Monday, April 24, 2023

Discoscene, July 1968

A Monday morning edition of Darwin Scans -  Twas a nice weekend with much scanwork and yardwork along with at least a little bit of maxing and relaxing.  I've been stacking up mags to post here, new and old, as I'm getting them up to the Internet Archive.  I can tell already it's gonna take a while, but it's been a great opportunity to take a second look at some of the mags and the scan work.  

Here is a fun music magazine from the 60s up for our enjoyment and perusal today, a Tiny Tim covered edition of Discoscene with the usual absolutely excellent edit from McCoy.

 Tiny Tim, what a freak.  

 High res scan with joined pages - Discoscene (1968-07.Discoscene)(D&M).cbr

 or you can view the issue at the IA here.

Discoscene is a bit of an oddity, as figuring out issue numbers and such is a little tricky.  The production is top notch, though that may apparently vary according to the printing.  The Zappa Books page on the magazine (and leave it to Zappa fans to do such a nice job cataloging his appearance in the mag) takes from eBay that:

Discoscene was a monthly magazine published approximately 1966-1969. In October 1968 the magazine was renamed to [disco]Scene II. The magazine had regional variants and was printed with different names for radio stations in different cities.
Some of the original Discoscene magazines came with a Pepsi flexidisc.
Discoscene did not have wide distribution. Thus, any issues are now few and far between. Even though printed on a much higher quality paper than your average fan mag, surviving magazines are extremely rare and even weak issues are much sought after by serious collectors.

There's a ton of musical history in just this single issue of Discoscene.  Music mags can be mostly commercial tripe but not Discoscene.  And even the commercial music mags have a ton to offer in terms of the history of American music.  We tend to forget about so much or never really notice the real magic when it's happening because the whole business of hype and promotion can get in the way of the music.


You could purchase this issue at the stores below 😁

The Evolution of Richie Havens

Discoscene of_____________   / Subscription Card.  Leave this stuff in your mags when you scan them in the place you found it.  It's a part of the magazine, and they often have some fun content.  There are all sorts of clues on cards and inserts about publishers, distribution, etc., too. 

Joe Tex beats James Brown in a Soul King Battle?  Incomprehensible.

I'll bump some Joe while I type just to see if he can really step to the Godfather.  Let's try Papa Was Too

Yeah, baby, grooving, some nice breaks in there.

I know I'm gonna wanna spin one off that, though that North MS drone might space me out -


The Electric Prune

Fashion, stripes and polka dots, brave.  Oh, sixties 

A few gag pages in here like Help! or other humor mags of the era

 Didn't quite expect to see Glen Campbell in here

Earth Opera

Another card, survey info in exchange for a 45.  Old school magazine and music marketing.

Contemporaneous review of Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison

Blue Cheer, let's go with the full article for this one

One pick up at 24.95, not sure what this beastie is

Really a great ish. I'll keep a look out for other Discoscene scans or issues!  You might see a disproportionate number of music mags represented on the blog, as I seem to like looking at these, typing and playing tunes...

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Satire v01n02, January 1936 (My Gawd! Not Another Movie Magazine)

Scanned for us by request via Scott Saveedra from the comments of the first issue I posted recently, today we have the second issue of the unique and short-lived Satire magazine from January of 1936.

You can find a copy of the full high res scan here:  Satire v01n02 1936-01.Satire (My Gawd! Another Movie Magazine) (-cvrs) (SS-Nation).cbr 

or you can view online or download alternate formats at the Internet Archive here

This is the first time someone has answered my shout out for a magazine scan on Darwination Scans, so huge kudos to Scott for sending me the raw scans of his copy of this rare magazine.  It was a coverless (though very nice) copy, so I've used the best available images gathered from the web for placeholder images for the cover pages.  This is a common strategy you have to have for scarcer magazines, as coverless copies are often the only ones us lowly scanners can get our hands on.  Ideally, I'll get my hands on a high resolution scan of a good copy for a proper restoration front cover upgrade in the future, but the low resolution cover images serve the purpose in the meantime.  Scott's scanner has given me envy, the Plustek Opticbook Pro A320L, as the quality of the scans is most excellent.

