Sorry for not posting recently. I’ve been away for several days–”on pump” so to say. I’m back now, did my time in the cellule and so it’s back to le jour ouvrable. To get back on track, today’s post resulted from recently organizing my digital dumping ground of various found files and images. I was able to corral several of those outrageous covers that were featured in the “men’s adventure” type magazines featuring the Foreign Legion. These magazines were an evolution of the regular pulps from the 30′s and 40′s–most of which would die out completely in the 1950′s. Some would turn into these transitional forms of pulps before becoming what my dad would call “nudie mags”. I found 13 covers (mostly on ebay, flickr and other places) but I know there are probably some more I missed. Also shown is an interior illustration by Mort Kunstler seen in a Stag magazine from 1960 and part of the Chesterfield cigarettes ad found in some of the slick magazines like Look or Esquire.
The stories associated with these covers are often billed as true accounts of various trappings of life in the Foreign Legion with especially lurid emphasis on the brothels, disciplinary units and prisons, the brutality of senior noncoms, accounts of desertion and escape and the savagery of the native tribesmen. However, these magazines usually ran about 70 pages so even the featured cover articles are short–no more than 3-5 pages. More than half of the magazine would be devoted to advertising with several pages reserved for the obligatory grainy black and white pictures of some tramp wearing nothing more than an oversize man’s dress shirt or fishnet panty hose. So, apart from a great cover you won’t find much literary value here–but then what real man buys a Playboy for the stories.