It floats? How weird. I would have thought something that size drags you down like an anchor.
Swap Circuit was written by Thomas P. Ramirez in the guise of Tony Calvano, with cover work by Darrel Millsap, and published in 1968. A couple set up swapping sessions for profit only to see their scheme go awry when they attend an orgy that’s out of their league. This piece of art caught our eye because it fits perfectly into our large collection of swapping covers, which you can see here. Don’t trade it for anything.
Okay! You win! I'll find a jacket and boots ensemble of my own!
Some people are just bad at sharing, a fact amply illustrated by the cover of Marcus Miller's Boy Meets Boy, written for Greenleaf Classics' subsidiary Nightstand Books, 1968. Miller, who was really Samuel Dodson, wrote more than a dozen gay-themed sleaze novels in a four year span between 1966 and 1970. Some of the juicier entries include The Mother Truckers and Copsucker, the latter of which is an especially noteworthy title even in the fertile genre of sleaze. The Miller pseudonym was used for hetero sleaze too, all of which was written by Milo Perichitch. The art for Boy Meets Boy is by the always amusing Darrel Millsap, whose best work you can find here and here.
Well, okay—since you say it worked for Tom Brady, I guess I can take some of the pressure out of your balls.
The original painting at top, which we ran across on an auction site, was made for the cover of John Dexter’s (Harvey Hornwood’s) 1969 sleaze novel Passion’s Pupil, just above. Like most covers from the genre, it has several raunchy elements. Not only is the femme fatale threatening to go down on her knees, and not only has the football star found the world’s smallest towel (which we guess will make her next manuver even easier), but the jersey peeking out of his locker seems to bear the number 69. Standard stuff.
But what isn’t standard is there may be some question about who painted this. According to the vendor selling it—for $800.00, in case you’re looking for something to go above your mantel—the piece is by Robert Bonfils, however, the quite authoritative Greenleaf Classics Books website has this attributed to Darrel Millsap. The two had nearly identical styles during the time they worked for Greenleaf, so there’s no way to look at the painting and discern whose it is, and there’s no signature on the front or rear. We’re sure the mystery will be solved at some point, though, probably by whoever eventually shells out eight bills for the art.
We like the painting not only on its own sleazy merits, but because it reminds us of another original painting we posted way back that was used for the front of Amy Harris’s schoolhouse sleaze novel Prize Pupil. In fact, if you click back there you’ll see that the male figures in both scenes are weirdly similar. And of course so are the titles of the books. Did Bonfils/Millsap use that earlier cover as inspiration? It sure looks like it.
Faced with this position surrender is the only option.
Here you see a pose that appears over and over in vintage paperback art—one figure looming menacingly in the foreground as a second cowers in the triangular negative space created by the first’s spread legs. This pose is so common it should have a name. We’re thinking “the alpha,” because it signifies male dominance and because of the a-shape the pose makes. True, on occasion the dominator isn’t male, sometimes the unfortunate sprawled figure is depicted outside the a-shaped space, and sometimes the art expresses something other than dominance, but basically the alpha (see, that just sounds right, doesn’t it?) has been used scores of times with only minor variation. You’ll notice several of these come from subsidiaries of the sleaze publisher Greenleaf Classics. It was a go-to cover style for them. We have twenty examples in all, with art by Bob Abbett, Robert Bonfils, Michel Gourdon, and others.
Sleaze painter Darrel Millsap goes where the sun don’t shine.
Illustrator Darrel Millsap really had fun with the sleaze covers he painted for Greenleaf Classics’ Candid Reader line. The one you see here for Gage Carlin’s (Thomas P. Ramirez’s) swapping novel Switching Hour is a prime example of the overtly sexual material he produced. And what a treat. In addition to a restrained woman having her… really we have no idea… her hedge trimmed maybe, we also get a bonus shot right up a male character’s crevasse. If you look closely you can see a mountain goat in there. No, really. Go ahead. Um, 1969 on this.
Oh, stop whining. I said you’d have to go to great lengths to please me.
On many sleaze covers you see men going through pain and discomfort to get laid, but this scenario painted by Darrel Millsap might finally encourage single guys to just stay home playing Bioshock on their Xboxes. In the woman’s favor, she chose a man who could really fill out a pair of tightie-whities, but working against her is the distinct possibility he’ll fill them with something else in a minute. We haven’t talked about J.X. Williams in a while, and really, his identity is no clearer than before. Let’s just call him an oft inhabited pseudonym borrowed by many but owned by none. Well Hung-Up was written by him (or someone) in 1969.
Considering I’m utterly tripping balls this actually came out okay.
Above is the cover of the sleaze novel LSD Lusters, published by Greenleaf Classics for their Nightstand Books line in 1967. Author John Dexter was a pseudonym inhabited by a number of writers, including Robert Silverberg. Because of that, we don’t know who actually wrote the book, but we do know they’d probably prefer nobody ever found out. So we’ll just leave it at that. Art is by Darrel Millsap.
Sharon Tate was the unknowing model for at least two more pulp covers.
A long while ago we showed you a pulp cover that featured a painting of Sharon Tate. That book specifically used Tate both as cover art and interior subject matter. In contrast, the two figures above aren’t explicitly supposed to be Tate, but it just so happens that both unknown artists modeled their work from an on set photograph from her 1966 Dracula spoof The Fearless Vampire Killers. The photo was shot by Roman Polanski, who also directed the film. As you can see, it was used on John Dexter’s sleaze pulp Chuck-a-Lust, painted by Darrel Millsap, and on Paul Collins’s, aka Renato Carocci's giallo Ordine di uccidere, painted by Bendetto Caroselli. The former was published in 1967, and the latter in 1968. One year later, Tate was gone.
Shake that thang like a Polaroid picture.
Despite the racy look of it, 1,2,3… Swap! is one of author Curt Aldrich’s tamer efforts. Writing from the mid-60s and into the 80s, he specialized in swapping fiction, giving us many memorable books, including Cock ‘o the Swap, Swap Epidemic, and Swap ’69. Not one to limit himself, Aldrich also went fully hardcore with rather shocking titles like Daughter Loves Horses, Spread Big Sister, and Horny Holy Roller Family.
It could be Aldrich showed such range because he was actually a pseudonym used by various authors, including Richard Curtis, who later became a literary agent. Many of these books featured low-rent cover illustrations that were little more than sketches, but this psychedelic effort by an unknown artist (looks like it could be Robert Bonfils, but absent confirmation, we'll go with unknown) is first rate. We'll be posting more Adrich books in the future.
Update: turns out the art is by Darrel Millsap, who illustrated scores of covers for Greenleaf Classics. It only took four years to clear that up, but better late than never.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
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.
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.
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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