Intl. Notebook Jul 14 2019
THE FUTURE IS CLOUDY
It's all skin no wit as tabloid stumbles along on its last legs.


It's July 14, 1974 and it's getting late in the game for National Informer. This issue shows that the magazine is exhausted of ideas and inspiration, and is bereft of all but the crassest humor. We suspect staff reductions. As magazines decline in circulation they lose pages and bleed staff. This issue is a full eight pages shorter than two years earlier. We aren't sure how much longer Informer lasted, but by this point the writing seems to be on the wall.

One mainstay, though, is resident seer Mark Travis, who offers his thoughts about the far future, predicting that Greenland will become the next frontier by 2050 due to underground volcanoes turning it into a tropical paradise, and Brazil will become a world power by 2075, ranking only after the U.S., China, and the U.S.S.R., thanks to cheap labor and the vast resources of the Amazon.

This guess is not far wide of the mark. The current president of Brazil is selling off the Amazon. But Travis's prediction is undermined by the fact that the U.S.S.R. no longer exists. Future visions tend to be notoriously select, but a non-U.S.S.R. future should be glaringly readable even within swirling clairvoyant mists. Well, no seer is perfect. Maybe Travis will do better in the next issue. You'll find out, because we have more to come.

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Sex Files Jun 22 2019
READER FOR PLEASURE
There's nothing quite as stimulating as a vintage sleazy tabloid.


When the phonograph was invented, one of the things its advocates suggested was that it might be used for education, for example to listen to correspondence courses at home. Instead, in time it became a medium for selling music. When radio was invented it too was called a possible method for distance learning, and television was likewise touted as an educational device. And most of you will remember the high-minded rhetoric of what the internet would be used for. But today it's mainly a cesspool of crass salesmanship, lowbrow entertainment, mass manipulation, and intellectual self harm. So we thought we'd add to the morass today by sharing the infinitely sleazy National Informer Reader.

This issue in all its baby blue glory appeared today in 1975 with an unidentified cover model. The magazine, you may remember from previous times we've featured it, was an offshoot of National Informer, and a pared down version of National Informer Weekly Reader. The “reader” aspect is close to euphemistic, as there is no actual reportage at all, and the few stories provided are just short form sleaze fiction. We've talked about all this before. Today, for a change, we thought it might be fun to focus on the want ads. Or maybe hope ads is a more accurate description. The term “dick pic” is a recent invention, we think, but it probably should have arisen a long time ago. Check below:

He probably should have cropped the photo down to only his left-hanging dick (his left, not yours) to have a better shot at a response. In any case, the flourishing of the mid-century tabloid industry will remind you that mass communication has always bred lowbrow gratification. Some say the internet supercharged our darkest desires, and that's true, but we never actually needed digital technology to let our ids run free. Even pulp literature, with its murder, infidelities, and testosterone driven fantasies, is an example of the marginal blossoming into the mainstream. Well, there are few publications as marginal as National Informer Reader, as you'll see in twenty scans below with numerous explicit personal ads. Check our tabloid index for more examples of Reader.

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Intl. Notebook Dec 19 2018
RELAXING READING
Cheapie tabloid shows the way to enriched health.


Above is the cover and below are some interior scans from National Informer Reader, an offshoot of the tabloid National Informer. It hit newsstands today in 1971. Generally the publication featured photographed models on its cover, but we've run across a few like this one with illustrations. There's another one in the same vein inside the paper, and of course both are uncredited, though they look like the work of Alain Gourdon, aka Aslan. Needless to say, if these drawings are the work of the famed French illustrator, the editors of Informer Reader are unlikely to have paid for them.

The centerpiece of this issue is the spread on Swami Sarasvati, a famous yoga teacher who was born in India but moved to Australia and in 1969 became the host of a yoga television show that aired five mornings a week. Informer Reader shares her “sexercises,” but this turns out to be the editors' salacious take on things—the Swami is merely offering relaxation and better health. It's interesting, though, that she posed in a bikini. Clearly she wasn't so zen a little self promotional skin was out of the question. You'll notice her Siamese cat makes an appearance. There's a video online of the Swami being interviewed, which you can see here, and amusingly, the cat makes an appearance there too.

Elsewhere in the issue readers get another installment of “I Predict” by seer Mark Travis. Never timid, this time around he warns that the U.S. and Soviet Union will develop lightning weapons to blast each other, that a member of the British parliament will be revealed as a modern Jack the Ripper, and that a famous Hollywood producer will be exposed as a drug kingpin. As a prognosticator you only have to be right one in ten times to impress people, but Travis isn't even giving himself a chance with these crackpot predictions. We have more Readers to upload, so we'll see if his anemic percentage improves. Scans below.

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Intl. Notebook Nov 1 2018
PULPY ANNIVERSARY
One decade down, another to go.


