Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Ed Wood Wednesdays: The Ed Wood Summit Podcast #32 by Greg Dziawer

This week, we're tackling one of Ed Wood's more obscure adult paperbacks.

By 1969, Ed Wood had spent the better part of the previous decade writing adult paperbacks. He was then transitioning into an incredibly prolific stint writing short stories and articles for various Pendulum/Calga magazines, published by Bernie Bloom. Pendulum would ultimately publish many of Ed Wood's full-length books as well, including both novels and nonfiction works.

But Eddie was writing for other publishers during this busy time in his career, too, including a mostly-forgotten company called Private Editions. This was a relatively obscure imprint even in its heyday, connected to the publisher Columbia (per Ed's own resume). Private Editions released Ed's salacious paperback Night Time Lez (1968) as well as the novel that is our focus this week: the truly remarkable and politically-charged Toni: Black Tigress (1969). Interestingly, the publisher's address listed in Toni—7805 Deering Ave in Canoga Park, CA—is the same as that of adult magazine publisher Press Arts, Inc. Today, it's the home of Ferguson Plumbing Supplies.

These days, Toni: Black Tigress remains one of Ed Wood's rarer books, infrequently turning up at online auctions (and at times for exorbitant prices) and perhaps, until now, never reviewed. We aim to change that with the latest edition of The Ed Wood Summit Podcast. Expert Woodologists Joe Blevins, James Pontolillo and Rob Huffman graciously join me for the task.

FAIR WARNING: Please note that this book covers racial and sexual matters in a highly insensitive, in fact offensive, manner.

Special thanks must go to Rob Huffman for painstakingly scanning his rare, valuable copy of Toni: Black Tigress so that we could read it for this podcast.