RARA-AVIS: Here's my theory

From: Bill Crider ( bcrider@houston.rr.com)
Date: 20 Aug 2003

I've spent a good bit of time lately perusing Adam Parfrey's wonderful book IT'S A MAN'S WORLD: MEN'S ADVENTURE MAGAZINES, THE POSTWAR PULPS. So here's my theory. The pulps never died. In the 1950s, they were continued in the form of paperback books and men's adventure magazines (the ones with great stories, often supposed to be true, like "Death Orgy of the Leopard Women"). I'm sure some of the writers we discuss on this list had stories and condensations of novels in these magazines. I hadn't known that Mario Puzo wrote millions of words them, and they lasted until well into the 1970s. At about the time when those magazines were dying, the men's adventure paperbacks flourished. You know the ones I mean: the Executioner, Hit Man, Butcher, Destroyer, Assassin, etc. And about the time those died out, video sales and rentals boomed. I read an article the other day about the fact that most videos are rented and bought by men, a fact that's shaping the video market in the same way the mystery market was shaped when publishers discovered that most of the books were being bought by women.

Anyway, if you like looking at great covers, you need a copy of Parfrey's book. There are also some very interesting essays and interviews.

Bill Crider

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