"Love's Muscle"....we get the double entendre. Very cute. He's got muscles, and he's also got a...duh.
I like a few things specifically about this cover. One, it's painted by Robert Bonfils--need I say more? Two, it's got a really fine alliterative cover blurb. Three, two words: pink hair. And point number four, it amuses me that this was Bonfils' idea of a muscle man. He looks more like an anorexic George Hamilton that needs to eat a cheeseburger than he does a muscle man.
What do you say about a sleaze book this fabulous? How do you put into words this wonderful...this fantastic...this stupendous mecca of dorky goodness? It's got "Star Trek." It's got "intercourse." It's got EVERYTHING.
This is the kind of book I think of when visions of sleaze books dance in my head... This is the kind of book that melts me into a little puddle of sleaze happiness.
I think I can finally die and go to sleaze heaven.
The only thing that's missing from the cover is one of those "red shirt" guys. Now that would be geektastic!
And um...yeah, um. Where's the Cap'n? And um, yeah, the dude with the pointy ears?
This book amazes me in so many ways. When I was going to post about it, I was at a loss for words. A pretentious art critic might comment on the exquisitely rendered Bonfils cover. Me, I'm just happy that the book and title are based on a pleasing euphemism for a woman's lady parts. "Lust's Butterfly" has a better ring than "Lust's Beaver"! Somehow a woman in a beaver costume doesn't have quite the sexy sophistication of a butterfly woman. Then again, if you're into furries...
Ah, fuck it, bring on the beaver costume! This is what sleaze is all about!
I'm by no means an expert on these old horror comic magazines. I've picked up a few here and there, because they frequently have brightly colored, sensational cover images. And I appreciate the horror genre.
Take this cover art for instance. You've got a skeleton dude. You've got sexy damsels in bondage fighting for their lives. And you've got rats! Yep, rats. As the proud owner of 7 of these fine little creatures, this pleases me immensely.
Anyway, I really don't have a lot of knowledge about these, but I like the art. When I like something, I share it. Sharing is caring.
"Um, yeah, I'm here about the 'nympho ward'...could somebody provide me an address? I got a GPS and all, but I'm gonna need that address."
"WHAT??? It doesn't exist???? Damn, you Greenleaf Books...you're such a tease!"
While I am quite disappointed to learn that said nympho ward only exists in the imagination of 60's smutsters, I'm happy that we at least have this great Tom Cannizaro illustration as a manifestation of that imagination.
But, I still gotta call out Greenleaf for being such a tease. I mean after all, what bikini clad woman wouldn't want another bikini clad woman to hose her so hard that her bikini flew off? Right? Um, yeah, I guess I may be alone in this one.
Wow, what a better way to show a character's narcissism than by having said character proudly display a painting of herself. Gotta love this cover art gem by artist Tom Cannizaro. He's not as well known as Bonfils but boy did he know how to crank out the sleaze...
The whole idea of a "painting" within a "painting" is very cool, indeed. Like a precursor to picture in picture. Well, not really, but it's still fun!
Almost 10 years ago, my husband and I saw the book "Take Death for a Lover" listed on an eBay auction. We bid but did not win the book. For nearly 10 years, we wanted the book but never saw another copy listed for sale. Recently, however a copy was listed on auction, and we managed to win it. We paid a healthy sum, but alas, that's the curse of the collector...little impulse control when it comes to something that you must add to the collection.
Is this front cover fellow a zombie? The back cover text gives no indication of his zombie status (or lack thereof), and I'm not about to read the damn thing. He does has some major "zombie eyes" going on. But, it's hard to say for sure... Is his woman a zombie? Again, hard to say.... The green skin suggests so, but this title would have been published before "Night of the Living Dead" made zombies a big deal. Whatever the case, there are few things sexier than a nude woman with red "X's" on her breasts, draped in barb wire and being carried by a ...err...uh...wait, this isn't sexy at all!
But when it comes to sleaze books, it's all about the art and the freakier the better. And they sure as hell look like zombies to me. CONCLUSION: Anyone with brains would love this cover art... (sorry, couldn't resist).
