A rare example of photography joining forces with the mighty pen to promote perversity. (And a less controversial post than the last one) I've cropped out the bottom part of the photo...but don't worry...you only miss one drawing! Illustrator unknown, but influenced by Toulouse Lautrec.
The only "handwritten" ad in an otherwise fully modern, professional typeset issue of Adam Magazine from 1968. One might believe this is an amateur capitalist offering her private portraits to a select few customers. A rube might even think "Hey, this is something special...I'll help her out with an order." Personally? I think "P. Plan" stands for "Pension Plan" and your money order would go directly towards someone's in Brooklyn's largest bank of the time. If nothing comes back to you in a plain brown envelope, are YOU going to report it to J.Edgar Hoover? IN 1968? Adam was one of the most popular men's magazines of the late 1960's, and it ran for some 20 years.
A bootleg, privately printed amateur erotic novel with a purloined illustration of a pony woman on the cover by Gene Bilbrew, master of quirky illustration. Circa 1960
The Switchmaster by Leslie Rawhide Privately Printed Pamphlet collection Victor Minx
Does this look a bit cleaner and more professional than most sleazy girly gags? It should. JOSH is in fact Joe Shuster, co-creator of Superman way back in the late 1930s. The story of how he was screwed out of royalties is familiar to most cartoonists and fans, but what was certainly NOT well-known until last year was his work as a fetishistic, sadomasochistic, bondage and sleaze illustrator in later years.
When I came across this drawing in an issue of Snappy (Perky Pinups and Lively Man's Gags) from the 1960s I recognized the lines. Earlier in the year I had read Craig Yoe's astounding book "Secret Identity" linked at right and knew the story, but I was familiar only with the notorious Nights of Horror digests he produced. Sure enough, Yoe points out Shuster did some one-off cartoons and this is an example. YOWSA. If you are interested in vintage sleaze or Superman...the book is fascinating and goes to show what an artist can and will do to pay the bills. 35 years after giving away his rights to the billion dollar man of steel, Warner Communications (then parent company of DC Comics) belatedly granted Joe a near poverty level pension of $20,000 a year. "Josh" passed away, nearly blind, in 1992.
(A simultaneous post on my DULL TOOL DIM BULB blog)
OK fellas, here's the down and dirty about venereal disease. I know, distasteful and enough to throw a (shared enlisted man) cold shower monkey wrench on your plans for the weekend. But it has to be said...there could be danger lurking around the bus station worse than the ones aiming a mortar at you...and tis best to be aware. Even the ARMY uses alliteration when dissing the dames. What is THAT about? To be fair, they DO cover marriage...but don't expect them to be any kinder to the local talent. To wit "...don't get mixed up in a half-baked marriage...Don't mistake that gleam in her eye for love light, when it may only be anticipation--anticipation of a nice, fat Government Allotment check. Don't be a sap. Take your time. Make sure!!" I would discuss the painter, as the blog is about art, not medicine, but his signature was reduced so the troops could carry this guide alongside their k-rations and I can't make it out. I assume he was an artist who served his country well.
Army Guide to Furlough, War Department 1944. Collection Victor Minx
An anonymous example of an artist who could draw a man's wet dream, but wore himself out before rendering the guys. Of course, ALL successful vintage sleaze artists want the reader to both identify with and sneer at fellas at the same time...but this artist seemed peter out after carefully lining the gravity defying breasts. I don't think it was his pencil which wore out. Short little guys with hillbilly features pose alongside some of the most statuesque, skimp-clad sweeties this side of Bill Ward. He did not sign his work, but he should have. Whether chasing a secretary, peering up from a manhole or looking over a fence, most men in girlie cartoons are either leering, drooling or confused. I guess accurate enough, actually.
Anonymous Girlie comics, circa 1955.
MERRY CHRISTMAS (from the Boss) and Vintage Sleaze the Blog
Bill Ward working as "McCartney" 1964 Calendar Page Collection Victor Minx
Lowell Hoppes was born in Ohio in 1913. A prolific and versatile artist, he had somewhat of a vanilla reputation and drew a considerable number of pieces for popular, not at all sleazy publications such as Parade and Highlights for Children. Well, he also did some work you won't see in the Dentist's office. The most recent significant reference I find is dated 1998 when Mr. Hoppes was living in Florida and was referred to as an "actively retired Sarasota cartoonist." He achieved enough fame to have made it into some standard art reference tools, but as far as I can tell his work has not been reprinted. A shame. His girlie drawings show robust, zaftig, healthy round females, (a polite way to say he liked boobs) there actually is a wholesome quality which might just fit in the Sunday supplement. His adult drawings were published in the Humorama line, and also in the super sleaze Sex to Sexty which came a few years later, and which I will have more to say about one day. One can tell the girlie stuff wasn't his bread and butter...nor was it his passion. Although marked with a ton of thick, black ink, often the darkest thing in the magazine, the mood was never fetishistic or arousing. A good, if pedestrian artist, and one deserving a retrospective of sorts.
So, 1964 and the height of vintage sleaze. One garment dresser reigns supreme. Frederick's of Hollywood. Suburban housewives from the greatest generation were starting to slide a bit, and no less than a few were starting to worry the hubby was doing more working late each night at the office than pushing old man Skinflint's widgets. So it might be time to spice things up a bit at home. The business was started by the man who invented the push-up bra. Frederick's is today a publicly traded company listed on the American stock exchange. The pages here were cribbed from "craphound" who has generously posted the entire 1964 catalog on flickr. What is good for the Craphound is Good for America.
