I can trace back my introduction and love for the pulp novel cover image to my early childhood and my Father’s collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan paperbacks.
Those 1960’s and 1970’s cover images of a hyper-realized, muscled and triumphant Lord of the Apes sure fired a kid’s imagination!
Here was Tarzan, jungle-leaping, vine-swinging and dagger-wielding while fighting off gritting teeth wildmen bearing leopard pelts or coiled by sea serpents or pulling rampaging bulls down to the dusty earth. These moments of action were always high octane and highly emotional affairs that always coerced a would-be reader into picking up the book from the newsstand, bookstore, flea market or library shelves.
Those covers popped! Such glory days, the pulp novel and the inspired artists who painted those magnificent images! They were my first introduction to masters of brush and pencil, oil and ink, luminaries and artistic influencers like Richard Powers, Norman Saunders, Neal Adams and Boris Vellejo.
Today, courtesy of comic book and fine pop culture art publisher, IDW Publishing, thirsty pulp fiction fans get the hardcover release of The Art of Pulp Fiction: An Illustrated History of Vintage Fiction by award-winning author and editor, Ed Hulse.
The Art of Pulp Fiction: An Illustrated History of Vintage Fiction traces the greatest generation of the pulp fiction paperback cover across four decades, from the 1940s through the 1970s. It touches upon all genres of that important escapist phenomenon via the western, noir detective, strange adventures, science fiction, fantasy and horror styles.
Those covers would pull buyers in – their main task made successful though vibrant images that pushed and ripped through the boundaries of sex appeal, gross terror, foreboding mystery, horror, sheer adventure and, in many cases, good taste. The book comprehensively covers (pardon the pun) the pulp fiction paperback’s heyday, where individual chapters contain introductions, captions and essays from various genre specialists, highlighting important artists, the authors of the books themselves and the publishers who released them, along with various sub-genres and factoids.
The 240-page hardcover The Art of Pulp Fiction: An Illustrated History of Vintage Fiction contains over 500 curated images of memorable covers and original cover paintings, some of them found in private collections only!
Whether you’re a new or an older reader, familiar to the pulps or naive to their greatness, this is the one book to buy, read, talk about and enjoy again and again, made with pulpy care for any lover of genre fiction, comic books, the book industry, art or our own history!
Make the run to your local, better, comic book shop or bookstore today and pick up the absolutely wonderful, stunning and always timely, The Art of Pulp Fiction: An Illustrated History of Vintage Fiction today!