So today is Pulp Intl.'s anniversary, and a special one, as we've now been around ten full years. Yeah, it's crazy. When we began there were numerous blogs and websites that we admired and drew inspiration from, and all of them are gone or permanently idle now. A few new ones have popped up and we can only hope they last. Pulp Intl. came about because we had moved out of the U.S. and wanted something to eat up the idle hours we'd benefitted. Mostly we partied those hours away, but there were still a few left and Pulp duly sprang forth. We figured maybe ten or twenty people might drop by per week. Last we checked that number had reached more than 7,000 individual visitors per day, and in the summer it has been as many as 14,000. Per day. It's just shocking. So we definitely want to thank every one of you for dropping by, and particularly those who visit time and again, with a special shout to those who write in with corrections and ideas.

We've scanned and uploaded thousands of original images, and seen them reposted tens of thousands of times on Tumblr, Twitter, and various other platforms. We have more to come. We shot photos of some items we have laying around the flat, just to give you an idea. It's not a complete accounting. We have things we're too lazy to pull out of storage right now. In all, scanning and sharing this stuff should take ten more years. Of course, as some wit once pointed out, plans and life are two different things—often diametrically opposed. Anything could happen, up to and including losing everything in a fire or the Pulp Intl. girlfriends—who are real people, by the way, not some concept we came up with—finally getting fed up and threatening to leave or kill us if we don't shut down the website. But they'd never do that because they're the best. Heh heh. Anyway, thank you everyone for these ten years. It's been incredibly fun for us and we hope you've gotten a few laughs out of it, learned a few things, and had a love of vintage media instilled or just reaffirmed. And now—future here we come...



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Intl. Notebook Jun 16 2018
COCKED AND LOADED
National Informer Reader delves into the intricacies of male birth control.


By today in 1974, which is when this issue of National Informer Reader appeared, the magazine was nearing its end. It's easy to tell. There's less content than in pervious years, and there's a proliferation of penny-ante ads in the front half of the layout. In the magazine world it's understood that ads in the front are the ones most often seen by readers. The back page and inside back page are prime sports too, but otherwise it's the front half of the book that makes publishers money because advertisers pay more for it. But readers will skip past ads if they aren't adjacent to editorial content, so there needs to be a careful balance between the two. In this Reader that balance is gone. The entirety of pages two through seven are given over to ads and personals. You wanna know what angry is? Try the angry of an advertiser that opens your magazine and sees that his or her ad is surrounded not by readable content that keeps the reader on the page, but by other ads.

But there are still some treats even in a late stage Reader. “Older Women Are Flocking To Massage Parlors Run By Young Virile Studs” is pure gold, just for that descriptive header alone. But sometimes a header is so bizarre there's no way to tell what the story is about. “New Vasectomy Ties Tell Women Who To Date.” Huh? What the hell kind of ties do they mean? Like the ones they use to tie your tubes? Turns out they mean it literally. A vasectomy clinic in London allegedly gave patients neckties with Vs running down the front, indicating the wearer had been snipped. And supposedly women flocked to these guys. We've been unable to corroborate the story, but it feels different from the second rate bull tabloid editors usually concoct—heh, we said coct—so we suspect it's truthful. And fittingly, there's cock in this issue, and not on slobs either—on nice looking guys, though none are swinging low, if you know what we mean. But still, something for our female readers. And male readers too. You're welcome. Cock and bull below.

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Intl. Notebook Jan 23 2018
INFORMER USAGE
Tabloid perfects the unauthorized photo leak long before the internet age.


This issue of National Informer was published today in 1972. We love this tabloid, but we'd be have to be blind to not see how low rent it is. It's a mess. Words are misspelled, columns and graphics are crooked, and it's heavily padded. For example there's a random photo of a water buffalo and a sexual quip about its backside. That's pure editorial desperation to fill a gap in the layout. And to make sport of such gentle creatures. Sad!

And speaking of unauthorized usage of gentle creatures, Christina Lindberg pops up yet again in Informer. Rather than in an alleged orgy, this time she appears in the story, “Do Sexually Inadequate Hubbies Force Women To Become Lesbians?” Seems like the editors had a real thing for her. But we have to admit, if we had a bunch of photos of Lindberg around we'd probably squeeze her into our editorial content time after time after time after time too.

Um, where were we? Right—elsewhere in Informer, resident prognosticator Mark Travis makes another set of predictions. You know his track record isn't good, which gives us the idea to have a little quiz. So here you go: which of these two predictions did Travis get more wrong?

1: I predict the ghost of Josef Stalin will appear in Red Square in Moscow during a public ceremony and throw the crowd into a panic.

2: I predict a black governor for the state of Georgia in 1974.

It was a trick question. Both predictions were equally wrong. The ghost of Stalin has not appeared in Red Square, and the state of Georgia, which has a 30% black population, has never had a black governor. Actually, there are no black governors of any U.S. state at the moment, and there have been only four in U.S. history. Bunch of scans below.

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Intl. Notebook Dec 5 2017
THE FUTURE FORETOLD
Too bad your job isn't like the prediction racket.


