Vintage Pulp Nov 28 2014
CORONA FEAR
Miles away from ordinary.


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.

Among many strange aspects of the crimes, Corona typically chopped crosses in the backs of his victims’ heads with a machete, and buried them face up with their arms over their heads and their shirts pulled up to cover their faces. Reader doesn’t offer much new information six months after his arrest, opting instead for a few big photos and short captions. Even though Corona typically wore casual work clothes, Reader digs up a photo of him in a sombrero and charro suit, because nothing says, "I'll chop up you, your family, and your little dog too, motherfucker," like mariachi garb. Using an atypical photo is of course a transparent move to make certain subjects appear more alien to readers, and it remains a common and highly troublesome aspect of American murder coverage today.
 
But Reader is a tabloid, after all, and so elsewhere in the issue you get more standard tabloid fare—five women giving up secrets about Farnk Sinatra, Mandy Burnes explaining several ways to beat a hangover, a fearful story about the coming explosion in the number of hippie doctors, a guide to Soho for swingers, a millionairess who made her fortune selling German sex aids, and the usual assortment of bad cartoons. Also, we have a suspicion that’s an Aslan pin-up on the front cover, which would be the second Reader has stolen—er, borrowed. Nineteen scans below.

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Vintage Pulp Nov 8 2014
INSIDE INFORMER
Our favorite terrible tabloid flirts with real journalism, but only for a moment.

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.

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Vintage Pulp Oct 31 2014
REMEDIAL READING
What’s scarier than National Informer Reader? Actually daring to look inside.


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.

Reader editors start by donning their anthropology hats and telling readers that by the year 2000 there will be 2.5 women on Earth for every man. You know what that means right? “In the year 2000 men will be catered to by women as in no other era in the history of mankind. Every week will be a special week dedicated in some way to the male sex. For instance, one week will be called National Sex Week, and if a man gives at the office he doesn’t have to give at home. 2000 is the start of the era when men will have the whip hand.”
 
Because men need more control, right? Well, if that prospect isn’t frightening enough, Reader tells us California is a breeding ground for devil-worshipping cults, drugs are destroying family life via osmosis from bad neighbors, virgin women are lamentably impossible to find anymore, and psychopathic outlaws and sex perverts have invaded America’s freewheeling outdoor music festivals. Readers also get to solve a murder mystery (which you can try below). All very scary.
 
Elsewhere in the issue, readers get Raquel Welch (just below) in a promo shot from Myra Breckenridge, and two photos of Malta-born British twins Mary and Madeleine Collinson, who posed together for Playboy’sOctober 1970 centerfold and were the first (but not last) identical twins to do so. Both also appeared in movies, always together, because, well, twins. Their most remembered feature is Hammer’s schlock vampire classic Twins of Evil (although only one twin is a vampire in the movie). Sadly, Madeleine Collinson died last month on Malta
 
Lastly, Sophia Loren urges women to have sex before marriage. Loren describes women as “ridiculously moral. So they go out and marry a man without having a love affair first to find out if they are compatible.” Any potential husband, she says, might be anything from a sadist to a eunuch, and she recommends premarital sex, trial cohabitation, and state mandated probationary marriage that doesn’t legalize until three years have passed.

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.


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Vintage Pulp Aug 23 2014
INFORMED CONSENT
National Informer gives hypnotists a bad name.


We’re back to the National Informer today for the first time in over a year. When last we shared one of these we lamented having only five issues left. We’ve since solved that problem by purchasing six more, so fret not, Informer lovers—we have fresh stocks to amaze and thrill you. This issue comes from today in 1970 and it announces that a woman was raped under hypnosis. Fortunately, this story is nothing more than tabloid titillation. It’s told in a first person perspective designed to get pulses racing, as the woman describes how the hypnotist—who is her husband—used his power to make her cheat so he could divorce her. As she eventually remembers what happened she gives readers a highly sexual account of her ravishment. The story was obviously concocted in the brain of some sweaty Informer scribe, doubtless a male one, who possibly went on to write sleaze novels.
 
The issue’s real centerpiece, as far as we’re concerned, is the Amazing Criswell and his always astounding predictions. He really outdoes himself this time, telling readers, “I predict that a female ape will be impregnated thru artificial insemination with the male of the human species and the result will be a retarded ape.” Elsewhere in the issue you get a carefully considered weighing of whether whites, blacks or Asians are better at sex, a discussion of why sexy feet are indispensable for women, and dire warnings about the dangers of credit card usage. Eight scans below, and more tasty issues of Informer you can access by clicking here, here, and here.

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Vintage Pulp May 21 2013
CONSIDER YOURSELF INFORMED
Everything you thought you knew is wrong.

This issue of the crazed American tabloid National Informer published today in 1972 is the thirteenth we’ve shared, and inside the editors impart reams of shocking knowledge. Readers learn that birth control pills impair girls’ growth, dominant women emasculate men, disposable clothes are about to become the rage, men can get popped for paternity even if a woman gives birth more than a year after they had sex, and weather affects sexual moods. We think only the last bit is correct. By far our favorite item from this issue is on the cover, where we learn we can fight pollution by buying National Informer because it’s printed on recycled paper. Did Informer readers fail to realize that buying the paper contributed to pollution no matter what it was printed on? The way to really fight pollution would have been to not buy it at all, but it’s a good thing that didn’t happen—we’d have nothing to scan and share with you. As it is we’re already running low on these—only five more issues before they’re gone.

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Vintage Pulp Jun 29 2012
MINOR RAMPAGE
Rampage is tamer than its name suggests. That could be good or bad, depending on your point of view.

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.  

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Vintage Pulp Feb 6 2012
MATE FOR EACH OTHER
In sex, as in chess, positional play is the key.

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. 

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Vintage Pulp Dec 12 2011
SHOWING ITS STRIPES
National Informer promises a bit more than can it can deliver.

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. 

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Vintage Pulp Aug 20 2011
NATIONAL DISGRACE
The reliably offensive National Informer Weekly Reader strikes again.

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? 

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Vintage Pulp Jun 19 2011
ILL INFORMED
Stinging sensation in the genitals? Maybe it’s the new VD.

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. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
December 21
1958—de Gaulle Elected President of France
World War II hero General Charles de Gaulle is elected President of France by an overwhelming majority. During his time he leads France to develop nuclear weapons, ends the French presence in Algeria, and survives several assassination attempts. He eventually retires to Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises, in north-east France, and dies from a heart attack on 9 November 1970.
December 20
1989—U.S. Invades Panama
The United States invades Panama with the goal of overthrowing the dictatorship of Manuel Noriega. Noriega had been a CIA agent for many years, and because of this special status, U.S. drug authorities had turned a blind eye toward his activities, which included helping to create a crack cocaine epidemic in American inner cities. In 1988, Senator John Kerry's Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations concluded that the Noriega saga represented one of the most serious foreign policy failures in U.S. history.
December 19
1984—Britain Agrees to Cede Hong Kong
Great Britain signs over Hong Kong to China in an agreement stipulating that the colony be returned to the Chinese in 1997. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher signs the Joint Sino-British Declaration with her Chinese counterpart Zhao Ziyang, while political groups in Hong Kong push futilely for independence.

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