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Bad Mags: The Strangest, Sleaziest, and Most Unusual Periodicals Ever Published: 1 [Paperback]

Tom Brinkmann
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

3 July 2008 Bad Mags (Book 2)
The strangest, sleaziest and most unusual periodicals ever published: Bad Mags illuminates the darker recesses of ""pop lit"" - focusing on magazines and tabloids published in the US from the 60s through to the 80s. Included are full contents listings, background information, publisher details on each title covered and anecdotal information. ""Beautifully printed and lovingly designed."" City Life

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Product details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: HEADPRESS (3 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1900486652
  • ISBN-13: 978-1900486651
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 15.8 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 508,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Get Exactly What is Says on the Cover ! 7 Nov 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An amazing collection of downright scuzzy magazines, most of which would have never have been allowed on the top shelves of British newsagents in the 60s and early 70s.

Roll on the promised "Bad Mags Volume 2" !
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mad Mags: Volume 1 10 Dec 2008
By Ed Zeppelin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If, like me, you like the sleazy underbelly of culture, then you'll like Bad Mags. It's a collection and reference tome of those bad taste sleazy news-stand magazines from the 60's and 70's which contained lurid covers of such delights as topless girls being forced into giant cooking pots, naked hippies or scantily clad Satanists taking part in some Satanic ritual in front of a suburban home's fireplace. With such titles as, Biker Orgy, Torrid Film Reviews, Cropped Crotches, Sluts & Slobs and Outerspace Sex Orgy, these magazines fulfilled the masturbatory fantasies of the males of those times.

Some publishing houses would bring out a series of titles while others only printed one-offs. The author, Tom Brinkmann, really knows his stuff and can navigate his way around these many titles and publishers; pointing out when photos and articles were re-used or magazines were re-printed with new titles. The book consists of each magazine cover followed by a capsular review.

The book is broken down into three main parts: Mondo Adult Slicks, which encompasses everything from SM magazines through to candid exposés of the widening hippie culture; Sexploitation Film Slicks, 1963 -1973, which covers film related magazines specializing in the adult grind-house cinema of the times; and the 1%ers: Outaw Rider, Sixties Style, which looks at the magazines which begun to cash-in on the surge and fear of the Hell's Angels and other biker gangs.

The book also looks at a few key personalities behind these publications and focuses on Titus Moody, who was a low-grade Hollywood actor, producer, photographer, biker and who also appears regularly in the many photo-shoots, either romping in a hippie pad with a naked girl or straddling his motorbike.

There's a large section also devoted to `worst movie director of all-time', Edward D.Wood, who in his later years was a prolific writer for these magazines - his awkward style of writing being impossible to miss as well as his love for angora sweaters.

There's also a brief look at a few of the girls who frequently bared all for these magazines, notably Lynn Harris and Rene Bond.

My only complaint with the book is the format could have been larger because a lot of the excellent magazine covers have been relegated to the side-bar of each page rendering them too small to be really appreciated. This is why I have only given it four stars as opposed to five.

Apart from that it's a great book which will surely contribute to a rise in prices of the original magazines as more people begin to discover these warped period pieces which dealt in the fantasies, taboos and fears of those times.

I'm looking forward to Volume Two which promises Devil worshipping and monster magazines, Sharon Tate, Charles Manson, Myron Fass, violent crime magazines and punksploitation.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A trip to another world 9 Feb 2014
By Aussiescribbler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book will appeal to fans of the wilder fringes of the popular culture of the 1960s and 1970s. The sleazier magazines found on U.S. newsstands in that era were another world. This first volume of Brinkman's two volume overview is divided into four sections devoted to : soft porn magazines; sexploitation film magazines; magazine coverage of outlaw bikers; and trash film director Ed Wood's fiction and non-fiction writing for magazines. Brinkman writes about these magazines with a fanatics eye for detail and an enthusiasm for their weirdness. I wish he'd been able to include larger illustrations and more in colour. There are four pages of colour reproductions of magazine covers. The rest of the illustrations - covers, page spreads, etc. are black and white and many of the covers are small. But this is enough to illustrate and to whet the appetite. If you want to see large colour reproductions of the covers of these kinds of magazines you can find them on the net. In fact the Bad Mags Facebook page is worth following if you want to see a flood of great pulp magazine covers.

