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A nice vintage photograph of burlesque theater (strip joint)...open all night and all day. This would date well before the days of lap-dancers who have learned to squirm twenty dollar bills right out of your pocket while whispering absolutely sweet nothings into your ear.
Astoundingly, some collective group of demented, obsessed, likely "regular" participants at a modern day strip joint or two have together written a Wikipedia article on them with TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN FOOTNOTES! That would figure to about a dollar a footnote, given the average loss you would probably experience at a club today.
Save your money dudes...stay home and verify more quotes!
I have only been to one strip club and it was when I was a kid. It was in St. Augustine, Florida, it was late in the drizzling afternoon, off season and I was the only patron. There was one stripper there teaching a future stripper how to strip, and the lessons were conducted with Fleetwood Mac's Rumors Lp on a cassette recorder. I drank three beers and went back to my hotel in the rain. A rite of passage. It rained my whole trip except for the last day, when I burned so bad I drove back north with a wet towel over my charred calves.
I have three book recommendations, so screw the wiki article. The first two are by Herb Pastor, both refreshingly honest, frank and hilarious accounts by the self-named "Strip Joint Millionaire" whose extraordinary website is HERE. What a guy! Just browse the pictures and you will be typing his name into your kindle faster than a sawbuck disappears into a pair of sweaty panties.
The other book is one of the most unusual, curious and frightening books I have ever seen or read. Seriously...and if you know me, you know I do not generally read "best-sellers." It is "Headless Man In Topless Bar" and it is illustrated below. The subtitle says it all. "STUDIES OF 725 CASES OF STRIP CLUB RELATED HOMICIDES" I mean really! The book is authored by T. A. Kevlin.
Truly, the only thing more amazing about the mere existence of this title is the fact that I read it and enjoyed it! You can put it down and pick up the next day without loosing continuity, as each case is only a page or two long, but believe me, the author's research is commendable. As the jacket reads "Every case of strip club related homicide since 1964, which the author was able to locate in newspaper files, appellate court decisions, has been included." Now THAT is a serious obsession. Bravo!
Original Photograph of a Burlesque Club (Undated, Anonymous) taken from a slide Collection Victor Minx
A scarcity, but at one time I am sure a welcome addition to many struggling barbershops and gas stations across the country. I hate to credit Reuben Sturman, sleaze magnate and all around bad guy with anything positive, but this calendar, published two years before James Brown's "Say it Loud: I'm Black and Proud" was one of the first indications (I am serious here) that Black women were beautiful enough to be on the wall anywhere. Can you imagine what that meant to the race?
To see "Sepia Stunners" in a calendar?
I am sure this was not uplifting to a major part of the community, but it was a landmark of sorts anyway.
Do not consider me a racist for pointing this out...it was the dominant white culture with a problem. A problem which unfortunately persists even today among certain folks, and bless the current generation to whom color matters not.
The anonymous model was used around the same time (shown below) by Leonard Burtman, but by 1966 he was having financial problems, both personally and with his distributor. Partly as a result of censorship which today seems foolish (and it was) but also because producing his high quality smut magazines was expensive. Up stepped the King of Porn, Reuben Sturman. That is his logo at top (no...not the pussycat, the tiny WWNC globe, which depicts his company initials literally covering the world with slime.
If there was a buck to be made, Sturman didn't care if the model was purple or orange, he'd take the green. So he "helped out" by taking over the product for a while.
As unseemly as this calendar might seem today, it was a breakthrough in racial consciousness, and a mere THIRTY YEARS LATER Sports Illustrated was shooting the sisters for their swimsuit issue. So who is the pioneer here? Tyra Banks wasn't even born yet when this calendar came out. Like Jazz, the races got along better in the sleaze business.
Uhura didn't make out with Captain Kirk on Star Trek until two years later, Same with Diahann Carroll and Julia, the first sitcom with an African-American woman as a lead character. 1968.
As I have written before, and as my modest book SECRET HISTORY OF THE BLACK PIN UP indicates, women of color didn't become wall candy until LONG after their Caucasian sisters, for better or worse...but this is one of the first examples. Were there Black Pin ups? Yes, but not until decades after their white sisters.
1966 Pussycat Calendar "Featuring Twelve Exciting Sepia Stunners All In Exotic Color" 1966 (1965) Collection Victor Minx.
