School Daze #11: Playboy in the Yearbook

In 1961, the Texas Tech University yearbook, La Ventana, began the tradition of having a Playboy Magazine feature complete with female students as Playmates and even a full color centerfold!... (although, there was never any nudity). This practice continued for 20 years, with the last faux Playboy cover appearing in the 1982 edition of La Ventana.


Comic Books #61: Bad Comics

Is there anything funner than poking fun at old comic book covers?..... Yeah, actually, there's a lot of things funner.  Still, it's a great way to pass some time - especially if you're on the clock at work. Enjoy!


Deep Thoughts #7: The Nature of Man and the Hippie Experiment

"...this is the sort of poverty I mean. This is the grinding curse that keeps down noble aspiration under a load of ignoble care; this is the moral cancer that eats into the heart of an otherwise well-intentioned human creature and makes him envious and malignant....
When he sees the fat idle woman of society passing by in her luxurious carriage, lolling back lazily, her face mottled with the purple and red signs of superfluous eating - when he observes the brainless and sensual man of fashion smoking and dawdling away the hours in the park as if all the world and its millions of honest hard workers were created solely for the casual diversion of the so called upper classes - then the good blood in him turns to gall..." 
The Sorrows of Satan (1895) by Marie Corelli

Man's desire to take what another has (especially when he has none) is part of him.  Our religions urge us away from this primal impulse to take, but still it goes on every second of every day, eon after eon.  And when the inequality of a group of humans becomes too great, the impulse is strengthened by numbers. Revolutions happen - with few exceptions, murderous bloodbaths to restore the "equality".

Governing bodies are cognizant of this problem.  To subdue the dirty, starving masses they develop brutal regimes which keep the people at bay by means of terror.  They also placate them with "bread and circuses"; distracting their feeble minds from the injustices.  Yet, if the inequality is wide enough, no regime can withstand the tide of a population with nothing to lose.

In America, in the late 1960s, there was what you might call a peaceful revolution.  Its epicenter was in Haight-Ashbury where the notion of a class system was an anathema.  The denizens of this place believed that mankind's problem of inequality was solved.  Instead of taking from one another by means of violence and deceit, we would give to one another out of love.

Artful Conception #25: Strategically Covered Nudity (Part 2)

In part one, I gave you the background on Strategically Covered Nudity (SCN). Now it's time to take a look at its taxonomy.  You see, it comes in a variety of forms, and I aim to provide you with examples of each.  Certainly, if there are any that have been overlooked, please chime in.

In this post we will focus strictly on cinematic examples.  Please understand that SCN occurs in comics, paperback covers, album covers, advertising, etc.  There's plenty of ground to cover; the movies seem the logical place to start.  Enjoy.


Artful Conception #24: Strategically Covered Nudity

Many of you will recall that Google stripped Retrospace of its advertising due to its use of "strategically covered nudity".  Well, now that the ads have been officially removed, I guess we're free to cover a topic that I've wanted to write about for some time.

You know the trope:  A completely nude character's "naughty bits" are blocked from view by a convenient prop or oddity of architecture.  The absurdity of the situation was perfectly spoofed in the first Austin Powers film where the actors are conveniently censored by various props.

While the Google advertising incident my have guaranteed this post come to life, the idea for it came after watching Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970)...


Retro Film Report #37: Boy, Did I Get A Wrong Number! (1966)

Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number! (1966)
Starring: Bob Hope, Elke Sommer, and Phyllis Diller

Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number! was almost universally panned by the critics who compared it to a 90 minute sitcom.  True enough, it's not particularly profound or innovative; however, it does entertain.

Bob Hope does what he does best, smacking one-liners out of the park in rapid succession.  And Elke Sommer does what she does best - looking foxy for the camera.  Spice it all up with a little Phyllis Diller and awesome 60's sets, and you've just made cinematic gold. If it weren't for the convoluted mess that is the last quarter of the film, this would be classic.


Needlework A-Go Go #33: 1975-1976

I think I'm in love.

Oscar Wilde once said "Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months."  Well, seventies fashion was so imaginative that it has been derided and laughed for the past 30+ years.  I think it's time we look at it with fresh eyes and realize our current day's "fashion" (if that's even what it can be called) is so blah and forgettable that perhaps we shouldn't be casting stones.

So, here's another edition of needlework fashion.  Just some scans from various needlework mags I've accumulated.  This time, try to put aside preconceived notions, and maybe - just maybe - you'll look at seventies fashion as if for the first time and say, "you know, this stuff is actually pretty cool".  Score 1 for Retrospace.


Viva VHS #14: Dirty Movies

"Watch Whatever Whenever" - for men, this was a Clarion Call that it was now time to watch dirty movies in your living room.  No matter what the cost, this was going to happen.  The video revolution was born thanks to a little disposable income and a lot of libido.

No longer would you have to hit the seedy theater in the bad part of town; however, you still had to make the "walk of shame" past the beaded curtain in your local video rental store.  There was nothing discrete about it.  In order to rent an "adult movie", you had to enter a separate part of the store which may as well have been labeled "Perverts Only".

Once Blockbuster took over the market, the adult videos were phased out, becoming the sole domain of sex shops and mail order.  Satellite TV and pay-per-view were also means to an end; but the poor dirty VHS movie had seen its Golden Age come and go.


