“The Hot-Cha Gal” issue of New York Nights was printed in August 1936, seventy-five years ago this month. Happy 75th, Hot-Cha Gal!
I stumbled upon this magazine on a brave quest to clean Kaleidoscope Books’ “art and design” floor case. I’ve been partial to that case ever since I re-organized it, but one item stuck in my mind. Because of its contents, it took me two months to actually decide to take this one home. I hemmed and hawed that this was a nudie mag, not in my collecting scope, etc. etc. Then I decided I have nothing to apologize for and featured it on my bookshelf for a month, and I guess now I’m blogging on it.
In my opinion, this pulp consists of four main parts: the cover art, the photography section, the advertisements and the text. I mostly purchased “The Hot-Cha Gal” for its cover art, which a little research told me was created by George Quintana. (For more information on this magazine and others like it, I highly recommend Uncovered: The Hidden Art of the Girlie Pulps by Douglas Ellis.)
The photography is considered “tame” by today’s standards and well before the era of heavily digitally altering everything. The ads are cheesy and on topics the editors of the magazine deemed relevant to the text and photos. The ad on the back cover of the magazine is for a medicine to make “Lost Vitality, Nerve Power and Pep Regained Quickly.”
For better or worse, I read the stories. I won’t lie; reading these stories, even very gently, did cause some damage to the magazine’s spine. While I have mixed feelings about reading fragile paperback-y things, I did wish to know the contents of “The Hot-Cha Gal” so I don’t regret the decision entirely. The pulp is still solidly in one piece, and now I know what the “snappy” stories are like.
The cover art lied. There was no story about “The Hot-Cha Gal” on stage with a kick-line behind her. Mostly there were just repetitive descriptions of boobies. One story was about a woman deciding to have an affair with a vacuum cleaner salesman. Another was a disturbing story about a woman dating both a man and his son. Yet another was about a struggling artist who basically decides to prostitute herself out for a better apartment, a car, and new clothes. That last one was a “to be continued” serial. There was also a story that could easily be re-interpreted as an extended joke about women drivers.
There were also mentions of other such pulps. There was an advertisement for French Night Life Stories, and one story had blatant product placement which discussed just how riveting these stories are.
And finally, there were some bad jokes. I’ll leave them as my parting words for this post.
“Necking Nita says her boy friend [sic] tells her swell stories – and always holds his audience.”
“Our man-about-town says: ‘Men always look down upon women with snappy legs!'”