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No Man Needed - A B/V Retro Lez Pulp Cover Parody by mandygirl78
, is both a joke and a tribute to the

lesbian pulp fiction that were around during the 50s and 60s. Back then, you could get them at supermarkets, I thnk? But I know you could get them at a regular bookstore. 

What? you might say. Yep. Believe it or not, they were common during the repressive 50s and early 60s, right before everything was about to explode in the hippified mid-late 60s. These lesbian pulp novels were mostly written for men, and had a heterosexual slant to them, so most of them didn't have happy endings. For the most part, the cover was much more interesting than the novel itself. Plus, the text and content in those novels were very reflective of the times, so most of what you read will be very outdated. You'll probably moan and groan at how the people react to the news of lesbianism in the story. Or, you'll get quite a few chuckles out of the numerous use of outdated slang, such as "cool cats", or "daddy-o" or "dig it" or "what's cookin'"... You get the idea!

The Bob Montana-style fan art of Betty and Veronica were used, because I felt it was perfect for the era it portrayed. The fan art was strongly influenced by the cover of a lesbian pulp fiction called "Alone at Last"   3390445eb1446a284f77b5a654c0b9fb by mandygirl78.  :iconbiesiuss: and I chose this one over a few others, and he stated to get to work on it. We had planned this for over a month, so I'm glad that it's finally out. Also, a lot of these novels tends to have the publisher's logo on them. So, I decided to have my very own, Sapphire Desire Publications. XD. It was originally a black triangle behind a heart-shaped sapphire gem Sapphire Desire by mandygirl78, but :iconbiesiuss: changed it to the familiar gay rainbow flag colors, and I thought that was better. 

As I said, most of them were depressing. However, there were a few there were good out there, like Odd Girl Out by Ann Bannon  Odd Girl Out Cover 1957 by mandygirl78. She is considered the queen of "twilight love stories", though she only did a few.

If you really want to know more about this fascination piece of gay/lesbian history, you can check out the lesbian pulp and the lavender universe. Also check out this one, and another one.  

There are books devoted to this time period, such as this one. and a few others. There is also a documentary on this, called Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives. You can get it here

And finally, let me leave you with a Pinterest link that has a lot of these campy, yet delicious book covers of the somewhat-dark period in LGBT history.
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:iconjackcrowder:
jackcrowder Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Very insightful.
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:iconmandygirl78:
mandygirl78 Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah, it was an interesting time.
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:iconbiesiuss:
biesiuss Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014
Thanks for choosing me for doing this images, its truly challenging and so fun to work on; I admit im in danger of get lost or delayed on the documentation phase (that printerest link, also the tumblr ones, thank god for tumblripper), gorgeous art, in both Archie Comics and the pulp novels ones.....
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:iconmandygirl78:
mandygirl78 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
No problem. I felt like you were perfect for the job.
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:iconsyxxy:
Syxxy Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014   Writer
I bought a few at an antique store.  Havne't gotten around to reading them.  I have an insane reading back-log.  The endings may have been mandated by some stupid unconstitutional censorship law they had back then.  I don't know how many books that applied to or whether or not they just subverted the rules for some of them.  Some of them say they are from female authors, but it's pretty hard to know if those were just pseudonyms.
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:iconmandygirl78:
mandygirl78 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah, and some that have male names could be from female writers as well. For example, Vin Packer is actually Marijane Meaker.

Since this is the 50s and early 60s we're talking about, a lot of the endings and story itself had to be altered so that it "teaches a lesson" to those readers of the "sinful dangers" of being a lesbian. There are a few out there, however, that defied that rule, more or less, like Odd Girl Out, and a few others. It's great, because it shows how far we have come. sixty years ago, people would look at you like you're crazy if you ever brought up gay marriage. Back then, everyone liked Ike, but no one liked dykes.
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:iconsyxxy:
Syxxy Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014   Writer
I think there was a lesbian subculture, but it was definitely not something recognized in any kind of mainstream pop culture.  It's funny, because a lot of the pulp novels have like butch greasers on them with cigarette cartons rolled up in their sleeves and everything.

I wonder when that censorship rule got thrown out by the courts.  I have no idea.  I do know that nudity below the waist was illegal during the 50's, and suddenly in the 60's you had full frontal nudity in movies.  So obviously some kind of tidal wave change in censorship laws occurred in between.
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:iconmandygirl78:
mandygirl78 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I think the word is 'accepted', not "recognized", because apparently the culture do recognize them, otherwise they wouldn't be on the covers!

But yeah, I don't think there was a particular law that overturned the Hayes code, which was adopted by the industry in 1930, but wasn't seriously enforced until 1934. It was dropped in 1968, but by then, full frontal nudity was already appearing. 
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:iconsyxxy:
Syxxy Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2014   Writer
Hmm, yeah, you're right.  So maybe hetero-people in the 50's were aware of their existence,  but the result of the "gay erasure" is there's barely anything in 1950's tv, movies, etc. acknowledging the existence of gays and lesbians to paint this idea that they didn't exist to reinforce the idea it was just deviant behavior.   For example, you'll see some shows mocking beatniks and stuff that the conservatives probably didn't like, but you're going to have to dig pretty deep to find anything approaching lesbians.  Sadly, I think this still exists in some form today.  Cartoon Network banning anything gay outside of Adult Swim is a continuation of the same practices.

Yeah, the Hayes code is what I was thinking about in regards to movies, but there were book censorship laws as well, probably along the same lines.  They actually mandated that gay characters had to die or be institutionalized, etc.  Maybe using the interstate commerce clause as justification.  This obviously went away at some point.  It's pretty frightening that freedom of speech didn't become part of the American consciousness until the 60's it would seem.

