Vintage Pulp Jun 25 2019
A MAN'S OF MANY INTERESTS
Aussie magazine delves into love, sex, war, crime, and more.


We're back to Man's Epic today, a difficult to find Aussie adventure magazine published by K.G. Murray Co., the same group responsible for the amazing Adam magazine. K.G. Murray Co.'s provenance goes all the way back to 1936, when an Aussie advertising worker named Kenneth Gordon Murray launched Man magazine from offices in Sydney, and its mix of adventure, cartoons, and women caught on with readers. Murray expanded and would eventually publish Man Junior, Cavalcade, Gals and Gags, Adam, and numerous other titles. By 1954 the company was churning out eighteen monthly publications.

Man's Epic, which is not related to the U.S. men's magazine of the same name, came in October 1967, and switched to bimonthly in 1971, with the above issue published to span May through June 1973. Unfortunately, Man's Epic died in late 1977 or possibly early 1978, at the same time numerous men's magazines were withering with the changing times. Murray's umbrella company Publishers Holding Ltd. had become targeted in a takeover bid that resulted in K.G. Murray Co. being sold to Australian Consolidated Press, or ACP. After that point Murray's magazines were shuttered one by one by their new owners.

We're fans of Man's Epic, though this is only the second issue we've managed to buy. Inside you get articles about practitioners of warcraft, a story on motorcycle accidents that doesn't spare the carnage, and various models whose identities are new to us. There's also a lengthy feature on shocking sex rites, including a bit on San Simón, aka Maximón, the Mayan trickster deity native to our former beloved home of Guatemala. We once took a long drive from Guatemala across Honduras with an effigy of Maximón in the vehicle, and we learned about his trickster nature firsthand.

That story, by the way, was penned by Jane Dolinger, a trailblazing travel writer who ventured everywhere from the Sahara to the Amazon and wrote eight books, but is perhaps a bit forgotten today. The editors make sure readers know Dolinger is hot by publishing a glamour photo of her, which is a pretty sexist move, though she posed for provocative shots often. Meanwhile her framing of other cultures' sexual practices as abnormal is textbook racism. Abandon all hope ye who enter this magazine!

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Vintage Pulp Feb 6 2017
YOU ARE WHAT YOU KNOW
Zen and the higher purpose of men's magazines.

We're very interested in Australian men's magazines. Today we have a new entry for you—Cavalcade, published by Kenneth G. Murray, the same person that gave the world Adam. This issue from February 1956, has a killer cover—uncredited, which is par for K.G. Murray Publishing. There aren't many art or photo pages inside, but we've posted the ones that were there. You may have noticed the somewhat weird slogan “The Know Yourself Magazine.” We guess the idea being peddled is that Cavalcade helped men become better versions of themselves. It sounds almost zen, almost like the Buddha would say it. But then you open it and see all the raunchy cartoons and bikini beauties and realize—no, it's just a regular men's magazine. And if you bought it, you probably knew yourself quite well already. We may get back to this one a bit later.

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Vintage Pulp Oct 12 2012
LITTLE BIG MAN
Junior is every bit as grown up as its father.

From K.G. Murray Publishing Co., the group that would later produce Adam magazine, comes this October 1948 issue of Man Junior, which you may already know was the offspring of Murray’s flagship publication Man. We showed you one of those here. Both magazines featured art, fiction, cartoons, and glamour photography, but Man Junior was of smaller dimensions—in fact pocket sized. It launched in 1937 and was an immediate success. The cover art above, signed Val, is uncredited, but inside you get illustrations from Arthur Nichol, Jack Waugh, and others, plus an adventure from the immensely popular comic character Devil Doone, who was created by R. Carson Gold, first appeared in Man Junior in 1945, and was drawn during this period by Hart Amos. You also get a pretty cool photo of American actress Janet Blair, who we shared a portrait of just a couple of weeks ago, and of special note are two nude studies from famed British photographer John Everard. We’ll have more samples form Kenneth Murray’s publishing empire soon.

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Vintage Pulp Feb 5 2012
BEST MAN
Waiting for her ship to come in.

