Saturday, November 15, 2014

HE-MEN, BAG MEN & NYMPHOS – now available in full color ebook format...


Late last year, my publishing partner Wyatt Doyle and I released the initial print edition of our second anthology of classic men’s adventure magazine stories, HE-MEN, BAG MEN & NYMPHOS via his New Texture book company.

Like our first anthology, WEASELS RIPPED MY FLESH!, the NYMPHOS collection is heavily illustrated with the original magazine covers and interior artwork.

Unlike WEASELS, which included stories by and interviews with many great writers (including Lawrence Block, Harlan Ellison, Bruce Jay Friedman, Mario Puzo, Robert Silverberg and Walter Wager), HE-MEN, BAG MEN & NYMPHOS features stories by one lesser-known but equally great writer named Walter Kaylin.

In fact, several of those other writers referred to him as “the great Walter Kaylin.”

For example, in an interview in 1984, Mario Puzo, author of THE GODFATHER, said of Walter:

“He was great! He wrote these great adventures, but he couldn’t turn them out that fast. He was outrageous, he just carried it off. He’d have this one guy killing a thousand other guys. Then they beat him into the ground, you think he’s dead, but he rises up again and kills another thousand guys.”

At the end of the interview, Puzo says plaintively: “Walter Kaylin, come back!”

Puzo is now dead. Walter is still alive, though he’s now in an assisted living facility.

Every once in a while I call him there to say ‘hi.’

Whenever I do, I am reminded of what an honor and pleasure it is to have been to have gotten to know him and to make Mario Puzo’s wish come true by reprinting two of his classic men’s adventure magazine stories in the WEASELS anthology and 13 more in the NYMPHOS anthology.

Since we released the print editions of those books, the publishing technology available to independent publishers like us has continued to advance.

It’s now possible to create heavily-illustrated full color ebooks with full color illustrations and photos. And, recently we released the color ebook edition of NYMPHOS. You can download it worldwide on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online booksellers.

I’m showing some of the actual layouts from the ebook edition in this post so you can see just how cool it looks on a monitor, an iPad or any full color ebook reader.

The book includes 13 classic men’s adventure stories by Walter. They range from exotic adventure yarns, war stories and Westerns to gritty gangster stories and even a science fiction tale with future Nazis.

Every story shows a full color shot of the cover of the men’s adventure magazine it was first published, plus all of the interior artwork or photos used for it inside.

The artwork in the 13 stories we picked is by some of the best pulp illustration artists of the era, including Norman Baer, James Bama, Charles Copeland, Gil Cohen, George Eisenberg, Mort Kunstler, Joe Little, Don Neiser, Earl Norem, Julian Paul, Walter Popp, Al Rossi, Harry Schaare and Robert Schulz.

In addition to the stories, the NYMPHOS anthology also provides some exclusive new content, including: a chapter of reminiscences by Walter about his writing; a moving and insightful preface by his daughters Jennifer Kaylin and Lucy Kaylin, who became successful writers and editors in their own right; and, a fascinating interview with the famous writer Bruce Jay Friedman, who was the editor of several of the men’s adventure magazines that Walter and Mario Puzo wrote stories for before he became an acclaimed novelist and playwright (such as MEN, MALE, TRUE ACTION and MAN’S WORLD).

I am very grateful to Walter, Jennifer, Lucy and Bruce for their support and participation in this book project, and to Josh Alan Friedman for putting me in touch with Walter several years ago.

I’m also grateful to Wyatt Doyle for the great layouts he created for the Kaylin anthology and our other books and for figuring out how to crack the color ebook barrier. I’d also like to give a special shout out to our multi-talented friend Jason Cuadrado who created the WalterKaylin.com and WeaselsRipped.com websites for us.

In addition to being a web graphics maven, Jason is a movie director and scriptwriter. His new feature-length movie DEVIL MAY CALL stars Corri English, Traci Lords and Tyler Mane and was co-written by Jason and my publishing partner Wyatt Doyle. It will be released in the near future by Lionsgate.

DEVIL MAY CALL will probably be coming out not too long after Wyatt’s New Texture company releases a full color print edition of HE-MEN, BAG MEN & NYMPHOS for those readers who still prefer paper over ebooks. I’ve seen the proofs of of the print version and it looks fantastic.

Around the same time we’ll also be releasing our third collection of stories from men’s adventure magazines, the CRYPTOZOOLOGY ANTHOLOGY.

