Peep Show Charlton Comics Cheesecake Pulp Magazine
Browsing around the internet digging up useless facts about Peep Show, I was quite surprised to see how few copies have made to a Google image search. A half dozen! Which is unfortunate, as it is such a lovely example of 1950s cheesecake, even if it was a cheap rip-off of Whisper and Stocking Parade. Then I realized the problem. It's too big to fit on a SCANNER!
I have owned my share over the years, and have a few around now, but you'll only find fuzzy images of full size covers online as it was 13" tall. I cribbed a few of those online to supplement my chopped up versions. Most crappy scanners, like mine, are built for 12" so there you go. Who wants to cut off any cleavage?
I am sure it did stand out at the magazine store. Such COLORS, yet the guts were all black and white.
There have been rumors since forever that the publisher was tied in with the mob. Whether this is due to the Italian surname of the founder (Santangelo) or that the idea for publishing was cooked up in prison (true)...but I don't have proof. Where there is pulp smoke burning, there is often mafia fire, and the more I dig into the sordid history of sleazy publishing, the more it is obvious how much was "influenced" by some most unsavory characters, and I do not mean the characters in the cheap comics Charlton was best known for.
Santangelo's first publishing efforts were stealing the lyrics of popular songs and moving in on the highly profitable music publishing business, but he got caught and sent to the big house for a year, and from there he went into legitimate publishing. Or maybe I should say he "went legit?" Either way, his first legit publishing was doing the same thing he did before, but on the level, with Hit Parader magazine. It lasted decades. The music publishing business in the 1950s? Okay, now THAT was a squeaky clean line of work. Pffft. On that basis alone, we should figure the operation as crooked as a straight line in a Charlton comic.
So okay...I'll say it. Yes. There were probably some greasy fingers on the newsprint.
Peep Show was actually published as by N.E.W.S Publishing Corporation, but they were done at the Charlton plant in Derby, just like Hit Parader and all the comics. At one time they had well over 50 titles, but the company ran out of luck around 1990.
The average issue of Peep Show is 50 pages of fragile, bottom of the trunk pulp, with nearly all of them filled with babes in bikinis or a bubble bath. Well...I hate to use "average" in the same paragraph as Eve Meyer, the stunning and only true love of Russ Meyer, who sold them 4 pages worth for one issue alone, and the cover here. Some of his earliest work.
Peep Show was a who's who of famous shutterbugs. Earl Leaf, who I profiled just yesterday, Charles Kell, Bruno, Bernard...and these all in the one issue I am browsing.
If my post can do anything, it may encourage someone to collect and publish the covers. They had a great logo, totally indicative of the contents, and they are so fragile today if someone doesn't do it soon, they'll all be lost.
Jim Linderman books and ebooks HERE at Blurb.com