Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Superman's Pal, the Smut Monger

The average person probably never makes a connection between Superman comic books and girlie magazines. For most people the two seem to exist in wholly different worlds, worlds which cannot possibly intersect. Comic book historians know better. Among the important figures in the history of DC Comics is one Harry Donenfeld. He did not found the company, but he and his partner Jack Liebowitz would essentially create the company we know today. As a printer, Harry Donenfeld would enter the world of publishing through girlie magazines and what would later be called "spicy pulps"--pulp magazines with a strong hint of sex. Today the material Donenfeld published would be considered tame, but in his day Donenfeld was considered, to put it politely, a smut monger or, to put it bluntly, a pornographer.

Donenfeld would enter the field of publishing through magazine publisher Frank Armer. It was in 1922 that Frank Armer and his partner Paul Sampliner launched the magazine Screenland. Screenland was a magazine devoted to movies and the movie industry, not unlike Photoplay eleven years before it. Screenland would prove to be a success, being published for literally decades. It may have been Armer's most lasting success. Screenland was printed by Harry Donenfeld through his Donny Press.

Harry Donenfeld was one of those colourful characters so plentiful in New York of the Twenties. A true citizen of the Jazz Age, he enjoyed drinking and women. And Donenfeld was not below engaging in some shady business. An acquaintance of gangster Frank Costello, he reportedly smuggled bootleg liquor for the mob and contraceptives (then illegal to send through the mail) for birth control activist Margaret Sanger. He entered the printing business through his brothers Charlie, Mike, and Irving and their Martin Press. By 1923 Donenfeld bought out his brothers and renamed the company "Donny Press."

With the success of Screenland, Frank Armer started publishing another magazine, this one entitled Artists and Models On the surface Artists and Models was an art magazine. As an example, an early, 1925 issue featured an article on choreographer Ned Wayburn, a short story by Mella Russell McCallum, many photos of celebrities and Ziegfield girls (among them soon to be film star Louise Brooks), many illustrations of fine art, and a piece on people on the stage and on the screen by Frank Armer himself. In most respects, however, Artists and Models was essentially a Jazz Age equivalent of Playboy. For all its pretence, it was what is known as an "art nudie."

In 1925, the same year that Armer launched Artists and Models, Paul Sampliner would leave to found Eastern News, a magazine distribution company, with Charles Dreyfus. Of course, with the success of Artists and Models, Armer wanted to expand with similar magazines, such as Modern Art and later French Art Classics. Without Paul Sampliner, Frank Armer looked to Harry Donenfeld for extra capital. It was initially as Armer's silent partner that Harry Donenfeld first entered publishing.

Thirteen years before Harry Donenfeld put capital into Armer's magazines, in 1912, William Clayton would make an innovation to the industry with a brand new magazine. Snappy Stories was a somewhat risqué publication for the time. It published stories touching upon the subject of sex and illustrations of scantily clad women. It was the first of a new breed of pulp magazine--the "hot pulp" or "spicy pulp." Unlike most pulp magazines, Snappy Stories and those that followed it were not sold openly at newsstands. Instead they were sold under the counter at newsstands, cigar shops, and other places men might be inclined to gather.

The success of Snappy Stories naturally led to imitators, with such titles as Saucy Stories and Bedtime Stories. Among those who imitated Snappy Stories was Frank Armer. In 1925, the same year that he expanded his art nudie line, Frank Armer launched Pep!, which featured racy stories and, for the time, risqué illustrations. Pep! would do something only a few other pulps would dare do--it featured a woman with unclothed breasts on one cover. Pep! was a success. It was not long before Armer added other spicy pulps to his line: Spicy Stories, La Paree, Ginger Stories, and so on.

With the success of Armer's line of hot pulps, it seemed that Harry Donenfeld was no longer content to remain a silent partner. In 1929 Harry and his brother Irving formed Irwin Publishing to publish their own spicy pulps, magazines like Juicy Stories and Hot Tales.