Freddy uses photographs now, of course. But imagine having the illustration gig back then.
Every Art Model be-au-ti-ful, figure perfect...even, I presume, Miss Torso. Check everything you want.
Guy's Mail order advert, 1957. Collection Victor Minx
1950's model Bettie Page was SO beautiful and her influence SO pervasive, any model with bangs found work, and many of those without them wished they did. Here is but one example, one Miss Julie Gibson. I haven't seen her on any refrigerator magnets. (For a striking collection of original hand-painted vintage photographs of the REAL Bettie and her friends, see the Camera Club Girls website, which presents previously unseen adult photographs taken and hand-tinted by Rudolph Rossi of New York City, who hired Bettie Page to pose and also participated in the historic camera club sessions of the 1950s.)
King of Alliteration! The Masthead of Tomcat, which will make you purr with pagan pleasure, caters to culpable cats capable of cuddling a curvaceous cutie.
Tomcat Magazine, Volume One number Four 1957 Collection Victor Minx
A brief diversion from illustrators and artists, we will consider the Pasty. Since they always come in pairs, let's use the plural. The name comes from the paste used to hold them on (and you all thought it was suction, didn't you?) Pasties often have tassels, and it is the supreme talent of a stripper to swirl them simultaneously in two directions, a skill which seems similar to tying a cherry stem into a knot with your tongue. That is, sexy... but requiring more practice than a violin player aiming for Carnegie Hall. Pasties were invented to get around a myriad of regulations imposed on strippers, cootch shows and burlesque dancers. The history goes back to the 1920s, and today, despite their fading utility in strip clubs, pasties come in nearly as many shapes and shades as the areola. Today they are frequently used in parades, at the beach and even as objects to enhance sexuality rather than to protect lonely men from getting out of control.
The queen of tassels was most assuredly "Satan's Angel" a woman who really was named Angel...who could not only extinguish tassel flames by means of strenuous mammary rotation, she could twirl FIVE tassles at once (breasts, buttocks and navel) Her name was Angel Cecilia Helene Walker and all aspiring retro burlesque performers should hold her in awe.
Justin Kent was a pseudonym, that we know... and in fact the writer who used the name was held as a material witness to testify against mobster Eddie Mishkin, the Times Square publisher who printed so many vintage sleaze classics covered earlier (and discussed in extraordinary, ground-breaking work by Jay Gertzman) Mishkin was called before the Kefauver Committee in 1955, a few years later he was arrested and his warehouse raided. The transcript makes for interesting reading. But there is some question who the artist of Dangerous Years was. With characteristics of both Eugene Bilbrew AND Eric Stanton, it is hard to tell. In fact, just how much one may have collaborated with the other is under question. Both sold work to Mishkin, and both illustrated the covers for his line of paperbacks published under the imprints First Niter, Wee Hours and such. The elegant clean lines and narrow limbs of Stanton are here...but then the faces have all the characteristics of Bilbrew's work. Certainly early work by either, and splendid as well. Gertzman attributes it to Stanton.
Dangerous Years by "Justin Kent" Andiron Press, "San Francisco" 1955 Collection Victor Minx
Since the breasts are as basic to survival as water and air, it isn't surprising we have so many nicknames for them. I prefer "sweater puppies" but don't use it too much, I'm trying to be a gentleman. The little worn book here has circulated since around 1945...I can say that as many of the nicknames have wartime connotations. Unfortunate, since there is no connection between war and the female breast that I can see. At any rate, a few of the less offensive pages are shown. As with so many of the little ephemeral brochures posted here, no date, publisher, copyright, address...I reckon if you are slightly ashamed of your product, you leave no trails. An inept illustrator as well. Nice little poem though.
A flimsy wisp of gossamer
Sheltering shapes we hold so dear
Behold the truth and shed no tear
These are the facts 'neath the Brassiere
"Bust with Humor: The Grand Deception behind the Buildup" pamphlet, circa 1945 22 pages. Collection Victor Minx
First of all, I abhor censorship in any shape or form, but having had one blog removed for failing to comply with someone's arbitrary opinion as to what meets standards of decency, I've blurred a portion of this photographic postcard. (A CONSIDERABLE portion!) "Got in Himmel" that I have removed the entire, um..."point" of the cartoon is unfortunate, but you can use your imagination. This crude drawing is of course intended to show a popular comic strip from the 1890s and beyond. The drawing has been reproduced on a Real Photo Postcard, which was an easy way to distribute photographic images on paper. I know this historical perspective allows me to claim this little artifact has redeeming social value...as if I didn't already think it did. Real photo cards of drawings are scarce... those showing a bunch of randy cartoon characters are even more so. As you can see, no one actually MAILED the little thing...but that it has been passed around for 100 years indicates it was a little prize. Satirizing popular culture figures by depicting them in various stages of undress is a tradition as old as, well....undress itself. From Bonnie and Clyde and John Dillinger (in old 8-pagers) to Disney characters (numerous lawsuits) to the Simpsons on the web, there is something childish but persistent about such humor.
"Dere'll be Someting Doing Soon" Real Photo postcard, circa 1910. Collection Victor Minx
Vintage Sleaze The Eyes Have it! A Peck of Peeper Publications (Stare Glance Gaze Eyeful Peek Scope See)
We all know men are visual..."looks" like the publishers of the 1950s figured it out as well. A Peck of Peeper Publications.