That one will feature 13 very cool and historically influential stories about Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman, sea monsters, the Loch Ness Monster and other legendary creatures, amply illustrated with dozens of amazing cover and interior illustrations by many of the same great pulp artists featured in NYMPHOS and several others.

Our CRYPTOZOOLOGY ANTHOLOGY will also be released simultaneously in full color print and ebook editions. It will feature a special introduction by the movie and cryptozoology maven Dave Coleman, author of the popular BIGFOOT FILMOGRAPHY, the cryptozoology-based horror novel ANCIENT LAKE and a new film guide titled THE BIPOLAR EXPRESS.

Check my previous post for a peek at CRYPTOZOOLOGY ANTHOLOGY if you missed it.

In the meantime, be sure to drop by our Men’s Adventure Magazines Facebook group, where you’ll see lots of posts about vintage men’s pulp adventure magazines and artwork on a daily basis, contributed by me, top collectors and experts like Rich Oberg, David O’Dell and Thomas Clement, and by other fans of the genre from all over the world. We also maintain a special page Men’s Adventure Library Facebook page, where you can see even posts about men’s adventure magazine stories, writers and artists.

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

Related reading and viewing…

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Coming soon: our CRYPTOZOOLOGY ANTHOLOGY!


Last year, my multi-talented collaborator Wyatt Doyle (author of STOP REQUESTED) and I published two illustrated anthologies of classic stories from vintage men’s pulp adventure magazine stories. Both books were designed and co-edited by Wyatt and released by his indie publishing company New Texture.

The first was WEASELS RIPPED MY FLESH! That one includes the famed killer weasels yarn we used as the book’s title and a wide-ranging sampler of men’s adventure magazine stories, many by writers who wrote for men’s pulp mags before they went on to greater fame, such as Lawrence Block, Robert F. Dorr, Harlan Ellison, Bruce Jay Friedman, Robert Silverberg and Walter Wager.

The WEASELS anthology also includes an interview with Mario Puzo about his work as a writer for the Magazine Management Diamond-Atlas magazines (FOR MEN ONLY, MALE, MEN, STAG, etc.) before his novel THE GODFATHER made him hugely successful.

The Puzo interview was conducted in 1984 for SWANK magazine by our WEASELS co-editor, writer and musician Josh Alan Friedman. (Josh’s critically-acclaimed book BLACK CRACKER is also a New Texture publication.)

In his interview with Josh, Puzo gave special praise to Walter Kaylin, a less well-known writer who also created ripping yarns for Mag Management’s men’s adventure magazines from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s. After we learned of the high regard that Puzo and other veteran writers and editors, like Bruce Jay Friedman and Mel Shestack, had for Kaylin, we decided to feature his stories in our second anthology: HE-MEN, BAG MEN & NYMPHOS.

Now, we’re proud to announce the imminent publication of the third installment in a growing series that we’ve dubbed “The Men’s Adventure Library.” Book number three is… {drumroll} … our CRYPTOZOOLOGY ANTHOLOGY. This one features classic men’s adventure magazine stories about legendary creatures like Bigfoot, Yetis (a.k.a. Abominable Snowmen), giant squid (once known as Kraken), sea serpents, the Loch Ness monster, giant lizards and relict dinosaurs.

It will also include a special introduction by our friend Dave Coleman, author of THE BIGFOOT FILMOGRAPHY and THE BIPOLAR EXPRESS.

In addition to being the writer of several books, Dave is a former Hollywood script doctor and blogger who is now widely known as an expert on the man-like monsters from the realm of cryptozoology. That group of creatures is referred to as “Hominid cryptids” by cryptozoology mavens and enthusiasts. (Or sometimes “cryptid Hominids.)

America’s most famous cryptozoologist Loren Coleman (a friend of but no relation to Dave) explained the origin of the term cryptozoology in his excellent book CRYPTOZOOLOGY A TO Z.  It’s a fusion of three Greek words: crypto, meaning “unknown” or “hidden,” zo meaning animals,  and ology, “the study of.” In other words, it’s the study of unknown or hidden animals.

Coinage of the term is often credited to Belgian zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans, who wrote a seminal book about the topic in 1955 titled ON THE TRACK OF UNKNOWN ANIMALS.

But Heuvelmans credited it to another one of the fathers of the science (or some would say pseudoscience) of cryptozoology, zoologist and author Ivan T. Sanderson.