That year was historic for another reason, as it was in 1929 that Harry Donenfeld hired Jack Liebowitz as his business manager. Jack Liebowitz was the son of Julius Liebowitz, an organiser for the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Julius had turned to the Donenfeld brothers and Martin Press to print leaflets for the union. In turn, Julius became an unlikely friend of Harry Donenfeld. Jack was an accountant by trade. He had studied accounting at New York University and kept the books for the ILGWU the whole time. With the stock market crash of 1929, Jack Liebowitz found himself out of work. His father, Julius, then looked to Harry Donenfeld to see if he could find work for his son. Needing a business manager, Donenfeld hired Jack. Like his father, Jack was serious minded with a strong sense of responsibility. Like many involved with the unions at the time, he had been a Socialist, but drifted away from it in the Twenties. He was not particularly comfortable with being the business manager to a smut monger. But Liebowitz had a family to feed. Ultimately, he would remain in the publishing business for nearly the rest of his life. Of course, in the end it was the business of publishing comic books, with which Jack was much more comfortable than the spicy pulps.

While Harry Donenfeld's pulps were doing well, Irwin Publishing found itself in dire economic straits in 1931. Due to circumstances somewhat beyond Donenfeld's control, the company could not pay its creditors. Fortunately, Donenfeld had a plan. With creditors at his door, Donenfeld declared Irwin Publishing bankrupt. He then sold Irwin Publishing's magazines (Juicy Stories, Joy Stories, and so on) to another company he owned, Merwil Publishing Inc.

It would be 1932 that would be another historic year for Harry Donenfeld. Frank Armer owed Donny Press money for printing. To clear these debts, Armer let Donenfeld have La Paree, Pep!, and Spicy Stories. Later that year Donenfeld was instrumental in creating the Independent News Company. Paul Sampliner's Eastern News having gone bankrupt that October, Donenfeld then talked Sampliner into founding Independent News with himself, his brother Irving, and Jack Liebowitz. The Independent News Company would become one of the most powerful distributors in the United States, eventually becoming Warner Publisher Services after the creation of Warner Communications in 1972.

At the same time, however, Harry Donenfeld was in danger of not being able to publish any magazines at all. The New York Citizens Committee on Civic Decency launched an attack on the hot pulps. They made such a clamour that the District Attorney eventually arrested four newsstand operators for selling pornographic materials (even though they would be tame by today's standards). The charges against the newsdealers were dropped, but only with the condition that the publishers had to come before the Citizens Committee on Civic Decency, and agree to shut down what they considered the dirtiest magazines and tone down the others. Harry Donenfeld met with the Committee that July, where he more or less lied to their faces. He agreed to cancel La Paree and tone down his other magazines, but La Paree ran a few more years and Donenfeld's line of spicy pulps remained as titillating as ever.

Things seemed to be going well for Harry Donenfeld and his little magazine empire. As noted in the Jul. 31, 1933 of Time, Merwil Publishing acquired the then 88 year old Police Gazette. Time noted that "Merwil Publishing Co. issues five of the smuttiest magazines on the newsstands—Snappy, Spicy, Gay Parisienne, La Paree, Pep..." Harry Donenfeld also launched a somewhat more legitimate pulp magazine that year, Super-Detective.

It was also late that same year that Harry Donenfeld conceived of his most successful magazine outside of the comic book business. Nineteen fifteen saw the debut of Detective Story, published by Street and Smith. Its success paved the way for other detective and mystery pulps, the most successful besides Detective Story itself perhaps being Black Mask (which would feature the work of Erle Stanley Gardner, Dashiell Hammett, and Raymond Chandler). The sexy pulps had been popular ever since the debut of Snappy Stories in 1912.

Donenfeld decided to combine the hot pulp and detective pulp genres into one magazine, Spicy Detective. Naturally, he created yet another company to publish it, called Culture Publications. It debuted with a cover date of February 1934 and proved to be a smash hit. Spicy Detective would even create its own hero. Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective first appeared in its June 1934 issue. He would continue to appear in it for the rest of its run. So successful was Turner that he eventually received his own magazine in November 1942. He was also adapted to the big screen in a 1947 movie called Blackmail, with William Marshall as Turner. He was also adapted much later for the small screen, in a 1990 TV movie called The Raven Red Kiss-Off or Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective (Mark Singer of BeastMaster fame played him there).

Spicy Detective was so successful that Donenfeld applied the "spicy" twist to other genres. Spicy Adventure combined traditional adventure stories with a dose of sex. It debuted with a cover date of July 1934. Spicy Mystery was Donenfeld's take on Weird Tales. It debuted about the same time. Spicy Western debuted later, with a cover date of November 1936. The "Spicy" line proved very popular, popular enough that the word "spicy" is often used to describe their particular genre--the "spicy pulps."