While the first issue of Satire spoofed detective magazines, this issue sets its sights on Hollywood. And if you can't tell from the cover, everybody knows, sex sells!  There's a lot of women in bathtubs and bathing suits throughout the magazine 😂

The contents, an arresting photo:

The fun thing about about a satire magazine is you can make fun of trends but cash in on them at the same time, here the mag pokes at wildly popular funny man, W.C. Fields.

As thrilling as a well-kept grave.  I'll take the same. Ha.

Scanning with an A3 allows for single scans of natural two page spreads.  As long as you get the pages flat, you get a very nice result, and the natural joins look great.  The struggles of the rich and famous, how do they ever manage?  Roughing It on 30 Grand a Week, by Rogers Peet St. John 

Charlie Chaplin drives Douglas Fairbanks

 James Cagney struggles with basic math at bathside of Joan Blondell, perfectly understandable

Stars' baby photos. And you thought the internet had a monopoly on cuteness.  I love how no one compelled these kids to smile.  How I do hate the modern convention of the forced photo smile.

The Talkies will never make it!  Danger, Will Robinson, Staple Ahead!  Beware of staples on the scanner glass, they can scratch.  (I love the centerfold of just about any magazine. It's a crossing over, but also a unification.) Just exactly how many careers the talkies ended is up for debate, but those with too high or too low voices and thick accents didn't always make it, and a good singing voice becomes an asset.

More girls in bathtubs.  Hop right in, handsome  *gulp*

Blinx for doe eyes.  Seductive beauty secrets.

Laurel and Hardy demonstrate the state of the art automobile engineering, another fine mess

And one last image from the issue, her LIPS WON HIM - when your cheeks need that freshly spanked look.

What a hoot.  A final note, Steve was able to point me to the existence of a third issue from March later this year.  The cover mock up has been discarded (they probably figured out that the mock up covers, as cool as they are, do a poor job of branding a new magazine) but the issue-wide theming continues a "politics" edition.  Let's keep an eye out to complete the run scan-wise, shall we?

Friday, April 21, 2023

Pin-up Parasols, 1920-1932

A new approach tonight.  It was a beautiful Spring week.  I got a little scanwork done, a little yard work done, and watched my Grizz split with the Lakers, but didn't get to blog.  I hope to write on magazines a time or two this weekend, but tonight I'm just going to post a stream of images.

When you collect and research magazines for long enough and especially magazines with seemingly simple cover motifs like the pin-ups, you start to notice a lot of common props, poses, themes, and the like.  This set of images are all pin-up or glamour covers (and I'm not always sure of the distinction outside of glamour covers tend to be close-ups, 'classier,' more fashionable, and more likely on Hollywood or women's magazines) that all use the parasol.  Of course, it's nice to have a colorful umbrella at the beach, and the beach is a place where it's perfectly acceptable for bathing girls to show off the bod, so it's a fun pairing for pin-up and glamour artists to work with.

We could go even further back than this, but let's start with La Vie Parisienne, a magazine I have more plans with here at Darwination Scans - truly a fountainhead for girlie magazine art, and I'll proceed chronotypically from there.  Many of these images will have been gathered from eBay, but I'll try to give credit where due-

Georges Leonnec, La Vie Parisienne 1920-06-26

 F.X. Leyendecker, just one of his many iconic Life covers, 1922-04-20

Breezy Stories, A.W. Shelton, 1922-08

Enoch Bolles flipping the script, it's wintertime but she doesn't care!, Judge 1925-01-24

Artist Unidentified, Paris Nights 1925-07

Artist unidentified, from Capt. Billy's So This is Paris 1925-08, McCoy's edit work, a mesmerizing scene, red and pink yet cool.  The entire scene subdued but perhaps for her gaze.  A contented collie.

Constance Wheeler, who did a number of wonderful covers for the magazine, The Golden Book 1926-08, from an image at MyComicShop

Livingston Geer of Vilma Banky, Photoplay 1926-04

Charles Hargens, Brief Stories 1927-07.  This title is super scarce, I'd really like to see/scan some issues of this interesting pulp

John Holmgren, Judge 1928-08-11, from MyComicShop

Enoch Bolles, doing double duty in the parasol stream today, an inventive use and she's not getting too much cover from that tiny umbrella, Spicy Stories 1929-07.  Pretty sure this one is coming from Jack Raglin's Enoch Bolles Blog

And lastly, two from the same month, Harrison Fisher, Cosmopolitan 1932-07, edit from the one and only Siren in the Night

a better look at that one here.

