Saturday, September 17, 2011

You Assed For It...

Narrowing down the best of something, in a collection of a ton of great somethings, can prove quite daunting, and upon the opportunity one might have to undergo such a venture, the notion to turn back tends to introduce itself. Over the last few days I have been combing through my collection of vintage paperbacks looking for those with a certain something. I have narrowed down the collection into a few groups, which I feel any collector or figure in the trade would understand and would consider of interest. Or maybe I did it because I have too much time on my hands; not enough hours in the day before sleep-time to really get in all that the imagination has to offer, so the journey is stretched to a length of more than 24 hours. The groups I have chosen are based solely on appearance, which is premise for the blog, emotional attachment, the feeling imbibed, and artistic presence (prescience perhaps goes here too, as if the artist could tell someone would one day Get Off to their work, with not so much as one leaf turned). Each group is deserving of it's own blog entry, and today happens to be a day for it. This group was analyzed first due to a few things: the ease of determination seemed quite attainable; the group consists of a smaller number of titles, and perhaps I decided to begin this series alphabetically. So, with nothing more to mess with, nothing left for you to ponder but what is placed before you, I give you...
$ Not for Sale - Near Fine
A Doctor and His Mistress
Orrie Hitt
Midwood (Tower) Publications number 38, 1960
A splendid cover, however uncredited, though I am considering Barye Phillips a prime suspect. Everything about it screams Barye, from the lusty mistress's lusty gaze, to the thin outlines of the figures, to the lazy background and the gentleman doctor's curious mug behind a cigarette. One can surmise that the horizontal redhead with the glass in her hand has either just had sex or is ready to be having sex. The doctor's guess is as good as mine, as any. For a professional whose job it is to be certain, this guy seems pretty unsure. Maybe he is trying to decipher the ginger's ever-subtle grin, here actually utilized more by the eyes than the lips, or maybe he is struggling with the fact that he knows he should be making eye contact, emitting at least as much as the woman before him, but his eyes actually fixate on that curvaceous rump under that satiny gown. It's probably a negligee. Don't let that scalpel slip! This red devil is indeed curvy, as evidenced by just a smidgen of breast peaking from under her left shoulder, and the degree of arc displayed by her right buttock is enough to stymie Thales of Miletus. Does she want you, Doctor, to look at her directly, or to follow that shadow of a spine down to the perfect little impression at the top of her ass? Does she want you, Doctor, to say something that'll make her shimmy a little on the sheets? Would she like you, Doctor, to light that cigarette, take a few manly puffs, and saunter over with a heir of empowerment? No, Doc. She wants you to refill her Chardonnay and is willing to wiggle until the bottle turns on its VACANCY sign. GOLD STAR

$ Not for Sale - About Near Fine
The Swap Exchange
Mitch Stanley
Adult Books number AB486, 1969
 Another item I find totally unique amongst paperback covers. Yet again, a business professional and his eager, glute-laden maiden setting the sexy scene in what would otherwise be a family-friendly environment. My goodness, what big cans you have! All the better to freak out your clients, Mr. "Boss of the Year." This guy is indeed decorated, as if his awards are enough to merit this young bonfire (another red!) and her current secretary. Maybe not his secretary, but given her glasses, her pencil and notepad, and her willingness to go nekett as a jaybird on her boss's desk: dead ringer for a secretary. What is it about a woman's rear that gives a man the urge to bring something long and slender up to his lips? Is he projecting an action in hopes that his subliminal (even to him) message is retrieved and sought to ecstatic fulfillment? Here it seems to be working, as she too holds the proverbial Phallusopher's Stone to her lips, giving the potential reader a hint of what's inside (the book). The artist here, again uncredited, and I DO NOT venture a guess, and let's let the artist remain wonderfully, fantastically anonymous; the artist here has created a work of bravado, one that surely placed in a line-up with other similar deviants would cause the assailed to gasp, then regain composure, then smirk in interest, horns zeroing in. The subtle placement of the pen holder is not as key as the shadow under her left cheek. The colors are soft enough on the skin, and sleazy enough on the accoutrements. Thigh-highs go along way in the world of sleaze, and they go even longer with they are fish-netted. This secretary can not be much older than 23 or 24, is clearly a runner, and oddly without proportions. Were she to stretch her legs fully she'd appear like something from the Mattel toy company. Still, the ass here is unavoidable, and why should it be? The most effort put into this painting was applied directly to those glorious haunches, and with stunning effect. ----P. S.: When the term "swap" is introduced, you can be certain the content is far more "adult" than others, and one can generally agree that the publication date of said book is after 1965. BLUE RIBBON

