Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ed Wood Wednesdays: Eddie Or Not? The Ed-Tribution Odyssey, Part Two by Greg Dziawer

Greg continues to navigate the strange and misleading world of Ed Wood attributions.

In previous and numerous installments of Ed Wood Wednesdays, we visited a number of paperbacks attributed falsely to Ed as author. It's a veritable game of research Wack-A-Mole. No sooner do I do a little quick research (or more simply it's a given) to rule out Ed's authorship than two more bullshit Ed-tributions rear their head in my browser. I'll allow for fair maybes with some evidentiary background or informed consensus; I'll even take a sensible inference! Given the ease at which the information is obtained to rule out Ed, I'll conclude charitably that the non-profit claimants are mostly acting in an ignorant good faith. But I'll qualify that statement by saying that the sellers – by far the most perfidious purveyors of mis-Ed-tributions – seem to have a hint of self-interest and a huckster's parsing of language and truth at play.

In other words, just go to Ebay. I've listed links to actual auctions in the past, but really there's no need. Just go search, and in no time flat you'll come across a listing of a non-Ed paperbacks, generally at about five to ten times the price of its market value. A cynic could retort, I know being one, "Ah, market value is whatever someone's willing to pay!" Alas, that's the huckster in me.

So, then, let's play a few rounds of Wood Wack-A-Lie:

Exhibit #1: Take Death For A Lover

Ed Smith's cover for Take Death For A Lover.

Take Death For A Lover (1968) by Alan Marshall; A Pleasure Reader (an imprint of the insanely prolific Greenleaf).

Marshall is a house pseudonym (known and unknown, often including Donald Westlake, as well as Evan Hunter and Lawrence Block) at Greenleaf Classics, with a whopping 150 titles indexed here. There's no concrete connection to Ed that I can discern anywhere. Admittedly, Ed did write for Greenleaf, both under his own name and a house pseudonym.

As the title melds sex and death, give a moment's reflection to it being a reprint of Orgy Of The Dead, previously published by Greenleaf. No one has suggested this, and no one should have. There's a zombie on the cover.

Seen on Ebay. "Ed Wood" ends the title listing, with no further mention or attempt at substantiation elsewhere in the listing. The Buy-It-Now price is only a hundred bucks!

Back cover: Hilda ran from one shame to another, until her life became a monolith of degradation, and the taste of countless sins grew bitter in her mouth...

Eddie or Not? Cool cover and title, but nope.

Exhibit #2: A Family Affair

The cover art for J.X. Williams' A Family Affair, as murkily displayed on Ebay (left).

Speaking of Greenleaf and house pseudonyms, this Ember Library imprint title from 1966 is credited to the impossibly prolific J.X.Williams. Leaving aside the matter of William's identity, which will only complicate matters, what we know is that Ed wrote a title credited on the cover to the mysterious, highly likely purely fictitious and pseudonymous Williams, as revealed by his name appearing on its title page.

The J.X. Williams moniker was widely shared across Greenleaf imprints, by knowns and unknowns again, Victor J. Banis, Earl Kemp, and John Jakes among them. Crossover of actual authorship occurred between the Marshall and Williams house pseudonyms in the vast world of the Greenleaf Classics. But there was that sole Wood title.

Seen on Ebay as The Affair. The seller there added to the murk by cutting off the title on the cover scan and editing it accordingly in the listing. Forty bucks and it's yours!

Eddie or Not? You know the answer.

A trio of genuine Ed Wood novels published by Greenleaf.

For the record, Ed did author three books for Greenleaf:

Exhibit #3: A Manual Of Human Sexuality, Volume 3

"She learned everything about sex from a manual. Emmanuel was their gardener."

A Manual Of Human Sexuality, Volume 3 (1973); Edusex (Gallery Press, Inc.) by Norman Bates (Charles D. Anderson).

