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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

True Crime Magazine of the 1940s and 1950s

pcl2
True Crime Cases 1952 October

"In 1940, to halt the flow of Canadian currency to the United States, the Canadian government banned the importation of certain classes of magazines from the U.S. (See trade press coverage, reproduced below.) In the wake of these moves, Toronto-based publishers moved in to replace imported titles with magazines of their own. The Norman Book Company, Classic Publishing Company and, most notably, Superior Publishers, published dozens of humour, romance, adventure and true crime magazines from the early 1940s through the mid 1950s.

This site includes the covers of several dozen Canadian true crime magazines from the 1940s and 1950s. These magazines are part of one history of Canadian cultural production, of those moments in which Canadian producers have moved to fill the gaps created by legislation or trade restrictions. Their covers form part of a history of urban visuality. In the design of these covers, text has become graphic, and graphic forms have been designed to quickly communicate mood or sensation. As these covers change, over a 10-year period, we see the posed theatrics of the pulp magazine give way to portraits, typically of solitary women. Then, in the early 1950s, headlines, datelines and other conventions of tabloid publishing will become more prominent, as the visual languages of the exposé newspaper and magazine displace those inherited from the pulp magazines of the 1920s and 1930s. "

The Canadian True Crime Magazine of the 1940s and 1950s (via Exclamation Mark)