by Lewis Corner
A Kickstarter fundraiser has been launched to bring back Physique Pictorial
The classic magazine – which was first launched in 1951 by gay pioneer Bob Mizer – is widely recognised as one of the first homoerotic publications made available of newsstands.
It came at a time when being gay was still illegal, as well as there being very strict rules around the distribution of pornography.
Mizer was imprisoned for nine months at a work camp before he launched Physique Pictorial for distributing black and white photographs of young body builders in posing straps, but it didn’t deter him from launching the publication.
Instead, he presented the magazine as a men’s health and fitness title, so it would be permitted to be sold on newsstands across the US.
As time went on and the laws around pornography were relaxed, Mizer then started to include naked men in the publication.
Physique Pictorial is also known as one of the first publications to print some of Tom of Finland’s Beefcake work.
Now, photographer Dennis Bell has bought the rights to Mizer’s work and is hoping to revive Physique Pictorial for a new generation.
After 27 years since the last issue was released, Bell has asked for $10,000 to help him relaunch the magazine.
The response to the Kickstarter campaign has been a huge success, and it’s already received $11,656 with a few more days left to go.
What’s more, Bell has pledged to use a more diverse models in the new issues, considering the original publications were of largely white males.
“Times have changed, and while we will remain true to Mizer’s ethos in Physique Pictorial, we’ll also show the many men of colour that he photographed,” he told Unicorn Booty.
“It is a major misconception that Bob didn’t photograph black men, in fact, he even ‘dated’ one for decades. Our modern portfolios will showcase [men of colour] as well.”
If you want to back the campaign and secure yourself a subscription of the relaunched Physique Pictorial, you can do so here.