Everyone loves the covers to original true crime magazines. I even love the insides. This little photo essay on the good life in small town America comes on the cusp...the precise moment when the painted covers by all manner of pulp artists skilled with oils and a brush changed to the camera artist. 1953.
Let's put it in the right lingo.
Rudy had been workin' the night shift turning out paintings for the murder rags...suddenly, a pounding on the door made his brush wiggle like the little finger on a ten cent hooker. The Camera guys were at the door, and they weren't going away. Rudy put down the brush and picked up his blaster. "Go away, shutterbugs" he cried..."No one is taking my work away!" Big Frank and his ugly brother Rocco entered the joint, slapped Rudy's gun from his hand and tore the paint-splattered rug right from under his feet. His days sniffing turpentine thinner were over. "Clear out, art boy" groused Frank "We're puttin' in a darkroom."
The insides had already changed...black and white photograph reproduction in the guts was easier, and although they were stilted and staged shots for the most part, they were actual photos from the 40s on. But the cover had to be in lurid living (or lurid dead) color, and so were painted. Advances in printing techniques made actual photos for the cover possible. New clarity and fresh layouts were developed using pictures of models being strangled with heaving actual cleavage, not heaving painted cleavage. The bright colors once used on canvas were replaced with bright color backgrounds. Art became artless. The crimes remained the same.
BOOKS BY THE AUTHOR ARE HERE AND HERE
Labels: Pulp Magazines