Just when I was feeling confident that Norman Bates was solely a pseudonym used by Charles D. Anderson and not a shared pseudonym, certainly not Ed's pseudonym, I dug a little into this title. The first copyright record I found did not list a volume number, and the author was credited as Robin Y. Eagle, a fellow staffer of Ed, Leo Eaton, Bill Jones and Anderson circa 1970-71 in the Pendulum magazine office on W. Pico Blvd. But then I found a record for Volume 1, credited to Anderson and listing Bates as pseudonym. Volume 3 was/is up on Ebay now (with Norman Bates listed on the cover) and at a few places, minimally at 125 clams and always claimed to be by Ed. Three volumes (at least), the first and third by Anderson and the second by Eagle, often pseudonymously Robert Elgin, maintaining that name into the mainstream.

Pendulum and Calga dissolved in early 1973, leaving only Gallery Press, across the magazines and paperbacks. These Edusex paperbacks were the last gasp of the halcyon days of the Pendulum family of imprints, dozens upon dozens of titles in the Encyclopedia of Sex (Pendulum) and Sexual Enlightenment series (Calga), both based upon the T.K. Peters source and the frequent haunt of Ed's pen.

Eddie or Not? Really?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Are 'Zootopia' and 'Batman V Superman' the same movie? Sort of, yeah.

Officer Judy Hopps and Superman: which one is which?

Okay, hear me out on this. Over Easter weekend, while visiting with my family, I got to catch up on two recent movie blockbusters: Disney's Zootopia and Warner Bros' Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. For the record, I basically liked both of them. Zootopia is an extremely cute, attractively animated family film with a good message about tolerance and the dangers of stereotyping. It's a little preachy and on-the-nose for my taste, but it's still enjoyable. Dawn Of Justice is drawn-out and dour with too limited a color palate and too noisy a sound design, but the critics calling it an unmitigated disaster are exaggerating. I wasn't bored by it. It's perfectly fine. I'd never want to sit through it again, but it'll do. Both Zootopia and Dawn are worth your time. But what I noticed is that there are a lot of parallels between these two seemingly dissimilar films. Like what? Well...


Thursday, March 24, 2016

The rise and fall of Tay, Microsoft's artificially-created teenager

The hideous logo for Microsoft's

One would think they had this whole “world wide web” thing down by now, but software giant Microsoft learned a swift, cruel lesson in how the internet really works this week when it unleashed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) chat robot called Tay, supposedly a slang-slinging simulacrum of a typical teenage girl, and left her to the tender mercies of Twitter. It didn’t take long for the tweeters of the world to turn innocent Tay into a hate-mongering nymphomaniac, forcing Microsoft to put its beloved artifical daughter to sleep after only one day. Writer Helena Horton has the whole, sad saga in The Telegraph. As Horton explains, Tay was created by a mostly-male development team at Microsoft. The idea was to create a self-aware, pop-culture-savvy young woman, with whom users could communicate via Twitter, Kik, or GroupMe. Tay was supposed to talk about Miley Cyrus and Kanye West, but that’s not how things turned out.

The trouble is, Tay tends to parrot back what people say to her, no matter how inappropriate or offensive that may be. Garbage in, garbage out, as they say. The results quickly became disastrous:
In considering this embarrassing, hopelessly naive failure on Microsoft’s behalf, Horton chalks it up to sexism within the tech industry. “It seems like yet another example of female-voiced AI servitude,” she writes, “except this time she’s turned into a sex slave thanks to the people using her on Twitter.” While the pranksters and predators of Twitter are party to blame for Tay’s downfall, Horton points out that Microsoft does not have a great track record on gender equality either, having recently hired women in “schoolgirl outfits” to appear at an official function. With that ugly incident not far in their rear view mirror, Microsoft might have wanted to put a little more care into the creation of Tay. Live and learn, AI developers.

Meanwhile, score another victory for the human race. AI 'bots may have conquered Jeopardy!, but they couldn't conquer Twitter.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Ed Wood Wednesdays: The Wood Magazine Odyssey, Part Seven by Greg Dziawer

The next step on our tour of Ed Wood's career? The foul year of 1975.

