Sunday, May 5, 2013

It's Off to Work We Go

High magazine began as an oddly-sized bi-monthly in May of 1957, a companion to Ho! magazine of similar size (both roughly 4 x 11, like a regular sheet of copy paper folded in half, vertically). Maybe the mag was supposed to fit in one's pocket, or maybe the odd shape was simply to set them apart from the pack; the mid 50s were golden for male-targeted periodicals of all shapes and sizes, some with die-cut covers: a process practiced more in the 1960s and 1970s. The size is definitely cool by today's standards because so many titles now are oversized, weighing sometimes a full pound or more, and often released in limited editions, as if the publisher's did NOT ACTUALLY WANT to sell product. Go figure.

The first issue (May 1957) sported Harold Robbins fiction, an Elvis article, photos by Weegee, the guy who'd popularize distorted images, and a few glamour layouts. Issue #2 had a sweet front photo of Maria Stinger in recline, and the title banner had changed from "Hi" to "High," and with respect. "Hi" is too friendly and "High" is hep.
High, and Ho! (which ran only two issues), would stay pretty sharp, with excellent photography of excellent models by excellent photographers, even into later issues, when they assumed a "normal" magazine size, after #6 (shown here). Still, not much nudity. 
It's hard to tell, but the gal on the cover of #1 could be Tina Louise (she's on the cover of Ho! #1), but to err on the safe side is to say that the foggy redhead is really the girl in the dot, Margo Donnelly. There is a brilliant but short layout with centerfold of Marlyn Maher, in full color, at the center. She was huge in the later 1950s, but often her name was misspelled, like Marilyn Moher, which was likely the real spelling. 
However skimpy the two mags were on nudity, they were able to land some big names in the modeling business because of their limitations. On issue 6 is the marvelous Lili St. Cyr, and inside is Diane Webber, who bedazzles the rear cover along with Maher. Russ Meyer shot a spread or two for the publishers, as did Jerry Low and James J. Pappas.
Dig Julie Newmar (Catwoman) on the rear of #3! Hot damn!

Issues showing, from the collection of the author: 
High magazine, nos. 1 [May 1957], 3 [Oct 1957], 4 [Dec 1957], 6 [Apr 1958]
All six issues of tall High make a great centerpiece for an archive of odd-shaped paper / magazines, and try to attain both issues of Ho! and not simply a single issue.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Only As a Last Resort

Tiny, little Ann Chapman strikes up a conversation with your eyes, and brings new meaning to the idea of a pocket companion. She is featured on two matchbooks, these unstruck, which in the novelty world means a good thing, and with their matches intact (an even good-er thing). These come from "Dick's Last Resort," a chain restaurant with locations now in Maryland, Tennessee, South Carolina, Texas (where these originate), California, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Florida, and Nevada. I couldn't find anything on the location history of "Dick's" in Dallas, but date of production is presumed to be early 1970s. 

Chapman was a Russ Meyer one-shot, in the 1968 sleaze thriller "Finders Keepers, Lovers Weepers!" and she would act in only a handful of films, all as a dancer. Perhaps Ann was a dancer outside of her Hollywood career, and perhaps she frequented other Southwestern establishments / public pools. Whether or not Russ Meyer shot the photos used for these matchbooks is debatable (likely not); the image of her in a wicker chair is decidedly not Meyer-esque. He did capture her decently in FKLW, resulting as one of the filmmaker's oddest heroines. She also is privy to having been in one of Meyer's best love scenes: sex in a pool with underwater footage! She slams home on several occasions with her male counterpart and gives us an experience we need to towel-up after.

She didn't smile much in FKLW. There is, however, nothing odd about lighting up with a smile.