Thursday, May 25, 2006

Pulp Covers for Proper Fiction, with Some Extra Octopus

Slate has a far too brief slideshow today presenting covers of serious works of fiction done up in a pulp style, complete with lurid slogans like:
  • While the men are away...these kittens will play! - Little Women
  • One girl's drug-induced descent into dreamland debauchery! - Alice in Wonderland
  • Primitive pirate passions were a prelude to death! - Moby Dick
  • Gore! Glory! Greeks! - The Iliad of Homer
Honestly, I think it's only the allure of potential lesbianism that would get me to read Little Women, so I guess this would be a smart marketing move. If only I didn't know that, you know, Little Women was inside the cover.

Curiously, the Slate piece also links a site called Poulpe Pulps, "poulpe" being the French word for "octopus." The site displays pulp-y covers of popular fiction magazines, including comics, which feature octopuses. It has, of course, many a cover in which the octopus seems likely to score with a half-naked babe, as in the following from the August 1936 issue of "Spicy-Adventure Stories":

Which brings me to a beef I have with a particular James Bond flick. I find the title "octopussy" a bit odd. I mean, yes, octo-pus has three letters from "pussy" in it. Which is, I guess, something. But the octopus* is so much more readily masculine a symbol. Plus, what exactly would constitute an octo-pussy? Multiple tentacles? Suction cups? Octo-furcated vulva? A taste for shrimp and crab? The ability to squirt ink to hide a swift and hasty retreat? Confusion over the correct plural form? Is any of this in any way sexy?

Yet another reason why I don't really care for James Bond.

*and its eight arms to hold you!

1 comment:

MC said...

You know, I think if they released a version of Moby Dick and Iliad with that Slate covers on them... it would sell well.