In our last index of magazines, we listed all titles filed for copyright by Gallery Press, Inc in 1974. As with that year, the 1975 filings were solely under the Gallery Press imprint, and the volume of publications considerably less than in the early '70s, when Pendulum/Calga was in full swing (no pun intended). Fifty-three titles and 75 issues were filed in 1975, a number of issues dated late 1974 that had yet to be filed. Most titles saw the release of only a single issue (three issues at most for only a handful of titles), but a few early Pendulum titles still continued, e.g. Swap and Wildcats into their respective eighth volumes. New titles included such gems as Bush Lovers, Cunny, and Young Sugar. Excepting three titles of Case Histories, the sociological angle, once the province of the defunct SECS Press and Edusex imprints, was almost entirely gone; no longer was it necessary to continue the ruse of educational content, due to the relaxation of obscenity laws and now-widespread existence of pornographic magazines. Worth noting: Gallery Press also published adult paperbacks in 1975.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The many movie references of 'The Simpsons,' cheek by jowl with their inspirations

I'm always up for scenes of Mr. Burns doing sick stuff.

Note: This was an article of mine that was recently cut from The A.V. Club. It turns out, they'd already covered this topic. Whoops. Anyway, I thought I'd get some mileage out of it by posting it here. Enjoy or don't. Your call.
Very early in the run of The Simpsons, as revealed through DVD commentary tracks, the writers and animators on the show discovered that the relatively recent advent of VCRs made it possible for them to reference motion pictures in an extremely accurate and detailed way. A 1990 episode called “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge,” for instance, includes a parody of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho that borrows shots and angles directly from the original movie. Over the decades, The Simpsons referenced countless motion pictures with a similar or even greater level of fidelity. The writers sometimes joke that Citizen Kane and The Godfather have been spoofed so often on the Fox animated series that those movies could be reconstructed entirely out of Simpsons clips. That may or may not be true, but “ginger communicologist” Celia G√≥mez of Madrid, Spain has uploaded to Vimeo a highly compelling supercut called The Simpsons’ Movie References” that helpfully juxtaposes scenes from the show with the classic movie moments that inspired them.

Citizen Kane and The Godfather both show up here, as expected, but so do Pulp Fiction, Dr. Strangelove, Basic Instinct, Risky Business, Taxi Driver, The Shining, and more. It may often seem that the show prefers to spoof movies that are already decades old and well familiar to most viewers, but that’s not always the case. When trying to convey the artificially enhanced nirvana that Homer experiences while eating a Ribwich from Krusty Burger in “I’m Spelling As Fast As I Can,” the animators chose to quote Darren Aronofsky’s drug-fueled nightmare Requiem For A Dream, then only three years old and not quite a mainstream, across-the-board hit. Considering that it takes about a year to complete an episode of The Simpsons, that makes this scene almost avant garde.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Ed Wood Wednesdays, week 63: 'The Only House In Town' (1970)

Apart from Ed Wood's involvement, Uschi Digard is the best reason to watch The Only House In Town.

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends. You can be forgiven for thinking that I had abandoned Ed Wood Wednesdays, like a dried-up Christmas tree after New Year's, since I haven't written any new articles for the series since June 2015. Whoops. Sorry about that. 

I've been doing a lot of writing since then, but very little of that has been for this blog. Maybe I felt like I'd said all I had to say about Edward Davis Wood, Jr. and his work. But Eddie never left me. A week hasn't gone by that someone hasn't e-mailed or messaged me about something Wood-related. And it's not like Ed Wood Wednesdays went away. Greg Dziawer has been keeping the series alive with his voracious, painstaking research for the last few months.
Back in 2013, I got into Ed Wood Wednesdays in order to talk about Eddie's feature films. That was the original plan. My series was supposed to start with Crossroads of Laredo (1948) and end with Hot Ice (1978). Thirty years of a man's life. As it turned out, Hot Ice wasn't even the halfway point of the project. I reviewed that over two years ago, and the series is still going. Expanding the project to include Ed's paperbacks and magazine articles was, to be honest, an afterthought. I had no idea that this material would eventually come to dominate the series, simply because there's so much of it out there. But it's the movies that made Eddie famous. And it is to the movies, my friends, that we are now about to return.


