Vintage Pulp Feb 18 2020
MURDER MOST PECULIAR
The key to a successful assassination? Time management.


Just that quickly we have another Adam for you today. This issue is from this month in 1978, with a cover illustrating Norman G. Bailey's story, “The Assassination.” We're still trying to make sense of this take on the classic international hitman motif. If we understood it correctly, a highly skilled killer is hired for a hellishly difficult hit on a head of state in the fictional country of Damahomey. He travels by plane, boat, and train, cases the job, beds the femme fatale, pulls off the job, and returns home carrying a valise bulging with Damahomeen currency. But once back in the U.S., he finds he can't exchange this money for dollars because it went out of usage in 1930. Well, that's weird, considering everyone was using it in Damahomey. He subsequently finds that the man he assassinated was killed in 1930. So, seemingly, unbeknownst to him—or the reader—he traveled back in time and shot a guy. All without a machine or any bells and lights of any sort. We went through the tale again to see if we missed the part where he pushed a big red button marked, “Press Here To Travel Back in Time,” but nope, wasn't there. So the assassin was hired by time travelers, and somehow also time traveled through no agency of his own. Fine, we guess. Give Bailey credit for thinking outside the box. We have thirty-plus scans below, including rarities of Sharon Tate and members of the Manson Family, accompanied by Adam's take on the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders.

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Femmes Fatales Nov 12 2017
LANG SHOT
This is nothing. You should see me in a limbo contest.

June Lang was born Winifred June Vlasek in Minnesota and was on the silver screen by age fourteen, later appearing in films such as The Deadly Game and Wee Willie Winkie. She cultivated a wholesome image, but in true pulp style threw it away by marrying Johnny Roselli—a known mobster—in 1940. Maybe they bonded over the fact that they'd both changed their names—Roselli had been born Filippo Sacco. Lang divorced him in 1943 but the damage had been done, and she worked only intermittently for the rest of her career. The above image of her showing her impressive flexibility is from 1935.

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Vintage Pulp May 31 2012
A NAUGHTY WINK
Robert Harrison shows his kinky side.

Above, a Peter Driben cover for Robert Harrison’s Wink magazine published this month in 1949. Wink was pretty much identical to Harrison’s Beauty Parade, except with an element of kink. For instance, in panels 26 and 27 you’ll see the bondage themed comic strip “Sweet Gwendoline.” Pretty racy stuff for the time. See below. And see Beauty Parade here.

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Vintage Pulp Jan 29 2012
EXPERT DRIBEN
Caution: miles of dangerous curves.


Below, a small selection of Peter Driben covers featuring his trademark full-bodied beauties, which he painted for six Robert Harrison-owned imprints, 1940s and 1950s.

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Modern Pulp Mar 8 2010
DRIBEN LESSONS
It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission. Or better yet, just don't get caught.

We were out barhopping not long ago when we spotted this promo poster on the wall of one of the many joints we visited. You’ll notice most of the text is in English. That’s because Ondarra sort of markets itself to the expat Brit crowd here. Anyway, after a couple of attempts to adequately photograph the poster, we just ripped it down and departed, because hey, why not? This particular poster features the work of mid-century pin-up artist Peter Driben, who painted covers for the Robert Harrison-operated pulp mags Wink, Flirt, Beauty Parade, and others. Driben is one of the most important and prolific pulp illustrators, so we’ll be stealing—or, ahem, borrowing—some more of his work in the future. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
August 04
1944—Anne Frank Captured
After a Dutch informer tips off the Gestapo, 15-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family are captured in an Amsterdam warehouse. The Franks had first hidden there from the Nazis two years earlier, and Anne had spent much of the time writing her diary. The diary survives the war, but Anne Frank doesn't—she perishes in a Nazi prison camp.
August 03
1966—Lenny Bruce Found Dead
American comedian Lenny Bruce is found dead in the bathroom of his Hollywood Hills home. A photo taken at the scene shows him lying naked on the floor with a syringe nearby, along with other narcotics paraphernalia. The official cause of death is listed as acute morphine poisoning due to an accidental overdose.
August 02
1921—Black Sox Acquitted
After a trial lasting fourteen days, a jury finds eight Chicago White Sox baseball players not guilty of conspiring with a national gambling syndicate to throw the 1920 World Series. Despite the acquittal, newly appointed baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis expels all eight players from major league baseball in an attempt to assure the American public of the purity of the game.
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