Friday, March 31, 2023

Battling Girls, May 1976 / Apartment House Wrestling

Occasionally, the Darwination Scans time machine sets down in location, well, very strange.  When I discover a new magazine, I don't necessarily know what's going to be in it.  This one, the title says it all, it's Battling Girls, so, no mystery, and, yet, still very strange.

After typing so late last night (a nice entry if I do say so) and finding the occasion tonight to work a cover repair, I've grabbed an old scan for a quick post in keeping with my post a day pace.  I don't give nudity warnings here at Darwination Scans, do they at the museum?  Nakedness is not is not the same as filth.  And in the name of exploration, I've scanned some filth, too.  Maybe I even enjoyed it :D

Battling Girls contains nudity (alongside the black censorship bars, it's kind of bizarre), but it's not really filthy.  These ladies are "house wrestling," whatever that is.  A strange subculture I doubt I want to google.  And yet, it's still kind of fun.  I'm reminded of a recent viewing (do excuse when I do this, but I like to talk cinema, too) of Killer Sally (2022), a recent netflix doc on bodybuilder Sally McNeil and the murder of her husband, Ray McNeil.  It covers some wild territory in the world of semi-pro bodybuilding and mixes an expose of that era of bodybuilding (*roids*) with a number of very human stories of generational violence and trauma. More touching than you'd expect. Sally's side hustle is wrestling men for money.  There's no sex involved just a kink for wrestling giant, muscled women.  That may be weirder than this (and who I am I to judge another fellow), but Battling Girls is freaky deaky. 

 A quick eBay search turns up a similar title, Female Fighting, with what looks like a multi year run in the 90s into the 2000s, as well as the long running Amazons in Action which seems to feature some boxing as well.  There are multiple watchers on many of these magazines, so it's a thing o.O

Or HOLY SHIT, a copy of this very mag tied to another issue on sale at this very moment for $400.  Maybe I'll have to keep that in mind when I unload this one, ha.

 I did meet at least one scanner back when I scanned this who seemed to really like this material, a reserved and kindly gentleman, so I don't think the fans of these mags are radical pervs or anything. 

Magazines are home to so many niche subcultures, and this is just one of them.

A Tiny Tag Team scan : Battling Girls (1976-05.G.C.London) (TinyTagTeam).cbr

This one won't be going up on my page at the Library at the Internet Archive, eh?  We'll just keep this between ourselves, ahem.

Now, if I ever break out the Bad Mags scans, I just *might* have to issue a trigger warning LOL

Contents and Samples, in all their pulpy glory.


It seems a play with dominance and submission, perhaps an integral part of romance.  Maybe a little sadomasochism.  

Hell, maybe dudes just like to see girls wrestle naked.

Next time on Darwin scans, a more refined destination, I promise 😆


Yocitrus said...

The first thing that comes to my mind is the 1950s Bettie Page images of this type. I'm betting the genre is still going strong.

darwination said...

Yeah, Yoc, totally. For a guy that spends a lot of time looking at girls and magazines, I'm not super familiar with the Bettie's career. I've seen her in the Harrison mags maybe pre 1950 (Whisper, Wink, Titter, etc) and then later on the covers of various photo mags, pocket mags, nudist mags, girlie mags, etc. when she blew up, really all over the place. I remember enjoying a biopic on her life (The Notorious Bettie Page?) that was pretty insightful and sweet but I've forgotten most of the details. I took a quick look on the web looking at Bunny Yeager photos and quickly figured out Irving Klaw did the naughtier ones we are thinking about (even though there never was any sex involved or anything). Bettie as dominatrix, Bettie tied up, spanking, no doubt the catfighting.The Klaw stuff was stag films but he'd take pictures, too, according to the wiki.

You probably know more than me about if there was any vintage comic stuff back towards the goldenage with Bettie but I don't know off the top of my head and it seems like she got big after the comics cleaned up . But there HAS been tons of indy comics stuff on Bettie over the intervening years, so it's totally interesting to me how comics culture has kind of championed her so early and often before more mainstream revivals. She's like a human embodiment of GGA (good girl art for those of you who don't speak comic nerd like Yoc and I here).

"Catfight" cover seems like something I've seen in the comic book guides, too, lol, but I'll have to think about that one as far as goldenage examples go.

You've got me thinking about Bettie now. I certainly have some mags in my boxes for a post on sometime (Satan magazine is probably a good choice for Bettie as well as being a fun vintage girlie mag). I'll pull an appropriate issue time I go digging in my boxes

As far as current magazines go, you could be right. On the other hand, magazines are pretty much a dying medium (which I truly hate to say) even though niche magazines may last a lot longer than most varieties. In any case, there's always gonna be an attraction to this kink, and the more I've thought about the more I think most of it is pretty playful even if there's maybe a bit of the dark side going in this Battling Girls, too.

You know the scanner I'm talking about who'd always pop into my DMs and ask "Dar when are you gonna scan another issue" - I get such a huge smile even thinking about it because he was so mild mannered and innocent in every other way :D