Unfortunately, just as Donenfeld was seeing his biggest success, the sex pulps came under scrutiny again. In 1933 Fiorello LaGuardia was elected mayor of New York City. Among his goals was to clean up the city. He fought corruption at city hall. He cracked down on gambling. He closed the burlesque houses. And among the first things he turned his attention to were magazines. As reported in the March 12, 1934 issue of Time, LaGuardia's commissioner of licences announced that anyone caught selling "dirty magazines" would be shut down. Worse yet, every single police officer in New York was ordered to insure that 59 magazines banned from New York were not displayed or sold at newsstands. The Civil Liberties Union immediately got involved. As for Harry Donenfeld, his companies Merwil Publishing and Culture Publications, along with rival Nuregal Publishing, filed an injunction against the commissioner's order on the grounds that he was endangering a thriving business.

Sadly for Harry Donenfeld, things would go from bad to worse in March 1934. Having pushed the envelope with his girlie magazines for the past several years, he finally pushed it too far. He published a picture of a fully frontally nude woman without airbrushing the pubic hair on a cover of Pep! Only a little pubic hair actually showed, but it was enough for the District Attorney to charge him with obscenity. Donenfeld found a fall guy in the form of editor Herbie Siegel. Donenfeld told Siegel that if he claimed to have edited that issue of Pep! and published the picture without Donenfeld's knowledge, then Donenfeld would make sure he had a job for life. Siegel did so and spent his jail time. And Donenfeld was good for his word. Siegel worked for Independent News and DC Comics for decades. As a precaution against further prosecutions Donenfeld founded another company, DM Publications, with a mailing address of Wilmington, Delaware. He then "sold" every property Merwil owned to DM Publications and closed Merwil down. Being located in Delaware, DM Publications would be exempt from New York laws on obscenity.

More bad news would come in May. The New York courts upheld the order from the commissioner of licences. This meant that many of Donenfeld's magazines would not get exposure at New York newsstands. Many of Donenfeld's rival publishers simply went out of business. Among them was Nuregal Publishing. They sold their titles Bedtime Stories and Tattle Tales to Donenfeld. Donenfeld also introduced Spicy Adventure and Spicy Mystery that year.

Another good thing, amongst all the bad things, happened for Harry Donenfeld in 1934, even though it did not affect him immediately. A former officer of the U. S. Cavalry and a successful pulp writer, Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson founded National Allied Publications with the intention of publishing a brand new medium, comic books. He published New Fun #1 with a cover date of February 1935 that year (New Fun would later become More Fun, one of DC Comics' longer running titles). New Fun was historic in being the first comic book that was not simply a collection of newspaper comic strip reprints. It contained all original material. Initially, New Fun was distributed by McCall's magazine, but when sales did not live up to McCall's expectations they cancelled their distribution agreement in the middle of 1935. To make matters worse, Major Wheeler-Nicholson and his company were running short of funds. It was realistic to expect that New Fun would have ended before it had really begun had the Major not found the Independent News Company in late 1935.

The Independent News Company agreed to give Major Wheeler-Nicholson an advance on sales and distribute New Fun with a few conditions. First, while New Fun had been printed in black and white, he would have to add colour. Second, New Fun would have to be changed from its tabloid size (10 inch by 15 inch) to the standard pulp magazine size (7 inches to 10 inches). Third, he would have to use Donny Press as his printer (Harry Donenfeld probably did not want a magazine he funded and distributed to be printed by anyone else). Finally, he would have to launch a new comic book. With this agreement in place, publishing of New Fun resumed, retitled More Fun with its January/February 1936 issue. The new comic book, New Comics (which would later become Adventure Comics, one of the longest running comic books in the history of the medium) would debut with a cover date of December 1935.

Nineteen thirty seven would be an eventful year for Harry Donenfeld, both with regards to the pulp magazine industry and the comic book industry. With regards to pulp magazines, there was renewed outcry over their content. That year Roman Catholic Archbishop John Francis Noll formed the National Organisation for Decent Literature. The National Organisation for Decent Literature was to magazines and books what the Legion of Decency was to movies. Quite simply, they listed periodicals and books that they found offensive; good Catholics were not expected to read those objectionable magazines and books. Naturally, the NODL was not too pleased with the sex pulps.

