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Art that goes pop!,
This review is from: Pulp Art: Original Cover Paintings for the Great American Pulp Magazines (Hardcover)
Pulp fiction is an acquired taste these days; although I was born in the sixties, long after the death of these magazines, the paperback boom in science fiction and fantasy following the explosion of popularity due to Tolkien and "Star Wars" put much of the classic pulp series in my hands. I still love the stuff, much in the same way that I enjoy sitting down to a childhood meal of Captain Crunch or a chocolate Sundae. This book provides the graphic counterpart to the words I know so well, in gorgeous reproduced color. The pop culture of the thirties is to this day some of the deepest and most endearing, from Fred and Ginger to the Marx Brothers to the Wizard of Oz movie to hard-boiled detectives to golden age science fiction to the westerns to...well, you probably get the point by now. This is an art that was never intended to do anything more than sell a magazine, but it shows a vitality and craft sadly missing from the same kind of art today. Granted, some of it is misogynistic, sadistic, and racist, but then almost everything in western society is, even to this day. Taken with a little salt, the paintings reach out and bash you between the eyes, daring you not to pick up the magazine they advertise. The book provides an introduction to the topic unmatched elsewhere, and makes suggestions for follow-ups to the fan. The pictures alone are worth the price: they range from N.C. Wyeth to J. Allen St. John to Margaret Brundage to Rafael de Soto (whose use of light, darkness, and bright colors is perhaps the most striking in the whole book, at least to my uneducated eye -- regardless, his paintings in particular leap off the page). All in all, a most enjoyable volume.