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A 1959 Robert Bonfils illustration lost for fifty years, this inside cover for Fling Festival Magazine Volume one Number one 1959 (Collectors Annual issue) As you can see the eyes don't quite match up right...the issue is so old and the cover is loose...Since early smut like this is fugitive literature of a sort, I guess we are lucky to have it at all.
Robert Bonfils is generally considered the finest illustrator who worked on vintage sleaze paperbacks, but that wasn't his whole career. He did lunch boxes! He did record covers. He did them all well with a very unusual, unique style usually far exceeding the esthetic quality he was providing a package for.
Bonfils was usually on the outside of the book, but this illustration was the inside front cover (with an unusual bleed over to the title page of the novelette in black and white.) As you can see, the cover here has slipped a bit, but then I don't think too many of these issues are still around. A striking work by a striking vintage sleaze artist, and from a place not too many folks would have seen it.
Bonfils site is HERE and it is recommended!
"Fling Festival" Collector's Annual Volume one Number one 1959 Collection Victor Minx
Leonard Burtman provides Bettie Page with a resume, circa 1955 PRESENTING BETTIE PAGE Burmel Digest
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THIS IS NUMBER TWENTY FOUR IN THE SERIES 'THE RARE DIGESTS' Small essays on hopelessly obscure and scarce soft-core publications of the 1950s. Enjoy them all!
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Gag Gift by Fishlove cheats on the apostrophes on the front of the box in order to make his gag work. If you intend to show possession (of panties or anything else) use the correct grammar, Fishlove.
Fishlove Company Gag Gift 1947 Collection Victor Minx
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For some eight years, from 1958 to 1966, Spiderman co-creator Steve Ditko shared a studio in Hell's Kitchen at 43rd Street and Eighth Avenue with Fetish illustrator Eric Stanton. Earlier the two had attended art school at the forerunner of the School of Visual Arts, then known as The Cartoonists and Illustrators School.
Did they help each other with their drawings? Duh.
Did Stanton help invent Spiderman?
Stanton has been quoted on the subject. "Eric Stanton drew his pictures in indian ink and they were then hand-coloured by Ditko" according to Eric Stanton: For the Man Who Knows His Place (Taschen 1997.) In 1988 Stanton addressed the issue of Spiderman directly in The Steve Ditko Reader (Pure Imagination, Brooklyn, NY, 2002.) He minimizes his work on Ditko's pieces, yet says they "worked on storyboards together and I added a few ideas. But the whole thing was created by Steve on his own... I think I added the business about the webs coming out of his hands"
The illustration above (spider logo, spider webs and big dames!) is credited to Stanton and appeared in Diabolique Magazine, issue number 3. Diabolique was published by Leonard Burtman and appeared in 1962...1963 at the latest. The publication has no date, but it comes from Selbee, the corporate name Lenny was using at the time. Burtman published Stanton's work regularly during the time period, and I believe the artist was even credited as Art Director on some of the Selbee publications.
Spiderman made his debut in Amazing Fantasy in 1962, quite likely the exact same year this Stanton illustration appeared in Diabolique, while the two young artists were sharing a studio.
A number of writers and comic historians have both documented and speculated on the artistic relationship between the two cartoonists, some approaching from the comic book side of things, others from fetish art... but to my knowledge this is the first time since the original publication of Diabolique the illustrations above have been shown...webs and all.
Illustrations from "Black Widow Sorority" by Stanton, inside back cover Diabloique Magazine Number 3, circa 1960-1963 (No Date in Publication) Selbee Associates, New York. Collection Victor Minx
UPDATE: I CONTRIBUTED SEVERAL PANELS OF ART DRAWN BY ERIC STANTON WHICH CONFIRM HIS PARTICIPATION, IF NOT MUCH MORE, IN THE INVENTION OF SPIDERMAN TO THE NEW BOOK THE CREATIVITY OF DITKO BY CRAIG YOE. MORE REVELATIONS WILL BE SHOWN IN THE FORTHCOMING BOOK TIMES SQUARE SMUT
Don Pendleton Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks ? David Zentner The Executioner and Stephan (Y) Gregory Pseudonym
Did Don Pendleton, mega-huge author of the line of formula tough guy crap "The Executioner" write this blasphemous looking book?
