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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Eva Lynd vs. The Nazis (and various other bad guys) - Part 2, updated...

AN EXCITING UPDATE ABOUT EVA LYND: I originally uploaded this post in 2012. At the time, I noted that I wasn’t sure if Eva Lynd was still alive. A few days ago, I was thrilled to receive an email from Eva, letting me know she was alive and well and living in Hollywood. She graciously gave me corrections to a couple of errors in my original post, plus some photos and anecdotes that will appear here in the future. Thank you, Eva!!! It’s a great pleasure and honor to have made contact with you.

In my previous post about Eva Lynd I noted that, while Eva was best known as actress and glamour photography model in the 1950s and 1960s, she also has a notable place in the history of men’s adventure magazines published during those decades.

Eva was a favorite model of Norm Eastman, the illustration artist whose wild bondage and torture cover paintings for the so-called “sweat magazine” subgenre are among the most famous (and infamous) examples of men’s adventure pulp art.

In some Eastman cover scenes, Eva was the model for a fierce, gun-toting babe who’s fighting against the Nazis or some other bad guys.

The original Eastman painting used for one of my favorite tough chick covers featuring Eva Lynd is shown at the top of this post.

It was used for the December 1968 issue of NEW MAN magazine and now resides in the enviable collection of my friend and collaborator Rich Oberg.

Of course, in most of the Eastman cover paintings Eva “appeared” in, she was a scantily-clad damsel in distress being tormented or tortured by sadistic Nazis, Japs, Communists or other fiends.

In her “DID” roles, poor Eva’s character was whipped, crucified, burned, frozen, drowned, branded, strangled, stretched on the rack, and subjected to various other astoundingly imaginative forms of torture — all brainstormed by Eastman and B. R. “Bud” Ampolsk, one of the owners of the Reese and EmTee publishing companies.

Reese and EmTee published most of the lurid sweat mags that featured Eastman’s cover paintings, including: MAN’S BOOK, MAN’S EPIC, MAN’S STORY, MEN TODAY, NEW MAN, REAL COMBAT and WORLD OF MEN.

Ampolsk’s partner was Maurice Rosenfield (spelled Rosenfeld in some sources). Given the many Nazi bondage and torture covers featured on their magazines, it may seem ironic that Ampolsk and Rosenfield were two nice Jewish guys from New York.

But apparently it didn’t seem ironic to Bud and Maury. And, despite the criticisms sweat magazines often get (especially those with Nazi covers), the fact is that the Nazis and other torturers are always portrayed as evil bastards — not someone most male readers would identify with or emulate.

Moreover, vintage sweat mags aren’t really all that shocking or salacious compared to the today’s media. As I discussed in a past post here, both the imagery and story content in the most lurid men’s adventure magazines are less explicit than modern TV shows like DEXTER — let alone high-grossing, high-grossout-factor “torture porn” movies like SAW and HOSTEL.

Meanwhile, one of the best-selling books among women readers right now is FIFTY SHADES OF GREY by E.L. James, an S&M “romance” novel.

In an interview included in the original 2004 softcover edition of Rich Oberg’s book MEN’S ADVENTURE MAGAZINES (but absent from the smaller 2008 hardcover edition), Eastman told comic and pulp art expert George Hagenauer:

“Ampolsk was a very relaxed guy. Rosenfeld was also a nice guy. They gave me the feeling that you weren’t really doing these dirty little books. Ampolsk and I would meet over the covers and talk about what we were going to do. Over time, I made a whole list of torture methods. Starting with fire, water, stretching, ice, and electricity, we’d go through the list and come up with something that we hadn’t done before. Ampolsk once told me in all seriousness that we had never done anything that the Nazis hadn’t actually done.”

Alas, no magazines of any kind that I know of listed the names of the models used for cover paintings or interior illustrations. (Many men’s pulp mags didn’t even list credits for the artists.)

So, although Eva Lynd appeared in Eastman paintings used on and in scores of men’s pulp magazines, that part of her career remained obscure until it was noted in Rich Oberg’s book.

Rich visited Norm in 2004, a few years before the artist’s death. During those visits and subsequent conversations Norm told Rich the names of the models he used for various covers when he could remember them. Thus, in some cases, Rich knows Eva was a model on a particular cover because Norm IDed her himself.

In some cases, Rich and I have both made educated guesses about covers that feature Eva based on the known IDs and on photos and videos of her.

