Femmes Fatales Mar 6 2024
PRIVATE SHOWING
I chose the stage name Busty, but I think you'll agree I have other assets.


Here's a nice photo of U.S. burlesque star Donna Mae Brown, aka Busty Brown. We had some fun with a 1960 photo of her in divorce court, but wanted to bring her back. Old photos of burlesque performers are often hard to date, but Brown was very popular for most of the 1950s, so if you split the difference this shot might have been made around 1955.

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Vintage Pulp Feb 5 2024
CUSTOM DROP TOP
There's no freer feeling than fresh air on your... um, than fresh air.

Today we have one of our favorite items from the mid-century era—a Technicolor lithograph with an acetate overlay. We've shared a number of these. The star here is Bonnie Logan, model and stage performer. She was of a more provocative variety than usual for her time, which you can get a sense of here and particularly here. This piece is probably from around 1960. As for our other examples, you wanna see them all? Okay, if you check this link, then this one, and follow the subsequent links from there, you'll be able to—we think—look at every one we've posted. 

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Vintage Pulp Dec 28 2023
A FOLIES JOLLY CHRISTMAS
Now dancers, now prancers, now vixens...


Folies de Paris et de Hollywood is one of our favorite vintage magazines, and though we have a tall stack of them, we don't share them nearly as often as we should. Today you're seeing the front and rear cover plus assorted interior bits from issue #506, which appeared in 1972. You get the usual burlesque dancers, prancers, and vixens, along with a centerfold featuring Margaret Nolan not looking quite her normal self (but it's her). See more from Folies de Paris et de Hollywood by clicking its keywords just below. 

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Intl. Notebook Nov 20 2023
CRAZY ABOUT PARIS
The sights are incredible there.


The photo series above was made to promote the famed Parisian nightclub Le Crazy Horse and its featured dancers. Posing on a terrace with a line of sight to the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysées, and Arc de Triomphe are Anna Portobello, Rosa Fumetto, Bonita Super, Maria Tuxedo (who we've featured before), Eva Wowor, Sophia Palladium, and Prima Symphony. That was today in 1968.

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Vintage Pulp Oct 28 2023
ACE FULL OF QUEENS
Mid-century girly mags are always a winning draw.


As the Cole Porter song goes, in olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking—and exemplifying that concept is Ace, the “magazine for men of distinction,” which debuted in 1957 during the height of the cheesecake era. In this day and age Ace is strictly kid stuff. But that's why it's cool to look back at. Like other publications of its ilk, Ace came along to fill the void left by the slow demise of mens adventure magazines, and as was typical, it grew more daring as the years went by, before finally folding in 1982, itself a victim of changing tastes and more rawness provided by porn mags.

This particular issue, published this month in 1960, features the usual mix of humor, adventure, and models, including the amusingly named Beverly Hills, aka Carla Henderson, who gets a spread inside plus the eye-catching rear cover, Eve Post, who the editors claim was discovered by Jack Benny, and Brandy Kayse, who poses as "Eve." Several of the models, such as Frances Beck, Lacey Kelly, Virginia Remo, and Pat Gregory, managed minor film roles. Elsewhere in the magazine there's plenty of nice art, plus the usual "fact" (men are polygamous?) and fiction. Multiple scans below.
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Femmes Fatales Sep 8 2023
CYR ON HIGH HEAT
She always got the juices flowing.


We ran across the above photo of mid-century burlsque queen Lili St. Cyr today, and it was all we needed to decide it was high time to repost her. She's looking particularly picturesque here. We have many entries on her, and certainly will have more, but as a service to you (clicking keywords will let you see everything), we'll make your work easier by pointing to two favorite images here and here.

The practice of burlesque resides in a cultural gray area. The simmering debate is whether it is merely an artful exploitation of women's bodies, or is basically feminist in nature because of the agency the dancers possess. People more serious than us will decide that. We just think she looks cool, and we regard her on the terms she chose: as a dancer and model. Life can be so simple when you let other people do the worrying.

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Intl. Notebook Jun 24 2023
MAN TO WOMAN
The more things change the more they stay the same.


Reading old magazines has helped teach us that things have not changed as much as some people would like you to believe. This issue of Man to Man hit newsstands this month in 1957. We've now seen trans stories in nine mid-century publications, and keep in mind we've not seen even a fraction of a percent of all the magazines ever published. The person under the spotlight this time is Abdel Ibrahim, and Man to Man editors say about him merely that he's “changing from a man into a woman,” and, “he's in an Egyptian hospital for an operation designed to help.”

This dispassionate tone has been the norm, from what we've seen, and shows yet again how the process of creating hysterical prejudice works. First, you train people to believe something unprecedented is occurring, then you frame that as a threat to people's “way of life.” But these old tabs serve as an inconvenient truth—sex reassignments have been around for quite a while, and before then, men who passed or attempted to pass as women go back into the depths of history.

During the mid-century era many trans people became national or international celebrities, from Coccinelle to Christine Jorgensen to Ajita Wilson. The knowledge of transexuals was so mainstream that the top-selling tabloid Whisper even published a 1965 story titled, “A Doctor Answers What Everyone Wants To Know About Sex Change Operations,” with the key word in that header—everyone—suggesting that the dominant reaction socially speaking was neither anger nor fear.

Elsewhere in Man to Man you get Zsa Zsa Gabor, including in one photo that looks familiar, sex myths of 1957, motel peepers, war, crime, fiction, a bit of nudism, and a bit of burlesque. You also get two pieces of art from popular illustrator Mark Schneider, who we've highlighted before. He mainly worked for Sir! magazine. We put together a collection of his covers for that publication which you can see here. You can also see three more issues of Man to Man by clicking its keywords below and scrolling down.
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Intl. Notebook Apr 30 2023
SIGHTS OF PARIS
Because the Louvre and Versailles don't stay open late.


Above are the cover and various interior pages from Cancans de Paris issue thirty-three, which hit newsstands this month in 1966. The magazine was one of several that explored Parisian burlesque, along with Folies de Paris et de Hollywood, Paris Frou Frou, Regal, and others. For more from Cancans just click the keywords below and scroll.

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Vintage Pulp Mar 27 2023
GRAND TORINO
Cruising in luxury with the top down.


These Technicolor lithograph models are difficult to identify, but for today's, which is titled “At Ease” and dates from 1959, the work has been done for us. A couple of online outlets confidently state that she's Joan Torino. Now, as far as which Joan Torino—that's a little trickier. We found reference to one who was a burlesque dancer at Red Heads Burlesque Theater in Hoboken, a club that first opened during the 1930s and lasted at least until the 1960s. Same time period, same name—gotta be the same Joan, right? That's what we're going with until corrected. Oh, and incidentally, yes, we know the car was called a Gran Torino. Gran or Grand—they both fit Joan.

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Femmes Fatales Feb 24 2023
RAREFIED AYERS
Warning: some spectators may experience shortness of breath.


Above: beautiful dancer Misty Ayers performs in a production photo made for the 1953 burlesque movie A Night in Hollywood, which also starred Tempest Storm, Jeanne Saunders, and others. This is a return engagement for Ayers on Pulp Intl. See her first stint here, and if you want to see her routine from the film, check here while the link lasts.

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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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