lesbian pulp and the lavender universe: 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lesbian Pulp goes back to the future

Hi All! lesbian pulp and the lavender universe must return temporarily to the future. Will see you in the Fall!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mona's Club 440, San Francisco's First Lesbian Bar

Mona's Club 440 was San Francisco's first lesbian bar and most likely first in the USA. In 1934 Mona Sargent originally opened the bar on Union Street as a bohemian hangout for artists and writers. By the time the nightclub moved to 440 Broadway in 1939, Mona's had become a mecca for lesbians, transgenders and male impersonators. 

Shown above standing (l to r): "Butch"Minton, Jan Jansen, Kay Scott, Jimmy Renard. Seated: (l to r): "Mike," Beverly Shaw, unidentified, "Mickey".

Napkin from Mona's "Where Girls will be Boys"
One of the most loved performers was Gladys Bentley, sometimes called “The Brown Bomber” who often created raunchy lyrics to well known songs and flirted with all the women in the audience. Along with Bentley's growing popularity also came financial success and she eventually married her female lover from New Jersey.
Gladys Bentley advertised on Mona's banner.

Gladys Bentley
Mona's Club 440 lead the way for many other lesbian bars and nightclubs to open in the South Beach area. The 1940s and 1950s brought the Paper Doll, the Chi-Chi Club, the Tin Angel and Miss Smith's Tea Room plus many others.

Mona’s, San Francisco, 1945. (l to r): Kay Scott, Butch Minton, Jimmy Renard. 

Mona's old location (shown on a recent map)

For more on Gladys Bentley and other lesbian performers of the 1930 see my other post:

For daily 1950s queer and lesbian pulp fiction art and pix,
visit us on FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/lavender.pulp

Get fun vintage LGBTIQ Gifts and Lesbian Books visit www.lavenderpulp.com

Monday, May 13, 2013

Who are the Pulp Fiction Artists behind the canvases of Lesbian Pulp Fiction Cover Art?

Art by Rafael DeSoto

Pulpfiction illustrators of the 1950s pushed out book covers as fast as they could to keep up with the high demand for the new cheap pocket paperbacks that were selling in the millions.

Most of the pulp painters did pulp art just to pay the bills however a few enjoyed it as their main genre. Some of the best pulp artists worked on prestigious projects such as posters for 'Breakfast at Tiffanys' and the James Bond Films.
Rafael M. DeSoto (1904-1992) had one of the longest and popular careers in Pulp Fiction Art illustrating covers for The Shadow, Black Mask, Captain Zero and most notably "The Spider". He was the most prolific artist of the 1930s-40s pulps and continued illustrating throughout the golden Era of Lesbian Pulp. Born in Puerto Rico, a descendent of the famous conquistador Hernando de Soto, Jamie McDonald's documentary "Pulp Fiction Art" explores DeSoto's work.

Art by Rafael DeSoto

Art by James Meese

James Meese is best known for his pulp paperback covers and painterly approach especially in the subtleties of skin and facial tones. During the 1950s he created many covers for the Mickey Spillane and Agatha Christie books.  Without 'showing much skin', Meese created one of the most alluring lesbian pulp covers, Valerie Taylor's 'The Girls in 3B'.

Art by James Meese
Original Vintage Pulp Novel for sale 

Art by James Meese

The lesbian iconic image of 'I prefer Girls' was created by Robert Maguire who specialized in crime noir paperbacks and was known for his magnificent depictions of the 'femme fatale'. He had a knack for capturing a subject's emotions through a certain look in her eyes or a subtle expression on her face.

Using rich colors with stark contrasts and shadows he created over 700 dramatic cover illustrations in the paperback world since 1950. 'Dames, Dolls, and Gun Molls' by Jim Silke is a book on the artwork of Mr. Maguire (1921-2005).

