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Share but CREDIT

Share but CREDIT

The Guardian prints a piece on Times Square Smut the BOOK.

Enjoy the article on Times Square Smut the Book HERE in the Guardian! Order the book (or instant PDF Download for $8.99) HERE. 250 pages!  Hundreds of Illustrations!  All Killer, NO Filler!  The Guardian article also include a Gallery of images
with some of the most rare books in the country.

The Qaint Books of Albert Quandt Vintage Sleaze

Everyone needs a hobby. I suggest purchasing the quaint books of Albert Quandt!


The Rare Digests on Vintage Sleaze Number 52 Slave Mistress (from the book Times Square Smut)

The Rare Digests number 52 is Slave Mistress, published once with an Eric Stanton cover, and again with a Gene Bilbrew cover.  A page from the new book TIMES SQUARE SMUT now available. Read more about Times Square Smut HERE and order the book HERE.

To date there have been 52 entries of The Rare Digests on Vintage Sleaze the Blog

BEEFCAKE 100% Rare All Natural by Petra Mason. 255 pages of Solid Rock

Brooklyn Boy greasers by Danny Fitzgerald and Les Demi Dieux, 1963. Courtesy of BigKugels Photographic, New York. (c) Robert Loncar and James Kempster.

Petra Mason fell in love.

In the last few years, Petra Mason has written and produced two stunning photography books. The first opened the legendary files of pioneering pin up photographer Bunny Yeager. Then came Queen of Curves, the most luscious, colorful book ever on BETTIE PAGE. Now this! Is Beefcake a switch?  Mason's new book is both departure and not…she turns her artistic eye and curatorial skills towards the other gender! Beefcake the Book is beautiful and hilarious.  For 50 years, posing digests with muscular men circulated in corners and doorways most of us never entered. The obscure booklets served many needs to many people,yet surprisingly no one has ever compiled the images or told the story of the models and photographers who put the beef into beefcake. 

Lo and behold, after these three vibrant ground-breaking coffee table books, it was the the young fellows above Petra fell for.  Through her swoon, she describes the picture above: 

"The greaser boys shot is by Danny Fitzgerald (1921-2000) and his studio Les Demi Dieux. Brooklyn youths in the early 1960s, and nearly forgotten until after his death. They are so rock 'n roll, don't you want to go for a ride with them? Such handsome delinquents.  Don't you want to go for a ride with them?  XXX"

Well,sure  Will Bettie Page be there?

Beefcake tells the story of the muscle magazines before Joe Weider and his Austrian friend Arnold took them from closets to magazine racks. For decades, the somewhat seedy world of the body builder and an often unrequited gay gaze lived together under the surface. Make that body "artist" as the point was to sculpt a perfect body through work, not just to grow.  The posers worked hard and shared their pictures.  Did it matter who looked?

Ms. Mason has compiled a beautiful tribute to the men and the muscles who seldom left the gym…and the photographers who appreciated them as art.  It is a curious tale and one perfectly timed for release. Pun intended. I couldn't help it. Not to worry, while this is a serious look at a lifestyle little understood back then, today we have finally started to embrace all which make up the remarkable human race.  Serious art, but with Lady Bunny along for the ride we may just run into some action. The founder of Wigstock and drag-star provides a cheeky introduction and context.  What is camp and what is straight crude?  It is ALL good in this glamorous worship of the athletes who posed for beefcake photos when they were illegal.  Today, we can honor them.

With diligent research, extensive credits and documentation, Petra covers the waterfront in depth. The stories of the participants are as fascinating as the photographs.  We welcomed the chance to ask Ms. Mason some questions for Vintage Sleaze the Blog:

VS: You have just produced the two most important books on model Bettie Page and photographer Bunny Yeager.  Beefcake seems to be a dramatic shift, at least gender-wise. Your artistic eye must be equal opportunity?

