Our books on Amazon: the MEN'S ADVENTURE LIBRARY series...

Our books on Amazon: the MEN'S ADVENTURE LIBRARY series...
Click the image above for more information about our anthologies of men's adventure magazine stories and artwork

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A Men’s Adventure Magazines & Books Facebook Group Update...

Men's Adventure Magazines Facebook Group
Back in 2010, I created a Facebook group as a spinoff of this blog. It’s called the Men’s Adventure Magazines & Books Group.

Given the sometimes politically incorrect content in the men’s adventure realm, I made it a “closed group” that requires members to ask to join, as opposed to a public group that allows anyone to see the posts.

Year by year, the group has grown steadily.

It now has more than 2,100 members from all over the world, including fans of men’s adventure mags, early pulp mags, vintage illustration art, action/adventure novels and related genres.

In recent years, such Facebook groups have tended to become more popular and more widely viewed than serial blogs like MensPulpMags.com, and I’ve found myself following that trend.

My posts here have become less frequent. I generally use the blog for in-depth posts.

But I post daily in the Men’s Adventure Magazines & Books Facebook Group.

Each day, there are also posts by other members of the group, a diverse bunch that includes casual fans, hard core collectors, and an amazing number of talented artists, writers and indie publishers.

In case you’re not a member of the group yet, I invite you to join us.

Below are some examples of posts that were shared there in the past week...

Wayne Keil, owner of Hooked on Books, an Illinois bookstore that also offers thousands of used and collectible books on Amazon, recently posted a photo of a cool original painting by Mort Kunstler.

Wayne had noticed that the painting had just been listed for sale by Taraba Illustration Art, one of the best sources for original 20th Century illustration art.  

The Taraba folks knew the Kunstler painting had been used in an issue of STAG for a story titled “MY LIFE WITH NEW GUINEA’S AMAZON WOMEN,” but didn’t know which issue it appeared in.

Because I have an extensive digitized database of men’s adventure magazine contents pages, I was able to ID the issue as STAG, September 1957.

Then I posted a scan of the two-page spread from that issue.

STAG - 1957 09 Sept - Mort Kunstler art bbSTAG - 1957 09 Sept - Mort Kunstler REV WM bb

A couple of other cool Mort Kunstler paintings were recently posted in the group by my buddy Craig Clements. Craig is a major collector of original men’s adventure magazine artwork, especially work by Kunstler and Earl Norem.

Every once in a while, Craig sells off some of the MAM paintings he owns on eBay so he can free up space or raise cash to buy new ones. He is currently selling two Kunstler paintings I particularly love.

One is a totally gonzo classic showing a waterborne gang of hellraisers racing along in motorboats. It was used on the cover of MALE, August 1968 and goes with the story inside titled “I RIDE WITH THE OUTBOARD RAVAGERS.”   

MALE - 1968 08 Aug - art by Mort Kunstler WM bbMALE - 1968 08 Aug - cover by Mort Kunstler WM bb

Craig’s second recent post in the Facebook group shows another Mort Kunstler piece he’s currently offering on eBay.

It’s a bank robbing bikers gang scene originally used on the cover of FOR MEN ONLY, February 1966.

As Craig noted in his post, it happens to be one of the covers featured in our book BARBARIANS ON BIKES, a visual archive of men’s adventure mag covers and interior illustrations featuring bikers and motorcycle gangs.  

FOR MEN ONLY - 1966 02 Feb - Mort Kunstler art bbFOR MEN ONLY - 1966 02 Feb - Mort Kunstler cover bb

Our group member who goes by the nickname Johnny Begood and is an expert on vintage “Good Girl Art” from men’s magazines, recently posted a shot of a gorgeous painting by artist Victor Olson that’s up for sale on eBay.

It was used in ADVENTURES FOR MEN, June 1959 for the story “THE STRANGE MATING OF TERENCE O'LEARY.”

ADVENTURES FOR MEN, June 1959 - art by Victor Olson bbADVENTURES FOR MEN, June 1959 - Victor Olson art bb

Speaking of strange mating, another recent post that gave us a chuckle was made by group member Kevin Delaney, an actor and voice talent pro for movies, TV shows and video games who has worked on many cool projects. (See his page on the Internet Movie Database here.)

Kevin posted a scan of an ad for “Life Size Go-Go Girls” from the September 1971 issue of MAN’S ACTION. For a mere $3, one of those lovely love dolls could have been yours!

That ad elicited a string of quips and comments, including one by Patrick Ford, a comics art expert who runs an interesting group about Marvel Comics called THE MARVEL METHOD.

Patrick posted a link to a UK Daily Mail article about a Japanese businessman who claims “he has finally found happiness by having an intimate relationship with his love doll Saori.” Yep, that’s the guy taking his, er, girlfriend shopping in a women’s clothing store in the photo below.

MAN'S ACTION - 1971 09 Sept - Go Go girl doll ad bbSenji Nakajima and his doll Saori 01bb

In another recent post in our FB group, member Chuck Sycamore, a vintage pulp mag and illustration art maven in Chicago, posted photos of something neither he nor I had ever seen.