$ Not for Sale - Near Fine
Sin Gallery
Dead Hudson (popular house name)
Midnight Readers number MB430, 1962
We have this fun little minx, no thigh-highs, no annoying bedspread to deal with, no businessman in a suit gnawing a pretzel rod eyeballing her. The "professional" in this episode is a painter, and the "heart-shaped" doll so elegantly performing her best yoga stance is the painter's model. I think maybe the only artist not to sleep with one's models was Bob Ross. But with a model like this, how could one not? The proportions here might be a bit off again, but this is overlooked with ease, as her legs are to die for, and the possibility she might actually be putting those panties back on is overwhelming. Black heels make a nice partner to her black du, and the continuation of her left ham above the silk completes the piece. The use of shadow helps to illuminate the idea that she is a painter's model, and the outreaching hand could indicate a suggestive way for her to reposition (or is it the wandering grabby meathook of one of the painter's womanizing art collectors?). Judging by her face, I'd say the observer is probably someone less than favorable. But hey, if it's for money! If it's in the name of art! If it means getting to the next meal! By the looks of those hindquarters, our little tart is eating well. As a part of this group (Asses for the Masses) it really shines, but double-taking those limbs, I am settled with another thought, another group, another model blog post. Here it's an educated guess that the cover art is by H. W. McCauley. BEST IN CLASS

$ Not for Sale - Very Good Plus
On-Call Wife
Andrew Shaw (a good chance Lawrence Block)
Nightstand Books number NB1835, 1967
Finally, and probably the one I have most attachment to in this group, the cover I call "the yellow one." The time it took me to procure it is unheralded, and with reason. It's entirely rare, a term booksellers and bookPEOPLE like to throw around without much research or knowing why or how it should be used. This book is rare. Rare does not mean "the only one ever to be seen;" it really just means "only one to be seen by only a few people." And how many of those do you think are around? There are many books that can be considered thus, but only honestly by people with the knowledge (and balls) to delegate. I delegate this one. Even in its crude style, there's more seat here than Oriole Park at Camden Yards. This is the most fun anyone has had playing Musical Chairs! Thigh-highs go a long way in the world of sleaze, even longer when accompanied by a pair of Cabernet-colored panties. Mr. Green Jeans here is ready for somethin' (about which nobody knows), and even the IT girl on the kitchen chair is not acknowledging his presence: she seems to be watching you, Doctor. Perhaps the party they are at is a swinger's ball, or a bachelor party. The yellow backdrop is perfect and does its job, the purple boxers just a hint of which are seen, and the red scarf/garment/tablecloth held by our bottom-heavy beauty are all in-sync. The proportions are correct, save popeye's forearm, and never has the expression "heart-shaped" held as much. ONE OF THOSE PINK VALENTINE'S CHALK HEARTS THAT SAYS "BE MINE"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

