Wednesday, January 26, 2011

True Grit Pulp Covers

To celebrate TRUE GRIT's ten Oscar nominations this week, here are a gallery of pulp covers that display what "True Grit" means to me. To me, it's a combination of characteristics such as courage, honesty, a pioneer spirit, and the ability to stand up to the toughest of tests. Even though a western hero might be flawed (such as Rooster Cogburn), there is still an innate sense of the importance of doing the right thing. So these covers depict those characteristics for me. And, of course, women of the frontier had plenty of grit themselves, and so they are represented in some of these covers as well.

So what does "True Grit" mean to you? Is it something different than how I picture it?

WEST, September 10, 1927

FRONTIER STORIES, September 1927

ADVENTURE, June 1934

WESTERN STORY, August 26, 1939

WESTERN STORY, May 16, 1936

RANCH ROMANCES, August No. 2, 1931

WESTERN STORY, January 12, 1929

WILD WEST WEEKLY, May 12, 1934

PETE RICE, May, 1934

LARIAT, June 1934



WILD WEST WEEKLY, June 9, 1934


WESTERN STORY, December 27, 1941

BIG BOOK WESTERN, March-April 1937


WILD WEST WEEKLY, March 17, 1934

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Great covers! I love this stuff!

Evan Lewis said...

Fine selection. My favorite is the Adventure.

Cap'n Bob said...

I can't argue with your definition of true grit. Great covers, too. How's that for controversy?

Walker Martin said...

The ADVENTURE cover showing the cowboy riding the line or checking fences in a blizzard is great. It's by the excellent western artist Will James, who also wrote some books that Ron Scheer would be interested in.

Laurie Powers said...

Glad you all like them. Walker, I have read a little of Will James - I didn't know that cover was his work.

Walker Martin said...

Glad you mentioned you didn't know it was Will James, Laurie. I meant the WESTERN STORY cover for January 12, 1929, not the Adventure. The WESTERN STORY is signed by James.

By the way, I enjoyed the western segment of Pioneers of Television, but they only had 50 minutes and left so much out. You really need a multi-part series to seriously discuss western TV.

Laurie Powers said...

Yes agree about the show. They really raced through the material and had to leave a lot out. As a result it was very superficial. I really didn't learn a whole heck of a lot that I didn't already know.

Ron Scheer said...

Thanks for these. You know I always enjoy seeing more western covers. Thanks to Walker Martin for pointing out Will James. His style of illustration was much simpler than the colorfully kinetic that's the standard. I've read James and some day will get around to giving him a write up at BITS.

As for grit (the word "sand" was often used similarly), it's the dogged, fearless determination of the character Mattie in the movie. Rooster's grit has been somewhat compromised, I'd argue, and he has to regain it in the movie.