'I prefer girls' Tee shirts
available at www.lavenderpulp.com

Art by Robert Maguire
Original Vintage Pulp Novel for sale 
Robert McGinnis (Born 1926) a member of the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame created over 40 movie posters including Breakfast at Tiffanys, Barbarella starring Jane Fonda, and several James Bond films. McGinnis was an apprentice at Walt Disney studios.  He went on to be awarded "Romantic Artist of the Year" by Romantic Times magazine for his artwork on over 1200 romance pulp paperbacks. He is the subject of a documentary film, 'Robert McGinnis: Painting the Last Rose of Summer' by Paul Jilbert.
Poster Art by Robert McGinnis
Art by Robert McGinnis
Original Vintage Pulp Novel for sale 

Poster Art by Robert McGinnis

Poster Art by Robert McGinnis

Good Girl Art
All of the above lesbian pulp fiction cover art are excellent examples of what is called in the business as Good Girl Art. GGA isn't about a 'good girl' but rather 'girl art' that is good.

Appointment in Paris by Fay Adams
Artist unknown
Available at www.lavenderpulp.com

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visit us on FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/lavender.pulp

For fun vintage LGBTIQ Gifts and Lesbian Books visit www.lavenderpulp.com

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fun at the Rainbow Book Fair

The 5th Annual Rainbow Book Fair was held at the Holiday Inn on West 57th Street NYC this April 12, 2013. The Rainbow Bookfair is the longest LGBT Book Fair in the United States. There were publishers, poets, individual writers, self-publishers and of course LavenderPulp. 

Over the course of the day there were many readings and appearances by notable authors such as Artemis Smith, lesbian pulp author of 'The Third Sex' and 'Odd Girl'. I spoke with Artemis about another book she wrote, 'This Bed We Made' about a french lesbian who seduces a married woman but ultimately helps the woman stay with her husband. 

Artemis said she got a lot of flack from the lgbt community because the female lovers did not stay together; but Artemis felt that since these 1950s pulp novels were some of the first contact many straight people had with the gay world, the book helped them to not see us as villains. Apparently the french lesbian was based on Artemis herself.
Artemis Smith (on right) author of 'This Bed We Made'
It was fun to talk with all the great lesbians (and several men) who were really excited about the authentic vintage lesbian pulp novels on display at LavenderPulp's table. It was a thrill for one student to see them; she said they learn about lesbian pulp in women's studies but don't actually get to see original copies.
Sam talking about lesbian pulpfiction artwork

Jake at the LavenderPulp table,
early in the day before we needed our coffee!

Another author I spoke with was Kanithea Powell about her exciting new coffee table book 'Butch', something I'd say has been missing at from the bookstore shelves. 

Last year's Fair was held at the Lesbian and Gay Center on 13th Street. Next year's location to be determined. The exhibitors were approximately 70% male, 30% female, hopefully that will keep on changing.

Last of all, I must mention one of my favorite parts: many exhibitors had bowls of candy and chocolate kisses at their tables! And LavenderPulp gave out great pulp bookmarks.

For daily 1950s queer and lesbian pulp fiction art and pix,
visit us on FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/lavender.pulp

Remember to bookmark this page!
Purchase authentic1950s lesbian pulp fiction novels and queer lgbtiq at www.lavenderpulp.com

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Why I Love Lesbian Pulp Fiction

Tee Shirts for sale
at www.lavenderpulp.com
Actually it's the artwork. Beautiful artwork. Paintings illustrating passion, tenderness, fear and courage. Luscious colors and beautiful women. Knowing these books were published at a time when lesbian love truly was "spoken in whispers". Thinking of the joy our sisters felt getting their hands on one of these books. In a world of warped publishing and exploitation, to me it is still the beginning of lesbian visibility.

The quality of the artwork for these 1950s lgbt books varied. Most of the artists did this work while they were waiting for their big break and overall the cover illustrations were not highly valued at the time. It is estimated that 90% were destroyed.

You've Got Your Good Art...

