Vintage Pulp Jan 22 2024
SCANDALOUS BEHAVIOR
Sleaze with cheese and Mayo.


The 1962 Midwood Books sexploitation novel Scandal was written by Dallas Mayo, aka Gilbert Fox, and has uncredited cover art. Some of Midwood's offerings were tamer than others. Scandal falls on the mild side, with a story set in the fictive burg of Sedgemoor, where a set of local bros are about to throw a big stag party around the same time a Hollywood producer rolls anonymously through scouting for a possible movie location. The tale is told round robin style, with a name mentioned at the end of each chapter preceding the next chapter told from that person's point of view. In this way Mayo keeps cycling through about eight characters. By the end, the Hollywood producer loves one of the stag party strippers, another stripper finds lesbian love, a married couple rekindle their sex life, and so forth. It's cheesy stuff, but Scandal is interesting for the social attitudes on display, even it isn't very hot. Get extra Mayo here

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Vintage Pulp Dec 26 2023
CAN'T TALK, HANDS FULL
Actually, darling, the moment you left I starting having this tremendous stiffness in my lower body.

Another day, another ripe Midwood cover. The art on these are always like visual punchlines, which is why people love them so much. This particular effort is from Victor Olson, who painted covers for many men’s magazines, including Saga, Stag, Male and others. Laura Duchamp was a pen name used by author Sally Singer, one of the few sleaze writers who was actually female. She was also prolific as March Hastings. Goodbye, Darling appeared in 1964.

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Vintage Pulp Oct 16 2023
MEASUREMENTS OF A MAN
It's a score sheet. I didn't tell you in advance because I didn't want you to get nervous. But I guess you did anyway.


Above: one of our regular check-ins with paperback illustrator Paul Rader, whose work is always excellent. In addition to being adept, his pieces are usually humorous. See some good examples here, here, here, here, and here.

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Vintage Pulp Jul 14 2023
JOYLESS SEX
If you use your imagination you can picture people getting royally screwed.

There are a lot of late-stage sleaze novels from Midwood Books, which went out of business around 1980 (Wikipedia says 1968, but it's wrong). We chose to read Will Rudd's 1978 romp Joy Ride for one reason—the cover features Swedish model Anita Hemmings, aka Annika Salmonsson, who we have upcoming on a rare headshop poster from 1972. Sadly, the book is a poorly written, overly long, raunchy but heatless story about a chump named Pollack whose cross country trip takes many strange turns.

But there is one point of interest: the cast of characters includes a couple named Harry and Meg. Harry is fair-skinned, while Meg is a “little lighter than her hair,” which is “tan and long.” Weird, right? They don't otherwise bear any resemblance to the royal couple, but still, you get unprompted visuals to accompany moments like: Meg, who'd opened her eyes and was beholding the world through semen-smeared glasses, felt Harry's cock swell gallantly in her mouth. It was worth a chuckle, but don't let it lure you. The book is really, really horrible. 

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Vintage Pulp May 15 2023
ARTISTIC PREFERENCE
You know, fabric uses up an awful lot of paint. Why don't you ditch the wrap and we'll just make this a nude.


Here's another addition to our collection of covers with artists and models. We've also shared a few strays that use the same theme, such as hereA Female Female by Brad Curtis deals with the adventures of a first-time artist's model named Bee who crosses the line between nude modeling as a professional versus sexual activity. We last saw Curtis years ago when we shared a cover for his 1963 novel Man Trap. Both that one and the one above were painted by the prolific Paul Rader, who we've seen a lot of and will see again.

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Vintage Pulp Mar 27 2023
DEPARTMENT OF INCORRECTIONS
Why are our uniforms are so tight? Why is it so hot in here? Why does the warden carry a riding crop?


The answer to all of the above questions is: It's a women-in-prison novel. There are variations with these, though. The warden might might favor a sharp tongue over a riding crop. The temperature might be warm to encourage stripping, or cool to encourage sleeping in huddled groups. In all cases, however, the cavity searches last way longer than needed to find secreted contraband. Mike Avallone later went on to write some reputable books, but he'll always be remembered for his sleaze, especially this one and his all-time classic Sex Kitten. You can get more of an idea what the book is about from the rear cover, just below. We've read enough of these novels to satisfy our curiosity, so we took a pass on this one.

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Vintage Pulp Jan 11 2023
VELVET TEEN
Hi. Becky said it would be okay if I slept over. She didn't specify in whose bedroom.


