Category Archives: Pulp Fiction Thursday

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Robert McGinnis Meets Perry Mason

I wrote about artist Robert McGinnis at the end of April in a Saturday post. Here are two covers he did for Perry Mason novels. The feline Della Street approves.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Made Up To Kill

This cover gives an entirely new meaning to the Britism green fingers. That’s green thumb to us Yanks. I have the opposite talent, a black thumb. I can kill a plant just by being within hailing distance. So it goes.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Coffin For A Cutie

It’s weirdo title time here at First Draft. A pin up girl on a coffin? Oy, just oy.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Maquis

It’s time for a rule bending PFT. Maquis by George Millar is not fiction. The cover, however, is as pulpy as all get out. I wanted to post something about the French resistance this week in the wake of my Vichy On The Potomac post. This is it.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Crime On My Hands

I’m not sure if Carl G. Hoges spun a “sensational suspense story” but the cover art and tagline are both swell.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Eunuch Of Stamboul

This post was inspired by the Pulp Librarian’s Twitter feed. I’d never heard of The Eunuch Of Stamboul before. It turns out to have been a wildly successful thriller that has been reprinted many times hence all the swell covers below.

That was a hardback edition. Let’s move on to the paperbacks but first it’s time to don a fez:

The book was made into a movie in 1936. They changed the title and made it less eunuch:

I’ve never seen the movie but I’m interested because I love James Mason and Valerie Hobson. I couldn’t find a trailer but one cover has given me a benign earworm. Here it is:

 

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Murder In The Navy

This week’s book cover is unexceptional with one, uh, exception: the blurb. The rave comes from Evan Hunter one of whose pen names just happened to be Richard Marsten. That’s right, he wrote a superb blurb for his own novel.

Hunter had many pen names, the best known of which was Ed McBain. In fact, Evan Hunter was a pen name that morphed into a legal name when he was 26.  He was born Salvatore Albert Lombino. I guess he always wanted to be a WASP.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Kiss Me, Deadly

There was an unexpectedly poignant moment in the last episode of Feud: Bette and Joan. Robert Aldrich (Alfred Molina) asked Jack Warner (Stanley Tucci) if he could be a great director. Warner’s response was NO. In fact, Aldrich was an outstanding genre film director who wanted to follow in the footsteps of Robert Wise and Anthony Mann and direct “prestige” pictures. The irony is that neither Wise nor Mann’s films were as good or distinctive when they left the world of genre films.

Genre films were not respected in 1962 when Feud: Joan and Bette is set. Aldrich continued to make thrillers, action movies, and westerns, which were more entertaining than many bloated big budget prestige pictures of his time.

The best movie Aldrich ever made was based on Mickey Spillane’s Kiss Me, Deadly. Spillane was a legendarily lowbrow writer but he was a good storyteller: Kiss Me, Deadly is his masterpiece. Aldrich’s  film adaptation of it is now regarded as one of the best films of the 1950’s. What’s not to love about Mike Fucking Hammer?

It’s time for a pictorial look, PFT-style, at Kiss Me, Deadly. We begin with two paperback editions of the book:

Robert Aldrich elevated Spillane’s gritty tale but it was a low-budget film without movie stars. Aldrich once mused that it would have been better with William Holden as Mike Hammer. My reply: most movies in that era would have been better with Bill Holden in the lead. He was *that* good. Ralph Meeker, however, gave the performance of a lifetime in Kiss Me, Deadly.

Kiss Me, Deadly may have come from a lowbrow crime fiction writer but Aldrich elevated the material enough for it to be released as a part of the Criterion Collection. It doesn’t get snootier or film buffier than that:

The movie has been remade but stick to the 1955 original. Here’s the trailer:

 

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Here’s Blood In Your Eye

I know nothing about Manning Long’s work but I know a good title when I see one.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Terror Tales

It’s pulp magazine time here at First Draft. Terror Tales specialized in damsels in pulp distress covers. Here are two good examples:

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Rodent Mutation

A friend of mine has a vexatious critter in her attic. I hope it’s not one of these suckers:

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Eye Of Karnak

Apologies for not posting more yesterday. My Ash Wednesday penance has taken the form of a vile stomach flu so it’s hard for me to sit up and write.

This week’s cover has nothing to do with the Johnny Carson character but apparently has something to do with belly dancing. Why? I’ll never know.

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Pulp Fiction Thursday: Carnival Honey

It’s Muses Thursday here in New Orleans and half the known universe is coming to Adrastos World HQ later today. I wonder if she’ll make it?

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Pulp Fiction Thursday: Brave New World

Dystopian fiction is hot right now. I cannot imagine why. Brave New World was one of the first dystopian novels. It has remained in print since its initial publication in 1932.

Here are two of the many covers Huxley’s book has had over the years:

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Pulp Fiction Thursday: Overboard

I found this one on the Pulp Librarian’s twitter feed. It has a killer tagline. Here’s the cover: Worts and all, by George.

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Pulp Fiction Thursday: Brain Guy

We need all the comic relief we can get during the winter of our political discontent:

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This book title also reminded me of the Brain Guy played by Bill Corbett on MST3K:

 

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Food Of The Gods

H.G. Wells was one of the first “grown up” writers I read as a kid. And The Food Of The Gods was my first Wellsian experience. Who among us doesn’t love giant mutant animals going berserk?

The Food Of The Gods has been published in many forms. It has even been adapted as a comic book on two occasions.

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Can’t you just imagine the chap in the bowler saying: “What ho. It’s a giant chicken.”

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Finally, there was a cheesy movie version made in 1976:

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Pulp Fiction Thursday: Johnny Staccato

I had never heard of Johnny Staccato until I went a googling. It turns out to be one of the first examples of a book that was inspired by a teevee series. The series in question was about a shamus/jazz pianist named Johnny Staccato who was played by my countryman, John Cassavettes.

We begin in reverse order with the book.

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Here’s a promo image for the show:

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Here’s the series theme song:

Finally, it’s time for some serious lagniappe, the pilot episode:

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Fleming, Ian Fleming

My From Russia With Love post got me thinking about Bond, James Bond and the man who created him. Below are three UK paperback first editions of Fleming’s work via the Book Bond.

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Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Man In The High Castle

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I’ve never read Philip K. Dick’s dystopian novel but I’ve always heard good things about it. The Man In The High Castle seems eerily prescient given that the best case scenario for the next President is for him to be the American Silvio Berlusconi. As to the worst case, I don’t want to go there right now.

I discovered the photo montage below via 8 Clicks From Nowhere. Thanks y’all. Hmm, I wonder if that makes me the Nowhere Man John Lennon went on about. Probably not. I definitely have a point of view. End of bullshit barrage, on with the montage:

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Dr. A and I have been binge watching the Amazon series. I highly recommend it. I’ll even grade it: B+, 3 1/2 stars, and an Ebertian thumbs up.

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Before the release of season-one, Amazon pulled a promotional stunt that blew up in their corporate face.  It made the public go “Heil, no.” Here’s the pictorial evidence.

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