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A lovely ancient Playboy magazine…

26 Mar

The magazine Playboy was a big influence on my wanting to become a writer. Just like in the cliché, “I read it for the articles,” after I got done looking at the pictures I did indeed read the articles. Mostly the fiction, but the interviews too. The many finely wrought short stories that Playboy published inspired me to learn the craft of fiction, and the interviews taught me how to talk to people to get their stories, a skill that came in handy when I interviewed about a thousand porn stars and strippers from the 1980s through the mid-2000s for mags like Black Tail and Leg Show.

I went to the flea market in Chelsea today on my unending search for inspiration in print, and I found a lovely Playboy from January 1956.

Look at the clever cover collage of the bunny-eared photog looking in his camera viewfinder!

Look at the clever cover collage of the bunny-eared photog looking in his camera viewfinder!

 

This slender (72 pages including covers) but jam-packed issue has, among its charms, a recap of the first two dozen Playmates (including Marguerite Empey aka Diane Webber, Jayne Mansfield, and Diane Hunter (whom I interviewed decades later for Pat Reshen’s Over 40 magazine); cartoons by the legendary and tragic Jack Cole, creator of the comic book character Plastic Man and a frequent Playboy contributor, as well as fiction by Robert Bloch, Erskine Caldwell, and Herbert Gold. Probably the one name that most resonates with contemporary readers is that of Bloch, who of course was one of the great masters of horror fiction and created the original novel on which Hitchcock’s Psycho was based. And Caldwell was one of the biggest selling writers of all time with the paperback editions of his rural tales of lust and human folly.

I never cease admiring these beautiful vintage paperback covers!

I never cease admiring these beautiful vintage paperback covers!

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3 responses to “A lovely ancient Playboy magazine…

  1. Erich von Pauli

    March 26, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    What a fantastic, and to my mind, innovative cover on this issue! It’s amazing to me that these magazines, touchstones and guideposts of my youthful sexuality and erotic yearnings, are now cherished collector’s items. Amazing and thought-provoking.

     
    • irvoneil

      March 27, 2016 at 9:16 pm

      Danke, Herr von Pauli! Glad you enjoyed that cover! Those vintage Playboys are a lot of fun and real time capsules too.

       
  2. Rincewind

    March 30, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    I just adore these absolutely beautiful work of art that they had.. much nicer than today, yes I sound like a grumpy old far bit it’s true 😉

     

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