Above: the immediately identifiable work of the great Paul Rader fronting Russell Trainer's His Daughter's Friend. This is about a widower who gets into deep, deep trouble with a predatory teen. It came in 1964, after another book along the same lines, Wade Miller's famed Kitten with a Whip. Neither were among the first novels of their type. We'd guess the basic idea of adult-and-teen disaster goes back to the beginning of commercial publishing. The few we've read—aside from Lolita—feature girls above the age of consent back in 1964, and we bet that's the case here too. Those who don't read vintage books might suspect that such behavior is condoned, but it isn't—the entire point of these tales is that the men throw away or almost throw away everything, including their jobs, families, and freedom. We won't know exactly what His Daughter's Friend is about until we buy it, which we'll do, but not at two-hundred-plus dollars. That's the ask at the moment, and it's way too high. But someone will put it online at a reasonable price eventually. They almost always do.

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Vintage Pulp Jan 10 2023
SOMETHING TO DRINK ABOUT
Isn't it interesting how we all get better looking with every round?


This uncredited cover for Jackson Harmon's Night Spot, 1966, for Midwood Books, is another example that fits our cocktail tease collection. As there are hundreds of such covers out there, expect the set to keep growing indefinitely. Or at least until we run out of dumb quips. 

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Vintage Pulp Jan 5 2023
DOING HER PARTS
Well, sure, honey, if that's what you want, I guess I can try to help you put this deal to bed.


Midwood Books had a near-monopoly on artist Paul Rader, and good thing, because the guy was brilliant. His cover for the sleaze novel Strictly Business features an amusing tableau of a dapper businessman chatting with his leering colleague, as a coy beauty sits nearby.

The cover blurb is a little deceptive. The husband in this tale is actually the first to cheat, which drives his wife to do the same, first sampling some same-sex sweetness, then bedding down with her hubbie's hated rival. While the husband has an affair to help his business, his wife cheats in retaliation. When the husband encourages her to use her wiles to help him seal a deal, she leaves him. End of book. So the cover text is not on target. Not only that, but the rear synopsis makes up a scenario that never occurs at any point. Such are the hazards of sleaze novels, but this one is still a pretty fun read. Midwood was top of the genre for good reason.

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Vintage Pulp Dec 19 2022
RISING TEMP
And end with, “Therefore, honey, I've left you for my secretary.” Drop that in the mail room, then confirm our flight to Bimini.


In mid-century sleaze novels every working woman is a bombshell and every employer is tall, dapper, and virile. Paul Rader hits both notes on this cover for Temporary Secretary by Joan Ellis. Rader was an amazing illustrator. The key to this effort is in the angle of the male figure's head. There's no doubt he's aiming his gaze not at the secretary's shorthand pad, but a few degrees to its right. Very well done, copyright 1965.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
May 20
1916—Rockwell's First Post Cover Appears
The Saturday Evening Post publishes Norman Rockwell's painting "Boy with Baby Carriage", marking the first time his work appears on the cover of that magazine. Rockwell would go to paint many covers for the Post, becoming indelibly linked with the publication. During his long career Rockwell would eventually paint more than four thousand pieces, the vast majority of which are not on public display due to private ownership and destruction by fire.
May 19
1962—Marilyn Monroe Sings to John F. Kennedy
A birthday salute to U.S. President John F. Kennedy takes place at Madison Square Garden, in New York City. The highlight is Marilyn Monroe's breathy rendition of "Happy Birthday," which does more to fuel speculation that the two were sexually involved than any actual evidence.
May 18
1926—Aimee Semple McPherson Disappears
In the U.S., Canadian born evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappears from Venice Beach, California in the middle of the afternoon. She is initially thought to have drowned, but on June 23, McPherson stumbles out of the desert in Agua Prieta, a Mexican town across the border from Douglas, Arizona, claiming to have been kidnapped, drugged, tortured and held for ransom in a shack by two people named Steve and Mexicali Rose. However, it soon becomes clear that McPherson's tale is fabricated, though to this day the reasons behind it remain unknown.
1964—Mods and Rockers Jailed After Riots
In Britain, scores of youths are jailed following a weekend of violent clashes between gangs of Mods and Rockers in Brighton and other south coast resorts. Mods listened to ska music and The Who, wore suits and rode Italian scooters, while Rockers listened to Elvis and Gene Vincent, and rode motorcycles. These differences triggered the violence.
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