Saturday, May 15, 2010

Esquire pages

One good thing about my father being a pack rat is that he saved all his old magazines.

There's lots of great stuff in them which means I won't be scrambling at the last minute to find material for a while. Most Saturdays I'll have things to put up. There are thousands of pages I'm not going to scan them all. Right now I'll stick mostly to the visuals.

The down side is that some of these magazines are tabloid size and I don't have a scanner big enough, but I'll try to match the halves of pages. There are also some double-page spreads and some magazines have spines like books and no margins, but again I'll do my best to make things legible.

ESQUIRE was not only 11"x14", but was often 200+ pages, and it wasn't trying to be like MAXIM (no offense to anyone I know now who works for either). Some issues even had cut-outs and fabric samples. All this for only a dollar. And 40-50 years ago contributors probably got paid the same as they do now. Rates for cartoonists and illustrators don't change with inflation.

illustrations by Marie Severin

by Bob Zoell from Esquire, September 1969

Illustrations for 'The Sour Grapes Statement' by Alain Lesaux, ESQUIRE September 1969

This is the kind of stuff they were doing at Sterling-Cooper.

I was going to save this for a few weeks from now, when I'll be posting lots of stuff from these magazines every Saturday, but a last-minute change of conscience made me bump off what I had planned and put this in its slot instead. I was going to post something called “Batfag and Sparrow”. It's actually pretty harmless with the worst part being the epithet in the title, but I don't need people to think I'm a bigot. I don't want this blog to show up in Google search engines along with Westboro Baptist Church. It's tough to “go there” since any defense will make me sound like an asshole (more so than already). It's easy for me to see humor in political incorrectness being a straight white male. I could say I have gay friends or that I'm making fun of someone who would find this funny, both of which are true, but they're also excuses everyone's heard a million times. I could point to other things in mainstream culture far worse. I could say THE BIG BOOK OF GAY told me it was okay. Ultimately, I just don't want to create a misunderstanding over something antithetical to my own views. Not everyone gets irony. Maybe I'm making too much of this. I'll put it up if enough people want me to.


  1. Joe Namath with a cape running around "Metropolis". Just too many jokes and puns can be made of that.

    Great artwork nonetheless.


    Steven G. Willis

  2. You didn't mention it but the Namath art certainly seems to be that of the great Marie Severin, moonlighting from Marvel.

  3. Yes, she was credited in the magazine and I put her in the labels, so I fixed the post. My theory is not that she was moonlighting, but they wanted the Marvel style for the articles, and she was available. They probably would have used Kirby if they could. We'll never know the real answer. There were a lot of comic book-like illos using people like Herb Trimpe and Mike Ploog which I'll post eventually.