QUALITY COMICS

Arnold Magazines, Inc.

Summer 1956–April 1958

INTRODUCTION  |   THE SWEATS  |  THE PIN-UPS  |  THE DIGESTS

Busy Arnold’s magazine enterprise began just as his comic book business was ending. The magazines were all edited by Quality’s Al Grenet and Dick Arnold. Jim Amash spoke with both of these men for Alter Ego #34 (March 2004). George Hagenauer also wrote a sidebar in that issue, “Busy Arnold’s Other Magazines,” which summarizes the genres of this era nicely. All were published either bimonthly or quarterly.

The first two, Classic and Master Photography fall under the "professional photography" category. Though each issue featured a variety of ostensibly serious subjects, it was probably the female nudes that sold these magazines. By this time, Playboy had been on stands for several years (not to mention that Busy Arnold's former star, Jack Cole, was now doing top notch cartoons for Hugh Hefner). Busy put another Quality artist to work on spicy cartoons for him. Bill Ward, who'd created the "Good Girl" Torchy, did many naughty little cartoons under the pen name "McCartney."

The largest category was the men's adventure magazines, or "sweats": Rage for Men, Man's Exploits, Gusto, and Courage. Each of these also contained spreads with ladies posed in various states of dress on beaches, in nature, and in the boudoir.

Four "crime fiction," or pulp style digests were Blazing Guns, Crime and Justice, Killers Mystery, and Terror.

Last to emerge was Hit Crosswords, the only known publication of that type. It's interesting to note that Arnold repurposed the name from his long-running Hit Comics. This was also digest-sized.

The first magazines hit newsstands in late 1956 and none lasted beyond early 1958—not even two years' worth. As with Quality Comics, the main problem facing Arnold Magazines was distribution. At first they were handled by American News Corp. (marked with "ANC" on the covers), but then in autumn 1957 went to Charlton (bearing "CDC"), which was fraught with problems.

The indicia read:

Published at Sparta, Illinois. Executive offices, 578 Summer Street, Stamford, Conn. Editorial offices, 303 Lexington Avenue, New York 16, N.Y. Manuscripts and illustrations from contributors must be accompanied by return postage. Although every effort will be made to insure prompt and careful handling, no responsibility can be taken for unsolicited material. Copyright 195_ by Arnold Magazines, Inc.

Frank Motler (a men’s magazine indexer) and Phil Stephensen-Payne (who runs Galactic Central) were indescribably helpful to me in assembling the information in these pages, and Phil also allowed me to borrow his cover images. Some cover scans come from my own collection, and from ebay auctions. Galactic Central compiles information from many sources and includes checklists and cover images.

All Arnold Magazines had the following staff in common. Additional staff are listed, if applicable, in each title's own section:

Everett M. Arnold, Publisher

Alfred Grenet, Editor

Richard E. Arnold, General Manager

Daniel M. Goldstein, Circulation Director

Eugene L. Pollock, Advertising Mgr.

The End of the Story

This section requires editing...

It was suggested by ?? that the demise of the Magazine endeavor had to do with distribution problems with Charlton, their last vendor. But Arnold Magazines, Inc. had legal problems too. Court records from March 19, 1957 cite the "publisher of CLASSIC PHOTOGRAPHY." in a case concerning the obscenity of the magazine's content. It went to an appeal The court's final decision upheld the denial of the Post Office Department to refuse Arnold second-class mail priveleges. The Post Office asserted that it was "obscene, lewd and lascivious and therefore nonmailable." By this time, three or four issues of the magazine had hit stands. It went on for seven issue, into 1958. http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/judicial/admin-decisions/1957/he4-233id.htm

In the Matter of the Petition By ) March 19, 1957 ) ARNOLD MAGAZINES, INC., ) ) H.E. Docket No. 4/211 Publisher of CLASSIC PHOTOGRAPHY ) Magazine for Order to Show Cause ) Why Application for Second-Class ) Entry Should Not be Granted. ) Goff, Abe McGregor

POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT WASHINGTON, D. C.

FINAL DEPARTMENTAL DECISION BY THE
GENERAL COUNSEL AND ORDER

The Arnold Magazine, Inc., filed a petition requesting that the Post Office Department be required to show cause why the proposal by the Director, Division of Mail Classification, recommending denial of petitioner's application for admission to second-class mail privileges of its publication "Classic Photography", should not be reversed and a hearing held upon the issues raised. Pursuant thereto, the Chief Hearing Examiner issued an order to the Director, Division of Mail Classification, to show cause why the proposed denial should not be reversed.

The Respondent filed an answer to said petition and averred that the magazine in question is obscene, lewd and lascivious and therefore nonmailable as provided for in Title 18 U.S.C.A., Sect. 1461.

