Vintage Pulp Feb 25 2017
MATURE READER
It may be old but it's just as feisty as ever.

Above and below we have some scans from an issue of National Informer Reader published today in 1974. During its early days the magazine was called National Informer Weekly Reader, but we guess weakly sales put a stop to its more frequent publication schedule. The content hasn't changed in this later Reader, though. It has the usual stories of vice, including one of a sex orgy in a restaurant, complete with a photo of one of the participants, Christina Lindberg. You may remember we last saw her here.

Her presence in Reader is a classic example of the phenomenon of handout photos—i.e. publicity shots from promotional agencies sent to publications for usage in celeb write-ups. Generally, the agencies didn't carefully check the types of publications requesting shots, which meant tabloids were able to get them pretty easily. Sometimes the parent publications would request the photos and they'd trickle down to the companies' tabloid operations. In any case, Christina Lindberg obviously did not participate in a restaurant orgy. Though it certainly is appetizing to contemplate.

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Vintage Pulp Feb 20 2017
MISSING INFORMATION
Tabloid loses its color ink but not its colorful content.

We mentioned last month that we bought a group of water damaged issues of National Informer. They had lain in a garage somewhere and humidity had caused the color inks to run, in some cases to the point of disappearing. The Informer you see above, published today in 1972, is the most damaged of the lot, though when you look at the striking result it seems inaccurate to use the word damaged. Let's call it altered, because we actually like look. But have a glance at an unaltered issue from the same year here. You see that plenty is missing. Today's issue is fully readable, though, and the semi-pornographic photos are unharmed too, all the way to the deepest interior pages. You can see for yourself below, where we have eighteen panels for your enjoyment. We have ten more issues from this batch we'll be uploading in the coming year.

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Vintage Pulp Jan 16 2017
INFORMATION AGE
Facts and fictions of American life.

Above, the cover and assorted scans from an issue of National Informer published today in 1972. This particular example is from a batch of ten we picked up cheap but which were water damaged. You can see that some of the ink has been washed away, but most of the images and text survived. Luckily, some of that text comprises one of the funnier typos you'll see: Woman Throws Baby To Loins! Elsewhere in the issue, resident seer Mark Travis gets one almost right in his “I Predict” feature: “I predict the abolition of so many jobs by automation will result in nine of ten citizens living on welfare within ten years.” Nine of ten? Not yet, but it looks like we're headed that way. But of course, under current policies there will be no welfare. Quite the opposite, in fact. While several other countries are seriously looking at universal basic income for their citizens, the U.S. is throwing more people to the, um, loins all the time. We have plenty more National Informer in the website and plenty more to come. Just click the keywords below.

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Sex Files Dec 8 2016
DUTY TO INFORM
National Informer predicts a sex-crazed future but it never came to pass.


Above, some scans from the sex obsessed U.S. tabloid National Informer, published today in 1968, with stories on penis size, nude models, spouse swapping, teen sex, and more. In fact, the editors seemed to believe the world was entering an era of sexual utopia. Which just goes to show people never appreciate the age in which they're living, because 1968 looks a lot more like sexual utopia to modern Americans than anything going on today. There are three highlights in this issue—Swedish actress Janet Agren, who we've memorably featured before, on the cover, an Aslan pin-up on page three, and visions of the future from Informer's resident soothsayer The (not so) Great Criswell. His craziest prediction is as follows: “I predict that African brides can be bought in the open market thru mail-order. These 12-year-old brides have been trained how to be a good, dutiful wife, a good mother, and a good black magician, fortune teller, and witch doctor. Over 18,000 are now in England alone!” There's really not much we can add to that. Except to say that if these 12-year-old fortune tellers actually existed we wish one of them would have taken Criswell's job. You can see plenty more from Infomer by clicking its keywords below. 

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Vintage Pulp May 12 2016
TIP INCLUDED
Excuse me—there’s a guy in my soup.


