Popular Library was started in 1942 by newspaper, pulp and magazine publisher Ned Pines and editor Leo Margulies. For the first four years they published mostly popular mysteries with fabulous air-brushed covers from Sol Immerman's Studio where H Lawrence Hoffman did the art work and Immerman the lettering (ImHo). In 1949 the art work began to change with pulp artists Earle K Bergey and Rudolph Belarski setting the style. These covers are bright and colorful, pulpish, brash even. The book on the left could be by either Bergey or Belarski, but is by neither - it does show the influence they had on the line. By 1952, the covers began to 'soften' to a more realistic style first set by James Avati at Signet and followed at Popular Library by people like James Meese, Ralph DeSoto and later on, Mitchell Hooks.
The whole run is very collectible and sought after, particularly the early ImHo covers and, of course, Bergey and Belarski. In the early 50s Popular Library began publishing more paperback originals (PBO) by people like John D MacDonald and William P McGivern which are also highly sought after.
Popular Library also published several other imprints including the G series which were longer books at a 35¢ cover price; Popular Library Eagle; the SP series and several smaller runs.
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