Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Maneaters- Killer Sharks in Men’s Adventure Magazines edited by Robert Deis & Wyatt Doyle

This beautifully compiled anthology features handpicked shark stories from the outlandish adventures of adorably trashy Men’s Adventure Magazines of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. The stories are often touted as true accounts; the survivor or witness telling their story. But what they actually were are pieces of fiction, sometimes with a little truth peppered in.

The stories that Deis and Doyle have chosen are lots of fun. Some totally absurd and others kind of believable. They first layout the story as it actually appeared in the magazine with the original artwork and then have thoughtfully retyped it and laid it out in bigger typeface for easy reading.

One of my favorite features of this collection is after each story there is a short commentary from different Marine Biologist, Conservationists, and shark experts. The commentaries point out what was fact or fiction in the story. It was actually pretty educational. There were some facts that I didn’t know like, a shark has rough skin and if you rub up against it you will get cut, and others I did know like a shark doesn’t take things personally and will not in fact go after an entire family seeking revenge. In an email conversation with Wyatt Doyle, he informed me that they chose to have the expert’s commentary as they are aware that they are putting “killer” shark fallacies out in the world and though it’s a great time, sharks don’t actually behave the way they do in the stories and movies. I appreciated that acknowledgment and found it to be an extremely responsible (and enjoyable) decision.

Aside from the content of the stories themselves there is a beautiful selection of painted covers from the original Men’s Adventure Magazines by Ron Lesser, Mort Kunstler, Bruce Minney and many others. Sharks and bikini babes, what more can you ask for? Oh, ok, scuba guys fighting sharks with knives and harpoons? Yes. That too. The images are blown up to high resolution reprints. The artwork alone is worth the price of admission.

I absolutely loved this book. They did such a great job choosing the stories and images, the layout was itself a piece of art and the hardcover edition, which is the one I got, came with bonus content AND if you buy it directly from Robert Deis will sign it for you! A much better option than Amazon but if you’re not in the US, it is available there also.

I did this here video review/flip through. Check it out to see some of the images inside!

#newtexture books 2021

Review by Nick Anderson

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