The title has a great play on words, and the cover art by Bonfils is pretty freaky. But so is the plot!
From the back cover:
"Professor Trucheon and Dick used Dwarf and Hunchback to kidnap the girls they needed for their sadistic sexperiments....until Trucheon developed Formula 69. With it, they could 'turn on' a city of thousands, and take their pick from the orgy-mad mob of lust crazed beauties."
I don't know about you, but I think that sounds like an awful lot of work just to get laid!
These fellows look like patrons at an old-time nudie bar. And can you believe the expression on that dude's face? It's hard to say whether Bonfils was trying to convey a stupid drunk guy or a drunk stupid guy. Either way, genius.
"Passion Pusher" is one strange sleaze pb. I had never even seen an image of this book, until recently when it was listed on eBay, and I won the copy on auction. Robert Bonfils is a damn fine cover artist with a damn fine illustration concept. I haven't read this sleazy gem but based on the back cover, I can tell you that the story concerns a prostitute that's hired by a drug dealer to hook young high school boys on junk (presumably heroin).
Bonfils could have done a literal interpretation-- a scantily clad prostitute standing in the school parking lot while smoking a cigarette and giving high school boys the come-hither look. To really set the scene, she could have been holding a hypo needle behind her back.
But Bonfils gives us something even better. A sexy spider woman in a web, ready to trap high school boys in all that sticky goodness (or badness, since they are going to get addicted to heroin, after all).
A spider woman baring her fangs, while wearing next to nothing=A sleaze cover after my own heart.
Ah, collecting. It's something I'm obsessive about, but I often wonder if it isn't merely organized hoarding. Whatever the case, fuck it. I love doing it, and I'll continue to do it throughout my life.
But, how did my collecting begin?
My collecting interests have ebbed and flowed from the start. I'm sure they were inspired, in part, by having an antique dealer father. My first major collecting love was record albums, which I started picking up when I was around 16. Being a lover of classic rock, I enjoyed going to garage sales and picking up original vinyl from my favorite bands-- The Beatles, The Doors, The Rolling Stones. I had my very own turntable set up in my room, and while all my peers were listening to CD's on their boom boxes, I felt super cool listening to music on vinyl. I was such an elitist little asshole.
Around the same time, I was discovering Beat writers-- Kerouac especially struck a chord. I had a wanderlust myself, being an alienated teenager living in a small town of 370 people, and his travels helped me escape my mundane life. I wanted nothing more than to get away from that place. At the same time, I was having an existential crisis. Was it typical teen angst bullshit? I tend to think not because I was stressing out over the meaning of life, not trying to figure out how to get one over on my parents.
Anyway, getting into the Beat writers was important. It provided a distraction from the ennui. My interest in the Beats led me to an interest in Beat exploitation materials-- you know vintage paperbacks, magazines, records, etc that were aimed at cashing in on "beatniks." We're not talking about Kerouac, Burroughs, Cassady, or Ginsberg. We're talking Dobie Gillis.
That's how I got into collecting vintage paperbacks-- I got a real kick out of these exploitation items. They were over-the-top and ridiculous. They made me smile, and I really needed that.
My interests have ebbed and flowed, though. In my mid-20's, I became less interested in collecting vintage paperbacks. I had a love of them, yes, but my attentions turned to vintage sideshow memorabilia and original victorian post-mortem photography. With the exception of vinyl, there's been a theme in my collecting-- I've gravitated toward the weird or taboo.
Now my interests have flowed back to collecting paperbacks, particularly to vintage sleaze. In part, my passion has been re-ignited because I'm writing a book on the pop cultural history of a certain sub-genre of sleaze books.
I often think about collecting, and I wonder what draws others to it. I'd love to hear stories from individual collectors. What made you collect? What made you gravitate toward certain objects?
This post is also about something that my husband and I call "grails." For us, "grail" items are those elusive pieces that we are constantly trying to add to our collections. They're hard-t0-come-by, and it might take years before they finally surface on the internet. Even then, we might enter a bidding war and still lose the damn thing.
