Saturday, July 12, 2014

How Robert Harrison helped shape Irving Klaw: Part 2

Welcome back! First up, some eye-candy!

Robert Harrison magazines, Richard Pérez Seves
Now, last week, in considering how magazine publisher Robert Harrison influenced Irving Klaw, we examined a particular issue, Titter, Nov. 1946, and took note of what amounted to a catalog of  borderline material. There were images of "Shackled Sirens," "Corset Cuties," "High Heel Honeys," "Booted Babes," "Dominant Damsels," "Fighting Girls," even "Long Haired Ladies."

Titter, Nov. 1946, Richard Pérez Seves

These subcategories were even more clearly defined in Harrison's own mail order business, Fem Fotos, which existed (if we are to trace the ads) for at least two years prior to 1950. Such subcategories would undoubtedly serve as an example for Irving Klaw in his evolving pin-up photo business, which by the end of WW II would attract some heavy competition. The advertisement below, for example, is virtually identical to Klaw's, offering (in the very same issue: Titter, Nov. 1946) the same deal: twelve pin-up photos for $1 + a FREE catalog (below, left).

Irving Klaw competition, Richard Pérez Seves

Such competition, we might assume, served as an incentive for Irving Klaw to step up his game. After all, less than a decade earlier, he had already watched his first attempt at running a business—that time, in the fur trade—fall to ruins.

FEMME MIMICS:

Another subcategory of borderline material we failed to mention last time, which appeared with regularity in Harrison's magazines, relates to burlesque/vaudeville and the blurring of gender lines -- as well as gay culture. (In fact, it may have been the only acceptable manifestation of gay culture in mainstream America at the time.) Such material would continue to find a market in the coming decades, becoming a staple not only for Irving Klaw, but those that followed in Klaw's footsteps: Leonard Burtman (the father of commercial fetish publishing) and Edward Mishkin (Times Square operator/publisher). This of course was the subcategory of "female impersonation." Here's a typical spread from the Harrison publication, Wink:

female impersonation, Richard Pérez Seves

female impersonation, Richard Pérez Seves

Years later, in the Burlesque-themed feature films he would produce—Varietease, Teaserama—Irving Klaw also included female impersonation. And Klaw also offered female impersonator photo sets.

How else did Harrison influence Irving Klaw? By first featuring this artist (below), whose seminal  serial, Sir d'Arcy d'Arcy, renamed Sweet Gwendoline, originally ran in the publication, Wink, starting in 1947.

John Alexander Scott Coutts (aka John Willie), Richard Pérez Seves

John Alexander Scott Coutts (a.k.a. John Willie), as we can see, also participated in photo-shoots for Harrison's magazines, early on.

John Alexander Scott Coutts (aka John Willie), Richard Pérez Seves

In 1949, Klaw commissioned his own damsel-in-distress serials inspired by Willie, starting with Zaza’s Perilous Adventure, illustrated by a family relative (either Irving's cousin or his sister-in-law). "Zaza," by the way, was the name of a maid in Sweet Gwendoline.

Klaw also licensed the publishing rights of Sweet Gwendoline and another serial, The Escape Artiste, from Coutts in 1949. And Klaw even advertised both in Harrison's magazines.

Sweet Gwendoline, Richard Pérez Seves

Those following this blog might recall that both serials were advertised in the first issue of Cartoon and Model Parade:

Sweet Gwendoline, The Escape Artiste, Richard Pérez Seves
How else did Harrison influence Irving Klaw? We might say by providing the models. Take, for instance, Barbara Leslie:

Barbara Leslie, Richard Pérez Seves

Who you might recall from an earlier blog looking like this:

Barbara Leslie, Irving Klaw, Richard Pérez Seves















Then there's adorable Vicky Hayes:

Vicky Hayes, Richard Pérez Seves

Who you might remember from a former post looking like this:

Vicky Hayes, Irving Klaw, Richard Pérez Seves

Then there's Harrison star model "Eve" Rydell:

Eve Rydell, Richard Pérez Seves

Who appeared as Klaw star model "Joan" Rydell:

Cartoon and Model Parade, Joan Rydell, Richard Pérez Seves

Other Harrison models that crossed over to Irving Klaw included, among others, "the Hedy Lamarr of burlesque," Lili Dawn, "Cici" Maitland (better known as Shirley Maitland), Kevin Daley, and, by 1951, Roz Greenwood. Last but not least you might recognize this lady (below). It was Robert Harrison who initially misspelled her name "Betty" instead of "Bettie"—a misspelling that Klaw simply adopted and never corrected.

