Physique Pictorial - Vol 12 #3, Jan 63

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Physique Pictorial is an American magazine, one of the leading beefcake magazines of the mid-20th century. During its run from 1951 to 1990 as a quarterly publication, it exemplified the use of bodybuilding culture and classical art figure posing as a cover for homoerotic male images and to evade charges of obscenity. The pages of Physique Pictorial primarily featured the photography of Bob Mizer, who also served the magazine’s publisher and editor, consisting of black and white photos of athletic young men, either nude or nearly so.

The magazine also served as a venue for homoerotic artists including Touko Laaksonen (as Tom of Finland), George Quaintance, and Dom Orejudos (as "Etienne"), and was a predecessor to later overtly homosexual publications.

Physique Pictorial was published in Los Angeles by Mizer's Athletic Model Guild, an ersatz modeling agency that provided cover for the publishing of the magazine, and the sale of photographs and film strips which could be purchased through the magazine.

Mizer did not include copyright notices in issues published between 1951 and the late 1970s, likely because the contents would have been deemed obscene by the U.S. Copyright Office. Because of this, issues published before 1978 that lacked copyright notices as required by U.S. copyright law at the time, immediately entered the public domain when published.

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  • 3
    Hot for its time period

    Posted by Michael C. on Oct 19th 2020

    These mags were published in an era that had a lot more censorship than today. Nothing is left to the imagination now. It's all right out there. Don't get me wrong. I like to look at dick as much as the next gay man. But there's something to be said about a time when a guy's imagination could conjure up hot scenarios by looking at this kind of publication. Let's hear it for imagination and fantasy!

  • 4
    History

    Posted by Terry Karanen on Oct 19th 2020

    I was seven with this issue came out - wish I had then, too! Very Tom of Finland, but I remember some of these. By the time I was in my teens I'd figured out how to find drawings or pics of men. Thank God for Playgirl! This is so important for this kind of history to be preserved. Thank you!

  • 4
    History

    Posted by Terry Karanen on Oct 19th 2020

    So fun to look back on those pics from the past. So much of it was very "Tom of Finland," but it's hard to believe things were that closeted. I would have been turning eight years old when this issue came out, and even then I was attracted to men. Good memories!