Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Ed Wood Wednesdays: The Wood Magazine Orbit, Part Three by Greg Dziawer

This week, we're looking into Ed Wood's career as an editorial writer,.

A Pendulum publication.
During the sad last decade of his career, a financially desperate Edward D. Wood, Jr. found employment as a super-prolific staff writer for Bernie Bloom's Pendulum Publishing in Los Angeles. Pendulum churned out adult magazines under a number of different imprints during that time, and Eddie wrote for many of them -- from Pendulum in 1968 to Swedish Erotica in 1978, plus a whole slew of others like Calga and Gallery Press in between. Some of Ed's work was done under his own name and has been properly identified and even anthologized. Many of the articles he wrote for Pendulum, however, were either credited to a pseudonym or left completely unsigned. This means there is a potentially vast storehouse of both fiction and nonfiction by Ed Wood just waiting to be rediscovered by modern fans.

This is where the Wood Magazine Orbit comes in. The purpose of this series-within-a series is to sift through some of those old magazines in search of potential Wood work. In previous editions of the Orbit, we've taken a look at only a minuscule cross-section of Pendulum-family magazines, a thousand or so mags in total. This week, we're returning to that same source material to cast a net across a sample of magazine editorials. What have we caught?

Reprinted below for the first time in decades are three editorials from vintage Pendulum publications. Are these the work of Ed Wood? Read on and decide for yourself.

Flesh & Fantasy (a flagship Pendulum title)
vol. 5, no. 1
March/April 1972

$3 was a lot of money back then.
FANTASY might be considered a way of life. It is with all of us most of the time. Some have heard it expressed as daydreaming and perhaps this is so, but that daydreaming can also occur during the darkest hours. 
It is also said that there is much FANTASY where we involve ourselves in sexual acts, that we are not always right there on the spot with our partner, and this must also be considered as fact because we are not always right there with our partner. Our minds tend to drift. Certainly the fetishist is dreaming of the love-object no matter how sexy or interesting his love partner may be. 
FANTASY reaches out into the realm of the unreal and brings it forth as the most real of the real and the human mind appreciates that fact. It has been said over and over by psychiatrists and psychologists that sex in itself is a FANTASY and illusion, but a delightful one which must be visited often by all humans. 
Therefore there is always the FLESH and the FANTASY such as this magazine represents. Perhaps while looking through the pictures and reading the text some part of our own FANTASY will reach out and touch you and give you a whole new unexpected adventure. This is what the magazine intends to do. We like to look into the world of the FLESH and FANTASY and what we have enjoyed we wish to pass on to you with all our best regards. 

Analysis: We know that Ed's work appeared in this issue: "Blood Drains Easily (fiction by Dick Trent)" is listed on the contents page. The editorial above, like all Pendulum editorials, is uncredited. Typically, these editorials touch on the theme of the magazine, if the publication's title hadn't already made that obvious.

"...the fetishist is dreaming of the love-object..."

Eddie-torial or not? In all likelihood, yes.

Gold Diggers (more early Pendulum)
vol. 2,  no. 2
July/August 1970

Did Ed Wood write this Gold Diggers editorial?

Analysis No overt signs of Ed's presence here, and little-to-no correspondence to Ed's highly distinctive syntax and sentence structure. The short story in this issue, "The Monogrammed Panties," is credited to Jill Bones, a pseudonym for writer William D. "Bill" Jones. Bill, Ed, Leo Eaton and Robin "Redbreast" Eagle constituted the magazine writing staff at Pendulum's West Pico Blvd office at this time. All were concurrently engaged in writing sociosex illustrated paperbacks rooted in the T.K. Peters source material, paid a bonus of a thousand bucks a paperback by Pendulum's head, Bernie Bloom.

Eddie-torial or not? Nah.

Garter Girls (more flagship Pendulum)
vol. 4, no. 1
May/June 1970 

Not to be confused with Golden Girls.
What precisely is a girl? The answer to that question has always been difficult enough. Today it is a doubly tough question to answer. After all, the nature of the young human female changes from month to month in our fast-moving time. It may seem that her nature changes even from second to second. Is the girl who wore her skirts down to her ankles fifty years ago the same creature who know wears them just below her crotch? 
It used to be said that a girl was sugar and spice and everything nice. The wit who thought of those words was clever enough to add some spice to the sweet package. Today, it may be more appropriate to say that a girl is spice, more spice and everything that's not so nice. The girls of our day seem to be ready, willing and able to do just about anything, and some of the things they do would not only have shocked their grandmothers fifty years ago, but would never even have been imagined by them.

Yet, could it be that the nature of the beast - or the nature of the beauty has not changed at all? Is the sexy garb and free talk just a form of protective coloration? Who knows? After all, men were never really able to figure the girls out even in grandma's day. Our guess: like a rose, a girl is a girl is a girl. And by any other name, 'twould smell as sweet.

Analysis: Garter Girls is also (not coincidentally) an 8mm loop series. Quite sublime, whoever penned it. 

Eddie-torial or not? It's a fact!