Friday, May 2, 2014

Irving Klaw's PLEASURE PARADE #1: Bettie Page, Eric Stanton, John Willie, Gene Bilbrew, Adolfo Marino Ruiz

Bettie Page, Eric Stanton, Eneg, John Willie, Ruiz

Another knockout from Irving Klaw's Nutrix era (1958-1964) would be this very cool 1959 digest: Pleasure Parade, the second such 5x7" booklet published by Klaw and the first anthology to feature an all-star Irving Klaw line-up. I mean everyone's in this one: Bettie Page (or "Betty" Page as she was known then), Eric Stanton, John Willie, Gene Bilbrew (aka "Eneg"), Adolfo Ruiz. I was happy to finally locate a copy. The artifact I own (that you see above) is an original Nutrix ... not a "Mutrix" reprint from the 1970s. (In fact, I'm not sure if it was even reproduced as a Mutrix publication.) According to publisher J.B. Rund, who first wrote about Pleasure Parade in 1975 (Swank, August), it was Eric Stanton who first suggested the idea to Klaw. At the time -- and maybe throughout the 1950s -- it was Stanton who had the closest relationship of any artist to Klaw. In fact, for all intent and purposes, Eric Stanton was Irving Klaw's protégé. Here's a cool illustration done by Stanton -- only one of several inside:

Eric Stanton, Irving Klaw's Pleasure Parade

Another by Stanton:

Eric Stanton, Irving Klaw's Pleasure Parade
A killer Bettie Page:

Bettie Page

Pleasure Parade also features some rare, unsigned John Willie illustrations. The first looks like a sketch from his famous "Pony Girl" fantasy series ... done when/where? The jury is out. Maybe John Willie aficionados can weigh in with more specifics?

John Willie

 Now here's my favorite John Willie, mysteriously signed (and on the wrong side) "B":

John Willie

Look at those garters. I love the delicacy conveyed in John Willie's fantasy women:

John Willie

Fragile and beautiful:

John Willie

The art of Gene Bilbrew (also known as "Eneg") is also featured in the book. This particular Pony Girl illustration is very distinctive of his highly stylized '50s Klaw work:

Eneg

The last to be cited is Mexican artist Adolfo Marino Ruiz (simply known to Klaw fans as "Ruiz"). I love his style of Good Girl art and think he's highly under-appreciated:

Ruiz

 Pleasure Parade #1 (formally known as Pleasure Parade, Volume One, No. One) is classic Nutrix.

Not to be left out in the cold, Edward Mishkin -- Times Square bookstore operator and publisher -- who was then a serious thorn in Klaw's side would produce a piracy -- a poor substitute for the real thing, but interesting nevertheless. Here's my copy below. Such piracies can quickly be identified by the white border, in addition to the murky contrast of reproduced images:

Eddie Mishkin Piracy

Better a pirated Bettie than no Bettie at all, eh? In fact, I more frequently handle the Mishkin piracy since I'm less concerned about keeping it in great condition. But here's a close-up of what you'd be missing from the less degraded Klaw original (... and this is not good scan):

Bettie Page

Now that I have your attention with Bettie, allow me to post a pic of Irving Klaw.

Klaw

Now this is Edward "Eddie" Mishkin. (And, to be honest, I'm equally fascinated by both these men.)

Eddie Mishkin

This by the way is me: Richard Perez. I'm holding up my favorite all-time artifact, featuring Stanton art, which was produced by Eddie Mishkin and extravagantly priced at $15. (circa 1958, mind you).

Richard Perez

Feel free to repost any images you see on this page -- or this blog -- just kindly
provide links ... as it is all free and meant to be shared. A million thanks. 


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