Petra Mason: As a heterosexual woman I realized I can share the same gaze as man, gay or straight. I think its true that we can all appreciate physical beauty in men, even as heterosexual men. But what I discovered is that its almost painful for some hetero men to view the beefcake material, whereas with pin-up and burlesque, a lot of straight woman are into it in, some find it a real turn on and others enjoy the playful glamour and athleticism. We're a very layered lot, both men and women. But overall I find men are more forgiving in their gaze, surprisingly it's the women who are often more superficial.

VS: What attracted you to the male form and this project?

Petra Mason: I spent a lot of time pondering this point over the many months working with the archival images and collections. One of the things that really struck me is how the male form looks best being active and physical. Female figures lying around languidly look far more attractive, I think. Men's bodies look best doing stuff, perhaps that's where my female gaze comes in. I see a strong man lying there doing nothing, I wanna put him to work! Gay men are more likely to look.

The human figure has been used in artistic endeavors of the highest order and low-culture smut shops where they were used to arouse.  Many of Bunny's and the Beefcake photographers aimed at the nether regions.  Can you differentiate between the two?

I've seen some of the Dutch Masters paintings that look very much like pin-up art and poses, clearly aimed to arouse, or rather titillate. But then again, the human body has been the global muse for centuries of art, hi and low.

VS: Beefcake was built on buff, yet there were little, if any performance enhancing drugs taken by these models.  Has the public perception of male beauty changed in the 50 years since these photographs were taken?

Petra Mason: Amazingly, I think the public perception has shifted slightly, not necessarily changed too dramatically. More so for women than men. I mean we've had a brief Metrosexual moment in fashion, but we seem to go back to the classic Greek God Roman hunk thing that has timeless appeal. What's changed are the workouts, the fashions and the drugs.

VS: Whether in posing straps or nude, these images were appreciated by body-builders and gay men. Has "gym-culture" skirted this secret relationship all along?

Petra Mason: Gym culture in the early part of the 20th Century certainly did. But athletes and body-builders do appreciate each other's bodies as machines, and for some of the photographers who were shooting beefcake, they were physique and sports photographers making an extra buck selling shots to magazines which were clearly not for destined for the sportsman. But that's what we all do Jim, service a market one way or another.

Once taboo and feared, we can now see what a particular sub-culture looked like, and the view is fine.  My overall thought on the project? EVERYONE knows someone who would love this book.  Petra provided a few more descriptions for images, and a fun promotional video follows.

                          Walter Kundzicz's Champion Studios, New York, 1963.
"Typical of the “swords & sandals” genre, an early trick of the trade was to pose models in settings that evoked classical Greece or Imperial Rome."
Boys with crochet posing straps: Howard Eastman and Benny Piekaiski by (c) Lon of New York, 1950s  Reed Massengill Collection.

"Male on male contact was only legally allowed to be shown as physical combat or in the case of these two fellows, a classic body building pose." 


FINALLY Times Square Smut the BOOK is available! Purchase Today.

After seven years of research, TIMES SQUARE SMUT is finally available.  It tells the story of 72 books which were banned by the Supreme Court of the United States.  A mobster, a fetishist and a pin up king all conspire to destroy the moral fiber of 1950s America!   ORDER TODAY in paperback or instant PDF Download. Ebook for Ipad soon.  Includes unpublished Joe Shuster drawings, over 300 illustrations of rare books, wicked good drawings by Eugene Bilbrew not seen for 50 years and much, much more. 

Some highlights of the book below, and a free preview is available on the Blurb.com Site with ordering information.  Selected pages below.  Order the book HERE.

Bettie Page Dyes Her Hair Red by Eric Stanton

Eric Stanton draws Bettie Page, as "Bette" for the Leonard Burtman special edition FOCUS ON BETTIE PAGE in 1963.  The model had retired and gone missing long before then, but she could still sell magazines.  Lots of them.  Cover of Focus on Bettie Page below. 