It’s a subscription flyer for TRUE magazine from around 1952 or 1953 that has a cool Tom Lovell illustration on one side and a pitch to potential subscribers on the other.

Lovell’s painting, which was used for a story in the July 1952 issue of TRUE, shows a group of nude women being attacked by a huge tiger.

TRUE subscription ad insert c. 1952 , Tom Lovell artTRUE subscription ad insert c. 1952 bb

Our member Thomas Clement recently posted another MAM illustration featuring a tiger. Thomas is the creator of the awesome American Art Archives illustration art site. (BTW, the eBay store run by his wife Christiane Thomas offers many vintage magazines for sale.)

The tiger illo posted by Thomas is from WILDCAT ADVENTURES, June 1960. The cover painting for that issue was done by Basil Gogos and is one of my faves. It goes with the wild story inside “BESTIAL ORGY OF THE HAIRY AINU.”

The tiger artwork is uncredited and unsigned, but looks like it was done by Charles Fracé, who started out as a magazine illustrator and ended up as a wildlife artist.

It was used for the story “THE DEADLY CARGO OF THE BRAZEN HUSSY.” That one is not included in our new book of “killer creature” stories and artwork I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE, but it would fit right in.

Wildcat Adventures - 1960 06 June - maybe Charles Frace bbWILDCAT ADVENTURES, June 1960. Cover by Basil Gogos

As a side note, my publishing partner Wyatt Doyle and have been pleased by the reviews that book has been getting from people we highly respect.

One recent review was posted by Ron Fortier on his Pulp Fiction Reviews blog. Ron is a legendary comics and “New Pulp” writer, editor and publisher, so we were quite proud to read his positive review. If you don’t know Ron’s work, check out the website of his Airship 27 publishing company. One of the latest Airship 27 offerings, titled TALES FROM THE HANGING MONKEY (Vol. Two), is clearly an homage to classic adventure pulp and a TV show you may recognize.

We also got a nice review from John Navroth, Editor of the great MONSTER WORLD MAGAZINE blog. And, we got a 5-star Amazon review from Dan Leo, author of the mind-blowing serial novel RAILROAD TRAIN TO HEAVEN.

We’re big fans of Ron, John and Dan, so it’s a pleasure and honor to get positive reviews from them.

Killer Creatures ad - 02TALES FROM THE HANGING MONKEY, Vol Two

One of my own recent posts in the Men’s Adventure Magazines & Books Facebook Group was a scan of a story in ARGOSY, December 1963.

The story is about Captain Paul Boynton, a real life adventurer who (among other things) invented a floating rubber suit that was like a cross between a modern diving drysuit and a kayak. He used it to paddle across the English Channel and down various rives in America and Europe in the 1870s and 1880s.

I love ARGOSY’s full-color interior illustration by George Gross showing Boynton and his suit. For an in-depth account of Boynton’s adventures, get the book, ROUGHING IT IN RUBBER. It has nothing to do with love dolls.

ARGOSY - 1963 12 Dec - George Gross illo WMRoughing It In Rubber book

If the posts above look like things you’d enjoy, but you’re not yet a member of the Men’s Adventure Magazines & Books Facebook Group, click this link to group’s main page, then click the “Join Group” button.  We usually respond to requests the same day.

Fair warning: we screen out people who appear to be fake Facebook entities or whose timeline posts peg them as likely trolls or jerks. And, sorry kids, the group is limited to adults.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Comments? Corrections? Post them on the Weasels Ripped My Book Facebook Page, email them to me,
or join the
Men’s Adventure Magazines & Books Facebook Group and post them there.

Thanks to John Navroth, Editor of the great MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD blog
for his review of our book collecting “killer creature” stories & artwork
from vintage men's adventure magazines, I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE.
Click this link or the image below to read the complete review.

Monster Magazine World Review graphic

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Who will inherit the Earth? Turtles, of course! I read it in STAG, Nov. 1961…

STAG, Nov 1961, Out of This World WM2 
I’m a big fan of turtles in real life. I’m also a big fan of the surreal “killer turtles” stories and artwork found in some of the men’s pulp adventure magazines published in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

We’ve featured some examples of gonzo turtle yarns and illustrations in several books in our Men’s Adventure Library series, including our latest offering, I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE.

Recently, a cool little item about turtles in the monthly “OUT OF THIS WORLD” Department in the November 1961 issue of STAG caught my attention.

“OUT OF THIS WORLD” is kind of a combination of news bytes, historical factoids and Robert Ripley’s “Believe It or Not,” illuminated with small, uncredited illustrations.

Many men’s adventure magazines had regular sections like it.

They often tend to get overlooked since they’re not as flashy as the cover paintings and interior illustrations or the feature stories.

But, personally, I find them to fascinating, entertaining and (dare I say it?) educational.

Most things in the “OUT OF THIS WORLD” Department that appeared in STAG are true or at least largely based on facts.

