Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Ed Wood Wednesdays: The Wood Paperback Odyssey, Part Two by Greg Dziawer

The cover of Dirk Malloy's Camera Action. Note the Midwood clover in the upper left corner.

Note to readers: You know what time of the week it is, friends? Yes, it's time to turn Dead 2 Rights over (temporarily) to Greg Dziawer so that he can enlighten us with his investigations into the strange, shadowy world of Edward D. Wood, Jr. I'm traveling out of state to visit relatives for the Thanksgiving holiday, so this is the last new content you'll be seeing at Dead 2 Rights for the next several days. But Greg has provided us with plenty of food for thought this Thanksgiving weekend through his examination of some vintage paperback books dubiously attributed to Edward D. Wood, Jr. Ready to separate wheat from chaff? Read on. And have a lovely Thanksgiving. J.B.

The Wood Paperback Odyssey
Who wrote Dirk Malloy's Camera Action?
... And ID-ing the “lost” A Study of the Sexual Man, Book One

So who did write Dirk Malloy's Camera Action? Well, Dirk Malloy did, to end the suspense quickly. But there has been some lingering suggestion that Dirk Malloy could be another one of Ed Wood's pen names. And, truth be told, Dirk Malloy is a pseudonym.

Why do I bring this up? In last week's first installment of the Wood Paperback Odyssey, we delved into the true authorship of Norman Bates' Male Wives, sometimes credibly claimed to be written by Ed Wood. There's also reasonable circumstantial evidence: Ed collaborated frequently with Charles D. Anderson, and they worked together closely at Pendulum. Nonetheless, Ed had no involvement with Male Wives.

I bring this up – to finally answer my own question – because in my travels I occasionally come across far more spurious claims of works that supposedly involved Ed. And before a spark becomes a fire, we should put it out. Which isn't to say that anyone is believing Ed's involvement here, as evidenced by the fact that the Ebay listing claiming this has been up for months now, with a "buy it now" price of a mere $22.00. Real vintage Ed paperbacks are into the hundreds.

A Leo Eaton/Ed Wood collaboration
from the T.K. Peters source.
But even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut: I landed the super-rare A Study of the Sexual Man, Book One at Etsy for a mere $21.99 a couple weeks back, lucky that the seller had no idea what they had, not listing Ed's name, nor Pendulum, nor even one of the credited names, T.K. Peters, highly associated with Ed. I was about 30 pages deep on the seller's listings (got there because I found a non-Ed Pendulum paperback listing and just started clicking through out of blind hope) when the title on the cover and the name on the cover, T.K. Peters, caught my eye. Without the relevant keywords, no one looking was going to find it. And, truth be told, few were looking and the seller isn't to blame. Although The Sexual Man, Book 2 is a known work of Ed's, information on its predecessor is almost non-existent. Almost. I found a copyright listing for it in at the invaluable Library of Congress' Catalog of Copyright Entries Jul-Dec 1971. Credited there to just Leo Eaton (another of Ed's fellow staff writers at Pendulum) – under an oft-used pseudonym, Frank Leonard - I later learned that it's listed on Ed's very own resume, as verifiably accurate (if still largely yet made public) a document as Wood scholars and fans have got.


An excerpt from the introduction to A Study of the Sexual Man, Book One (intro signed, "Frank Leonard, Los Angeles, 1971"):
As Madison Avenue and the advertisers jumped on the band-wagon, the confused and bewildered male looked around to find that all aspects of his nice, safe, male-dominated society were pandering the woman's sexuality. 
I digress. Because Dirk Malloy's Camera Action will eventually sell and the listing will eventually disappear, let's document the details of the claim here.

In an Ebay listing for the adult paperback Camera Action, a 1967 Midwood title (an East Coast publisher that never published a known Ed-affiliated work), written by Dirk Malloy, the seller opines: “I believe this is an original Ed Wood Jr. book! I attempted to find out online but found no list for his books written under pseudonyms."

A rare Midwood Triple!
I “attempted” to do the same, which I guess means something different to me. And maybe “find out” is a post on Yahoo! Answers. I simply googled Dirk Malloy. Though there are lists of Ed's pseudonyms online, and lists of his paperbacks that include known pseudonyms, maybe there is truly, “no list for his books written under pseudonyms.” I'm being charitable.

Dirk Malloy is easily identified as a pseudonym for Hank Gross. As Dirk, he wrote dozens of sleaze paperbacks (which sound very much like man's man fantasies when not in Mr. Teas territory, seemingly there in Camera Action) during the peak of that medium's era in the latter half of the '60s. A post with content from an unidentifiable source hinting Dirk's own website (hankgross.com once existed, but the domain is now for sale) painted a succinct portrait befitting what you'd expect from the persona of a writer of sleaze paperbacks named Dirk Malloy:
Dirk Malloy is a raconteur, a lover of the ladies, and a writer of books aimed especially at men with lusty and intellectual interests like his own. He is a third-degree black belt in aiki-jitsu, has traveled extensively, rides a Harley, explores both theoretical physics and the wacky stuff, drinks his scotch straight, loves a good belly laugh, and has tasted both victory and defeat in life and in love. In short, a complete man.
Dirk Malloy: Father of the Most Interesting Man in the World?

In 2010, he published much of his work as e-books, still available. His bibliography fanciful and eclectic, it includes everything from Celebrity Sex Scandals to Gourmet Cat Recipes to Raunchy Jokes for Guys to Jesus Plays the Catskills.
In this sublime retelling of the story and teachings of Christ's life, Jesus himself takes the mike and tells it to a Borscht-belt crowd as a Jewish comic might. It's the New Testament as you've never heard it before! So here he is, ladies and germs, the King of Kings, the Lamb of God...let's give it up, folks, for JESUS!
His bio glosses over his work in adult paperbacks, though he reprinted some of them digitally. I am going to check out the reprint of 1967's The Dirtiest Dozen, a document of the meteoric rise of sex newspapers in the late '60s, covering Screw and its pretenders:
The male could grind his thighs against those of the heroine as much as he pleased, but he could not, under any circumstances, drop in on her cunt – not that it mattered, since she didn’t have one anyway. And of course, heaven help the publisher if, despite the obstacles of having neither a pud nor a place in which to put it, the hero had the temerity to actually shoot his load.
Oh, well. I thought my friends and I had made up the word "pud" in the fifth grade.

I'll also be checking out Sexual Fetishism, which covers painfully neglected, harshly real territory, the description getting lost in parentheses:
Take a walk on the wild side with this breezily-written guide to sexual fetishes, from agalmatophilia (arousal by statues) to renifleurism (urine and underwear, to doraphila (fur fetish), including quotes from some of the estimated 50 million practicioners and a comprehensive glossary of over 700 fetishes you probably never heard of.
This tiny Smashwords profile photo is the only
one I could find of Hank Gross/Dirk Malloy.
Many more astounding facts to come in future editions of Ed Wood Wednesdays:
  • Reviews of The Sexual Man, Book One and Pendulum's Young Marrieds, a paperback from 1971
  • “Unknown” fellow staffers at Pendulum identified. 
  • "Down Shirlee Lane"
  • The story of Golden State News and its myriad magazine lines (Classic, Cougar and Gold Line Publications among them), the blueprint for Pendulum, where Ed's work still largely remains unidentified
  • "One Million A.C. Stephens," the first installment of the Wood Script Odyssey; and the epochal revealing of the real T.K. Peters
"More than a fact!"

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