Some personal exigencies of time management require me to temporarily reduce posting frequency here, so from now until the end of August you should expect to see one rather than two pulp-related posts per day. You should expect to see one pulp post every day at noon U.S. Eastern time. And there will be a slight shift in format during that time as well.
The format change was motivated by the curious feeling, while reviewing the cover archives for Dime Mystery Magazine, which was one of the earliest and most lurid of the shudder pulps. How lurid? Well, an early (1933) cover really set the tone here:
Fire, blood, sacrifice, a helpless female victim whose nudity is not shown but quite blatantly implied, cultists in robes, and a gun-brandishing hero who is (maybe) arriving just in time to save the distressed damsel: all very shudder pulp. The thing that struck me while going through the old issue covers is how frequently certain themes were recycled by just this one magazine over a publishing history of about six years (effectively 1933-1939, and and then on a reduced schedule with far less lurid covers into the 1940s). Apparently the editors of of Dime Mystery Magazine really liked, or more to the point, estimated that their readership really liked, seeing certain things over and over. And that naturally provoked me to have a bit of semi- or perhaps pseudo-scholarly fun trying to classify a few of them. Coming up with fifteen or so thematic categories proved to be quite easy, as you shall see — if you can bear to look — over the coming days.
(Notes: (1) The Tales of Gnosis College should continue to be published on its standard schedule, with a new page appearing every 24 hours at midnight, U.S. Eastern time. (2) All the images in this parade of memes come from the collection of Dime Mystery Magazine covers at Pulp Covers. Where possible, I have attempted to date them using the issue grid at the ISFDB or the cover index at Galactic Central.