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.

This post has been brought to you by:

reading rainbow

Photos: Callum James |Tumblr| Gay on the Range

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #gaypulpfiction #gaypulpnovels #photos stories and more


  • TheNewEnergyDude

    “The Chocolate Speedway”? “The Reamers”??? HAHAHAHA. I actually Googled a couple of these just to see if you weren’t pulling my leg.

    Hilarious! Love the little logo at the top right of the French Line collection.

    I think I actually want to pick up a few of these just for the comical value of how they must read nowadays.

  • AuntieChrist

    Great stuff, super high camp…Where can I find them..?

  • MikeE

    I don’t know how often Mr Brathwaite makes this same mistake, but..

    “INTACT”. It’s one single word. It’s not “in tact”.

    Sometimes your grammatical skills are frankly embarrassing.

  • Tyler100

    The Devil is Gay should be the title of JimBryant’s biography.

  • AuntieChrist

    @MikeE: Hey sweet pea. Don’t you ever make mistakes when you are typing..? I mess stuff up all the time and don’t always catch every error… Maybe Les will make you his secatary :-)

  • AuntieChrist

    @Tyler100: Jesus is gay so I bet the Devil is way sexier…Clever remark BTW…oooxxx

  • SpunkyBunks

    TV sucks these days. These would make great TV movies of the week to watch with your drinking buddies. You hear me Lifetime?!

  • hudson

    @AuntieChrist: lol. the grammar nazis on here are a bit much some days. i needs me a secatary too.

  • David Gervais

    I recently read “The Golden Age of Gay Fiction”, Dewey Wayne Gunn, Ed., MLRPress, 2009, ISBN 978-1-60820-048-1

    It’s a series of essays about the history of the genre. The book is valuable for its information about the business, the authors and the changes in censorship law.

    Unfortunately, the cover reproductions are small, so my recommendation is to read it for the history.

    There are other books that focus on the covers, however I don’t have the info handy. Anyone out there who can recommend other resources?

  • DerekR

    @MikeE: Embarrassing to whom? You? Get over yourself just a tad, makes you seem like a real c*nt.

  • rbettenc

    “Blow the Man Down”…perhaps I steal that for my next book! These are great.

  • tom-ba

    @MikeE: in tact– I thought it was word-play.


    adroitness and sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues.

  • tom-ba

    The “Bottoms Up” title is actually available on eBay. You can press the Buy It Now button. Buttons for Bottoms.

    Won’t be cheap, though. $125.

    Original cost, probably around $1.95. Not a bad investment, as it turns out.*


    * Probably would shock the artist, writer, and publisher, if they’re still alive, all who’d wish they could get that kind of money for their books now.

  • erichendricks

    Josephine explained I am dazzled that you can get paid $7107 in four weeks on the internet. check this link right here now>>> http://bit.do/fk7U

Comments are closed.