Friday, April 30, 2010

L(ethal) S.D.

Somebody put something in my Moxie.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Little Lethal

My boyf says this reminds him of me.
Gee, I wonder why?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lesson 3: Gothic Romance Paperback Covers

This girl is scared enough to run barefoot over rocks and weeds.
Her bodice should be white with moonlight, but it's stained with coffee.
This one has been drugged, so she's not moving too fast.
These 3 covers all show the 3 classic elements of Gothic Romance Paperback iconography:
1. Girl in gown (evening or night) fleeing through grass in fear
2. Looming hilltop house with mansard roofed tower
3. Light on in one window as watchful yellow eye

Assignment: Answer the following multiple choice question.
What is Little Miss Nobody running away from?
A) Definition as Somebody (Mistress, Heiress, Lady, or Bride) by an oppressive patriarchy
B) Housework
C) The love of a good man
D) All of the above

Go to tumblr: Gothic Romance for more examples of this sort of cover art.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

When Eating Sundaes With Gangsters

Smile charmingly when he hoovers entire spoonfuls in his mouth.

Especially when he owns the ice cream parlor.

Liz Renay and Mickey Cohen in Los Angeles, 1958.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

We Love Lada

Please read this previous posts' comments for new, updated Lada info!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lesson 2: History of Gothic Romance Paperbacks

I’m not going to blather on for too long about how Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is a handy template for most Gothic Romance Paperback plots: Little Miss Nobody from Nowhere shows up at a Mansion, falls in love with its Master, and experiences lots of weird and eerie frights before an Awful Secret is uncloaked. This plot was lifted by Daphne DuMaurier for Rebecca in 1938, and by Virginia Coffman for Moura in 1959. The latter is credited with beginning the Golden Era of Gothic Romance Paperbacks — the 60s and early 70s — when a zillion of these potboilers were churned out, all with one stunning cover after another, as per Always in August above.

Until the end of 1966, the first season of the Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows also used elements of the Jane Eyre scenario, as you can see for yourself in Minisode #1. (It’s 11 minutes long, but Victoria Winters’s hair is so mesmerizing time flies.) (Oops, YouTube yanked this video clip, but you can order it here.) Then, in early 1967, Barnabas Collins escapes from his crypt and begins biting necks. That's when the series turned grotesque and funny. Terror vs. horror: monsters of the mind, conjured from a black cauldron of longings and forebodings, are just so much stranger and scarier than corpses dressed up as vampires. In any case, the popularity of Dark Shadows kept the Gothic Romance Paperback publishing business booming until about 4 years after the TV show's 1971 cancellation. Minisodes note: #2 features a bar fight provoked by Bad Girl Carolyn Stoddard, set to one of the greatest jukebox tunes ever recorded, Back at the Blue Whale. And it's worth watching the first few minutes of #1 — #13 just to hear the quavering voiced-over intros, such as this gem from #7: "My name is Victoria Winters. The dead past drifts through the corridors of Collinwood, and settles like dust in its corners."
Assignment: In 100 words or less, describe how the culture of the 60s and 70s influenced the craze for Gothic Romance Paperbacks. Plagiarism encouraged! (And remember, the more coursework you complete here, the closer you get to an Internet Certified Doctorate in Gothic Romance Paperback Studies.)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hair, Here!

It's the Hair Hall of Fame! Finally - we are the Cool Kids!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's Time for Tina

It's Saturday, kids

I like when Lily gets all "interpretive" with her dancing.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Big Brother

While over at Shaker Heights today ...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"We Leave Our Personal Questions Out of This"

I'm always posting JLL clips, usually over at PCL. But this one had to go here because it just oozes style!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lesson 1: How To Spot a Gothic Romance Paperback

I’ve been studying Gothic Romance Paperbacks ever since I inherited 6 of them from a great aunt in 1975, so by now I know how to ID them at a glance, and from a distance. Here are 3 major things to look for when you're deciding whether or not it’s worth wrestling that spine away from its Harlequin and Silhouette neighbors on the packed thrift store bookshelf:
  • The background paper is in mournful colors like black, grey, bile, lavender, or slate.
  • The title type is set in a bold and groovy swash face.
  • The woman in the title belongs to a spooky place, as Mistress, Heiress, Lady or Bride.
This basic checklist should help you score at least one of your own! Keep the find handy for more lessons. Want a glimpse of the syllabus? Here's what's to come — Lesson 2: The History of Gothic Romance Paperbacks; Lesson 3: Cover Iconography of Gothic Romance Paperbacks; Lesson 4: The Laughable Disparity Between Blurb and Content in Gothic Romance Paperbacks, etc. You will qualify for a Ph.D. in Gothic Romance Paperbacks if you stick with the program! (And write a thesis, of course.)

Welcome to Lily!

Yes, it's true - I now have a co-conspirator! Her name is Lily - well, let her tell you in her own words:

Lily Duschene is not my real name. It’s the alias of one of my great aunts, who was a "dancer" in the 20s. Her real name was something German and ugly. So she revamped it, and became an Irish gangster's gun moll. Family legend claims she also became the madame of a cat house, but if so, business was never brisk enough to ensure a comfortable retirement.

We cleared out her North St. Louis ghetto apartment after she died in 1975: she left behind a trunk full of beaded crêpe de chine flappergowns, a stocking drawer full of falsies, a closet full of stilettos, a bathroom wastebasket full of red dye bottles, and a bedside shelf full of Photoplay magazines and Gothic Romance paperbacks. I got one of the gowns, which lost half of its beads the first time I tried it on, and all six of the Gothic Romances. And so began my obsession with the genre —

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Antiques with Lee

"You never know what to expect with the flamboyant Liberace!"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Well, No One Likes 'Em Low

The consensus seems to be that is a pre-peroxided/non-bouffanted Wayne Cochran. Read more and see discussion in comments at, of course, TheHoundBlog.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Friday Night


For those of you who think all Angels are fluff, click here to watch killer Tanya Roberts (my fave) and her power tools. Stupid "embedding disabled by request" people!

thanks Demetri

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

More Lethal Reading

From Periodically Anachronistic, of course. Be sure to check out Modern Step Mother today!

Monday, April 05, 2010

This World is Ours!

even though it only belongs to Europeans as well as Americans.

Jayne's voice has a strange inflection in this.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Koo Koo a Go Go

One of my personal heroes, Tod Browning, directs Koo Koo the Bird Girl and the rest of the Freaks cast in preparation for the party scene.

I love Koo Koo.