Viva Vea The Mexican Pin Up Magazine of the 1950s

Another lovely cover of Vea, the Mexican Pin Up Magazine of the 1950s.  More information on the south of the border spice is HERE

Check out THIS Tittfield! Tura Satana Learns to Speak German!

Der bombastische Tura Satana und ihren Freunden herumtollen für ein deutsches Publikum! Drei Tefelinnen sterben mit der liebe und DM Liben Spielen ....... in der Tat!
Books and Ebooks available HERE

Bettie Page Wears a Hand Painted Bra and Panty Set to Foil Censors

To foil censors, a low tech fix!  A formerly topless and bottomless photograph of Bettie Page is embellished by hand prior to publishing in Fiesta.  

Sinnator Charlotte and the International Black Burlesque Company in Detroit Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Number 45

Sinnator Charlotte is a Black Burlesquer who likes to trick people into learning history.  She has said "There is nothing more powerful in the world than a scantily clad woman" and we have to agree. So Sinnator Charlotte and the group she founded several years ago in Detroit THE INTERNATIONAL BLACK BURLESQUE COMPANY becomes our Vintage Sleaze Contemporary profile Number 45!

As Detroit City slumped in past years, large parts of the history was lost too.  Like every major city, Detroit had a neighborhood with fewer rules than the rest.  For African-American workers Paradise Valley was the place for Black entertainment, It served those who had traveled north for jobs and to build equipment for World War Two. The center was Hastings Street.  A chunk of real estate as important as Chicago's South Side and Harlem.  John Lee Hooker, lived there.  Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald passed through.  One performer even wrote a bluesy opera about it, The Hastings Street Opera parts one and two by Bob "Detroit Count" was released in 1948.  Much of the area was wiped out through urban renewal.

Sinnator Charlotte laments the loss of that culture which came and went. so she is bringing it back!  With fifteen years of ballet, tap, jazz, and Western African Dance Sinnator Charlotte certainly has the skill to entertain.  Like most burlesque beauties, she has a few nicknames.  One is the ambASSador of burlesque.

Ms Charlotte has performed, given lectures and best of all is the annual performances of the IBBC.  February 21st is the 2015 show, performed appropriately at the Hastings Street Ballroom.  Tickets and more information is available on the Facebook Event Page HERE

Senator was willing to share some of her experiences with us:

"I hosted a lecture series at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American history called Unveiling the Hidden Story of Black Burlesque. It was designed, not with the burlesque enthusiast in mind but rather the person who knew little or nothing about the art form at all. I wanted to use this as an opportunity to teach an all-inclusive story of burlesque while the patrons minds where still new to the concept."

"You could say I stole those patrons before they associated burlesque with a ‘white people thing’. There have been plenty of efforts, articles and initiatives by women within the burlesque community to be all inclusive. But I had to ask myself two questions: What has been done to spread the gospel about burlesquers of color outside of burlesque?  What can I do to expound upon outreach and progress that has been made in this area?"

A brief clip demonstrating the atmosphere you can expect?  Of course!  Believe me, when you go, you will be both entertained and schooled.   This is from the show last year.

Again, the next performance of the IBBC is almost HERE!  It is appropriately being staged at the Hastings Street  Gallery on Milwaukee, mere steps from the Hastings Street  Bob "Detroit Count" sang about in 1948.  More information on the show is HERE on the IBBC Facebook Page.  Additional links include Black Burlesque.com and Sinnator Charlotte's Facebook Page HERE.


Way down below, listen to the Detroit Count sing his Hastings Street Opera!  

