Category Archives: magazines

“I couldn’t go back to him;” or, ahoy, shallow men and ladies! (All Romance, Vol 1)

Gentle readers, there is a veritable treasure trove on the Internet of which you may or may not be aware. It’s called Comic Book Plus, a wealth of Golden and Silver Age comics, as well as other public domain ephemera, all free to read and download. I found this website a long time ago, when I discovered those few issues of Calling All Girls, but for some reason, never went back.

Even though there are some fabulous prizes, such as All Romance, which was published by Ace Comics in 1949-1950! Exciting romance stories for the young teenage girl, that are totally shallow and show women (and men) to bad advantage!

Here is the first story in Volume 1, called “I Couldn’t Go Back to Him.” No, no, I just couldn’t!

Faye tells us her story – she went to visit a school friend and met the dashing Michael, and, after a whirlwind courtship, they became engaged, and Michael bought them a little house.

AR pg 3

Before she leaves, she talks to her friend, Gloria, and discovers that Gloria and Michael used to date. But Michael swears he only has eyes for Faye now, because she is so beautiful. You’re a trophy, Faye! Michael can’t wait to mount you on the wall.

Of course, tragedy must strike, or there isn’t a story. On the train, there is a terrible crash, and Faye is flung into a mirror which cuts her face, making her a candidate for plastic surgery.

AR pg 4

In fact, the news report said that she was dead, and that’s fine – she cannot be loved anymore . . . *sob*

The doctor takes pity on her and offers her a job with him as his receptionist, and a place to live with him and his sister. Faye keeps herself busy, but Molly, the doctor’s sister, think it’s not “normal” for Faye to stay in and not date. Don’t think about turning lesbian, Faye; Molly has her eye on you.

Finally, the doctor forces her to look at herself in the mirror – frankly, I think she looks better now than pre-surgery, but whatever. She realizes she COULD go back to Michael, and this cause the doctor to sigh and turn away. Faye knows that the doctor is in love with her, but who cares about that?

AR pg 6

But, alas, it’s not to be. She is surprised that Michael doesn’t recognize her – duh, you had plastic surgery! – but, also, Gloria is there with him now! She tells Michael that she is not, in fact, dead, and he kisses her . . . but she feels nothing. NOTHING! Gasp!

This upsets Gloria, of course, as they were to be married the very next day, and here comes that hussy Faye again to ruin everything! But she doesn’t want it, even though she thought about the house the whole time she was away.

“When I marry, Michael, it will be a man I marry, not a house!” I sure hope so, lady, as there are laws about that sort of thing.

She realizes that the only person in the world who truly loves her is the good doctor, who saw her at her worst and still cared. She runs back to him, but ruh roh, his sister Molly is PISSED. And rightly so, because this bitch can’t seem to make up her mind.

Thankfully, the doctor comes back in right then, and they share a passionate embrace.

AR pg 9

I dunno, Doctor, I would watch out for her. She seems kind of fickle, JUST LIKE MICHAEL.

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Life – the Advent of disgusting convenience foods

life so gross pg 2 - mar 8 1937

Yes, the “racy” flavor of foreign lands. And what foreign land, pray tell, are we discussing? Italy? Worms in a can are not spaghetti, even if it does say it on the label. The precursor to Hamburger Helper – Van Camp’s provides you the sauce and the “pasta,” such as it is, but you still have to buy your own meat and cook it. If you’re going to that length to brown some hamburger, you might as well put on a pot of water to boil and make your own spaghetti!

–March 8, 1937

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Life – bored games

life pg 68 -  Mar. 1 1937

Parker Brothers made more games than just Monopoly, apparently. Yet, Camelot was so much for deep thinkers that only men and boys need apply! Also, it needed a pronunciation guide! We assure you, it’s not one of them French foreign words. It’s an all-American game, like CHECKERS (even though checkers has origins going back millennia – shhh!)

– from Life magazine, March 1, 1937

[Yes, I’m back].

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Life – Psst, you stink!

life-lifebuoy

Lifebuoy soap – good for both men and women, you say? Yes, but let’s look at how sexist this advert is. Ladies, if you don’t use Lifebuoy, you have B.O. and no man will want you. However, no woman says “Ew” about the tough beard stubble of the men in the bottom panels. Even though they SHOULD, because it’s rough and scratchy! Turn the tables, women; just say NO to five o’clock shadow.

—From Life magazine, February 15, 1937

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Life sucks – just like a Hoover!

Men know more about cleaning. It’s true. Just ask the makers of Hoover vacuums, who published this advert for their newest vacuum, the Hoover One Fifty, in Life magazine’s February 8, 1937 issue:

life-hoover

The ad is fairly innocuous until one gets to the questionnaire at the bottom of the second column of print. Ask your husband first, because he’s going to be the one paying for this new contraption. So, that makes him know “more about cleaning?” He’s not the one emptying the bag when the red dot flashes that it’s time . . .

One final note. This ad advertises that the price is very affordable. Just a dollar fifty per week, payable monthly. Yes, but what is the entire purchase price? See, that’s how they get ya!!

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Life – What the hell IS that thing??

The second issue of Life magazine – November 30th, 1936, for those playing along at home – didn’t have too much to write about. Some bits of racism, some interesting pictures, and here are some advertisements:

lifead-soap

Observe Jack, the youngest member of the KKK. The Grand Wizard is disappointed that your sheet is not truly white. And Mrs. Kinney pays the little girl with skates! Are you a sex predator?

I tried to ignore this one, but it haunts my dreams!!
lifead-soup

Soup? No thanks, I’m full . . . for life.

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Life – it begins (Volume 1, Number 1)

Hello, again, BWP readers! We have now exhausted the available issues of Calling All Girls – at least, the ones that had anything at which to poke.

Did you know that you can read old issues of magazines on Google Books? It’s true! They have the entire run of Life magazine. So let’s go back, back, back into our virtual time machine, and take a look at the very first issue, which hit newsstands on November 23rd, 1936.

lifead - vibe
Yes, wives, don’t actually talk to your husbands about the latest in kitchen management; just be discreet and coy, and slip adverts into his pockets after you iron all of his damned clothes!

The rest of this ad is fairly innocuous, talking about this miraculous machine, which really is quite comprehensive for its time (it slices! it dices! it makes julienne fries!); it’s a proto-Kitchen Aid, really. My attention, however, is focused on the left-hand side of this ad, which features the other great products from the same manufacturer: toaster, hair dryer, vibrator . . . wait a minute. Yes, vibrator. Looks more like a hand-held jackhammer with the hair dryer handle, but these devices, now marketed for household use, were quite scary and industrial-looking in the beginning.

So, obviously, wives needed this Kitchen-Kit to save themselves the “200 hours of arm-tiring work a year” that could be better spent attending to themselves – if’n you know what I mean.

As you might imagine, Life, being from a different era, is kind of, well, racist and elitist. Our next item up for bids is a picture from an article about the little shanty towns springing up in Montana during this time period.

lifead - bedspring
The caption is a bit hard to read; it says, “The only idle bedsprings in New Deal are the broken ones.” What are the Life editors really saying here? The only things to do in New Deal besides work is fussin’, fightin’, drinkin’ (except for the Indians) and fuckin’. Nice!

For those of you out there who have tummy troubles, I have a solution for you! You need to pick up smoking!
lifead - camels
A Thanksgiving meal is a five-cigarette affair, and it’s just around the corner, American readers. Get crackin’!

And finally –
lifead - northwestern
This girl eventually became, through the power of the internet, THIS girl:

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