Find Your Next Halloween Costume With The Pulp Covers Of Boris Vallejo

It’s nearly Halloween!  Have you picked out your costume yet?


Don’t worry!  The Shattered Lens is here to help!  For inspiration, check out the fashionable outfits featured on these pulp paperback covers, all done by artist Boris Vallejo!  Find your costume below!

Happy Halloween!

Enter The Vault of Horror

by Johnny Craig

Along with The Haunt of Fear and Tales From The Crypt, The Vault of Horror was a horror anthology comic book that was published, from 1950 to 1955, by EC Comics.  Hosted by The Vault-Keeper, The Vault of Horror featured adaptations of classic horror stories along with totally original tales of terror and fright.  The Vault of Horror was so popular among young readers that eventually a psychiatrist named Fredric Wertham claimed that it, along with other comics, was responsible for juvenile delinquency and every other social ill facing 1950s America.  Congress investigated and, because of all the bad publicity, EC canceled all of their horror titles.

However, the jokes on Wertham and Congress because The Vault of Horror is now eagerly sought after by collectors and is viewed as a high point in comic book history.  Below are a few covers from The Vault of Horror, all done by artist Johnny Craig.

Are you read to enter the Vault?


The Corrupting Covers of Tales From The Crypt

Published by EC Comics, Tales From The Crypt is one of the most fondly-remembered horror comics books of the 1950s.  The series actually began under the title International Comics and went through several other title changes before becoming Tales From The Crypt.  A horror anthology series that was hosted by The Crypt Keeper, The Vault Keeper, and the Old Witch, Tales From The Crypt ran from 1950 to 1955 and was so popular with young readers that a psychologist named Fredric Wertham claimed that reading the comic book could lead to juvenile delinquency and other deviant behavior.  The resulting moral panic led to a Congressional investigation and the adaptation of the Comic Book Code.  It also led to the cancellation of all of EC’s horror titles, including Tales From The Crypt.

In the decades since, issues of Tales From The Crypt have been highly sought after by collectors and the comic book even inspired a television show on HBO.  Below is a selection of the covers of Tales From The Crypt, the series that corrupted America’s youth.

It’s always interesting to see what used to be controversial.

Get Ready For Halloween With These Vintage Universal Horror Posters!

It’s October and, just in case you need some help getting into the Halloween spirit, here’s some classic vintage horror movie posters!  All of the posters below are from the 1930s and were commissioned by the Universal Pictures art department.  Universal was Hollywood’s top studio for horror in the 30s and their posters helped to make stars of everyone form Bela Lugosi to Boris Karloff to Lon Chaney, Jr.

Let’s get in the mood for horror with the help of Universal Pictures:

Dracula (1931)

Frankenstein (1931)

The Murders in The Rue Morgue (1932)

The Old Dark House (1932)

The Mummy (1932)

The Invisible Man (1933)

The Black Cat (1934)

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Night Key (1937)

Here’s The Poster For Black Widow!

Usually, I only share trailers but I simply had to share the first official movie poster for the MCU’s Black Widow, which will be coming out in May of 2020.

Seriously, this is so kickass!

Now, before you read any further, I guess I should say that I’m about share a spoiler from Avengers: Endgame.  I think everyone in the world has seen that movie by now and, if you haven’t, you probably don’t care about the MCU or any of that other stuff.  But still, just in case, consider this to be your SPOILER WARNING:

I really liked Avengers: Endgame but I do have to admit that it really pissed me off that they killed off Natasha.  Storywise, there was no reason to kill off Natasha.  If anyone in that scene needed to redeem themselves by sacrificing their life for the greater good, it was Clint!  After all, Clint’s the one who spent the past few years going around the world and killing anyone who he felt didn’t deserve to still be alive.  (And yes, Clint killed a drug lord at the start of the film and drug lords are evil but he also killed everyone who worked for the drug lord and some of those people were probably decent people who were doing what they had to do to survive or provide for their families.)  The whole movie felt like it was set up for Clint to finally prove he deserved to be an Avenger by sacrificing his life.  Instead, they killed off Natasha and it just felt totally wrong.

(It also felt rather cynical.  Of course, they couldn’t kill Clint.  They needed Jeremy Renner around to appear in the show about Hawkeye’s daughter that’s going to be on the new Disney streaming service.)

As the first woman to be prominently featured in multiple MCU films, Natasha was always my favorite Avenger and killing her off before she even got to star in her own movie just felt totally wrong to me.  (The fact that Brie Larson’s dull Captain Marvel got her own showcase before the Black Widow will always bug me.)  Still, I did take some solace from the fact that, even after Natasha’s death, there was still a Black Widow movie scheduled to come out and Scarlett Johansson would be starring in it.

Of course, then I found out that the Black Widow film is a prequel and it also sounds like the film’s ultimate goal might be to introduce Florence Pugh as the new Black Widow.  Don’t get me wrong.  Florence Pugh is one of the best actresses around but still, Scarlett Johansson will always be the Black Widow to me and the character’s pointless death will always bother me.  So, up until a few minutes ago, I was not quite as enthusiastic about seeing the Black Widow film as you might normally expect me to be.

But, seriously, this poster is freaking perfect.  It’s everything you would want a poster for a Black Widow stand alone film to be.  I hope the movie itself lives up to fierceness in Natasha’s eyes.

I guess I’ll find out in May!

Get Ready For Independence Day With The Adventures Of Operator #5

by John Newton Howitt

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:

by Rafael De Soto

Unknown Artist

Unknown Artist

The Many Adventures of Johnny Dekker

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:

The Covers of Gun Molls Magazine

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:

The Covers of Two-Fisted Detective Stories

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:

July 1959

January 1960

June 1960

August 1960

September 1960

October 1960

November 1960

December 1960

My personal favorites are the girl power covers of July 1959, June 1960, September 1960, and November 1960.