doing a pulp cover was fun.
This one has an odd origin. In the story I'm writing Blue Flash
, pulp novels are still popular. So I mocked up a couple of paragraphs from a 1959 Doc Savage
story – a decade after the series ended on OTL – intending to use it as background in the novel. Then Dale suggested/requested I actually write such a story, as we are both fans of the genre of pulp.
So I did – or at least, have started to.
Then faced with a need for a cover for the same disty that story was going to be in, I decided “Why Not?” and made a “parody/homage” Doc Savage cover.
A bit of background on the story it‘s a cover for, since this is both AH and a period piece: When the novel was “written” on the Pasadena-D timeline
, the Great Depression had been over for seven years, but the economy was still in a long process of recovery. Tens of thousands of Japanese refugees were flooding into the SoCal area from the collapse of their empire, and the first a-bomb test is still three years in the future.
Technology in many areas is at least a decade behind what it would be on OTL – though obviously that varies from field to field – and pulp adventures still have a viable market. L.A. County's population is a bit less than four million and Orange County's only 300,000 and much of both is still farm, ranch and orchard (well, much of it was on OTL at this time too – there were still “cities” called “Dairy Land,” “Dairy Valley” and “Dairy City” at the time – and the names weren't ironic). There are far fewer freeways in the area
(just four – and the San Bernadino only reaches to the county border) and the Federal Interstate system never got off the ground, leaving most of the U.S. connected by two and – if lucky – four lane highways. A handful of P.E. and L.A. Railway lines are still running under MTA ownership and it'll be a decade until the last of them (except for the “LA&P” line
) die. The Civil Rights Act has just passed - and a lot of people aren't happy about that.
The background is a photo of the Hollywood sign, suitably altered to look painted. Doc himself is clipped from the actual cover to The King Maker
(May, 1934) then flipped so it wouldn’t be that obvious, with an electronic doo-dad mapped over the royal scepter thingy.
Then I matched the font styles of the original magazine to do those on this cover, stuck an address label for Pasadena-D on it, and away we go!
Something else to note, the address lable is to Rose Greenwood - who's a character in the novel Blue Flash
and thus not nearly old enough to be getting mail in 1959 (what with not being born until 1980 and all). This suggests the magazine is a reprint, so Doc Savage is still popular enough for such things there even into the 21st century.
POD’s disty number is “hidden” as both the price of the book and the number of pages.
And, yes, the title is itself
, a parody/homage to the title of the book it’s “appearing” in as backstory – Blue Flash.