Vintage Pulp Mar 14 2012
GETTING RE-QUAINTANCED
Our first Pulp treasure from San Francisco reunites us with one of our favorite artists.

We have another great find for you today—an issue of Beautify Your Figure published during the summer of 1944. The magazine was one of several imprints owned by the Bonomo Culture Institute, which was the brainchild of Joe Bonomo. Bonomo’s art director was none other than George Quaintance, and that’s a Quaintance cover you’re looking at above, making its first appearance on the internet. We posted some pieces from Quaintance way back in 2009, but those were culled from online. This one is all ours, and we got it for five bucks. In addition to the cover, Quaintance also drew all the interior illustrations, which include the one posted just below, as well as the “Her Crowning Glory Goes to War” illustration in panel ten. He supplied art for Bonomo’s other magazines too, a roster that included Make-Up, Improve Your Dancing, Your Baby, and Building Body Power.

Beautify Your Figure is filled with amusingly anachronistic articles, such as the feature beginning in panel twelve that teaches housewives how to avoid arguments with their husbands. The magazine’s advice? Prettify yourself so you look your best when he comes home. He probably hates it when he returns from a long day of work and you’re in your apron scrubbing the wall. Seriously. Wall scrubbing was a standard chore in 1944, we gather. Elsewhere in the issue women are taught to stand on their heads to improve digestion, learn to swim by laying across a stool and sticking their heads in a bowl of water, and exercise their facial muscles by making a series of horrible expressions (but always in private, so as not to upset the hubby).

You’ll notice Beautify Your Figure is sprinkled with references to the war, and most pages carry a call to buy war bonds. We’ve hinted before—and Beauty Your Figure, of all magazines, reiterates—what clarity those times had. We weren’t there, but we’ve read about it, and listened to stories told by our relatives who lived it. Americans approached the war effort with near-total unity and upbeat determination. Belief in the war as unambiguously noble was so general that financial support could be demanded even in the pages of beauty magazines. Could you imagine that happening today? We have more gems from San Francisco upcoming. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 27
1945—Mussolini Is Arrested
Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, his mistress Clara Petacci, and fifteen supporters are arrested by Italian partisans in Dongo, Italy while attempting to escape the region in the wake of the collapse of Mussolini's fascist government. The next day, Mussolini and his mistress are both executed, along with most of the members of their group. Their bodies are then trucked to Milan where they are hung upside down on meathooks from the roof of a gas station, then spat upon and stoned until they are unrecognizable.
April 26
1933—The Gestapo Is Formed
The Geheime Staatspolizei, aka Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, is established. It begins under the administration of SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police, but by 1939 is administered by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, or Reich Main Security Office, and is a feared entity in every corner of Germany and beyond.
1937—Guernica Is Bombed
In Spain during the Spanish Civil War, the Basque town of Guernica is bombed by the German Luftwaffe, resulting in widespread destruction and casualties. The Basque government reports 1,654 people killed, while later research suggests far fewer deaths, but regardless, Guernica is viewed as an example of terror bombing and other countries learn that Nazi Germany is committed to that tactic. The bombing also becomes inspiration for Pablo Picasso, resulting in a protest painting that is not only his most famous work, but one the most important pieces of art ever produced.
April 25
1939—Batman Debuts
In Detective Comics #27, DC Comics publishes its second major superhero, Batman, who becomes one of the most popular comic book characters of all time, and then a popular camp television series starring Adam West, and lastly a multi-million dollar movie franchise starring Michael Keaton, then George Clooney, and finally Christian Bale.
1953—Crick and Watson Publish DNA Results
British scientists James D Watson and Francis Crick publish an article detailing their discovery of the existence and structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, in Nature magazine. Their findings answer one of the oldest and most fundamental questions of biology, that of how living things reproduce themselves.
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