Play Magazine Girls On Parade Democracy's Privilege Artist George Janes and Shicklgruber Vintage Sleaze
Play Girls on Parade doesn't get seen much. It was the lesser pulp on the newsstand full of legs in the 1940s. It was like the more common publications Wink and Beauty Parade from Robert Harrison, and it uncovered pretty much the same territory. Legs. And more legs. However, it had less bondage and no Bettie Page. So no one cares about it. Then OR now.
They are scarce, so cut me some slack. I didn't rip up the covers here…time did. Beat to crap, but still someone will steal these and put them on refrigerator magnets and sell them on ebay…just watch.
So no one knew if it was called "Play" or "Girls on Parade" but the official, registered title was Play Magazine and it was published by Play Magazine inc. and it had art direction by Magazine Art. The offices were in a building now full of art galleries on East 78th Street.
They published during World War Two, so you can file them under "what we are fighting for" in your "history of the pin up folder." Consequently, the magazine is not only full of antique lingerie, it also has plenty to say about Shicklgruber. Okay, Hitler was never really named Shicklgruber, but it helped us hate him even more, and it sounded better. I think it also pissed off Adolph, so good.
For a while, the masthead read "Democracy's Privilege" which means, I guess, representative democracies have earned the right too see up women's skirts. Rare and risqué picture after picture of B-movie dames in stockings and risqué underwear which would today be called granny panties. Each pair being worn by a woman who wanted to be in the moving pictures but never was.
Many of the colorful covers were appropriately painted by lesser cheesecake artist George Janes. He never made it into the canon of cheesecake artists, but he was durn good. He is best known for detective and cowboy pulps, but he wasn't adverse to some leg. Check out his painting of a cop getting stabbed with a death torch. COOL!
George Janes was a nice kid from the Bronx. Fast forward to a nice kid at the Art Students League, where I used to sneak in to see the nude models posing. (Well, once anyway) As far as I know, the League is still paying for models, so those of you tired of selling your plasma might head up the West 57th Street and see. After the war, George went into high gear and churned out illustrations for everyone. Popular Mechanics, sports publications, Auto Age, whatever. Janes passed away in 1989, and it is about time for his revival.
Group of Play Magazine "Girls on Parade" collection Victor Minx
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