The book jacket of Young and Innocent is a lovely example of Good Girl Art also known as GGA. The collector's term Good Girl Art does not mean art about a 'good girl' (far from it). Rather it is a painting of a woman, usually a sexy attractive woman (regardless of the storyline) that is done well. It's ‘girl art’ that is good. Get it?

What's wonderful about vintage pulp art is how it compares to today's book covers. Vintage pulp art tells a complete story similar to the old movie posters before photography became the norm. If you want to own an original lesbian pulp paperback check out my online bookstore www.lavenderpulp.com

One of the nicest covers I've seen is the hard to find lesbian pulpfiction 'The Girls in 3B’ (the title alone is terrific, isn't it?). Its artist James Meese is best known for his painterly approach especially in the subtleties of skin and facial tones. Below you'll also see the preliminary draft.
The Girls in 3B lesbian pulp fiction book is for sale at www.lavenderpulp.com
Recently, at New York's Society of Illustrators, Robert Lesser confided in the audience that paintings he now owns valued at $30,000 were purchased not so many years ago for as little as $2,500.

Then There's The Other Art... 

One more thing...

For daily 1950s queer and lesbian pulp fiction art and pix,
visit us on FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/lavender.pulp

For fun vintage LGBTIQ Gifts and Lesbian Books visit www.lavenderpulp.com

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lesbian Pulp Switched Covers Faster than Some Women Switch Lovers.

Avon edition printed under their imprint ETON.

Lilyan Brock's story of passionate love in the theatre world … The book cover design for "Queer Patterns" seems to be a Three Act extravaganza.

Pulp 'Magazine' Version handcuffed to each other

Act lll

Sisterhood Version 1

Sisterhood Version 2

Remember to bookmark this page!

For 1950s queer and lesbian pulp fiction art and pix,
visit us on FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/lavender.pulp

For fun vintage LGBTIQ Gifts and Lesbian Books visit www.lavenderpulp.com

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Storme DeLarverie, the LGBTIQ Stonewall Hero

Storme DeLarverie, one of the LGBTIQ movement’s earliest activists, is known as the lesbian who fought back against the police during the Stonewall riots of 1969. Some have referred to her as "the gay community’s Rosa Parks. Storme passed away May 24, 2014.

Prior to Stonewall, police continually conducted raids on lesbian and gay bars. One could get arrested for kissing, holding hands and cross-dressing. Butch women in lesbian bars could be arrested if they were not wearing a minimum of 3 'ladies' articles of clothing.

During the 1950s and 60’s Storme toured with The Jewel Box Revue, America’s first racially integrated drag revue, billed as having “25 Men and 1 Girl” with the one girl being drag king Storme DeLarverie. Master of Ceremonies Storme was also an esteemed act at Manhattan’s infamous Club 82.

Despite crackdowns against gay performers and female impersonators, The Jewel Box Revue had a successful run for nearly 30 years (1939-1960s). At the height of its celebrity the revue headlined at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem.

Jan Britton and Storme DeLarverie

In 2012, the 16th Annual Brooklyn Pride organization held a Tribute honoring Storme. She was also recognized in a "Tribute to a Living Legend" by the New York's Henrietta Hudson lesbian lounge where she was a bouncer for many years. Michelle Parkinson produced a documentary about Storme DeLarverie:

Storme, The Lady of the Jewel Box
1987, 21 minutes, Color, 16mm/DVD

Storme in front of NYs Cubby Hole where she moonlighted as a bouncer for many years.
"Tribute to a living Legend" by Henrietta Hudson

Long time resident of New York's infamous Chelsea Hotel, Storme now lives in a senior citizen's home in Brooklyn, NY. 

Storme with Andre Christie,  NY Gay Pride March

Remember to bookmark this page!

For 1950s queer and lesbian pulp fiction art and pix,
visit us on FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/lavender.pulp

For fun vintage LGBTIQ Gifts and Lesbian Books visit our online store www.lavenderpulp.com

The Golden Age of Drag: showing The Jewel box Revue, Club 82 and Storme DeLarverie.