John Jos. Miller’s CREATURE FEATURE

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PULP COVER FRIDAY GOES CALIENTE!

Or, as they like to say in the pulp field, spicy.

These were the soft-core porn mags of their time. There were a lot of clutching hands, heaving bosoms, panting kisses, white fleshy globes, glistening thighs, etc, but it rarely got more descriptive than that. Oh yes, bondage of various sorts was also very popular. I must admit that I am not widely-read in the field. The fiction is almost uniformly poor to mediocre, though some writers (For example, E. Hoffman Price, Robert Howard, Hugh Cave [often under the pseudonym Justin Case — get it?] in this decidedly peculiar sub-genre rose to acceptable levels of quality. But, we’re not talking about the writing here, are we?

There were a number of spicy magazines, but in this installment we’ll concentrate on the (intentionally?) ironically named Culture Publications line.

First up is Spicy Adventure, which lasted for 95 issues (1934-1942) until it changed publishers and was retitled Speed Adventure, perhaps in an attempt to escape the censor but more likely in an attempt to escape their creditors. (Such strategies were common in the pulp era, and writers, who at this level of the food-pyramid were probably getting paid one half to one quarter cent a word [that is not an exaggeration or misprint] were often left holding the bag.

Next up, Spicy Detective (104 issues, 1934 -192), which also underwent a similar rebirth as Speed Detective.

Spicy Mystery (73 issues, 1934-1942), which morphed into Speed Mystery.

And finally, perhaps my favorite as a title (I’ve never read any of these) Spicy Western (1936-1942), which became, yes, you guessed it, Speed Western.

As a bonus, here’s a sample of a non-frills, straight to the point magazine, just called Spicy Stories, presumably filled with spiciness of all kinds (1928-1938).

Who’s still with me? The month of January almost got away from me before I had a chance to post the next contest. This time, it’s a photo quiz. Below is an ancient artifact that recently resurfaced for reasons (since this is getting long) that will be revealed in my next post. It dates to the paleolithic, yet halcyon days of the summer of 1974. Can you spot John in the picture? Careful, it’s a trick question. Get you guesses in by noon, Monday. First correct answer receives a multiply-signed copy of INSIDE STRAIGHT, the first of the Tor wild card books; a fine condition first edition. Everyone else who ventures a guess will be entered in the bonus give-away that we’ll get around to someday. If you already have INSIDE STRAIGHT, I’m sure we can work something else out. Good luck to all.

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