It kind of sucks because I like 1950's aesthetic and culture overall (minus the stuff we're talking about).  This is part of the reason why I think slashing Betty and Veronica is so fun.
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:iconmandygirl78:
mandygirl78 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
TV was always more conservative than movies, because the fact that TV is watched by all demographics, and there's no control of who will watch you show. I don't think gay people even got mentioned until around the early-70s, when All In the Family was around and Archie would bash them.  The TV show "Soap" probably was ahead of it's time. They had a gay male character named Jodie, played by Billy Crystal. Though, he would qualify more as a bisexual. I don't think it was until the early-80s when a gay character was the head of the show. There was a show called "Love, Sidney," and Tony Randall was the actor who played a gay character. He had a lover who passed away.

It actually took movies from outside the country to finally get the Hayes code abolished. A lot of foreign films from Europe were popular in the 50s, and they didn't have to worry about the code, so they had a lot of nude scenes and gay characters. Then a few American films that were outside the production code became popular. Soon afterwards, the production code was abandoned, and in came the MPAA ratings.

To be honest with you, I found the 50s very chessy and hokey. Though I like to write stories of lesbians during that time. Probably that's why I liked the movie "Pleasantville."
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:iconsyxxy:
Syxxy Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014   Writer
I think there may have been a gay character in the Shadow radio drama.  I've heard one episode recently anyways where he goes to get information from a male character like that in some kind of suspicious bar and said character sort of hits on him.  I think he may have been a reoccurring character, but I'm not sure.   It wasn't super overt though so maybe it's still subtext?  I've seen one 40's movie with lesbian subtext, but I can't even remember what the title is right now.  The probably lesbian woman with unrequited love was the antagonist though.

The MPAA is a bunch of shit too.  I honestly don't know why the industry bought into it so much.  I like non-MPAAA grind house movies far more than anything that passed under that shit, and then the grind houses were ran out of business due to corporations that used the MPAA standards taking over the movie theater industry.  In the 80's, conservatives were all pro-censorship on everything, but I think that's died down since the libertarian wing has become more influential.  So they could probably get away with abandoning the MPAA at this point like comic books got rid of the CCA.  I don't know why they feel so chained to it.  I mean what is the point of doing a 50 Shades Grey that's Rated R?  LOL.

I think all the soda spoppe, drive-in theater, Tiki bar, etc. crap is fun.  The 60's have far better movies and music and stuff, but for retro escapism (in the prsent day) it got too dogged down by  the big ideological political fights and all that crap (not that I'm saying it didn't need to happen, because it obviously did).  I mean, of course, no one would want to live there in the literal 50's, but living in a Riverdale style place without the social oppression has some fun elements to it. That's why I think Archie Comics had so much allure to it and why it doesn't need to be updated so much to modern settings.
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:iconmandygirl78:
mandygirl78 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I think the movie you're talking about had Angela Moorehead in it. I'm not sure.

I don't know if the libertarian wing has been influential. It seems that the conservatives are starting to become more like ultra-right Muslim groups, such as ISIS. It don't see it going away soon, especially since there has been more "protest" on the violence and nudity shown in the media. 

I agree with you, especially since the Last Life with Archie. I thought it would have been better if they didn't make it an anti-gun ownership story, but instead have it as a story where he was killed because of his political ideology, and use it as a focus on highlighting the dangers of political intolerance.
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(1 Reply)
:iconmaelora69:
Maelora69 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Really nice article.  Interesting piece of history.  

We've come a long way. I came out in 1987, at a time when it was still considered kinda strange.
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:iconmandygirl78:
mandygirl78 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Wow. I wasn't even sure I was gay back then. The following year I figured out that might be gay, considering I was 10 in 1988.
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:iconmaelora69:
Maelora69 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I was 18, and I'd had boyfriends.  I think I knew in 1984 when I saw Carrie Fischer in 'Return of the Jedi'. Had a pretty huge crush on Madonna too.  :)
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:iconmandygirl78:
mandygirl78 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Oh I see. During around 86 and 87, I had a crush on Lynda Carter, among other girls.
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:iconmaelora69:
Maelora69 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh gods, Lynda Carter, yeah!

I loved 'action girls', still do.
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:iconmandygirl78:
mandygirl78 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:D
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:iconmaelora69:
Maelora69 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Actually, I was reflecting today on how we haven't seen the 'Hide Your Lesbians' trope in a long time:
tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php…

I'm an avid gamer, and gay and lesbian characters have been visible and positive for a few years now.  The Pathfinder RPG has an openly lesbian character (Kyra) as well as transsexual and bisexual characters.  Mass Effect 3 had a female-only romance with Samantha - Dragon Age 3 has Sera, who is romanceable for females only.

And Winter Wolf games have always prided themselves on having as many gay/lesbian romances as straight ones in their games.

We've come a long way.
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:iconmandygirl78:
mandygirl78 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Yes, we have come a long way. Even the Japanese are starting to be more positive about lesbians in their animes/mangas. This is the day our foresisters fought for, when we're accepted just like everyone else.
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(1 Reply)
:icon1ghostwolf:
1ghostwolf Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014
Thanks for the pinterest link! 
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:iconmandygirl78:
mandygirl78 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You welcome.
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:iconrosalindedreams:
RosalindeDreams Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I got it instantly but YAY!

Also, that pinterest! Thank you!
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:iconmandygirl78:
mandygirl78 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You Welcome.
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:iconqjs83:
qjs83 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014
LOL now I get it well done
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:iconmandygirl78:
mandygirl78 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks.
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