Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

Readable

Burlesque Poster Design
Written by Baron von Swankenstein in Readable

Burlesque Poster Design

Gypsy Rose Lee. Tempest Storm. Lily St. Cyr. If there’s one word associated with these famous women, it’s “burlesque.” In the modern sense of the word, burlesque was a popular form of theatrical variety show featuring risqué comedy, parody, and pastiche. When it was exported from Victorian England to the United States in the 1840s, American elements were added: minstrel show performances, stage magic, contemporary...

Pad – The Guide to Ultra Living
Written by Baron von Swankenstein in Readable

Pad – The Guide to Ultra Living

Thanks to a post-World War II economic and technological boom, the 1950s and early 60s was the golden age for the bachelor lifestyle. With the advent of Playboy magazine, the quintessential guide to urban living, it reached critical mass. Armed with affluence, abundant leisure time, and the sagacity of Saint Hefner, bachelors found themselves with two things: freedom and optimism. The ultimate expression of this...

The Cocktail Nation Podcast

The Cocktail Nation

The Saint
The Cocktail Nation on June 18th, 2017

Podcast #453: The Saint

Monte – King of Atom Age Monster Decals
Written by Baron von Swankenstein in Readable

Monte – King of Atom Age Monster Decals

In America, the 1950s and 60s spawned The Monster Kids. These were kids, mostly pre-adolescent boys, who assembled Aurora model kits of Frankenstein or Dracula after school; read Tales From The Crypt comics with a flashlight under the covers at bed time; and sneaked downstairs on Saturdays to watch the late-night horror movie show on TV with spooky hosts like Zacherle, Chilly Billy, or Ghoulardi....

The Wonderful Future That Never Was
Written by Baron von Swankenstein in Readable

The Wonderful Future That Never Was

“Here at home we’ll play in the city. Powered by the sun. Perfect weather for a streamlined world. There’ll be Spandex jackets – one for everyone.” – Donald Fagen, “I.G.Y.” Americans of the 1950s and early ’60s had a love affair with technology that, some would say, continues to this day. Nineteen fifty seven saw global scientific cooperation with the beginning of the I.G.Y., the...

Parker Graphic Novels
Written by Baron von Swankenstein in Readable

Parker Graphic Novels

“When a fresh-faced guy in a Chevy offered him a lift, Parker told him to go to hell.” – Richard Stark, first line from The Hunter On one side of a coin is James Bond, a suave secret agent with a license to kill. A connoisseur of many things, Bond enjoys fine food, fine women, and martinis shaken not stirred. A champion for Queen and...

Breathless Homicidal Slime Mutants – The Art of The Paperback

In the 1959 premiere episode of The Twilght Zone, Earl Holliman explores a town completely deserted. After helping himself to some ice cream from the drug store soda fountain, he encounters wire spinner racks full of paperbacks, one of which is filled entirely with copies of the ominously titled “The Last Man on Earth.” In the age of the electronic book, wire book racks (as...

The Fashion File – From the Costume Designer of “Mad Men”

Film is escapism. Anyone who has seen “The Thomas Crowne Affair,” or a classic James Bond film knows that part of film fantasy is an exotic environment and all it contains. While that environment is not always true, in escapism people tend to look up at glamour rather than down at the real world. In film, fantastic environments are created by sets. Ironically, though, the...

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