‘Barbarians on Bikes’ Book Review By Ron Fortier

Barbarians on Bikes Book Review By Ron FortierBARBARIANS ON BIKES
Bikers & Motorcycle Gangs in Men’s Pulp Adventure Magazines
Edited by Robert Deis & Wyatt Doyle
A New Texture Book
116 pgs

Even since appearing on the pulp scene a few years ago, Robert Deis and Wyatt Doyle have done a truly wonderful job of educating the reading public about the evolution of pulp magazines into the post-World War II Men’s Adventure Magazines (MAMS) that proliferated across the drugstore racks between the 50s and 70s.

In such beautifully produced books such as “Weasels Ripped My Flesh,” “He-Men, Bag Men & Nymphos,” “Crypto-Zoology,” and “A Handful of Hell,” they have brought us an amazing collection of reprinted fiction from so many of the most popular MAMS. But for the most part, despite being beautiful adorned with classic art reproductions, those titles were focused on the stories and the writers. In that fashion, Deis and Doyle clearly made their point in depicting the gradual evolution of American pulps.

With this, their fifth title, they’ve turned the spotlight on the artwork that graced the pages and covers of those latter day pulps. Using the highly popular theme of the Outlaw Biker Gangs that infused itself into the America psyche of the era, they’ve collected some of the most beautiful illustrations and cover art ever produced for commercial periodicals. Throughout these pages you’ll find the work of such talented artists as Mort Kunstler, Earl Norem, Marti Ripoll, Al Rossi, Gil Cohen, Basil Gogos and others you’ve most likely never heard of before. Which is itself a sin that needs correcting.

These were giants who month after month provided drawings that accompanied such features as “Sex Life of a Motorcycle Mama,” or “Havana Joy Girl Who Became a Guerilla Queen,” among the more sedate such titles. This book is a bountiful treasure that is summed up poetically with crime writer Paul Bishop’s afterword memoir. A tip of the pulp fedora to Deis and Doyle, you guys are batting 500!!

(There is also a hard cover with 16 extra pages available.)

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