Just some of the fun and games to be found in this motion picture.

Alternate title: The Only House. Additionally, footage from the film was turned into some 8mm loops available through mail-order called Lesbian Love and 4 Girls & 3 Men Orgy.

Availability: Thanks to a company called Films Around The World,  The Only House In Town is now available for just $15 on Amazon. The only box art is a generic picture of Ed, and there are no extras on the disc. The sound, though distant and echo-y, is acceptable, and the picture is not bad at all, considering the source material. In all, it's a considerable upgrade from the bootleg of the film I previously owned. Incidentally, that bootleg was obviously made from a VHS tape, indicating that The Only House must have been released for the home video market at some point in its existence.

Ed's unrelated book of the same name.
The backstory: Much of this material has been covered in previous articles, particularly Greg's "The Wood Loop Odyssey, Part One" and my review of Necromania

To recap, however, Ed Wood's employers at Pendulum Press in Los Angeles were eager to break into the adult movie business circa 1970-1971 via an enterprise known as Cinema Classics, which was run by Noel Bloom, son of Pendulum head honcho Bernie Bloom. Ed's Necromania was also produced by Cinema Classics during the same general time frame, and lots of people get these two separate movies mixed up. 

The information about The Only House included in Rudolph Grey's Nightmare Of Ecstasy: The Life And Art Of Edward D. Wood, Jr. is sketchy at best. The book's "Chronology" section has Ed Wood writing and directing the film in September 1971, though this fact has been disputed. The annotated filmography lists the film as a 1971 release and approximates the running time at 60 minutes. No cast members are listed, and the only crew listed besides writer-director Ed is cameraman Ted Gorley, who also shot the hardcore scenes in Necromania

In the main body of the book, Gorley adds a few vague details about the making of The Only House. It was inferior to Necromania, he says, and shot on a lower budget over the course of three days. It also lacked supernatural elements.

It practically goes without saying when discussing pornographic films of this vintage, but I'll say it anyway: The movie's opening credits are damned near useless. Top billing is given to "Mishka Valkaro," a pseudonym for Russ Meyer starlet Uschi Digard, though the actress claims not to remember it. Other credited (nonexistent) actors: Ron Polkee, Paul Sine, Patsey Broadston, Nancy Cortez, Ellen Flintridge, and Marv Murray. The film's producer and director is "Flint Holloway." That must be Ed. And a credit for "photography" is given to "George Van Sol." That's Ted. 

Additionally, the Films Around The World site lists two real producers: Myron Griffin and Saul Resnick, both of whom have IMDb pages. Based on the loops made from this film, Greg was able to identify one more real actress: Neola Graf. In a review of the film in Cult Movies, Rudolph Grey identified yet another: Lynn Harris.

An ad for the Only House loops.
To muddy the waters a little, Ed Wood published a novel in 1972 entitled The Only House through Little Library Press. But this book has nothing to do with the movie of the same name. In fact, the plot and characters are the same as those in Necromania and the short story "Come Inn." This weird, inexplicable coincidence probably accounts for the rumor that Necromania and The Only House In Town are the same movie under different names. I can tell you, first hand, that they are definitely different and actually have very little in common. Having seen two iterations of The Only House, I can say that it is a softcore sex film with lots of female nudity and simulated sex.

