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Share but CREDIT

Ormond Gigli Master Photographer and the Hillman Life-sized Jayne Mansfield Pin Up Vintage Sleaze

Hillman Publications, or Hillman Periodicals was an active publisher of sleaze…true detective and true confession stuff, as well as early "celebrity" type magazines, some in "pocket" size, with pretty models and short news stories.  They also did comic books, but not very well.

Surprisingly (or maybe not so, given equal sleaze-merchant Rupert Murdoch and his Fox News) Alex Hillman was apparently a right-winger, and even distributed a goofy conservative rag called "The Freeman" for a while.  Of course, the magazine imagined commies, supported drunken-creep Senator McCarthy, big oil and discussed the negro "problem" and such.  I have never seen an issue of the Freeman but I think it might still even be published.  Gee…haven't we come a long way?

However, Alex Hillman's greatest contribution to American culture was certainly the giant Jayne Mansfield Pin Up above!  Just like Murdoch, he didn't mind selling a few big knockers along with his unfortunate, ill-conceived political views!

The photograph was taken by master photographer Ormond Gigli, who also took one of the most beautiful fashion photographs ever, the famous "Girls in the Window" you may have seen.  He was a magnificent photographer. How his photo of Jayne ended up as a precursor to the blow-up doll is unknown to me.  Apparently, the original poster is fairly hard to find, as the majority of them promptly went up on the back of a closet door with scotch tape. 

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Sleaze Spiderman Stanton and Steve! Eric Stanton and Steve Ditko in Craig Yoe's New Book

Outlandish and close to obscene during the early 1960s when they were published, the vintage sleaze paperbacks above were illustrated by Eric Stanton but were not widely distributed to mass-market paperback book outlets stocked by major publishers.  One generally had to purchase them at Times Square bookstores and other "alternative" outlets, such as the forerunners of adult bookstores, seedy smoke shops and "novelty" stores.  "First Niter" was a mob-connected publishing endeavor run by Stanley Malkin based in New York City (As was "Wee Hours" and "After Hours") 

The text is tame but since the cover had to sell the book, they hired the best. Eric Stanton was a cartoonist trained at the forerunner of the School of Visual Arts in New York, and MAJOR revelations about the artist's career (hint…think no less than Spiderman) are revealed, with my modest help, in the book "The Creativity of Ditko" by Craig Yoe just published. 

In the book, rare examples of collaborative work done with Steve Ditko are shown for the first time, and the role Stanton had in the creation of Spiderman is not only finally confirmed, his contribution is far more than previously rumored.  An essay by Stanton's daughter, her first published recollections that I am aware of, indicate her father kept his mouth shut about the webbed-wonder a long time. For years comic historians have speculated about their connection, and to have it finally confirmed in Yoe's book, with rare photographs (and drawings from Leonard Burtman published fetish magazines of the early 1960s) solves a mystery long pondered.  

Yoe previously drew some spicy connections to another superhero in Secret Identity.

What do I draw from these connections?  As unfashionable as it is to say, that Kefauver was right.  After all, where there is smoke...

Pre-code, we WERE reading some dicey stuff, and increasingly it is becoming evident.

I have thought it all along...and together Yoe's two books literally change comic book history, especially as it relates to the two most prominent superheros. 

The market for these relics from the early days of smut are increasingly sought by book collectors for their striking colors and themes which at the time were bizarre, to say the least…but which reflected undercurrents of society just starting to emerge.  One day, the contributions of Stanton, his friend Eugene Bilbrew and other illustrators who worked underground in New York City will have their influence on today's culture, fashion and lifestyles fully recognized. 

Yoe's book will certainly spark additional interest in this artist who kept a big secret his entire life.

"First Niter" vintage sleaze paperbacks illustrated by Eric Stanton Collection Jim Linderman of Vintage Sleaze the Blog 

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Quick! Let Me Have a Diary Vintage Sleaze Gag Cartoon circa 1950

Unidentified artist, circa 1950  (No Date on Publication)  from "Villain and Little Nell" Jokebook ("The Kind Men Like") 
Collection Victor Minx

Pin Up Girls Dizzy Designs to Decorate your Duds Vintage Sleaze HOT IRON

Ridiculous alliteration even used for the KIDS!  Dizzy Designs to Decorate you Duds.

