Saturday, September 26, 2009
Teen-Age Gangsters, 1957
Just what is the problem with kids these days, anyways? Here's a classic blonde bad girl - pouting, smoking, and sexy in a cheap and downtrodden sort of way.
Up for your enjoyment this afternoon is an iconic publication on juvenile delinquency, a pocket-sized magazine from Hillman in 1957, square between The Wild One and West Side Story. And just who do I think the readership for was for this publication? Why, teen-agers of course. Here we are once again riding that fine line that the 50s pulp media mastered of condemning outlaw and unaccepted behavior while simultaneously indulging in it. With echoes of Wertham (who gets a shout-out in the introductory article), the editors give their motivation. The truth must be known! Sincerity? A guilty disclaimer? or just a nice hook?
The contents. Every vice covered! A mixture of teen sexual fantasy, true crime, and propaganda, no rock goes unturned...
Get the scan here. I'm surprised I haven't seen the cover on a fridge magnet or whatnot, the whole pub is classic American kitsch.
Samples. Violence, Dope, Sex and Liquor. Wasn't High School great?
What sort of twisted and abnormal kid would ever ever write such a thing? Surely a sociopath...
My favorite pic in the whole mag, the inside back cover. I loved just hanging out on the street with my buds as a teen, a gang just waiting to happen!
Next time on volunteer radio - scans so good it's a crime. True crime magazines! Some representative scans and undoubtedly a few ruminations on the genre...
Bonus scans. Here's my sendspace folder of pocket magazines. A number of these are from McCoy and other scanners, thanks, guys! I wonder how many collectors there are of pocket magazines. I love em! It seems like sort of offshoot of comics, the small format with more innocent varieties of men's magazine material. When the comics industry started to crumble, perhaps they looked to other products like this. Tucked away easily, I can imagine kids hiding these out of view from their teacher or parents. I guess these only survive today at the checkout as astrology and soap publications.