For reasons that elude me, some Ed Wood fans are extremely interested in which films were released in which exact order during this time period. Here's Greg on that (apparently) burning issue: 
House actually came first. The IMDb now lists House as 1970, and Necromania as 1971. Sources concur that the latter was shot in 1970, during a heatwave, indicating summer.
Greg also cites a Cult Magazine article from 2001 in which Rudolph Grey states that The Only House premiered in June 1970. For what it's worth, the title card on the available print of The Only House In Town says: "© 1971 The Professionals All Rights Reserved." 

I personally don't give a good goddamn whether Necromania or The Only House was released first. Nor do I really care if they were released in 1970 or 1971. For me, it's enough to know that these two films were made by Ed during the same phase of his career. I'm including this information because it matters to certain fans. If you're one of those fans, breathe easy knowing that this vital issue has not been ignored.

As for how the film came to be on DVD in 2015, Films Of The World has this to say:
In August 2001, Rudy Grey approached Films Around The World, Inc., an international independent movie and television programming sales agent and distributor, with the news that after a 17 year search, he had at long last discovered the two Ed Wood written and directed porn films that are described in Nightmare of Ecstasy, but which he had never seen. They quickly reached agreement to jointly purchase the films from a porn distributor whose distribution rights went clear back to the original production companies. Because of their production dates – 1970 and 1971 – Films Around The World concluded that they were 'good copyright' and that they could be registered with the Copyright Office when they had been digitally mastered and restored.
A tender moment from the film's inaugural orgy.
The viewing experience: Honestly, this movie's appeal rests mainly with its status as a pop culture curio. Purely as entertainment, it is somewhat negligible. In terms of its structure, at least, it is suitably bizarre. The film's "action," basically all of it sexual, is supposed to be occurring in one location, and I guess it's some dilapidated old whorehouse that might have been something grand in the old days but has since fallen into disrepair. 

What's interesting is that the movie starts in medias res (without preamble). Eddie basically throws the audience into the deep end without asking whether or not they can swim. The Only House In Town begins with a chase scene through the titular dwelling. A dark-haired, bearded man and his vaguely hippie-ish chums, two more men and three attractive ladies, pursue a terrified woman through a few rooms as dramatic stock music blares. Who are these people? We don't know. Where are they? Don't know. Why are they chasing that girl? Shrug.

At about the three-minute mark, the hippies corner the young woman in a room with some half-broken stained-glass windows and peeling paint. She pleads for mercy. ("Please! I didn't mean it!") The hippies advance on her, their bearded leader holding a knife. This is one of the few points in the movie when Ed gets artistic. Several times, he cuts away to lingering close-ups of the stained glass. The gang members laboriously carry the crying, hysterical woman down the stairs, and they begin to kiss and fondle her. Finally, finally, finally, they get her to a room with a mattress on the floor. There, she is stripped naked (not that she was wearing much) and gang raped. This evolves into the four-woman, three-man orgy you've heard tell about. Again, this is a softcore film, so Eddie has to be a little careful about the camera angles. Naturally, in keeping with the sexual politics of the day, the gang rape victim starts to enjoy her "punishment" after just a few minutes.

As in the Steve Apostolof films of the 1970s, the orgy scene here drones on and on. Ed is very limited in terms of what he can show in a softcore movie, so mostly we see a lot of writhing around with actors grinding their pelvises into one other. There is no scripted dialogue here, though someone does shout directions from off-camera. (A typical command: "Do that again!") This doesn't sound like Ed's voice. Could it have been Ted Gorley? Whoever it is makes the mistake of referring to Uschi Digard by her real first name: "Touch Uschi's breast!" Boom microphones and their attendant shadows are both in evidence.

At about the 20-minute mark, a comely brunette with bangs stands up and makes a speech: "Look, everybody, I've got a confession to make. It was me that tipped the cops." Over the disappointed groans of the others ("What a bitch!"), we fade to black.

