Thursday, December 31, 2009

Al Capone Exploitation Rag

This is the last of the three Al Capone items, and it just happens to be my favorite. I originally spotted this exploitation rag in a Chicago museum about three years ago. I immediately tried to buy it on eBay, but I wasn't sure what to pay, so I passed it up at a $80 price tag, thinking it would come up again, and I'd get a chance to buy it at a lower price. Three years pass. It never comes up, until just a few weeks ago. I paid a tad less, but was it worth the wait to save just a few bucks...probably not. Anyway, this magazine is from 1931 and is a one-shot publication. It was sold at an expensive price for its time (50 cents when most magazines where 10 cents). After the first issue, it was banned immediately. Not sure why-- perhaps the garish murder-scene photographs? Perhaps they thought it was glorifying Capone?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Vintage Al Capone Paperback from 1959

I had said we recently acquired three Al Capone items. Well, I posted the one-sheet movie poster. This is the vintage paperback (Pyramid, 1959)-- movie-tie-in edition. It's interesting how the art on the back cover mimics the one-sheet, which I suppose makes sense since this is a movie-tie-in. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pressbook for 60's Sexploitation Flick "Sisters in Leather"

Haven't seen this 60's sexploitation flick, but it looks like a pretty wild "ride." According to Internet Movie Database, the plot concerns a husband who is "blackmailed by three lesbian bikers after they spot him having sex with another woman in a convertible." It goes on that they "then take the man's wife out for a picnic and some nude motorcycle riding." Eventually, the husband gets some male bikers to join him and "together they try to save his wife from becoming a lesbian biker."

Saturday, December 26, 2009

"Al Capone" One Sheet

We've acquired three pieces of Al Capone ephemera recently. This is a one-sheet from a movie about Al Capone. The other pieces are a pulp paperback and an exploitation magazine. I think the "adult entertainment" sticker that some censor added only gives this poster more character. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pajama Party Madness!

I think I'm seeing double. The makers of 70's sexploitation flick "Swedish Sorority Girls" ripped off the cover painting of the Midwood book "Pajama Party" to make for one helluva poster. I can't say I blame them for ripping it off. The 60's paperback cover was painted by the great Paul Rader and is considered one of his classic works.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

"The Killer Inside Me"

This paperback copy of "The Killer Inside Me" by Jim Thompson is a true first edition, having been released as a paperback before it was released in any other form. The book is pretty rare and pricey but for good reason. I'm not a big mystery reader, so I have little to compare it with, but I was impressed with the writing, the story, and particularly the construction of the main character. I've read a few of his other books, but thought "Killer" surpassed those as well. I predict that Thompson and "Killer" will become much more popular in the mainstream once the movie is released in 2010. I'm not sure what I think of Casey Affleck as Lou Ford, but I'm willing to give it a chance.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Betty Lou Williams Pamphlet

Betty Lou Williams was a sideshow performer with a parasitic twin. This is a pamphlet, probably from the 1940's, that she would have taken with her on tour and sold to spectators.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Another Native American Cabinet Card from Indian Territory

Another Native American Cabinet Card from Indian Territory. I'm thinking he's a medicine man?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cabinet Card of Buffalo Bill Cody

Original cabinet card of Buffalo Bill Cody.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gossip! Cabinet Card

I just think this whole thing is such a weird interchange...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cabinet Card Advertising Flour

Well, by god, if she uses it, well I guess we should too!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Wild Men of Borneo, Another Pamphlet

Here's another Waino and Plutano pamphlet from the same era.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Wild Men of Borneo Pamphlet

This is a really rare pamphlet from the Barnum era featuring Waino and Plutano, the Wild Men of Borneo. Very few of these survived probably, because they were pamphlets which often get thrown away. Also, the paper quality was pretty low. So, finding this item was pretty exciting, to say the least.

Waino and Plutano would have sold this pamphlet at the sideshow as a way to supplement their income. Like other performers, they also sold cabinet cards and cdv's of themselves to make some extra cash.
Waino and Plutano were actually physically strong dwarf brothers, who suffered from mental disabilities.

