Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Beauty Academy

Look at these gorgeous shots by Nina Leen. I love the "nurse" - so clinical! There's no year given, but they look to be mid to late 1940s.

(click to enlarge)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ask Lada! - The Answers!

Design from upcoming Lada T-shirt by Jaime Cooper. Ain't it fab? (Click to enlarge.)

Guess what? Now's your chance to ask Lada Edmund, Jr. any question (well, keep it clean, kids) you'd like! I'll be sending them along and she'll answer them ... so get ready. Post them in the comments, please.

To brush up on Lada, here's her IMDB bio and Facebook.

I'll be there for her first fight! (She'll be the referee, so calm down, boys.)

Lesson 12: Gothic Redheads

I don't think Donna looks haggish at all here!
The course in Gothic Romance Paperback studies is done: time put away the books and have some summer fun. Donna Herself is our featured cover girl this week, as inadequate thanks for graciously sharing this prime blog real estate during the life of these seemingly interminable lectures.
Assignment: Why are redheads considered The Devil's Playthings? Answer this one last question, and finally earn a Doctorate! (Official Certificate available for download next week.)

For more Red Menace see tumblr: Gothic Romance.

Donna contemplates the meaning of the word "wyck."

Saturday, June 26, 2010


What can I say about this? When I got the chance to see this years ago with my best friend, Mavis Martini, we were laughing so hard that someone tried to shush us, and I said, "LOOK WHAT WE'RE WATCHING!"

Read more about it from John Waters here.

I finally met Elizabeth Taylor, I went to her house for a cook-out, and I think I was invited because she has an all-gay staff and they like my work. I walked in and I said to her Oh, I love 'Boom'… she said that's a TERRIBLE film….she got really angry at me and thought I was insulting her, I thought she was going to throw me out. She looked like Divine, kind of. I don't mean that badly. I mean, Elizabeth Taylor was Divine's idol, Divine even smoked Salem cigarettes because Liz smoked them.

This is Just Ridiculous.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lethal Library!

Well, would you look at what Miss Lily sent! Yes - that's a hardbound copy of Princess Luciana, along with "Date Talk: How to talk to a boy ... to a girl," (1967) "Beauty Plus: The Key to Beauty, Health, and Charm" (copyright 1938, updated 1946); three issues of "Modern Beauty Shop," (1948, 1950, and 1955), and one Anita Colby's "Beauty Book," (1952.) Also, "Doers and Dowagers" arrived, too, so it's a literal lethal bonanza of beauty around here. On the downside, I've got a bit of a "hand problem" and I don't mean the type Jayne talks about on the Spanish Steps - it's called "ulnar nerve entrapment" if you want to know more, so if I'm not my usual chatty self, that's why. I have to lay off the boxing for awhile as well.

Barry's Secret

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

M & M

Eve's Aunt Mary (who ran off with a gigolo to Puerto Rico, never to be seen again)

and dear reader Maureen (trust me, her eye makeup under there is equally fabulous!)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lesson 11: Harry Bennett, Cover King

Nobody does gauchos, capes, or stringy hippie hair better than the King of Gothic Cover Art, Harry Bennett. He painted over 800 covers in the Golden Era of Gothic Romance Paperbacks, and was the go-to guy for the big name best-selling authors of the day: Victoria Holt, Dorothy Eden, Barbara Michaels, Phyllis Whitney, and Mary Stewart. I've tagged every one of his covers on tumblr: Gothic Romance, and have posted an additional 16 examples of his work there this week. 

Assignment: Why is the output of some artists so prolific, and others so sparse?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

As Promised

Here's mine. Doesn't this photo explain everything? It sets the stage for my entire life. The sparkly chairs, my aunt's huge hair, her stilettoes - you can practically smell the Stylac and cigarettes. I spent many a childhood Saturday here. It was very Lipstick Beauty Salon.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Auntie's Hair

Please go to Rolli Writes' page and look at his Auntie's hair.
Tell me who you think she looks like.
He says ...

I say ...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Pandit

... Korla, that is.

the pup loves Korla Pandit. He lays on the floor with his paws in the air or will plop and just zone out.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Lesson 10: Carnival Gothics

The characters in the background are lifted straight from Francisco de Goya. 
A dream house with its own Ferris wheel and carousel: how could she run?
 As all good Catholics know, the root of the word carnival can either be translated as "Goodbye Meat" or "Hello Friday Fish Fry." How did a religious celebration expand its meaning to include "traveling amusement show?" These covers are similar to Bad Trip Gothics, only without the drugs. The multi-colored lights, wuthering calliopes, and masked costumes all create a festive atmosphere — but with that crucial ashen lurch towards the dark side. Here's some career advice for our fleeing heroine: head for the circus midway, there's always room on stage for one more hootchy-kootchy girl. (And where redheads like these two are especially prized.)

Assignment: "Gothic" is derived from "Visigoth," the Germanic tribe who sacked Rome, brought on the Dark Ages, and so gave The Church a stranglehold on Western souls. Was this good or bad for the Gothic Romance Paperback industry?

