PHOTOS: These Hilarious Gay Pulp Fiction Covers Really Knew How To Tell A Story


I dunno about you, but when I think of gay pulp fiction, John Travolta in a bolo tie and ponytail doing The Twist with a coked-up Uma Thurman immediately comes to mind. But let’s take a moment to remember yesterqueer and the exploitative “literature” of the ’50s, ’60s and early ’70s detailing the seedy underbelly of homosexual life. They were the literary version of Bravo: cheap, trashy entertainment exclusively for gay men and bored housewives. And their covers were sometimes more entertaining than their plots. In the spirit of reading being fundamental and a picture being worth a thousand words, here are a few salacious covers from the golden age of pulp fiction along with what I can best glean are their plotlines.

homosexual-trainPlot?: Sorta like Murder on the Orient Express, but instead of the Orient Express, it’s the Homosexual Train. And instead of murder, it’s a bunch of dudes having sex.

naive-homosexualPlot?: Jimmy, a young, innocent, naive but eager bottom from Square State, USA comes to the Big City in search of love. Becomes a whore.


Plot?: Intrepid seamen venture to the Lost City of Atlantis, which turns out to be an underwater, underwear-only homosexual colony. Will the boys escape with their lives and shorts in tact?gay-bunchPlot?: A highly skilled group of gay jewel thieves pulls off one last heist: Elizabeth Taylor’s  white diamonds. But will they bring them any luck?

gay-whorePlot?: The novel that finally answers the question: can you turn a rent boy into a house-husband? Spoiler alert: no.

three-on-a-broomstickPlot?: A trio of witches tries desperately to kill Jessica Lange while evading an ageless and stunning Angela Bassett. Alternate title: The Witches of Eastdick.

in-dragPlot?: Up-and-coming legendary child Marsha Xtravaganza prepares to walk in her first ball. But when one of her sisters gags in jealousy from Marsha’s flawless face, she’s forced to find a new house.

queens-in-dragPlot?: Drag superstar Veronica Cake has to deal with a young rival, whom she later dispatches with a stiletto to the back of the head. But the show must go on, even as Veronica’s victim comes back to haunt her.

killer-queensPlot?: A favorite of a young Freddie Mercury, two soldiers go AWOL on each other during a murderous sexcscapade through the jungles of the Philippines.


Plot?: Noted nose Kevin Scent is in search of notes for his new hit cologne, when he falls for a twink with a heart as golden as his curly locks. But something smells fishy in their budding relationship.


Plot?: Tommy Bottoms, the hapless owner of the homosexual hotspot, Bottoms, must fight to save his bar from a gang of ruthless leather daddies. His only weapon: an ass that won’t quit.


Plot?: A retelling of The Devil and Daniel Webster, only this time, the Devil’s not taking currency in the form of souls.


Plot?: Lusty musician Brando “Sax” Saxon is jazzing all over town with an endless parade of women until he’s tromboned by a new addition to the band.


Plot?: From the outside, Greg seems like your average Adonis — with his rippling muscles, lantern jaw and dimpled chin — but little do his many admirers know that he moonlights on the weekend as ribald drag queen, Rosemary Thyme.


Plot?: The gay guests of a deranged millionaire become his pawns in a deadly game of cat and mouse, which quickly gets pushed aside for a no holds barred sextravaganza.


Plot?: Guess who’s coming to dinner? A family is nearly torn apart when their eldest son returns home for Thanksgiving with a man on his arm and a chip on his shoulder.


Plot?: Pastor Luke runs a camp for troubled boys out of the local church, but when a rebel with a cause challenges his authority, he has to show him who’s boss.


Plot?: Answering yet another question for the ages. Spoiler alert: it takes three hours and a five cocktails.

chocolate-speedwayPlot?: Drag queen drag racers compete in a deadly road race each night through Castro Street for fame, fortune and Ferragamo.

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Photos: Callum James |Tumblr| Gay on the Range