Thursday, March 31, 2011

Faking It for Fun..."She Asked for Astrid"

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

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!

Monday, March 28, 2011

With a Name Like Manlove...

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!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Every Single One of Us the Devil Inside (in this case, literally)

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

The other Weaver illustration we used

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).

Vintage Sleaze

Dull Tool, Dim Bulb

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Is that a sword in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

The paperback cover

Last post featured a little bit of vintage lesbiana so what better to follow than some gay pulp? By the way is lesbiana a word? I've heard "victoriana" for the Victorian era, so I just went with it.

Featured today is the original artwork for the 1960's gay paperback "The Fellows Backstage" by Chris Davidson (1968). I found this rare original illustration on eBay. It took some digging, and I was shocked to find it. Hardly any of the original sleaze paperback illustrations survived the era. And those that did survive are mostly in personal collections.

The original art

But luckily, this and a couple others did survive and now they're mine. All mine!

Original artwork is by Darrell Millsap. He was a prolific illustrator working exclusively (as far as I know) for Greenleaf Classics.

More gay pulp to come...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Because What's More Violent Than Lesbianism?

I've got some campy, sexy fun for today. Recently, I've started buying up sexy vintage magazines (mostly from the 1960's). I'm talking about the stuff that's naughtier than men's adventure/girlie/pinup fare but not hardcore pornography.

I'm not interested in buying every issue of any particular magazine. Just like the Supreme Court and obscenity, I know it when I see it. And then, I buy it.

Today's campy, sexy fun is a mag called "Raunchy." Volume 1, No. 2 from 1968.

The inside of this mag is more entertaining than the outside. This mag has it all... not only will you see softcore lesbian lovelies, you'll also be treated to important social commentary. Did you know that lesbians are extremely violent, and that at any given moment, will engage in topless wrestling?

And even more fun is the game this magazine offers. Can you guess which women are lesbians? I challenge you! Take on the challenge....if you dare! I will reveal the answer in a subsequent post...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mystery Solved....the artist is Armand Weston

Well, after extensive googling and typing in keyword after keyword, I found the answer to who illustrated the x-rated movie posters signed "Weston." This most excellent artist was a man named "Armand Weston." Oddly enough, the trivia page on IMDB for "Heat Wave" lists him as the artist:

IMDB: Heat Wave

Also, I found the following link:

Men's Pulp Mags

Weston, as the pulp mags author writes, truly was a multi-talented guy. Illustration artist and both director and producer of XXX movies? What a combo!

Also, I've seen the movie "Defiance of the Good" (which he directed), and it was good, sleazy fun.

Now, if I could just figure out who illustrated "A Teenage Pajama Party", my life would be complete...

And to those of you who lost out on that lollipop, better luck next time!

XXX Movie Posters...Part 2!

More XXX posters from the collection. There are more in the collection than this, but I'll probably save more for a future post.

Some random notes:
1.) I wish someone could tell me who did the art on "A Teenage Pajama Party." Someone that good was likely a prolific illustrator in the mainstream world. And I know many people that would like to be invited to this party...

2.) Many of the illustrated posters were put out by Essex Video (i.e. "Portrait of Seduction", "Heat Wave," "Expectations," etc). I suspect they were done by the same artist who signed his name "Weston" on "Heat Wave." I'm going to do some detective work and see if I might determine the artist's identity.

3.) "Young & Innocent" has illustration art that looks to be a Robert McGinnis rip-off. I tried to peruse the net to see if I could confirm this. No such luck. I know Paul Rader's art was ripped-off for a X movie called "Swedish Sorority Girls", which I posted about in the past. If anyone can confirm this, that free lollipop is still available. I've got to come up with some better prizes.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The return of FringePop...XXX Movie Posters!

A sneak preview of what's to come
if you take the time to scroll down this post!

After a long--okay VERY long--hiatus, FringePop is back. I will not shower you with excuses as to why I've been gone. I will not give you "this reason" or "that reason." I have no good excuses, unless you think lack of discipline and an extended battle with apathy count as good excuses. I don't.

One of my biggest struggles will be trying to remember what I've posted already and what I've not posted. When you're swimming in antiques and tschotskes like I am, this is no easy task. Hopefully my archives with assist.

Let's start with a recent collecting obsession: x-rated movie posters. A few months ago, I read a fantastic book called "The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry." Authored by Legs McNeil (who did a great history book on punk rock, I'm told), this 400+ page tome consisted of interview transcripts that the author compiled together to tell various stories about the industry and the people within it, spanning from the early days of the nudie cuties to the modern days of cum fart cocktails. Yes, those last three words are crass but they illustrate the shift that has occurred in the X-rated industry. While there's been a shift, things haven't really changed that much. Modern day porn may not be the beaver mags you found under your dad's mattress, but it still has the same intent-- getting people (mostly men) off.

Why am I attracted to this collecting genre? Easy answer: for as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to the subversive, not necessarily as a participant but as a voyeur. However, as a sex-positive feminist, my feelings about porn are mixed. I've written personal blogs in which I've ruminated extensively on the topic. I won't get into them here, but I will say that I ultimately come out on the side of freedom of speech. And I ultimately decided that I find it patriarchal to over-protect adult women from their choices. I do not want a "daddy state" that tells women what to do with their bodies nor do I want a "daddy state" that tells me what I can and cannot view in the privacy of my own home.

Besides, pornography is defined as "the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement" (Websters). Pornography, as defined, is not inherently bad. If you don't like what you see (and I don't always like that I see), you have two choices: a.) don't watch it; and/or b.) talk about the issue in a way that will spread discourse and debate. I recommend doing both! We can make BETTER porn, people. Porn that *gasp* maybe even men AND women would enjoy?

With that, I get off my soap box and present some recent acquisitions to my x-rated movie poster collection. What does that rant have to do with these posters? Depending on your perspective, very little or everything.

This fits right in with the likes of a Paul Rader or Robert Maguire

All the posters shown date from the late 1960's into the 1970's. I love that illustration art was still a big thing on x-rated movie posters even into the 1970's. The ones with illustration art look like giant versions of vintage sleaze paperbacks! And what makes me happier than a good vintage sleaze paperback illustration? Not a whole hell of a lot.

A few of the illustrated ones are signed by the artist, although I haven't been able to identify them beyond their last names. For example, the "Heat Wave" poster (my fave-- I heart Satan) is signed "Weston." Another one, "Starlet", is signed "E. Calerz." Now, with that one, I'm really not sure if I'm reading the signature right.

You know what else is fun? Watching the actual movies. While I haven't seen any of these, I did have the pleasure of having a VCX subscription on the Fyre TV Box. I got to see many films from the 1970's and know quite a few of the actors from their films AND from Legs McNeil's book. And did I mention, I once got to meet Ron Jeremy. Ah, the joys of being a nerd.

I prefer illustrated poster art over photos
but these are still good, campy fun

I'd love to know the identity of these artists. If anyone can help, there's a free lollipop in it for you...

More X-Rated goodness to come in another post!