Vintage Pulp Jun 18 2015
TRUE COLORS
They say it’s only skin deep.

Who does the woman on this issue of Harrison Marks’ Kamera No. 26 remind you of? Think carefully. If you said Rachel Dolezal that’s exactly who we were thinking of. In past times Dolezal would have been a local kook, but one considered harmless in the scheme of things. Today she’s landed smack in the middle of America’s poisonous race debate and everyone in the Western world with an internet connection is aware of her. So, while her fifteen minutes lasts, what better time could there be for Pulp Intl. to join in by sharing this Kamera?

As cover star Pamela Green shows, various degrees of race appropriation have a long history, done for show business (Al Jolson, C. Thomas Howell, Eddie Murphy, et al.), stupid fun (think frat parties of the past), economic or social gain (passing as white), malicious intent (typically the case), sex (we can only assume), and myriad other reasons. In Green’s case, she’s posing as Princess Sonmar-Harriks, a made-up Middle-Eastern persona she adopted for photo sessions conducted by Marks, who was her husband.

Green dominates this issue of Kamera, appearing in the centerfold and numerous other pages as both Sonmar-Harriks and herself, but readers are also treated to other models variously lounging on leopard skins, loitering in alleys, showing off oiled-up boobs, erased pubes, and more. We have more of these we’ll get around to posting, and meantime you can see another here, and something very rare in a smilar vein published by Harrison Marks here.

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Vintage Pulp Nov 28 2013
KAMERA OBSCURA
Harrison Marks couldn’t show everything, so he invited his readers to fill in the blanks.

You know, we rarely tell our friends we run a website. Experience has taught us not to. Those we tell usually comment upon the amount of nudity. Then we explain that Pulp Intl. is a historical site. We didn’t invent the nudity—this is the perversion of your fathers and grandfathers. For some reason that never seems to deflect the criticism, but that's the way it goes. Anyway, here we go again into realms of historical smut with British photographer Harrison Marks and his famed erotic publication Kamera. The debut issue of this magazine sold over 150,000 copies, according to Marks’ website, and the imprint ran for eleven years, from 1957 to 1968. The cover you see above is issue 80, with model Louise Worth, and we have a few interior scans below. You'll notice the pubes of the models have been disappeared into secret torture sites or something, but that was mandated by existing laws at the time the photos were made, and really, the allure of the shots is intact. There’s plenty of material online about the life and death of Harrison Marks, so we don’t have to go into more detail. We'll just add that to enjoy vintage pulp is to spend time drawing connections between that and film noir, sleaze literature, pin-up art, burlesque dancing, early erotic movies, and many other art forms. It’s difficult to say when all those end and porn begins, but we know we haven't come close. Scans below. 

 

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Hollywoodland Jul 31 2013
REGALLY BLONDE
Raquel Welch represents a high water mark for the low rent National Spotlite.


Her body drives men wild. But it isn’t Raquel Welch being quoted on the cover of this National Spotlite published today in 1967, though the juxtaposition of text makes it seem so. No, the line came from a little known actress named Donna Selby, who National Spotlite scribe Hugh Wells interviewed in London. The story is rather amusing, as Wells tells readers how Selby appeared in only a bathrobe, made a pass at him, gave him an unwanted kiss and even licked his ear. He claims to have fled the room, saying to the actress, “I predict that you’ll go places—and quickly too!” But he was wrong about that—try as we might, we can’t find mention of an actress named Donna Selby anywhere.

But getting back to Raquel Welch, the cover shot comes from one of her most famous photo sessions, the same one that produced this excellent image and many others. Welch had gone briefly blonde, and the resultant photos are the only ones we’ve seen of her with golden hair. You know what would make her presence here even better? An interview. But no such luck. National Spotlite is simply making good use of a handout photo. Moving on, readers are treated to a nice shot of Patsy Ann Noble, aka Trisha Noble, just below, who we discussed back in 2009, and alsoappearing in the issue is German actress Dagmar Hank, who acted in several movies between 1958 and 1965. Lastly, in the centerfold you get Molly Peters, who was a Harrison Marks model and whose most notable cinematic output was a bit part in Thunderball.

