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.
May 25
1938—Alicante Is Bombed
During the Spanish Civil War, a squadron of Italian bombers sent by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini to support the insurgent Spanish Nationalists, bombs the town of Alicante, killing more than three-hundred people. Although less remembered internationally than the infamous Nazi bombing of Guernica the previous year, the death toll in Alicante is similar, if not higher.
1977—Star Wars Opens
George Lucas's sci-fi epic Star Wars premiers in the Unites States to rave reviews and packed movie houses. Produced on a budget of $11 million, the film goes on to earn $460 million in the U.S. and $337 million overseas, while spawning a franchise that would eventually earn billions and make Lucas a Hollywood icon.
May 24
1930—Amy Johnson Flies from England to Australia
English aviatrix Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Northern Territory, becoming the first woman to fly from England to Australia. She had departed from Croydon on May 5 and flown 11,000 miles to complete the feat. Her storied career ends in January 1941 when, while flying a secret mission for Britain, she either bails out into the Thames estuary and drowns, or is mistakenly shot down by British fighter planes. The facts of her death remain clouded today.
May 23
1934—Bonnie and Clyde Are Shot To Death
Outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, who traveled the central United States during the Great Depression robbing banks, stores and gas stations, are ambushed and shot to death in Louisiana by a posse of six law officers. Officially, the autopsy report lists seventeen separate entrance wounds on Barrow and twenty-six on Parker, including several head shots on each. So numerous are the bullet holes that an undertaker claims to have difficulty embalming the bodies because they won't hold the embalming fluid.
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