The Death Cycle by Charles Runyon (UK Gold Medal Books, 1963)
Sometimes I wonder if I’m really a fiction writer. The motorcycle story was based on an unusual honeymoon my wife and I took, riding double on a Harley through the back roads of Mexico in 1957. Add another couple, a murder, a stash of cash and some loose gash and you getThe Death Cycle. It was fun to write, and to know that every bone-rattling jolt on that old Harley was paying off in hard core realism.
Cycle Fury by Reggie Car
Two classic Biker books from the 1960's. A popular genre spawned by the interest in all things Hells Angels. NEL books would later dominate the genre with the likes of Mama, Chopper and a slew of other English imitators.
Both have sublime cover art and some amazing stuff on the reverse and remember the names Terrible, Itchy and Joe, they are coming for our wifes no doubt.
Printed and published by L. Miller & Sons Ltd, 344 and 352, Hackney Road, London E.2. this is just about all the information I could scrape from the over sized pamphlet apart from the advert on the rear (see above) for more titles, if they were indeed published. No price tag either????
Jolly Miller Books are better know for their children's hardback titles about planes, trains and cars etc that ran into the late 1960's at least. The author Alice E. Rowe penned a large number of Romance pamphlets and books for publishers like Newnes, Piccadilly and Phoenix in the 1930's/40's. So this could possibly date the book?
It's a pretty standard Crime/Romance yarn that stretches some 33 pages, but the real interest for me is the stunning three colour cover that is full of atmosphere, just look at the claws on the shadow, wonderful. If anyone has anymore information then please get in touch.
Note the slight difference in artwork from the UK (left) to the US (right)
The Garden of Hanging Men by Norman A. Daniels.
Dead Man's Gold by E. Hoffman Price.
Pardon Death's Glove by Donald Bayne Hobart.
Burst of Glory by John L. Benton.
Hot Freight by Avin H. Johnstone.
Thirteenth Witness by Herman Landon.
As with the last entry this was also published by Pemberton's of Manchester and distributed by WDL (World Distributors Ltd) although this was a few years earlier in 1938. This seems to be a straight reprint of the US issue from the tale end of 1937.
I'm not 100% sure I like the cut out style artwork, whilst the painting is great it just feels like it's missing something, well it is DOH! but you get what I'm saying, the prolific Norman Daniels tends to comes up with a decent yarn and he doesn't disappoint here, his short also gets the interior artwork treatment pictured below.
Great, if a little dark in theme artwork that accompanies Daniel's piece.
The UK edition is on the left and on the right is the US proof copy.
Death on An Ocean Liner by Richard Sale.
The Murder Bridge by George Harmon Coxe.
To Tough To Die by George Bruce.
Right! first things first, look at the cover art........look again closely and tell me what you see? you probably see a fine Rudolph Belarski bad ass dame, popping a cap in an unsuspecting dudes ass painting? right now screw your eyes up think Russ Meyer and look up close, yes the the dame is so jazzed up with her gun action her nipples are erect, you could hang your coat on them bad boys.
Now that's out of the way let's tackle the Pulp its self. It was published by Pemberton's of Manchester in 1949 and distributed by WDL (World Distributors Ltd) the book is a reprint of the November 1949 issue of 5 Novels Magazine(top right image) omitting Paul Ernst's The Hooded Killer & Steve Fisher's Murder in Mexico.
This was a very common practise in the UK when reprinting US titles, this edition would set you back the princely sum of 9d. So an essential purchase in regards to both the artwork and content, marvellous.
1. Two Died, One Survived. 2. His Lordships Request. 3. The Man Who Hated Open Windows. 4. The Intruder. 5. The Little Green Man. 6. Ships That Pass.
Classic 1940's Pulp from Sutro Miller, nice blurb on the bottom, Miller For Chillers! Not the most horrific of covers but the fonts are nice enough, 6 stories for 1/6, not a bad return all in all. The good news is it's not that rare so copy's turn up quite frequently which is always nice.
Short and sweet this time, next up is a couple of Detective Pulps from the late 1940's with some serious nipple action.
Winged Guns By Ken Ford ( Curtis Warren Books, 1953 )
Six Gun Law By Tex Faro ( Curtis Warren Books, 1953)
Space Men By David Shaw ( Curtis Warren Books, 1951)
A nice trio of Mushroom titles popped through my letter box this week. Two things connect them, they were all published by the prolific Curtis Warren Publishers based in Holbex House London and the cover art is by the wonderful Ray Theobald.
