Sunday, March 13, 2016

Up in Arms

I was going through some files of book images today, and I happened to notice a remarkable similarity between the fronts of three different vintage works by hyper-productive American pulp writer Bruno Fischer (1908-1992). Although they’re painted by at least two separate artists, the editions of his work featured here—Stairway to Death (Pyramid, 1957, with cover art by Harry Schaare; originally titled So Much Blood, 1939), Knee-Deep in Death (Gold Medal, 1956, with cover art by Lu Kimmel), and Murder in the Raw (Gold Medal, 1957, artist unidentified)—all feature beleaguered or belligerent men with unconscious, or perhaps deceased, women in their arms. Is Fischer to blame here for reusing similar events over and over in his fiction, or did the artists get a little … well, carried away?

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