The Brutal Genius of "Men Adventure" Magazines

Fist fighting crocodiles, saving Amazonian damsels and having "sex storms" is all in a days work for the testosterone raging male of tragically brilliant men adventure magazines!
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Fist fighting crocodiles, saving Amazonian damsels and having "sex storms" is all in a days work for the testosterone raging male of tragically brilliant men adventure magazines!

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I’ve been basking in the covers of Men’s Adventure magazines. Here’s the Wikipedia definition of the term:

“Men’s adventure is a genre of magazines that had its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s. Catering to a male audience, these magazines featured glamour photography and lurid tales of adventure that typically featured wartime feats of daring, exotic travel or conflict with wild animals.”

I’ve never seen inside one; I just love the covers. I’ve been working in magazines for 15 years and I’ve never been involved with any cover as great as these. The one above a perfect example.

It's from Man’s Life, the king of the "man adventure" genre. Man versus nature seems to be a prevalent topic, and rightly so because it’s awesome. Here we can see that the chap with the quiff wants his arm back, but the crocodile seems unlikely to accommodate him. In other news someone’s had a leopard on his back, and there were sex storms lashing our prisons. I don’t know what a sex storm is, but I bet it smells funky.

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This  inspired a Frank Zappa album, and who could claim to be surprised? Just look at those little weaselly bastards. That one on his right arm is so keen it’s walking on water. Fair play to the lad in the fix, though. If I was being mauled to death by aquatic weasels, I’d like to think I’d go down having used at least one of them as a club with which to beat the others. You also get a good look into how these bloody women are going to justify their need for extra-marital relations.

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This young lady is wearing a red blouse open to the waist. There might be a subtext to this one, but I can’t work out what it is...

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This is an odd one. Giant gorillas are gentle creatures, as we all know, and it seems likely from the pose that it just wanted a cuddle. That is, until Captain No-Shirt shoved a knife into its carotid. The young lady, wearing a red blouse open to the waist, appears to have spotted something even more unfortunate approaching from the left.

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Zombies are ten a penny nowadays, so kudos to Man’s Life for being ahead of the game here. A visit to the ‘Pacific paradise-hell of the everlasting dead’ sounds eventful, and could be the title of the next Scooby Doo movie. I would have found out more about the diet that can double your sexual batting average, but there’s little point in multiplying zero.

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No, I don’t get this one either. Excuse me, I’m going to the toilet.

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This gentleman looks concerned, as well he might. He hasn’t even turned round yet to see that they’re coming from the front as well. Frankly, I don’t rate his chances. It’s worth noting, additionally, that ‘sex can be fun’, rather than horrifically awkward and shameful. News to many of us, I’d argue.

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Lucky old Coxswain Hardy. He seems quite pleased with matters, and who would dare blame him? The marooned geishas are quite literally queueing up here, and the first one is wearing a red blouse nearly open to the waist. Try as I might, I can only count 19 geishas. Perhaps that’s number 20, exploding back there on the island.

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Now fair play, one of those crabs has got a really painful grip on this gentleman’s bingo wing. That must sting like billy-o. However, while I don’t doubt that these crabs do crawl to kill – the evidence is before our very eyes – I take issue with the description of them as cannibals. There they are, trying to eat the man with the stick, when they could quite handily turn on each other. I would jettison the alliteration and call them ‘Bastard crabs’. I can’t think of anything that means that but begins with a ‘c’.

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Here is a similarly themed issue from another magazine. I hope they didn’t come out at the same time. This man doesn’t look too bothered, to my eyes. He seems about as vexed as you would if you missed your train. Perhaps less. I’d suggest that he stand up, if he doesn’t want to get eaten. He’s not helping himself, just lying on the sand. Note that the beach is somewhere called Bad Luck Island, which suggests that voracious crabs aren’t going to be his only problem. I mean, he’s already skinned his knee pre-crab battle, unless he’s stopping to bandage the crab wounds as they occur. That would seem overly prissy.

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That lady is wearing a red blouse open to the waist. The headline seems misplaced here, to my mind. Initially it seems that someone was so determined that their daughter not marry an American that he’s subjected her to monkey attack.

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The lady is wearing a red blouse open to the waist. What I really like about this one is the error in emphasis. Okay, the headline says ‘Chewed to bits by giant turtles’ (can turtles chew?) but even that is ambiguous. What we have here, it seems obvious, is a picture of heroic turtles rescuing a woman who was about to be stabbed to death by a haircut-needing psychopath...