Physique Pictorial in the Swinging ’60s

History Comments
Physique Pictorial in the Swinging ’60s

The 1960s brought on the rise of the quaalude, the creation of the key party and the discovery of those precocious Brits, the Beatles. For those beefcake rags that survived the conservatively cold 1950s, it was a time of great change and even greater success. Having fought for decades to see the front end of the male body realized in print, these arbiters of change won some monumental battles in the courtroom that made posing pouch modesty a thing of the past. Some argue that this was the beginning of the end for Bob Mizer the artist, but in all reality full-frontal nudity marked the beginning of something far more magnificent for the grandfather of gay porn – a period of total freedom and unparalleled creativity.

Herewith are our favorite Physique Pictorial covers from the Swinging ’60s....... 

Mark Nixon

Merry Christmas! This cover shot of Mark Nixon, by Bob Mizer, is an unusually festive wink at a Christian holiday.

We chose this cover for two reasons, first it was one of very few PP covers printed in sepia tone, and second it marks the beginning of some very dynamic logo design. Love the block lettering.

Another sepia dream, this time from the mind of Mr. Tom Finland. We love the subtlety of his early, less explicit work. Check out the lurker behind the bushes.

David Mineric

This shot of David Mineric, taken by Bob Mizer, was part of a series of photographs that would later become the subject of a set of drawings by long-time PP contributor, Harry Bush. What a beauty.

Spike Adams

Nice onesey! This May 1963 cover does some very scary foreshadowing of a lime green bikini recently sported by Sacha Baron Cohen’s hairy character, Borat.

The cover art for this 1965 issue of PP, was apparently printed with a new offset process “to bring out the maximum detail and more faithfully reproduce the artist’s original drawing.” As with all changes to the PP, Mr. Mizer requested his readers’ opinions on the new process.

Composition, composition, composition.

Tom Porter

We love this photo of Tom Porter almost as much as we love the leather belt treatment of the PP logo, used here and introduced in the early 1960s.

Dubbed Physique Pictorial “Natural,” this January 1969 issue was the very first to feature full-frontal nudity. It was also the first, and only, issue printed in full-color and cost a whopping $2, an increase of nearly 75% over the previous cover price.