The theme for the second issue of Men’s Adventures Quarterly is espionage. As I wrote looking at the first issue, Men’s Adventure Quarterly is top-tier in presentation. The 8.5 x 11 inch format allows for lavish reproductions of men’s adventure magazines including pictorial layouts.
The men’s adventure magazines from the 1950s to the 1970s overlapped the whole James Bond/spy era in popular culture. I can remember in the 1970s, it was an event when ABC would run a James Bond movie on Sunday night. That was the topic of conversation on the bus the next day. Star Trek, Kung-Fu, and James Bond was where it was.
This issue has 153 pages plus a few more in advertisements. Editors Bob Deis and Bill Cunningham have introductions. Tom Simon of the Paperback Warrior has an introduction also on spy fiction and the change from hard-boiled detective in the pulps to spy mass market paperbacks.
There are seven faux true-stories reprinted from the men’s adventure magazines. One thing I like about these stories, there is no fat in the prose. These stories move. One piece that really caught my attention was by Walter Kaylin. He wrote a piece on Detective William Clive of Scotland Yard as the inspiration for James Bond. It is fictional of course but a series about Clive would have been great.
Something I notice, the prose style from these magazines is still very much pulp era Black Mask magazine hard-boiled detective in delivery. Ian Fleming’s words did not move in this way and were more leisurely.
There is a non-fiction piece reprinted from Male, September 1961, “How Would You Do as a CIA Spy?” It is a no-frills nuts and bolts look at intelligence. The five types it recruits includes technicians, specialist, security agents, researchers, and secret operatives. The CIA was held in some esteem back then.
Men’s Adventure Quarterly is a very visual publication. Included is a portfolio of the “Jane Bonds”: Diana Rigg, Monica Vitti, and Ursula Andress.
There is an art gallery reproducing magazine covers for 13 pages. Bob Abbett, James Bama, Mort Kunstler, Gil Cohen, and Samson Pollen are some of the artists reproduced in color. The MAMs did have incredible art.
I thought this issue was even better than the first, which is hard to do. Spy fiction does lend itself to men’s adventure. Not gender neutral at all.
Men’s Adventure Quarterly can be ordered through Amazon.