Gay/Queer Pulp, Part 2

Hope you enjoyed my post from last week.  Here’s more, with one example towards the bottom that shows how the artwork changed in the 70s.  Generally, I don’t think it’s as compelling, but the one particular example I do have shows some feet, so I gave it a pass.

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This final one is a fake, as you can see from the original in the header image of this post above, but it’s still pretty good, so I’m going to include it.

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If you did enjoy these and want to see even more, I recommend the site Gay on the Range.  You can also do a google search for “gay pulp” or “queer pulp” (as it was commonly called at the time), and many images will come up.  Most of it is lesbian related, and their cover art is just as compelling, but being this is a gay male site, I thought I’d focus on that.

As I hinted last week, I did say there was one book of this type that I did read.  Unfortunately, it was straight, but when you see the cover and the tag lines, you may see why I couldn’t resist it.

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“SOCIETY SHOCKED! parents appalled!  DECENCY OUTRAGED!”  Sounds like a pretty typical night for most readers of this blog, I imagine.

The back cover, which didn’t really have any artwork at all, read:  “THE HIDDEN BEAST IN EVERY MAN!  Dan Miller was a teacher–guardian of truth–respected member of the community–until he discovered the horrible secret within him.  He was a slave to… FORBIDDEN PASSIONS!”  Maybe not the best grammar, but definitely interesting.  Below this paragraph of text was a drawing of an ear–really–and the quote, “Everything I’ve heard about it is true”.  It should be noted this quote is not attributed to anyone.  Now I ask you, how you can resist a book like this?

Granted I read it a long time ago, but I actually remember being fairly surprised it wasn’t too bad.  I seem to recall it mostly being a steamy love triangle, although again, it’s been a long time.

While we’re at old and unusual books, I’m going to list one more.  This was a used bookstore find of a book from 1944, called You Only Hang Once.

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I bought it for this very cool front cover, and although I don’t have a picture of it, equally cool back cover that showed a cut-away map of the scene of the crime.  I certainly didn’t expect any sort of gay content, I just was curious what a dime store story from that era would read like.  Imagine my surprise when I was only 3 pages in, where our hard-boiled detective is confronted by a man described as follows… and I will quote the book directly here:

He was leaning carelessly–all except that gun hand–with his back against the closed door.  His dark blue sport jacket was a fitting complement to the slack except that it was just a touch too narrow in the waist and just a bit too broad in the shoulder.  His pale magenta shirt had 3 1/2-in points to the collar.  A red-figured lavender tie was matched exactly by the handkerchief protruding from the upper left pocket of his jacket.

A face went with the ensemble.  A face which was so handsome it startled me.  It was more than handsome–it was beautiful.  A chin and mouth like a girl’s; a perfect, straight nose; wide-set large blue eyes under arched brows; all crowned with a head of blond wavy hair which made his six feet somehow seem taller. Yes, a beautiful man.  I idly wondered how long he had sat under the wave machine to get that hair effect….

…I began to get mad.  Damn it!  Stuck up in broad daylight, in my own office, and by a fag.

No lie, that’s an exact quote.  Although it does turn out this is a relatively minor character, he does later kidnap the detective and tie him up. However, this is a mystery story, not a sexy/kinky one, so nothing else happens.  Still, I was quite started to see that last line in a book so casually mentioned within the first 3 pages from a book in 1944.

There is one final book I think I’d like to talk about, and it is one of the most fucked up books I have ever read in my entire life.  But I think I’ll have to talk about that one another day…

 

 

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