Category Archives: What is it Now??

Scans & random Images of stuff I find in the street and from the vast dismal swamp of the interwebs etc.

Today’s Pulp Purchase: Ashenden the British Agent

60 cents. (sigh) In 1970 the minimum wage was $1.60 and you could buy this and a dozen eggs and a gallon of gas with that.

The minimum wage today is $7.25, and the average paperback retails around $13.95

Ashendon

Here’s the great thing about the above art: It’s a spiced up version of the below composition, which I found on the interwebs-  targeted to better entice the the American audience, where women wear purple swimsuits with cummerbunds more often than in Britain.

ashenden

Today’s Pulp Purchase: The Case of the Cautious Coquette

I liked this cover so much I had to fotoshoppe out the text, frame & hang it in the (gun) powder room.
Cautious CoquetteCautious CoquetteArt

Today’s Pulp Purchase: The Life and Times of the Shmoo

ShmoobookShmooGuard

This book was pressed repeatedly into service (This edition is like the seventh printing within 2 years) when the Great Shmoo Craze of the late 1940’s was at its apex, and before my friend Laurel’s Grandfather was left with hundreds of unsaleable plaster Shmoos, which he abandoned in an attic in Royal Oak, MI. I like to think they’re still standing there…

Al Capp was the evil genius behind the Shmoo, who live to serve mankind, to serve mankind joyfully of their own delicious little bodies,  which when flambéed taste like fugu and when spatchcocked taste like heritage ptarmigan.

This specific book is a cynical,  horrible pastiche of excerpted drawings ripped from the strip, thinly linked with a halfassed written narrative. featuring distracting construction-paper colored margins and backgrounds. Frank Frazetta was Al Capp’s ghost artist, so there’s that, sometimes. And the cover itself is delightful.

How to Drive in Detroit

1. Not “I-75.” It’s the CHRYSLER FREEWAY if you’re motorvatin’ between Downtown Detroit and Pontiac, or the FISHER FWY from Downtown Detroit on Downriver

2. Ain’t “I-94″ that goes East to Port Huron and West to Chicago. It’s the EDSEL FORD FWY

3. It’s not “I-96 ” that comes out of Downtown and heads for Brighton, Lansing and points West, It’s the JEFFRIES (alternately known as the ROSA PARKS for the 3 miles between Ford Rd. and the Fisher Freeway, more recently)

4. It’s not “I-696″ running parallel to 11 Mile Road between I-275 and the Edsel Ford, It’s the WALTER P. REUTHER FWY.

5. It’s not “M-10.” It’s the JOHN C. LODGE

6. It’s not “M-8.” It’s the DAVISON

7. It’s not “M-39.” It’s the SOUTHFIELD FWY

…if you refer to TELEGRAPH as US-24, Le Nain Rouge will bite off your kneecaps

Today’s Pulp Purchase: The Case of the Sun Bather’s Diary

sunbather'sdiary

Pretty dark for sunbathing, isn’t it? Lost in the 1950’s collage-style forest, nude but for a red book (Jungian reference). Great Cardinal logo, too.

I wish they hadn’t kneecapped her with the byline.

Today’s Pulp Purchase: Slab Happy

Slab Happy.jpg

Sample simile: “He had a size 20 neck, fists like large beef roasts, and arms like legs.” 

Shell Scott, L.A. P.I., sure gets beat up a lot, acts like an haplessly oversexed Bichon Frise around beautiful Hollywood Starlets and engages in some Spillane-Level messy violence, but he’s a delightful cut-up:

Doctor Clark said, smiling, “Oh, you’re a doctor?”
“Not exactly.” I grinned. “Sometimes I patch up problems. But my operations are usually, well, sort of unusual. You might call me one of the unorthodocs.” 

HA!

I haven’t yet come to the scene where the 70’s girl in the bikini perches on the coffin with a machine gun, but I am looking forward to it. That kind of iconic scene is what sells 40 million books

 

 

 

 

Today’s Pulp Purchase: Stranger in Town

StrangerinTown

Not a TERRIBLE Mike Shayne Mystery, although, spoiler, evil abortionists.