It is perhaps for that reason that Harry Donenfeld began publishing more mainstream pulp magazines, some of them licensed properties. Nineteen thirty seven saw the debut of Don Winslow of the Navy (based on the popular newspaper strip of the same name), The Lone Ranger (based on the popular radio show hero), and Private Detective. They were published under the imprint of Trojan Publishing, even though for all extents and purposes it was the same as Culture Publications (publisher of the "Spicy" line), sharing the same address and editorial staff.

That same year would see the debut of Major Wheeler-Nicholson's final magazine. Detective Comics made its first appearance in March 1937, although cover dated December 1936. Detective Comics was one of the earliest comic magazines to specialise in a single genre. It would also become one of the most successful, particularly after the introduction of a costumed crimefighter called The Batman into its pages in issue 27, May 1939. It has become the longest running magazine in the history of comic books and is still being published.

Unfortunately, even with the introduction of another comic book, Major Wheeler-Nicholson was not doing well. The Major was unable to pay Donny Press the money he owed them. Harry Donenfeld and Jack Liebowitz then bought out Major Wheeler-Nicholson and organised a new company, Detective Comics Inc. As a partner in both National Allied Publications and the newly formed Detective Comics Inc., Jack Liebowitz took a more active role in publishing comic books than he ever had Donenfeld's girlie magazines (being content then to only balance the books and manage the business). He encouraged editor Vin Sullivan to move forward with his plans for a new title, Action Comics. Ultimately, Action Comics would prove to be the key to the comic book company's lasting success. Published with a cover date of June 1938, Action Comics introduced the character of Superman. That first issue of Action Comics had phenomenal sales and Superman proved to be a media sensation. Within two years he would have his own magazine, a radio show, and a series of theatrical cartoons produced by Fleischer Studios. As to the Major, he was officially out of the comic book business in 1937. He returned to writing stories for the pulp magazines. As to Jack Liebowitz, he was pleased that they were finally publishing materials that were less likely to get them in trouble.

Beyond the introduction of Superman, 1938 proved to be eventful for Harry Donenfeld in another way too. With renewed public outcry over "dirty magazines," Mayor LaGuardia managed to have a new standard for decency in newsstand magazines imposed. This new standard would not only affect the girlie magazines and the racier pulp magazines, but even mainstream publications such as Weird Tales. The typical Weird Tales cover, often depicting a scantily clad damsel in distress, was now a thing of the past. For Harry Donenfeld the writing was on the wall. He cancelled his girlie magazines, such as La Paree and Pep!. As to his other magazines, he cleaned up the entire "Spicy" line and the Police Gazette.

It could be because of the new standard for decency that Culture Publications saw a "change" in ownership. Harry Donenfeld no longer appeared as an owner of the company, but curiousky his wife, Gussie Donenfeld, does. One had to suspect that was simply a move to further distance National and Detective Comics from Harry Donenfeld's pulp magazines, thus protecting them should the pulp magazine lines ever come under attack again. In fact, it seems possible that it was something Donenfeld might have done at Jack Liebowitz's insistence. Not particularly comfortable with publishing racy magazines, Liebowitz was anxious to protect the comic book line.

Indeed, proof of this can be seen in events which unfolded in 1940. Perhaps with the various attacks made on the pulp magazines in the past several years in mind, Jack Liebowitz and editor Whitney Ellsworth drew up a code of what would be acceptable in the pages of comic books published by National and Detective Comics. Prior to the creation of this code, the superheroes at what would become DC Comics did sometimes kill in the course of their adventures. This was particularly true of Batman. In a story published in Detective Comics #34, December 1939, and written by legendary writer Gardner Fox, Batman battled a group of vampires, whom he shot with silver bullets. In Batman #1, spring 1940, in one of his classic battles with villain Hugo Strange, the Caped Crusader killed one of Strange's monstrous creations. After the new code had been instituted, none of National or Detective Comics' superheroes would willingly kill again. The new code would keep National and Detective Comics' magazines among the most acceptable to parents and would keep them out of trouble for much of the Forties.