Although they were born in the Connecticut, Barnum had a flair for telling tall tales to spice up the show, and as such, they were said to have been captured in Borneo.
The brothers were a very popular act in their day. I guess the public was amazed that such small people-- they were 40 inches tall and weighed 45 pounds-- could lift heavy weights (including audience members themselves) and wrestle "full-sized" people. During their 25 years with Barnum, the brothers earned $250,000. Not bad, eh?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Another Cabinet Card of Native Americans

Tribal affiliation unknown. Whatever the case, an iconic piece of history.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Butcher? The Baker? The Candlestick Maker?

This is a pretty cool occupational cabinet card. The dog adds a nice bit of character to the image. Any thoughts on their job? Perhaps butchers?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cry, Baby, Cry

Juvenile delinquent movie, most notable for being the film debut of Jack Nicholson.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Poor Boy Cabinet Card

He looks like a Dickensian chimney sweep. I would feign a dialect, but I don't want to embarrass myself this early in the morning (yes, I just woke up).

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cabinet Card of Young Woman on Roller Skates

Then, she just a bored Victorian girl enjoying the wonders of roller skates. Oh, what novelty it would have been! Today, she'd join a roller derby league and enjoy bashing into people. What interesting times we live in, indeed.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Geisha CDV

What I like best about this CDV of Geishas is the hand-tinting. It's not quite as subtle and painterly as some hand-tinting, but I actually like how the bright colors pop out from the sepia tone of the actual photo.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Does Your Beard Hang Low?

Long bearded circus freaks or merely rebels in their time?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Office Shenanigans Part II

Vintage paperback office hi jinx, part II. "Swinging Secretary" (Midwood) features cover art by Paul Rader. "Office Affair" (Beacon)-- unknown cover artist. "Office Hussy" (Star Novels) features cover art by George Gross.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Office Shenanigans Part I

Vintage paperbacks featuring office shenanigans. Both were published in the early 60's by Midwood, and both feature cover paintings by the esteemed illustrator Paul Rader.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Talky Tina?

Just because I find old photos of little girls with dolls sorta creepy.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Unhappy Child

"Grandpa, what big teeth you have!"

"The better to eat you with."

Then again, maybe Grandpa's not a lech, and this kid's just a brat.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Whole Lotta Love

Digest sized pulp paperback known by collectors as the "sexy digest" type. Nice cheesy polygamy theme on this one.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cabinet Card from "Indian Territory"

Cabinet card of a pre-teen to teenage Native American girl. Interestingly, it's from Ardmore, I.T., I.T. standing for Indian Territory. Ardmore, I.T., is located in present day Oklahoma, and the town still exists. Based on the location, she was likely a member of the Chickasaw Nation.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Admiral Dot & the Bearded Girl

This is a small Victorian pitch book featuring two of P.T. Barnum's acts. The front side is Admiral Dot, a little person, and the back side is a young, bearded girl, probably Barnum's most famous one, Annie Jones. Old pitch books are some of my favorite finds, because I love the lithographic illustrations on the covers. I've dug through piles and piles of old paper ephemera at antique stores all over the country but never found one. Unfortunately, it's always an eBay bidding war to get one.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Under My Thumb

This is one of a few rare booklets featuring P.T. Barnum's famous little person Tom Thumb. Our interest in Tom Thumb naturally flowed out of our interest in collecting sideshow memorabilia. It was further sparked by a visit to Bridgeport, CT, and to the P.T. Barnum museum there which had a very nice collection of Tom Thumb memorabilia. We also visited Thumb's grave the same day. I'll post a few more Tom Thumb booklets in the future, but I particularly like the use of color on this one.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...Who's the Fairest of Them All?

