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Eric Stanton's STANTOONS

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Stantoons 76, Buns, Boots & Hot Leather by Eric Stanton - blog by  Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

 
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Eric Stanton and Spider-Man co-creator, Steve Ditko, shared a working studio from 1958 to 1968 off 42nd Street, and it was during this time that the original incarnation of Eric Stanton's "Stantoons" appeared. These were story fragments really, episodes of longer comic narratives with titles like "The Kinky Hook" and "Bound Beauty" and "Confidential TV." And if you're thinking these sound a bit like kinkster comics, you'd be right, because that's what they are.

Eric Stanton was a fetish artist. That's not to say he was a pornographer. Yet. It wasn't until the 1970s and the end of the sexploitation era with the birth of (XXX) hardcore, that he would begin to stray in that direction (and then never in a conventional way); at this time, while sharing working space with Ditko, the comics and illustrations were really just PG-rated. The only thing that suggested they might be pornographic were the themes, which might venture into exploitation territory ("exploitation" as it's often used to define movies), themes that were then considered taboo by more mainstream comic publishers (who were, after all, in the business of providing "entertainment for kids"). These scenarios leaned toward various subdivisions within the sub-genre of sexploitation that first emerged from cheesecake magazines like BEAUTY PARADE and WINK—all specific fetishes that have long since broken into the mainstream (some dated and silly, some not): "battling women" or girlfighting/wrestling, psychodramas involving femme-fatales or dominatrices (the leather-clad/armed variation which could have easily doubled as prototypes for future comic book super-heroines/villains), "damsels in distress" aka rope-'n'-bondage scenes (a favorite of overheated pulps since the beginning) and finally transvestitism (a la Ed Wood).

Stantoon #1 My Husband  The Loser by Eric Stanton and Steve Ditko Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com 

These early Stantoons were sold—like Irving Klaw's original Bettie Page fetish pics and bondage serials—via mail order. The price was high for each 4-page installment: $2.00 or most often $3.00 (at a time when 32 page Spider-Man comics sold for $0.12).

Confidential TV by Eric Stanton and Steve Ditko : Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

Who was responsible for publishing/distributing these earliest Stantoons? Stanley Malkin, no doubt, Times Square bookshop owner and publisher of the short-lived digest called BOUND and primary operator of Satellite Publishing Co.; although they can also be linked with the material published by mob-connected Times Square book store owner Eddie Mishkin (who would also buyout Irving Klaw's back catalog).

Eric Stanton's  Stantoons blog by Richard Perez : Permanent Obscurity - The Life and Times Of Eric Stanton, the greatest fetish artist of all time! - Bettie Page : Steve Ditko : Gene Bilbrew : Irving Klaw - PermanentObscurity.com
(Malkin's Liberty Book Shop, 598 Seventh Ave.)

Eric Stanton - BOUND #3,  Stantoons Blog : Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

Starting in 1963, Malkin would publish a line of so-called sleaze paperbacks with imprints like First-Niter, After Hours, Wee Hours, and Unique Books.

First Niter, After Hours, Wee Hours, Unique Books Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

And the catalog address of the earliest Stantoons matches the address of these sleaze paperbacks for a brief time (1966-1967): the Prudential Building in Buffalo, New York. The first appearance of a Stantoons advertisement was in 1966, First Niter (or FN) #226.

Desire and Discipline by Eric Stanton Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com Mask of Evil by Eric Stanton : Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com
(FN #225, on the left, has no such advertisement.)

Stantoons advertisement , Stantoons blog , Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com
(The first Stantoons advertisement: back page of MASK OF EVIL ~ FN226, 1966)


Stantoons, Eric Stanton, Richard Perez blog,  Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

The Buffalo address appears embedded throughout the earliest Stantoon comics.