For example, I learned from the first mini-article in the “OUT OF THIS WORLD” Department in STAG, November 1961 that Benjamin Franklin was “the first American to tinker with the possibility of execution by electrocution.”  

It explains: “By using a set-up consisting of six Leyden jars, he was able to utilize the electrical current from the jars to snuff out the lives of chickens, lambs and a 10-pound turkey.”

Yes, that really is true. I checked.

Franklin did experiments in which he killed animals using electrical charges stored in Leyden jars, the 18th Century version of batteries.

There are some intriguing additional details about this dubious distinction in an article on the POPULAR SCIENCE magazine website.

It cites a report about Franklin’s critter-zapping experiments published by the famed British scientist William Watson. Watson noted that Ben’s attempt with the turkeys didn’t succeed initially.

“The turkies, though thrown into violent convulsions and then lying as dead for some minutes, would recover in less than a quarter of an hour,” Watson said drily, seemingly oblivious to the animal cruelty this implied.

But Ben was persistent. With a bigger shock, he did manage to kill a 10-pound turkey. And, Franklin boasted to Watson that “birds killed in this manner eat uncommonly tender.”

Don’t try it at home, folks. As the POPULAR SCIENCE article also explains, Franklin electrocuted himself during one of those experiments. Just not fatally.

STAG, Nov 1961, cover by Gil CohenSTAG, Nov 1961, Out of This World feature WMSTAG - 1961 11 Nov - Ben Franklin turkey story

Another fact-based mini-article in this example of “OUT OF THIS WORLD” is about a hero of a different kind, Jose Mendoza Lopez. Lopez was a Mexican-born American soldier who received the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the bloody Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

Using a heavy Browning M1919 machine gun, Lopez killed over 100 Nazi soldiers during that battle, more than any other American soldier did in WWII. In doing so, he saved the lives of many fellow soldiers who were pinned down by a German assault, allowing them to withdraw.

As the STAG piece explains:

STAG, Nov 1961, Jose Lopez “Although he was a member of Co. M, he and his machine gun were assigned to cover Co. K’s right side. Sizing up the desperate situation, he grabbed his heavy machine gun and lugged it to a shallow hole that only covered him up to his hips. His first burst cut down 10 Germans. Ignoring a barrage from an advancing enemy tank, he quickly trained his gun on a group of soldiers trying to encircle him—getting 25. Dazed by an artillery attack that dropped shells all around him, he was still able to see additional Nazis corning in from his right in an effort to outflank him. Again he dragged his gun to another, not so vulnerable position. Before he could set up his gun, he was bowled over by the concussion of a near miss, but he immediately reset his gun and kept on firing. Singlehandedly, he held off the massive German drive until Co. K could complete its withdrawal…For his extreme heroism—above and beyond the call of duty—PFC Lopez was awarded the nation’s highest tribute: The Congressional Medal of Honor.”

There are many articles about Lopez online, including a cool page about him on the “Badass of the Week” website. But I first learned about him from the brief piece in STAG

Some of the mini-articles in STAG’s “OUT OF THIS WORLD” sensationalized or stretched the facts. Some were based on legends.

Some combined fact and legend, like this one in the the November 1961 issue. 

“BORROW YOUR TEETH, PLEASE? — One of the most incredible stories to come out of the Yukon territory concerns a man who had all of his teeth extracted. A short while later, while out on a bear hunt, the toothless gentleman was lucky enough to bring down a fine specimen. Unable to eat the tasty meat of the bear, because without teeth it was impossible for him to chew, the hungry hunter proceeded to carve a set of teeth for himself out of the dead bear's now-useless fangs. Not only did he enjoy his meal, but he became a legend in the north country for having eaten the bear with its own teeth.”

With some Googling, I found that this is based on stories about Erwin A. “Nimrod” Robertson, a hardy Mainer who headed to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush.

Nimrod did make dentures using “incisors from a Dall sheep, premolars from a caribou, and molars from a bear.” But the legend about him eating the bear that supplied the molars is just that—legend.

Another little story in the OOTW Department in STAG, November 1961 says:

“FOR WHOM THE BELLS TOLLED — When King Louis XV of France passed away, the bells in the Cathedral of Toul pealed for 40 consecutive days and nights. The terrific vibrations set up by the constant ringing actually weakened the bell tower to such an extent that it continued to sway on its own. The swaying caused the bells to keep ringing for almost 21 years or more.”

That whopper is obviously contrary to the laws of physics. But, again, it probably wasn’t concocted by STAG, just repeated. It seems to be a legend that was floating around, at least in the 1960s. I found it in an old Ripley’s-like column titled “REALLY?” in a newspaper published in 1965.

I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE, p8 & 9 WMThere’s also this little oddity in the November 1961 “OUT OF THIS WORLD”:

“BIRTH AFTER DEATH — Probably the most macabre coincidence on record is the case of the Knoxville, Tennessee, woman who married three times. With each husband she had a child. Yet, each of her children came into this world after its father had died.”

Maybe true. Maybe not. I didn’t bother to Google that one.

