Combat Gallery Sunday: Some of the Best Pulp Fiction Covers..from Mort

Mort Künstler is one of the most respected military art masters in modern US history. Odds are if you have ever stopped and admired a Civil War painting, it may have come from Mort.

You may recognize his art from this painting of the CSS Hunley just before its last mission

You can almost feel the tension in the air for those brave submariners on this human powered submersible

You can almost feel the tension in the air for those brave submariners on this human powered submersible

Or in his more modern works such as this one of the Alaska Air National Guard

Guarding for polar bears while your C130 on skies unloads supplies. I'm cold just looking at this...

Guarding for polar bears while your C130 on skies unloads supplies. I’m cold just looking at this…

But what you may not know is that he cut his teeth on a whole ‘nother category of military art.
Born in 1931, he started off doing covers for men’s adventure magazines (aka pulp fiction type books) in the 1950s and 60s. Although he often used pen names, some of his better works he signed his own to and they are just really great stuff.

Nothing like a M1 Garand, a M1918 BAR, pineapple grenades, and belts of 30.06 LMG food to put some swagger on your cigar

Nothing like a M1 Garand, a M1918 BAR, pineapple grenades, and belts of 30.06 LMG food to put some swagger on your cigar

With that in mind, what follows is a few of his works from back in the pulp days. You see a lot of Tommy Guns, and a good bit of guest appearances from BARs, M1s, M3 Grease guns, Short Magazine Lee Enfields, and of course, Luger P08s.


the luger has been a staple of pulp fiction for decades as seen in this 1950s illustration by Mort Kuntsler mort 11 mort 10 mort pulp 9 mort 8 mort 6 mort pulp 5 mort cover mort pulp 4 mort pulp cover mort pulp cover 2 mort pulp cover 3

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

6 responses to “Combat Gallery Sunday: Some of the Best Pulp Fiction Covers..from Mort”

  1. Robert Evans says :

    The fellow with the 1911 in front of the doctor’s office won’t be able to shoot anyone if he doesn’t have the hammer cocked.

    • Craig Schieve says :

      in typical pulp fiction fantasy.

      thats a bad guy, and bad guys always make mistakes like that. CIA Agent Dirk Manors is getting ready to crash through the window in the back and will be able to throw a knife that lodges in the neck of the guy with the 1911, and he will give the two goons holding the panty clad beauty a karate chop.

      I bet you didnt see that coming.

      Great post.

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