You have to give National Spotlite credit—unlike many middle tier tabloids of the period this one managed to actually feature relevant and semi-relevant personalities. That comes as a surprise, since it was owned by the infamous Beta Publications of Spotlite Extra and Close-Up Extra fame. But as the flagship paper, National Spotlite doubtless had a higher budget. The masthead tells us it even had offices in New York City and Montreal, which is kind of impressive. Within a few more years, though, the paper regressed to the same form as Beta’s cheaper imprints and was reduced to putting out issues like this one. Like Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront, for a while National Spotlite coulda been a contenduh. It just never quite made it.

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Vintage Pulp Jul 3 2013
BETTIE PAGES
She knows how to make love to a Kamera.

It’s a proud moment finding new material on one of the world’s most famous pin-up queens. This pocket-sized collection entitled Intimate Studies of the Fabulous Betty Page (name misspelled) was put out by Harrison Marks’ London-based Kamera Publications, Ltd. in the late 1950s. We gather that a reprint was published in the 1990s. This is not that version. It's the original. We saw one go for $172.00 on an American auction site, but this one came from Hong Kong and cost less than one tenth that amount. We managed to score some other Kamera digests too, and we’ll try to get some scans from those up at some point.

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Sex Files Dec 4 2009
MEET THE PRESS
Candid Press might have been the cheapest tabloid ever published.

Above you see an ultra low-rent Candid Press cover from today in 1966, with the inside scoop on an interracial love affair that got the Mississippi Klan riled up and ended in a castration. Sadly, these were not uncommon events during America's apartheid era, but Candid Press had no intention of doing any real reporting on it. Instead they were about pure sexual tease, with this and other stories re-enacted photographically by models who always seemed to lose their tops. All very interesting, but of special interest to pulp fans is a feature on Vera Novak, a well-known Harrison Marks model who had shot some nudie reels and acted in a film called It’s a Bare, Bare World.

These nudie reels are way before our time, but we know they are remembered fondly. Technically they're porn, but in reality they're way too innocent to be classified that way. There's no sex at all, and the nudity is chaste by any standards. Novak had established a name as a nudie model, but the article above describes how she was about to make the leap into A-features with a part in 1967’s big budget Bond spoof Casino Royale. But guess what? She never made it into the film. Possibly she shot scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor, but she’s definitely not credited as a cast member. So, like many of the actresses we write about, she passed from film history into undocumented private life where, we can only hope, she was happy.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
December 14
1911—Team Reaches South Pole
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, along with his team Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel, and Oscar Wisting, becomes the first person to reach the South Pole. After a celebrated career, Amundsen eventually disappears in 1928 while returning from a search and rescue flight at the North Pole. His body is never found.
December 13
1944—Velez Commits Suicide
Mexican actress Lupe Velez, who was considered one of the great beauties of her day, commits suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills. In her note, Velez says she did it to avoid bringing shame on her unborn child by giving birth to him out of wedlock, but many Hollywood historians believe bipolar disorder was the actual cause. The event inspired a 1965 Andy Warhol film entitled Lupe.
1958—Gordo the Monkey Lost After Space Flight
After a fifteen minute flight into space on a Jupiter AM-13 rocket, a monkey named Gordo splashes down in the South Pacific but is lost after his capsule sinks. The incident sparks angry protests from the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, but NASA says animals are needed for such tests.
December 12
1968—Tallulah Bankhead Dies
American actress, talk show host, and party girl Tallulah Bankhead, who was fond of turning cartwheels in a dress without underwear and once made an entrance to a party without a stitch of clothing on, dies in St. Luke's Hospital in New York City of double pneumonia complicated by emphysema.
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