I think so! But as a woman.
David Zentner, one time publisher of such quality magazines as "Keyhole, Bare" and the slightly more upscale "Escapade" was once involved in a convoluted lawsuit over the Executioner novels (Read it HERE) Zentner is best known as president and/or CEO of Bee-Line, one of the most persistent paperback sleaze publishers. It lasted forever! There were hundreds, and what started as your typical soft-core, goofy paperbacks eventually morphed into more hardcore goofy cover paperbacks with models instead of paintings.
Anyway, in the court document cited above, one (me) finds a curious little tidbit, to wit: "Among the authors writing for Bee-Line was Donald Pendleton, who wrote six or seven erotic books which were published by Bee-Line in 1966 and 1967." A good lead...and one which pays off.
The official, I guess, website for the writer HERE casually mentions his earliest works, written as by one Stephan Gregory, a series of novels featuring the character Stewart Mann, one of which is titled The Sexy Saints. Except that it appears to have been published as by STEPHANY Gregory. Looks like Don was mistakingly a dame for one book!
I do not know the relationship between "Rapture" books (so lovingly indicated by lipstick on the cover) but Don did write a few other books which, at least from the titles, appear might also fit into a vintage sleaze paperback collection, including:
The Sex Goddess
The Hot One
All the Trimmings
Color Her Adultress
(Spelling of above courtesy of Wiki, who also lists "The Sexy Saints" but as by Stephan Gregory)
Worth looking into, I think...that is if you read these things.
"Bee-line" still going strong years later
SEE JIM LINDERMAN BOOKS AND EBOOKS HERE
A cheap "get rich quick" one-page folded over "book" for a buck. "Published" in 1974, I suppose at the height of the hippie, birth control, experimental, swapping, hedonistic, swing-club, find yourself, go crazy, no rules apply era. It's disgusting, ridiculous and I wish I had thought of it.
Why there is a jester with slippers and a stocking cap is a complete mystery...I don't want to play no games with this clown. Wouldn't a clip-art dame have sold more copies?
Anyway, the games inside, (of which there are only four and they are all incredibly stupid, not to say in one case MOST unsanitary...) would not liven up a party even if the fool who paid a buck could line up any guests. Just imagine the faces of the bridge club as Harvey pulled this out "as a joke" and attempted to liven up the place. Silence. Cringe. Looser.
The modern day version of Spin the Bottle? You REALLY, REALLY do not want to know.
Sex Party Games 1974 "Majestic" Distributors. One folded page (for one folded dollar) collection Victor Minx
Mimi the Snappy Bubble Dancer is for Men Only and she has been around a long time. Pull her legs and a still working spring-operated slapper smacks you in the finger.
Mimi the Snappy Bubble Dancer No Manufacturer noted. Circa 1930? Collection Victor Minx
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I'll be watching the Super Bowl, but only to see Madonna perform for an audience of approximately 100 million people. If she brings the dancers, it should be the most gay half time show ever, and it will certainly have the most gay viewers for any sporting event in history. How could anyone miss it? Plus, it's a big, big venue. She'll have to wear a cone bra 6 feet long to be seen in the cheap seats. (Which started at $600 but are now over $5,000 according to "CNN MONEY" so it must be true.
The game? Eh. For those of you betting, which is the primary reason for professional sports (think I'm kidding? I'm not in the least) here is the inside scoop. (Don't share it as the odds are currently in our favor.) One team will win, the other won't. And why? As the talking heads will assure you immediately after the game, "It all came down to ball-handling" so there you go. You can go to bed after halftime.
Madonna has twelve minutes to play with, but with the fathead, overpaid "color" guys trying to squeeze in their inane comments, you'll be lucky to hear one complete song. It COULD be the greatest halftime show ever, but she has to perform better than Elvis Presto (real name Alex Cole, "Solid Gold" dancer) who wowed us all in 1989.
So is it really true that "blowing your wad" the night before hurts performance? Hard to say, as every website I try to find the answer on has so many pop-up ads for crap, I'm tired of clicking through them.
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Fishlove steps in to clean a Dirty Mind. What's ON a man's mind? According to Fishlove, novelty crud gift king, it's, um..."portions" of people.