From the early 1950s until his death in 1973, Sanderson wrote a series of popular mainstream books about animals and natural history, starting with HOW TO KNOW THE AMERICAN MAMMALS (1951) and ending with GREEN SILENCE: TRAVELS THROUGH THE JUNGLES OF THE ORIENT (published posthumously in 1974)

In 1961, he wrote one of the pioneering books in the field of cryptozoology: ABOMINABLE SNOWMEN: LEGEND COME TO LIFE.

But his most notable contributions to cryptozoology were the many stories he wrote in the 1950s and 1960s about Yetis, sea monsters and other legendary creatures for the top tier men’s adventure magazines TRUE and ARGOSY.

In fact, for years, Sanderson held the title of “Science Editor” for ARGOSY. In that role he contributed dozens of widely-read and influential articles about Hominid cryptids, sea monsters and lake monsters.

One of the most influential and controversial was his story about the iconic shots of Bigfoot taken from the film made by Roger Patterson and Bob Grimlin. It was titled "FIRST PHOTOS OF 'BIGFOOT,' CALIFORNIA'S LEGENDARY 'ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN'" and appeared in the February 1968 issue of ARGOSY.

The story was a huge scoop for Sanderson and ARGOSY. It played an instrumental role in making Bigfoot famous, launching a slew of other magazine and newspaper stories, books and movies in the 1970s. It made Sanderson the biggest superstar in the realm of cryptozoology. And, it stamped a still-familiar visual image of Bigfoot into the consciousness of people around the world.

Sanderson was not the first contributor of stories about crypto creatures to men’s adventure magazines. SIR! magazine, one of the  men’s magazines that helped shape the men’s pulp adventure genre, had previously scooped mainstream magazines by publishing an early article about Bigfoot’s Canadian cousin Sasquatch in 1948 and went on to publish some of the first stories about the Abominable Snowman (aka the Yeti) in the early 1950s.

By an odd coincidence, Ivan T. Sanderson’s first notable cryptozoology for a men’s adventure magazine was also published in 1948. It’s an interesting overview of sea monster lore that appeared in the December 1948 issue of TRUE.

In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, stories about Hominid cryptids, sea and lake monsters, and other legendary creatures appeared in many of the most popular men’s adventure periodicals, like ADVENTURE, MALE, MAN’S MAGAZINE, MEN and SAGA, and in some of the more obscure ones, like RAGE, SHOWDOWN and TRUE WEIRD.

Our CRYPTOZOOLOGY ANTHOLOGY will include stories from all of those magazines and more, along with introductory chapters and commentary by Dave Coleman, Wyatt Doyle and me.

We’re especially pleased that we were able to get permission from the Arthur C. Clarke estate to reprint a classic crypto creature story he wrote for ADVENTURE.

We’re also delighted that we were able to get permission to reprint one of the crypto creature stories written by the late John A. Keel from Keel’s family.

Keel is probably best known as the author of THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES, the 1975 book that was made into a movie starring Richard Gere in 2002.

Like Ivan T. Sanderson, John A. Keel was one of the “Founding Fathers” of both cryptozoology and UFOlogy (the study of flying saucers). He wrote many groundbreaking stories about cryptid hominids (and UFOs) that were first published in men’s adventure magazines.

News about our CRYPTOZOOLOGY ANTHOLOGY is already spreading in crypto buff circles. The first posts about it anywhere were on the popular Bigfoot Field Reporter website and associated Facebook page, maintained by Sharon Lee Lomurno.

Here’s another news flash about our CRYPTOZOOLOGY ANTHOLOGY. It will be published in full color in both print and ebook format. So readers will see just how cool the cover paintings of the magazines and inside illustrations really are.

Watch the posts here and in our Men’s Adventure Magazines Facebook Group for more info and an announcement of the publication date.

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

Related reading…

Monday, July 21, 2014

“Beat Girls” smoking peyote! Topless! Yeah, man! I read it in UNTAMED magazine…


I’ve done several posts about the men’s pulp adventure magazine UNTAMED.

It’s one of my favorites, though it didn’t last long.

Only 8 issues of UNTAMED were published, in 1959 and 1960, by the company Magnum Publications, Inc.

They all featured wild cover paintings done by either Ed “Emsh” Emshwiller or Leo Morey, two great pulp artists who are more widely known for their science fiction magazine covers.

UNTAMED also featured some wild stories that I find highly entertaining, though probably for different reasons than originally intended.

Consider, for example, the supposedly true story about Beatniks from the February 1959 issue of UNTAMED, which uses a question as it’s title:

       “‘BEAT’ GIRLS: WORSHIPPERS OF ZEN AND SIN?”

