MEN’S ADVENTURE Quarterly Vol 1 No 1
Edited by Robert Deis & Bill Cunningham
Subtropic Productions, LLC.
nothing better. Being an avid comic fan we early on learned how amazing things can
happen when two creators join forces. The prime example being writer Stan Lee’s
partnership with artist Jack Kirby. Alone, each was a master of his craft;
together they were unbelievable. Arguably there would have been no Marvel
without either one.
Pulp editors were
all too familiar with this concept as they constantly strove to pair their
stories with the right cover painters the goal of making their monthlies stand
out. Some succeeded admirably while others failed miserably. The paperback
publishers of the 60s and 70s also understood the value of such pairings.
Sticking the Robert E. Howard Conan stories behind a Frank Frezetta painting
was genius and introduced an entire new generation to Howard’s fiction. The
same can be said for James Bama interpretation of the Man of Bronze on the Bantam
Doc Savage paperback reprints. Art and literature merging into one seamless
product to capture the imagination of the readers.
Which brings us to
the grand team-up responsible for “Men Adventure Quarterly.” Bill Cunningham, with
his background in comics and science fiction, is a brilliant book designer. His
sense of composition and use of reproduced art is masterful as is evident on
every single page of this colorful periodical. Then we have Robert Deis
providing him with the content he is an expert of; the art and stories of the
MAMS (Men’s Adventure Magazines). In the past few years, Deis, with the aid of
publisher Wyatt Doyle, has re-energized the scholarly interest in those garish “sweat”
mags and in doing so proven their legitimate claim as the heirs to the classic
pulps of the 30s and 40s.
With this beautiful
156 pg treasure, Deis and Cunningham have given us a magnificent sampling of
what MAMS were about. From the reproductions of glorious covers and interior
illustrations to the reprinting of both factual articles and action packed
fiction, this collection is rollicking trip back in time. We could rant all day
about the nine gun-blazing stories included here. But it was the article on
actor James Arness and his role as Matt Dillon in the TV series “Gunsmoke” that
was an amusing surprise. Written when the show was only a few years old, the
big guy has no clue whether his show was going to be a success or not. He talks
about what he will do when it is taken off the air. He had no inkling of the ground
breaking longevity this cowboy series would ultimately achieve.
Then we have a pin-up feature with the beautiful model Juli Redig and a gallery of artist Robert Emil Schulz MAMS western covers. The concept is every single issue will focus on a specific genre and western’s was a good choice to kick things off. We’re told the next issue will deal with spies. If it and subsequent volumes maintain the level of quality achieved with this premier issue, we pulp/MAMS fans are in for some really great reading. Thanks Mr. Cunningham and Mr. Deis, we owe you both big time.