"Grail" items are strange. We lust for them, like hunter-gatherers trying to find some rare berry. But we are not like the hunter-gatherers who would then get the joy of eating the berry. Our thrill comes less in attaining the object than hunting for the object. Once we get the object, my husband and I always joke about it. If it's a paperback, we'll examine it for a while and then put it on our shelves in a protective plastic bag. He'll say, "I guess that's it. We have it now." We joke that now that we have it, "That's one less thing to worry about." We've created this quest for this item but once we get it-- now what? Granted, it is something to do...
Collectors out there-- what do you think about grails? Do you have them? How do you feel when you acquire them?
I've posted a picture on this post of a recent grail that we acquired. My husband and I have been looking for this book, Hypno-Sin, for about 10 years. We'd seen pictures of it online, but we'd never seen it listed for sale. We lusted after the book for so long, but then when we got it, it all seemed sort of silly. Don't get me wrong, it's a great cover and title, and it's great Robert Bonfils eye candy for any vintage sleaze collector. But we put it on the shelves in a baggy after examining it.
Bettie Page cover "BOLD GIRLS!" There's not a whole lot to say about this except that it has a Bettie cover and that's why I bought it. Bettie, nuff said.
I have plans to scan some really fun items from our collection but recently I've been too preoccupied. I'm working on a non-fiction book that is a popular cultural survey of "swingers" (mostly in the 60's). The popular cultural items include vintage sleaze paperbacks (of course!), vintage sexploitation movie posters, and more. I'm also writing a significant amount of text to accompany the images and put them in context.
What can I say? It's fun to read and write about sex! I sound like such a geek...which I am.
Okay, so I've shared two sleaze illustration art originals from the same publishing company. Now, let's get to the third, "Bohemian Stud Bums" (1966) by Carlo Torres. This imprint is "Royal Line" and the number is RL128. Oh to be a bohemian AND a stud AND a bum...that character must have quite the life. I wonder if Kerouac ever saw any of these wacky beat-exploitation pulps?
Beat-exploitation is the genre that first got me interested in collecting vintage paperbacks. And I also met my husband through collecting vintage paperbacks. Without beat exploitation, my life would be very different. Thanks beat exploitation writers for a job well one! Where would I be without you?
The lesbian pulp art shown in the previous post wasn't the only piece we picked up. We also got this most excellent original vintage sleaze illustration for "Deviate Street Stud" by King Krissel (what a name!). The art illustrates Spartan Line 117.
Tales of a gigolo? Perhaps...although the cover copy seems to suggest a much more appropriate story line given that its Father's Day. The little scamp on the cover has stolen his father's woman! Well can you blame him? Father knows best...when it comes to picking women.
Oh and sorry about the glare on the woman's ass. I assure you that was completely unintentional.
I've made my love for original vintage paperback art well known. As you might have guessed, I'm particularly fond of anything sleaze paperback related. I think this stems from growing up in a town of only 370 people-- being so sheltered, I'm attracted to the taboo.
So far, I've shared original illustration art for some gay sleaze paperbacks in our collection. But, we also have some original art for a lesbian paperback-- the book "Lust on the Run." "Lust on the Run" was published by a shady little imprint known as "Spartan Line" (1966). "Spartan Line" was just one of many lines put out by a fly-by-night publisher that was known for stealing books from other publishers and repackaging them as their own. I didn't look into whether "Lust on the Run" was one of the stolen books.
I really wish I knew who painted these covers. Many of them seem to be painted by the same individual, but as is typical with sleaze artists, the work is unsigned.
By the way, isn't it cool how the boobs aren't censored on the original artwork version? It almost makes life worth living...
Anyway, enjoy and if anyone has any tips on who painted these, that proverbial lollipop is still up for grabs!
Just got back from my first ever trip to New Orleans. I'm running a little behind on my posting, but in honor of visiting NOLA, I wanted to post this vintage Warren horror magazine cover, "Tales of Voodoo." It's circa early 70's. Being a proud rat owner, I love the little rat-like creatures biting at the vampire woman's feet.