Spanning Aero Fiction, Western and Sci-Fi genres. Pick of the bunch has to be the Space Men cover, unusually this doesn't bare the authors name (he penned a further two books for Curtis) as if stating "SCIENCE FICTION" is enough of a selling point alone.
This is the Swedish Pingvin Books edition, utilising similar artwork as Theobald's, they published a large number of Curtis Warren titles.
Realm of The Alien by Chester Delray (Grafton Books, 1945)
Swarthyface by Norman Lazenby (Grafon Books, 1945)
Two wonderful little books from Eire's Grafton publishers (on off shoot of The Monument Press) both published in 1945 and contain a healthy 64 pages a piece. These books are as rare as the Monarchy paying taxes.
Realm of the Alien has perhaps one of the classic 'bad covers' of any era, just look at the little satanic beast and tell me it doesn't put a smile on your face? well the baying alien mob trying to pop a cap in the yellow wearing fashion conscious crews ass, should at least bring out a the rumble of a smirk? no? then bollocks to you Mr and Mrs.
Moving on slowly we have the insanely titled Swarthyface, which means person of colour or dark complexion, hmmmmmmmmm. Well I opened the book at a random page were a dude was yelling at Smarthyface, something about looking like a big black ape with a Spanish accent. So having not delved into the delights of the book as of yet, it sounds like a could be a bit of a 'racey' yarn to say the least.
Reverse of both books, Realm of The Alien has a brief synopsis whilst Smarthyface dons a classic stop smoking add, very common in paperbacks and pulps of the 1940's/50's.
Two stunningly sleazy titles from this Las Vegas publisher, Changeover is not a simple tale of woman dumps man, women goes with woman, nope here is a snippet from the back cover including the misspelling of Desirable.
Most Teasing of all was the freak-ish change in a certain delectable, desireble, delicious babe that he was interested in. For He found out that she hadn't always been a woman"
The cover art is marvellous, with everything busting out ( including perspective ) Mr dapper giving it plenty of squeeze on the charm front, as the two (or possibly one) Lady's give him the look that says, well let's do rude things motherfucker.
Next up is Crazy For it, look at that bastard on the cover, five women all with smiles on there faces, what's his secret? well it could lay in the hands of artist Ed Alexander who crafted this epic I've just banged these five beavers and it was easy type cover art.
Just don't tell my wench about these books stuffed under the bed.
The story of a lesbian love and queer desire in the gambling casinos of Lake Tahoe.
She risked her life for a "dyke" she created with her own hands.
Classic lesbian Pulp with some of the greatest cover blurbs of all time. Need I say more? OK well yes the artwork is pretty substandard, but the lovely lady on the flip is a real bonus and has a look of Diana Dors circa 1978. This is stamped "international edition" what this means is any ones guess????? One for the top shelf or under the counter good Sir.
Another recent western acquisition is this rather obscure Pulp From Eire titled Range Stories by Gunne Hutchinson (gotta be a classic pseudonym?) Now Eire didn't publish that many Pulps, but what they did knock out is rare and highly sort after.
My research has drawn blanks (bit of western innuendo geddit?) the only information I could scrape from the book is a English distributor Fudge & Co. LTD Sardinia House London W.C.2. The cover states Y.J. McCann & Co Ltd Dublin Eire, this one presumes is the publisher? it also has two price tags, one for 20c and another for 1/. this could be a ploy to make buyers think it's an American publication, thus a more authentic Western yarn.
Unusual for the period is the lack of adds in the book, not a single one. So your left with some pretty decent b-grade western material and a fantastic three colour cover, very primitive (that word again) but so evocative and full of life. This is what collecting old mags and books is all about, discovery and adventure for under $5.
I picked up a nice batch of Pulps for around £3, including some nice Detective/Crime stuff. It also contained some nice Western Pulps, something I don't go looking for but will pick up the nice ones. Anyways they arrived in the post and the guy had put this one in for free (amongst another three) what a gent.
Gerald Swan is a publisher which I collect for it's raw primitive style covers and I didn't have this one as it's quite a rare book from 1944, it's the first in a series of five(they also published many other Western Pulps)
What's great about these books also is the writers pen names like Dallas Kirby, this was common practise back in the 1940's/50's to make the authors sound 'American'. Take a peak at the Cowboy on the cover, total bad ass who'll slug your grandmother in her butt crack.
Gerald Swan is one of those publishers that new items are frequently been discovered. They re-bound, re-issued and re-packaged more than most other UK publishers and infomation is scarce when it comes to dates etc. They printed a lot of US Pulp Magazines inlcuding some very rare editions of Weird Tales.
Wonderful ink drawing on the cover, check out those demons with the Devil, this was published when paper rations were in full force and the paper here is so thin that the type comes trough from the previous page.
