Back when I was a movie geek, there was a distinction between low budget and I guess schlock. Alot of people would confuse the two. I was a fan of schlock and was well schooled in the purveyors of such cinema.
I am finding that there is the same confusion in writing about pulp. And maybe it is because over time many variations of the genre have been created.
Since I have gone back to the source, I have come to the conclusion that the only true pulp is that of the Golden Age. The era of G Men, Masked Avengers, Space Opera, Far East Adventures and Yellow Peril. To me right now there is no substitute.
Don't get me wrong, I love all the other stuff, like Goodis and Thompson. But that is literature compared to the earlier pulps. I would even lump Spillane in with that class.
Real Pulp's mission is to entertain in a fantastic way. As a result, the plots should be very over the top, and in some cases ridiculous. There should be good and evil on display and the distinctions between the two should be crystal clear. So, not a whole lot of noir. The prose should be dramatic and to use one of my favorite terms, very "purple". As expressed by Lester Dent, you need to capture the sounds, smells and scenery in vivid detail. But, while you are doing that, you have to keep things fairly clean.
I am enjoying my stay in Pulp Land and plan to be here awhile.