It seemed appropriate to post this, since my visit included a stop at the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum. It was kitschy little hole-in-the-wall place and well worth the paltry admission fee. My favorite part-- the over-tanned, leather-skinned woman who asked the owner if the voodoo item she wanted to buy would only work for the person buying it. She wanted to give it to a friend, and she wanted to make sure it would still work. The owner assured her it would work just fine.
Good morning! I say this knowing full well that it's 10:30, and many of you have probably been up for hours. In which case, I'm sorry to hear that.
Today's bit of FringePop is brought to you by the fabulous Bettie Page (RIP). The magazine"Modern Sunbathing" is one of Bettie's forays into the nudist magazine arena. I could have scanned some pictures of the "nude but not naked" Ms. Page from inside. But guess what? It's the age of Google in which you can find these images with a simple image search and that little fact combined with my tendency towards loafing led to a lethal laziness cocktail. Sure, you could probably find the front of the magazine online as well, but I do need something to post about.
What's the difference between nude and naked? Someone once told me the difference between nude, naked, and nekkid, but I was drunk and forgot the difference. So, if anyone can be of help, that would be great.
So, enjoy Bettie's bright and smiling face. And if you can't find the nudity online, I promise to provide it in a future post.
I learned how to sew about a year ago. Since then, I've gone pretty nutso. I've sewed over 30 mini-skirts and probably about 30-40 dresses. All of them are in the style of the 60's, which is my favorite era for so many things-- interior design, music, vintage sleaze sex books--I could go on and on about my love affair with the 60's.
I love the mod look and have been sewing the mod look. BUT, from a collector's standpoint, I needed some esoteric objects from the past to supplement this new found sewing hobby. Anyone who is a collector knows that collectors will find any excuse to collect something new! But what mod item should I start collecting? I could have collected vintage mod clothing, but I wouldn't really "collect" clothing--I wear the vintage stuff I find. Besides, I was already sewing clothing. What did I decide on? I decided to collect paper dresses.
Front of yellow pages paper dress
What's more pop art than the paper dress phenomenon? While I doubt most producers of paper dresses were trying to make a statement, they did. And that statement was about the throwaway nature of our disposable consumer culture.
One of the most collectible paper dresses from the era is the yellow pages paper dress. Manufactured in 1966 by "Waste Basket Boutique" (Mars of Asheville, NC), the yellow pages paper dress was valued by Antiques Roadshow at a whopping $1800. My husband and I purchased the yellow pages paper dress for our collection, but we bought it on eBay, so we didn't pay anywhere near the $1800 roadshow price (whew!).
Back of yellow pages paper dress (ABOVE)
But, we don't yet have in our collection, the most sensational paper dress of them all: the "Souper Dress."
What's the Souper Dress you ask? Starting in 1962, the most famous pop artist of them all, Andy Warhol, began creating his famous Campbell's soup can works. The incorporation of mundane commercial objects as "fine art" at first offended the art establishment, but now the cans have come to be an important part of art history and an easily recognizable symbol in our culture. Warhol himself said that, "a group of painters have come to the common conclusion that the most banal and even vulgar trappings of modern civilization can, when transposed to canvas, become Art."
So, whatever your thoughts about Warhol's work, it certainly provoked discussion and continues to be debated to this day.
But, back to the Souper Dress. In 1966-67, Campbell's soup decided to capitalize on Warhol's inclusion of their product in his art and on the whole paper dress movement by selling a paper dress with their soup cans as the design. Campbell's marketed their paper dress as "The Souper Dress" (nice play on words there Campbell's). If you sent in two Campbell's soup labels plus $1.00, you too could own the Souper Dress, which by the way now sells on eBay for anywhere from $700 to $1800 depending on the condition. Yep, the Souper Dress has become quite the cultural icon.
So, in this post, I'm going to share some pictures of an original "yellow pages" paper dress and myself wearing the dress. The dress is pretty sack-like and not all that flattering, but it wasn't quite as dowdy as I expected. There's something charming about it.
I hope in the future to have added the Souper Dress to our collection as well-- but in the meantime, I've included a picture of the Souper Dress from a museum collection.
