- Series: Men's Adventure Library Journal (Book 2)
- Hardcover: 180 pages
- Publisher: New Texture (May 1, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781943444199
- ISBN-13: 978-1943444199
- ASIN: 1943444196
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
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Cuba: Sugar, Sex, and Slaughter (Men's Adventure Library Journal) Hardcover – May 1, 2018
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About the Author
In his younger days, Robert Deis explored various options for making a living. Among other things, he worked as a teacher, an artist, a musician, a logger in the Maine woods, a magazine writer and a state government bureaucrat. Eventually (by accident rather than design) he fell into a long-lasting career as a political consultant. Nowadays, he blogs and writes about things that interest him, such as famous quotations and men's adventure magazines. Bob grew up in the decades when men's adventure magazines were flourishing, but he didn't take much notice of them until he read the 2004 book MEN'S ADVENTURE MAGAZINES IN POSTWAR AMERICA, which features the amazing art and magazine collection of Rich Oberg. That inspired him to start collecting and studying men's adventure magazines. In 2009, he created the MensPulpMags.com blog. Through that, he met other fans of the genre, including Rich Oberg, Wyatt Doyle and Josh Alan Friedman, who all agree that what the world needs now is greater exposure to the wild, weird world of men's adventure pulp fiction and pulp art.
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Robert Deis and Wyatt Doyle have made it their mission with their “Men’s Adventure Library” to commemorate the glory days of the men’s adventure magazines with a series of anthologies, each with a particular theme: a certain artist (like Samson Pollen) or writer (like the amazingly prolific Robert F. Dorr), or a certain type of story that was popular back in the day: deadly animals (real or imagined), motorcycle gangs, war stories, etc. I think I have all the books, and this new one – CUBA: SUGAR, SEX AND SLAUGHTER – is a good starting point for anyone who wants to check out this wild bizarro world of adventure. Cuba held a weird fascination for Americans in the 1950s and 1960s, and the stories and illustrations in this volume track the changes that Cuba went through in our popular imagination: from a wild, anything-goes den of many iniquities bankrolled by the American mob, to a land where brave freedom-fighters fought to overcome the corrupt Batista régime, and to the complete about-face of the revolutionaries into black-bearded Commies as wicked as the most wicked Asian or Russian Commie. It’s all here, the cheap prostitutes, the brave guerrilla girls, the snarling bearded baddies, and the regular American Joes who inexplicably keep getting mixed up in all these tropical shenanigans. Don’t expect fancy prose in these stories – these are pure pulp, hammered out by pros who who got to the point quick, slammed it home and wrapped it up in the time it would take its reader to eat a cheeseburger on his lunch break. The art, as is usual with the Men’s Adventure Library books, is superb, with work by masters like John Duillo, George Gross, Earl Norem, Mort Künstler, Norm Eastman, Basil Gogos, and Bruce Minney. Read this book and you’ll feel the hair growing on your chest, and immediately feel like taking your power boat down for a run ninety miles below the Florida Keys, ready to do a little smuggling and maybe some snuggling with a hot-blooded rebel babe...
By Robert Deis and Wyatt Doyle
After the pulp magazines disappeared, they were largely replaced by a more gritty and realistic magazine genre collectively known as Men’s Adventure Magazines (MAMs). These glossy, color publications featured stories and artwork by the same people servicing the men’s paperback original market in the 1950s and 1960s. Magazines like “Adventure” and “Real Men” were filled with colorful illustrations and stories designed to appeal to working class men returning home from the wars of the Mid-20th Century.
The Men’s Adventure Library Journal is a labor of love for Robert Deis and Wyatt Doyle with a mission of preserving the salacious stories and art from the MAMs in beautiful-themed compilations that both entertain and put the stories in some historical context. Their latest release is “Cuba: Sugar, Sex, and Slaughter,” and it’s a total pleasure to read and own.
One of the conceits in MAMs is the fictional story presented as non-fiction, and several of the Cuba stories in this volume fall into that category. “Brotherhood of the Scar” is a fictional story from a 1959 issue of “Adventures for Men” by Jack Barrows that falsely claims to be “an eye-witness story of an ex-GI who was brutally tortured by Batista’s savage Gestapo and lived to join the secret underground army that swore vengeance at any price.” The story itself is a 33-page torturous bloodbath that will make fans of the men’s adventure series paperbacks of the 1970s and 1980s feel right at home.
Another highlight was “Kiss the Skull of Death My Beautiful Muchacha” allegedly by Linda Rogers as told to Jim McDonald (actually a work of complete fiction by McDonald). The story originally appeared in the September 1965 issue of “New Man” with graphic cheesecake art by the great Norman Saunders lovingly reproduced in this anthology. The soft-core sex opening grabs the reader as the American female nightclub singer is ravished by her Cuban lover during Fidel’s revolution. One thing leads to another and our heroine is captured and turned over to “El Toro” for torture and interrogation. This is exciting and lurid stuff for men of any era.
The stories collected and preserved here were an important part of America’s literary history and the Men’s Adventure Library Journal guys are doing important work keeping this stuff available. Arguably, the violent and sexy art of this genre was just as historically significant as the stories themselves. Fortunately, the editors of “Cuba” have reproduced scads of cover art and interior illustrations to further give the stories further context and provide a feast for the reader’s eyes.
“Cuba: Sugar, Sex, and Slaughter” is an essential anthology for fans of sexy, blood-on-the-knuckles fiction and illustration art. Highly recommended.
It’s a truly weird approach telling the history of people via such articles, but in its own way the tropical island’s very make up seems soaked in pulpish gore and horror; never mind the action and adventure. The pieces are typical sensationalist exposes such as “Havana’s Amazing Flesh Market,” to “Castro’s Commie Blueprint to Take Over Latin America.”
Fiction wise there’s “Bayamo’s Night of Terror,” by Don Hogan. A ghastly account of life in one of Cuba’s worst prison hell-holes. As for special features, the book offers up some truly wonderful examples of artist Norm Eastman’s work for the MAMS and then there is an all too short pictorial featuring the lovely model Eva Lynd recounting her own one time trip to Cuba.
Beautiful assembled and laid out, “CUBA : Sugar, Sex and Slaughter” is representative of a time when drugstores magazine racks were filled with some of the most lurid, explosive stories ever to grace a pulp page. This book is just another lesson delivered by two experts who really know their stuff. A welcome addition to any pulp library.