The piece I liked best in the OOTW Department in STAG, November 1961 is about turtles.

In this case, it’s not one of the wild “killer turtle” stories we’ve featured in some of our books.

It’s a bit of speculation about what animal is likely to survive in the event of a nuclear apocalypse.

It says:

“WHO WILL INHERIT THE EARTH? — If any living thing on this earth is going to survive man's tampering with nuclear explosions, put your money on the turtle. For one thing, it's been able to keep going strong for at least 60,000,000 years. It lives in every part of the world and in such varied habitats as the middle of a desert or at the bottom of the sea. Turtles have been frozen into blocks of ice for months at a time, yet have been defrosted back to life. With no ears, they can hear the approach of friends or enemies, long before they arrive, by the vibrations set up. They have no voices, yet they can whistle and be heard 40 feet away. They are toothless, but the ridges in their mouths can shear off a man's finger as cleanly as a razor. And if you think they are slow, they can actually swim through the ocean at 20 miles an hour. Protected by a fantastic shell into which they can crawl at the sign of danger, turtles average about 150 years of life and probably have lived for as long as 500 years. Having outlived the giant dinosaurs, and having adapted to everything this earth has thrown at them over the last 60,000,000 years, it's a good bet some of the 300 species of turtle will be around long after man—as we know him—is gone.”

From what I can tell, most of those turtle factoids are true. And, in 1965, the Cold War was in full swing and the U.S. and Soviet Union were stockpiling and testing more and bigger nuclear weapons to use against each other. So, the threat of a radioactive Armageddon was viewed as almost inevitable reality.

Luckily, World War III hasn’t happened…yet.

But if it ever does, I hope the turtles do inherit the earth. Humans won’t deserve it.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Comments? Corrections? Email me, or post them on our Weasels Ripped My Book Facebook Page
— or join the
Men’s Adventure Magazines & Books Facebook Group and post them there.

     
Click this link
or the image below to order our latest full-color
collection of men’s adventure magazine artwork and stories,
the first
in our new, lushly-illustrated “Men’s Adventure Library Journal” series...
 

I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE:

Killer Creatures in Men’s Adventure Magazines

I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE, w contents

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE! — the new Men’s Adventure Library book and first “Men’s Adventure Journal”

Killer Creatures book cover WM  
   
“I had a glimpse of a squirrel perched on his neck; it seemed funny as hell for a second.”

That was the initial reaction of the main character in the story “FLYING RODENTS RIPPED MY FLESH!” when he saw a small furry creature land on his buddy in the outback of Australia.

It’s the same initial reaction most people have when they see the “killer flying squirrels” cover painting done by artist Wilbur “Wil” Hulsey for that story, which originally appeared in the men’s adventure magazine MAN’S LIFE, August 1957.

But if you read that story and the others reprinted in our new book, I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE: KILLER CREATURES IN MEN’S ADVENTURE MAGAZINES, you’re likely to find they aren’t quite what you expected.

Most animal attack stories in MAMs — including those that may initially seem like they’d be “funny as hell” — are dark action/adventure tales that are grim and bloody as hell.

In most cases they are essentially horror stories.

I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE reprints examples animal attack stories from men’s adventure mags published in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, along with dozens of “killer creature” covers and interior illustrations, printed in glorious full color.

The format of this new book is a bit different from previous books in our Men’s Adventure Library series.

Our previous anthologies — WEASELS RIPPED MY FLESH!, HE-MEN, BAG MEN & NYMPHOS, A HANDFUL OF HELL and the CRYPTOZOOLOGY ANTHOLOGY — each include more than 20 stories, along with the cover and interior artwork originally used for the stories.

Our last book, BARBARIANS ON BIKES, is solely an image archive: a collection of MAM covers and interior artwork and photos that feature bikers and outlaw motorcycle gangs.
 
I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE is the first of example of a format we’re calling “The Men’s Adventure Library Journal.”

It’s an in-between format that’s roughly half stories and half artwork, all related to a particular theme; in this case, “killer creature” stories.

You can get a good idea of what the book looks like inside by clicking on and viewing the video preview at right.

Men’s adventure mags published hundreds of animal attack stories involving every possible type of critter, from true potential man-eaters like sharks, lions and bears, to squirm-inducing species like snakes, scorpions and spiders, to many kinds of critters that are highly unlikely threats to humans, such as weasels, lobsters, lemmings and anteaters.

In fact, killer creature stories are far more common in men’s adventure magazines than stories about sadistic Nazis tormenting scantily-clad women.

Nazi bondage and torture stories with lurid artwork that makes them both castigated as politically incorrect by knee-jerk critics and beloved by certain collectors are only common in the low-budget “sweat mag” subgenre of MAMs.

Animal attack stories appeared either occasionally or frequently in most of the 160 different men’s adventure titles published from the ‘50s to the ‘70s.

Many of those stories are illuminated with eye-popping artwork by top illustration artists of the era.

For example, the painting used for the first story in our new book and featured on its cover was done by George Gross.