This photo reminds me of photos they used to take of kids in the 80's. I don't know what they are called, but they show two photos of the same kid. One is a regular photo of the kid sitting, but then there's another photo that's smaller and higher up that looks sort of like a shadow or a reflection. If someone knows what I'm talking about, help me explain. Whatever the case, this oozes cheesiness, which isn't very common for a photo from this era. I don't even know if people back then really had a sense of something being cheesy. Maybe they had a sense of tackiness in furniture, decor, or behavior? I don't know...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Racially Charged 60's "Sleaze" Paperback

Beginning in the 50's, vintage paperback publishers began releasing racially themed books. I haven't read all of them, but based on the cover art, blurbs, and titles, most seem prejudiced. A common theme is the "shame" that occurs when a white woman becomes intimately involved with a black man. Whatever the angle, let's just say that sensationalism and fear were important aspects. This book comes from Greenleaf, a publisher of 1960's "sleaze" (adults only) paperbacks. I tried to ascertain the tone of the book by examining the cover art, blurbs, and title. Although the book is called "The Color of Shame," which could suggest something prejudicial, it's hard to say so without reading the book. After all, the black man and white woman are shown to be cooperating to fight off a real evil, something worth of shame, the KKK. I'd actually be surprised if the book is prejudicial, since many of Greenleaf's writers were more progressive than the average American of the time. Whatever the case, the cover is interesting, and the book is highly collectible, being a racial paperback and featuring KKK imagery.

Cover Art by Ed Smith

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Three Children

I'm speechless. Comments are welcomed as always.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Going on the Mystery Train With Richard Matheson

Of late, I've been watching my box set of the original "Twilight Zone." I had already watched all of season 1 so began at season 2 and now am watching season 3. Since Matheson wrote several episodes for the series, I decided to post a couple of rare mystery paperbacks he wrote in the 1950's. These books were released in paperback form for the first time, making them paperback first editions, or PBOs (paperback originals). Matheson didn't write many mysteries and since these are first editions, they are sought after by paperback collectors and Matheson fans alike. I love the tagline "Men--they're all pigs!". That's just pure pulp.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Victorian Awkward Family Photo

A friend of mine turned me on to this blog called "Awkward Family Photos." Google it if you're not familiar. I literally spent hours searching through the images on the site and laughed out loud many a time. It's hard to make me laugh, so this was saying a lot. Much of my amusement stemmed from the fact that family photos from when I was a kid are similar to some on the site. Let's just say we all had our awkward years (err, okay, I was pretty homely) and a few of us liked to wear those Cosby Show sweaters a bit too often (yes, me, but my brother and dad too). Looking through our collection of cabinet photos, I came across this photo. What's awkward is how the mom is staring intently at one daughter, while the other daughter looks at the camera with a morose expression. It makes you think "hmmmm....let me guess who mommy's favorite was..."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Now Don't Get So Catty...

Once we'd gotten most of the juvenile delinquent posters we wanted, we started looking for other genres to collect. 1970's sexploitation posters seemed like a natural collecting interest. After all, we already collected 60's and 70's sexploitation paperbacks, and the posters were surprisingly, very cheap, many of them $20 or under. Thus began our foray into the genre.

When I was a kid, my brother and I would watch USA Up All Night, whenever we got the opportunity. Usually our parents were gone, and although they were pretty liberal, I'm not sure they'd have allowed it had they known. Most of the stuff hosted by Gilbert Gottfried, and then later Rhonda Shear, would probably seem extremely tame if I watched it now. But back then, movies like "Ski School," "Barbarella," and "The Toxic Avenger" seemed pretty risque. I'm still a fan of "Barbarella" today, but it would hardly make me blush. Then again, I'm pretty desensitized so not much does. Getting to the point, my sexploitation poster interest is also fueled by these early memories I have of watching similar fare on USA Up All Night. Awww, thinking about all this is making me feel pretty nostalgic. "Monstervision" with Joe Bob Briggs was also a favorite in the horror vein. I don't feel like there's a TV outlet for stuff like this anymore, what with the internet and Netflix and all the other resources.

So, enjoy the nostalgia that may or may not be induced by fare like "Tomcats." After all, they are "free, white, and twenty-one, and don't give a damn about anyone!"