More Pulp Art at Pulpcovers.com
Last year we featured an overview article on pulp novel cover design, and since then we’ve continued to look for other resources on mass market book and magazine cover design from the 30s, 40s and 50s. In a recent search I stumbled on pulpcovers.com, a site which features hundreds of covers, tending towards the more risque and unusual, including vintage erotica, exploitation fiction and men’s magazines.
The collection is large and the images are of very high quality, but the blog-style format in which they are presented is cumbersome. That aside, there are a couple of qualities here which stand out. The first is the emphasis on quality cover art. The covers are picked for the excellence of the illustration and in many cases the featured covers include not only the cover as published, but variant versions and in some cases copies of the original art without titles. The second is that the collection is very strong on early science fiction, adventure, mystery and fantasy magazines, going back into the early 1900s. And, of course, if your tastes run to the salacious there are a lot more good examples of early erotica and “true crime” magazines than I’ve seen in other collections, plus a large selection of classic lesbian pulp.
For our purposes the site is mainly useful for research. It’s not as strong on outstanding cover lettering as some other sites, but it’s great as a guide to more obscure publications and even early out of copyright illustrated magazines which might be worth adding to our collection in the future, thought I suspect we’d have to be very lucky and very persistent to find copies of some of the magazines on the site in decent condition.
Visitors should be aware of some of the peculiarities of the site. Although the material is presented in a random chronological order, all of the postings are arranged into categories, which are quirky but can be useful. You may also notice postings following peculiar patterns, such as relationships of similar titles or themes.
New Font: BigBlok
A great many years ago when working in game publishing I had a real fascination with doing titles in a strong, super-bold font called Bolt Bold. The truth is I rather overused it. In doing some research I find it on more than a dozen different game books I wrote in the early 80s, all quite collectable and out of print today.
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Cosmic Dude was designed as one of the special original fonts developed for our Modern Poster Fonts package. The character forms are based on samples of hand lettering from a late 1970s rock show poster. The character set includes numbers, punctuation, uppercase letter[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Grand Concours is based on lettering designed for a poster for the equestrian competition which was held at the Paris Hippodrome starting in the 1920s. The Grand Concours itself started in the 1860s, and is basically the French answer to an American rodeo. The font is unusual [...]
Sternhagen is a classically attractive font with a modernized gothic look which combines traditional elements from the high middle ages with a bit of Art Deco style. It will eventually be part of our Gothic Fonts Collections, but for now it is available singly.Sternhagen has a complete upper and lowercase charact[...]
It has taken a lot of hours of development, but we finally have our promised Walter Crane Initials font. Or should I say FOUR fonts, because in the process of developing the font it turned out that we ended up with more than we bargained for. One reason that there are four fonts is that there was so[...]
Wolfram is a great example of early 20th century type design. It is bold and intended for use in posters and signage, but it has rough outlines for a mock antique look. It also has an unusually wide footprint for a very striking look.We originally produced Wolfram in the mid-90s, and it has been somewhat revise[...]
Merguez is a hand lettered font in the tradition of Speedball freehand calligraphy, but with some unusual flourishes. It makes an excellent alternative to boring informal hand lettering fonts like Comic Sans. It includes a full upper and lower case character set, plus numbers and punctuation. We picked the n[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Marquis Greeking is unreadable. It is supposed to be unreadable, because it is a Greeking Font, a font designed specifically to check layout and overall appearance without the distraction of the actual text. It contains variations of actual characters from our Marquis text font, w[...]
I was out to dinner for my daughter's birthday and we went to a nice restaurant in downtown Austin called Boticelli's. Much to my surprise the logo of the restaurant was strangely familiar. It was in our Sprite font, shown to the right. In this new edition we have improved the kerning and spacing, expanded alt[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Yancey is a new font based on a hand-lettered design by Samuel Welo in the late 1920s. It is very much in the tradition of Art Deco designs of that period and designed for decorative titles of poster design uses. Yancey includes two versions of the character set,[...]
Cavegirl is inspired by the genre of prehistoric epic films, the most memorable of which is One Million Years BC, starring the voluptuous Raquel Welch clad only in a legendary fur bikini. The style of the font is typical of the lettering used in the posters and titles for these movies, with a rough and primiti[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Roghwork is a unique font which combines a decoarative upper case character set with a simple set of lowercase characters. Designed primarily for use in titles and posters, the uppercase characters are based on samples of hand-drawn master designs for a set of roman-st[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Doge is a new font based on samples of late-renaissance period lettering from Venice, preserved and reproduced by early 20th century calligrapher and designer J. M. Bergling. It has some similarity to some of our other fonts based on lettering from the same period[...]
Every year around Halloween we come out with a new font that fits the spirit of the holiday, drawing on all sorts of sources for inspiration. You can find our past fonts in our Halloween Font and Art Collections. The font for this year is Undertaker, based on title lettering from Creepy magazine, the classic h[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Startling Stories was a pulp-era science fiction magazine known for its lurid covers by Earle K. Bergey and its eye-catching title designs. It was a companion to Thrilling Wonder Stories and Fantastic Stories. The magazine was very successful in the immediate pos[...]
At the start of every year we put out a special sampler package of the fonts and art which we released or revised in the previous year at a very low introductory price. It's a great way to try out some of our products. Now it's time to release the sampler for 2014, with a [more]
We're constantly putting new articles, new fonts, new reviews and new links to great sources on our site. Every week we send out a short email newsletter called the Scriptorium Update to let people know what's new on the site and with information on special promotions and great discount offers which are exclusive to ne[more]
Every year we try to amuse with some sort of April Fools prank. Last year visitors to the site were first greeted by what looked like a hacker takeover, a modest joke, but we've done some even bigger and sillier things in previous years. Here are some examples preserved as best we could. 1998 April Fools Page 1999[more]
Here's a little something from a more innocent age, a set of three decorative floral borders designed by L. E. Wright for the book Mary's Garden a collection of nursery rhymes together with explanatory/elaborative stories also by Wright. There are just three borders, so it's not exactly enough for a package in its o[more]
Too often when looking at antique books we concentrate on the contents and ignore the covers, but some book covers are artworks in their own right and cannot be ignored, this is even more true with eBooks which are more and more causing content to be divorced from packaging. In the early 20th century, before the adv[more]
BUY NOW True Golden is a classic font based on a design by legendary arts and crafts designer and author William Morris. It is a special rendering of Morris' Golden type, based on printed samples rather than digitized steel type, preserving a more accurate representation of the look in print. True[more]
In our endless acquisition of graphic arts resources we come across oddities from time to time. One of those is this collection of classic fairy tales told through illustrations by Frank T. Merrill, which were published in a series of children's books called Heart of Oak. They are here free to download as a bonus for [more]
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