When I saw this vintage men's adventure magazine, I almost peed myself. How in the hell did the illustrator come up with this cover? I mean, for real? It's soooooooooo accurate. Every single time I've meet a hippie, they've tried to skewer me with a hook and brand my ass with a peace sign.
The whole point of the "fake sleaze book project" was to create fake covers for books that should have been but never were. And what's a better combination than zombies and strippers? Okay, yeah there are some better combos but not a whole lot-- maybe stripper she-devils? (gotta file that one away for future reference) And I rather liked the movie "Zombie Strippers." I thought it was good campy fun. It didn't take itself too seriously either.
And a sleaze book with this concept? It couldn't be anything less than golden.
But how to make regular sleaze gals into zombie strippers? Well, the stripper part's easy. All you need is scantily clad women, and in sleaze, they're hardly scarce. But zombies? We could use our graphic design knowledge to go into each image and adjust the skin and add some blood and guts for good effect. Our conclusion? Nah, we are much too lazy for that. This is supposed to be fun, not work! Well, it did end up being super easy, because Greenleaf publishers had an amazing cover artist named Ed Smith. And on two occasions, for reasons completely unknown, he did covers with women who looked rather green. Was Mr. Smith into some kind of underground fetish that is lost in the annals of history? Was he colorblind and had a slip up? We'll never know...
Whatever the case, thanks Mr. Smith for providing the building blocks for our version of "Zombie Strippers" -- "Zombie A Go Go."
Today I'm featuring the last original gay pulp painting in my collection. When I attained these original illustrations, I was able to get three from the same dealer. I've never seen any others listed for sale from anyone else.
This painting is for "A Queen's Fury" by Aaron Thomas (Nightstand Book 1873) from 1968. This is another work by Darrell Millsap, prolific illustrator for these imprints.
This piece is quirky and fun and a little mysterious. Why mysterious? Because what the hell's up with the toy car and plane? All the gay men I've known have been far too fabulous to get on their hands and knees and play with children's toys (maybe other toys, but not those!). Rug burn anyone?!
I'd probably have to read "A Queen's Fury" to find out what's up with that. Will I do that? Hell no. I'm way too lazy for that.
I knew that the x-rated poster for "Young & Innocent" (which I previously blogged about) had to be a ripoff of a Robert McGinnis paperback cover. Sure enough, my husband tracked down the original McGinnis cover that the poster maker stole from.
Ta da! Above are both the poster and the original paperback cover. Enjoy these "twins." They sure beat lame-asses like the Olsens!
Just an oddball sex mag for you on this balmy Wednesday night (and I mean balmy with all sincerity-- I live in Atlanta).
I love the late 60's softcore sex mags. The insides of the magazines never quite live up to the promise of the front covers. Nonetheless, I think they're great fun. However, because this mag doesn't live up to the outside's promise, I have nothing to share from the inside. There were some goofy pics of dancing hippies and an article on drugs, but nothing too sleaze-tastic. Certainly not as sleaze-tastic as a game in which you guess who's a lesbian! Now that was exciting : - )
So enjoy "Freakout": a silly sex mag from the late 60's. I'm too lazy to look up the exact date at the moment, but if anyone just HAS to know the date, I can provide it.
I'd like to present another of our fake sleaze paperbacks! This one is actually a fake Brandon House book with art from their iconic illustrator "Fred Fixler." Fixler was known for painting leggy women with thin yet curvaceous bodies, who were often portrayed in the throes of lesbian love or in the midst of a menage-a-trois. His covers are some of the most well-wrought, particularly in the lesbian pulp field.
We had to get rid of the "white cap" to make this work (ABOVE)
Let me explain one reason my husband and I did this project. As any vintage paperback collector knows, many publishers put out books with first names as the titles. Some of the "name titles" that come to mind are "Nikki," and "Taffy," and sometimes a name will be incorporated in the title such as "Loving Linda" or "The Trouble with Ava." These are just a few that come to mind. There are MANY examples...