Eva started out almost simultaneously as an actress and a glamour photography model around 1957. Eva Lynd was her professional name. But throughout her acting and photo modeling career she was also sometimes credited under her birth name, Eva von Fielitz (sometimes misspelled as Eva von Feilitz).

A photo spread featuring Eva in the June 1957 issue of ADVENTURE magazine (with photos taken by the pioneering African-American photographer Wil Blanche) offered this brief bio:

“EVA is the daughter of the Swedish Countess Margaretta von Fielitz, a concert singer who is well known in Europe and recently gave a concert at Town Hall. Eva arrived in the United States about seven years ago and settled for a time in Ohio where she studied dramatics and appeared for two years in stock. Eva is often mistaken for Anita Ekberg on the street and elsewhere. A vegetarian all of her life, Eva credits her beautiful skin and her unlimited energy to this way of life. Exercise is a part of her daily living as is with most Swedish people. Eva has appeared on TV and at present is trying for a part in a Broadway show. While waiting for her big chance she does much modeling. Her ambition is to go to Hollywood, but she feels that, while waiting, her best bet is New York TV.”

Most of Eva’s TV appearances seem were in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

During those years, she was a regular on two groundbreaking variety shows that mixed comedy sketches, music, and interviews: THE STEVE ALLEN SHOW and THE GARRY MOORE SHOW. She also appeared in episodes of THE THIN MAN, PETER GUNN and PRODUCERS’ SHOWCASE. Later, in the 1970s, she showed up in episodes of HOGAN’S HEROES and CAGNEY & LACEY.

One of Eva’s most widely-seen appearances on television was in the famous Brylcreem “Girl in the Tube” commercial.

She’s the gorgeous gal who emerges from the tube, then appears behind the lucky guy who uses some Brylcreem and gives him a big, appreciative kiss.

This classic ad was originally created around 1966 then re-edited in 1986 with a new version of Brylcreem inserted at the end.

Eva also played a role in a memorable movie scene that’s fondly remembered by fans of cult horror flicks.

In the gonzo movie THE HYPNOTIC EYE (1960), she assists the mysterious hypnotist played by Jacques Bergerac during the famed levitation scene.

She later appeared in another campy flick, the 1970 spy caper THAT LADY FROM PEKING (a.k.a THAT GIRL FROM PEKING), which also featured Carl Betz, Bobby Rydell, Nancy Kwan and Sid Melton.

In that now extremely hard-to-find film, she was credited as Eva von Feilitz.

Of course, most men in the 1950s and 1960s were probably more aware of Eva’s work as a glamour photography model.

That’s understandable.

Heart-stopping photos of Eva were taken by many of the era’s best glamour photographers, including Peter Basch, Lester Krauss, Charles Kell, Earl Leaf, Wil Blanche and Jerry Yulesman.

She appeared on the covers and inside spreads of many men’s magazines of the era, including both the “girlie mags” that were precursors to or competitors of PLAYBOY and men’s adventure magazines, which frequently included “cheesecake” photos of both professional pinup models like Eva and wannabe amateurs.

Coming up in future posts: more about the great Eva Lynd…

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

In the CafePress store: T-shirts, posters and other cool stuff  featuring EVA LYND


Eva Lynd vs. The Nazis (and various other bad guys) in Norm Eastman’s classic cover paintings – Part 1...

During the decades when men’s adventure magazines were being published, Eva Lynd was best known as an actress and a glamour photography model.

In the late 1950s, she was a frequent guest on the THE STEVE ALLEN SHOW, one of the most influential and widely-watched early TV variety shows.

As noted in her IMDB.com entry (which seems woefully incomplete) Eva appeared in episodes of a number of other popular television shows from the late Fifties to the early Eighties, including THE THIN MAN, PETER GUNN, HOGAN’S HEROES and CAGNEY & LACEY, sometimes credited under her birth name Eva von Fielitz.

She was in at least two movies that I know of, THE HYPNOTIC EYE (1960) and THAT LADY FROM PEKING (1975), and may been in others.

She also has a notable place in TV advertising history, as the sexy babe who emerges from the tube of hair goop in Brylcreem’s “Girl the Tube” TV commercial.

ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE named that ad one of the “50 Best Commercials of All Time.”