Iron on Transfer Pin Up girls, no date, circa 1945
Collection Jim Linderman

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Sex Crazed Suburbanites Driven Wild by Sordid Gyrations 1981

Wanton, sordid lifestyles of the rich, shown here in a rare undercover photograph.  Note depraved lust-filled faces, rare art on the walls, lush foliage and the high-style hedonistic pleasures reserved for the wealthy and demented.

Original snapshot 1981
Collection Victor Minx

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Blaze Starr and Texas Sheridan Share the Burlesque Burmel Spotlight Vintage Sleaze

Two Southern bell-ringers share the pages of Lenny Burtman's "Presenting..." number 12.  No date, but I'm guessing around 1958.  From the days when Burmel was more or less vanilla...and shots of burleskers were about the only pics available.  It didn't take Lenny long to get a camera.  Note Lenny indicates the purpose of the book...and that the REAL purpose was unmentioned.  Physical culture student indeed.

Presenting Blaze Starr and Texas Sheridan (Number 12 of the Presenting... series.  No Date.  Burmel Publishing. 
Collection Victor Minx

Aaron Moe Shapiro gets you a Date La Plume Hook-up Scam of the 1950s

Why would professional creep Aaron "Moe" Shapiro start a dating service?  Because one could purchase the contact information for the listings on the cover (either way by far the "hottest" or by far the "most normal" depending on your preference) for only $15.00…and that is in 1950s dollars.

He also charged $3.00 for the publication (which sold in Times Square Bookshops) and claimed to forward letters for another two bucks each.  Those who were seeking love could place an ad for 25 cents a word. Additionally, Shapiro sold the "La Plume" decorative "Tiger's Eye" pin one might wear so as to recognize other quirksters on the streets of Manhattan "without a word spoken" it claims.  $5 bucks for the Tiger Eye.  It all adds up to an expensive date which never shows up.

Whether Moe ran any REAL ads or even took the time to forward any replies is unknown.  The ruse worked for a while.  This is issue 7, and a subscription blank seems to indicate more were on the way.

Most dating sites today charge the women less to join.  As you can see, if that were Moe's policy, he would have had a few problems.

An earlier post on La Plume is HERE

La Plume Issue number seven circa (no date, circa 1955)
Collection Victor Minx

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Parts Pups Periodical Sexist Tripe for Grease Monkeys Vintage Sleaze

It is no secret (particularly to those following this blog) that dirty jokes about dames and the grease pit, be it the local gas station or the home garage, were often decorated with sexist tried and true tripe.  Possible worst offender?  Parts Pups, a crappy digest full of I suppose horrible jokes about "dipsticks" and "rigid tools" and "injector parts"  for the mechanic.  Well, to forget the past is unfortunately to relive it, so here is half a tool-kit full of Parts Pups for all you nostalgic sexist grease monkeys out there.  I have more.  These will suffice.

Their slogan was "Published in the Interest and Enjoyment of the Automotive Repairmen--our Customers" which means crap given out to keep you busy while someone banged dents out of your car.  They sat on those mid-century industrial round tables in the waiting room next to stains of vending machine coffee-rings and filthy, overflowing ashtrays.

Parts Pups appears to have made money several ways.  The would accept advertisements (frequently equally stupid ones from other suppliers or sub-divisions of the company) to "men's" shops like "Mac's Super Gloss Radiator Paint" and they would apparently license the magazine to parts shops and mechanic's supply companies.  In these examples, the Signal Auto Supply company in Rochester, New Hampshire.  They are frequently referred to as "NAPA" joke books, but I think many other suppliers had their company names stamped on them as well.  They started before the 1950s.  They are not missed at all.

Each year the jokes (and pin ups…which were of the truly horrible kind with less glamour than an oil pan) got a bit more risqué, until the late 1980s when the models were, well…showing full headlights.  I reckon they were the same women who sprawled over the hood of new cars during annual "new model" season.  They seem to have reverted to bikini tops in the 1990s, perhaps in response to indignant women who had the audacity to drive an automobile.  The booklet lasted well over twenty years after the women's movement tried to enlighten those holding screwdrivers in their greasy hands.  In other words, Parts Pup was a hold-out.  The last issue was probably 1997.

The old issues hung around the joint for a while longer.  IN 1998 a woman sued her boss for bumping against her and claimed he "…also joined with other male Napa workers in openly studying Parts Pups, a Napa publication that features pictures of women in bikinis." according to a story reported in The Advocate.  Well…that kills it.  If money and lawyers are involved, we'll let them watch TV in the waiting room instead.