Stantoons address, close-up, Eric Stanton blog, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com


Why Buffalo and not New York City? It's likely that this NYC publisher (Malkin) didn't want the material traced directly back to him; after all, the stuff was likely to incur the wrath of US Postal Inspectors who served as censors then. In the 1950s and 1960s, anyone connected to kinkster art would find himself in court; and all three publishers mentioned (Irving Klaw, Eddie Mishkin, and Stanley Malkin) would eventually find themselves arrested, multiple times, and put on trial. There was no XXX content or even nudity in any of the material published, but the stuff was "kinky" or somehow foreign to mainstream sensibilities then, and evidently that was bad enough.

Stantoons, advertisement, Eric Stanton, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com
(The ads would continue through 1967, with a slight variation.)

Nearly all the earliest Stantoons would carry the influence of his studio mate, Steve Ditko (a master inker). In fact, much of the artwork was a collaboration, with panels completely contributed by Ditko. Evidence of collaborative artwork under the umbrella term "Stanton" goes at least as far back as Lenny Burtman's Selbee magazines (which existed as a corporate entity from 1960- 1963). And I've even seen evidence of these earliest Stantoons printed on photographic paper, much like the Irving Klaw bondage serials, which might date them further back still.

Stantoons, Eric Stanton, Divorce Agreement,  Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com


Steve Ditko, Eric Stanton, Eric Stanton bio by Richard Perez : Permanent Obscurity - The Life and Times Of Eric Stanton, the greatest fetish artist of all time! - Bettie Page : Steve Ditko : Gene Bilbrew : Irving Klaw - PermanentObscurity.com 
(Steve Ditko shot taken by Eric Stanton) 

"Stantoons Inc. Collectors Cartoon Classics" was the second manifestation of Eric Stanton's idea and this time it appeared in the form of a bound (stapled) 5.5 x 7" sized booklet, which included various artist's work alongside his own, work originally done for a publisher/distributor called "Peerless Sales," headed by Max Stone, who shared space in the same building where Eric and Steve Ditko had their studio. The Peerless Sales comics originally were much like Irving Klaw's kinkster comics (illustrated stories, essentially) only centering more on hyper-athletic combative women or comic female domination scenarios (yet still without nudity) and usually 4 pages in length (two pages/two sides: or the weight of what originally would fit in a single-stamped business envelop when these comics were originally sold via mail order).

Stantoons, Collectors Cartoon Classics, Eric Stanton, Stan, Glen, Gene Bilbrew, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

Peerless Sales, Eric Stanton, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

It's difficult to pin-point the publishing date of the first (or even later) Collectors Cartoon Classics booklets. No date or copyright year was printed inside: in fact, there was no publisher listed either -- only a PO Box, this time New York City, with the zip code 10001. As they later advertised Stanton work commissioned by Eddie Mishkin (the mob guy, who generally liked rougher stuff), I'll say Mishkin was primarily involved with these.

Eddie Mishkin, Eric Stanton bio by Richard Perez : Permanent Obscurity - The Life and Times Of Eric Stanton, the greatest fetish artist of all time! - Bettie Page : Steve Ditko : Gene Bilbrew : Irving Klaw - PermanentObscurity.com
(Yeah I like it rough. So what?)

Much of the same work by Eneg (Gene Bilbrew) and an artist called Glen (who also originally worked for Peerless Sales), would also be featured through Eric Stanton's own catalog after he ventured into self-publishing, in 1975.

Stanton Archives catalog, Eric Stanton, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

(First "Stanton Archives"catalog, 1975)

Eric Stanton's Stanton Archives catalog,  Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

Eric acquired much of this material (as well as a substantial mailing list to start his own business) from Stanley Malkin after Malkin retired from the business (with the final sexploitation pulp paperbacks, which by then only carried yellow covers with ink illustrations, published circa 1969).

Eric Stanton, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

This brings us to the final and in many ways most notorious version of the Stantoons incarnations, published directly by Eric Stanton under his own "Stanton Archives" banner (which amounts to his home in Connecticut, at the time), and they were a series of digest sized (8.5 x5.5") booklets that he began producing in 1982 (see below). A series of later heavily pirated booklets that he would continue to self-publish and self-distribute, mostly via mail order, until the time of his death in 1999, when there would be a total 105 issues.