Alluring glamour photos of Eva Lynd were featured on covers of and inside many of the vintage “girlie magazines” published in the Fifties and Sixties, including CAPER, DUDE, FOLLIES, GALA, MODERN MAN and SCAMP.

Pics of Eva also showed up in newspapers and mainstream magazines.

And, cheesecake photos of her — sometimes credited as Eva Lynd and sometimes as Eva von Fielitz — graced the pages of a number of men’s pulp adventure magazines from those decades, such as ADVENTURE and MAN’S ACTION.

But beautiful, blonde Eva Lynd has a much more prominent place in men’s pulp mag history than most glamour girls.

That’s because she was a favorite female model of Norm Eastman, the illustration artist who created many of the most iconic, most popular and most notorious cover paintings for the subgenre of men’s adventure periodicals commonly called “sweat magazines.”

In many Eastman cover paintings, Eva was the model for one of the gorgeous damsels in distress who are bound and tortured by sadistic Nazis, Commies or some other evil fiends. (Other favorite female models used by Eastman were Lisa Karan and Shere Hite.)

I first learned about Eva’s modeling work for Norm Eastman when I read the original 2004 softcover edition of the Taschen publishing book MEN’S ADVENTURE MAGAZINES, which features original paintings and covers from the Rich Oberg Collection.

Unlike the newer, smaller 2008 hardcover edition, the 2004 edition of MEN’S ADVENTURE MAGAZINES includes a whole chapter about the infamous Nazi bondage and torture covers, plus a rare interview with Eastman.

In recent years, Rich Oberg and I have became friends and collaborators on this blog and the Facebook group associated with it.

Last week, I posted a Norm Eastman cover in the group that shows a blonde nurse in a Vietnam War scene (NEW MAN, October 1968). She’s desperately trying to save the life of a bleeding, bandaged American GI as Viet Cong soldiers move in behind them. 

I knew the GI was modeled on Steve Holland, the great male model used by many men’s adventure and paperback cover artists. (Best known as the model artist James Bama used for his Doc Savage paperback cover paintings.)

Based on photos I had seen of Eva Lynd in various vintage magazines and in Rich’s book, I was pretty sure she was Norm’s model for the nurse.

Rich confirmed that ID in a comment in the Facebook group. He then treated members of the group by posting a series of photos showing some rarely-seen original Norm Eastman cover paintings he owns that feature Eva Lynd, along with the magazine covers they were used on.

Even cooler, Rich noted some things Norm Eastman had told him about the models he used for various covers when Rich visited Norm in California in 2004, a few years before the artist passed away.

For example, Eastman personally confirmed to Rich that Eva Lynd was his model for the babe tied to the cannon in the cover painting on the December 1965 issue of NEW MAN magazine.

He also told Rich he used Steve Holland as the model for the Nazi soldier loading the cannon. The Nazi officer pointing forward was based on a historic photo of Field-Marshal Erwin Rommel inspecting German defenses at Normandy, shortly before D-Day in 1944.

The paintings, covers and stories Rich posted in the Facebook group inspired me to find out more about Eva Lynd and do a series of posts about her here on MensPulpMags.com, the Men’s Adventure Magazines blog.

Here’s a link to the next one: “Eva Lynd vs. The Nazis (and various other bad guys) - Part 2...”

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

Related reading…

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Norman Baer’s noir-flavored artwork for CAVALIER magazine...

The late Norman Baer was one of many highly-talented illustration artists who worked for men’s adventure magazines during part of their careers.

As noted in the previous post here, Baer created artwork for men’s adventure magazines from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s, before moving on to become a popular teacher at The Art Institute of Boston and an advertising and storyboard artist.

There’s not much information about Baer online and only one article I could find includes an interview with him.

It was published in the Phoenix New Times newspaper in 2001, ten years before Baer died.

One of the things that stuck out to me in that article is what Baer said about the influence of movies and theater on his work.

Illustrations done for men’s adventure magazines are generally very dramatic and cinematic.

Many are clearly influenced by the lighting and camera angles used in mid-20th Century movies and the posters created for them.

In fact, several of the best known artists who worked for men’s adventure magazines, such as Frank McCarthy and Mort Kunstler, also did movie poster artwork.

Baer told Phoenix New Times writer Dewey Webb that he was attracted to drama from an early age and that black-and-white noir films of the 1940s had an especially big impact on his men’s pulp-era art.