VINTAGE SLEAZE CONTEMPORARY is a series which profiles contemporary artists and cartoonists working today who have been influenced by vintage sleaze. All art is copyrighted by the respective creator, distributor or publisher and therefore should not be reproduced WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE ARTIST. NO cribbing and I ain't fibbing! Each and every post in the Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Series links to the artist's portfolio, website, publisher or representative. EACH POST IN THE VINTAGE SLEAZE CONTEMPORARY SERIES WAS CREATED WITH THE ARTIST'S PERMISSION AND CONTRIBUTIONS. Serious artists are participating in this series, all with their permission.  Please respect their efforts and intellectual property. Artists who have contributed so far include: Marty Winters  Annabelle Baxter  Lena Chandhok, Gary Panter, Vanessa Davis, Jane Dickson, Hudson Marquez Astrid Daley, Adam Street Antonio Lapone, Leslie Cabarga, Trevor Alixopulus, Paul Swartz, Rebecca Whitaker, Denis St. John, Zahira Kelly, Fairfax and Emery, Elizabeth Watasin, Stephen Adams  Jane Dickson, Mala Mastroberte  William Schmidt  Darlene MacNeil Lila Rees Honey LuLu  Tony Fitzpatrick Ryan Heshka Maly Siri  Chauntelle Anne Tibbals and many more. If your work is influenced by the girlie cartoons or pinup models of the past, we would love to see your work.

Marty Winters take on the Stags Recent Paintings on exhibit at the Dirty Show in Detroit 2015

One of our favorite painters Marty Winters has taken on stag films in his installation piece "The History of Film" showing at the the annual DIRTY SHOW, one of the most popular events helping to bring back the Motor City.  The work includes the above individual paintings, hyper realistic and essentially Neo Trompe-l'oeil.  The artist frequently uses images from the sleazy underbelly of contemporary (and in this case, slightly earlier) popular culture, and he is one of the most interesting artists taking on our past and current sins.  Great work and available by contacting the artist at HEYMARTY@ATT.NET or by attending the DIRTY SHOW which runs through February 21 in Detroit.

Our earlier profile of Marty Winters is HERE

How Hot Was It? ENEG's Devil Doll Takes a Dip

We have decided not to believe in winter...so here is the complete Devil Doll cartoon of Gene Bilbrew AKA Eneg for Diabolique Magazine. Three panels.  A Selbee publication, circa 1963, No Date.

Reginald Heade Dirty British Paperback Books from the 1950s

Reginald Heade, AKA Reginald Cyril Webb produced some of the best (then) filthy covers from over the pond after WW2. Despite making some 300 covers for England's horny men, very little is known about him. He passed away in 1957 leaving a short paper trail but some of the spiciest cover illustrations ever.  Not all of them made it over to the states, but some were distributed here, others were carried home by guys who might have feared customs digging through their luggage.  At the time, these were risqué and risky contraband to travel with, and at least one publisher went up on obscenity charges.

In many ways, Reggie Heade was the forerunner of the vintage sleaze illustrators of the 1960s.  An unknown artist working on the edge with considerable unrecognized talent. He chose a field where his work had no function other than to arouse a potential customer's sexual frustration and drag out a few coins.  No doubt they worked, but time has chewed up most of the books. Acid-based paper is taking what the censors missed and the original owners tossed. 

Reginald Heade covers are desired still…now by collectors rather then those hoping for a cheap thrill. Today the work and the books may seem tame, and frankly, just not as arousing as they once were.  Still, Heade opened a few doors for later artists who worked behind closed ones.  As far as "Good Girl Art" (as it has come to be known) few were better.

They look older, but the covers were done in the early 1950s. In the 1940s, Heade did Western covers and even some children's books. There may be some not yet seen or identified, as he did not sign all his work. He also was known to use at least one pseudonym. Some of the work has been reissued by cheeky contemporary publishers.
Nearly 25 years ago, popular culture historian Steve Chibnall recognized the painter and published a biography of sorts. He managed to assemble well over a hundred images of covers by Heade.   A few copies of REGINALD HEADE: ENGLAND'S GREATEST ARTIST are available from used book dealers.  The best online source for information is HERE and HERE. Heade is also covered in Gary Lovisi's Dames Dolls and Delinquents. Original vintage books with Heade covers turn up on eBay from time to time.