Stantoons 1, Eric Stanton, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

In the beginning, much like the "Collectors Cartoon Classics," these featured other artists along with Eric (Ram, Marculeta); and were sometimes "serials," (i.e. "Blunder Broad," "Princk-Maidens," "Family Affair") continuing (and sometimes morphing into variations of the original narrative) for numerous issues. But the art and stories were mostly new. (Older pieces would be sold individually through Eric Stanton's second catalog, which appeared in 1980.)

Stanton Archives Catalogue, Eric Stanton, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

Stantoons 2, Eric Stanton, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

At this point Eric never had to worry about censorship, so the sexploitation/fetish content of these Stantoons, judged by current politically-correct standards, is wild, often explicit, and even shocking.


Blunder Broad, Stantoons 5, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

( interior pages from Stantoons #5)

Stantoons 5, Eric Stanton, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

A parallel could be drawn between Russ Meyer's later work (his final films were called "Bustoons") and Eric Stanton's Stantoons, which usually featured women of hugely exaggerated proportions engaged in over-the-top sexploitation antics.

Blunder Broad 12, Eric Stanton, Stantoons, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

Surviving completely outside the mainstream -- long ago divorced from its sensibilities -- it may be that Eric Stanton, much like Russ Meyer to some extent, spiraled into a sexploitation/fetish kingdom all his own.

Lady Princker, Eric Stanton,  Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

But a final point regarding Stantoons that might obscure things: stories and scenarios (as well as a variety of the kinks portrayed) were not entirely Eric's own. As with earlier incarnations of Stantoons dating back to his Ditko days, they were often suggested by readers/enthusiasts/kinksters or directly commissioned by them. It's not always possible to define who Eric Stanton was by these narratives, in other words. Often readers would write in with specific suggestions, offering cash. (This was how Irving Klaw worked too when he would "take requests" via classified ads; or even at his shop's Sunday bondage photo-shoots.)

Stantoons, Don't Pick Up Strangers, Steve Ditko, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

In the case of Eric's Stantoons, "reader's requests" inevitably guaranteed a certain degree of overlap or repetition in the themes portrayed as fetishists obviously tend to be fixated -- even obsessed -- with playing out (and compulsively repeating) certain very specific, seemingly universal themes.

The earliest Stantoon serials were finally collected in a series of "adult" comic books published by Eros in the early 1990s.

The Kinky Hook by Eric Stanton, Steve Ditko, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

(The first printing of The Kinky Hook, on glossy paper, with subsequent printings on regular porous comic book paper.)

Bound Beauty, Eric Stanton, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com Lady In Charge, Eric Stanton, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com
Broken Engagement by Eric Stanton, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com Broken Engagment part 2, Steve Ditko cover, Eric Stanton art, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com
Sweeter Gwen by Eric Stanton and Steve Ditko, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com Confidential TV by Steve Ditko and Eric Stanton,  a transvestite story, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com


A Few Stantoons From My Collection....

Stantoons 84, Eric Stanton, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

Stantoons 33, Eric Stanton, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

Stantoons 3, Eric Stanton, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

Eric Stanton, Stantoons, Permanent Obscurity now! : PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death  by Richard Perez - PermanentObscurity.com

Eric Stanton, the greatest fetish artist of all time! - Bettie Page : Steve Ditko : Gene Bilbrew : Irving Klaw - PermanentObscurity.com
Thanks, Eric!

© 2011 Richard Perez

 


 
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Also of interest:

Serena Moon and The Fine Art of Face-sitting

Eric Stanton: The Fine Art Of Facesitting : Permanent Obscurity
Artwork by Eric Stanton

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PERMANENT OBSCURITY: Or a Cautionary Tale Of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography, and Death : a novel by Richard Perez : is a kind of “Thelma and Louise,” sexploitation/tabloid inspired story set in the East Village, NYC, a story of two down-and-out gals, both would-be artists, who set out to make a femdom movie with disastrous results.