair of backwards ones. With backwards arms the girls could also give themselves back rubs, which seems to be one of our primary functions. Seriously. One of our girlfriends literally walks in the room pointing at her own lats, which is semaphore for “back rub time.” Anyway, British author Hugh Clevely, who also wrote as Tod Claymore, produced this entry in the Sexton Blake Library, and the eponymous Blake—in case you aren't familiar with him—is basically an ingenious sleuth patterned after Sherlock Holmes, but with a tendency toward duelling to deal with his enemies. The character was immensely popular and eventually appeared on stage, radio, on television, and in movies. The Strange Affair of the Widow's Diamond's was published in 1955. 

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Vintage Pulp Feb 9 2016
PACKING HEAT
The gun? Sorry to say that’s so I can deal with about 200 pounds of excess baggage I don’t want on this trip.


The Blonde and the Boodle, from Sexton Blake Library, entry number 394, is a labyrinthine tale by British author Jack Trevor Story of thwarted love and a thwarted bank heist. Basically, girl marries a crook, girl is influenced to rob bank, girl loses loot, girl decides husband is louse, girl looks for replacement, girl selects someone even worse than her first choice.

All very interesting, but what we really wanted to do was share the amazing art, which is by Fernando Carcupino, a man so respected as an artist he was knighted. Really—in 1983 he was made a Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. That takes talent. Sexton Blake books have a vertical cover banner, but we’ve cropped that so you can see Carcupino’s work a bit more closely. For the purists among you we've uploaded the full cover as well. We’ll try to dig up more examples of this genius’s output later. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
December 10
1935—Downtown Athletic Club Awards First Trophy
The Downtown Athletic Club in New York City awards its first trophy for athletic achievement to University of Chicago halfback Jay Berwanger. The prize is later renamed the Heisman Trophy, and becomes the most prestigious award in college athletics.
1968—Japan's Biggest Heist Occurs
300 million yen is stolen from four employees of the Nihon Shintaku Ginko bank in Tokyo when a man dressed as a police officer blocks traffic due to a bomb threat, makes them exit their bank car while he checks it for a bomb, and then drives away in it. Under Japanese statute of limitations laws, the thief could come forward today with no repercussions, but nobody has ever taken credit for the crime.
December 09
1965—UFO Reported by Thousands of Witnesses
A large, brilliant fireball is seen by thousands in at least six U.S. states and Ontario, Canada as it streaks across the sky, reportedly dropping hot metal debris, starting grass fires, and causing sonic booms. It is generally assumed and reported by the press to be a meteor, however some witnesses claim to have approached the fallen object and seen an alien craft.
December 08
1980—John Lennon Killed
Ex-Beatle John Lennon is shot four times in the back and killed by Mark David Chapman in front of The Dakota apartment building in New York City. Chapman had been stalking Lennon since October, and earlier that evening Lennon had autographed a copy of his album Double Fantasy for him.
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