The earlier editions are far more interesting than the later color ones.  Initially, some classic cartoonists supplied gags.  Lowell Hoppes, a particular favorite here, and Bill Powers, Bob Tupper, Jack O'Brien.  Some were also drawn by the same folks who sold work to Sex to Sexty.

Interestingly, each cartoon had a prominent "parts pups" logo superimposed on it to prevent xerox machine theft!

Also featured are tons of the type of perennial jokes which were passed around the water cooler…handwritten limericks and such folded and unfolded dozens of times and smirked at while an unfortunate typist nearby suffered her fate as the butt of jokes.

About the only ones you'll find today are on eBay, where they seem to be priced according to the amount of oil spilled on the covers, but few, if any, bring more than the cost of a gallon of gas.

Group of cruddy, sexist, stupid, useless "Parts Pups" Joke Books 1971 - 1996 Collection Victor Minx


Be Hold (ing) Georgia Holden Always Golden Vintage Sleaze

A tragic story, but then how many happy stories does one read about those who performed in stag films?  Yet another mysterious marvel seen in stills and a few scratchy stags.   Georgia Holden, AKA Georgianna Michalski AKA Georgia Kingston.

Georgia Holden once danced in the film Singing in the Rain.

One pulp compared Georgia to Marilyn Monroe (in measurements, that is) and declared her  "The Anatomy Award Winner for 1959"  Like Marilyn, Ms. Holden was usually blond, but you can see the ginger above.  You can also see her as a blur of motion squirming to that crazy sax beat in the miniature photo (optimized for iPAD viewing!) Umm…lean in.  

 The best Georgia Holden piece of memorabilia, however, has to be the cover of Men's Digest above, which despite their obsessive "horror vacui" (Latin for "fear of empty space) design technique  still made room for her boobs…and not only that, made sure you saw them with an inset yellow arrow!  

Georgia's layout proved so popular, they made Georgia the cover girl again two issues later, but this time shrunk down to a tiny square, bumped off her pedestal by new bust of the month Anita Ekberg.  Same yellow arrow though.   

And a THIRD time, this time challenged by Evelyn West…and so as not to repeat themselves, used a red arrow.  Now since most guys are programmed at birth to find breasts, all the arrows were unnecessary, but the folks behind this digest were obviously not the brightest bunch of carrots in the patch.  I intend to make fun of them in a future post.
Georgia's Final Arrow is Red and Top Left

The only "news" story I find is a mention that she is dancing in Vegas in 1958, presumably watched over by her "pit boss"  and temporary husband one Leon Kingston .  An issue of "Spree" ran black and white photos of her dancing, and she appears in Candid Magazine, King Magazine and Scamp Magazine all in 1959.

So what is tragic?  Georgia's niece reports  (like the apocryphal story about the women who played Goldfinger's golden secretary in the 1964 James Bond film) Georgia passed away from cancer caused by lead-based gold paint!  Well, I don't know about her that, but Shirley Eaton, the woman who was dipped in gold by Auric Goldfinger,  didn't die…at least not from paint.  Did Georgia? I don't know, but I hope not.  It seems she was at one time painted as a "dancing golden statue" in Hawaii, and it set into motion events leading to her tragic death.  At any rate, she did pass away in 1971.  I am going to guess she was quite a woman. 

Read the tribute to Georgia by her niece HERE on the Strange Cosmos website.  A fairly patient web search which will require you to install all sorts of questionable download software will find some of the stags for you.

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Vintage Sleaze the Blog 2.5 MILLION HITS (!)

If you build it, they will come.  Vintage Sleaze the Blog has reached 2.5 million page views and is rapidly approaching 75,000 followers on Facebook

REAL Vintage Sleaze...with the Smell of Duplicating Fluid ! Rare Smut from the 1950s Zephyr and Esoterica

How do you like your smut?  Elite, or Pica?  There was a day when fellows got their real hardcore jollies only from type-font trash from across the border, and it arrived with the ditto machine smell still on the pages!

A group of rare (and filthy) handmade 7 Zephyrs Press and Esoterica publications from 1955.  As you can see, produced in limited editions of a hundred or so, each individually numbered.  I'd say if you were receiving "sleaze from Seven or Estoterica" you were a member of a very exclusive club indeed.

The work will be covered extensively in a forthcoming book (which hopefully will be produced in an edition of more than 100) so stay tuned.

