With Independence Day approaching, it’s time to honor Jimmy Christopher. Jimmy was an agent for United States Intelligence, cod-named Operator #5. From 1934 to 1939, Jimmy kept America safe from its enemies as the star of the 10-cent pulp magazine, Secret Service Operator #5. Today, Secret Service Operator #5 is best-remembered for two things: a 13 issue arc in which Jimmy became a freedom fighter after America was conquered by the Purple Empire (a thinly-veiled stand-in for Nazi Germany) and a series of exciting, patriotic covers.
Unless otherwise noted, the covers below are all credited to John Newton Howitt:
Johnny Dekker was a private investigator who starred in 13 pulp paperbacks in the late 40s. Though the paperbacks were published in Britain, they were written in the “American style” and one thing that is obvious from looking at the covers is that Johnny was good with a gun and always had a femme fatale nearby.
Though he wasn’t credited on the covers, the Johnny Dekker novels were written by British comic book artist, Mick Anglo. Anglo was unique in that he not only wrote the paperbacks but he also drew the covers as well. Here, courtesy of the imagination of Mick Anglo, are some of the many adventures of Johnny Dekker. My personal favorite is Nuts To Nylon:
Prepare to take a trip back to the roaring twenties and the days of prohibition with 8 dangerous covers of Gun Molls Magaine!
For 19 months, from 1930 to 1931, Gun Molls Magazine gave its readers stories about crime and gangster romance. Most of the covers were done (and, in a rarity for the pulp era, signed) by illustrator Chris Scharre and featured women either in danger or making trouble on their own. Though most of the issues of Gun Molls Magazine have been lost, a few have survived.
Here are 8 of the surviving covers of Gun Molls Magazine:
Two-Fisted Detective Stories was a “true crime” magazine that was published for only two years, from 1959 to 1960. There were a total of ten issues, which all featured the usual violent and sex-filled material that these magazines were famous for. Though Two-Fisted Detective may not have lasted long, it is still remembered for its memorably lurid covers. As you can see below, almost all of these covers had a few elements — cleavage, betrayal, money, and weapons — in common. Unfortunately, I have not been able to discover any of the artists who did these covers. Maybe someone who can answer that question will come across this post.
Here are eight covers from Two-Fisted Detective Stories:
My personal favorites are the girl power covers of July 1959, June 1960, September 1960, and November 1960.
For some, this week is the start of Spring Break! For those wondering how to spend their break, the pulps have a few suggestions. As the covers below show, a week on the beach doesn’t just mean binge drinking and partying. It also means excitement, mystery, romance, and maybe even a hurricane!
This 4th of July, while celebrating America’s birthday, don’t forget that there was a time when superheroes not only starred in movies but also made the world safe for democracy! From World War II, here is a gallery of patriotic super heroes fighting for the freedoms that we enjoy today!
Not even the most powerful of heroes could do it alone. For that reason, when they weren’t beating the enemy in their own backyard, they were encouraging their readers to support the armed forces by buying war bonds.
Over the course of World War II, 85 million Americans purchased war bonds totaling an estimated $185 billion.
Finally, what other way to end this patriotic post than with a musical tribute to the Star-Spangled Man With A Plan?
And to all the real, flesh-and-blood heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to save the world from tyranny, thank you.