Growing Passion for Pulp Fiction

It’s been a few decades since magazines made from pulpwood paper, with amazing and enticing four-color cover art, sold for 10-cents a piece. However, these humble beginnings introduced many literary greats such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ray Bradbury, Raymond Chandler, and Robert Heinlein, and served as the inspiration for today’s comic book heroes and cultural phenomenon including Star Wars and Star Trek.

At the ninth annual Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention recently held in Chicago, hundreds of collectors, historians, artists and others gathered to celebrate the unique literary world of pulp fiction. This year’s event also included a special salute to Spicy fiction, which first appeared in the 1930s and often sold under the counter because of the risqué cover art. With titles including Spicy Mystery and Special Detective and creative stories to match, it was often the devilish dames on the front that drew the most attention.

Collectible Book Resources from the Shop
dames, dolls & delinquents
Antique Trader Collectible Paperback Price Guide

“The female image has been heralded since time immemorial as the epitome of grace and beauty, as well as the well-spring of sex and sexual desire. That sexiness and the beauty of the female form graced thousands of covers during the vintage era in magnificent and titillating artwork created with one goal – to entice the male reader to notice, and then purchase, that paperback or magazine,” writes author Gary Lovisi, in the introduction to his new book Dames, Dolls and Delinquents.

Lovisi, editor and publisher of the longest-running magazine on collectible paperback books, Paperback Parade, is among the founders of the NYC Collectible Paperback and Pulp Fiction Expo. This marks the 21st year of the event, which will be held October 4.

The popularity of pulp can also be seen in numerous lots at auction houses including Heritage Auction Galleries. Starting July 15 Heritage will host the first of a series of auctions featuring pieces of American illustration from the Martignette Collection. The 4,300 piece collection, slated for public exhibit May 20-22, at the Ukrainian Institute, includes a wide variety of pin-up art. The late Charles Martignette was considered an authority of American illustration, specifically pin-up art. The Martignette Collection is valued at $20 million.

In honor of the exhibit and forthcoming auction of the Martignette Collection, you will save 34% on Dames, Dolls and Delinquents and 32% on Antique Trader Collectible Paperback Price Guide when you order at the shop.

Plus, when you order both books by May 26, and include Coupon Code ATRB5199 you’ll receive FREE SHIPPING!* *Free shipping is available to U.S. addresses only.

More Images:

Sexy pin-up dolls are most commonly linked with the popularity of pulp fiction, and among the most notable of the British authors is Ben Sarto. This Modern Fiction paperback, circa 1950, with cover art by H.W. Perl today is valued at $14 in good condition to $120 in fine condition.
Heroines were also a hot topic for pulp fiction, and a popular genre among collectors. This 25 cent issue of Murder Without Tears, by Leonard Lupton with cover art by Roy Lance was released in 1957. Today it's valued at $4 (Good), $12 (Very Good) and $25 (Fine Condition).
True crime magazines like this October 1952 issue of Special Detective magazine, with cover art by George Gross, were among the most popular pulp picks. The value of this magazine in good condition is $10, in very good condition $30 and fine condition $55.

Leave a Reply