Friday, October 21, 2011

on the run

Seeing as how we reached the end of this stack of paperbacks with our last entry, we now turn our attentions to the stack of dusty pulp fiction most recently photographed next to GG Allin Doll, aka the books we flea marketed during our visit to the Catskill mountains last month.

Technically only half of these were purchased at the flea market. The other half were purchased at a literal barn full of used books we happened across in our travels that weekend. (I wish I could remember the name of the road it was on but let's just say, should you find yourself driving on a winding farm laden road in upstate NY and come across a large barn with a hand written sign outside reading "all books $1.00," I recommend you pull over.)

Anywhoo, for a change I thought we'd start at the bottom; meaning tonight's entry is On The Run by John MacDonald.

(Again I elected to skip the Nick Carter book. No offense to anyone involved; I'm just not as into the series as the husband is.)

(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.)

orgy of the dead

Generally speaking, press releases about art exhibits aren't really appropriate Pulp Fiction Project (re)post fodder; unless, of course, the exhibit in question features a collection of sleaze paperbacks written by Ed Wood. Which this one does. Check it out:

Ed Wood's Sleaze Paperbacks Curated By Michael Daley And Johan Kugelberg

The antiquarian mystique surrounding Edward Davis Wood Jr.’s career as an author of pornographic pulp fiction is legend. He wrote under a variety of pseudonyms, books were published and re-published under different titles, and occasionally under different author names. Multiple authors would share the same pseudonym, and the companies that published the titles weren’t the kind of operations that kept any kind of records, nor paid royalties, nor really existed in the manner that most are to expect of book publishers.

The paperbacks are truly rare, even in an age of mass-searchable used book engines, and google ferocity. Ed Wood’s sleaze fiction is also as strange, idiosyncratic and out of step with his times and mores as his infamous movies. Wood would write porn inter-spliced with lengthy philosophical, sociological and psychological discourse, he’d write first person narratives of life as a transvestite in the buttoned up America of the 1950’s. He’d riff on psychosexual themes, and unleash his id, his ego and his superego in turn, sometimes in the same chapter. He’d write about sex and the human condition without veneer or filters, offering up the damaged and anguished voice of a desperately soul-searching drunk with a sense of self-worth that would stand in dichotomy to his self-pity.

Cover by Robert Bonfils

His descent into alcoholism and poverty was mirrored by the publishers that employed him. Towards the end of his life he wrote pornography with decreasing amounts of the strange flourishes of his eccentric personality. He died in 1978 of an alcohol-induced heart attack. His friends say the porn killed him. For further information see Rudolph Grey’s masterful biography Nightmare of Ecstasy.

This is the largest assembly of Ed Wood publications exhibited to date. Boo-Hooray has tracked down roughly seventy of his books and publications. Some collectors claim that he wrote dozens more. Entrepreneurial book dealers often indulge in Ed Wood pseudonym speculation. A ten dollar paperback can thus become an antiquarian rarity, even with flimsy or non-existent evidence. A handful of these are in the show.

The collection has been sold to the Cornell University rare book library where it will become a part of their human sexuality archive.

So cool! The collection will be on display at Boo-Hooray Gallery in NYC November 2nd - December 1st. An illustrated and annotated exhibition catalogue will be available in deluxe and regular editions; visit for more info.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

mark of murder

Tonight we top off our survey of this stack of pulp fiction with the book at the bottom, Mark Of Murder by Dell Shannon.

Cover by Jack Thurston

As is my way, I did a little web sleuthing about the author and artist prior to writing this post and, while I didn't find out anything about the latter, I did learn Dell Shannon is not a real person.

Or rather, he is if you're talking about Del Shannon. Dell Shannon on the other hand is a pseudonym; one of a few employed by author Elizabeth Linington over the course of her career.

(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.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

armchair in hell

Unlike the rest of the books in this pile, I've read tonight's entry Armchair In Hell by Henry Kane. My first Pete Chambers mystery; and my last, until we come across another one. When we do, I hope it has a cover as good as this one.

Cover by Gerald Gregg

Via my thorough research - read: the flickr search I did after I learned the artist's name - I also learned Gregg is responsible for another one of my favorite covers (this one) as well as tons of great pulp fiction paperback art in general.

(Seriously! Check out some of his work here.)

(PS: And as always, should you care to check out larger versions of these, or covers of books that have found their way on to the blog previously, you can do so here.)

Friday, October 7, 2011

the case of the moth eaten mink

Tonight we continue working our way through this pile of pulp fiction, from top to bottom, with The Case Of The Moth Eaten Mink by Erle Stanley Gardner. A name very familiar to the Pulp Fiction Project; particularly when he's not using his own name. (Meaning, of course, books credited to A. A. Fair, aka the subject of many previous posts.)

Cover photograph by Silver Studios

I've worked my way through a good chunk of the Cool / Lam series thus far and enjoyed them all so on our last vacation I decided to try one featuring his "other" famous fictional lawyer / detective, Perry Mason. Not surprisingly I enjoyed that too.

It wasn't this book, it was The Case Of The Negligent Nymph, but I'll probably bring this one on our next vacation.

PS: I haven't had time to check this out yet but apparently the episode of the Perry Mason TV show, starring Raymond Burr, based on this novel can be seen here.

(PPS: 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.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

i prefer murder

While tonight's entry, I Prefer Murder by Browning Norton & Charles A. Landolf, is certainly worthy of a long informative post, unfortunately I can't write one. I haven't read it yet and was unsuccessful in my efforts to find info. on either author, the cover artist or the publisher. Curious, no?

Cover by Saul Levine

I think yes. Should I uncover anything I will add it in but in the meantime we can just gaze upon it's beauty.