Bettie "Betty" Page, Richard Pérez Seves

Thanks for tuning in. Hope you'll join me next time....

=> Index ~ of FetHistory ~ From the Beginning:
FetHistory, FetHistory, FetHistory
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FetHistory, FetHistory, FetHistory, FetHistory, FetHistory, FetHistory

 *See page 22, The Adventures of Sweet Gwendoline, 2nd edition, Bélier Press, 1999

Saturday, July 5, 2014

How Robert Harrison helped shape Irving Klaw: Part 1

Previously we mentioned how Charles Guyette was Irving Klaw’s predecessor. We mentioned in passing the remarkable (and mysterious) individual known as "Little John," who not only paid for the early Irving Klaw sessions but supplied his sophisticated aesthetics as a fetishist. But we can't leave out Robert Harrison, publisher of those popular “girlie” magazines of the 1940s and early '50s: Beauty Parade, Eyeful, Wink, Titter, Flirt, and Whisper. It was Harrison, who also gave direction to Irving Klaw and in many ways helped shape the sexploiteer he would become.

Beauty Parade, June 1949, Richard Pérez Seves

We've all seen and admired these magazines. This particular issue (above) is from my personal collection: Beauty Parade, June 1949. I'm posting it here because it's pretty, for one, and secondly because it made me aware of a particular fetish that I hardly gave much notice to before. (This fetish will be more clear by the end of this blog.)

As far as Harrison's influence on Irving Klaw, let's begin with this sweet issue, also from my collection: Titter, November, 1946

Titter, November, 1946, Richard Pérez Seves

If you'll recall in our preamble blog to the first Cartoon and Model Parade, we mentioned that by the mid-to-late 1940s, “borderline” material was introduced into Irving Klaw's catalogs (then called Movie Star News). We said that this was a natural progression ... as what sold would be featured more and more.

But who inspired such material to begin with? It was Robert Harrison, who by the mid-1940s featured such material in his popular magazines. By now, the self-proclaimed "Pin-Up King" was enjoying some success thanks to the pin-up craze of WW II and could afford to expand his mail order business by advertising in widely circulated magazines like those of Harrison's.

This issue above: Titter, Nov., 1946—aside from being intensely beautiful as an artifact (as you'll see) —is a virtual textbook of borderline material, and, as such, indicates the origin of Klaw's initial pre-bondage "fetish" offerings. Such material was even explicitly broken down into subcategories in Harrison's own short-lived mail order business, "Fem Fotos," which obviously served as a template for Irving Klaw's evolving pin-up photo business. Take a look at the Fem Fotos ad, below:

Robert Harrison's Fem Fotos, Richard Pérez Seves

Now that you've seen the subcategories of borderline material, let's review them by peeking inside the magazine, starting with "Corset Cutie":

Robert Harrison, Richard Pérez Seves

"Seductive Siren"

Robert Harrison, Richard Pérez Seves
 "Dominant Damsel"

Robert Harrison, Richard Pérez Seves

 "Booted Babe"

Robert Harrison, Richard Pérez Seves

 "Fighting Femmes"

Robert Harrison, Richard Pérez Seves

 "Long Haired Lady"

Robert Harrison, Richard Pérez Seves


"Long Haired Lady?" Before looking at Harrison's magazines, I never knew (or acknowledged) that such a fetish existed. (That's the fetish that appears at the top of the blog with Beauty Parade, June 1949.) And even that fetish was featured by Klaw by 1949. (It appears as part of Offer No. 13 ["Long Haired Girls"], in issue #29 of Movie Star News and likely in earlier catalogs.)

