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Champion (Multilingual) Hardcover – 11 Jan 2003

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Goliath (11 Jan. 2003)
  • Language: Multilingual
  • ISBN-10: 393670905X
  • ISBN-13: 978-3936709056
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 14.8 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,449,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

During the late 1950s and early '60s, in the world of male physique photography the name Champion became synonymous with images of handsome, athletic young men captured in vivid color. Walter Kundzicz, the photographer who was Champion Studios - and who also created and marketed male images under the studio names Take One, Master Physique, and Treasure House of European Models (THEM) - created a diverse and fantasy-rich body of work. His colorful and kitschy photographs of scantily clad athletes - packed with all manner of props, costumes, and bulging posing pouches - are notable not only for the commercial success they enjoyed during their heyday, but also for their enduring creativity and imagination.

Whether measured in terms of his prolific output, sales volume, his early and sophisticated use of customer mailing lists, or his impact upon the repressive U.S. postal and censorship laws of his time, Kundzicz and his work left an indelible imprint on male physique photography. Even today, nearly half a century later, Kundzicz's work and his most popular models still have their ardent fans - with new ones being added to the roster every day.

Despite his early arrests and prosecutions, a fire that destroyed much of his work, and the ongoing appropriation of his remaining images by thieves, internet pirates and even so-called "friends" who continue to market his work illegally, Kundzicz has survived and thrived. At age 78, he is excited to see the first book of his work published for the enjoyment of old and new fans alike.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Chapman on 7 Jun. 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book with some absolutely stunning pictures of men in various states of undress, with a large number of photos of men in sports clothing. The pictures are artistic, and the book is well presented. Well worth buying. A must for all lovers of men!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tom Paloni on 8 Feb. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book will have your drooling. So incredible, it is almost relishable...would that they were.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Oddly Moving 21 Aug. 2004
By Bruce Frier - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's not easy to say why these pictures are so affecting. Most of them show moderately good-looking young men in the late 1950s and early 1960s, during a crucial period just before the outbreak of the gay lib revolution. The models are photographed mostly standing or lying down, against ordinary backgrounds (one bathroom recurs very often), with simple props; most of them are nude or in skimpy posing straps. The physical type is also repetitive: muscular, but largely smooth and lithe (as it seems, "six-packs" hadn't been invented yet), well-groomed and, with only one exception, clean-shaven. Except in a few group photos, they are usually expressionless, rather than, say, overtly lascivious in the modern manner. The photos are a bit washed out, in the understated style of older pornography, but on the whole this book is leagues distant from modern porn.

What I kept thinking as I looked through it is that, for most of these men, a heroic age lay just on the horizon: Stonewall just a few years ahead, a time of profound sexual liberation. It's like they are pausing just before the battle begins.

This book is a fine document of a distant era, and well worth owning.
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
This Book Is Aptly Named. 12 Feb. 2004
By H. F. Corbin - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book reminds me-- I swear I'm telling the truth-- of Dolly Parton's "Hard Rock Christmas." Something tells me Ms. Parton would like this book if she saw it. If you own this book, you can have Christmas the whole year long. The words "sated" and "abundance of riches" come to mind in describing these photographs. There are approximately 350 pages here, beautifully reproduced in color, of sexy young men whom Walter Kundzicz photographed in the 1950's and 1960's. To avoid the clutches of "Big Brother" and get around the laws against nudity, Mr. Kundzicz posed many of his models in see-through posing straps. According to his interesting article here about Champion Studio, he was not always successful in avoiding prosecution, however, particularly from a police force heavily influenced by the Catholic Church. From what we know now, the church would have spent its time more productively "policing" its own. But that's another story. It's scary to see what the laws were and such a short time ago.
Kudos to Reed Massengill for, in the words of Mr. Kundzicz, "managing the publication" of this book and seeing to completion yet another fine book of male photographs. You'll return to this delicious book again and again for more candy!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Good Eye Candy 9 Aug. 2007
By Louis XIV - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a really good book. The only problem that I have with it is its size. It would have been perfect if it had been a little larger. But that said, I still highly recommend this book.
15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Bravo Wally! 15 May 2004
By John M. Cox - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Wally Kundzicz took the bull by the horns & put together a tribute to himself using scans of small prints he had, Bravo! Despite his sometimes faulty memory, the nearly 80 year old photographer recalls his by-gone days of glory and documents his important place in the history of physique photography. His triumphs in court helped to end postal tyranny and did much to pave the way for today's Gay press. The book may be small, but the quality of the printing is outstanding. The size of the book is evocative of the Golden Age of physique photography, when prints and magazines were small format only, so that they would fit easily into a man's jacket pocket. Those were the days when we all lived in a backward, homophobic society in which the revelation that a man was Gay almost always resulted in the loss of his job and his home and his ostracization by his family and by "main stream" society.... or worse. The appropriately small size of the book recalls those anxious and repressive times, and is a good size to pop into a briefcase.
... Some words of warning, however: Wally's memory failed him from time to time, and he got some of the model's names wrong. (Who can blame him? All of those hunks would blow anybody's mind.) The official site has the correct names.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
worthwhile purchase 20 Sept. 2008
By T. Hinks - Published on
Format: Hardcover
"Champion" is a welcome throw-back to the days when male photography was an art form, with an emphasis on physical beauty. Although there is plenty of frontal nudity, dare I say "tastefully presented", you won't find photos that satisfy only the prurient interests of the reader, such as can be found in today's market and on most porn web sites.
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