We have more from National Informer, with an issue published today in 1971, containing stories about wives thinking their husbands are lousy lovers, how pornography is good for mental health, an inside look at the always exciting pimping profession, and more. One story we love: phrenologists feeling the shape of women's heads to determine whether they're good in bed. And as usual there's a new slate of amazing predictions by resident seer Mark Travis, a guy who once predicted that a series of savage sex slayings would mystify the police of an east coast city until they finally found the culprit—an 11-year old boy. Ah, that crazy Travis. The man is right like 5% of the time but still gets to keep his gig. Our favorite from this issue: “I predict the death of another famous rock star from an overdose of narcotics will have a chilling effect on the drug scene among youth.” He really went out on a limb with that one and still got it only half right. There were plenty more overdoses after December 1971, but none that chilled the drug scene. We doubt anything could do that for long. We also doubt we'll ever stop buying National Informer. It's an addictive drug all its own.

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Sex Files Jun 4 2017
INFORMATION RETRIEVAL
Poke around inside National Informer and there's no telling what you'll find.


Today we have another National Informer from a water damaged batch we rescued last year. This issue delivers the usual goods—or bads, depending on your point of view—including breast fondling techniques for men, sex fantasies women are ashamed to talk about, and why married couples should consider the “pro's and con's” of swapping. With all the sex stories here, the few attempts to be a real newspaper come across as jokes, such as when editors pose the question of whether hot dogs cause cancer. Hot dogs? What next? An exposé on the annual Chicopee Kielbasa Festival? Stick to what you're good at, we say. And Informer is good at smut.

Of the smut in this issue, we're partial to the centerspread article on sex resorts. Informer reports that this is a growing trend in the liberal European countries, then claims even Africa is getting in on the act: “There is a little country called Gambia, in West Africa, that has only 300,000 people, three hotels, and a growing tourist boom. The big attraction about Gambia is that the government officially closes its eyes to all goings-on. That's why Gambia has become the IN place for Swedes who come to frolic nude along its sparking white beaches.”

Gambia as a Swede swinger's paradise circa 1972 is news to us, but checking online, it certainly looks worth a visit. White beaches? Plenty of those. White people? Thin on the ground. Perfect, because we prefer friendly locals any day of the week over hoards of backpack lugging foreigners. Elsewhere in Informer, one of the issue's models looks familiar. Didn't the woman in the ad directly below appear—frontally nude with a Mona Lisa smile—in Informer's October 1972 issue? Decide for yourself. We have eighteen scans below and many more tabloids to share going forward. If you like this sort of thing check our tabloid index at this link.

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Vintage Pulp Feb 25 2017
MATURE READER
It may be old but it's just as feisty as ever.

Above and below we have some scans from an issue of National Informer Reader published today in 1974. During its early days the magazine was called National Informer Weekly Reader, but we guess weakly sales put a stop to its more frequent publication schedule. The content hasn't changed in this later Reader, though. It has the usual stories of vice, including one of a sex orgy in a restaurant, complete with a photo of one of the participants, Christina Lindberg. You may remember we last saw her here.

Her presence in Reader is a classic example of the phenomenon of handout photos—i.e. publicity shots from promotional agencies sent to publications for usage in celeb write-ups. Generally, the agencies didn't carefully check the types of publications requesting shots, which meant tabloids were able to get them pretty easily. Sometimes the parent publications would request the photos and they'd trickle down to the companies' tabloid operations. In any case, Christina Lindberg obviously did not participate in a restaurant orgy. Though it certainly is appetizing to contemplate.

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Vintage Pulp Feb 20 2017
MISSING INFORMATION
Tabloid loses its color ink but not its colorful content.

We mentioned last month that we bought a group of water damaged issues of National Informer. They had lain in a garage somewhere and humidity had caused the color inks to run, in some cases to the point of disappearing. The Informer you see above, published today in 1972, is the most damaged of the lot, though when you look at the striking result it seems inaccurate to use the word damaged. Let's call it altered, because we actually like look. But have a glance at an unaltered issue from the same year here. You see that plenty is missing. Today's issue is fully readable, though, and the semi-pornographic photos are unharmed too, all the way to the deepest interior pages. You can see for yourself below, where we have eighteen panels for your enjoyment. We have ten more issues from this batch we'll be uploading in the coming year.

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Next Page
History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
August 18
1920—U.S. Women Gain Right To Vote
The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified despite heavy conservative opposition. It states that no U.S. citizen can be denied the right to vote because of their gender.
1958—Lolita is Published in the U.S.
Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novel Lolita, about a man's sexual obsession with a pre-pubescent girl, is published in the United States. It had been originally published in Paris three years earlier.
August 17
1953—NA Launches Recovery Program
Narcotics Anonymous, a twelve-step program of drug addiction recovery modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous, holds its first meeting in Los Angeles, California.
August 16
1942—Blimp Crew Disappears without a Trace
The two-person crew of the U.S. naval blimp L-8 disappears on a routine patrol over the Pacific Ocean. The blimp drifts without her crew and crashes in Daly City, California. The mystery of the crew's disappearance is never solved.
1977—Elvis Presley Dies
Music icon Elvis Presley is found unresponsive by his fiancée on the floor of his Graceland bedroom suite. Attempts to revive him fail and he's pronounced dead soon afterward. The cause of death is often cited as drug overdose, but toxicology tests have never found evidence this was the case. More likely, years of drug abuse contributed to generally frail health and an overtaxed heart that suddenly failed.
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