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Pulp Art [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Robert Lesser
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Value Publications; illustrated edition edition (10 Mar 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517200589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517200582
  • Product Dimensions: 30.5 x 23.1 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,583,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

The American pulp magazines of the 1930s, 40 s and 50s had some of the most colourful, exciting and memor able covers ever. This exclusive collection reproduces more than 100 of the rare original paintings, accompanied by an a uthoritative text. '

From the Publisher

The editor of Pulp Art comments on the quality of the text
With due appreciation of the favorable comments on PULP ART posted on-line and being communicated from all parts of the country, I must point out that the comments previously posted here about some "spelling errors" do the book a great disservice. To ignore the quality and content of the text completely and focus on typographical considerations is to unfairly characterize a wonderful book--which is in reality very well-produced.

As the book’s editor, I can attest to the attention that was given to editing, copyediting, proofreading, spell-checking, and otherwise preparing the computer document that generated the book. Special care was taken to ensure consistency of spelling and treatment for the innumerable names of artists, publishers, paintings, and pulp magazines. A commissioned proofreader did a commendable job.

Most significantly, I myself have just reread the book from cover to cover and can happily report that any criticism in this regard is much ado about nothing. There is no accumulation of such mistakes or faults that could mar the readability of the book in any way. Misspellings and typographical problems are so minimal as to be unnoticeable. In fact, my editor’s eye was pleased to find so few (four, and barely) problems--less than editors normally expect will crop up in any finished book as a rule, despite all the usual proofreading and precautions. No errors are acceptable, of course, and when we learn about them we are always anxious to correct them in an upcoming printing.

Overall, the editorial and stylistic decisions helped to create a book that is so full of consistently presented facts and details, so thrillingly and authoritatively written, and so free of any real typographical problems that would mar its enjoyment--that one wants to read it over and over again.

The pictures, of course, are the stars of the book--it is a gallery of American illustration never before assembled in one place. And their reproduction is impeccable, making for a book of dazzling color and unforgettable images.

The editor and publisher of PULP ART urge all its current and potential readers to scan the major print media closely for reviews of Robert Lesser’s extraordinary, ground-breaking book--many of which are slated for various holiday book-review sections in December.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pulp Art is not perfect but satisfying! 7 Nov 1997
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
_Pulp Art_ contains a varied collection of wonderful cover art from the pulp fiction of the early 1920's through the 1940's. The paintings are nicely reproduced, crisp and colorful. Intended to encourage the viewer to buy the book, all the cover art is sexually suggestive, menacing, or mysterious. The art also reflect the attitudes and prejudices of their times. The whole spectrum of different genres are represented here, including Science Fiction, Tarzan, Mysteries, Westerns, Heroic, Romance, and War. I found several spelling errors in this book, some of them quite obvious. _Pulp Art_ could have benefited from a decent proof reading, to be sure. Still, the beautiful art is fascinating to view and speaks louder than the printed text inside.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Good Typography Sells!" 9 Dec 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
However, with all due respect, a book about the pulps without at least one typo would not be true to its subject. That is to say, a hallmark of the pulps is the speed and verve with which the books were produced -- mispellings, tygos, broken fonts and printing blemishes included.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pulp Art is not perfect but satisfying! 7 Nov 1997
By webnik@globaldialog.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
_Pulp Art_ contains a varied collection of wonderful cover art from the pulp fiction of the early 1920's through the 1940's. The paintings are nicely reproduced, crisp and colorful. Intended to encourage the viewer to buy the book, all the cover art is sexually suggestive, menacing, or mysterious. The art also reflect the attitudes and prejudices of their times. The whole spectrum of different genres are represented here, including Science Fiction, Tarzan, Mysteries, Westerns, Heroic, Romance, and War. I found several spelling errors in this book, some of them quite obvious. _Pulp Art_ could have benefited from a decent proof reading, to be sure. Still, the beautiful art is fascinating to view and speaks louder than the printed text inside.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous and large 2 July 2008
By DoggyDawg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
At 12 x 9, this book gives its hundreds of pictures a first-class presentation. Many of the original paintings are reproduced at full-page (or nearly) size, giving you a chance to really study the detail. Beautiful coffee table book.
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Art that goes pop! 22 Aug 2000
By Robert James - Published on Amazon.com
Format: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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pulp Art Excitement !!! 9 Feb 2009
By Winston Blakely - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for reference and I'm glad I did. It captures
all the brush strokes of the original pulp art paintings, as best it
could. Nothing in this book is a waste...It is a treasure of a bygone
era. All the imagination of being an artist assigned to these fantastic
stories is display in this volume. My favorite section is the paintings
of The Shadow...Someday, I hope they do a whole book on the Pulp Art
covers of that classic character who knows what evil lurks in the
heart of men. This is a well worth investment for me and anyone who
is a fan of Pulp Art and Pulp Fiction... BRAVO!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much text 4 Mar 2014
By Bryan Byrd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
First off, let me say that there is a lot to like in this collection. Out of 182 pages, there are 56 full page reproductions of original art that came from the pulp magazines. At 12 x 9 1/2 inches, and with quality, heavy paper stock, these reproductions are probably worth the cost of the book alone. There are also 64 other illustrations (give or take) that are smaller reproductions of original art, pulp magazine cover reproductions, or other examples (book jackets mostly) of a particular artist's work. These range from a quarter to (rarely) three-quarters of a page - splitting the difference, they come to an estimated 32 more pages of art. Together, that makes 88 things I really, really liked about this book. Many of these reproductions are just gorgeous.

The 100 or so remaining pages are filled with text; and regardless of one's previous knowledge of or interest in the pulp magazine era, that's entirely too much verbiage in a book dedicated to a visual medium. This is true even if that verbiage was highly informative, entertaining or both. I respect Mr. Lesser for his dedication to this material, but I think this material speaks for itself. Add to that there are essays interspersed throughout the book written by other collectors, or those who knew the artists personally, which repeats much of the same information in the main text, and you get a criminal waste of great paper stock that would have been much better put to use by reproducing more full-page examples. The five chapters could have been condensed into one introductory piece perhaps ten pages long or so, and the remaining essays could have been inserted inside the genre groupings of the paintings. As it is, these minor essays are plopped directly in the middle of the different chapters, causing the reader to either interrupt reading the main text, or skip the essay and flip back and forth later on, in order to read all the material.

It could be that the paucity of this material forced the publishers to limit the full page examples. (Many of the smaller inserts are not reproduced from the original, but from the printed cover.) I could understand that, but I would just as well have seen a section reproducing the originals, along with supplemental material that might only reproduce distinctive pulp covers whose originals are lost. And, while I think the author rightly focuses on the most dramatic examples of this art, I also wouldn't have minded seeing a few reproductions (if they exist) of the romance, sports, or the train story pulps, or of some of the other, less sensational magazines, many of which were still extraordinary.

I suppose I shouldn't complain - what is here is excellent. It is a nice supplement to someone's collection of pulp magazines, or of other coffee table books concerning 20th Century Illustrative Art. The shame of it is that it has so much wasted potential.
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