Gross was an extremely-talented artist who started out doing cover paintings for the pre-World War II pulp fiction magazines that were forerunners of the MAM genre.

He later hundreds of cover and interior illustrations for men’s adventure magazines and paperbacks.

His cover painting for “I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE” is as classic as that story, which first appeared in MAN’S CONQUEST, November 1956.

For some reason, Gross’ painting was heavily cropped when it was used on the cover of that issue. But the full painting was shown inside in black-and-white.

In our book, we inserted the full color version where the painting appeared in black-and-white in the magazine.

Why? Well, because it’s so cool — and because we could. 

The original painting is owned by our friend, mega-MAM art collector Rich Oberg, so we had a high-resolution color photo of it.

Here’s a look at the original magazine spread and the colorized spread in our book side by side…

MAN'S CONQUEST, Nov 1956. Interior by George Gross WMImage20color

Gross’ killer crabs artwork is much less bloody than the story itself. And, the story is not quite as far-fetched as you might think.

Coconut crabs grow up to three feet across. Their claws, which can crush coconuts, can also easily slice off a finger – or do worse.

As noted in an article on the Smithsonian website, coconut crabs have been known to eat everything from chickens to cats and they could in fact overtake and eat a weak or injured human. In fact, one theory about the death of Amelia Earhart is that she crashed her plane on a small atoll in the South Pacific and survived, but was gravely wounded and unable to fend off scavenging coconut crabs, who ate her — possibly alive.

The “killer flying squirrels” story we included in this volume is far less plausible. Moreover, contrary to the famed Wil Hulsey cover painting and the photos used to illustrate it, the story is about “killer” Australian sugar gliders. Of course, in the real world, sugar gliders are about as deadly to humans as squirrels.

These small marsupials are popular pets Down Under and elsewhere. They can nip and they do live in groups in the wild. But it’s unlikely that even a huge mob of pissed off sugar gliders would pose a real threat to humans.

Amelia Earhart eaten by coconut crabs wmI WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE, p. 30 & 31 WM

Nonetheless, if you can suspend your disbelief, you’ll find that “FLYING RODENTS RIPPED MY FLESH” is a very cool and amazingly gruesome ripping yarn.

Killer creature stories were particular mainstays of the long-running periodical that tale originally appeared in, TRUE MEN STORIES, as well as in the equally long-running MAM of killer weasels fame, MAN’S LIFE. (The famed “WEASELS RIPPED MY FLESH!” story we reprinted in our book of the same name, and that inspired the title of an album by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, first appeared in the September 1956 issue of MAN’S LIFE.)

In 1950s and early 1960s, most issues of both MAN’S LIFE and TRUE MEN STORIES featured animal attack stories. Many included three or four.

For example, in addition to the story about flesh-ripping rodents, the August 1957 issue of TRUE MEN STORIES includes a wild story about killer pangolin anteaters (“TO HELL WITH THE GOLD – WE’RE DYING”), one about a berserk bull (“I WAS CHOKING ON A POOL OF GORE”) and another about a bloodthirsty lynx (“FETID FANGS TORE AT MY THROAT”).

The third story in the premiere issue of the Men’s Adventure Library Journal series comes from a short-lived and lesser-known men’s adventure magazine that went by the hormone-infused name RAGE. It’s a tale about a “lust-crazed gorilla” who kidnaps human women, titled “TERROR SAFARI.” 

RAGE, January 1961, John Duillo cover WMI WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE, p. 40 & 41 WM

Of course, that old trope has long been played for laughs in comedy films. But it’s not just an old trope. It’s ancient. The idea that gorillas kidnapped and sexually abused human women has been a traditional legend of native peoples of Africa for centuries.

It was noted and repeated widely by white explorers and hunters in the 1800s and 1900s, eventually leading to the modern comedy movie gag. But, as you’ll see, the “TERROR SAFARI” story is not designed to be humorous, even though the cover painting that goes with it, by artist John Duillo, portrays a totally gonzo, gravity-defying scene.

Two stories in the book come from MALE, one of the best and longest-lasting men’s adventure magazines.

MALE was one of the “Diamond Group” MAMs published by Magazine Management. Those magazines were a training ground for many writers who went on to international fame, such as Mario Puzo, Bruce Jay Friedman and Martin Cruz Smith – as well as for many others who, though less well known, earned a good living as professional writers.

For example, one story in our book, titled “STRANGE REVENGE OF WYOMING’S MOST HUNTED GIANT PUMA,” was written by Robert F. Dorr.

I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE, p70 & 71 WMI WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE, p72 & 73 WM

From 1964 to 1989, Dorr was a globe-hopping Foreign Service Officer for the US State Department. In his spare time, he wrote short stories for men’s adventure magazines.

Most were war and adventure stories, some of the best of which we feature in our anthology of his stories, A HANDFUL OF HELL, published shortly before Bob died last year.

But Bob could write gripping stories about virtually any subject and we are partial to his somewhat different take on animal attack stories because his tend to be sympathetic to the animals. (We included one he wrote about a polar bear in our WEASELS anthology.)