In this exposé-style piece, a writer named Gilbert Nash sets out to answer that question with his buddy Bob.

Gil is a New Yorker who knows some Beatniks in the city.

Gil says his friend Bob is a writer of detective novels from Bloomington, Indiana.

Bob tells Gil he wants “to get a close look at this Beat Generation he’d been hearing so much about, and see if he could get some idea what makes it tick.”

“I’ve read Kerouac and Ginsberg and all the so-called spokesmen for the Beats,” he confessed, his brow furrowed. “I’ve read all the books and articles I can find claiming to explain the whole thing. And frankly, all I get is more confused.”

Bob isn’t a fan of Jack Kerouac or Allen Ginsberg, or any of the other legendary Beat writers.

But he is especially intrigued by a recent article he’d read “about the kids who held plush Madison Avenue jobs on weekdays and indulged their Beatness on weekends, at ‘cool’ parties.”

Bob says that article described how “all the girls take off their blouses and bras and walk around with nothing on top.”

With this tantalizing image in mind, Gil and Bob began their “quest for Beatness.”

During the course of the evening they go to a Beatnik party and actually do encounter one topless “Beat Girl,” plus some others who are like, really wigged out.

For example, there’s Joannie.

She’s a 21-year-old who has already bedded hundreds of guys.

Joannie, Gil tells us, “keeps track of the number of men she sleeps with and announces the running total out loud at the appropriate moment.”

The appropriate moment seems to, er, come while she’s having sex with some lucky (or possibly unlucky) guy.

That’s when Joannie likes to shout out the guy’s number: “297 or 369 or whatever the number is.”

“It can be pretty disconcerting,” Gil notes drily.

Then there’s the blonde Beat girl “who was not nude from the waist up, but might as well have been.”

Gil says of her:

“She wore a thin, faded man’s shirt, wide open at the throat and tied in a knot beneath her large breasts. There was a huge expanse of skin visible between it and her ragged shorts, which were obviously the barely surviving remains of a pair of dungarees.

She was talking in a low, steady drone. ‘Baby,’ she said. ‘Don’t tell me about the past, baby. There is no past. The past is dead. The past is dead, baby. The future isn’t here yet. Maybe there’ll be a future, maybe there won’t. We’re in between. And in between is nowhere, baby. Nowhere.”

Man-oh-man, I groove on that attempt to portray some nihilistic Beat-speak.

I also dig the story’s unintentionally funny anecdote about how Beats liked to smoke peyote:

“‘Pot’ is a word that is used loosely, like most words these Beat’ kids use,” Gil explains in the story. “But generally it means the dried leaves of the peyote cactus, which are made into cigarettes and smoked. Though the stuff has obvious narcotic effects, for some odd reason it has not been made illegal in New York yet, and lots of the kids use it to get ‘high,’ or ‘far out.’ Aldous Huxley wrote a whole book about the sensations he had when he tried it, and now uncounted young people in New York grow the plants, dry the leaves, and smoke the stuff for kicks.”

The part about Aldous Huxley has a basis in fact. It refers to his groundbreaking 1954 book The Doors of Perception.

It’s also true that peyote and the psychedelic alkaloid it contains — mescaline — were not yet illegal in most states or under federal drug laws when Gil wrote his story in 1959.

Of course, the part about growing and smoking peyote leaves is a bit hard to believe.

Peyote is a cactus plant that has no leaves. It’s typically eaten, not smoked. Indeed, I’m not sure it’s even smokable.

According to the Mystica web page about the use of peyote by American Indians and other fans: “Smoking peyote is impossible because it simply will not burn in a pipe or cigarette.”

I also seriously doubt if many people in New York were growing peyote in 1959.

And, I don’t recall ever hearing anyone refer to anything but marijuana as “pot.”

In fact, as someone who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s and who did his share of experimenting with psychotropic substances, I am pretty certain that the word “pot” was not generally used to mean peyote.

However, if (like me) you think Gil’s knowledge gap about drugs and his search for topless Beatnik babes sounds amusing, you’ll enjoy reading his “BEAT GIRLS” yarn.

It’s one of two mind-expanding, drug-related stories we included in our WEASELS RIPPED MY FLESH anthology.

The other one is an account written by a participant in early LSD experiments, titled “I WENT INSANE FOR SCIENCE.”

They’re both way out there!

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

Related reading, viewing and listening…

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