|Vintage Pulp||Nov 28 2014|
National Informer Weekly Reader once again dabbles in real journalism with a piece about Juan Corona, the Mexican-born killer who in 1971 committed what was at the time America’s largest serial murder. Corona was violent-tempered, savagely homophobic, schizophrenic, had been institutionalized earlier in his life and had endured electroshock treatments. When he finally snapped and went on his spree it was to rape and murder twenty-five male farm laborers during a six-week period and bury them in the orchards around Yuba City, California.
|Vintage Pulp||Nov 8 2014|
This issue of National Informer appeared today in 1970, with an unknown cover model and, unusually for Informer, stories about three actual celebrities—Walter Hickel, Richard Burton, and Jean Seberg. Hickel had been caught using public money to redecorate his congressional office and is deservedly raked over the coals by Informer. Burton endures a mere sideswipe for comments about how heroic he’d be if he found himself on a hijacked plane. Seberg’s affair (or non-affair) with Black Panther Bobby Seale is rehashed over an entire page. If Informer had kept this sort of thing up they’d have begun to resemble a real newspaper, but no worries—didn’t happen. And a good thing, because we love Informer exactly the way it usually is—devoid of truth. Highlight of this issue: The (not so) Great Criswell uses his column of psychic predictions to promote himself, saying, “I predict that Tapesty in Terror, starring Vampira and myself, will soon be seen as an hour TV program in September 1971, so watch for it.” And guess what? The worst prognosticator in history got even that wrong. Tapestry of Terror never made it to television.
|Vintage Pulp||Oct 31 2014|
On the opposite end of the tabloid spectrum from yesterday’s Top Secret, we have an issue of National Informer Reader published today in 1971. You may remember our previous entries on National Informer Weekly Reader. What you see above is simply the earlier, monthly iteration of the same rag. You wanna be scared on Halloween? Just peel back the cover on this baby.
We have a few scans below, about fifteen issues of National Informer and National Informer Weekly Reader we’ve already shared (we’ll get you started in the archives here, here, here, and here), and we have nine more issues we hope to get through eventually. If that prospect doesn’t scare you nothing will.
|Vintage Pulp||Aug 23 2014|
|Vintage Pulp||May 21 2013|
|Vintage Pulp||Jun 29 2012|
This issue of Rampage published today in 1969 features an unidentified cover model claiming that men drool all over her body. Particularly the lower half, we suspect, since she’s wearing no pants. Inside, the mag’s intrepid journos go on an orgy hunt and—amazingly—find one; pseudonymous scribe Pitt Falls describes how insurance agents have a gay time balling housewives; and rape is conflated with sex. That’s nearly always the unfortunate case with these (male-written) vintage tabs. Those stories are pure farce, little slices of sleaze fiction, and we assume close to 100% of readers understood that, but then again, you never know.
Anyway, in this issue you also get the (not so) Great Criswell, who serves up yet another slate of incredibly off target predictions. Specifically, he tells readers that Armenia will be a superpower by the year 1980, that a new war will break out on the Korean peninsula, and that Esperanto will become the official language of international newspapers and magazines. Well, in the prediction business you have to swing for the fences, and really, you only have to connect about 25% of the time to maintain your status. So what was Criswell right about this time around? He said taxes would go up. Crack! That one’s waay out of here, folks!
The Great Criswell, who also called himself The Amazing Criswell, usually appeared in the pages of National Informer, a fact that tells us Rampage is a creation of the Informer Publishing Co. of Franklin Park, Illinois. But the problem with Rampage is it feels exactly as if National Informer or National Informer Weekly Reader were left out on the counter to grow stale, then warmed under a heat lamp and served on a paper plate. The fact that it’s tamer is a good thing, in real word terms. But in pulp world we’re looking for the uniquely outrageous. Rampage promises but doesn’t deliver. But we’ll reserve our final judgment until we have a look at the other issues we bought. Meantime, check out the scans below.
|Vintage Pulp||Feb 6 2012|
You never want to go too long without a little National Informer in your life, so we’ve brought you another issue of our all-time favorite tabloid, this one published today in 1972. It’s an almost all-sex issue, with articles about fetishism, group sex, lesbian sex in prison, male contraceptive pills, hookers flying the friendly skies, and advanced stimulation methods to drive your partner wild. Mixed in there, in a place where you’d easily overlook it, is a great paste-up photo of Richard Nixon playing chess with Fidel Castro. Chess had something you could almost call mass appeal in the U.S. back in the 1970s, and Castro was a chess aficionado who once hosted a tournament in Havana that drew Mexican Grandmaster Filiberto Terrazas, American Grandmaster and world champ Bobby Fischer, and Soviet-Armenian Grandmaster Tigran Petrosian. So, in the context of the times, the Nixon/Castro composite isn’t as random as it seems. We’ve blown up the photo below, and included other pages of interest.
|Vintage Pulp||Dec 12 2011|
Published forty years ago today, this issue of National Informer hits the usual notes, as far as low-end tabloid journalism goes, i.e., erotic fiction printed with a few photos and labeled journalism. The only potentially interesting story—Cannibal Delicatessen Serves Human Babies to Customers—turns out to be about a deli that merely serves food shaped like human body parts. Not that we advocate cannibalism, but at least trying to deliver on the story advertised would have tested the creative and literary abilities of the editors. As it is, they’re coasting through this issue. Apparently, they couldn’t even find good handout photos, as the usual collection of nudes is rather small. Perhaps all the crooked modeling agents and porn producers were on vacation in December 1971. At least you get a nice, if unidentified, cover model dressed in stripes to match the masthead. That’s good feng shui or something, right? We’ve scanned a few pages of this issue, and they appear below. National Informer will return.
|Vintage Pulp||Aug 20 2011|
The 70s era tabloid National Informer and its sister publication National Informer Weekly Reader are always in poor taste. But Weekly Reader really outdoes itself in this issue published today in 1972. One example: an article about the Japanese porn industry quotes two actresses named Melike Fukki and Sukyu Titti. And there’s much more, all bad. It was supposed to be in fun, of course, but that’s always the excuse for racist humor: “Oh, you don’t think that’s funny? That’s because you’re too fuckin’ sensitive, you baby. Loosen up!” Well, we don’t think we’re particularly sensitive, and we still have to cringe. What we wonder is whether Weekly Reader editors, if any are alive today, cringe a little too when they think of the things they wrote. We have fourteen more scans below for your…er, enjoyment?
|Vintage Pulp||Jun 19 2011|
Adultery, prostitution, spouse swapping and incest all make their regularly scheduled appearances in this June 1972 issue of National Informer, and the editors also tell us about a new scientific study proving that people with big noses have higher sex drives. Amongst their supporting evidence is this bit: “Anthropologists point out that in many animals, like the dog, the nose plays an important role in presexual activities. The male dog will sniff the female’s rear before mounting her.” With ass-sniffing imagery firmly implanted in our minds, we move on to the highlight of this issue, which concerns the appearance of a new strain of antibiotic-resistant V.D. Apparently this new clap must involve stinging insects flying out of the urethra, because in the accompanying photo the nurse is wearing what looks like a bee-keeper’s helmet. We’re still trying to figure that out. Maybe we'll consult those anthropologists from the big nose story, who for some reason are experts on dogs, so surely must know bees. While we consult, check out the rest of our scans below.