Thursday, March 31, 2005

You Want Pulp Covers?

Check out this baby:

Hey, that's nothing. Take a look at the Russion cover:

It's usually the crime guys that come to mind when we think of the glory days of pulp, but those cheap pages were filled with a fair bit of horror too. For Black Mask, you've got Weird Tales. (Still going. I used to have an ambition to get a story in there. Probably still do, if I let myself think about it.)

Hey, here's another great horror cover:

No idea what era that one is. (It's a Polish version, so for all I know it could be from last year.) Thing about horror, the covers remained "sensational" (polite term) well after the days of pulp. Or perhaps the days of pulp lasted longer for horror. So you got things like this in 1981:

You could say I'm using the term "pulp" a bit loosely here. We don't tend to bracket Hammett and Chandler with Guy N Smith and those 70s/80s goldrush horror guys. But pulp, for me, is the churning out of cheap, hastily-written, sensational, mass-market novels written to exploit a demand. Oh, sorry - that's publishing in general.

Anyway, here's to pulp.


Anonymous said...

Here's to pulp indeed Charlie. While I was at Left Coast Crime I bought some great pulp crime (and other bits and pieces). Books such as SWAMP BRAT(Allen 'Quinn) "They fought for a man's love - the lady and the swamp girl".

Or: WALK THE DARK STREETS - William Krasner "Janice Morel - blackmailer, hostess entertainer, a lady of no virtue. Somebody wanted her dead.

Or: DRESSED TO KILL - Milton Ozaki "The car was hot and so was the blonde who drove it"

Or: SWING THE BIG EYED RABBIT - John Pleasant McCoy "an earthy novel of love and hate in the Virginia Hill Country"

All of them have the common denominator of a pneumatic, scantily clad female on the front. I get REALLY funny looks when I read them on the bus.


Charlie Williams said...

I love that "earthy" (SWING THE BIG EYED RABBIT). Does someone get buried alive or something?

Bill said...

I have a copy of SWING THE BIG-EYED RABBIT, too. But I haven't read. Maybe I should.

Duane Swierczynski said...

These are beautiful things. I like how the Graham Masterton cover is helpfully labelled "horror." Just in case the giant demon on the cover didn't clue you in.

Charlie Williams said...

I was wondering about that, Duane. I thought maybe it was normal for Polish books to have giant demons on the cover. Then I wondered if the Polish word "horror" might mean something else, like "3 for 2"...

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KMB said...

Crabs on the Rampage = best book ever. I know nothing about it but the cover. I still want it.