That’s evident in many of the interior illustrations he created for the top tier men’s adventure magazine CAVALIER.

Most of Baer’s CAVALIER illos were for noirish crime, mystery and detective stories.

From about 1958 to 1962, he was one of the magazine’s go-to artists for such stories, in the same way that artists like Frank McCarthy and Harry Schaare were the top picks to do illustrations for CAVALIER’s outdoor adventure, war-related and Western stories.

Baer’s artwork was used for most of the hardboiled Mickey Spillanedetective stories published in CAVALIER during those years.

He was also picked to provide illustrations for several of the Richard S. Prather’s Shell Scott detective storiespublished in the magazine and chillers written by Roald Dahl (who is best known for his quirky children’s books, but who wrote much darker stuff for adults).

In his remarks about how movies influenced his work in the Phoenix New Times article, Baer said:

“The one that really influenced me was THE MALTESE FALCON. Every shot that you saw of Sydney Greenstreet was looking up at him from the floor, which dramatically increased the menace. I tried to replicate that sort of visual tension in my own work.”

Baer may have misremembered how many camera shots of Greenstreet were taken from below in that 1941 film noir masterpiece.

But you can see a direct relationship between the camera work and dramatic lighting of classic noir films and Baer’s illustration art for CAVALIER (and other men’s adventure magazines).

In the Phoenix New Times article, Baer also credits the dramatic lighting of stage productions as an influence.

His wife Catherine was an actress who worked in off-Broadway and stock theater productions.

“Through her connection with acting,” he said, “I realized how illustration was allied to theater. I saw the magazine page as a stage, the manuscript as the script and the illustrator as a combination of director, set designer, lighting director and, in the case of models, casting director.”

Writer Dewey Webb added:

“Anyone accidentally strolling into his rental studio during one of Baer’s photo sessions might have fled in terror, erroneously believing they’d stumbled onto a snuff-movie shoot. As photos in his exhibit attest, female models routinely feigned fear as bull-necked lugs threatened to rip their clothes off, stab them, pistol-whip them. In one case, a beefy baddie even lugged a ‘lifeless’ body across ‘train tracks’ – in reality, the studio floor.”

I think most of the best interior illustrations Baer created during his men’s adventure era were for CAVALIER.

Indeed, the art directors for CAVALIER liked Baer’s work so much that his illustrations were sometimes used for more than one story in an issue.

By the way, Thomas Stein, one of the pulp fans who visit the the WEASELS RIPPED MY FLESH! Facebook page, noted an interesting bit of pop culture trivia about Roald Dahl’s “MAN FROM THE SOUTH” story, which was illustrated by Baer for the June 1960 issue of CAVALIER. (It’s the illo above showing the old dude with the meat cleaver getting ready to hack off a young guy’s pinkie finger.)

In 1960, that story was adapted for an episode of ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS. Hitchcock’s version starred Steve McQueen and Peter Lorre. If you haven’t seen that ep or want to see it again, you can now watch it on YouTube.

Norman Baer didn’t do any CAVALIER cover paintings that I’m aware of. But he did do some covers for men’s adventure magazines published by Martin Goodman’s Magazine Management company.

We’ll take a look at some of those in the next post on MensPulpMags.com.

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

Related reading and viewing...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Norman Baer: another men’s adventure magazine artist who deserves wider recognition...

Not long ago I did a couple of posts about Peter Poulton, an artist who has been ranked as one the best pulp illustration artists of the 1950s but is now virtually forgotten.

Recently, I started looking into the background and work of another talented artist who provided many great illustrations for men’s pulp adventure magazines but is little-known today — Norman Baer.

There’s not much about Baer online or in print.

No web pages dedicated to him. Not even thumbnail bios on the few sites that show some examples of his work, like AskART.com.

After a lot of searching, I did track down birth and death dates for him on a couple of obituary and genealogy sites.

According to the information I found, Norman Baer was born on November 9, 1922 and grew up in Massachusetts.

He died on February 14, 2011 at age 88 in Arizona, the state he moved to when he retired.

The only in-depth source of background information I could discover about Baer’s life and career is an article published in The Phoenix New Times newspaper in April 2001 about a special exhibition of his illustration art at The West Valley Art Museum in Surprise, Arizona.

The article, by journalist Dewey Webb, is extensive and fascinating.

It includes many quotes and recollections by the artist about his life, his work and what it was like to be a men’s adventure magazine artist.

