Friday, January 7, 2011

The magazines for men who liked their adventures “savage” and “big”…


Not long after I wrote the New Year’s post about duplicate uses of the same illustration in different issues of men’s adventure magazines, I ran across an example that involves a rare signed illustration by artist Norm Eastman.

Eastman is best known to fans of vintage men’s pulp mags for his wild bondage and torture cover paintings on the lurid “sweats” published by B.R. “Bud” Ampolsk and Maurice Rosenfield, such as Man’s Book, Man's Epic, Man’s Story, Men Today, New Man and World of Men.

Most of the classic cover paintings Eastman did for those magazines were uncredited and unsigned, though they are generally recognizable as his.

Recently, I bought a hard-to-find copy of the premiere issue Savage Adventure magazine, published in October 1960.

I didn’t notice until after it arrived that the cool prison escape painting on the cover was signed at the bottom right by Norm Eastman.

Savage Adventure was a short-lived men’s adventure mag published bi-monthly from October 1960 to May 1961 by Matclif Publications, Inc., which had editorial offices at 11 East 17th St. in New York City.

Matclif also published Big Adventure, another hard-to-find, short-lived, bi-monthly men’s adventure mag. It lasted from September 1960 to June 1961.

Both magazines had the same editorial staff: Roy Greene, Editor; Paul Harris, Assistant Editor; James Sheldon, Art Director; and, Arnold J. Jenkins Production Manager.

Naturally, both magazines also used many of the same artists and writers. In fact, Norm Eastman’s cover painting for the October 1960 of Savage Adventure was reused as an interior illustration in the March 1961 issue of Big Adventure (which features a male POW bondage and torture cover painting by another great illustration artist, Mel Crair).

Speaking of duplicate uses, the title of Savage Adventure wasn’t exactly unique itself.

In 1959, Cape Magazine Management Corp. published a men’s pulp mag called Savage, for short. The full name with the subtitle was Savage Adventures for Men.

The publisher’s info on the contents page says that Savage was “formerly Brave” — which I believe refers to the rare pocket-sized men’s adventure magazine that was published in 1956 and 1957. (A while back, I did a post about an issue of Brave that was edited by the legendary men’s adventure magazine writer Walter Kaylin.)

To my knowledge, only a few issues of Savage were published, between March and September of 1959.

Issues of Savage, Savage Adventure and Big Adventure are all relatively scarce and worth snagging if you’re a collector.

I’ll give you a look inside some issues of each of them in upcoming posts. In the meantime, for $2.99 you can buy and download a complete, digitized copy of the September 1960 issue of Big Adventure by clicking this link.

It’s a nice, hi-rez, searchable PDF file. And, it costs a lot less than you’ll pay for the real thing (if you can find it).

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Comments? Corrections? Post them on the Men’s Adventure Magazines Facebook Group.

Further reading about men’s adventure magazines and men’s adventure artists…