Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fumetti Italian Erotic Comics 1970s~1980s

Largely unknown outside of Italy and the world of comic book collecting, the Italian adult, sexually explicit graphic novels, known as fumetto, are quite a surprise coming from a Catholic country where little erotic material has been produced in the modern era. Common themes run through these comics: lesbianism, catwomen, sex machines, female domination, sci-fi sex, vampires, bondage and sado-masochism. 

Titles included here are Jolanka, Jungla, Zordon, Oltretombi, Pussycat, Terror, Jacula, Isabella, Lucifera, Bonnie and Goldrake. Contents are sexually explicit, while simultaneous lacking eroticism.

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PARIS-HOLLYWOOD Undressable Pin-Ups 1950s

One of the most important and to a certain degree, most "international" men's magazine of the 1950s and 1960s was Paris-Hollywood, later to be known as Folies de Paris et de Hollywood. An oversized publication from Paris, where each week its readers were treated to a seductive selection of movie stars, busty, voluptuous models and pin-ups all beautifully printed in gravure.

The magazine's editors created very popular features over the years including one of the most delightful of which was a pin-up illustration, a pin-up deshabillable (undressable pin-up) with glassine overlay: dressed/undressed pin-up. Photos from the archives tell it best.

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PARLIAMENT Publications: L.A. Hose & Heels 1960s

When Los Angeles got into the men's magazine game it, the publishers and photographers, never looked back, claiming the genre for their own. Let's say for argument's sake that the full size, adult bookstore type magazine (no advertising; restricted to non-newsstand sales to 18 and over) began in the late 1950s on the East Coast and migrated to Los Angeles as the precursors to Parliament publications began to appear around that same time. Elmer Batters started his own publishing company, circa 1958, with Black Silk Stockings, Sheer Delight and Leg-O-Rama. His influence upon Parliament Publications cannot be overestimated and in circa 1961 they started a line of magazines under the banner of the American Art Agency.

By 1963 Parliament had hired Batters and many of their groundbreaking publications, now classics for collectors, were filled with his photographs and layouts. Soon "from the tip of the toes to the top of the hose" would became synonymous not only with Batters work but with Parliament magazines in general. Here's a selection from the archives.

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NUDES Pin-Ups Busty Babes 1950s Photographs

Somehow in our lives, call it the "sense memory" part of the brain, there are sights, sounds and tastes that trigger intense associations of a time or place. Without mounting the glossy, 4" x 5" girlie photographs of the 1950s on too high a pedestal, I have a very strong, boyhood sense memory in association with my first viewing of these (at the time) illicit photographs. Discovered buried deep in my father's "sock draw", the few photos found there hold a strong and enjoyable sense memory for me.

Indeed, for all the years that have followed when viewing the thousands of these photographs I collected, bought and sold, comes a bit of that memory. I sense an empty apartment, a dimly lit bedroom, a blond colored dresser draw opened where I fumble around, finding photos of ladies I kind of recognize. They resemble undressed versions of relatives, and family friends, willingly posed in and out of dresses, bras, panties, garter belts and stockings. And at that moment in time, they were the most seductive things I had ever seen.

Above is one of my favorite photographs of the genre, encapsulating for me the variety of women that I encountered as a boy growing up. Each one brings back the fading face of a women, probably a friend of my mother's, whose name was long ago forgotten.

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Donna "Busty" Brown

Dolores Devaugh on the right posed with two friends

Dolores Devaugh on the right

 Small, large, extra-large!

Jackie Miller

 Terry Barton