John Navroth has an encyclopedic knowledge of just about everything related to monsters and horror. Luckily, I have them in my collection. Strung from rear-view mirrors, radio knobs or anything else that stuck out from the dashboard, they were a totem, a fetish, a collective counterculture howl of unconscious teenage angst. Originally a war trophy and religious ornament of certain indigenous South American peoples, shrunken heads, or tsantsas as they are called in their native culture, they later became a curio, then a pop culture phenomenon to a generation of novelty-starved baby-boomers. How did these repulsive and downright morbid things ever become so popular?
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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Development of the genre[ edit ] Cover of The Strange Path by Gale Wilhelm illustration by Robert Maguire In the early to mid 20th century, only a handful of books were published that addressed lesbians as characters in relationships with women. We Too Are Drifting Gale Wilhelm, Random House Pity for Women Helen Anderson, Doubleday Torchlight To Valhalla , later titled The Strange Path when reissued in paperback in Gale Wilhem, Random House During World War II, the military distributed small paperbacks to its forces, causing a large population of Americans to become accustomed to having access to cheap books and thus creating a demand for the same easy access to reading material when the soldiers returned home. These books were dubbed "pulp" fiction because they were inexpensive and usually sensational or low-brow, much like the "pulp" magazines of the first half of the 20th century. Pulps were not necessarily "low brow. Because the literature was not respected, it was not censored as readily, although most of the larger paperback publishers were wary of postal censorship, and, for instance, took care not to publish works that were overly supportive of "deviant" lifestyles.
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Origins[ edit ] The first "pulp" was Frank Munsey 's revamped Argosy Magazine of , with about , words pages per issue, on pulp paper with untrimmed edges, and no illustrations, even on the cover. The steam-powered printing press had been in widespread use for some time, enabling the boom in dime novels; prior to Munsey, however, no one had combined cheap printing, cheap paper and cheap authors in a package that provided affordable entertainment to young working-class people. In six years, Argosy went from a few thousand copies per month to over half a million. Seeing Argosy's success, they launched The Popular Magazine in , which they billed as the "biggest magazine in the world" by virtue of its being two pages the interior sides of the front and back cover longer than Argosy. Due to differences in page layout however, the magazine had substantially less text than Argosy.
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