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New Auction Showcases The Bygone Era of Pulp Fiction

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Long before guys could stream entire Netflix series on their iPads or smartphones, there was pulp fiction. No, not the 1994 Quentin Tarantino film. It refers to a genre of paperback books or magazines that usually had an eye-catching cover—a man on the verge of stabbing a shark; an alien making a scantily clad woman scream; a trench-coated private eye firing his gun—and a ridiculous, often trashy story to go along with it. By no means was this award-winning literature, but it was entertaining to a predominantly male audience. (Luckily for us, the pulps helped spawn genres like science and detective fiction, which gifted us with shows like Star Trek and True Detective.)

Go to any rare books dealer or antiques show nowadays, and you’ll find at least one or two sellers who specialize in pulp fiction. Art collectors have also started to notice the original cover paintings, and some of the pulp cover artists have become highly sought after. Heritage Auctions is banking on that fact for its upcoming “Illustration Art Signature Auction” on Oct. 12. Many of the lots are original pulp covers.

Below, RealClearLife has curated our 10 favorites lots from the upcoming auction, including their original titles and pre-auction estimates. To browse all the auction’s lots, click here.

 

Mort Künstler, “Amazon Tribe of Taboo Maidens” (For Men Only magazine cover, March 1968) – $2,000–$3,000 (View Lot)

Pulp Fiction Art
(Courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

 

Peter Poulton, “Hunting a Dangerous Animal” (Manhood magazine cover, June 1953) – $400–$600 (View Lot)

Pulp Fiction Art
(Courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

 

Unknown American Artist, Liability Limited (paperback cover, 1947) – $1,500–$2,500 (View Lot)

Pulp Fiction Art
(Courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

 

Unknown American Artist, Gang Girl (paperback cover, 1957) – $1,000–$2,000 (View Lot)

Pulp Fiction Art
(Courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

 

Unknown American Artist, Brutal Kisses (paperback cover, 1952) – $1,500–$2,500 (View Lot)

Pulp Fiction Art
(Courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

 

Harry Barton, The Quaking Widow (paperback cover, 1956) – $1,000–$2,000 (View Lot)

Pulp Fiction Art
(Courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

 

Tom Beecham, “Filming Gorillas” (Outdoor Adventures magazine cover, January 1956) – $800–$1,200 (View Lot)

Pulp Fiction Art
(Courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

 

Howell Dodd, “Bring Her in Alive” (Police Detective magazine cover, August) – $3,000–$5,000 (View Lot)

Pulp Fiction Art
(Courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

 

John Schoenherr, Our Friends From Frolix 8 (paperback cover, 1970) – $2,000–$3,000 (View Lot)

Pulp Fiction Art
(Courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

 

Josh Kirby, Son of the Tree (paperback cover, 1964) – $600–$800 (View Lot)

Pulp Fiction Art
(Courtesy of Heritage Auctions)