The Marriage Rite was first published in 1953 by Intimate Novels. You can probably guess what type of books they published just by the name of their company. Five years later, the art was reused for the cover of a novel called Wild Oats, which was published by Beacon. I think The Marriage Rite is a better title than Wild Oats.
“Thou shalt not commit adultery!,” the cover reads, “But if a husband sins, should his wife follow suit?” Was that the only option available? The cover also says that this is “a novel of sham passions and triumphant love.” What are sham passions?
I like the contrast between the swooning lovers and the shocked witness, who I am assuming is the wife. Is he cheating at home or has his wife followed him to his secret love nest? His mistress has good fashion sense, combining a green skirt and a red sash with a black top.
This cover was done by Walter Popp, who is one of my favorites.
Who was Steve Harragan? He was a hardboiled private investigator who was the main character of a handful of paperback detective novels that were all published in 1952 and 1953. Though his adventures were not much different from those of any other P.I. of the pulp era, Steve Harragan has a cult following for two reasons.
First off, the author of Harragan’s adventures was also named Steve Harragan. Did the author Steve Harragan name the character after himself or was “Steve Harragan” just a pseudonym for another author or perhaps several authors? No one knows for sure, though all of Harragan’s novel were written in the first person.
Secondly, Steve Harragan the Detective only has one eye. In almost every cover, he’s featured wearing an eye patch.
Here are a few of the Steve Harragan covers. As always, the artist has been identified when known:
by Bernard Safran
by Walter Popp
Author unknown. I’m not sure which one of these men is meant to be Harragan but you’ll notice that the eyepatch got left out of this cover.
Thrilling Wonder Stories was a pulp magazine that was published from 1936 to 1955. It was one of several pulp magazines that had the word “thrilling” in its title. The stories were mostly science fiction and I guess they were meant to be more thrilling than all of the other science fiction that was being published at the same time. The stories were apparently thrilling enough for the magazine to run for 19 years.
Below are a few of the covers of Thrilling Wonder Stories, done by some of the best artists of the pulp era.
From the 1950s through the early 70s, Man’s Life was “the action magazine for men.” Or, at least, that’s what it claimed on the covers. Judging from these covers, a man’s life back in the 20th century consisted of 1) fighting wild animals, 2) getting attacked by woman who had forgotten to button up their shirts, and 3) standing up for truth, justice, and the American way.
Here are a few of the extremely manly covers of Man’s Life. Be sure to check out the headlines too because some of them are certainly interesting. Any comments from any men as to whether or not these covers present an accurate representation would be greatly appreciated. As always, the artist has been credited where known!
From 1953 to 1967, Manhunt was one of the best-selling and most highly regarded of the crime-themed pulp magazines. Manhunt featured hard-boiled stories from authors like Mickey Spillane, James Cain, James T. O’Farrell, William Irish, and others. Along with attracting some of the top pulp literary talent, it also featured some of the most memorable covers of the era. Below are just a few of the overs of Manhunt. As always, the artist has been credited when known!