Friday, March 22, 2019

'I Took a Chance With Sex Pictures'

Following up the recent posts featuring men's magazine covers, here's an instance of the phenomena I mentioned last time: the re-use of a cover painting to illustrate a different story in a different magazine. The original - which one assumes is illustrating 'The Naked Blonde of Paris' - is seen here on the December 1964 issue of Real Men.  It reappears, in slightly modified form on the cover of the May 1966 Man's Life cover, illustrating 'Incident at Benghasi':

Note how the image has been cropped for its second appearance, in an attempt to make it more relevant to the story it is now illustrating (not to mention making it fit into a different layout) - the quicklime sack and the hand of the girl being dissolved in the lime pit have vanished, as have another female victim and the soldier manhandling her.  The trouble is that the setting still doesn't suggest the North African setting of the new story, nor does it show 'six women and one man', but rather one woman and two men.  But hey, it was a cheap way of creating a new cover. 

Despite the eighteen month gap between the two issues, it is notable that the main themes of the stories are remarkably consistent.  Wife swapping, which was something of an obsession with these publications, features prominently on both covers, for instance.  While the other stories maintain the fixation on violence against women, sex and the incarceration of women, more sex, and wanton women.  By 1966, though, despite the continued appearance of Nazis on the cover, Man's Life is beginning to reflect newer political realities, with the women now being imprisoned and mistreated by the Viet-Cong and a 'Red Official' effectively selling his daughter into 'freedom' in the West.  The more things change, the more they stayed the same in the world of men's magazines...

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