Lastly, a quick edit I did tonight of a Rolf Armstrong cover from MyComicShop, College Humor 1932-07, brilliant.

A better peek here.

Friday, April 14, 2023

SEX, November 1926

Hi-Res Scan.  Sexy edits from McCoy: SEX (1926-11.Dawn)(Darwination-McCoy).cbr

or at the IA (can't believe they put an "inappropriate" label on this lmao) here.

So, SEX.  

There it is.  No more hiding it America, it's here to stay.  Boomers may like to talk about sexual revolution of the 60s, but compared to what happened in the 20s? C'mon, now. What a crazy sexquake hit society in the roaring 20s with bobbed hair, short skirts, fast cars, bootleg booze and loose behavior.  But in SEX, there's more at play than changing social conventions.  The frank title denotes open discussion and acceptance of sex as much as any lewder connotations.

SEX ran for at least 8 issues (perhaps more) from September of 1926 into late 1928 and was published by the Dawn Publishing Company who also published successful flagship magazine Dawn as well Edwin Bower Hesser's Arts Monthly Pictorial and a handful of other short lived art photo magazines.

I haven't exactly sussed out who the driving force behind Dawn publishing was, and there seems to be a little myth involved, but two names that pop up are Margaret Sanger and Henry Knight Miller.  Miller was a progressive Christian minister that would later appear in magazines like Psychology, and he writes an article in this magazine as well.  Margaret Sanger is much better known still today, even if she is name checked in tired abortion debates as much as anything.  Sanger, a birth control advocate and sex educator appeared frequently as a contributor in Bernarr MacFadden's Physical Culture magazines which might have been the tip of the spear in terms of breaking frank sex talk into the American mainstream.  Gerard Jones, in Men of Tomorrow, paints a vivid picture of Sanger's entanglements in the magazine industry including her ties to Eastern News who helped Sanger distribute feminist journals and spiritualist magazines.  Sanger also had as lover Harold Hersey who helped edit Sanger's The Woman Rebel.  By this time Hersey had already edited legendary pulp The Thrill Book at Street & Smith (where he was fired for writing too many stories under alias in order to pocket the authors' shares) and at Clayton Magazines.  The most intriguing entanglement Gerard Jones alludes to is the network of distribution at Eastern which allowed for physical items to be moved along side the magazines. Thusly, Sanger had a network for distribution of condoms, diaphragms, and feminine hygiene products.  Expanding this network was printer Harry Donenfeld whose mob connection and ties to the likes of Frank Costello allowed the movement of birth control through bootlegger routes away from the eyes of johnny law (or more likely in collusion with johnny law, prohibition was good for cops on the take, everybody gets paid and stays happy).

Anyways, conjecture, but an amazing confluence of activists, free thinkers, mobsters and magazine men (editors, writers, printers, distributors) at play in a sort of wild underground culture which moved wares to newstands, under the counter locations, speakeasies, and wherever someone might want to find a magazine or something as simple but necessary as a condom, eh? 

Is this very magazine, which a prude might quickly dismiss as filth, actually serving a broader community purpose? An artistic purpose? Even a higher, godly purpose?!  

Hell, maybe SEX is just fun :)

How much sense does every word on this page make?
Winnifred Cooley has had enough of the question of why do gentlemen prefer blondes. She asks instead about the will to self destruction of the playboy and callous temperament of the gold digger, fantastic.  (*cough* though I do prefer Blondes)

The Old Man's Darling Was His Slave is an interesting bit of "true fiction" in which a trophy wife and all involved get there comeuppance in the form of the woman's narrative very popular as far back as the blossoming of the novel but more contemporaneously in the 20s in magazines like True Story or True Confessions.  

Here are a couple of pages on matrimony, sound common sense advice among the sepia nudes.  When Husbands Are Easy to Live With by Rosita Forbes.

The Alchemy of Love by Henry Knight Miller.  We know God not thru musty books...but through unselfish and unstinted love.

And the sort of page a magazine researcher loves.  Next month, apparently SEX changes to a full magazine sized format.  Also, I now know Sex Stories  is an associated magazine. I would LOVE to get a scan of an issue of Sex Stories if there are any patrons of the scannerly art out there listening - I'll be gentle, I swear -

But, perhaps it's time for some beautiful photos, no doubt the reason many purchased the magazine if not for the articles 😏