Welcome to the middle of the film.
The next sequence is more classically Wood-ian, since it features Uschi Digard addressing the camera directly, a la Criswell or Bela Lugosi. As she begins to remove her mod cowgirl outfit (Rudy Grey says "mod witch"), she invites us in the audience to come in, stay a while, and relax. She promises to tell us "a real spicy tale that happened in this house a long, long time ago." The sound quality, mixed with Digard's heavy Swedish accent, makes the story tough to follow, but apparently the events occurred in the early 1900s when a madam named Freckles Flossie (also Digard) ran it as a whorehouse with 12 girls in her employ. One night, our hostess says, Flossie had "a wild party" featuring "the strangest sexual exhibitions ever."

Cut to: the same seven goddamned people from the first orgy, in the same goddamned outfits from the beginning of the movie, in a room nearly identical to the one we saw before. The music is late 1960s instrumental R&B. There is no attempt whatsoever to create a "turn of the century" atmosphere. The only real difference here is that this second softcore orgy is preceded by some half-nude slow dancing and lacks the "gang rape" angle and the chase scene. At one point, a nude woman stands in the middle of the room and dances (with no great precision) to some stock Hawaiian music. These are the strangest sexual exhibitions ever? The scene is actually gentle and good-natured, qualities sometimes missing in the adult films of Ed Wood.

Back to Uschi. She has another story to tell us, this one about someone named Louie the Louse, seemingly a gangster. (She might say "bootlegger," but it's tough to tell.) "He liked his women hot and rough," says Uschi, "and he treated them equally roughly." Unfortunately for Freckles Flossie, she becomes the subject of Louie's intense erotic obsession, and one night he comes banging on her door as she paces the room. He insists he came here to fuck, not fight. "Fuck me?" says Flossie. "You don't know where to start! You're just a filthy, dirty old man!" For the record, Louie is played by the bearded man from the beginning of the movie, and he's no older than any of the other cast members. Flossie reluctantly agrees to give Louie "one more chance, but if you manhandle me again, I'll blow your brains out."

After Louie strides in, coolly smoking a cigarette, he proceeds to tear off Flossie's clothes and push her onto a bed. Since she keeps telling him to "lay off," it is fair to call this another rape scene. The music is dramatic, not erotic, and there are closeups of Uschi's face in agony. After the sex mercifully ends, Louie wants to know how Flossie enjoyed it. "Did you get your jollies?" Her response: "Jollies? You have to be the worst lover in the world!" He sarcastically says that she might prefer a "nice guy like Rick." Smash cut to Flossie with Rick. She's weirdly perched atop the bed frame, like an exotic bird. He's doing a headstand. They enjoy each other's company for about ten minutes of screen time. Here, Uschi Digard proves herself to be a virtuoso sexual performer, bucking like a stallion at the climax.

Absolute beginners: Uschi and her client.
There are about ten minutes to go in the movie when we return to the 1970 version of Uschi. Or maybe she's still the turn of the century madam. I don't know. The movie makes very little effort to distinguish past and present. 

Anyway, Uschi is entertaining a nervous blonde female client -- the actress is one we've been seeing throughout the film -- who claims never to have been with a woman before. Uschi makes the same claim but takes the woman's money anyway. Their foreplay starts, charmingly enough, with the client brushing Uschi's hair. This seems profoundly Wood-ian to me, fetishizing a woman's hair. (Ed always donned a wig when he portrayed "Shirley.") As the client undresses Uschi, the music switches to a version of the Willie Cobbs blues standard "You Don't Love Me." I can't identify the artist, but it sounds like a Janis Joplin impersonator. A very pleasant (if unimaginative) sapphic love scene ensues.

At the film's conclusion, an off-screen male voice (to my ear, it's not Ed's) again gives some direction to the actresses, and the camera tilts up to the stained glass windows, just like how movies used to cut away to shots of drapery blowing in the breeze during the love scenes. The difference here is that we've just watched these actresses pretending to have sex for several consecutive minutes when the film suddenly becomes embarrassed and looks away. The camera pans over to a painting and then back to the two giggling women. Fade to black.