Mike Shayne, Miami P.I., has red hair and is therefore short-tempered, and he drinks cognac, which gives you differentiation in the bar scene. The broad depicted on the cover is described inside as having blonde ringlets, so it’s not a PERFECT representation for this book, but a pretty perfect cover for something.

Sample simile: “Hands the size of picnic hams” -bothers me because of ham/hand is slant-homonymous, but I appreciate how it doesn’t overshoot to Dinner-Ham-Sized Hands, which would be ridiculous.

 

Today’s Pulp Purchase: The Case of the Daring Decoy

DaringDecoy

Two highball glasses? This is what happens when you fall down the 12 steps.

Today’s Pulp Purchase: The April Robin Murders

April Robin Murders

That is “April Robin” depicted. She’s outstanding in her field.

Really, a splendid and hilarious book, with the unwitting detectives Bingo Riggs and Handsome Kusak, stumbling through Hollywood and over bodies. Handsome Kusak has a photographic memory for things he’s read in magazines and is otherwise apparently dimmer than his easily-duped, entrepreneurial associate Bingo.

The bookseller admonished me to make sure to read this one because she knew I was buying it for the cover. She was right. I’m really enjoying it.

You totally can tell a book by its cover if you’re just interested in the cover itself alone though

A Digression on Postcards Wherein Women are Threatened by Alligators

Listed here are the psychologically engaging aspects of this perfect postcard, which I purchased off the rack in Florida my own self maybe fifteen years ago during one of the intense theme-park and biological engineering research trips for Piggleyland:

  1. The amped-up hand-painted colors. Please tell me what that bikini color is: I cannot find a word. I’m not sure it wholly refracts correctly on my corneas
  2. The alligator is cruelly reduced and crudely cut & pasted, with probably literal paste
  3. The now-opaque reference to an ancient cigarette campaign wherein people would be punched in the eye for supporting cigarettes of choice (*see below for examples stolen from interweb).
  4. This clever turn of phrase, “Us Florida Alligators would rather BITE than SWITCH,” was SO VERY compelling and hilarious that several variant versions featuring different models can  be found**
  5. In all variants, the alligator knows that he’s quoting a cigarette campaign, as evidenced by the otherwise redundant quotation marks in the word balloon. That’s a sophisticated, market-savvy reference for the average crocodilian from the Paleoscene
  6. I think this postcard probably post-dates the famous “WOW! We Alligators Do Have Fun in Florida/Louisiana/New Orleans” Betty Page postcard*** by some years, and I suspect the artist would admit it was derivative, unless an homage
  7. Nobody REALLY wants to see these poor women bitten by alligators: an American alligator bites at around 2,900 pounds per square inch (lions and tigers bite at about 1,000 psi. I myself bite at only around 175 psi when at the peak of righteous fury & bloodlust)-even small (or cruelly reduced) alligators have more than 80 razor-sharp teeth.  Let’s face it: it could be pretty depressing to see some lady get bitten on the rear end by an alligator.  But beyond the cheap frisson evoked by the common icon of Woman-in-Peril, these cards sell because the sight of sun-warmed flesh makes the reptilian brain hungry on some primeval level, don’t they? That tells us something about ourselves, doesn’t it? Or is it just plain slapstick, and I should shut up?

Here’s the postcard that haunts my nightmares:

us-florida-alligators

*Cigarette campaign:

the-fight-for-cigarettes-of-choice

People just don’t get punched in the eye for humor the way they used to, you know?

AAAAUUUUGGGHH.jpg

**Variants from interwebs:

Us Florida Alligators would rather Bite than Switch - Fun in Florida

Us Florida Alligators Would Rather Bite Than Switch

This woman’s presentation pose is weird but the Hat is Inexplicable

***Referent Betty Page postcards:

wow-we-alligators-do-have-fun-in-floridawow-we-alligators-do-have-fun-in-louisianawow-we-alligators-do-have-fun-in-new-orleans

****Bonus Saucy Wow! Variant:

Wow! Saucy Variant.jpg

*****Bonus Alligator-Biting-Butt Card that looks terrifyingly realistic

5505b636efbf4_84511b

******Lest you worry, here’s how it all turns out in the sequel:

beauty-and-the-beast

 

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