Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Showing posts sorted by relevance for query black romance. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query black romance. Sort by date Show all posts

Vintage African-American Magazines Hot Black Romance

Black romance! Other than the dynamite duo of Jet and Ebony from Johnson Publications in Chicago, African-American magazines are surprisingly scarce, which is why the examples I pick to show here likely will not look familiar. Smaller circulations, segregated neighborhoods, institutional racism (did YOUR public library subscribe to Jive?) and other reasons account for their rarity. Plus, museums and serious collectors are now purchasing them to compensate for their earlier neglect. Unless you find a box somewhere, you might expect to pay 25 to 50 bucks apiece and more for a mint condition black romance magazine from the 1950s and 1960s...if and when you can find one.

Group of vintage African-American Romance magazines collection Jim Linderman




Black Ink Lost and Forgotten African-American Cartoonists of the Negro Pulps

Anyone out there need a doctoral project? I can't do it, my plate is full, but I do have a knack for ideas and a small pile of fairly scarce magazines aimed at the African-American market from the 1950s and 1960s.

Even the magazines are fairly hard to come by...search "Bronze Thrills" for one. A major publication which ran decades, yet it seems our major institutions and collectors have dropped the ball. Same with Copper Romance, Tan, Jive and more. Even the larger circulation magazines such as Hue and New Review are hard to come by. Ebony and Jet, both out of Chicago's Johnson Publications are far better documented, and in fact the organization recently graciously made the entire text of Jet available online (and what a resource it is.)

I started rounding up a few African-American magazines for a series I am putting together on the Vintage Sleaze site: "Afro-Antics the Black Pinup" another unfortunate neglected victim of institutional racism. Until the "Black is Beautiful" movement of the late 1960s women of color were few and far between the pulp covers, and you might enjoy the discoveries I am making for the essays.

However, as I look for dark models I could not help but to notice some wonderful, and in terms of humor and quality, "equal" cartoonists we do not know. Since cartoonists love to create indecipherable signatures and the mastheads never credited them, these Black inkers are lost in time.

There ARE some known Black cartoonists of the era. The remarkable book on Jackie Ormes by Nancy Goldstein of two years ago is wonderful. There have been exhibitions on fairly well known black cartoonists such as Ollie Harrington, E. Simms Campbell, Wilbert Holloway and Leslie Rogers. There was even an issue of "All-Negro Comics" in 1947, but there was only one issue. Ishmael Reed blamed the demise on distributors who refused to carry it. At least the comic is easily found on the web today.

But certainly someone should know of Butch Austin AKA Mr. Jive who drew strips for Hep and Jive Magazine, and the others here who I can not even identify, not being an expert. Here are but a few examples from my quite modest little pile of magazines. One day I hope someone will put together the tale better than I ever could.



Bill Alexander African-American Artist of Vintage Sleaze (Part One)

Bill Alexander was an African-American illustrator about whom virtually nothing is known. He did have some famous friends, I hope to write more about them later. A new CD release from the wonderful Acrobat label in the UK offers scarce images of his work in "Roy Milton's Miltone Records Story." I had known Alexander for his striking, colorful but inept fetish paintings done for the covers of vintage sleaze paperbacks (five from my collection shown here) after he moved from LA to NYC in the late 1950's or early 1960's. These books were published in 1967 and contain not a swear word, much less any graphic sex. Vintage Sleaze paperbacks are a wonderful, affordable hobby. They LOOK filthy, that was the idea after all, to attract consumers with lurid, tease covers, but the actual sex was no more graphic than in any romance novel. However, I had only seen a few of his drawings done for Miltone. The incredible new CD comes with a small 34 page book illustrating many of the illustrations Alexander produced for early 78 rpm "Picture Discs." Like the music, they were hip, urban, swinging, rocking and raunchy. Acrobat releases tend to sell out quickly, so get on your friendly provider's website and purchase soon. They have a wonderful back catalog and have been documenting many small independent R&B labels, all worthy and all beautiful. But this one, while offering no more information about the illustrator I love, does provide great illustrations which fit the music to a T. A great package and a wonderful introduction to an unsung Black Artist who deserves more research. I intended to link to the Acrobat website but seems to be a broken for now, and I read a recent blog posting which says the label may be in financial duress. They may continue as a download company only. If so, too bad. In the meantime, search your suppliers for this and all their previous releases!

Five"Vintage Sleaze" Paperback books Illustrated by Bill Alexander c.1967 (Private Pose, Pen Pals, Fair Choice, Be My Guest, Bath House Peeper) Collection Jim Linderman