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.
It occurs to me that I've done pinup galleries for Valentine's Day and Halloween, but haven't spread any beautiful Yuletide joy. So here then are 12 lovely ladies from Hollywood to help us usher in the Christmas season!
"'Remember when' is the lowest form of conversation." -- Tony Soprano Anyone reading this site or my various social media outlets -- Like my Facebook page today! -- could figure out in three seconds that I trade largely in the past. And often, a past that occurred many years before I was born. In other words, my internet calling card is nostalgia. And I'm far from alone. If the multitude of websites, books, TV shows, and movies that are either informed or dominated by our shared pop culture heritage are any indication, people love thinking about and looking at things that happened a long time ago. If nostalgia were an actual industry -- and time spent wading in it were measurable in dollars -- it would probably rank somewhere just behind pharmaceuticals or tourism in America. ...
I don't know the date on this Marilyn Monroe color photograph, but I'm going with late 1940s. Regardless, it's a stunner. The reason I say late '40s is that Marilyn appears to be a little older than when she shot this series of fishing photos in 1946, but she's doesn't look to be in full 1950s glamour mode yet. As I've stated before, this is my favorite era for her. She just looks so happy and full of life.
I love this set of vintage photos featuring the lovely Marilyn Monroe doing some fly fishing, circa 1946. These three images were shot on color safety by Andre de Dienes (1913-85), and capture Marilyn before she had fully transformed into the blonde bombshell that captivated America in the '50s and '60s. In fact, she had barely transitioned away from her given name of Norma Jeane Mortenson at the time of this photo session. The Marilyn we see here is not a star, but just a really pretty young woman full of life. That's how I like to remember her. (Click for the full-size version of each picture.)
If you enjoyed my gallery of vintage Hollywood actress Halloween pin-ups, then I'm sure you'll love this Valentine's Day collection too. Be still my beating heart!