Monday, November 2, 2009

"Popular Man"Magazine, November 1957 with Edgar Hayes

POPULAR MAN ("the young man's monthly") was in circulation between 1957 and 1959, with a total of 36 issues.  Edgar (Ed ) Hayes was the cover man for November, 1957 along with Jerry Roguemore and Joe Survilas.  But wait!.. look at the magazine names and the bottom left hand corners of the two covers shown looks like the same cover was used for both the September and November issues?

POPULAR MAN was entering a market that was very crowded by 1957. They were probably also testing the names of the magazines to see if "Man's World" or "Popular Man" worked best with the closeted gay reader. This actually wasn't that unusual with start-ups back then. There were several tricks that publishers used to jump-start a magazine: One was printing the issue without a month/date on the cover (so it could stay on news counter shelves longer, until hopefully all the issues sold out). Another trick was to print half the batch with one month on the cover, and half with the following month printed---whatever didn't sell the first month would be pulled from the magazine racks in stores, and then the issues with the later date would get a second chance with shelf life. 

Magazines that proclaimed to be about male health and fitness were flourishing. Images of clean-cut young men, posing and flexing (usually wearing only legally-required small posing straps), were the major source for male print erotica and provided a visual culture for gay men everywhere. At the peak of physique photography's popularity (mid-1950s to the early 1960's), there were more than one-hundred magazine titles on the market every month!
Here's some more photographs of Edgar Hayes, who was a favored model for Bruce of Los Angeles and who also appeared in Spartan:

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