Selling the pulps with posters, II
It’s easy to think of the pulp magazines as solitary items today — 70, 80, 90 or more years after they were for sale on newsstands — and forget that there was a whole business behind them. There were writers, artists, editors, publishers, printers, secretaries, vendors, and others who depended on getting magazines sold so that they could get paid.
Just like with retailers today, pulp publishers in the first half of the 20th century had to advertise to make readers eager to shell out their nickels, dimes, or quarters for the latest fiction magazine. The covers did a lot of the selling, but posters provided a larger canvas to promote the magazines, one that could be seen farther away.
A couple of years ago, I featured a selection of posters that publishers used to advertise their pulp magazines. I thought it would be fun to take look at a few more.
This time out, we’re focusing on the Street & Smith Publications pulps.
First off is a general promotional poster for Street & Smith itself.
Going in alphabetical order, here’s one from Astounding Stories. (Click this image to see it larger.) This is probably from 1931 to 1938 (with the exception of January through March 1933). That’s the time period in which the magazine’s title was Astounding Stories.
A poster for Clues is next.
Promising action is a poster for Detective Story Magazine.
This poster for Love Story Magazine focuses on the women.
The next poster features the cover of the first number of Pete Rice Magazine (November 1933).
And, finally, here are a pair of posters for Western Story Magazine. The use of color in these two posters is particularly striking.