Sticking with the recent tabloid theme, above is a National Informer Weekly Reader that hit newsstands today in 1974. Inside is a rather funny story about a Honolulu restaurant called Dunes, which was allegedly staffed by nude waiters. Do we buy this tale? We didn’t at first, but we checked online and sure enough—there was such a place and owner Jack Cione did indeed feature nude waiters during lunch service. We’re for nudity of any sort, male included, but we don’t want any stray dick tips in our shrimp salad, so maybe we’d pass on the actual lunch aspect.

Also in the issue editors ask, “What Ever Happened To June?” That would be British pin-up June Wilkinson, who not been seen on the showbiz circuit since starring with her husband—NFL star Dan Pastorini—in the film Weed: The Florida Connection. After Weed Wilkinson didn’t appear onscreen for eleven years. Occasionally, that’s a sign you’ve made a disastrous movie, and Weed is indeed terrifically bad. We’ll talk about it a bit later. We have eleven more scans from National Informer Weekly Reader below, including a nice shot of Italian sex symbol Nadia Cassini.

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Sex Files Nov 19 2015
BREAST PRACTICES
The National Informer sex seminar in now is session.

National Informer shares the knowledge in a Sex Education Special published this month in 1971, offering readers a tabloid manual of best practices for intersex relations. What do you want to know? How to satisfy a super-sexed female? Answer: ejaculate quickly so you can take your time pleasing her afterward. How do you prepare for a weekend orgy? Answer: start with a heart check-up. What’s the best way to warm up a frigid wife? Answer: erotic reading material, perhaps even—surprise—National Informer. The magazine’s sex seminar is not only for men—J.B. McNaughton explains to women how to use their breasts to turn men on. Answer: have them (actually, that’s our answer, not theirs). One person who probably needed serious advice was Prince Julius Eduard of Anhalt, Germany, who editors claim got into hot water when a nude photo of his girlfriend Christine Gunther appeared in a men’s magazine. We tried like hell to confirm this tale but to no avail. If it isn’t on the internet it definitely didn’t happen, so we’ll chalk this story up to too much brown acid in the editorial offices. We’ll have much more Informer soon.

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Vintage Pulp Oct 18 2015
UNDERCOVER INFORMER
Truthful news of all the facts of life.

Every 70’s tabloid has a slogan and National Informer claimed to offer “truthful news of all the facts of life.” Truthful? That might be a stretch. But it’s one of the more entertaining tabs from the period. We have more of these to scan and upload, but for today we have only this cover that hit newsstands today in 1970, which we’re using as a reminder that we have the most vintage tabloids to be found on the internet, including fourteen issues of National Informer and seven of National Informer Weekly Reader. You can access all those at our tabloid index here

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Vintage Pulp Aug 2 2015
CATCH AND RELEASE
National Informer shares hunting tips with readers.

Like most cheapie tabloids, National Informer practiced the journalistic equivalent of: Hah! Made you look! That objective has been achieved on the cover of this issue from today in 1970, with its text that blares, Hunting Women Can Be Fun. Sounds provocative, but as you might guess, the editors are merely talking about the best places to meet single women, which include the office, bars, and blind dates. Regarding the office, after explaining that any bachelor who works in one will generally find that there are many secretaries, file clerks, and typists ripe for the picking, the article goes on to offer this advice: “In general it is best to take the office girl to lunch. That way if you find a loser you don’t waste an entire evening.” Yes folks, according to some sources of the time female office workers were little more than harem girls—just look over the selection and take your pick! What an obstacle course the workplace must have been for women back then. But what are we thinking? It still is. Scans below.

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Vintage Pulp Nov 28 2014
CORONA FEAR
Miles away from ordinary.


National Informer Weekly Reader once again dabbles in real journalism with a piece about Juan Corona, the Mexican-born killer who in 1971 committed what was at the time America’s largest serial murder. Corona was violent-tempered, savagely homophobic, schizophrenic, had been institutionalized earlier in his life and had endured electroshock treatments. When he finally snapped and went on his spree it was to rape and murder twenty-five male farm laborers during a six-week period and bury them in the orchards around Yuba City, California.