Not featured on Harrison's Fem Fotos list, but appearing in his magazine would be what Klaw called "Slave Girls" but what Harrison referred to as "Shackled Sirens." Klaw would even create a separate category in the years to come, which he identifies as his "CH" (or "Girls in Chains") series (which, by the way, featured Charles Guyette and John Willie images, as well as pre-code Hollywood stills).

Robert Harrison, Richard Pérez Seves

Also not on Harrison's Fem Fotos list, but featured in the magazine would be "High Heeled Honeys"—a phrase that later often appeared in Klaw's advertising.

Robert Harrison, Richard Pérez Seves

In this same issue, in the back, is an ad for Klaw, but as we can see, he was still only selling straight pin-ups at the time, although no doubt he was taking notes, learning from Harrison.

Irving Klaw ad, Robert Harrison, Richard Pérez Seves

 Tune in next week for Part 2 of "How Robert Harrison helped shape Irving Klaw!"

Robert Harrison's Fem Fotos, Richard Pérez Seves
Cheers!

  Richard Pérez Seves
=> Index ~ of FetHistory ~ From the Beginning:
FetHistory, FetHistory, FetHistory
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FetHistory, FetHistory, FetHistory, FetHistory, FetHistory, FetHistory

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Tribute to Irving Klaw model, Shirley Maitland


In a previous post, I seemed to have favored one early Irving Klaw model in particular: Shirley Levitt.

Shirley Levitt, Richard Pérez Seves
  
But this is the “other” Shirley. Shirley Maitland.

Shirley Maitland, Richard Pérez Seves

My introduction to this early Irving Klaw model came via eBay, as usual. This image:

Shirley Maitland, Richard Pérez Seves

At the time I didn’t know who she was. And, in many ways, I still don’t. She remains, quite sadly, something of a mystery.

If you’ve been following my posts on FetHistory, you’ve seen her before. She was the villainess in the mask, capturing Cocoa Brown in the CC-1 series.

Shirley Maitland, Cocoa Brown, Richard Pérez Seves

She was also the damsel in distress in this beautiful image.

Shirley Maitland, Richard Pérez Seves

For that particular shoot, the classic F-500 series, she wore blond hair, done up in a Nordic style.

Shirley Maitland, Richard Pérez Seves



Here she is calmly binding Shirley Levitt spread eagle to a St. Andrew’s Cross.

Shirley Maitland, Richard Pérez Seves
 Here she is calmly administering a spanking.

Shirley Maitland, Richard Pérez Seves

Shirley Maitland, Richard Pérez Seves

She always maintains that calm demeanor, regardless of playing a top or a bottom ...

Shirley Maitland, Richard Pérez Seves

... Regardless of the predicament.

Shirley Maitland, Richard Pérez Seves
 
On the job, she’s a nurse at work, always maintaining an air of dignity.

Shirley Maitland, Shirley Levitt, Richard Pérez Seves

Shirley Maitland, Richard Pérez Seves

Shirley Maitland, Richard Pérez Seves

Shirley Maitland, Richard Pérez Seves

Shirley Maitland, Richard Pérez Seves

Shirley Maitland, Richard Pérez Seves
Some might say she had a dominant yet ethereal presence. 

Shirley Maitland, Richard Pérez Seves

She’s never caught “acting” or “playing cute.” Even in the earliest Irving Klaw, noir-inspired scenarios (here also featuring Lilly Dawn and Odessa Otwell).

Shirley Maitland, Lily Dawn, Richard Pérez Seves

Shirley Maitland, Lily Dawn, Richard Pérez Seves

Shirley Maitland, Lily Dawn, Richard Pérez Seves

Only once did I see Shirley smile. But it wasn’t for Irving Klaw. It was Robert Harrison, publisher of those popular “girlie” magazines of the 1940s and early '50s: Beauty Parade, Eyeful, Wink, Titter, Flirt, and Whisper.

Here she is in a 1949 issue of Wink, appearing as “Cici Maitland, curvy goddess with raven hair.”

Shirley Maitland, Cici Maitland, Richard Pérez Seves

Shirley Maitland, Richard Pérez Seves

Until Next Week!
=> Index ~ of FetHistory ~ From the Beginning:
FetHistory, FetHistory, FetHistory
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FetHistory, FetHistory, FetHistory, FetHistory, FetHistory, FetHistory