Indeed, 1940 saw what was the first of the very first attacks on the comic book industry. Author Sterling North wrote a scathing attack on comic books entitled "A National Disgrace," published in the May 8, 1940 issue of the the Chicago Daily News. North's article was reprinted in Parents Magazine and at least 40 different newspapers. As a result Jack Liebowitz formed an editorial advisory board which would include at one time or another, Josette Frank of the Child Study Association, Dr. Robert Thorndike (the psychometrician and psychologist), and Dr. William Moulton Marston (a psychologist who helped develop the polygraph and who would later create Wonder Woman). Along with their editorial code, the advisory board insured that their comic books would remain relatively wholesome.

While Harry Donenfeld's comic books remained free from attack, however, this was not the case for the "Spicy" line of comic books. Indeed, it would be the cover of the April, 1942 issue of Spicy Mystery that would precipitate another round of attacks on the pulps. The cover featured a woman, her clothes in tatters, dangling from a meat hook in a freezer, while being menaced by a hoodlum with a large and sharp looking knife. The cover caught the attention of Mayor LaGuardia, who immediately cracked down on the pulp magazines again. In response, Donenfeld "sold" Culture Publications' "Spicy" line to sister company Trojan Publications. With their January 1943 issues, the titles of the "Spicy" pulps were changed to something less titillating. -Spicy Detective became Speed Detective, Spicy Mystery became Speed Mystery, Spicy Adventure became Speed Adventure, and Spicy Western became Speed Western. With the change in titles, the covers and the contents of the magazines were also toned down considerably. A new distribution company, Leader News, was also set up to distribute the Trojan pulp magazines, to put further distance between National Periodical Publications (comic books) and Trojan Publications (pulp magazines).

The "Speed" titles would survive for a few more years, folding in 1946. Trojan Publishing continued to publish other pulp magazines until around 1950, when the company itself closed down. After 1946 the only trace of the "Spicy" line at Trojan was Dan Turner's magazine, retitled Hollywood Detective with its September 1943 issue. Hollywood Detective, featuring Dan Turner, lasted until 1950, when Trojan cancelled its pulp magazines.

With their pulp magazines folded, Trojan itself lasted a few more years publishing comic books. They published everything from war comic books (Attack!), humour comic books (The Farmer's Daughter), Westerns (Western Crime Busters), horror (Beware), and crime (Crime Smashers) under such imprints as Trojan, Ribage, Stanhall (co-owned by animator Hal Seeger, producer of Milton the Monster), and Youthful. The Trojan comic books lasted until 1954, after which they closed up shop. Ultimately, then, Donenfeld was involved in publishing comic books other than those from National Periodical Publications.

Many might be tempted to blame the decline of the "Speed" line from the heyday of the "Spicy" titles on the fact that they no longer featured the same amount of sex and violence, but I think it may have to do more with the fact that the pulp magazine industry as a whole was in decline. The rising costs of producing the magazines themselves played a role. Throughout the Forties, to keep costs down, many pulp magazines would change to a digest size (5 1/2 by 8 1/4 inches), following the lead of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in 1941. Not only were pulp magazines becoming more expensive to produce, but the industry also suffered from competition from comic books, paperbacks, and later television. Several pulp magazines went under in the mid to late Forties, among them some of the giants. The Spider, featuring one of the most popular heroes in the pulps, ended its run in 1943. Street and Smith, perhaps the biggest publisher of pulp magazines of them all, cancelled almost their entire line in April 1949, including such popular titles as Detective Story, Doc Savage, and The Shadow. Of their pulp magazines, only the science fiction magazine Astounding (later retitled Analog) survived. While they continued publishing their slick magazines, Street and Smith never again ventured into the world of pulp. It is rather certain that if Doc Savage and The Shadow, the two most famous pulp heroes of them all, could not fight off the decline of the pulp magazine, then neither could the "Speed" titles.

As to Harry Donenfeld, the man who built his empire on girlie magazines and spicy pulps but made his real money in comic books, as the Forties progressed he took less and less of a role in the running of National Periodical Publications (as the company was renamed after a merger with sister company All-American). In the late Fifties Jack Liebowitz decided to take National Periodical Publications public, selling stocks on the stock exchange. To do so meant that he had to make sure that all of the company's skeletons would have to be thrown out of the closet. Quite simply, Liebowitz wanted to make sure that the company could withstand government scrutiny. Since Harry Donenfeld once had connections to such mobsters as Frank Costello, Liebowitz decided that Donenfeld would have to leave National Periodical Publications' board of directors and that any money he had in the company should be placed in a family trust. Donenfeld protested, but ultimately he complied with Liebowitz's wishes.

Sadly, Harry Donenfeld's end would not be a particularly happy one. One night while drunk he blacked out and his head struck the edge of a television set. For a long time he was not able to speak and he remained bed ridden for the rest of his life. Three years after the accident, in February of 1965, Harry Donenfeld died.

As to Jack Liebowitz, he continued to be the head of National Periodical Publications until it was acquired by Kinney National Company in 1967. Even then he retained a place on Kinney Services' board of directors. In 1969 Kinney National Company acquired Warner Brothers/7 Arts. In 1972 Kinney National Company divested itself of its entertainment interests, creating a new conglomerate called Warner Communications. National Periodical Publications (which was renamed DC Comics not much later, the informal name fans had used of it since the Golden Age) became an important part of the company. Independent News Company became Warner Publishing Services, still the largest distribution company in the United States. Jack Liebowitz would sit on the board of Warner Communications as well and he would remain on the board following the merger of Warner Communications and Time Inc. that created Time Warner Inc. Jack Liebowitz eventually retired when in his nineties. He died on December 11, 2000 at the age of 100.

Ironically, for all that Jack Liebowitz disliked the publishing of girlie magazines, the company that he and Harry Donenfeld developed would eventually reenter the business. In 1953 Hugh Hefner founded a magazine known as Playboy. The magazine proved to be extremely successful; in fact, it was the most successful girlie magazine of the Fifties. Jack Liebowitz took notice of Playboy and realised it could be much bigger if it had a larger distribution. Liebowitz then bought the distribution for Playboy in 1956. Distributed by the Independent News Company, Playboy went onto become the most successful girlie magazine of all time. It is still distributed by Warner Publishing Services to this day.

Of course, Harry Donenfeld was not the only comic book publisher who published girlie magazines at one time or another. Martin Goodman had founded Columbia Publications in 1931, eventually publishing such pulp magazines as Marvel Science Stories and Ka-Zar. By 1939 he expanded into comic books, founding what would become Marvel Comics. Curiously, starting in 1950, Goodman began publishing what is known as "Men's Adventure" magazines, magazines that featured lurid adventure stories and pinups. Among the titles Goodman published were Stag and Swank, titles that would in the Sixties come to resemble Playboy more than anything else.

For most Baby Boomers and for Gen Xers who grew up with DC Comics, always bearing the Comics Code Authority Seal of Approval, it must seem bizarre that one of the company's founders was so deeply involved with what were then considered "dirty magazines"--the "art nudies, the hot pulps, and the spicy pulps. Today these publications would be considered tame, but in their day they were considered among the most scandalous periodicals around. They were part of a culture in which those who published more mainstream pulp magazines sometimes rubbed elbows with those who published more alternative periodicals. E. Hoffmann Price was published in the more mainstream Argosy and Weird Tales, but he was also published in Spicy Mystery. Robert E. Howard's regular venue was Weird Tales, but he was also published in Spicy Adventure five times. And those girlie magazines, hot pulps, and spicy pulps not only provided Harry Donenfeld and Jack Liebowitz with the money to create the Independent News Company, but to buy out Major Wheeler-Nicholson and thus create what we now know as DC Comics. Odd as it might sound, if it wasn't for Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective, we might not have Superman.

3 comments:

delightfully mediocre said...

Hi there... I ran across your blog while searching for links and articles about connections between pulp magazines and the mob, for a research paper I'm writing on the origins of pulps. I was wondering if you'd be willing to share a source or two you used for this post?

Mercurie said...

Well, aside from the issues of Time mentioned in the piece, I consulted Men Of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book by Gerard Jones, which is probably the most detailed account of Harry Donenfeld and his links to the mob. I also used Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes (a history of DC Comics) by Les Daniels. Another good source (although I think it is out of print) is Uncovered: The Hidden Art of the Girlie Pulp by Douglas Ellis. As to the web, http://www.supermanartists.comics.org is a good source on the various pulp magazines that Donenfeld published.

delightfully mediocre said...

Thank you so much, this is extremely helpful. I've got "Men of Tomorrow" myself since I used it for a previous paper, it's a great read.