Sunday, September 25, 2022

Sunday Morning Bonus Pulp: Undercover Detective, April 1939

There's a lot happening on this cover. This is the sort of scene that Norman Saunders often painted on his pulp covers, and although the unknown artist of this one doesn't have Saunders' talent (in my opinion), I like it anyway because of its sheer enthusiasm. This is the third and final issue of the short-lived UNDERCOVER DETECTIVE. There are only a few authors on the table of contents whose name I recognize: Joseph Chadwick, Louis Trimble, and Wilbur S. Peacock. The rest are a mixture of house-names and authors who published a few stories and are little remembered. The star of UNDERCOVER DETECTIVE was Conway Clark, who was featured in all three of the lead novels. I don't know anything about the character. This story was published under the house-name John Cotton; the previous two were published as by "Richard Ariel". The first one is a rewritten version of a story by Oscar Schisgall published originally in CLUES. Whether Schisgall rewrote it for UNDERCOVER DETECTIVE and then wrote the other two Conway Clark stories, I have no idea.


Sheila Vanderbeek said...

Cover artist is: William F. Soare. Had a very distinct style.
Sheila Vanderbeek

Anonymous said...

I like Soare’s pulp covers a lot. He had a knack for dynamic staging and lighting, his heroes were dependably square-jawed, his villains low-browed brutes and his ladies wide-eyed, almost doll-like ‘Girls Next Door’. His vivid palette and almost cartoonish style made even intense Weird Menace type situations on the covers of DETECTIVE YARNS, DOUBLE-ACTION DETECTIVE, MYSTERY NOVELS, etc somehow appealing — exciting but not depressing.


James Reasoner said...

Thanks for the artist ID, Sheila.