Librarian's Choice: The Art of the Pulps

LibChoice The Art of the Pulps

Title: The Art of the Pulps: An Illustrated History

Editor: Douglas Ellis, Ed Hulse, and Robert Weinberg

The editors of The Art of the Pulps: An Illustrated History have compiled an impressive and comprehensive collection of American pulp-magazine covers from the earliest examples of the 1890s to the late-1940s.

These periodicals have been around since the late 19th century and provided a forum for writers and artists to exhibit their work to the widest possible audience. They provided for readers, in turn, value for money, as they offered multiple stories by many authors, and the accompanying artwork, much of it eventually in colour, added an extra dimension that text-driven novels did not possess. Authors as well-known as H.P. Lovecraft, H.G. Wells, Julian Huxley, and Edgar Rice Burroughs shared the pulp magazine pages with lesser-known writers of the time; while cover and illustration artists were given a forum to ply their trade and earn money along the way.

Arranged according to genre, fans and scholars of these publications are well-served by this book. Genres as varied as westerns, detectives and criminals, femmes fatale, sport, adventure, film stars, romance, and science fiction are all given fantastic coverage, and the detailed explanations help to give personality and humanity to the artworks. 


The Art of the Pulps is well-illustrated in full-colour and published in a large enough format (255mm wide x 285mm high) that the images are easy to view and have preserved high-resolution details; a smaller format would not have done justice to the reproduced images. The accompanying text is detailed and informative, yet written in an easy-going style which makes it an excellent introduction to an extraordinary piece of publishing history.