Pocket Partner (20 vintage adult digest magazines, 1969)
Baltimore, MD: Tudor House Publications, 1969. Twenty vintage adult digest magazines, circa 1969, produced in Baltimore & featuring "Vibracolor" printing techniques, using vibrant ink colors in high contrast, Hippie & Mod fashion, wallpaper, furniture, & hairstyles. Among the best, most progressive imprints issued by Baltimore's smut dynamo, Central Magazine Sales (later Central Sales), under their Tudor House Publications subsidiary, commonly known as T.H.P., almost always seen sporting the patented "Vibracolor" (or Vibra Color) banner.
Each title of the series ran roughly 32 pages, full-color, bound dos-a-dos (two issue numbers per volume), sized for the shirt pocket of any grease monkey, perv, connoisseur of erotic photography, at 4 x 7 inches. Vibrant colors are the focus, as is soft-core simulated sex, both being characteristics & techniques recalling Lasse Braun's filmmaking style, "Blue" (or Danish) magazines released in Europe a decade earlier, & kingpin Reuben Sturman's appropriation of much of this material for distribution in the US. Notable issues showcase themes including Bohemia, lesbians, sailors, bondage, motorcycles, transvestites, call girls, swingers, & one titled "Sexchange: 2001," openly mocking Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film, "2001: A Space Odyssey," even less savory titles involving rape, pirates. At the least, 32 titles were produced, a total of 16 volumes, w/ most if not all seeing two publication releases: first at $3 per, then at $10 per, sometimes different cover photos. Presuming the cheaper edition was released earlier, perhaps to attract clientele, the expensive edition was rereleased as T.H.P. fizzled into Komar Company, once owned by prominent Baltimorean Samuel Boltansky, still operating in Baltimore but now primarily an Internet sex toy & wholesale shop, no longer called Komar.
Boltansky founded Central Magazine/Central Sales in the early 1960s, may have had ties to organized crime, involved in a few police raids, including one incident in 1976 when Louis Gugliemi & he ran shipments to Texas. He is mostly remembered as a prominent real-estate developer & philanthropist, but regularly contributed to the Jewish Museum of Maryland, where annual conferences featured keynote speakers in his honor. Boltansky's under-the-counter contribution to the fight against censorship & the empowerment of sexuality will remain a "vibrant" totem thanks to Tudor House titles like Pocket Partner.
Several imitators would attempt similar techniques & themes, notably Spectracolor, Excitachrome, & Golden State's Electra Color. None matched the psychedelic Day-Glo faultlessness of Tudor House, making their prolific output still highly collectible to date.
Represented: issues 1/2 (2x), 5/6 (2x), 7/8 (2x), 9/10, 11/12, 15/16, 17/18, 19/20 (2x), 21/22, 23/24, 25/26, 27/28 (2x), 29/30, 31/32 (2x). Several lightly rubbed overall, most are Near Fine.
Dian Hanson, "The History of Men's Magazines: Volume 6," 2005; Van Smith, "The right to give the world its kink has long been exercised-and defended-from an old Baltimore warehouse," Baltimore City Paper, 2013. [Book ID 125959] [Magazines]