The Naked City | Vintage Pulp Jul 29 2014
PAYBACK IS A HITCH
They say vengeance is a dish best served cold, but we recommend passing entirely.


Above is a very nice True Detective from July 1959 with a Brendan Lynch cover depicting a woman startled by the arrival of a criminal. It’s actually a perfect cover, because inside the issue you get an interesting story related by Elma Baldwin, who was kidnapped by a paroled convict named Richard Arlen Payne. Payne snatched Baldwin and three her kids at gunpoint as part of an ill-conceived plan to trade them for the release of his former cellmate Burton Junior Post, aka Junior Starcher, who was serving time at West Virginia State Penitentiary in Moundsville. Payne didn’t want Starcher out because they were buddies. Quite the opposite—he had vowed to kill the man, and threatened to torture and murder the Baldwins if his demands weren’t met. He wrote in a note to Governor Cecil Underwood, “My purpose is to kill and take the head of my worst enemy, who is now out of reach. I must kill him or go mad.”

You’re probably asking why Payne never did anything to Starcher while they were cellmates. Payne’s answer was simple: “I could have killed him at any time, and I thought about it very seriously. At times I had a blade to his throat. But he was as good as done for anyway, because I knew once I got in the free world there were ways that I could get at him.”

Well, maybe not so much. In any case, the kidnapping was big news in 1959, probably owing to its sheer incomprehensibility. Today it’s mostly forgotten but remains a good case study of the benefits of being able to let go one’s anger. The entire event lasted only twenty hours, ending with a brief shootout in which nobody was injured, followed by Payne’s admittance to a mental asylum. Asked if Starcher had done anything specific during their time at Moundsville to engender such hatred, Payne said, “Well, nothing I can put my finger on. It was just a sort of natural hatred.”

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Vintage Pulp Jul 11 2014
STAG NATION
War is hell. Unless you get paid to paint it.

Today we have a bunch of scans from a July 1960 issue of the American men’s magazine Stag. The cover is by Mort Kunstler, and features the type of large scale war tableau that was pretty much his trademark. Inside you get art from the usual suspects Samson Pollen and James Bama, and photos of actress Vikki Duggan, aka Vikki Dougan, who made a splash in the 1950s by wearing backless dresses that plunged to ass-crack height (or below, sometimes). The idea was to compete with Monroe, Mansfield and the like using her back, because she didn’t have large breasts. Stag offers a couple of images, though not her most scandalous examples. You can see one of those by clicking here. You can also have a look at more of Mort Kunstler’s art by clicking here, as well as by visiting the comprehensive pulp magazine site menspulpmags.com. Twenty scans below for your enjoyment. 

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Vintage Pulp Jun 20 2014
CRIMINAL INTENT
Don’t think I won’t shoot you in this outfit—everything I’m wearing is hand washable.

Here’s a magazine we got from the great website Darwin’s Scans, and we’re putting it up as a reminder to those who like vintage material to drop by that site occasionally. Women in Crime—a publication devoted entirely to the concept of bad women—was created by the Hanro Corporation of New York City, a publisher of digest-sized detective novels, teenybopper magazines, and everything between. The art here is by George Gross, who painted hundreds of covers for Action Stories, Detective Book, et.al., as well as many excellent paperback fronts. He was even adept at western and sports art. You can get this issue of Women in Crime at the link here, and we recommend you do because it’s entertaining reading. The file is hosted on Sendspace, which has advertising that looks like download links, so remember that you want to hit the dark blue link in the middle of the page that says “click here to start download from sendspace.” Eighteen scans below.

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Vintage Pulp May 28 2014
SIMPLY STABULOUS
The message in this bottle is easy to read.

Above is the cover of an Indian crime magazine called Nutan Kahaniyan, showing a wild-eyed woman delivering a pretty firm message with a broken bottle, circa 1976. Crime magazines have long been popular in India. In fact, the writer Aravind Adiga explained in his great novel The White Tiger that today “rape and murder” magazines are sold in every newsstand in the country, and are particularly popular among poor servants. But he cautions the wealthy to remain calm—even though millions of servants are secretly thinking of murdering their bosses, violent magazines are an outlet for the urge. It’s when servants start reading Gandhi and the Buddha that the wealthy should commence pissing their pants. Today there is still a magazine in existence in India called Nutan Kahaniyan, but as far as we can tell it has nothing to do with the lurid version you see above. Anyway, this is a great little artifact from a country we rarely feature, and we love the cover. We’ll see if we can find more from India moving forward. 

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Vintage Pulp May 15 2014
FRENCH SEDUCTION
Bonjour ma chérie, je vais vous manger les os et tout.

She may look like she’s going to kill and eat the next person she sees, but to French readers of the 1930s this was apparently a come hither look. We’ve seen many issues of Seduction on auction sites but haven’t bought any. Not sure if we will at some point, simply because the magazine’s contents are similar to those of others we already own from the time period. However, the covers are a different story—they’re unusual, and consist solely of photos or photo-illustrations of faces by lensmen such as Schostal or Roye, or sometimes drawings by artists like Davanzo. Above is the work of Horace Roye, who was in his late twenties and just establishing himself when he did this cover, but would go on to international fame, sometimes doing considerably edgier work, like his infamous crucified nude wearing a gas mask. This is a beautiful image, even with the model’s psycho smile. Luckily the other covers aren’t quite so weird. Below are eleven your pleasure, 1934 to 1939. And if you want to see another humorously phony smile, look here.