A stipulation was entered into between the petitioner and the Post Office Department to submit the case to the Hearing Examiner on the sole issue of whether petitioner's publication "Classic Photography, Autumn, 1956", is dominated by pictures of an obscene, lewd, lascivious and indecent character so as to render it nonmailable under the provisions of Section 1461 Title 18 U.S.C.

An amended stipulation was subsequently entered into to include another issue entitled "Classic Photography, Winter, 1956". Requests for findings of fact and conclusions of law were filed by the petitioner and the Respondent.

It appears from the record that the two issues of the magazine in question are the only issues involved and no other publications were offered for mailing under the present application by the petitioner.

The Examiner found that the two publications are obscene, lewd and lascivious and are therefore nonmailable under the provisions of Section 1461 and are not entitled to entry into the mails as second-class mailable matter, and recommended that petitioner's application for second-class entry be denied. Neither party filed exceptions to the Examiner's findings. The matter is now before the Post Office Department for final departmental decision.

Each of the two issues include several miscellaneous illustrated articles pertaining to photography and many pictures of young women in the nude or semi-nude, in a variety of sexually provocative poses. The title of the magazines namely "Classic Photography", in itself gives the impression that the magazines contain the results of an exceptional form of photography. Articles explaining the history and use of the camera in the text appear to give a reader the impression that the magazines are published to instruct how to more effectively use a camera. However, on further examination of the entire magazine, it is found that the photographs of nude women, provocatively posed, dominate the magazines and produce a lascivious and lustful stimulation for impure sex desires in the average male person, which outweigh the instructions and information about photography which the publisher alleges he desires to give the reader of these magazines. Considering each magazine in its entirety, it is evident that the primary intent of the publisher is to gainfully pander to the lewd and lascivious.

The two publications "Classic Photography", Autumn and Winter, are, therefore, obscene, lewd and lascivious in dominant effect and are nonmailable in accordance with the provisions of Section 1461 Title 18 U.S.C.A. and cannot be admitted for mailing under second-class privileges as mailable matter.

The findings of fact and conclusions of law made by the Examiner are hereby affirmed and his recommendations adopted.

The application of the Arnold Magazine, Inc., for admission of its publications as second-class mailable matter is hereby ordered denied.

Index

+ Alphabetical

  1. Blazing Guns • 4 issues • Oct. 1956–Apr. 1957
  2. Classic Photography • 6 issues • Autumn 1956–April 1958
  3. Courage: Man's Daring Adventures • 3 issues • Nov. 1957–Apr. 1958
  4. Crime and Justice Detective Story Magazine • 4 issues • Sept. 1956–Mar. 1957
  5. Gusto: He-Man Adventures · 3 issues • Oct. 1957–Feb. 1958
  6. Hit Crossword Puzzles • 2?? issues • Jan. 1957–??
  7. Homicide Detective Story Magazine / Killers Mystery Story Magazine • 4 issues • Sept. 1956–Mar. 1957
  8. Man’s Exploits · 5 issues • June 1957–April 1958
  9. Master Photography • 3 issues • Summer–Winter 1957
  10. Rage for Men · 8 issues • Dec. 1956–Feb. 1958
  11. Terror: Detective Story Magazine • 4 issues • Oct. 1956–Apr. 1957

+ Chronological

  1. Homicide Detective Story Magazine / Killers Mystery Story Magazine • 4 issues • Sept. 1956–Mar. 1957
  2. Classic Photography6 issues • Autumn 1956–April 1958
  3. Crime and Justice Detective Story Magazine • 4 issues • Sept. 1956–Mar. 1957
  4. Terror: Detective Story Magazine • 4 issues • Oct. 1956–Apr. 1957
  5. Blazing Guns • 4 issues • Oct. 1956–Apr. 1957
  6. Rage for Men • 8 issues • Dec. 1956–Feb. 1958
  7. Hit Crossword Puzzles • 2?? issues • Jan. 1957–??
  8. Master Photography • 3 issues • Summer–Winter 1957
  9. Man’s Exploits · 5 issues • June 1957–April 1958
  10. Gusto: He-Man Adventures · 3 issues • Oct. 1957–Feb. 1958
  11. Courage: Man's Daring Adventures • 3 issues • Nov. 1957–Apr. 1958

I have also done some online searching for the contributors to these magazines. Many photographers and some writers went on to acclaim, but many writers probably used pen names and so they are more difficult to identify.

JUMP TO:  THE SWEATS  |  THE PIN-UPS  |  THE DIGESTS

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Galactic Central has been generous in sharing its information with me

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