Entry updated 30 May 2022. Tagged: Publication, Theme.
A term used erroneously to describe a Magazine format, ostensibly in contrast to Pulp and Digest. The size implied – sometimes called large pulp format – is the largest of the three; it varies slightly but approximates 11¾in x 8½in (298 x 216 mm) – i.e., close to A4 (297 x 210 mm). The term was given general currency when included by Richard 'Dick' Eney (1932-2006) in his Fancyclopedia II (1959) and it continues to be used even though the original bedsheet format was, as the term implies, considerably larger. It once described newspapers which used the largest single sheets so as to avoid extra postal charges. When folded out fully these measured roughly 47¼ x 29½ in (1200 x 750 mm) and were euphemistically called bedsheets. Folded in half, as a four-page newspaper, they were the largest type of broadsheet. The proper term for the large pulp format is, in the United States, Letter size, and in Europe and many other countries, A4. It is roughly the equivalent of the Quarto book size.
This size was used by some of the more prestigious pulp and Slick magazines of the 1920s and 1930s, as it facilitated more space for advertisements and illustrations and, in a slightly narrower version, became popular again in the late 1960s with such magazines as New Worlds and Vision of Tomorrow and even more so from the 1970s on. Magazines of this size, when printed on coated paper, are often called slicks; although the term Slick refers to paper quality rather than size. Slicks (e.g., Omni) are normally in a smallish letter-size format. [MA]
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