Among many strange aspects of the crimes, Corona typically chopped crosses in the backs of his victims’ heads with a machete, and buried them face up with their arms over their heads and their shirts pulled up to cover their faces. Reader doesn’t offer much new information six months after his arrest, opting instead for a few big photos and short captions. Even though Corona typically wore casual work clothes, Reader digs up a photo of him in a sombrero and charro suit, because nothing says, "I'll chop up you, your family, and your little dog too, motherfucker," like mariachi garb. Using an atypical photo is of course a transparent move to make certain subjects appear more alien to readers, and it remains a common and highly troublesome aspect of American murder coverage today.
 
But Reader is a tabloid, after all, and so elsewhere in the issue you get more standard tabloid fare—five women giving up secrets about Farnk Sinatra, Mandy Burnes explaining several ways to beat a hangover, a fearful story about the coming explosion in the number of hippie doctors, a guide to Soho for swingers, a millionairess who made her fortune selling German sex aids, and the usual assortment of bad cartoons. Also, we have a suspicion that’s an Aslan pin-up on the front cover, which would be the second Reader has stolen—er, borrowed. Nineteen scans below.

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Vintage Pulp Nov 8 2014
INSIDE INFORMER
Our favorite terrible tabloid flirts with real journalism, but only for a moment.

This issue of National Informer appeared today in 1970, with an unknown cover model and, unusually for Informer, stories about three actual celebrities—Walter Hickel, Richard Burton, and Jean Seberg. Hickel had been caught using public money to redecorate his congressional office and is deservedly raked over the coals by Informer. Burton endures a mere sideswipe for comments about how heroic he’d be if he found himself on a hijacked plane. Seberg’s affair (or non-affair) with Black Panther Bobby Seale is rehashed over an entire page. If Informer had kept this sort of thing up they’d have begun to resemble a real newspaper, but no worries—didn’t happen. And a good thing, because we love Informer exactly the way it usually is—devoid of truth. Highlight of this issue: The (not so) Great Criswell uses his column of psychic predictions to promote himself, saying, “I predict that Tapesty in Terror, starring Vampira and myself, will soon be seen as an hour TV program in September 1971, so watch for it.” And guess what? The worst prognosticator in history got even that wrong. Tapestry of Terror never made it to television.

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Next Page
History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 26
1933—The Gestapo Is Formed
The Geheime Staatspolizei, aka Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, is established. It begins under the administration of SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police, but by 1939 is administered by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, or Reich Main Security Office, and is a feared entity in every corner of Germany and beyond.
1937—Guernica Is Bombed
In Spain during the Spanish Civil War, the Basque town of Guernica is bombed by the German Luftwaffe, resulting in widespread destruction and casualties. The Basque government reports 1,654 people killed, while later research suggests far fewer deaths, but regardless, Guernica is viewed as an example of terror bombing and other countries learn that Nazi Germany is committed to that tactic. The bombing also becomes inspiration for Pablo Picasso, resulting in a protest painting that is not only his most famous work, but one the most important pieces of art ever produced.
April 25
1939—Batman Debuts
In Detective Comics #27, DC Comics publishes its second major superhero, Batman, who becomes one of the most popular comic book characters of all time, and then a popular camp television series starring Adam West, and lastly a multi-million dollar movie franchise starring Michael Keaton, then George Clooney, and finally Christian Bale.
1953—Crick and Watson Publish DNA Results
British scientists James D Watson and Francis Crick publish an article detailing their discovery of the existence and structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, in Nature magazine. Their findings answer one of the oldest and most fundamental questions of biology, that of how living things reproduce themselves.
April 24
1967—First Space Program Casualty Occurs
Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov dies in Soyuz 1 when, during re-entry into Earth's atmosphere after more than ten successful orbits, the capsule's main parachute fails to deploy properly, and the backup chute becomes entangled in the first. The capsule's descent is slowed, but it still hits the ground at about 90 mph, at which point it bursts into flames. Komarov is the first human to die during a space mission.
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