Tag: magazines

First Year Covers: Playboy

First Year Covers: Playboy

Ephemera
I'm starting a new series called First Year Covers, the purpose of which should be obvious. I'll take a famous magazine and share a gallery featuring all or selected covers from its first year of publication. For no particular reason I've chosen Hugh Hefner's Playboy for the first entry. Scratch that - there is a reason. Aside from all the controversy Playboy has courted almost since its first issue published in December 1953 -- and featuring previously unseen nude photos of Marilyn Monroe -- many of its covers in the early days are fun and imaginative exercises in graphic design. So with that out of the way, let's enjoy a look at the twelve months of Playboy covers, plus a bonus 13th cover to round out 1954. Sorry fellas, no nudity here.
Jack Kirby’s 1973 NFL Artwork Is Fantastic, Trippy As Hell

Jack Kirby’s 1973 NFL Artwork Is Fantastic, Trippy As Hell

Football Friday, Sports
It's hard to believe now, but in the early '70s the National Football League wasn't nearly as stifled and humorless as it is now. As proof of that, I present these pieces of original, commissioned artwork drawn by the legendary Jack Kirby for the NFL in 1973. These fantastic illustrations were included as part of the October 21, 1973 issue of Pro!, the official magazine of the National Football League that was sold at every game, in a piece entitled "Out of Mind's Reach." They depict, among other things, futuristic versions of NFL players in action. I think my favorite one is for the Packers, who have somehow adopted an aquatic theme. Perhaps Wisconsin has warmed enough in the future to make that a practical move.
20 Vintage Pro Wrestling Magazine Covers

20 Vintage Pro Wrestling Magazine Covers

Featured Posts, Sports
You might not guess it to know me, but I was a huge pro wrestling fan back in the day. And by "the day" I mean the mid to late 1980s, what I consider to be the Golden Age of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It was fun, it was exciting, it was everything a pre-teen boy could want to watch. Those days are long behind me now, but every once in awhile I pine for the salad days watching strong but pasty guys like Rowdy Roddy Piper, Big John Studd, Andre the Giant, and Paul "Mr. Wonderful" Orndorff compete in the squared circle. Oh yeah, not to mention less pasty guys like Hulk Hogan, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, the Junkyard Dog, and Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. To help remember those wrestling titans of days gone by -- as well as some before my time -- here's a gallery of 20 vintage pro...
Great Moments in Comic Book Advertising, Vol. 2: Captain Marvel for Mechanix Illustrated

Great Moments in Comic Book Advertising, Vol. 2: Captain Marvel for Mechanix Illustrated

Advertising
I have to say, as vintage examples of cynical marketing aimed at kids goes, this one is a doozy. It's an advertisement for Mechanix Illustrated from America's Greatest Comics #2 (Fawcett Publications, Feb/May 1942), and features none other than Captain Marvel himself. That's right young fellas, don't even think about reading Mechanix Illustrated if you're a crummy sissy! OK, so let me provide a little bit of historical context here. Mechanix Illustrated, in case you couldn't tell, was positioned as a competitor to established magazines like Popular Science and Popular Mechanics. It was published by Fawcett, which of course owned Captain Marvel. And lest you think being thought of as a sissy by Captain Marvel wasn't a big deal in 1942, keep in mind that throughout the '40s Captain...
Time Capsule: Puck Magazine Thanksgiving Political Covers, 1894-1913

Time Capsule: Puck Magazine Thanksgiving Political Covers, 1894-1913

Capsules, Ephemera
Published from 1871 until 1918, Puck magazine was America's first successful humor magazine featuring cartoons and political satire. Their Thanksgiving covers, while not always political, usually were and are still fun to look at today even if the relevance has been lost to time. Their choice of makes sense when you know that they were based out of New York City. Tammany Hall, which we all heard about in history class but have since forgotten, figures prominently. Here's a selection of Puck's Thanksgiving covers from around the turn of the 20th century, courtesy the Library of Congress. That's prominent New York politician David B. Hall, who we'll see again in 1902. He lost the NY gubernatorial race in 1894 to Levi P. Morton. Tammany Hall was a frequent target for ...
Coca-Cola’s Contribution to the Civil Rights Movement of the ’60s

Coca-Cola’s Contribution to the Civil Rights Movement of the ’60s

Retrotisements
And now for a little advertising history lesson... The year was 1967, and the American Civil Rights Movement was at its zenith. After years of struggle to seek equality in the United States, African-Americans had won a series of stunning legal and moral victories. What they had not yet won, apparently, was the right to not be imitated by white people in advertising. Huh? Let me set the stage first. Here’s an ad for Coca-Cola that ran in the August 18 issue of Life magazine: OK, so what’s the problem you ask? Well, usually when a company wants to sell their product to different racial or ethnic groups, they use people from those groups. Like these Coke ads from black magazines in the same year: But apparently there was a severe shortage of African Americans with t