Novelty Risque Toy Fishlove #409 (with washcloth, miniature Ivory soap Bar and graphic representation of a mind needing cleaning. 1973 Collection Victor Minx
Books and $5.99 ebooks by the author are shown HERE
One entry from the mail order $3 Sex Dictionary (One sheet folded brochure, no date circa 1960?) Collection Victor Minx
The "dressed" version of an anonymous, but apparently prosperous camera club model taken by Rudolph Rossi in New York city circa 1950. The undressed version appears HERE on the (adult) site created for the book Camera Club Girls: Bettie Page and her Friends The Work of Rudolph Rossi and subsequent exhibitions. Thirty of the original, hand-tinted Rossi photographs are on display in Santa Fe at Au Boudoir Gallery until February 2012.
Untitled (one of two) 8 x 10 Original circa 1950 photograph taken and hand-tinted by Rudolph Rossi. Collection Jim Linderman
Back cover of Domination, Discipline and Desire by Brian Hayle 1959 Burmel Publishing Company, New York NY Illustration Gene Bilbrew Collection Victor Minx
I love Sir! magazine. In fact I would award them the prestigious vintage sleaze posthumous pulitzer if I could, but the award doesn't exist. I did, however, profile one of their goofiest cover artists on the other blog a while ago, the unusual talent of Mark Schneider. I'd have to say, however, much as I like Mark, I'd have to enter this one into competition.
Bettie Page twirls on the cover of SIR! Magazine, 1955 Collection Victor Minx
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Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks seldom get any better than this, so enjoy! Check out THIS galoot! His name is Al but the ladies refer to him as "big boy" in the novel. On the cover here, rendered in primitive skill which makes Grandma Moses look like a master of perspective, Al opens the door like a gentleman. I don't think the women are looking for etiquette...obviously they are interested in more than polite chatter over a spot of tea.
I hate to dispel a myth ladies (or in this case, barflies) but there is no relationship between body size and wanger size. Nor, in this case, intelligence. But Al will drive you anywhere you need to go. Step right into his pea-soup coupe!
The publisher, who obviously could not afford an illustrator who went to art school, had several names. "IN books" "In LIbrary books" "Newstand Library" "Neva Paperbacks" AND "UG" on the spine(which refers to the distributor United Graphics according to the lovely and talented Brittany Daley) ALL IN THE SAME BOOK!
They also couldn't afford a proof reader. I'm no genius either, but I try to spell the words right on the COVER! "Desireble" appears on the back cover.
The publisher location is indicated as Las Vegas. 1968. After reading it, let's go see Frankie at the Sands!
Changeover by Duane Davis (cover artist unknown, at least to me) 1968 Collection Victor Minx
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Dante Publishing Company peddles some Voluptuous Vixens as figure models for artists when in fact they were hot naked chicks. As you can see, Miss Candy Stripe was doctored up and placed at the beach on the back cover. An early example of isolating a "figure model" from the pack...the camera club session may have been crowded and some shutterbugs trying to get close may have appeared in the photo, but at any rate the Vixen was lifted out of the crowd, put in lovely stripes and dropped back against a blue screen like your local weatherman on TV.
Still, a lovely little relic of the days when naked women appeared only as "studies" rather than hot babes with no clothes.
Note the retail shop would negotiate a bulk price, then set their own on the cover, in this case a one dollar price in grease pen.
Voluptuous Vixens Dante Publishing (No date, No publishers location) with airbrushed photographs by Albert Wasson, Michael Denning, Joseph Steffek. Circa 1950 Collection Victor Minx
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THIS IS NUMBER TWENTY THREE IN THE SERIES 'THE RARE DIGESTS' Small essays on hopelessly obscure and scarce soft-core publications of the 1950s. Enjoy them all!
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George Troop comics don't get seen much today, and there should be more information on Troop given his productivity. Here, in a full spread gag cartoon the Texan, a gravity defying catch runs around the room like a gazelle on the African savanna. Troop is better known for his 1970's work in Sex to Sexty, this two-pager is from Cartoon Jamboree way back in 1957, and the styles on the women in the door makes it look even older. Even two pages hardly contain the chase. Sexist, silly and typical of the woman chaser motif.
