If I’m going to be behind a machine gun or involved in any sort of combat, I would probably not want to be underdressed. This cover is from 1937 and was done by the prolific Hugh Joseph Ward!
Since the start of the pulp era, cults have been a popular subject. Usually dressed in red and concealing their faces behind hoods, cult members have menaced, tortured, and frightened. Luckily, there’s often a strong-jawed hero right around the corner to take them out and save the day.
Here’s a few of the cults of the pulp era!
Are you scared of tentacles?
Whether they’re reaching down from the sky or coming out of the water, the idea of being grabbed and, even worse, squeezed by several slimy tentacles is a scary one! Perhaps that’s why it was such a popular image during the pulp age. Below is just a sampling of some of the era’s tentacle horror, courtesy of some of the best artists to work in the pulps!
I don’t totally understand what’s happening on this cover from 1943 but it loos like a kidnapping. Credit for this impressionistic cover goes to Hugh Joseph Ward.
This is from 1944. When I first looked at this cover, I thought she was holding a bent or a broken sword but actually, I think that there’s supposed to be two, decorative swords hanging over the fireplace and she’s grabbing one of them to use on the man with the gun. It still looks strange to me. It’s still an exciting cover, though, combining guns, swords, and a roaring fire. That fireplace looks like it’s on the verge of getting out of control!
This cover was probably down by Hugh Joseph Ward, whose work has been featured many times on this tie and will probably continue to be featured many times in the future.
This is the cover of the July 1937 issue of Spicy Detective Stories. The cover was done and signed by the prolific Hugh Joseph Ward.
The lesson here is don’t try to cheat at cards if you’re only in your underwear.
(We teach valuable lessons here at Through the Shattered Lens.)
For nine years, from 1934 to 1943, Spicy Adventure Stories tempted pulp readers with adventure stories that featured a lot more sex and violence than even the usual pulp magazine. The covers of Spicy Adventure were shocking and frequently sordid and they left no doubt as to what readers would find within the magazine.
They also worried a lot of the moral guardians of the time and, finding itself under attack as a bad influence, Spicy Adventure Stories ceased publication into 1943 and was instead reborn as the more socially acceptable “Speed Adventures.” The magazine still featured stories about cults, pirates, and explorers but now, they were a little less explicit and the covers was a little more calmer.
Below are some of the controversial covers of Spicy Adventure Stories! As always, the artist has been credited when known:
Spicy Mystery Stories was published from 1934 to 1943 and was one of the many “Spicy” magazines of the pulp era. The Spicy line featured the same stories as the other pulps, just with a lot more sex and violence. It was a popular magazine but it was also so controversial with the moral guardians of the era that it was eventually forced to tone things down and change its name to Speed Mystery.
Below are some of the controversial covers of Spicy Mystery Stories! As always, the artist has been credited when known:
Hollywood could be a dangerous place and no one understood that better than Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective! Turner was a hardboiled detective who made his first appearance in a 1934 issue of Spicy Detective. Turner proved to be so popular that he not only continued to appear in Spicy Detective but he also got his own magazine. Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective ran from 1942 to 1950 and featured Turner solving cases involving directors, producers, stuntmen, and starlets. In fact, the stories often featured details about the infamous “Hollywood casting couch,” which made Turner’s adventures both popular and controversial in the 40s.
Here are a few of the covers of Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective! Where known, the artist has been credited: