History of Men's Magazines Vol. 1"
by Dian Hanson
There have been studies
of the history of men's magazines before, but never like this. Dian
Hanson undertook the epic task of tracing the history from the
early art and film magazines to the modern day porno mags. This history
is collected in six massive volumes. Each book is a hefty collection filled
with the best art and photography ever featured in men's magazines. Volume
One, which we profile here, deals with the birth of men's magazines and
takes us through just after World War Two.
It starts with French
erotica at the turn of the 20th Century. The early magazines featured more
painted covers featuring a beautiful Art Nouveau style. They also set the
standard for early printed erotica. Then the history moves to the nature
and nudist magazines from Germany. They felt they could show more than
other magazines allowed because it was all in the name of science and good
health. It's from them we get the American nudist fad of the 1950's.
Along the way, there are the
Hollywood glamour magazines, Tijuana Bibles,
Magazines, burlesque mags, and joke digests ending just before the
era of Playboy. Hanson talks about everything from the art
of the magazines to issues of distribution and censorship. The books feature
a good balance between information and eye candy. The books are also a
world tour of girlie magazines. You get to see how what was taboo in one
country was out in the open (so to speak) in others and how countries influenced
Volume Two of the series
takes the history of men's magazines from Post-WWII to 1959. Volume Three
covers the late 1950's and the redefinition of obscenity laws. Volume Four
focuses on the 1960's, fetish magazines and Swedish erotica. Volume Five
covers the 1970's and the shift to harder material. Volume Six wraps up
the series with a look at extreme adult publishing and visits to adult
bookstores around the world.
All in all, this is an amazing
look at girlie magazines through the last one hundred years. It takes the
time to explore all the different aspects and facets of the history--which
is more involved than you would think. Not only that, it gives you enough
examples of the content of these magazines to make one happy for days.
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