One of the things I like about sixties sexploitation films is that many of them are mind-blowingly eccentric. When audiences were paying to see nudity and they didn't really care about the context in which it occurred, it could have a liberating influence on film-makers. They could put any weird idea that was passing through their head up on the screen. It didn't matter. People would pay to see the film either way. And, apparently, this same principle applied with many of the girlie magazines of that era. They had to contain a certain amount of text in order to demonstrate that they had literary or educational value. Just pictures was not allowed. But since the words weren't what most people were buying the magazines for, they could slap together any nonsense they wanted, and many did. Brinkman gives plenty of choice passages of bizarre insanity. In the late sixties the magazines gave a lot of coverage to the hippies (after all hippies liked to get naked) and LSD use. And it sounds as if those producing the magazines were under the influence of such chemicals themselves a lot of the time. In some cases the photos and artwork would get psychedelic as well with jumbled photo and clip art montages being common. Here is an example from 1970. It comes from a magazine called Eve. It is the intro to the magazine apparently published beneath a close-up photo of a spread vagina :

"On the short river of mankind, 1900 was a ripple ago. Christ writhed screaming that you were both man and god, just downstream. But your next 30 years shall equal mankind's progress of the preceding 30 million. What will you be like then, when humans near maturity as a species, when we contact the higher intelligences of the universe, when you know your eternal soul as well as your toes? What will nudism mean then...what will sex be then? Fading grey from the knowledge of good and evil, the nothing-sins, Eve outstretched her arm through the morning mists...and time froze on earth. Life and death, until sin was paid for. You are the last of the debtors, and your sentence is served. Eve holds her hand to you...shall you embrace her flesh or grab the apple?"

The next section deals with the magazines devoted to sexploitation films. This will be of interest to fans of these films, but really we are in similar territory to the other soft porn magazines as the saucy photos were the main point of these magazines, so some magazines would attribute a bunch of photos to film that didn't exist, a lot of coverage was of short loops rather than features, many photos were published with no captions to say what film they were from and, when real feature films were covered, it tended to be many of the same ones over and over again. Still it is fun to read about this lurid magazines and see some of their covers.

The section on outlaw bikers compares the sensationalistic media coverage of these groups with later magazines such as Colors and Easyriders which were a mouthpiece for the bikers themselves. Brinkman has a particular fascination with actor, director and motorcyclist Titus Moody who provided and posed in a lot of nudie photos for the soft porn mags, was a major source of stills for the sexploitation movie magazines and was a friend of the bikers, directing a very early half hour documentary about them - Outlaw Motorcycles (1966). There is a short essay on Moody at the end of the first section of the book.

For Ed Wood fans, the last section of the book is a must. Wood directed his last movie - a hardcore porn film called The Young Marrieds in 1971. But from the late sixties into the mid-seventies he wrote scores of porno paperbacks and articles and short stories for sleazy magazines. Judging by some of the extracts from his magazine stories included here he sometimes wrote very well in the sensationalistic pulp style. The subject matter of his stories if often pretty gross - sex-crazed monsters, rape, necrophilia... Brinkman also gives some coverage to appearances in the trash magazines of Wood associates Vampira, "Bunny" Breckenridge, Criswell, Rene Bond and Lynn Harris. Of particular interest is a gossip magazine story involving Vampira, voodoo and the death of James Dean and a story in a joke tabloid about Lynn Harris growing a giant black penis.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where are the other examples of the "strange, sleazy and unusual" ?? 5 Dec 2013
By Grand Plumper - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Really, really disappointed in this....I was so looking forward to it. At first glance it appeared to be "right up my alley", but unfortunately the majority of the contents fall under a very narrow focus - that focus being Men's "adult" magazines. I was hoping for a nice (albeit introductory) overview of the various different niches and sub-genres that all fell under the "bad mag" tag during their heyday of the 60's-80's. I was hoping for UFOs, Bigfoot, gory and outrageous shark attacks, those wonderful "True Crime" mags with the completely lurid and staged crime scenes...Nope, it's mostly all T & A skin rags. If that is your focus too then this will likely be a much valued addition to your library. The rest will likely find this a bit of a let down.
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