What is it about pulp novel book covers?
The illicit, the forbidden, the tantalizing – pulp covers specialized in all of these. Often a small paperback cover tells an entire story or, more often, hints at one. Pulp novel book covers are a glimpse into the mores and ethos of the mid-twentieth century, and marked the beginning of a new era in the mass marketing of books.
There are sub-genres and sub-sub-genres within the pulp art/pulp novel sphere. Detective. Sci-fi. Gay. Many images are overtly misogynist and almost all are overtly sexual or violent. And many more are just plain bizarre. There was a time when pulp art was so popular and sold so many books that publishers insisted that the paperback versions of “serious” novels have pulp art on their covers. And years later, it is hard to argue that there is still something irresistible about this uniquely American art form.
IF YOU LOVE PULP ART, TRY THE PULP-O-MIZER
It allows you to create your own pulp art, customize fonts, backgrounds, characters and messages to create something like this:
*WARNING: MAJOR TIME WASTER WEBSITE
Below are galleries of some of our favorite pulp novel covers that illustrate various genres: detective, fantasy, literary fiction and just plain uncategorizable.
CLICK AN IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION