Rockstar Recommends: True Crime Detective Magazines (Taschen)

Posted on April 11 2011, 3:05pm | Author: R* W | Filed Under: Rockstar, Games

Left: True Crime Detective Magazines 1924-1969 – an amazing compendium that’s proved a valuable reference asset for us; Right: One of the over 450 original vintage detective magazine covers that appear in the book, this one from the post-Dahlia period in 1951. (All images from “True Crime Detective Magazines” by Eric Godtland and Dian Hanson, (ISBN: 978-3-8228-2559-4) courtesy Taschen, 2011)

Just as popular as the movies themselves during the seminal ‘film noir’ period of the 1940’s and 50’s, was the multitude of detective magazines that were ubiquitous, filling newsstands and magazine racks across the nation. Along with the pulp fiction novel trend set by writers like Hammett and Cain, and detective crime thriller radio serials broadcasted regularly – America’s fascination with lurid tales purportedly spun from the journals of hardnosed detectives and private eyes was a full-blown phenomenon.

With widely-read titles like Black Mask Magazine, Detective Story, True Detective, and countless others – these crime thriller ‘zines were geared primarily towards adults with titillating, shocking and sensational stories of sex and violence told from the perspective of those who’ve seen it all.

One of the most amazing compendiums of them that we’ve seen is the stunning hardcover book, “True Crime Detective Magazines” published by art book publisher Taschen. With over 450 original detective magazine covers spanning from 1924 through 1969, the information and artwork they’ve compiled has proven to be an invaluable reference guide for us into the narratives and aesthetic of the noir-era crime thriller.

With chapters arranged by decade, the book covers each period in detail along with insight on how the genre evolved over time and what some of the influential cultural milestones were that affected it.
Of particular interest:

“By the end of 1946 the war was well over, but the detective magazines showed no sign of recovering their pre-war glory. Then, in January of 1947, a crime occurred that foreshadowed the direction for the genre for the remainder of its life span. The Black Dahlia murder case, in which the naked and mutilated body of a beautiful Hollywood starlet was found in a vacant lot in Los Angeles, riveted the detective readership. Horrible as it all was, the obvious sex appeal lurking in the back story of this case was not lost on publishers struggling to hold a shrinking readership. New publisher Skye Publications was the most aggressive at playing the sexy-death hand in Best True Fact Detective and Women in Crime, but before the decade ended most titles had switched to stories with prurient fascination and were playing up the sexual angle in every possible crime. It was a line that, once crossed, could never be retraced.”

Check it out at Taschen’s site here:

Rockstar Recommends: Rare California-Set Films of the 13th Annual Los Angeles Festival of Film Noir
Rockstar Recommends: “The Naked City”
Rockstar Recommends: “He Walked by Night”

  • MDevguyon May 9 2011, 9:41pmReplyFlag
    Why would Rockstar create an RPG? It's obviously free roam. This game looks great, it may not have lots of weapons, because they're going off of standard issue weapons of the time. I bet there will be more than just those weapons too. He's right in the fact that Red Dead is a masterpiece, but I'm sure this game will be too. I have high hopes.
    • SgtMonteiro79on May 3 2011, 7:27amReplyFlag
      Rockstar, Red Dead Redemption is a masterpiece! I doubt that L. A. Noire is better! Where is the list of weapons in the game LA Noire? Not a shooter? Or is it a crappy RPG?
      • chrismsnon April 23 2011, 3:36amReplyFlag
        Hey R*, I can't wait for this game to come out, really I don't want to get any other game this year but I have a question that I'm dying to have answered: will this game have any stealth at all? Not like Splinter Cell stealth but more like the one preset in Halo? I thought there were perfect opportunities in RDR for more stealth. Thanks!
        • R* Yon April 18 2011, 10:34amReplyFlag
          @mirokunite Look for a proper feature on the music of L.A. Noire in the coming weeks, but yes there will be originally composed music as well as some vintage 1940’s jazz.

          @nodanaonlyzuul Very nice!
          • mirokuniteon April 14 2011, 5:35pmReplyFlag
            Will there be radio stations in this game with period music?
            • nodanaonlyzuulon April 13 2011, 2:21pmReplyFlag
              I have that book compilation! :) It's awesome.
              • R* Yon April 13 2011, 12:12pmReplyFlag
                @popeyejohhny Sure, feel free to also send us an e-mail with any questions you have:
                • popeyejohhnyon April 12 2011, 2:37pmReplyFlag
                  Great info thnx R*. BTW, just a little off topic but is there a way I can ask u guys specific questions like, I heard that people always had a hard time making movies or media or books about the Black Dahlia Case in part because the family and loved ones of Elizabeth Short wouldnt allow it. My question is if thats still the case, was it hard to get around that or not?
                  • R* Yon April 12 2011, 2:06pmReplyFlag
                    @emmi18176860 We're glad you excited, be sure to refrain from posting multiple consecutive messages in the comments.
                    • TimG17on April 12 2011, 2:04pmReplyFlag
                      @emmi18176860 no, haven't read that but thanks for the answer.
                      • Emanuel_Bergeron April 12 2011, 12:32pmReplyFlag
                        ...and the map of the world of la in 1947
                        • Emanuel_Bergeron April 12 2011, 12:31pmReplyFlag
                          5 weeks to go until the release of LA NOIRE!!!!!!!!
                          I know it's off topic but is it true that there is exclusive content on the ps3 version - as we had an exclusive hideout and outfit in rdr - just let us know!
                          5 weeks to go - can't wait for another epic artwork and gameplay video and charakter dossier and MUSIC
                          • Emanuel_Bergeron April 12 2011, 12:27pmReplyFlag
                            I think it's quite good that you don't make any demos of your epic games, cause demos are sensless
                            thanks for not releasing demos
                            • Emanuel_Bergeron April 12 2011, 12:25pmReplyFlag
                              Haven't you read the answer on a previous post?

                              from R* - There will not be a playable demo of L.A. Noire. Instead of allocating the necessary development time to create a playable demo, we’ve remained focused on making the final product the best it could possibly be.
                              • TimG17on April 12 2011, 12:06pmReplyFlag
                                @R*Y thanks for answering. BTW, will there also be a demo for la noire any time soon?
                                • R* Yon April 12 2011, 11:11amReplyFlag
                                  @TimG17 Look for those videos on Xbox LIVE soon.
                                  • TimG17on April 12 2011, 8:55amReplyFlag
                                    @R*Y When will LA noire be on xbl marketplace so we can watch the trailers?
                                    • Jay-Prosperoon April 12 2011, 6:18amReplyFlag
                                      My copy is pre ordered now, I've been a fan of R* since GTA III, every game I've bought from them blows me away and this game looks set to do the same. You guys put other companies to shame!

                                      Thanks R*

                                      • Mortal91ifyon April 11 2011, 9:41pmReplyFlag
                                        R* never disappoints! im gonna check these out.
                                        • rk8000on April 11 2011, 7:35pmReplyFlag
                                          The online thing sounds kinda boring anyways though.
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