Tuesday, November 1, 2011



A couple of early reviews for Hip Pocket Sleaze:

It's hard to believe time really happened; under tall oaks the text-covered leaves... Is then is then and now is now? When I contemplate the spellbinding Mysteries behind old school adult exploitational pulp-print I'm not so sure... I go there with them. Anyhow, if you share my obsession with this lovely garish genre you will thrill to Hip Pocket Sleaze, a "celebratory overview" of said genre from the 1940s onwards. It's truly a wonder, a marvel. Evoluting out of the author's digest fanzine that he began in 1999, the most capable Mr Harrison has cultivated nearly 400 pages chock full of fascinating reviews of choice examples, interviews and essays concerning the major pulp writers, artists, imprints and collectors, and useful lists of what's out there, augmented by many b&w reproductions of the fantastic front covers of these publications and the advert-smut they contain.

It's wide in scope: a short history of the phenomenon; lesbian and gay material, Armed Services Editions, drugs and counterculture, horror tie-ins, gore novels, witchcraft and the occult, offbeat and esoteric titles, the sex film mags, plus a look at porny Super-8, photo sets and audio. It also confirms the organised crime involvement in this murky trade, including rumours of people snuffed for demanding withheld payment - art imitating life and vice versa as the characters step out of and into the magic pages.

Hip Pocket Sleaze is a top notch tutelary goldmine that will gift hours of fruitful delight to the newcomer or seasoned connoisseur alike. A pervert's bible kind of trip, surely destined to become (or already be) a standard reference work.

Reviewed by Mark Reeve


People interested in the world of adult paperbacks and trashy novels (most not really porn) have had to glean information from obscure journals, and quite a few of those accounts end up in John Harrison's excellent book. But there is also a tremendous amount of original research. You'll find checklists, writers, artists and publishers. It's really a look back at the way America used to be, back in the days when it was possible to be sleazy; now, all the strictures of society have fallen away. What's taboo anymore? This is a wonderful examination of a time when our morality was delineated by what we kept under the counter or in plain brown wrappers. This book is a great resource for both the collector and the social historian.

- Ralph Vaughan (70s/80s adult paperback publisher)