Tuesday 9 July 2013

The Detective Tales cover for July

The time has come again when I upload a cover from the pulp magazine  Detective Tales and comment on it. I say the time has come again, but I don't have a specific time or date in the month when I do it, I only do it once a month, when convenient, when I feel inspired to do it or when I am not inspired to blog about anything else. As I mentioned in July 2012, finding a July cover is tricky, because so many of them have racist undertones, especially against Chinese. What's with July and China in pulp magazines?

This cover is from July 1942. Surely enough, there are Buddhas' statues on the picture, so the unknown villain(s) the hero is shooting could be Chinese. Or Japanese, as the issue was published during WWII, after Pearl Harbor. So you have one broken statuette inside which precious stones, probably rubies, were hidden, and the heroine carefully putting them on a cloth, while the hero (private eye? I always think the male protagonists are, unless otherwise stated) is gunning away in a classic stand. I wonder if they are not a recurring couple, as they do look like other couples we have seen before on other covers (here for instance). Anyway, precious stones and works of art are common MacGuffins in pulp literature and hardboiled crime fiction, so I thought it was interesting that it was featured on this cover instead of the villain.

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