His giant cougar story is also notable for being illustrated by Mort Kunstler, under his pseudonym Emmett Kaye.

Mort (who I interviewed for this blog a while back) painted thousands of illustrations for magazines and books from early 1950s to the 1980s.

Since then he has focused on creating historical paintings for high end galleries and collectors. His Civil War paintings are especially sought after and often sell for tens of thousands of dollars. (You can see many excellent examples on his official website.)

A fifth story in our first Men’s Adventure Library Journal was written by another prolific writer who is a special favorite of ours: Walter Kaylin. We showcased a variety of classic stories by Walter in our HE-MEN, BAG MEN & NYMPHOS anthology.

I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE, p. 90 & 91 WMI WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE, p. 92 & 93 WM

Like Bob Dorr, Walter was a regular contributor to the Magazine Management mags for more than 20 years.

Like Bob, Walter wrote hundreds of stories for men’s adventure magazines. So many that he often had two stories in the same issue: one under his own name and another under one of his common pseudonyms, Roland Empey or David Mars.

In our view, the killer creature story by Walter that we picked for this collection tops the movie SNAKES ON A PLANE in several ways, not the least of which is that it involves “a million snakes” surrounding the survivors of a plane that crashed in Louisiana’s swamp country.

Originally published in the January 1974 issue of MALE, under his pen name Roland Empey, it’s illustrated with a terrific illustration by Bob Larkin.

Larkin’s work for men’s adventure mags came late in their lifespan, in the 1970s. He’s best known for his more recent artwork for comics and graphic novels published by Marvel.

One of the things we’ve done with our recent books is to publish them in two editions: a trade paperback and a higher-priced deluxe hardcover edition.

Most of the content of the paperback and hardcover editions are the same, but the deluxe hardcover editions include bonus stories and artwork.

In I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE, we include sections showing classic killer creature covers and interior art between the stories by great artists such as Wil Hulsey, Clarence Doore, Rafael DeSoto, Wil Hulsey, Norm Eastman, Mort Kunstler and others.

I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE, p24 & 25 WMI WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE, p64 & 65 WM

The hardcover edition includes two additional sections of artwork. One features original men’s adventure mag paintings by Samson Pollen.

Sam is still alive and well and living in New York. Last year, my co-editor Wyatt Doyle and I contacted Sam and found out that he has kept scores of original paintings he created for the Magazine Management MAMs, such as ACTION FOR MEN, FOR MEN ONLY, MALE, MEN and STAG, as well as many of the original paintings he did for action, adventure and romance paperback novels.

Most of the originals Sam kept have rarely or never been shown online or in any books. We’re happy to announce that he has agreed to let Wyatt and I show them in an upcoming series of books that will showcase his distinctive illustration art.

The Pollen artwork in the hardcover edition of I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE provides a little taste of those future publications.

The hardcover also includes a bonus story that’s also sort of a mini-preview of another book we’ll be publishing in the months ahead.

It’s a story about killer crabs written by the legendary, award-winning author Robert Silverberg in 1958 for the short-lived periodical EXOTIC ADVENTURES, under the pseudonym Dave Callahan.

Of course, Bob Silverberg is best known and revered for his science fiction and fantasy stories and novels, such as his Hugo-award-wining NIGHTWINGS trilogy and his highly-popular MAJIPOR novels. But like other hardworking science fiction pros in the 1950s and 1960s, such as Arthur C. Clarke and Harlan Ellison, Silverberg also wrote stories for various men’s adventure magazines.

I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE, p 48 & 49I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE, p26 & 27 HC WM

As I’ve noted in previous posts on this blog (“LESBIANS ON THE PROWL”), some of Bob’s MAM stories were classic sexposé and sex advice stories written under the pseudonym L.T. Woodward, which he also used for a number of “sexology” books. Others were action/adventure yarns and softcore erotica, also typically written under pen names.

Several years ago, when I contacted Bob to get permission to reprint his men’s adventure mag story “TRAPPED BY MAU MAU TERROR” in our WEASELS anthology, he confirmed that he had written most of the stories in five of the six issues of EXOTIC ADVENTURES published in 1958 and 1959.

Bob has also sold us the rights to reprint the best of them in a forthcoming book in our Men’s Adventure Library series, tentatively titled THE EXOTIC ADVENTURES OF ROBERT SILVERBERG.

If (hopefully when) you read the “killer creature” stories in I WATCHED THEM EAT ME alive, you’ll see that there many parallels in the realm of movies and understand why such stories can be both absurd and horrific at the same time.

For example, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic film THE BIRDS might just seem silly based on the premise: killer birds. But it’s not. It’s horror.

So are killer creature movies like WILLARD (1971), JAWS (1975), ARACHNOPHOBIA (1990), THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS (1996), ANACONDA (1997), CONGO (1995) and many others.

The way for those films and most Grade B, Drive-In and Grindhouse “natural horror” flicks was paved by stories in men’s adventure magazines.