For more carnage see tumblr: Gothic Romance (and click the photo below to see a trailer for the spookiest Gothic Carnival movie ever filmed.)
The Carnival of Souls says Farewell to Flesh, eternally.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

You've Run Out of Excuses

(click to enlarge)
"I can't overemphasize the value of choosing the right beauty parlor."

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Oh, Dear ...

The party over here at Chez Lethal is still going on ...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Amazing Jayne

"Yes, ChooChoo's right here - hold on!"

I want that painting!

photos by Peter Stackpole

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Charm School

(click to enlarge all)

Would you like to listen to Charm School on the radio? Tune in here.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

What does it want NOW?

This is getting to be like a Ouija board ...

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Donna did BLANK?

As some of you know, Norma Desmond, Cool Cookie, and I have some of strange spirit following us around in the form of captchas - you know, those pesky little things we make you type in our blogs before you post your comment.

Well, Amazon has this new free shipping whatnot that I'm trying out for a month. You have to make up a custom phrase and before I could pick one out, well, they went and chose one for me! And what do you think that would be?

Now, did they get this idea from the types of books* I order? "Doers and Dowagers" and that sort of thing? I mean, the very idea. Or - do they think I am the type to give lessons on how to behave in public? That is another thing altogether.

Norma, we really need to give our naughty little sprite a name.

Update: I think we know where it is residing.

*I got another note from Amazon yesterday. My "Doers and Dowagers" is expected to arrive by June 28th. Are they shipping it by hand?

Monday, June 07, 2010

Lesson 9: The Old Dark House

When I first came to Blackhell Hall as an impoverished young governess, hot meals and a feather bed helped diminish cold memories of the lonely garret I'd left behind.

After I straightened out the sadly warped child in my charge, the true Master of Blackhell Hall asked me to become his Mistress, as in Mrs., and I acquiesced, grateful for the safety of a "free" roof over my head.

I did not remain grateful for long. Although the servants of course did the actual housework, the daily heap of boring domestic issues, in which I was actually expected to interest myself, sadly warped my soul. (About Mother, I cannot bring myself to speak.) There is no such thing as a free roof, as you can see in this movie clip. I fled, but had nowhere to go. He found me by the side of the road, and I've been locked up in this tower ever since.

Assignment: Send a copy of the comic linked here (any one of the four issues will do) to Lily Duschene, Imprisoned Mistress of Blackhell Hall, High Old Lonesome Hill, The Barrens. That will buy you an Instant Internet Ph.D. in Gothic Romance Paperback Studies, without having to finish this 13 week course. 

For more house horror see tumblr: Gothic Romance.

You know, I really don't think I will!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Joey and Dino

Joey Heatherton on the very first episode of The Dean Martin Show.

"That's French, you know"

Saturday, June 05, 2010

"Saturday Night in Old Rome ...

... must have been the living end!" - Jayne in "The Wild Wild World of Jayne Mansfield

Ds and Ds

Dear Reader Ryan alerted me to this wonderful volume which I tracked down on Amazon used - for fifteen cents! I finally ordered it today and it's on the way. Naturally I will give you all a full book report. I was disappointed that it only concerns American dowagers (that's a bit of an oxymoron) but still. Imagine a Dowager letting someone get "intimate." The very idea! Happy Saturday.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Foulmouthed Bitch!

The caption to this series of photos reads:
"Teeth brushing, rat jaws, and diet.
Date taken: September 09, 1950
Photographer: Wallace Kirkland"

There is no other info available!

Crimes Against Hair

There's one woman whose crimes are so horrific that just reading about them will make you cringe. Yet, there's one thing odd about her descent into hell: it is paralleled through her hair. As she sank lower, her hair grew higher. And sadly, this was not a good thing. Her hair crimes were even chronicled by the press and in my opinion, her mugshot is one of the most shocking of all time:

I hesitate to even type her name because I don't want to get any M.H.-related traffic. You can read a primer of her horribleness as well as hair crimes at her wiki page:

She took the confirmation name of Veronica, and received her first communion in November 1958 ... it was also at about this time that [she] first began bleaching her hair.

Shortly after her 17th birthday she changed her hair colour, with a pink rinse. She took judo lessons once a week at a local school, but found partners reluctant to train with her, as she was often slow to release her grip.

[She] began to emulate an ideal of Aryan perfection, dying her hair blonde and applying thick crimson lipstick ... [she] began to change her appearance further, wearing clothing considered risqué such as high boots, short skirts, and leather jackets ...

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Caption: "Porfirio Rubirosa and wife Barbara Hutton, standing up for wedding ceremony, during previous marriage Porfirio smoked a cigarette, this time he merely smiled."

And why not? When they split a little after a month, he got a coffee plantation, a plane, and 3.5 mil. He had already married Doris Duke and banged Zsa Zsa regularly. Read all about Rudi and his peppermill here, or pick up this book - it's fascinating.