Men’s Adventure Magazines: Paging Dr. Freud

I’m a fan of Post-War pulp art.  Well, maybe not a fan, I don’t collect it or know any of the artists by name, but I like to study the images when I find them online.   I also get a kick out of awful men’s adventure magazines.  I wish someone would digitize the back issues and sell it as an e-book.  I’d be all over it!

All that I can do for now is enjoy the covers I find online.  Let’s talk about some of the covers in my desktop folder.  What shall we make of these?

Illustrious publication Night and Day revisits the burning questions: ” Should women be manhandled?”  and “Are you mentally disabled?”

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“Are you mentally disabled?”

This edition of True Men addresses no fewer than three male anxieties: duplicitous, cheating wives; female sexuality (‘nympho torture girls’); and being made useless or redundant at work.   Extra points for the racism!   The artwork is actually pretty good, though.

What the heck is a “sin-doll race”?  Does anyone know?

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Personally, I’m rooting for the tiger here, but you know Buff McDangerpants is going to shoot him (men in these magazine spend a lot of time contending with dangerous animals, as we will see.  Dangerous animals, dangerous women, dangerous Nazis…it’s all danger, all the time):

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NOOOOOOO!  Not the monkeys!   At least three of these guys are toast: the one trying to climb back on the raft–those monkeys are going to drag him right down, the guy laying on his back and getting his face clawed, and the one in the water over by the ‘g’ in stag.  Buff McDangerpants in the black vest must be the hero of the story.  I bet it’s told in first person, and he’s the narrator.  Go, Buff, go!  Throw that fucking monkey!  

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How they BEAT THE DRAFT!

Here we have two, count em, two attacking animals: weasels and a killer shark!  Kudos to the artist, because I actually cringed at the weasel biting the guy’s neck.  Also: can women justify their need for EXTRA-MARITAL RELATIONS?

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Watch out for those giant jungle otters!  Really, though, not too impressed with this one.  The otter’s not doing anything for me and the artwork’s not great, either.

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Whoever came up with “Cannibal Crabs to Kill!” deserves a raise!  It doesn’t make much sense, though.  If the crabs were cannibals, they’d be eating one another.   I’d be afraid of crabs, if they were very very large, because they are fucking hideous sea bugs (they do taste delicious, though).

Why marry a virgin?–obviously, so she won’t have any basis of comparison when she experiences your dick and your technique in the sack, of course!  She’ll have no idea whether you’re inadequate.

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I love Buff McDangerpant’s face in this one:

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Another thing I see in a lot of these magazines is the assertion that there is someplace, somewhere, where women are putting out.  In the issue above, it’s Miami Beach.  Here, it’s San Antonio.

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Turtles…I’m not feelin it, Man’s Life.

A crocodile!  Now we’re talking!  “Give me my arm back!”  Plus: sluts in DC and H-bomb anxiety.  Those were the days!  Seriously, when’s the last time you heard anyone say anything about our nukes?  I remember a tiny bit of the Cold War from my early childhood.  We had bomb drills in class–we’d have to crouch under our desks, as if that would do a damn thing to save us if the Soviets, for some bizarre reason, decided to nuke this stupid town.  Remember when our enemies were Europeans, with a navy?  Who could do calculus?  Wasn’t that romantic?

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“Blasted off its axis!”

Go, vulture, go!  Get that dude!  Tear his flesh with your curved beak!    And….”American men can’t handle women”?  As opposed to who?

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Here they are again!  Those vultures sure get around!  And what could be more titillating than babes in danger?  It never gets old.  This Buff McDangerpants over there is going to be able to save her?

What else do we have in this issue…?  What do you think those “pep pills” are: aphrodisiacs/date-rape drugs for women, or pills to keep your dick hard?

 

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And of course, you can never go wrong with Nazis.  The prevalence of Nazi imagery and as plot device in the stories is interesting to me.  The Germans certainly make handy villains but, at the same time, I would have thought this generation of men would have too much unpleasant personal experience with them to put trivialize them in wank fodder like this.  I have no explanation.

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NOTE THE GORILLA! PAGING DR. FREUD!

“Scream for my kisses before you die!”  I should have used that one in a session.

Seriously: laugh, or cry?  Laugh, or cry?  I think…laugh, so you don’t have to cry!

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gross, on so many levels

Out of all of these covers, this one has the best artwork.  That’s a great image.  It’s visually interesting, and I can feel the movement in her body and the figures behind her.  I wish I knew who the artist was.  I also like how the woman, despite being in imminent danger (by black guys, this time, natch), has a gun, and is pointing it at something.

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And, finally, a Western.  This one has good art, too.  Much better than the otter!

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7 thoughts on “Men’s Adventure Magazines: Paging Dr. Freud”

  1. I’m particularly interested in the sin happy vacations that are overrunning Cape Cod. Also kind of curious about damned nudes, in the same issue as the Scream for my kisses bit. Interesting lives these fellows live or, in some cases, were living, right before the weasels got them. Why weasels? one wonders, and then shudders with the possibility of symbolism. These are fabulous. Thanks for sharing.

  2. If it hasn’t been done so already, there’s at the very least an interesting academic paper, and possibly even a book to be written on the ways in which pulp fiction and ‘men only’ type magazines cast an interesting light on the social construct called ‘masculinity’.

    Decoding the images and the accompanying texts leads us to some key aspects of the requirements, entitlements, and threats that beset manhood.

    The requirement is clearly that a man, in order to be a MAN should be physically strong, courageous, and able to confront, fight, and defeat grotesque evil.

    The entitlement is that of sexual conquest, the prize for rescuing that damsel in distress, a fantasy that nicely dovetails with the tropes of female helplessness and sexual availability.

    The threats comes from various signifiers of men’s castration anxiety, with the danger that they will slash, cut, bite, peck or otherwise rip the hero to shreds. (What are those weasels doing under water, one wonders).

    However, the articles whose titles feature on these front pages reveal more complex anxieties. There’s a lot of obsession with women as sexually autonomous and therefore both alluring and threatening – whether it’s nympho torture girls, or “respectable” wives who are secret, sex-for-pay tramps, or those love happy girls along the Potomac, or the sin-dolls racing to vacation spots for outdoor men. There’s a lot of moral confusion baked into these fantasies, not least because of the ludicrous contradictions that exist in patriarchal ideology. In this respect, patriarchy is like the capitalist system itself in which it continues to thrive.

    Significantly, the only cover that depicts a woman in a strong or dominant role is the one in which the heroine is surrounded by black Africans. This is consistent with the bully hierarchy of Western imperialism which places white men first, then white women, then blacks and other races as sub-humans.

  3. oh my! awesome miss margo, magazines and commentary. these are a scream.

    where is that shark and what exactly is it hooked to? lol.

    about half way through, i started to wonder if the vicious dangerous animals were really metaphors for women, then i saw the headline on the second to the last magazine, “How to Handle Your Sex Fears.” i think so.

  4. How is it that I have never even heard of these magazines? What a hoot! No wonder my sense of manhood is so lacking in virility. Killer turtles! Thanks for sharing these.

  5. Great list! I never saw any of these before but now I have an idea for one. Imagine a strong female character saving virgins from “inadequate” men. “Small dicks and shoddy technique at every corner but someone looks out for virgins. Once a virgin herself, now a writer, she tirelessly struggles to guide young girls on the path to hefty cock and physical bliss.”

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