Friday, June 25, 2010

the headless lady

Perhaps this type of thing happens year 'round in other parts of the country but here in the Northeast the onset of the Summer season brings, among other things, the onset of parking lot carnivals. Like the one that set up shop in front of our local Acme last week.

I'm pretty sure nothing as exciting as a headless lady is to be found at this kind of carnival but I won't let that stop me from using it as a transition into today's Pulp Fiction Project entry, The Headless Lady by Clayton Rawson.



I'd love to stumble across more of these "mapback" books; the only other one we've found is Curtains For The Editor. (Back panel here.)

The Kommandant bought it for me based on the title. (As we can see from the fact I'm still alive to blog and otherwise ramble on in cyberspace the c14 staff has yet to get the jump on me.) I read it a few years ago though & it was actually a good book.

I haven't read this one yet but, just based on the teaser pages in the front, it seems like my kind of story.

It also seems like it might be a good plot for a B-Movie, a la one of my all time favorite carny / ape movies Gorilla At Large.



A classic!

(PS: Larger versions, as well as covers of books that have found their way on to the blog previously, can be seen in the Pulp Fiction Project set in my Flickr photostream, here.)

Friday, June 18, 2010

i, the jury

For some reason when it comes to thrifted paperbacks the husband has a tendency to find things in groups. Perhaps because people who donate things to thrift stores get rid of their paperbacks in groups?

Either way, this proclivity recently led him to discover dusty copies of the first six Mickey Spillane Mike Hammer books adrift in a sea of equally dusty romance novels; seen below in order of publication.

(Assuming the wikipedia page linked above is correct in their ordering.)













I'm sure these stories have been reprinted many times over but I quite like the covers of these Signet / New American Library editions.

(On a semi-related topic, the typography is currently serving as inspiration for a graphic design job I'm working on since the client requested "jaunty letters, similar to what you'd see in the opening credits of an '50s TV crime show." I think jaunty letters from a '40s crime paperback novel are a suitable substitute influence. Hopefully he will agree.)

I also appreciate the way the back covers utilize a generic template while maintaining each book's individuality.

As always, larger versions, as well as covers of books that have found their way on to the blog previously, can be seen in the Pulp Fiction Project set in my Flickr photostream, here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

the long wait

This week's entry, The Long Wait by Mickey Spillane, is a pretty classic example of pulp fiction both in contents and cover art.


Cover by Lu Kimmel


Interestingly, even though we started getting into these kind of books a few years ago this was the first Spillane book I read. (Only a few moths ago actually, on one of our trips to Florida.) I'm sure it won't be the last though; the husband thrifted paperback copies of the first 6 Mike Hammer books this past weekend.

More on that topic next Friday.

(PS: Larger versions, as well as covers of books that have found their way on to the blog previously, can be seen in the Pulp Fiction Project set in my Flickr photostream, here.)

Friday, June 4, 2010

top of the heap

For those who might be new to the blog, the idea behind the Pulp Fiction Project is pretty simple: once a week, usually on Friday, I pick a paperback from our overflowing shelf of thrifted, sometimes flea marketed, novels and post the front and back cover.

Basically it's just my little way of celebrating the genre. (As a whole but, more specifically, the artwork / graphic design. Which, as you may have already guessed, has been a huge influence on my own graphic design work.)

This week's entry, Top Of The Heap by A.A. Fair, aka Erle Stanley Gardner, has a particularly great front and back cover design. And, actually, even the spine is cool. But I didn't scan the spine. Maybe I'll add it later.


I couldn't find any biographical information on the artist responsible for this painting but based on how many times the term "painting by Griffith Foxley" popped up in my search (all leading to sites selling vintage paperbacks) I gather he, much like Erle Stanley Gardner, had a long and successful career in his chosen field.


I don't think Foxley's responsible for the typewriter illustration, or the layout, but I love this panel too.

(PS: Larger versions, as well as covers of books that have found their way on to the blog previously, can be seen in the Pulp Fiction Project set in my Flickr photostream, here.)