Wednesday, August 10, 2016

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

The bonds of matrimony.

Two areas of Woodology still remain to be more fully explored: (1) Ed's work for the gay-themed Pendulum-family magazines and (2) identifying texts accompanying pictorials in those same mags as Ed's work. Both tall orders.

In this week's Ed Wood Wednesdays, we present a few choice excerpts from a short piece that covers both of these areas. This pictorial text, "married & in love............." (and yes, this is how the title is appears in the mag, with 13 ellipses), is from Pendulum's Gay Studs, vol. 3 no. 3 from 1971, one of four such uncredited texts in this issue (as it appears with no corrections):

They simply wanted to get married and that's what they did. Paul became the husband in the affair and Gene the wife or the passive one. Although Gene is not a drag queen, he arrived in the small town wearing a pink sweater set and light brown skirt and a dark, shoulder length wig which matched his own hair. And Paul, the anxious husband, wore his light brown business suit and brown tie. They searched out a Justice of the Peace, paid the license and went through with the ceremony. Gene used a feigned falsetto voice which sounded a bit strained but he was able to talk that off as a hang over from a recent cold. He made up as a good looking girl so there was no denying what the eyes could see.  
It was simple to change the "G" to "J" so that he became Jean for the entrance into the village, the marriage and the exit to an edge of the town where they took a honeymoon motel cottage and there Jean became Gene again. Neither one of them like anything on their bodies when they are having an affair. It's all a very naked. very real happening.  
Most of the GAY crowd don't stay together very long with any one partner because they are a fickle bunch. They are always on the look out for some new trade. But that isn't and hasn't been the intentions of Paul and Gene from the very first when they met at a GAY gathering in one of the local taverns. Both being short of money they were always on the look out for bars which had cocktail hours in which they served hors d' oeuvres or other free foods. In that way they could buy a beer or two and partake of the free meal. Most of the GAY BARS have such offerings quite often and each one attempts out doing the other in order to get the trade. 

The same issue contains a short story by Ed, the classic "I , Warlock" (misidentified as "The Warlock" on the contents page, and the only piece in the mag with a credit). We previously identified a few snippets of pictorial texts that possess an Ed-like ring, without making a claim. I have a stronger feeling about this one, but I'll keep it to myself for now.

Eddie or not? Tell us what you think.

NOTE: Due to the explicit nature of the material from Gay Studs, the photos accompanying this week's article have been posted to the Ed Wood Wednesdays Tumblr.


  1. Thanks for chiming in, Don! Curious of your specific reasons...will help build the model by which we can ultimately discern Wood and non-Wood...if that's even possible, to a significant degree...though I think it is, and remain positive that we can ultimately positively attribute hundreds of pictorial texts to Ed's hand.

  2. I personally feel that a strong argument could be made for this being Eddie's work. For one, the punning name switch from Gene to Jean is extremely typical of Ed's style, going back to his scripts for Glen Or Glenda and The Violent Years and continuing throughout his paperbacks. Then, too, there is the lingering attention paid to women's clothing, including the tell-tale "pink sweater set." Ed really did have a thing for pink and for sweaters. Finally, notice how he puts GAY and GAY BARS in all caps. Compare it to this from It Takes One To Know One: "Hollywood Boulvard is SWISH. The Sunset Strip is SWISHIER." I, for one, vote yay. I think it's very possible that Eddie wrote a lot of unattributed pieces for Pendulum publications, including editorials and photo captions.

  3. I agree, Joe...and thanks for articulating the argument so well. The style - the use of grammar and syntax - also sounds very "Woodian". I am not an English major, so I can't tell you specifically what elements of style are at work, but it's very discernible to me. When I first ran this passage past a longtime Wood collector who knows his work inside and out, his response to me was, "100% Ed." Then again, it's likely we will never know with absolute certainty.