Kevin Burton Smith
Contributors, Regulars and Drive-Bys
Chris Baldemor a Beeper
Peter M. Bellani
Max Allan Collins
O'Neil De Noux
Wayne D. Dundee
Don B. Hilliard
Allen J. Hubin
Gary Warren Niebuhr
J. Kingston Pierce
Brian D. Rubendall
James R. Winter
See also Staff Bios.
The Thrilling Detective Web Site
Edited and published by Kevin Burton Smith since April 1, 1998.
Please send all review copies and promotional materials to:
Kevin Burton Smith,
The Thrilling Detective Web Site,
3053 Rancho Vista Blvd., Suite 116
Palmdale, California, U.S.A., 93551
Or contact the editor via e-mail.
We also accept large quantities of unmarked bills, no questions asked...
This Issue's Cover
Every now and then I find a cover that comes from an unexpected source. This issue's cover is one such example. I had no idea what I was looking for, until Jill Edmonson offered to contribute a little thinkpiece, "Sex... and Crime Fiction."
So I started searching the web and my mountain of picture books, looking for some cheesy, slightly cheesy image for the cover. Of course, the pulp fiction boom gave us zillions of wink-wink covers full of healthy young women wearing little more than a smirk. But I wanted more than cheesecake -- I wanted something to suggest both sex... and crime fiction. And I struck paydirt.
The source for this issue's cover was Luther Gordon's Naughty Virgin (1949, Magazine Village) a prime slice of post-war sleaze. This cover is so deliciously wrong in oh so many ways I just love it: that tiki taki typography, the slightly annoyed, slightly optimistic look on the dude's face (he might be a private eye, right?), the strapless bra (hot stuff for 1949) and the always eyebrow-raising black stockings, the suggestively open box of bonbons... and a slight modification I made just to bring it all home (can you spot it?).
But of course, any time I "borrow" one of these old covers, I invariably have to alter things. In this case I genuinely regret having to delete the original text, which featured not one but two gloriously over-the-top taglines that seem to have very little to do with each other: "She wanted love... and didn't care where it came from" and "Women are freight." Huh?
But as dumb as they are, the real winner is the blurb slapped on the conveniently placed black banner: "The most thrilling novel I have ever written." By Luther Gordon himself. Now, that's chutzpah! Luther was evidently a man ahead of his time.
Our pal J. Kingston Pierce, he of January Magazine and Rap Sheet fame, reveals himself to be a crime cover geek of the first degree in Killer Covers, this don't-miss blog. He offers a cover-of-the-week feature, discusses both legendary and hot new artists and illustrators and keeps an eye on the good, the bad and the ugly.
And then, if that isn't enough, do check out Illustration Magazine. Talk about eye candy. This allegedly scholarly magazine devoted to the history of American illustration art is just too delicious to leave to the eggheads. It's published quarterly in full color and each issue features some of the highest quality printing, photography and color reproductions of original art you'll see anywhere. Highly recommended for any gazebo out there with a jones for pop culture and commercial art, but readers here will particularly dig the regular features that pop up on the artists and illustrators who worked on comic books, paperbacks and the pulps. Fun? YES! But collectors will love it too.
Finally, be sure to check out our very own "Dare to Judge This Book: Great Pulp and Paperback Cover Artist."
By the way, if you 've enjoyed our covers over the years, But if this is your sort of thing, have patience. We are planning to eventually have a sort of gallery of previous covers, reproducing the full-size covers. I'll save some brimstone for you. In the meantime, you can take a gander at the collage of covers we used for our tenth anniversary issue right here.