Selling the pulps with posters
Updated: July 24, 2014.
As pulp collectors, we mostly focus on the actual product of the whole publishing process: the pulp magazines themselves, the stories contained within them, and the art on the covers.
I’ve touched on the premiums aspect of collecting — the club pins, membership cards, etc. — in previous posts. But before all of that, the publishers had to get the magazines off the rack, sold and into the hands of eager readers.
Doug Ellis, who published Pulp Vault, helps run the Windy City Pulp and Paper Show and is an avid pulp and pulp art collector, uploaded a number of advertising posters from his collection to Facebook recently. He’s generously given me permission to show them off here.
Also included is a Short Stories ad from the files of pulp fan and collector Richard Hall.
These posters were typically tacked to walls, shelves or counters of newsstands or shops hawking the latest titles. If you click over to the pulp photos gallery here at ThePulp.Net, you’ll notice pulp advertising posters in a couple of the images. In particular, look for the image from December 1929. It includes two interesting cutout standups for Ace-High Magazine.
Most of the posters below were printed, but three feature actual pulp covers on them. Two of Street & Smith posters use generic posters onto which different magazine covers could be glued; in these examples it’s Love Story and Doc Savage.
The Short Stories poster of Richard’s is similar, but just a cover glued onto a yellow poster board.
(I should note that many of the posters are different sizes and are not to scale.)
The first couple of advertising items come from my collection. (After a closer examination and talking with Dwight Fuhro, it looks as though this item promoting The Shadow Magazine ran as an advertisement. For more info, please see my “Ads for The Shadow” post.)
The next nine posters are courtesy of Doug:
And, Richard’s Short Stories ad:
Next up, it’s a Street & Smith poster for its Doc Savage Magazine. (I apologize, I don’t recall where this poster came from.)
Here’s a late addition (hat-tip to Richard for calling my attention to it). Like the poster above, it’s a cover for Black Mask attached to a backing poster. It comes from the Hake’s auction house website.