Walter Kaylin book dedicationMen of Violence, Vol 8, with Walter Kaylin obit REV

EDITOR’S NOTES: The great Walter Kaylin passed away in February 2017. Wyatt and I were honored to have known him. We’re also honored to have reprinted stories by him in two previous books and in I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE. We officially dedicated our new book to Walter. And, with the gracious permission of his daughters Lucy Kaylin and Jennifer Kaylin, we plan to reprint more of Walter’s classic men’s adventure magazine stories in future books.

I’m also pleased that Justin Marriott, editor of several incredibly cool and beautifully-produced fan magazines about vintage pulp paperbacks and related stuff, has included a reprint of my farewell post to Walter in issue #8 of his MEN OF VIOLENCE mag. Here’s a link to Justin’s site, where you can order copies of that issue and other magazines Justin publishes, including the PAPERBACK FANATIC and PULP HORROR. And, here’s a link to a fascinating interview with Justin conducted by our friend, writer/editor/publisher Paul Bishop. MoV #8 also includes an article by Paul about the FARGO action/adventure novels.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Comments? Corrections? Email me, or post them on our Weasels Ripped My Book Facebook Page
— or join the
Men’s Adventure Magazines & Books Facebook Group and post them there.

     
Click this link
or the image below to order our latest full-color
collection of men’s adventure magazine artwork and stories,
the first
in our new, lushly-illustrated “Men’s Adventure Library Journal” series...
 

I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE:

Killer Creatures in Men’s Adventure Magazines

I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE, w contents

Sunday, June 25, 2017

INDIA TODAY’s Kai Friese looks at American pulp and men’s adventure magazines…

Pulp mag article in INDIA TODAY, June 2017 WM
The Men’s Adventure Magazines & Books Facebook Group associated with this blog now has over 2,000 members from around the world.

Quite a few members are professional writers, such as: novelist and publisher Paul Bishop (who I interviewed earlier this year); veteran comics, film and cartoon writer Buzz Dixon; comics and action/adventure/science fiction/crime novelist Chuck Dixon; comics and “New Pulp” writer and publisher Ron Fortier; and, award-winning Western novelist and publisher James Reasoner.

Another interesting writing pro who’s a member of our Facebook Group is Kai Jabir Friese.

Kai is a longtime journalist who is currently a Managing Editor and feature writer for INDIA TODAY, India’s top English-language news magazine.

He was also among the original editors of India’s popular men’s lifestyle periodical MAN’S WORLD.

Over the years, Kai has written features, essays and op-eds for many other publications, including NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER, GQ, GEO and the NEW YORK TIMES.

He’s the author of a book about the history-making American Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks (ROSA PARKS: THE MOVEMENT ORGANIZES) and a bio of the Dalai Lama (TENZIN GYATSO, THE DALAI LAMA). 

He also happens to be a fellow aficionado of both classic pulp fiction magazines and post-WWII men’s adventure mags.

Kai Jabir Friese pic, INDIA TODAYA while ago, Kai emailed me to ask if I could provide him with a set of men’s adventure magazine cover and interior scans featuring scenes in India and Pakistan for a piece in the Leisure section of the June 8, 2017 issue of INDIA TODAY

I could and did.

When the piece was published and Kai sent me a link to the page it’s on in the online edition, I was very pleased to see how it came out.

It’s a nice, creatively-designed spread. The upper part is a montage that features five scans I sent to Kai.

The blue duotone image at upper left is from a story in MALE, May 1960 about India’s legendary stranglers, the “Kali Cult” (a.k.a. the Thugs or Thuggees).

The artwork for that one is by James Bama, one of the great artists I’ve had the honor of interviewing for this blog.

The story was written by master MAM tale-spinner Walter Kaylin, whose gritty, imaginative men’s adventure mag stories are showcased in our book HE-MEN, BAG MEN & NYMPHOS.

The MAM cover in the INDIA TODAY montage showing an exotic, apparently nude native girl and a red-haired Yank adventurer hanging onto an overturned boat is the first issue of EXOTIC ADVENTURES, published in 1958.

That short-lived magazine is interesting for several reasons.

MALE, May 1960. James Bama art for Walter Kaylin storyEXOTIC ADVENTURES,  V1 N1 (1958) - Cover by Rafael DeSoto wm

It was an odd hybrid between a men’s adventure mag and a slick bachelor’s pinup mag. Most of the stories in the six issues that were published were written by one author — Robert Silverberg — under various pseudonyms. (Bob has given us permission to reprint many of them in a book we’ll be announcing later this year.)

The premiere issue of EXOTIC ADVENTURES is also notable for having a cover painting by Rafael DeSoto that was used for four different men’s adventure magazine covers.

It was first used on FOR MEN ONLY, April 1957 and the original painting shows a second dark-haired guy behind the girl. He was blocked out in the version used on EXOTIC ADVENTURES.

He reappeared when the painting was flipped horizontally and used for the cover of ACTION FOR MEN, March 1960 – then he’s gone again when DeSoto’s illustration was featured on the cover of MAN’S PERIL, March 1964.

