BLACK MASK WEEK. On today's cover, the good old days when there was a separate bin for dead bodies. Bonus Feature: TWO DEAD HANDS...which is clearly a mystery story, since there is only one dead hand showing on the cover.
Today's cover is Beautiful Women and the Pervs Hiding Under Street Grates Who Love Them. Because nothing says I love you like a gun pointed up your dress. To tell you the truth, I've had nightmares of this exact scenario (minus the high heels).
Bonus Feature: The short story YOUR CORPSES ARE SHOWING...is this burial etiquette for homicidal maniac in your life?
It's Black Mask week, and I'm looking back at some of the best covers of the popular 1930s pulp magazine. One of the things I love about Black Mask is how silly the covers are (see the post below with the giant chicken foot).
Today's cover: Avoid women with cat-shaped hair. Clearly they are crazy cat ladies and have painted their cat's claws with poison nail polish. Bonus feature: PARDON MY POISON PLATTERS, which I can only guess are etiquette tips for the murderous dinner host. Also, MURDER IN ONE SYLLABLE, which presumably is, "DIE!"
The one part of research for my book that I enjoyed most was learning about Black Mask, a pulp magazine where some amazing writers (including Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett) got their start.
It was founded in 1920 by by journalist H. L. Mencken and drama critic George Jean Nathan as a way to help support their literary publication. Black Mask peaked in the 1930s at the height of interest in noir detective stories, but radio and TV soon filled that niche. Even so, the magazine continued until 1987.
Writers like Chandler (The Big Sleep, The Long Kiss Goodbye) were initially dismissed as lowbrow "pulp writers," but Chandler is now considered one of America's greatest literary writers.
Shirley Temple displays her utter disdain for clocks and calendars.
Actually, America's Sweetheart was a favorite model for ringing in the new year, as you can see by her photo shoots in 1935, 1936, and 1937. But it wasn't until 1939 that she was named Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses.