Soon after American soldiers returned home from World War II, a new type of magazine was created for them – the man’s adventure magazine. With names like, Peril, Male, Real Men, Men in Conflict, Stag, Man’s Epic, and Man-to-Man, these magazines featured “true” stories about vicious animal encounters, sexually demented Nazis, sadistic communist spies, bloodthirsty headhunters, and whip-cracking women in leather bikinis. The sensationalist articles and outrageously lurid cover art were xenophobic, racist, misogynist, and gratuitously violent. They turned the things readers feared into cartoonish caricatures that could be defeated by a rugged cleft-chinned hero with a torn shirt and a blood-stained bowie knife.
It's A Man's World, edited by Adam Parfrey, is a fascinating coffee table book containing hundreds of covers, depicting everything from Fidel Castro about to snub out his lit cigar on the bosom of a half-clothed damsel in distress, to an absurd weasel attack (cover line: “Weasels Ripped my Flesh”). It includes a history of the magazines showing their origins in “cowboys and Indians” magazines and war propaganda posters, and has profiles and interviews with the journalists and illustrators who cranked out content for the magazines during their heyday of the 1950s - 1970s.
It's A Man's World: Men's Adventure Magazines, The Postwar Pulps
It's A Man's World by Adam Parfrey (editor) Feral House 2015, 320 pages, 10.9 x 8.5 x 0.7 inches $17 Buy a copy on Amazon