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.

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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.

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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...


Killer Creatures in Men’s Adventure Magazines