Thursday, September 10, 2015

Weasels Ripped My Flesh (1)

"I was sprawled on a mound of hay - shotgun
cradled in my arms and head drooping fiercely
from want of sleep - when that first ripple of
alarm surged through the duck house.

Instinctively my finger curled on the trigger
as I sat upright, blinking at the soft amber glow
of the kerosene lamp suspended from the rafter.
I heard nothing. Only the breeders shifting
timorously in their pens and quacking."
Does this sound familiar to you?

The answer is probably "No", and there's no reason they would unless
you are profoundly interested in pulp magazines from the 50s. They
are the opening passage to a story by Mike Kamens that appeared
in the September 1956 issue of Men's Life magazine,
entitled `Weasels Ripped My Flesh`.

The story was good enough to be the cover of that month`s issue!

The cover art was done by Wilbur `Wil`Hulsey, who did a lot work
for Man`s Life and other major pulp publications in those days.
The weasels were not his only foray into the danger animals
represented to would-be heroes:

Nor were weasels and turtles the only creatures
seeking to rip the flesh of their oppressors...

There were snakes:

Man-eating rats...

Nasty little monkeys...

Giant otters...

and giant crabs!

All of which is quite colorful and interesting in it`s own right,
but how, you may well be asking, does this connect with Frank
Zappa, the Mothers of Invention and one of the better-known
album covers in the history of rock?

The answer is here, at Weasels Ripped My Flesh (2).


Here are links to some sights where I learned a lot,
found some images and got very pleasantly distracted.

the deep background on "the weasels"
and other elements of pulp life at:

more flesh rippers and other classic pulp magazine covers here:

and here:

more pulp headlines


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