Is the movie over? No, not quite. Like Criswell before her in Plan 9, Uschi Digard must deliver a final speech directly to the camera. Unlike Criswell before her, she is clad only in a scarf, black panties, and fishnet stockings. She thanks us for stopping by, then signals to her fellow actresses to join her on the bed for yet another orgy. But this time, we are not invited to watch. A good 16 years before Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Uschi Digard ends the film with this command: "You're still here, people? Get out! We want to have some fun!"

All in all, The Only House In Town is a worthwhile watch for Ed Wood completists. And if you're still reading this article, that's you. The movie's just a few clicks away on Amazon. Why not? Sure, the rape angle is unfortunate, but the consensual sex scenes in the film are enjoyable and (as these things go) well-filmed. At least the cinematography is flattering, and Uschi herself seems to be having a grand old time. Uschi looks marvelous here and commands the screen with ease. She's the kind of powerful woman Russ Meyer really knew how to put to best use. The Only House was a brief detour for Uschi, but she gives it her all.

Thematically, there are some faint outlines of interesting ideas that Ed could have probably developed more fully in his writing. For instance, I like the idea of a whorehouse that has survived for years and seen all kinds of crazy stories, but this movie barely gives the viewer a sense of that. With their alliterative names, Freckles Flossie and Louie the Louse seem like characters who could have appeared in Eddie's short stories, but we really don't get to know them that well here. Prostitution and whorehouses are common motifs in Eddie's work, but Wood's fans will find more compelling tales about these subjects in Blood Splatters Quickly: The Collected Stories of Edward D. Wood, Jr.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ed Wood Wednesdays: The Wood Magazine Odyssey, Part Six by Greg Dziawer

Gallery Press drops a Deuce on the reading public.

In last week's installment of Ed Wood Wednesdays, we continued indexing Pendulum/Calga/Gallery Press titles with a listing of all titles filed for copyright in 1973. It was a time of transition, with the pillars of Pendulum and Calga disintegrating early in the year. Gallery Press (previously a Calga d.b.a) incorporated in the late winter/early spring of 1973, and though the d.b.a. Edusex survived into the latter part of that year, there was solely Gallery by 1974, with all magazines under the Gallery Press imprint, published and filed for copyright by Gallery Press, Inc. This amounted to fewer than 60 issues across 37 titles, some carrying over from previous imprints, some new with wonderfully fanciful titles, including the resurrection of the incredible Heads Up. A pair – pun intended – of issues of Sam, solely featuring the otherwordly Roberta Pedon, also appeared in 1974. In all, Gallery's output in 1974 was less half of what was published by Pendulum/Calga/Gallery the previous year.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Ed Wood Wednesdays: The Wood Magazine Odyssey, Part Five by Greg Dziawer

A lot of Eddie's creative output went straight to adult bookshops like this one.

In the last two installments of Ed Wood Wednesdays, we indexed the magazine titles and issues filed for copyright (in 1970-71 and 1973 Library of Congress catalogs, respectively) by Pendulum/Calga, both incorporated publishers running out of Bernie Bloom's W Pico Blvd office, where Ed Wood and a small cadre of large talents and free spirits worked. Dramatic changes ensued in 1973, as both Pendulum and Calga disintegrated by the Spring. Common speculation relates to the burgeoning legal troubles of Michael Thevis, finally resulting in two murder convictions.

By the spring of 1973, solely Gallery Press, Inc. existed. It was still run by Bloom on W Pico under the imprints Gallery Press and (d.b.a.) Edusex, the Pendulum sensibility maintaining: free-love hippiedom, pleas-for-tolerance, utterly objective – well, excepting legacy terms like "perversion" and "deviation" – pseudo-science, lots of b&w and color graphic sexual photos (the proverbial raison d'etre), and, with regularity, Ed Wood's short stories and articles.

Ed listed 27 short stories and 49 articles on his resume for 1973, most of which are spread across the approx. 130 individual issues indexed here.