Friday, July 14, 2023

True Weird, May 1956

OK, scanfans, let's get weird then.

The Devil plagues Milan. John Martin cover, get a better look at Flickr

I love that the spine title reads simply WEIRD

Get the full hi-res scan here: True Weird v01n03 (1956-05.Weider)(D&M).cbr

or view online at the IA here.

McCoy's mysterious but true edits, really a fantastic treatment of a unique magazine.  

True Weird ran  bi-monthly for 3 issues starting in November 1955.  The magazine was born again as True Strange in October of 1956 and run seven issues until February 1958.

I've thought about these magazines a couple times recently.  First, seeing a couple original paintings for True Strange covers sell for dirt cheap (I don't collect art but I know when I see auction travesties high and low), I wondered if I'm the only one that sees a twisted Americana glory in those Thomas Beecham covers.  Second, I saw Arnold with Joe Weider in the recent Netflix documentary and was struck at Arnold's interest in magazine craft as well as his savvy in realizing that using negotiated space in Weider's magazines to sell his own products was a real money maker.  And there's no doubt Weider's magazines and fitness lines took off in the seventies along with the whole sport of bodybuilding with Arnold's star blazing the way.

But, Joe Weider had been at it the publishing game for a good long while before Arnold ever came along.  Weider started small time all the way back in August of 1940 with your physique, banging out type on his home typewriter, drawing his own illustrations, hand-lettering, and doing his own mimeographing.  By the time the 50s come around, Joe is spreading his wings.  There's his excellent wrestling mags (that link goes to a dead post, I know - the poor wrestling mags are neglected around here right now).  Or his American Beauty with a nutrition and cosmetic bent for the ladies. Or here's our man Subtropic Bob's takes on Weider's men's adventure magazines , Mr. America and American Manhood, a fun read for certain 😆 

But True Weird and True Strange seem like something different.  Sure there's some outlandish and sensational material, but there's also an earnestness about it.  A sincere devotion to plumb the mysteries??  Anyways, enough intro - let's get to the issue at hand.

The inner front cover, what better place to pimp your products

I'm not sure if I've mentioned here before that I'm a disciple of the weight room going on 20 years now, but this isn't really the place to get into that.  I've got more interesting mags for talking about lifting and health, but I enjoy looking at Weider's set here.  Covid brought the gym home and had a lot of people rethinking their workouts (even if I was back at the gym the day they re-opened grinning ear to ear).  Look at all this gadgetry with just a set of dumbells, eh?  That headstrap looks like a medieval torture device.  And I'm not sure you want your kettlebell to have sharp rods sticking out the sides but, hey, the home lifter has to improvise - or something.  Boots? Really.  I do give props to the wrist roller, though, that's a solid device.  But I digress.  The contents.

From the publisher to you.  Joe knows, as we all do, that there's phenomena that our current science can't explain even if he does lead with the excitement of werewolves and vampires.

 at Flickr

Check out the great purple inks over the grayscale, a very distinctive look.  Illustration by Albert Deke.  Werewolf or Vampire?  Maybe the crone knows.  Shapeshifters appear across cultures.

Horrors everywhere, to south, from the dark islands, VOODOO

But if wonders of the natural, nay the supernatural, world offer not enough mystery, there's always the doings of man.  The splash page for an extended piece on "Hollywood's Greatest Murder Mystery" regarding the murder of William Desmond Taylor. I'll go ahead and stick up all the pages even though it's likelier easier to read at the IA (OR DOWNLOAD THE SCAN, HA)

at Flickr

 An excellent splash from Joseph Ferrari -

At Flickr

The canine sensitivity to events natural and unnatural.  THE DOG WHO ANNOUNCED MURDER.  The cat seems to know something, too.

When All Holland Went Mad! Jacob Lee Cobb illustrates

Tulipomania???  The most valuable commodity in Europe, a flower.  Speculation madnesss

Haunted Houses.  An excellent composition by Michael Aumont

at Flickr

Witchcraft. Black Masses.  As alive today as ever. Bow before the goat-headed shaman, dogmen.

Saturday, July 8, 2023

BARRED v01n05, circa 1966-1967 / Outlaw Biker Mags and Titus Moody

Last post I joked about filth, this post we might just indulge in some whoop whoop

Get the full hi-res scan here: BARRED v01n05 (--c.1966,7--.Seven Seventy) (DDT)

or view the issue at the Internet Archive here.

McCoy reminds those of good taste, Don't Download This! 

Searching my blog here, I'm somewhat amazed this is my first post on the so-called Bad Mags, the wilder, often fly by night publications of the age exploitation magazines.

I give full credit for my introduction to the world of these magazines to Tom Brinkmann's Bad Mags:


Mr. Brinkmann in Bad Mags Volumes One and Two catalogs, categorizes, and analyzes the world of seedy delights in the down market magazines.  Brinkmann has an entire chapter in the first volume on the genre of today's issue, "The 1%ers Outlaw Riders - Sixties Style," featuring covers and a survey of outlaw biker issues and articles in sixties and seventies magazines.

Appearing often on the covers of these magazines, and particularly on the biker issues from the above publisher, Seven Seventy, is reference to Outlaw Motorcycle (1966), a film/spectacle put together by Titus Moody.

Here's Titus in 1995, in an introduction to the film as cult classic which he claims was shot during the Watts Riots.

You can even watch the film - oh, the glories and depravities of Youtube

Brinkmann's first volume has some nice biographical information on Moody's adventures in Hollywood's fringe cinema, but I didn't see a decent bio on the web.  Anyways, Moody is listed as Executive Editor for this issue, and it seems to be one of a number of magazines from Seven Seventy that promoted and also used material from the film and the making of.   Outlaw Motorcycles is often credited for being at the front of the wave of movies to cash in on biker gang trends and fears and interests.  Bikersploitation?  Staged photos, real photos, representation or misrepresentation, I'm not judging - let's just get to issue at hand 😅

at Flickr

Special Second Issue Outlaw Motorcycle, Peter Fonda at the head of the pack.  Their love is hate fore everyone and everything except each other.

Brutal, Frank, Violent says the cover.  A lot of the photos look like kids hangin' out to me, but perhaps I'm just a sympathetic soul.  Some of these members look like models, but some of these members also look like poor role models lol

at Flickr

at Flickr

 at Flickr

at Flickr

at Flickr

Besides the biker photography, the magazine also gets into some of the local biker culture and club layout but also ventures into reviews of adjacent films.