Group of "7 Zephyr" handmade smut magazines, circa 1955 Collection Victor Minx


Darlene MacNeil Street Art Gig Posters Vintage Sleaze Contemporary #28 in the Series

Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Artists Series Number 28 

Advertisers and promoters have known a pretty girl grabs customers for a long time. It should come as no surprise that some of the most compelling street art being done today manages to put them together in a way which grabs the eye AND fills the hall.  Meet artist Darlene MacNeil, poster artist and the 28th profile and participant in the Vintage Sleaze Contemporary series!

Ms. MacNeil works in the time-honored medium of telephone pole and abandoned storefront.  She creates rock posters.  She thus follows and builds on a show business tradition going back to vaudeville,  and she does it better than anyone working at it today.   In doing so, she has already built a consistent, strong body of work as good as the masters of Haight-Ashbury and the punk D.I.Y movement, and with as much  color, vibrancy and style.  She has also been at it for some eight years.

If you were a performer, which would you want advertising your upcoming gig?  A digital "tweet" or one of THESE?

Darlene was, for some reason, initially hesitant to participate in the series.  Thought she wasn't "sleazy" enough.  Pffft!  She is clearly following in the noble tradition of the gals and gams artists so appreciated here. 

Now that is not to say her work is all pin-ups, but in going through her portfolio to select images of the site here, even she was surprised at how sexy they were!  Darlene selected some work and some sketches.

Like most artists who have a clear grasp on their own work and create in a thoughtful and painstaking manner, Darlene MacNeil describes her work, influences, and motivation, in an articulate manner, so I'll have her do the rest of the piece here.  Further down, you can see the artist herself in a video.

"I'm influenced by so many artists and genres. Mostly I like ad work. A lot of the posters that I need to do in a pinch are ads from the 30s to the 60s and reworked to promote an event today. I love the San Fran rock posters of Griffin, Moscoso, Mouse, etc. It's amazing what they did.  There are still poster artists today that blow my mind. Frank Kozik comes to mind, as well as Coop, and Art Chantry."

"While most of my peers create their posters while sitting in front of a computer, I have a drafting table from the 60's (a beast!) and bottles of ink, Rapidograph pens, hundreds of markers. My work is dirty. My hands aren't manicured. My back gets sore. Often I will spend 20 hours to create something that I'm happy to put my name on. It gets hung for two weeks - on the street.  I aim to have my work stolen from walls & poles. I want to sit amongst a sea of ads and make people stop in their tracks. I want to combine fine art with graphic art."

"I showcase my work on the street.... and I showcase my posters in galleries. They sell. I have people who collect my work, yet I have no interest in high art. My work is on the street level, I connect with the people who walk in the core of the city. It's not for the elite. It's mine and yours. It belongs to the punk bands. The rapper. The songstress. The creatives. It belongs to the past and the present. It has a place in the future and in history. I love my work because it tells a story. It's a love triangle: the bands, the fans and me!"

Darlene has a website HERE and her Facebook page is HERE.  Friend her up, she accepts commissions, bands…and you would do well to hire her.  She has also started doing album covers.  She will work with clients from afar through the web, and will ship original work or prints.

Contact the artist HERE or HERE

"Contemporary Vintage Sleaze" is a series which profiles artists and cartoonists working today who have been influenced by vintage sleaze. All art is copyrighted by the respective creator, distributor or publisher and therefore should not be reproduced WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE ARTIST. NO cribbing and I ain't fibbing! Each and every post in the Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Series links to the artist's portfolio, website, publisher or representative. EACH POST IN THE VINTAGE SLEAZE CONTEMPORARY SERIES WAS CREATED WITH THE ARTIST'S PERMISSION AND CONTRIBUTIONS. Serious artists are participating in this series, please respect their efforts and intellectual property. Artists who have contributed so far include: Marty Winters  Annabelle Baxter  Lena Chandhok, Gary Panter, Vanessa Davis, Jane Dickson, Astrid Daley, Antonio Lapone, Leslie Cabarga, Trevor Alixopulus, Paul Swartz, Rebecca Whitaker, Denis St. John, Zahira Kelly, Fairfax and Emery, Elizabeth Watasin, Stephen Adams  Jane Dickson, Mala Mastroberte  William Schmidt and many more. If your work is influenced by the girlie cartoons or pinup models of the past, we would love to see your work.