The enduring appeal of the lowest common denominator
Who was the target audience for pulp magazines and books?
Judging by the cover art and content, the vast majority of pulps were designed to appeal primarily to a young, lower-middle-class male audience. Many urban youths, immigrants, and other lower- and middle-class males were drawn to the pulps by the vivid cover art—which often featured voluptuous women in need of rescue—and became literate reading popular “adventure,” “spicy,” and “true crime” stories. There were also some “romance” and “confessional” pulp periodicals aiming for a female readership, such as Ideal Love, True Confessions, and All-Story Love Stories, and the Harlequin romance novels had their predecessors.
Who were the illustrators who created these images, and what became of the original works?
There were a number of talented artists who painted the artwork that was put on the covers of pulp magazines, including George Gross, Rafael de Soto, Hugh Joseph Ward, Paul Stahr, and David Berger, among others. There are a number of aficionados who have collected and preserved some of the original artwork, but much has also been lost.”
You definitely want to read through this whole article – or at least scroll through it all to check out the amazing art work!!