The storys are short and to be honest pretty terrible, worth picking up for the cover, two volumes were published, the second one doesn't turn up to often. The date given to this one ranges from 1941-1946.
Romance Pulps hmmmmmmmmmmmm, not many people seem to collect them. But once in a while they transcend the rose smelling sweatness and offer something far more interesting.
Prime example is this undated 16 page "Romance" pulp from possibly the late 1940's. This is number 1 in a run of who knows how many. Classic gangster type dame dressed for a night on the town whilst another woman looks after her ligitimate baby.
The three colour cover is fantastic, just look at the dame, she doesn't give a fuck, bad to the bone. So keep on checking those dusty book shops, carboots or junk shops, as these pulps can be far more subversive than the more lurid stuff, sometimes been this suttle has far more impact.
Mushroom publisher Barrington Gray are more widely known for their Gangster titles (see second scan above, great little add for two mouth watering titles) this is the only Sci-Fi/Fantasy title I've ever come across. I imported this near mint copy from the USA for $3, which for how scarce this is was a steal (even with inflated shipping costs)
The cover art is just flat out great, not too overblown with unnecessary blasters and lasers and googly eyes. I can't help been reminded of The Day The Earth Stood Still which was released in the same year. With a lot of pulp artists been under insanely tight deadlines this is a common occurrence with UK titles. it would have set you back 1/6 at your local newsagents.
Wonderful bad ass dame with a gun interior artwork that as nothing to do with te book, but points to the other genres favoured by Barrington Gray.
Two classic sleaze titles, although different book publishers are listed they both come from the same house no doubt.
Flesh Devils cover is full of humour, woman ties up guy, another runs in from the back laughing. Looks like a hoot. Real primitive stuff here, with little detail other than a little murky water, common with titles from this series.
Next up is Lust Team, a far more in your face piece of pulp art. That's a strategically placed knife if I ever did see one. Interesting to note that this book was sold at newsagents across the United States, when this sort of tawdry cover would have been banned in the United Kingdom. You see UK censors didn't allow a breast to be in the same vicinity as a knife, so we have to tanks them for saving us from this type of filth.
Well worth picking up, but not easy if your in the UK, the books themselves are pretty nasty affairs perfect for those rain soaked Sunday afternoons.
Managed to track down the first issue of this UK Pulp (I believe it lasted two issues?) Contains the three short stories above, is it worth a read? yes because it's a pretty thin book and it's very childlike in it's nature.
The main area of interest for me is the cover artwork, another stunning piece by H.W. Perl who was one of the major cover artists of the 1940's/50's. Here he takes the tin man from The Wizard of Oz, adds a couple of old broomsticks for legs and KAPOW! you have cool spacey looking robots.
I love Perl's artwork because of it's primitive nature. His slight subversion of everyday items to create his Sci-Fi universe. On The cover it looks like a typical 1940's fireman/woman plonked on a red fire engine, zapping the robot with stage lights.
Sublime interior artwork, could be Perl? and a vintage add for Joan The Wad, a Cornish piksey lucky charm. The add appeared in just about every pulp book from the Mushroom era. The third image is Hamilton's book crest that appears on the reverse.
Tell Me this fine young lady doesn't look a little like Madonna?
Another great UK pulp I imported back from the States (hence the 35c stamp on the cover, a well travelled book indeed) it seems that a batch of mint unsold Pulps turned up in a warehouse find a few years back. These included a plethora of Leisure Library Titles like Make Mine A Shroud, Death For A Doll and many more, all with gorgeous Reginald Heade GGA (Good Girl Art).
This M.C. Published book was also among them making them all more affordable than the UK first editions which remain elusive to even the most avid collectors.
This cover is so evocative of the era (late 1940's/early 1950's) a well to do dame polishing her nails in her boudoir, not quite as lurid as some titles, but still a wonderful piece and the colours sure do pop. No artist is credited but one can't help but be reminded of H.W. Perl's work. Again no year of publishing, but the 1'- price tag and art would suggest late 1940's.
Nice add on the inner pages for more books from M.C. Publications.
An author so bad ass he only needed to use a single name and what a name, Griff. Nice UK Mushroom title that is becoming increasingly difficult to track down. Classic Gangster cover, very primitive and typically violent. I'm guessing they used the name "Hank" to cash in on the popularity of author Hank Janson?
Inner cheesecake art.
Published sometime in the 1950's, but like many books published in this era it's undated and information is scarce. Griff has his name attached to a number of classic titles like Curves Can Cast Shadows, Vice Queens on Broadway and Trading With Bodies. Essential stuff.