|Hollywoodland||Oct 23 2019|
This odd photo shows Eric Pederson, whose real name was Charles E. Putnam, showing off for photographers after he had been arrested on suspicion of auto theft in Los Angeles today in 1947. He and a companion named Edward Sell were busted by cops inside a car belonging a third party, though both denied they were trying to steal it. Pederson is rock hard in this photo for a reason. He was the reigning Mr. California, a title he won at only eighteen years old. The win sent him onward to the Mr. America competition, but he was beaten for the national crown by future Superman Steve Reeves.
Pederson generated plenty of publicity off that and other bodybuilding competitions, which led to a Your Physique cover painted by none other than George Quaintance. Since Quaintance painted only about a dozen of these, this was quite an honor. From there Pederson was able to launch a long pro wrestling career, which is how he's mainly remembered today. At one time he had Hollywood aspirations, but ended up managing only one role—a bit part as a wrestler in 1951's Civilian Coast Guard, starring Brian Donlevy and Ella Raines.
We weren't able to find out how his auto theft arrest turned out, but considering his seemingly unbroken timeline from bodybuilding competitions to wrestling, it's safe to say the charges were pleaded down to a misdemeanor or dismissed altogether. Which just goes to show that even quasi celebrity is helpful in L.A. Or maybe the cops gave him a break in exchange for bodybuilding tips. In any case, Pederson retired from wrestling in 1961 and died in 1990, but the Quaintance painting guarantees he'll be remembered as long as people collect great magazine art. We have more from Quaintance here, here, and here.
|Vintage Pulp||Sep 29 2016|
Mid-century artist George Quaintance, aka George Quintana, is best known these days for creating gay-themed illustrations, often for men's fitness magazines popular with gay customers. He played it straight too. His highly collectible body of work includes covers for the mainstream pop culture magazine Movie Humor, of which you see eleven examples below. You can check out more Quaintance here and here.
|Vintage Pulp||Nov 14 2014|
|Vintage Pulp||Mar 14 2012|
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.
|Vintage Pulp||Feb 23 2010|
Either the stud on the cover of William Moore’s 1976 erotic opus The Hustitute has a wolverine in his g-string or he’s taking the white man’s afro to a whole new level—a lower level, filled with dander and pheromones. The artist is uncredited, so we don’t know from whose fevered imagination this creation came, but we can still use it to illustrate why there are so many sexually provocative women on Pulp Intl., and very few provocative men. The reason, amply illustrated here, is because with rare exceptions, the relatively low sales figures on erotic male pulp necessitated the employment of, shall we say, less-than-stellar artists. And we generally don’t like less-than-stellar art, even when the artist has an outstanding sense of humor like this guy. There are exceptions to what we just said. Guys like George Quaintance did top notch erotic male art, but he did his work under the guise of illustrating bodybuilder magazines. We bring all this up not for you, but for our girlfriends, who were somewhat nonplussed by yesterday’s post. But whenever they start beating the drum for beefcake, we remind them that they thought this guy was only so-so. Pretty much kills their credibility, don’t you think?
|Vintage Pulp||Jan 22 2010|
Assorted Tomorrow’s Man pocket-sized magazines, circa 1950s and 1960s. TM is part of a group of mid-century physique or bodybuilding magazines often described as beefcake publications, which is to say it was either expressly produced for, or happened to appeal to a mainly gay clientele. During the late 1960s, when fully nude male bodies became legal to publish, TM declined, along with similarly-themed magazines like Vim, Adonis, and Body Beautiful. On a side note, one of the pulp era’s greatest illustrators George Quaintance was able to gain an audience for his work by painting covers for beefcake magazines. You can see some of those pieces here.
|Vintage Pulp||Mar 11 2009|
This stylized cover painting of bodybuilder and actor Steve Reeves, as well as the covers below, were painted by the late George Quaintance, who was a pioneer of male physique art during the 1950s. Quaintance's work was considered "beefcake" art, and appeared mainly on bodybuilding magazines. He never had an official gallery showing, for the obvious reason that mid-twentieth century America would not have tolerated public display of his Greek god figures with their prominent bulges. But he earned a measure of cult fame anyway, and undoubtedly must have gotten a real charge out of expressing his sexuality right under the noses of the establishment. You can see more of his stunning pieces here.