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Naughty Girls of Paris Gay Burlesque (Night Dancers) They clearly aren't showing much here for free. I'm guessing 1880 or so, quite a photo at the time and still. "GAS" on the banner means the tent had gas lighting inside (a selling point as you would be able to see EVERY racy hot detail) but I would have made sure I could crawl under the tent stakes in case of fire. The promoter is presenting the girls with a wave of the hand. I guess one would crawl into the show through the white drape under the painted ladies.
Original Girly Show Burlesque Tent "Naughty Girls of Paris" circa 1880 Collection Victor Minx
72 Year Old Eleazner Smith and Sweeter Than Life by Mark Tryon The Book He Didn't Read Vixen Press Convicted of Obscene Literature
See this book? Ever read it?
Neither did Eleazar Smith, a 72 year old owner of a bookstore in Los Angeles. The book is Sweeter Than Life by Mark Tryon, not his real name, but then there is no Mark Twain either. I've written about Mr. Tryon's publisher, Vixen, before. But this post is about Eleazar.
Eleazar had the bad luck to sell a copy of Sweeter Than Life to an undercover cop in Los Angeles in 1956. Why the cop went to a bookstore to purchase a book of fiction which had lesbian characters is beyond me, but we can assume he didn't just happen in and like the cover. Gee...maybe there was no crime in Los Angeles that day.
Smith, who had instructed employees in the shop not to sell books from that section of the store to minors, was nonetheless convicted in 1958 of possessing an obscene novel, a conviction which was upheld by a second LA court. He was sentenced to 30 days in Jail. Not for selling, by the way, but simply because he had the book in his store.
Three years later Eleazar's lawyer argued before the United States Supreme Court that Mr. Smith could hardly be held responsible (or jailed) for having the book in his store as he had not even read it. Thank God the Supreme Court agreed and reversed the conviction, because I don't think the clerks in the Barnes and Noble a few miles from here have read everything in there.
This post is just to dispel any notion that what I am writing about on this blog is just boob jokes.
Is Sweeter Than Life dangerous? I don't know, I've never read it...but there are 4 copies currently available on Amazon, used...and the price starts at $2.75. Maybe the cop sold his copy or traded it for a violent murder book.
Read the Supreme Court Decision prompted by old man Smith HERE. Don't worry...I won't hold you responsible if you don't.
Like famous sleuths of the past, I have taken matchbooks to solve a crime...the missing bookstore! All three above are still open... and as far as I know, not trying to spin-off a profitable Ebook division to save their bottom line! Like with all tour guides, call before visiting.
Three Adult Bookstore (OPEN!) Matchbooks. Collection Victor Minx
Roger Brand appears to have been one underground cartoonist who should have smoked weed instead of drunk booze. He passed away at the age of 42 leaving behind a large body of work, but work which I do not believe has been anthologized. If I am wrong, you can let me know hippie guys.
One thing I do know is that little, if any, of Brand's work for Candid Press in 1969 has appeared on the web. Brand did a continuing series titled "Camille." One week it might be "Modern Fun With Camille On The Planet CumQuat!" and the next "Camille vs. The Grand Empodent!" It was a sci-fi nudie sometimes, little more than an excuse to draw some breasts other times. I'm providing just a few of the panels Brand created for the series.
Jay Lynch had this to say on the Headcomix bulletin board: "But the hardest underground era collectors items to come by are back issues of CANDID PRESS, a Chicago shock & scandal weekly tabloid newspaper that Robert's brother-in-law Marty Pahls edited for the same people that published THE NATIONAL TATTLER. This paper is all stories that were made up out of thin air." Well, that's good to read, as I have a pile of them.
The best information, and a tribute, to Roger Brand appears HERE on the Comics Reporter in an article by Kim Deitch
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I really don't know why the photographs of burlesque dancers (okay, let's be real...strippers) I find so often have one pervy guy watching. Well..put a game face atop your gams and get out there girl! You never know, lonely guy here might have a loaded wallet, even if he is on the clock and the matinee show is the only one he can make without the wife finding out. Don't pick up a pack of the club matchbooks, dude.
To see another dancer, likely of THIS decade, entertaining one solitary wanker, see HERE As in the previous post, I've isolated the fellow with my high-optic technology so you can more easily make fun of him, and you can see his two-drink minimum is about done.
Original Anonymous Snapshot, circa 1950, collection Victor Minx