FOR MEN ONLY, April 1957, cover by Rafael DeSotoACTION FOR MEN, March 1960, cover by Rafael DeSotoImage22

The image of the hapless babe in a red dress being mauled by a tiger, at the upper right of the INDIA TODAY montage, is from the cover of MAN’S ADVENTURE, May 1959. The cover painting was done by Vic Prezio.

The largest image in the montage is the initial two-page spread for a story about a Yank who breaks a group of women out of a Pakistan prison.

It was written by Grant Freeling and appeared in MEN, March 1972. The illustration is by the great Samson Pollen, who is alive and well and living in New York. (Sam’s men’s adventure magazine and paperback artwork will be featured in yet another book we’ll be announcing later this year.)

MAN'S ADVENTURE, May 1959. Vic Prezio cover WMMEN, March 1972, art by Samson Pollen WM

The interior spread shown at bottom right is from a story set in Tibet in MALE, July 1961, written by Martin Fass and illustrated by Walter Popp.

The main text of Kai’s piece, credited under his middle name Jabir, gives his interesting view of the men’s adventure magazine genre.

It says:

MALE, July 1961. Art by Walter Popp WMMan, All Man, Men in Danger? If you were a sentient male at some point between the 1940s and the 1970s, chances are you have thumbed through one of these irresistibly disreputable American magazines. Their brief efflorescence was emblematic of the generation of American men who emerged from the euphoria of global victory in 1945 only to shoot their collective wad in the disappointments of the Cold War years. The stories were about scenarios of extreme peril, heavy with sexual promise but little gratification — and ironically these ‘sweat magazines’ straddled the space between the genre of adventure fiction magazines that preceded them and the ‘lad mags’ and porn that would ultimately vanquish them. These magazines have become treasured collectibles today — partly due to the distinctive artwork of celebrated illustrators like Earl Norem or Mort Kunstler. But beyond their anachronistic fantasies, these vintage pages also show us a premonition of the fake news, formulaic headlines and fantastical clickbait that drive the digital media of a new century.

Under that, Kai gave me and our books a nice plug in the credits:

“Images courtesy of Bob Deis, editor of MensPulpMags.com and co-editor, with Wyatt Doyle, of the Men's Adventure Library. Their latest book is I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE.”

Yep, Kai actually scooped the world with the mention of our latest book, which is due for release in early July.

It’s a collection of artwork and stories featuring “killer creatures,” one of the most iconic categories of MAM tales.

It’s also the first book in a new series of lushly-illustrated magazine-style books we’re calling the Men’s Adventure Library Journal. As I write this, both the paperback edition and deluxe hardcover edition of I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE are available for preorder on Amazon worldwide. (In fact, I was interested to find out that because we use the IngramSpark service for publishing, readers of INDIA TODAY can buy our books on Amazon India. I love technology!)

Kai’s article in INDIA TODAY also has an interesting sidebar at the bottom of the pages.

The first paragraph in the sidebar notes: “If you get bitten by the collecting bug, like I was, you need to attend the two major conventions – Windy City in Chicago around the last week of April every year, and PulpFest(which will be held this year in Pittsburgh, from July 27-30).

I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE coverINDIA TODAY, June 2017 sidebars 1&2

That second graf include some good recommendations for anthologies of classic pulp fiction yarns, such as THE BIG BOOK OF SWASHBUCKLING ADVENTURE edited by Lawrence Ellsworth and THE BIG BOOK OF ADVENTURE STORIES edited by Otto Penzler.

The third sidebar paragraph notes that legendary pulp writer Talbot Mundy and historian, screenwriter, short story writer and novelist Harold Lamb both wrote many stories set in and around India.

The credits under the fourth paragraph in the sidebar say its text and images are courtesy of another Indian pulp aficionado, Sai Shankar, curator of the PulpFlakes blog. I was unaware of PulpFlakes until I read about it in the INDIA TODAY piece. It’s a very cool, well-researched blog that I’ve now added to my blogroll list of recommended sites.

By the way, Kai Friese also once wrote a fascinating article about India’s wild magazine CRIME & DETECTIVE, a popular Indian variation of American true crime and detective magazines that’s illustrated with posed photos of actors speaking their lines in cartoon-style word bubbles. Kai describes CRIME & DETECTIVE as “a roller-coaster ride of unsatisfied, insatiable women, virile lunkheads, lust, jealousy, violence and greed.”

Hearing that, I gotta get my hands on some copies. It sounds like fun reading to me!

INDIA TODAY, June 2017 sidebars 3&4CRIME & DETECTIVE, March 2009

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Comments? Corrections? Post them on our Weasels Ripped My Book Facebook Page
or join the
Men’s Adventure Magazines & Books Facebook Group and post them there.

     
Click this link
or the image below to order our latest full-color
collection of men’s adventure magazine artwork and stories,
the first
in our new, lushly-illustrated “Men’s Adventure Library Journal” series...
 

I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE:

Killer Creatures in Men’s Adventure Magazines

I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE, w contents