Vintage Pulp Nov 14 2019
SOUTHEAST FANTASIA
We expected lightweight erotica but got stuck in a quagmire.


“Don't worry, Mom. We've got penicillin...” With a cover blurb like that, we thought Vietnam Underside! might be something along the lines of L.J. Brown's infamous sleaze novel Viet-Nookie, but no. Instead, the book is a deadly serious history of prostitution and sexual practices in Vietnam from the mid-1800s to the date of publication, which is 1966. It's also—and there's no grey area here—virulently racist. Leland Gardner writes reams about the depravity of the Annamites (an 1800s word used to refer to the Vietnamese), disparages in the most detailed terms their hygiene, morality, ethics, customs, religion, history, mentality, intelligence, and more. He accuses them of practicing pederasty, of allowing incest between pre-teens, and of being inherently promiscuous. The diseases they're allegedly rife with include yellow fever, elephantaisis, syphilis, and gonorrhea, all subsequently inflicted upon ivory pure Westerners. When Gardner writes something true—for instance about the deleterious effects of betel nut chewing on the teeth and mouth—he goes on, and on, and on. He describes Vietnamese women as having “black lacquered teeth and blood red mouths” at least fifty times. Interesting, isn't it, that just when your country's overseas invasion is ramping up you find that, basically, your foes don't deserve to live? Gardner actually claims the Vietnamese were well on their way to self-destruction long before the Yanks showed up. He writes about the war: “[these] decadent, deteriorating people have been adopted by a benevolent Uncle Sam.” Right at that instant Vietnam Underside! got to be too much, so we scrambled to the top of the literary embassy and barely got the last helicopter out. When it comes to choosing books based on the cover art, you win some and you lose some.

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Vintage Pulp Apr 23 2019
DARK SECRET
Well, I heard it's a salon tan and her real name is Becky.


PEC, aka Publishers Export Company, was about a low rent as it got for mid-century fiction, and the company left no stone unturned to get at the sleaze underneath. Fred Haley's Black Heat is one of those books designed to get all the characters laid in taboo breaking fashion. The main character, sort of a local kingpin, is shocked when his blonde daughter gets involved with an exotic “negress,” and his son has an affair with another man. He then cheats, a blackmailer sends his wife a home movie of it, and so forth and so on.
 
Haley is actually a bit of a legend in this field, because he wrote Satan Was a Lesbian, beyond doubt one of the most posted and reposted sleaze covers ever. But Haley was a pseudonym—in that case for Monica Roberts. We can't be sure Roberts wrote Black Heat, though, since pen names were often shared. All these books—even the many that try to be progressive about the subject matter—are racist, sexist, homophobic, and all the rest, but they're also fascinating windows onto attitudes of the day. Black Heat is 1966 with an unknown cover artist.

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Vintage Pulp Aug 9 2018
A HELL OF A GUY
Satanic mentoring program expands from boardroom to bedroom.


Devil: Now that she's out of her wedding gown, grab it and we'll sell it on Ebay. Snag her ring too.

Man: Get out of my head, shoulder devil!

Devil: Tie her to the bed and use her body until it's a dried out husk.

Man: Shhh... quiet!

Devil: What are you worried about? She can't hear us.


Man: Just stop, devil. It's my honeymoon. Take the night off.

Devil: No can do. Our pact is 24/7.

Man: But that was for you to make me a better businessman!

Devil: Trust me, what you wanna do to her is what big business wants to do to everybody. Now insult her and act like she deserved it. I taught that one to the president and he loved it.  

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Vintage Pulp Oct 27 2015
RUBBER THE WRONG WAY
Totally lifelike. Just like a real woman. Limited warranty. Do not get wet—shock danger. Possible choking hazard. Vendor not liable for injuries resulting from friction burns.


Above, the rather interesting cover for Jack Kahler’s Rubber Dolly, published by San Diego based PEC, aka Publishers Export Co., in 1966. So, what you get here is the owner of a Hollywood advertising agency called Premium Art who is surrounded by beautiful women 24/7 yet builds the most lifelike love doll ever made. Why? Well, he’s never satisfied. His name is Sam Bollen, after all. Hah hah. Ball-en. Anyway he builds his dolls—"so lifelike in action and substance they shocked even hardened business executives"—and everything is peachy at first, but he soon has problems of various bizarre sorts and even runs afoul of Hollywood communists. Amazing that Kahler could fit that in, but he was a genius—we’re talking about the same guy who came up with Passion Sauce (not be confused with The Lust Lotion). Though rubber doll sleaze may seem fringe, Rubber Dolly was actually a reissue of Kahler's successful Latex Lady from two years earlier. And of course this isn't the first mechanical love doll we've had on the site. The art is uncredited. Go figure.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
February 23
1945—Flag Raised on Iwo Jima
Four days after landing on the Japanese-held island of Iwo Jima, American soldiers of the 28th Regiment, 5th Marine Division take Mount Suribachi and raise an American flag. A photograph of the moment shot by Joe Rosenthal becomes one of the most famous images of WWII, and wins him the Pulitzer Prize later that year.
February 22
1987—Andy Warhol Dies
American pop artist Andy Warhol, whose creations have sold for as much as 100 million dollars, dies of cardiac arrhythmia following gallbladder surgery in New York City. Warhol, who already suffered lingering physical problems from a 1968 shooting, requested in his will for all but a tiny fraction of his considerable estate to go toward the creation of a foundation dedicated to the advancement of the visual arts.
February 21
1947—Edwin Land Unveils His New Camera
In New York City, scientist and inventor Edwin Land demonstrates the first instant camera, the Polaroid Land Camera, at a meeting of the Optical Society of America. The camera, which contains a special film that self-develops prints in a minute, goes on sale the next year to the public and is an immediate sensation.
1965—Malcolm X Is Assassinated
American minister and human rights activist Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City by members of the Nation of Islam, who shotgun him in the chest and then shoot him sixteen additional times with handguns. Though three men are eventually convicted of the killing, two have always maintained their innocence, and all have since been paroled.
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