Comic Books #60: Mars and Beyond

The phrase "Where's my jet pack?" has become an American idiom of late.  It reflects the disappointment in the mid-century Utopian promises of technology.  Walt Disney was among the top perpetrators of the hype.  His forays into documentaries and comic books featured glowing predictions for scientific progress which seem overly optimistic from the vantage point of 2013. (Have you ever 'ridden' the Carousel of Progress at Disneyworld? There's perhaps no better illustration of this philosophy in action than that attraction.)

That being said, a bit of blind faith in the wonders of technology is a healthy thing.  As we stand and watch NASA defunded and a super-collider shut down, we lose a little hope.  We lose a little enthusiasm for what tomorrow brings.

Mars and Beyond is one of many Disney publications by Dell which proclaimed the glories of scientific progress.  By no means is a propaganda tract; it simply exudes a refreshing optimism.  So, let's page through this enjoyable little comic from 1957 - I think you'll find it interesting.

Mini Skirt Monday #165: Minis On Hold

Well, I've delivered up a heavenly hash of miniskirts nearly 164 consecutive weeks, and finally it's time to put it on hold.  Not forever - just for the next month or so.

I agree, it was a damn good way to start the week, and Miniskirt Monday was always popular.  So, why pull the plug? A couple reasons.

First, I'm running out of miniskirt mojo. Putting together the themes has been somewhat tortuous lately.  The idea of a "pleated mini", "paisley mini", "leather mini" or "denim mini" post just isn't doing it for me.  And the "minis and couples", "minis on album covers", "minis in the classroom" etc. themes have just gotten.... well, played out.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder, so maybe the mojo will return.

Second, I'm still really, really, really pissed about Google pulling the ads from Retrospace.  I should probably suck it up and get over it, but it is really sticking in my craw.  Thus, my motivation to create posts as often as I used to is just not there.  If I find the desire to post twice a week, it's doubtful it'll be a miniskirt post each time, if you catch my drift.

So, this is just a long way of telling you that Miniskirt Monday is on break.  Have no fear, it shall return.


Cinema #31: The Top 25 Babes of Sci-Fi Cinema

I figure there's always room for one more list of the top science-fiction babes.  It's got three of my favorite elements: lists, babes, and sci-fi.  Simply put, the list had to be done.  So, here's the rules:
  1. Movies only.  As much as I'd love to include Erin Grey from Buck Rogers or the Barnstable twins from Quark, those will have to wait until the TV edition.
  2. Release date in the 1960s through the 1980s only.  This is Retrospace, after all.  
  3. It has to be unabashedly sci-fi.  You start including WarGames, Supergirl, Ghostbusters and Escape from New York, and it becomes a slippery slope.  Before long you're including Mannequin and Zapped!.  All the films in this list are textbook science fiction (nevertheless, I'm sure someone will ride in on their sci-fi horse of purity and exclude some.)
  4. The film can only be represented one time within the list.  

Sound good?  Before we start, I should also mention that any naughty bits have been censored by The Great Gazoo.  As if you didn't hate him enough, here's even more reason to despise Bedrock's resident alien a-hole.



Be Back Soon!

Those of you expecting miniskirts this Monday may want to go back to sleep. Retrospace will be turning out the lights until around Friday or Saturday.  I am flying to Salt Lake City for the week, and won't have time to attend to my beloved blog.

I contemplated delivering up some reruns or even a flashback episode, but in the end it'll just be a "closed sign" until later in the week. Feel free to scour the archives and loiter about the premises until Friday.  Have a great week!


Just for Laughs #8: Framed Fumetti for Your Home

Your home is an opportunity to express yourself in all your many moods. Ease your decorating confusion with one of these ready-framed adult fumetti painting options for a great look. Providing you beautifully matched frames and hand painted fumetti art ready to hang on your wall. Find your style or a loved ones from Erotic to Horrific for any occasion: Birthdays, Anniversaries, Holidays, etc. These unique gifts will be admired for years to come by friends and family.


Retro Film Report #36: Seven Films from 1972

1972 brought pictures from Mars and women entering the Boston Marathon.  It was also the year of Watergate and Jane Fonda in Vietnam.  In the theaters were The Poseidon Adventure, The Godfather, Deep Throat, and Cabaret. Today we'll take a look at a handful of flicks from that interesting year. Enjoy.


Artful Conception #23: Carried Away!

I promise this'll be the last carry post for a while.  But, as I mentioned in the last Artful Conception, I simply have too many of these to keep under wraps.  The carry shtick was quite the popular vintage theme.  We can extract all kinds of sociological meaning from this fact, but what's really the point?  It was what it was.  A dominant image of the times, especially in genre films.

Well, here's the final installment for a while - soak it in folks!


Mini Skirt Monday #164: Minis in Plaid (Part 2)

It's been a couple years since we've tackled the tough subject of plaid miniskirts.  It's a polarizing issue with a lot of far-reaching ramifications, but Retrospace is not one to shy away from the hard topics that matter.  For this edition, we sent our best journalists into the field to cover what other news agencies won't show you. Embedded in the front lines, up close and unafraid, Retrospace is proud to present..... plaid miniskirts part two (soon to be a miniseries by Ken Burns).  Enjoy.