Anyway, being voracious vintage pb collectors, my husband and I were sad that we couldn't find a "name title" with my name in the title. We searched and searched, but we've never been able to find one with "Astrid" in the title. So, what did we do? We decided to create one ourselves. As such, this fake sleaze paperback, "She Asked for Astrid" is the first fake pb we created.
When we created "She Asked for Astrid", we tried to be meticulous about the graphic work. We sought to emulate Brandon House's style as much as possible. We included their logos, we were mindful of their layouts, etc. We put a tinted photo of me on the back cover, because Brandon House often did that. Brandon house would have the cover art on the front and then on the backside, a photo of some model that looked like she belonged on the cover of "Satana" or "Black Silk Stockings."
So, I hope you enjoy "SHE ASKED FOR ASTRID." We certainly enjoyed making it!
With a name like Manlove.... you've got to assume this book is filled with manlove! If not, that's some very serious false advertising.
Haven't read this saucy bit of gayness, but I've got to assume it's about what it says: a man who is "gay but not happy." In the 50's all the gay and lesbian pulps had to have sad endings, because the books had to reinforce the anti-gay status quo. I had thought by the late 60's that the gay pulps had gotten away from that. On the other hand, with a title like this you've got to wonder if that was still the prevailing mood of the gay pulps. Then again, I've seen plenty of gay books from the era with "happier" titles like "Locker Room Lovers," "Blow the Man Down," and "Brothers in Love", just to name a few.
So, enjoy the original cover artwork for "Gay But Not Happy." I'm not sure of the artist's identity-- perhaps Greenleaf's Harry Bremner? Hey, if you can answer it, that lollipop's still available. Although, by now I'm sure it's stuck between the cushions and covered in the couch's version of belly button lint...but hey, it's still good!
During the holiday season, my husband and I were feeling stifled by all the rampant consumerism and general madness of the season. We needed a creative outlet to distract ourselves from what came to be known as "Piss-mas."
So, we decided to combine our love of vintage sleaze paperbacks with our knowledge of graphic design. We embarked on a project in which we would create our own versions of vintage sleaze paperbacks. We put our imaginations to work and made cover proofs for books we wish the sleaze publishers had put out. The kind of books that wet dreams...err dreams... are made of.
To begin our project, we brainstormed and came up with some of our favorite vintage sleaze themes. One of the best themes: the devil. Anything with the Prince of Darkness was a sure winner in our book (both literally and figuratively). And the publishers of the time put out so many great devil covers themselves: everything from "Satan Was a Lesbian" to "Devil's Harvest." In the future, I will get the best devil covers out of storage and feature them here.
But for now, I present one of our creations (more in the future). We appropriated the art from "Satan Was a Lesbian" (a true classic with cover art by Doug Weaver) and another Weaver cover "Strange Honeymoon" to come up with.... MENAGE-A-SATAN!
Because who doesn't want to have a threesome with the devil?
Doug Weaver illustration that we appropriated (ABOVE)
The other Weaver illustration we used (ABOVE)
I'd also like to thank our friend Jim Linderman of "Dull Tool, Dim Bulb" and "Vintage Sleaze" for recently featuring our project on his blog. Jim is a fantastic historian and blogger, who constantly inspires me to get my shit together. If I could only have a shred of his discipline, I'd be set! Jim's feature included a fake vintage sleaze paperback we designed, which incorporated him as a character. It was a pleasure to design it for him, and it was too cool that he in turn featured it on his blog. So, show him some love and visit his blogs (if you haven't already).
FringePop is a showcase for uncommon and esoteric cultural artifacts. The focus is on unusual items from both popular and fringe culture, with an emphasis on subversive pieces. The items shown are from the author's personal collection, unless otherwise noted.
I am a pop culture buff and collector, who focuses on the odd, subversive, and fringe elements of Western culture. In 2005, I edited a book for Feral House called "Sin-A-Rama: Sleaze Sex Paperbacks of the Sixties." The vintage oddities in my collection include victoriana, sideshow, medical, and kitsch. I am also an amateur sewer, making clothing from vintage mod patterns.