Real Men

Way before there was Man Vs. Wild...

... and Deadliest Catch...

..there were Men's Magazines.

We're not talking Playboy and Penthouse here. We're talking about magazines that reminded men of the rewards and risks of manliness on a monthly basis.

There must have been hundreds of these periodicals back in the 1950s and 1960s.

And each cover portrayed the hero of the month captured in some dramatic splash-screen moment of ultimate danger, larceny and/or lust.

Each cover was some kind of strange Thematic Apperception Test designed to suggest what was happening, what had just happened and more importantly, what was about to happen in the midst of ultimate intrigue and high adventure.

Man to Man December 1960

First of all, we don't think the name Man to Man would work the same way today as it did back in 1960.

Secondly, we have absolutely no idea what's going on here.

The guy hanging by his ankles is definitely not having a good day. But then again, the guy in front of the apparently blissed-out character wearing the party hat seems to be learning just what Man-to-Man is all about.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

And all the while, the old ball-and-chain hyper-buxom Kaiba Wong watches it all with that cool, detached haughty sneer.

And just what lesson did Cliff Wrede teach her?

We think Cliff's wisdom was to keep at least a car length's distance between you and guys with funny hats.

Battle Cry March 1960

Looks like this ship was hijacked on the way to an I-Dream-of-Jeannie convention.

Apparently back in the 60s, getting lashed to the riggings of a ship was pretty common.

Our favorite callout: Fraulein Brigade: They didn't use guns! Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

True Men Stories August 1957

Okay, this is a bit of a stretch, isn't it?

The flying rodents look a lot like squirrels. Treacherous, blood- thirsty killer squirrels, yes. But just squirrels, right?

Men May 1955

Maybe it's a better idea to just shoot the monkeys instead of trying to club the crap out of them with your rifle.

Man's Adventure December 1964

Looking like some lost episode of She Spies, this cover is tough to decipher.

Apparently woman in the Maidenform Bra has just shot a German soldier in the back of the neck while seducing him and now has decided to cross-dress her way to freedom.

Meanwhile, her buddies are in the process of strangling, rifle-butting and groin-kicking the soldier whose helmet is really not helping him at the moment.

But what really catches the eye is the callout for one of the stories inside: She Loved A Rotting Corpse -- Only the Dead Could Arouse Her Passion.

True Action February 1970

Hogan's Heroes was never like this.

The caption reads...these rugged Yank soldiers devised a plan that would blast themselves out and land them in the beds of Europe's most voluptuous women.

Now that's a plan!

Wildcat March 1960

For some guys, the fun never stops.