cover image Calendar Girl: Sweet & Sexy Pin-Ups of the Postwar Era

Calendar Girl: Sweet & Sexy Pin-Ups of the Postwar Era

Max Allan Collins. Collectors Press, $39.95 (208pp) ISBN 978-1-888054-78-1

Collins's vintage collection of sexy calendar girls takes kitsch to a new level. There's something at once innocent and provocative about these images, which Collins (who's written over 20 books for Collectors Press, including Elvgren: His Life & Art) organizes by month. The author opts not to comment on the photographs' sexist undertones, instead focusing on their artistic elements and the artists who created them. He assembles calendar photos from 1943 to 1957, showcasing the women who""paved the way for Hugh Hefner's Playmates"" in outfits that range from the amusing (e.g., the March 1954 image of a woman dressed as a genie coming out of a bottle) to the scandalous (e.g., the August 1953 picture of a topless blonde drying her hair on the beach). Captions such as""When it's chilly out doors/At the end of the day/It's nice to come/To a warm negligee!"" add further to the risque brashness.