Category Archives: Pulp Corner
I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for visual uniformity in a series. On my shelf if the books have matching spines it makes me a very happy man. The covers though are just as important. In the early 1990’s the company publishing company Vintage Crime/Black Lizard rereleased three classic Dashiell Hammett novels, The Thin Man, The Maltese Falcon and Red Harvest with simplistically pulpy and elegant covers.
Debbie Glasserman is credited with the book design in these editions, but she’s not responsible for the actual art as much as she is the design aesthetic. The top portion of the Thin Man cover can be credited to early 1900’s artist J.C. Leyendecker for a Fatima cigarette campaign. Which might be the single classiest cigarette ad that I’ve ever seen.
If you have any information on the the rest of these covers drop me a line and let me know.
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The Pulp Corner returns! I apologize for its (and my) absence but I recently bought a house and it turns out stripping the walls of the Evil Lair isn’t as simple as one may think. Anyway, the Silver Screen Heroes art series has been making the rounds lately and it’s one that immediately caught my eye. Artist Joe Phillips has taken blockbuster comic book movies as well as imagined ones and reenvisioned them as period films of yesteryear. He also designed retro styled movie posters and cast them with the era appropriate actors. It’s a lot of things I love all wrapped into one package.
Growing up as a child of the late 80’s/early 90’s my household was living in a George Lucas haze. My older brother and I couldn’t get enough Star Wars and Indiana Jones. In my mind heroes didn’t come much greater than Henry Jones Jr.
So when I started to think about what kind of pulp sensibility infiltrated my brain at such a young age it only made sense that I linked it to Indiana Jones. That movie series intentionally had all the hallmarks of what pulp is and what it does. I just left it at that for a long time believing that to be the only catalyst for my love of the genre. It wasn’t until the other day though that that all that changed.
Come back in time with me to 1990, will you?
Legendary artist Jim Steranko did 3 issues of Captain America in 1969 directly coming off his groundbreaking run on Nick Fury. I’ve been waiting a long time to read this, it may only be 3 issues but there’s criminally little comic book output from Steranko and it’s worth pouring over. Stan Lee is on scripts here and the storylines are in step with his silver age zaniness but when the art is this good it doesn’t matter.
So what was I in for?
I’ve been the Evil Geeks curator for all things pulp. It’s a genre that I find unwaveringly fascinating. I think what I like the most about it is the adventure element of that era. Jim Steranko’s Raiders Of The Lost Ark concept art sums up visually what it is about it that makes me love it so much. When I first stumbled upon the men’s adventure magazines of the 1950’s and 60’s it was like finding a time capsule full of everything that made the genre great.
The magazine covers are full of absurd art with many reoccurring themes. Rugged men battling animals, scantily clad women captured and ready to be sacrificed deep in the jungle, nazi mad men torturing anyone that can get their hands on, aloof cowboys, war scenes etc. It’s all a bit gonzo in the best possible way. The headlines and the titles of the magazines are another thing you can marvel at. Many of these publications are incredibly sexist and obviously targeted for the men of the era so you certainly have to take it all with a grain of salt.
It has since become a bit of a hobby for me to track down these covers. I just find them endlessly entertaining and the amount that exist is staggering. So strap yourself in and get ready to go back in time as I share some of my favorites with you.
The Rocketeer is a character who has done a good job worming its way into the American consciousness over the last 30 or so years, without really doing much. I had loved the 1991 Disney movie when I was a kid, but when I watched it as an adult I felt strangely let down. IDW eventually acquired the rights to the character and put out all of the different parts that make up Dave Stevens main story and released them as a collection. It was time for me to finally investigate the hype.