Thursday, January 12, 2012

More Great Vintage Pulp Detective Covers

These wonderfully lurid magazine covers are definitely eye-catching. The vintage artwork is bright, splashy and full of over the top dramatic poses and sinister doings. Occasionally too, you spot a well known name - an author who began with these pulps then went on to bigger and better things - Dime Detective has a story by Raymond Chandler.

To view even more covers and pick up all sorts of info regarding the collecting or just the viewing of these vintage treasures, check out the huge collection at  Pulp Gallery link.

The sources for these covers are various and sundry and if anyone wants me to remove a cover from my post for whatever proprietary reason, I will immediately do so.


Question: What two popular movies from the fifties featured plots having to do with the creation of pulp magazine covers? Hint: one starred a famous comedy duo and the other starred a famed comedian with red hair.

No prizes, but the satisfaction of having answered the question correctly shouldn't be underestimated.


Les got one right: ARTISTS AND MODELS starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

The second was THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY starring Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo. 


  1. I will hazard my guesses about the movies:

    Ship Ahoy (1942) w/ Red Skelton

    Who Done It? (1942) w/ Abbott & Costello
    Though I know it's primarily about a radio mystery show maybe there was something about a pulp magazine I forgot.

    Love these. I used to collect some of these until the prices became outrageous. You can still find Detective Story magazine for reasonable prices - one of the few that has a lot of great authors who never wrote novels so it's well worth investigating them. But Dime Detective, Spicy, and the early Black Mask magazines in colectible condition generally start at $60 and only go up from there. That put an end to my small bit of collecting pulps. But I do I like that so many of the Doc Savage and Shadow magazines have been reprinted and now are available in places like Half Price Books for really cheap prices.

  2. John I can imagine a reading room or small library or even a bathroom papered with copies of these covers. It would be a lot of fun to live with. :)

    You missed the answers to the question though. I'll reveal the correct answers tomorrow. Unless someone gets them first.

  3. Well, I know one of them, I think - "Artists and Models," with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. I'm stumped on the other one, though - I can only think of three red-headed comedians, Red Buttons, Red Skelton and Lucille Ball - and I don't know if any was involved in a movie that meets your criteria. Grr.

  4. You got one, Les. Congrats! I haven't seen that film in ages but I always remeber the studio with the models in strange costumes and the artists. Then there was a big dance. Dorothy Malone and Shirley MacLaine were the models. Martin and Lewis were the artists, well Martin was, I don't remember what Jerry Lewis did.

  5. According to IMDB (from whom I get most of my comedy material ;-), Lewis played Martin's roommate, Eugene, whose nightmares were the basis for Martin's drawing a successful comic book.

  6. Thanks, Les! It was a fun movie.

  7. Wouldn't you just love to go back in a time machine and buy up old magazines and comic books?

    As an illustrator who did a lot of work pre-computer, I appreciate the hand-lettered titles of all these publications. It wasn't enough just to paint the figures — one had to know a thing or two about typography, as well!

  8. Yvette,

    I have read Chandler's short story, "The King in Yellow" that is listed on the cover. It is an excellent story.

    Other names that are familiar:

    Erle Stanley Gardner is listed in _All Detectives_ Think he had some stories about a lawyer, didn't he? [G]

    Another name that jumped out and surprised me is Murray Leinster on the Black Bat cover. I know him as an SF writer and didn't know he wrote mysteries also. Of course, many of them wrote for various pulps--SF, mysteries, and maybe even westerns.

  9. Nice vintage pulp covers, Yvette, though I'm still trying to figure out the answers to the questions.

  10. Mark: Ah, the good old days. Yes, I would definitely bring back tons of covers if I traveled back in time. It would be a gold rush for me. :)

    These were fabulous artists.

  11. Fred, many of them wrote incognito. :)

    I did see the Earl Stanley Gardner name but somehow forgot to mention it.

    Whenever I see one of these covers I like to look for any names I might be familiar with. Fun.

  12. Prashant: I'll have the answers later today. Promise. :)

    Unless someone gets it first.

  13. Yvette, I almost typed Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in my previous comment but didn't think they came together until the 1960s!

  14. Oh they were together earlier than that. For sure. They never made any great movies, but ARTISTS AND MODELS is one of the more enjoyable.


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