Monday, August 17, 2009

Inspiration is Everywhere

Pulp Fiction. It's not just the name of a movie. It was that peculiar mid-century phenomenon that was a precursor to what today is called "the mass market paperback." Generally sold in drug stores and train stations for 10 cents, they were considered cheap and disposable. Fortunately for us in the early 21st century, some people were too cheap to dispose, and we are now blessed with a collection of covers from these sensationalist tomes!

Why do I bring this up? Because as a pin up girl not only should you be doing your basic 101 course and study all the great pin up masters like Varga, Petty, Elvgren, etc., but you need to be aware that great inspiration can come from any source; even the covers of cheap drug store novels.

The cover of a pulp novel was generally brightly colored to attract the eye, usually sensational and/or lurid and, for our purposes, featured a scantily clad or scandalous B-Girl type 90% of the time. Just take a look at the examples below and see what they did to 1984 and Animal Farm. I'm betting if they handed you that copy in high school you wouldn't have groaned so loud about having to read it! Wow, I LOVE masterpieces of 20th century literature, you would have thought.

Pulp novels are very collectible now and are well out of the 10 cent range these days, but you can pick up covers reprinted as post cards and collected in books (check out my Amazon box at the bottom of the page).

Just check out these babes; those lips, that hair, and hips that won't quit! Look at how the satin clings as she swoons over his arm or the side of the bed. There is a plethora of inspiration to be had here from hair styles to poses!

(Click for the larger versions).


Helen Highwater said...

Hahahahah, awesome, I have absolutely no recollection of the tiger and the tied-up woman in Animal Farm!

There's some great sets on Flickr of pulp covers that people have scanned in, such as this one:

RocketJNYC said...

I know, the Animal Farm cover is just a complete hoot! Imagine how you felt when you opened it up and found out it was really a story about animals on a farm that was an allegory for Communism! GYPPED. That's how you'd feel!

That Flickr set is great! I suspect some of those might be true crime comics which is going to be the next subject of this particular topic along with horror comics!


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