Crime doesn't pay. Wink, wink. Just kidding. It paid for me.
This promo photo stars U.S. actress Ann Dvorak. Despite its mischievous nature, it was made for the crime drama Scarface. The dress she's wearing is one you'll see her in if you watch the film. She had been performing since age four in uncredited roles and shorts but the gritty Scarface made her a star. She appeared in numerous movies after that, many of them enjoyable, but what we like most about her is her stage name. Generally Hollywood performers wanted names that sounded less foreign, but she actually chose Dvorak over her real last name McKim. She had great talent, so it wouldn't have mattered what name she acted under. See Three On a Match or G Men for good examples. The above is from 1932.
… 282-Page Global Escapism … 15 Stories … Flawless Fun …
One of the many treats we managed to procure over the holidays was the book above, entitled He-Men, Bag Men & Nymphos, which is a collection of writings by mid-century men’s magazine author Walter Kaylin, a regular contributor to Men, True Action, Man’s World, and a host of other publications. The collection was put together by Robert Deis, along with Wyatt Doyle of the publishing company New Texture, and the titles of the stories are men’s magazine gold that tell you everything you need to know about what's inside. Example: “The Nymph Who Leads an African Death Army.”
Deis had already been inspired enough by the old monthlies to launch the website menspulpmags.com, but teaming up with Doyle to publish the work of one of the form’s most fondly remembered writers bespeaks true devotion to the idea of literary preservation. Deis was actually kind enough to send us both this book and the 2012 book Weasels Ripped My Flesh!, but we’ll get to Weasels later.
He-Men is an incredibly entertaining collection consisting of both Wyatt’s globe-trotting fiction and his highly descriptive reporting. Sample title: “The Yank Who Survived the 3,000 Mile Death Trek from Stalingrad.” You get fifteen pieces total, all of them prime examples of the fast and furious men’s magazine style, each prefaced by covers and spreads from the issues in which they originally appeared, a nice touch that brings in art from the likes of Harry Schaare, James Bama and Mort Künstler.
While collecting vintage magazines offers the reward of discovering some good fiction, along with the highs inevitably come some serious lows. But with He-Men, Bag Men & Nymphos
Deis and Doyle have done the heavy lifting for everyone and pieced together a consistently engrossing slate of tales. Best title: “…108 Hour Mid-Ocean Ordeal … 500 Dead … 300 Still Afloat…” Highly recommended, and for more info check here