Here’s a brief bio pieced together from what Baer told Webb…

Norman Baer grew up in Everett, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston.

He was attracted to drama and theatrical visuals from a young age — an interest that was reflected in his artwork years later.

He studied art at several prestigious art schools, including the Massachusetts School of Practical Art in Boston, the Rhode Island School of Design and the Brooklyn Museum School.

In the early 1950s, Baer moved to New York City, hoping to find a career in advertising art.

Like most aspiring illustrators, he also hoped to sell illustration art to top mainstream magazines like THE SATURDAY EVENING POST.

Baer was certainly very talented and could create paintings in the same realistic vein as the POST’s most famous cover artist, Norman Rockwell.

But he wasn’t able to gain entry into the highly competitive top tier mainstream magazine market or in advertising art.

In the mid-1950s, he did start getting illustration assignments from the top tier men’s adventure magazines that had the highest circulations: ARGOSY, CAVALIER, SAGA and TRUE.

From then until the early 1960s, Baer created dozens of superb interior illustrations for those magazines, including many for stories by top pulp writers like Mickey Spillane.

He also did both cover paintings and interior artwork for MEN, one of the great Diamond/Atlas men’s pulp adventure mags published by Martin Goodman’s Magazine Management company.

Baer may have done artwork for other Magazine Management periodicals, but I haven’t been able to confirm that so far.

He didn’t get as many assignments as the most popular and prolific men’s adventure artists, such as Mort Kunstler or Frank McCarthy.

He told the Phoenix New Times reporter that “in a good month” he’d get two or three assignments.

Most of them paid a few hundred dollars each and he said he often spent about half of his fees on studio rent, photographers and models.

The article notes: “One of Baer's models, a square-jawed Buster Crabbe look-alike who posed for a beach layout, had starred in an early TV version of Flash Gordon.”

If you’re a men’s pulp mag fan, you know this refers to the favorite male model of many men’s adventure and pulp paperback artists, Steve Holland.

Indeed, Steve’s image often shows up as one or more of the male figures Baer’s men’s adventure mag illustrations.

My own favorite example is the black-and-white painting Baer did for the April 1961 issue of CAVALIER.

It features Steve Holland as both the priest and the hapless guy being beheaded by a guillotine.

In fact, that particular pulp masterpiece is referenced in the following paragraph from the Phoenix New Times article:

“To me, the production — working with the models, assembling the props and costumes — was the most enjoyable part of the whole procedure,” says Baer. Referring to his theatrical flair for composition (portraying a guillotine death in progress, one truly startling illustration's focal point is the victim's screaming mouth), Baer claims that black-and-white film noir of the ‘40s had a big impact on his pulp-era art.

During his New York years, Baer’s wife Catherine helped pay their bills by acting in off-Broadway and stock theater productions. They managed to get by, but not much more than that.

In 1962, Baer accepted a teaching position back in his home state at The Art Institute of Boston, which provided a better, more dependable income.

At that point, his run as a men’s adventure magazine artist came to an end.

Baer was apparently a popular instructor at Boston’s Art Institute.

Some of the students he taught who went on to become successful artists proudly note in their bios that they studied under Baer. Artists such as Larry Blamire, T.A. Charron and John Kilroy.
Once Baer moved to Boston, he finally broke into the advertising art market he had originally aspired to. He also did storyboards for television commercials.

In 1998, Baer and his wife retired and moved to Sun City, Arizona. The article in the Phoenix New Times says they moved there “for health purposes.”

It doesn’t say it was for her health. But she died first, sometime before the 2001 gallery show the article mentions.

The article suggests that Baer was still doing artwork in 2001 and had “a newfound interest in computer-generated art.”

I couldn’t find any examples of his later work online, but I found quite a few examples of his men’s adventure artwork in my collection.

My fellow illustration art aficionado Thomas Clement (who maintains the excellent American Art Archives website and is one of the best sellers of vintage magazines on eBay) also sent me a batch of his own scans of artwork by Norman Baer.

Some are featured in this post.

In the next post, I’ll show more and discuss how I was able to ID some of the uncredited MEN cover paintings Baer created thanks to another illustration art buff who is a regular visitor in the Facebook group associated with this blog.

[UPDATE: Here’s a link to the second post about Norman Baer, which features his work for CAVALER magazine.]

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