Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Books: Freddy's heat bills are atrocious and that money's got to come from somewhere.
So let's say you're some forest dwelling slasher. You live a simple, Thoreau-esque life. Your needs are no lavish. You have a pair of overalls and some army surplus. You have a head bag for casual wear and a hockey-mask for formal occasions. You don't watch television, play video games, or read – so your entertainment costs are at a minimum. You don't pay rent because you would presumably disembowel anybody who came to negotiate a lease for the accursed patch of sleepover camp that you call home.
Still, there are those unexpected costs that creep up on you. The cost of arrows, for example. Sure, a study machete will get you through a good 98% of teen slaughter situations. But it's nice to have ranged attack options. And you know you don't have time to go around recovering every arrow you let fly at some undergrad doofus who decided to leave his empty beer cans and spent Coney whitefish all over your nice clean woodland. These kids roam in packs and there's always a lot of screaming and yelling and running. Oy, the endless running. It gives me pains! Those 390 A/C/C Pro Superlight alloy/carbon broadheads you liter about really start to add up.
What? Make your own arrows? Sweetie, please. You're a slasher, not the last Mohican.
So you need money, but what to do? You can't just get a job. If the locals see you, you'll lose that all-important edge of sinister mystery. Plus, like, you're kinda justly wanted by the law for being a mass murdering psycho. What you need is a lucrative option that takes you far from your core market, allowing you to capitalize off your image without diluting the brand identity in your core market.
Well, you're in luck, my homicidal friend. Welcome to your new revenue stream. Pulp fiction book covers in India!
The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction is a sampler-plate intro to the delightful world of Tamil-language newsstand lit: a pulp universe recognizably similar to our own mass-market pulp alternoverse, but filtered through distinct cultural norms and given a unique spin. Editor and translator Pritham K. Chakravarthy selects ten notable Tamil-language market lit legends that give new readers a sense of the range in subject and tone of the Tamil pulps. I don't know that fans of American pulps will find their new favorite author hiding in these pages, but the talent on display in these stories is undeniable. Furthermore, the combination of familiar tropes and foreign culture make reading the volume a surprising pleasure, like eating comfort food that somebody has spiked with a particularly rich and unusual spice.
Why should a shambolic, seemingly sub-literate mass murderer like yourself care?
One of the treats included in the Tamil Pulp Fiction anthology is a series of color plates showcasing the trippy covers of this market lit. Several of these covers include images, both iconic and obscure, from American horror flicks. Below are samples of covers that rip off images from the legendary, The Exorcist, to the cult, Fright Night. The crappy scans are my fault. Chakravarthy's book contains high-quality reproductions of these and dozens of others.