Not for the faint of heart – a sordid collection of outrageous and extreme pulp fiction novel cover art from France.
Running between 1985 and 1989, this collection of French-language horror novels – some translations of works by Guy N. Smith, Shaun Hutson, Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum and others, some original works – featured the sort of outrageous covers that would seem unthinkable today – indeed, were unthinkable even then in the UK where artwork like this would have certainly attracted the attention of moral campaigners and the police.
The series began to run out of steam after the first few years, both in terms of the art quality and offensiveness, though some later editions are still jaw-droppingly tasteless. You often want to read these books just to be able to figure out what the hell is going on in the frantic cover art and if it bears any resemblance to the actual text.
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Oh my goodness, these are incredible! I never knew this series even existed.
This is why every country needs its pulp scholars to dig into the hidden and doubtless fascinating history of these publishers and the related writers and artists. Trash it may be, but worthless it most certainly isn’t.
I’m guessing this was a postwar Paris-based company, as it looks like they were releasing crime and SF as far back as the late 40s. Imagine the history and wealth of stories being lost to time.
Personal favourites, gardening Grandpa being stabbed through the face with a knitting needle, and the guy with a pterodactyl for a hand and tanks for feet???
Good work bringing this out in the open, where it can be leered at by all of us nasty oddballs and perverts.
There are more covers that I couldn’t source in decent quality – and there seems to be spin-off/copycat series as well. I’m researching those for a future post…
Apparently a book (French language) has been devoted to this series and others connected to it.
‘Gore: Dissection d’une collection’ by David Didelot was released in 2014 by Artus Films, a French DVD company that moved into publishing with this book.
Must be worth tracking down!
That one is now on the shopping list.
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