The second of two stunningly designed volumes offering an extensive overview of the publishing phenomenon known as “pulps”—the thousands of paperback serials, novels and anthologies which became a mainstay of the book trade from the turn of the century up to the late 1950s. The American public’s fascination with murder, mayhem, vice, twisted sex, adventure, fantasy and science fiction made best-sellers out of authors such as James M. Cain, Jim Thompson, Charles Willeford, Dashiell Hammett, Sax Rohmer and scores of lesser-known but equally compelling writers [including some now-famous ones, such as William Burroughs, who wrote under assumed names), whose works became the prime inspiration for the film noirs and B pictures made in both the United States and Europe. Also documented are the astonishing cover illustrations of the period, most of which were eye-poppingly gorgeous and chock-full of lurid detail, despite the fact that pulps were meant to be read once and then thrown into the dumpster [hence the term “pulps”]. The author profiles the cover artists, mostly unheralded until now, and accords them a respect that is long overdue.
Paperback: 108 pages