Sunday, November 23, 2008

Paperback 167: The Private Life of Julius Caesar / William Marston (Universal Giant no. 6)

Paperback 167: Universal Giant no. 6 (1st ptg, 1953)

Title: The Private Life of Julius Caesar
Author: William Marston
Cover artist: George Geygan

Yours for: $25

Best things about this cover:

OK, stop. Hammer time. This book was written by the creator of "Wonder Woman." I Am Not Kidding. And yet none of the booksellers at abebooks mention the connection between this book and "Wonder Woman." You'd think that fact would be one of the main selling points. As I looked at the book, I thought "William Marston" sounded familiar, and then I looked inside and saw the author's middle name (Moulton), which rang even more bells. Then I googled. Holy Krap. From Wikipedia:

Dr. William Moulton Marston (May 9, 1893May 2, 1947) was an American psychologist, feminist theorist, inventor, and comic book author who created the character Wonder Woman. Two women, his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston and Olive Byrne, (who lived with the couple in a polyamorous relationship), served as exemplars for the character and greatly influenced her creation.[1][2]

He was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2006.

  • "Polyamorous" pretty much describes this cover - I count five different sexual permutations on the front cover alone - and wait til you see the back cover (and the spine!)
  • I love that a "feminist theorist" inspired this (awesome) cover. I guess she who reclines on the bed with the chalice of viscous mauve goo makes the rules. "OK, you kneel! Now you, you kneel more! Kneel wheel!"
  • I love how the whipping scene is strategically placed for her (our) viewing pleasure.

Best things about this spine!!!!:

  • I love how the kinkiest (albeit minutest) scene in the whole tableau is on the spine - no matter how it's shelved, You Will See Flesh.

Best things about this back cover:

  • I know this is an odd thing to say, given the rampant nudity, but those are some well-drawn horses.
  • "Your calves are so smooth..." "Oh, that's just the satyr urine. It works wonders. Here, let us pour some on your back..."
  • Jeez, a crucifixion, too? It's like the painting's running out of ways to exploit the female form.

Page 123~

from a chapter titled, I swear to god, "Ladies' Night"

The pretty young neophyte walked straight to the golden gate, as she had been told to do, and gave her name and that of her sponsor to the door-slave who stood behind the golden bars.

And thus began the first recorded A.A. meeting.

P.S. "door-slave"?



pious agnostic said...

I like the way the woman on the spine looks like she just tripped and took a facer on the way to the pool, and is in the process of falling over. Action!

At least, that's what it looks like to me.

Eunice said...

I was thinking maybe she had too much of that viscous goo, threw up in the pool, and then decided it was too much work to get back up. "Go on without me. Ugh... I'll just... Rest my face on the ground for a while."

Anonymous said...

On the cover, she's holding that cup *almost* upright, but it's still spilling over like a fountain. The sheets! Won't someone think of the sheets?!

Anonymous said...

Wonder Woman is suddenly making a whole lot more sense to me.

laura linger said...

The whole thing looks like a spread in Penthouse. You know, the 1970s kind, where the women all had righteous bushes.

"Oh yes it's ladies' right, and the time is right...oh, what a night..."

Anonymous said...

Besides being indirectly responsible for Lynda Carter wearing that zoftig outfit, the author was also instumental in developing the polygraph. Hmmm. Didn't WW have a Lasso of Truth, or somesuch?

pious agnostic said...

WW also had an invisible airplane...was William Marston involved in the development of stealth technology too!

Was there nothing the man didn't do?

Anonymous said...

It's been written about before endlessly, but Marston was really into bondage. There isn't an issue of WW's earliest comics where she isn't tied up in some elaborately kinky way. He had some interesting theories about submission leading to happiness..

Not my thing! Just saying, he was ..interesting, for sure.

JamiSings said...

Funny, I remember a friend who wrote this big long paper on how the creator of Wonder Woman HATED women and that's why WW was always getting tied up. So every time I hear WW and feminism I think back to him and how wrong he was.

Michael5000 said...


Larry said...

No need to retread all of the excellent comments on the art, Mr. Marston and "debauchery" but isn't 50 cents a high price for a book from 1953?

tosca said...

I'm almost certain (and it's so hard to be with such fantastic covers found here) that this one is my favourite =)

sexy said...