One of my favorites

$ Not for Sale - Near Fine
Room and Broad
Fred Mercer
Bedside Books number 1248, 1963
I have decided to truly kickoff this blog with one of my favorite vintage paperbacks. I say favorite with regard to the cover art, a premise for these posts. The artist here, who remains uncredited, has done a slough of covers for publishing houses like Bedside, Bedtime, Gaslight, and perhaps a few others. The artist's name is ne'er found on these editions, and no mention (that I have seen) has been made in any of the major cover art/artist reference/anthology books to date. I see no reason why this artist should not receive the recognition due, with regard to his/her output, in much the same manner as, say, any of the prolific Roberts (Bonfils, Maguire, McGinnis). This artist simply uses a different approach and medium. Each of these books, and granted, like most covers, some are better than others, is begun with a central figure(s) and outlined heavily in what appears to be watercolor or gouache. As always, the skin tones are perfect, with relation to the rest of the piece; something considered a tad difficult in this medium. The accompanying props are usually less contrived, here a hotel smock the lovely, busty, leggy broad is putting away or retrieving from the rack to start her (what-must-be) arduous day of smiling prettily at guests -- "Yes, someone rang about needing new sheets?" -- when not 30 minutes before she could have been found romping ebulliently in said sheets, the sweating "Precision Tool" (see rear cover blurb) businessman beneathe her Golden Globes no doubt counting his blessings his boss elected him to fly to some desolate town where the local brewery is in a neighboring state. Yet something about this cover image speaks no sluttiness nor promiscuity, nor the need to fulfill some inborn compulsion to fuck, and rather a classic, Hellenistic feeling washes over the observer (here: you, flotsam: yours truly). Perhaps the artist is/was classically trained, one who studies the Renaissance, Greek art, see Titian / Courbet, almost / Cabanel (definitely), do not see Gaugin / Schiele / Picasso / or Klimt; the armless statues come to mind as well. And in their time did the artist adapt! He/she brought a sense of contemporary compassion for classic art. They took an example of, say, one of several depictions of Venus, and made her leggier, bustier, and sweeter, not so stone-like (although Cabanel really hit the mark, another great image, a natural beauty ushered to shore in a mammoth clam, perhaps a nautical take on Cinderella), including pink heels, an easily-DD brazier that just wont stay put, a fuchsia doily to go with the heels, some lacy panties, and thigh-high stockings with a garter strap. In short: I have a hard time honing in on the title, the garb on which the title has been conveniently embroidered, and the "subtitle" at the upper left. The focus is drawn directly to the maid's face, shoe-gazing, perhaps she is pondering that little scuff on her pink stilettos, recently purloined (see Poe) in the heated passion that was last night's awesome frolic with an independently-wealthy heir "just passin' through," or is she considering a new way of life, astray of the perspiration and degradation of maid staffing (not likely), or does her smock just not smell so good, OR STILL does her smock reminisce with natural aroma, Chanel 5 and cigar smoke? I'd like to think it's a combination of all.
The rear panel of the vintage paperback usually consists of some mid-level-education summary or excerpt relevant to the plot (or hardly at all). This blurb gives names, a vague plot (but enough to arouse your, um, interests), and even a cliff-hanger. The cliff-hanger is important with these books because it acts in a similar way as does the cover art; the potential buyer reacting in process: initial observation of the front panel, a casual glance of one's proximity so as not to seem too eager or perverted, retrieval of the book, another quick glance, the turning of the book to the rear panel, a quick purveying of the rear panel blurb, and upon one's feeling after the cliff-hanger, on into the second stage: Considering Purchase, which begins with reading the teaser page, followed perhaps by scouring a few internal passages, and again a once-over of the whole entity.
In this blurb, there is mention of "horsing-around" of two maids (i.e. lesbianism, itself a popular movement/period of sleaze), mention of losing one's virginity (not as popular as lesbianism, but still prevalent), and just at the tail end, "didoes." At first this looks like a typo, rest assured the scanner of this blurb is looking for important tell-tale terms to further increase the energy accrued and welling in certain prominent organs south of the equator (see Quills, starring Geoffrey Rush as the Marquis de Sade, a figure in sleaze history to whom a level of majesty can be attributed); but this is not the case. The term is didoes and not did, or does, or dildos, which might seem appropriate. Didoes just means pranks. Read: "...she too had to offer herself for the guests' pleasures and found that convention [pranks]...DEMAND PAINFUL PAYMENT." Hmmmm....heartbreak? Are emotions involved in this? I thought (was hoping), as I am just in it for the Epochal Cum, there would just be maids wandering halls, checking their guests' rooms, entering the rooms and bending over to "make sure the lamp is plugged in" and the rotund man in suspenders and wing-tips raising an eyebrow at those thigh-highs and frills, maids suggesting their guests' "ring them anytime" or "just buzz me when you need me," but it seems this might actually be a novel of heartbreak, a novel of entering womanhood, a scathing look at the corrupt business that is hotel brothelry

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Beginning of the End

This is the beginning of the end. The start of a new something that could get lost in the millions of somethings that are already of its flavor, its beastliness, and its somewhat disinterestedness. This undertaking of mine intends to illustrate those who have illustrated, perhaps shedding the world of a skin so tackled by many, and blanket the not-exactly extinct underpinnings of the electronic world of vintage paperback-iana with a new view, a soft, cottony view, which may at times be as rough as military wool. I'd like to call that "-iana" something else, as it is a kind of mouthful that can leave a bitter taste. Sleaze, pulps, juvenilia, the unutterable "adult paperback novels," GGA (something I will try not to do much of, the abbreviating and acronymizing, and will devote another entry to that), dime-store novels, and any other term we have used to pigeonhole a world of literature popular in a way of which we shant dare speak. Trying to determine how to label a movement is tiresome. A movement that began out of necessity for convenience and became an aid in self-pleasure, turned into a monster suited only for the court and its cohorts in orange jumpsuits, developed slowly into a risky venture for the willing shop owner, and finally, now, it sits like so many volumes on the shelves of the perverted, the dirty, the unshaven, the man with the cigar in his mouth, the girl with a tattoo just under her collarbone, the musician, the nerd, the reader, the art devotee. 

I am breaking a bottle of cheap gin on this boat of pulp, and slipping it a cyanide pill.