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By medium: action/adventure film - adventure novel
Related: damsel-in-distress - danger - dime novel - escapism - exploitation - fiction - lurid - men - pulp - sensationalism - testosterone - thriller - war
It's a Man's World: Men's Adventure Magazines, the Postwar Pulps (2003) - Adam Parfrey [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Men's adventure magazines
Men's adventure is a genre of pulp magazines that had its heyday in the 1950s and early 1960s. Created for a male audience, these magazines featured pinup photography and lurid tales of adventure that typically featured wartime feats of daring, exotic travel, or conflict with wild animals. These magazines are generally considered the last of the true pulp magazines; they reached their peak of circulation long after the genre fiction pulps had begun to fade. These magazines were also called the sweats, especially by people in the magazine publishing or distributing trades.
Cover to March '63 issue of For Men Only, a men's adventure pulp magazine.
image sourced here.
Titles of notable men's adventure magazines include Argosy, the longest running and highest in reputation among the magazines classed in this category; others include Real, True, Saga, Stag, Swank, and For Men Only. During their peak in the late 1950s, approximately 130 such magazines were being published simultaneously.
The adventure tales contained within their pages usually were written in a realistic style and claimed to be true stories. Damsels in distress, usually in various states of deshabille, often featured in the painted art that illustrated their pages and their covers. They were notoriously depicted being menaced or tortured by Nazis or, in later years, Communists. Artist Norman Saunders was the dean of illustrators for these magazines, occupying a classic position similar to that enjoyed by Margaret Brundage for the classic pulps; many illustrations are credited to corporations or are anonymous. Historical artist Mort Künstler also painted many covers and illustrations for these magazines. A number of well known figures worked on these publications; Bruce Jay Friedman wrote for and edited them, as did Mario Puzo; Playboy photographer Mario Casilli started out photographing pinups for these publications.
The title of Frank Zappa's album Weasels Ripped My Flesh was borrowed from a man-against-beast cover story in the September, 1956 issue of Man's Life.
These magazines' circulation began to drop precipitously in the mid-1960s. Their tales of wartime adventure appealed to American male readers of the World War II and Korean War generations and these men were reaching an age that they were no longer quite as interested in girlie pictures. For those who wanted pornography, more explicit and less old fashioned forms were available by this period in different publications. The Vietnam War and the social controversies surrounding that war in the USA did nothing to create an appetite for similar entertainments that would have involved rescuing damsels from the Viet Cong. The vision of adventurous, fighting masculinity presented within their pages also became unfashionable during this period. Some of the publications survived by turning into explicitly pornographic magazines; others ceased publication during this period. There have been several attempts to revive the Argosy title; one in the 1990s, and most recently in 2004. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men%27s_adventure [Apr 2005]
see also: magazine - pulp
Argosy magazine, June 6, 1937
image sourced here. [Jun 2005]
Argosy Magazine is an American pulp magazine. Argosy is considered to be the first pulp magazine. It began as a general info magazine (Golden Argosy) in 1882. It began to publish fiction and eventually published its first all fiction issue in 1896. It thereafter was largely a fully fiction magazine and continued to publish until ceasing publication well into the 20th century. During its run, it published work in a number of literary genres; towards the end of its run, it became associated with the men's adventure pulp genre of "true" stories of conflict with wild animals or wartime combat, and later was considered a softcore men's magazine.
Other magazines have used the title since the original folded, the latest edited by Lou Anders and producing its first issue in 2003. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argosy_Magazine [Jun 2005]
see also: adventure - pulp - fiction - escapism - exploitation - sensationalism
Damsel in distress
image sourced here.
The Perils of Pauline (1934) - Ray Taylor
A damsel in distress is a stock character, almost inevitably a young, nubile woman, who has been placed in a dire predicament by a villain or a monster and who requires a hero to dash to her rescue.
Damsels in distress are often tied up or chained, to prevent their escape; in the old melodramas and serials they would then be thrown onto railroad tracks or tied onto logs headed into a sawmill.
The damsel in distress is a popular stock character, perhaps in large measure because her predicaments almost always have more than a whiff of BDSM fantasy about them. The helplessness of these damsels, who are almost always foolish and ineffectual to the point of cluelessness, and their need for male heroes to rescue them, has made the stereotype the target of feminist criticism.
Damsels in distress are not used nearly as often as they were previously, and current depictions of the stock character usually play the role as camp. The stock character did undergo a revival of sorts in Halloween, Friday the 13th, and other slasher films of the 1980s. Here, though, the stock character was played with a twist: there were several young women characters, most of whom were killed by the serial killer villain, but one survived to defeat him. The young woman survivor herself became a stock character counterpart to the damsel in distress, as embodied in characters such as Ellen Ripley in the Alien series. Sarah Connor, a damsel in distress in The Terminator, became the effective survivor type in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damsel_in_distress [Apr 2005]
Pulp of the day
November 1965, MAN'S STORY
image sourced here. [Jun 2005]
see also: http://www.pulpoftheday.com [Jun 2005]
see also: pulpoftheday Google gallery
see also: pulp - men - escapism - sensationalism
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