From Sydney, Australia’s Kenneth G. Murray, who is the same person who published the great magazine Adam, here’s his earliest mass market imprint—the succinctly named Man. The name leaves no doubt what the magazine is about, and indeed this issue from February 1950 features cover art of an available woman strutting her stuff for some virile sailors, and inside you get pin-ups, pulp style illustrations, fiction, and humor. We found this Man and a few others in an online archive. Below are some scans from today's, including a black and white photo about midway down of American actress Angela Greene. We'll have more coming from the others later. 

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Vintage Pulp Sep 23 2011
FASHION SLAVE
I said wear overalls so you can carry some tools, but you had to wear the strapless mini and now look at you—useless!

This issue of Kenneth G. Murray’s Adam from September 1963 has a lovely cover illustration for W. H. Percival’s tale of danger and treasure hunting in Ceylon, “Cult of the Snake God,” as well as plenty of nice treats inside. As for the cover girl’s inappropriate crypt digging garb, well, she’s a slave and as any pulp aficionado knows, they’re usually sexy and very rarely have enough clothing to wear. In the story, the main character (with the unlikely name Rex Scarbe) decides to rescue the girl Mora from her evil master, but it turns out she’s setting a trap to sacrifice him to a giant python. Scarbe kills the python only to have Mora try to stab him in the heart. So the lesson is that the trustworthiness of a woman is directly proportionate to the amount of clothing she wears. Like you didn't already know that. 

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Vintage Pulp Dec 14 2009
NATURAL SELECTION
I know. Other men have called me creepy too. But I'm all you've got tonight.

Assorted pages of Adam, from Australia, December 1957. Though the cover art here is similar to the 1973 and 1976 issues we posted, at this stage Adam was a pure pulp magazine. It had been launched in 1946 by Kenneth G. Murray as part of a publishing group that included Man and Man Junior. Thought it always published a bit of cheesecake, it shifted its emphasis toward more explicit nudity around 1971 or 1972. The magazine folded in 1974. We’ll keep looking for more issues, and we'll post what we find in the coming months. 

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Vintage Pulp Oct 12 2009
TRAIN REACTION
A little less conversation, a little more action.


We thought we’d start your Monday off right with a brilliant cover and some interior panels from the great men’s magazine Adam. This is not the American nudie mag we posted a while ago, but rather the publication of identical name that was launched in Australia by Kenneth G. Murray. This issue, with its stunning image of a burning locomotive plummeting into a canyon, is from thirty-three years ago this month.     

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
November 22
1963—John F. Kennedy Is Assassinated
In Dallas, Texas, U.S. President John F. Kennedy is killed and Texas Governor John B. Connally is seriously wounded as they ride in a motorcade through Dealy Plaza. Lee Harvey Oswald, an employee of the schoolbook depository from which the shots were suspected to have been fired, was arrested on charges of the murder of a local police officer and was subsequently charged with the Kennedy killing. He denied shooting anyone, claiming he was a patsy, but was killed by Jack Ruby on November 24, before he could be indicted or tried. Today, Americans who believe JFK was killed as the result of a conspiracy are routinely dismissed in the press, yet the vast majority of them believe Oswald did not act alone.
November 21
1959—Max Baer Dies
Former heavyweight boxing champ Max Baer dies of a heart attack in Hollywood, California. Baer had a turbulent career. He lost to Joe Louis in 1935, but two years earlier, in his prime, he defeated German champ and Nazi hero Max Schmeling while wearing a Star of David on his trunks. The victory was his legacy, making him a symbol to Jews, and also to all who hated Nazis.
November 20
1945—Nuremberg Trials Begin
In Nuremberg, Germany, in the Palace of Justice, the trials of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of Nazi Germany begin. Among the men tried were Martin Bormann (in absentia), Hermann Göring, Rudolph Hess, and Ernst Kaltenbrunner.
1984—SETI Institute Founded
The SETI Institute, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, the discovery of extrasolar planets, and the habitability of the galaxy, is founded in California by Thomas Pierson and Dr. Jill Tarter.
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