Shark Pulp Trading Cards 🦈 Go back to the 50s with new limited trading cards series!

Now on Kickstarter


Trading Cards

Shark enthusiasts, rejoice! SHARK PULP is coming! Are you ready for the first trading card series about sharks in pulp magazines? Go back to the 50s with amazing vintage artworks and authentic wax packs! Help produce the ultimate trading card set about sharks. Pledge now to secure your super limited set and snag amazing perks along the way!


We’re seeking shark and pulp fiction enthusiasts to help produce the ultimate vintage trading card set. This beautiful and limited card series will celebrate both sharks and pulp magazines of the 50s by showcasing 50 mind-blowing vintage covers.
Those fantastic magazines are gone forever but we can immortalize their memories in this incredible series of trading cards. Help keep the spirit of men’s adventure magazines alive, pledge now to secure your super limited set and snag amazing perks along the way (not to mention your very own backer card) !


This will be an extremely limited run, each magazine cover will be scanned in 4K and will be digitally restored. Of course, each authentic wax pack will include a sticker card. We only believe in the highest quality printing. Shark Pulp trading cards will be printed on matte coated cardstock using the Staccato advanced screening technology which produces high-fidelity, artifact-free images that exhibit fine detail, without halftone rosettes, screening moire, and gray level limitations or abrupt jumps in tone. And it’s not over… Shark Pulp brings back the traditional heat sealing wax pack trading card wrappers, in full color!
Vintage shark action at its best!


Pulp fiction has long been fascinated by sharks, and pulp published in American men magazines is no exception. Since the beginning of mankind, man has left home on quests to prove his manhood. From the 50’s to the late 60’s, men magazine covers depicted adventurers on the high seas, seeking for treasures, looking for lost civilisations or trying to survive maritime disasters. Sharks were always there to ensure the task wouldn’t be too easy.

When there was a damsel in distress beneath the surface, there was always a manly hero to save her from the ferocious killer sharks. Many of those stories echoed classic pirate and adventure tales and they were enhanced by beautiful covers. The more amazing the cover was, the less interesting the story was. Beneath the waves, terror awaited. Judging by these covers, it was impossible for a man to slip into the ocean for even a casual bit of skin diving without encountering man-eating sharks. And, in case the promise of pirate gold was not a sufficient enticement, the seas were also strewn with bikini-clad babes in need. At the dawn of the men’s adventure magazine era, the majority of Americans either still lived in rural communities or were one generation removed from the farm, where survival often meant doing battle with Mother Nature. It was war with nature readers wanted and that’s what adventure mags gave them.

Extreme covers depicting all sorts of animals attacking humans were the norm for the genre, especially throughout the 50’s. Sharks were a perennial topic in American pulp fiction. Being hunted by them, attacked by them, sighting or being threatened by them… men magazines would use any excuse to write about sharks and to put them on the cover.


The average men’s adventure magazine contained far more text than illustration and most titles mingled fiction with nonfiction and stories with articles, claiming most of it to be true. In this wide-open market, many of the « true stories » were pure fabrications. Nowdays, we only remember the art. Men magazines flourished during a time of rapid change for illustrators. The rise of popular magazines in the 20’s had sparkled a golden age of illustration in America. Their pages of ads were often gorgeous work of art in themselves, some of them were also hilarious when you look back at them today.


Despite the obvious talent of the illustrators, paycheck were usually meager, publishers neglected to credit the artists and some even discouraged the signing of work. This was functional, anonymous art, which publishers often intended to reuse in later issues. The paintings were usually returned not to the artist but to his agent who would sometimes resell them. A single image might appear in several different magazines owned by different publishers. Adventure mags were filled with lurid tales of necrophilia, cannibals and pre-world war 2 atrocities. Most of the time, the artists themselves preferred anonymity, figuring that illustrated rape fantasies would not exactly advance their careers. Publishers were more likely to credit interior illustrations. Though this trading card project emphasizes cover art, many cover artist remain anonymous while their colleagues who specialized in interiors can often be clearly identified. Shark Pulp celebrates those wonderful covers that art lovers and collectors don’t want to forget.

Print ads were everywhere in the 50s. Adventure mags were full of them. Each Shark Pulp trading card features an authentic ad taken from the very same magazine and scanned in 4K. Incredible cover art on the front, funny vintage ad on the back!
Rising incomes, easy credit, and aggressive marketing helped create a culture of consumption in the 1950s. The economy was good. These incredible ads reflect on how our society evolved, where we have been and how much the print ads and the society have changed. You can look at them as a nostalgic look at capitalism. They were generally about the family values and life styles and stereotypical role models. You can’t miss the fact that they were also sexist, racist, and sometimes intolerant and misguided. In the present, they stand as an accurate reflection of how the culture from those years was interpreted. Shark art and magazine ads from the 50s… a trading card addicts paradise!

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