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Vintage Pulp Apr 18 2014
GUT REACTION
Some things are just too hard to stomach.

Above is the cover of an issue of the Australian adventure magazine Adam published this month in 1974, featuring an illustration for Herb Hild’s story “Move into Danger” (called “Hike into Danger” inside the magazine). Adam is one of the best men’s publications ever produced in our opinion, though it’s becoming more difficult to collect each day, which means we’re running out of new issues to post. But we aren’t done yet. Below are thirty great page scans and you can see thirty-four more issues of Adam we’ve posted over the years by clicking here and scrolling down.

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Vintage Pulp Apr 16 2014
PARIS WHEN IT'S GREY
Even when it’s drab it’s beautiful.

This issue of Paris Plaisirs goes back farther than any we’ve featured—to 1924. But the pulp era officially began in the late 1800s, which means this art deco influenced publication fits right in. It debuted in 1922, lasted into the late 1930s, and was published out of Rue Georges-Berger in the Plaine de Monceaux quarter, fashioning itself as a specialty publication for Parisian music halls. Though this issue is very grey, the magazine became more colorful as time went by, which you can see in our other posts. That’s about all we can tell you about Paris Plaisirs because the mastheads in these are not exactly packed with information. We’ll find out more eventually, but in the meantime we’ll just enjoy the racy photographic vignettes and many ink drawings evocative of the Jazz Age. 

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Vintage Pulp Feb 25 2014
THE REAL WORLD
Real men find trouble everywhere they look.

Above and below are assorted scans from an issue of Real Men published this month in 1967 by New York City based Stanley Publications, Inc. Stanley launched Real Men in 1955, along with Real Secrets and Real War, which were more or less along the same lines. Inside this issue you get Red China, a swamp of death, a World War II tank battle, and a wife trying same sex action. You also get the usual demure cheesecake and lots of curious advertising. The Ann Loring featured here is, of course, not the same one who acted in films. By 1967 actress Ann Loring would have been in her fifties. Also, you’ll notice none of the art is credited. Bad, naughty editors. But the magazine is still entertaining. Not the best imprint in the genre, but certainly interesting. If you like what you see you can download it and others for free at the very useful website archive.org.

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Vintage Pulp Jan 13 2014
SUPERMEN & SUPERWOMEN
… 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 comprised 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
 
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The Naked City | Vintage Pulp Dec 28 2013
EXCESS BAGGAGE
This is bad, but the upside is I finally have proof I’m right—you do take too long to pack.

True Detective gives readers the lowdown on several crimes in this issue published this month in 1958, but the most chilling story involves 18-year-old Marjorie Schneider, who was parked in a secluded lover’s lane near Fort Collins, Colorado with her date and another couple when she was abducted at gunpoint. True Detective scribe Jonas Bayer tells readers how the perpetrator was a man named Floyd Robertson, who first shot up the car, then robbed the quartet inside, and finally dragged the screaming Schneider away, saying, “I want the blonde to come with me.” With the car non-functional, the survivors ran two miles to a telephone. Their call touched off one of the largest searches in Colorado history. When police caught Robertson just days later, he admitted that he had abducted and raped Schneider, shot her three times in the head, then buried her body 600 feet up the side of an incline overlooking Highway 14. Robertson was later convicted of the crimes and sentenced to life in prison. The cover art on this issue is by Joe Little, who painted covers for Master Detective, Saga, Male, Man’s World, and many other mags. More from him later. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
July 30
1935—Penguin Launched
Penguin Books is launched by Allen Lane and begins publishing cheap, no-frills paperbacks. Lane's idea of selling books not just in bookstores, but in train stations, pharmacies and corner stores, quickly revolutionizes the publishing market.
July 29
1957—Paar Takes Over Tonight Show
Today in 1957 Jack Paar begins hosting The Tonight Show. During Paar's five year stint, his unpredictable antics and strong comedic style help turn the program into a ratings juggernaut and a national institution.
1981—Charles and Diana Marry
Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer marry at St Paul's Cathedral before 3,500 invited guests and an estimated global television audience of 750 million, making it the most popular program ever broadcast.
July 28
1945—Plane Hits Empire State Building
A B-25 bomber crashes into the north side of the Empire State Building, between the 79th and 80th floors. One engine plows entirely through the structure, lands on a nearby apartment building, and sparks a fire that destroys a penthouse. The other engine falls down an elevator shaft. Fourteen people are killed in the incident.
1965—Vietnam War Heats Up
U.S. president Lyndon Johnson commits a further 50,000 US troops to the conflict in Vietnam, increasing the military presence there to 125,000. Johnson says about the increase, "I do not find it easy to send the flower of our youth... into battle."

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