Physique Pictorial in The 1980s

History Comments
Physique Pictorial in The 1980s

Where it was once a reflection of a lively industry, filled with work from a slew of international contributors, Physique Pictorial had become a one-man show. Gone were the lascivious illustrations from the likes of George Quaintance and Tom of Finland, the playful photos of Bruce Bellas and Walter Kundizcs. In there place were more of PP’s signature crowded layouts, jammed full of pictures, prices and order numbers, model stats and Bob Mizer’s paranoid ramblings. This was an entirely new beast – a reflection of the booming need for self-satisfaction sweeping the nation as the “Me Generation” came of age. This was the Bob Mizer Show.

With a massive internal library of photographs, videos and films, Mr. Mizer no longer needed to look outside the AMG compound for content. PP now served as a glorified portfolio for the prolific photographer. In its pages were the sleek beefcake images that made him famous, alongside his foray into video, which consisted of unedited streaming footage of his photo sessions, focusing on one or more themes –Anal Erotic , Best SizeBondage and/or Spanking. The lack of outside content, however, wasn’t really about ego, at all. In a lot of ways it was a sign of the times. Many of Mizer’s contemporaries had fallen out of favor, disappeared from the photography game or just ceased to be relevant. Others suffered a far worse fate – death, largely from AIDS.

It could be said, then, that the Physique Pictorial of the 1980s was the last bastion of beefcake.

The 1980s saw a decrease in the production of PP. This August, 1981 Bo Richards cover is only the second printed that decade.

It’s time to cowboy up, pardna. Fifty cents more expensive and one year and one month later (September 1982), Bob Mizer still can’t get over the farm hand look.

Hello, sailor! The 1980s were a time of fantastic outfits at AMG. It seems that while the posing strap was no longer a necessity, costuming remained an integral part of the Mizer formula.

You want how much for Physique Pictorial? The 1980s saw a swift increase in the price of the publication, but its cover models were well worth the extra scratch. Take 20 year-old Bucky Trippe here for example, on the cover of PP #39, published January 1986.

The last issue of the 1980s and the second to last in PP history, this June 1987 edition, boasts one of AMG’s most dangerous cover models. He may not look like much, but Jerry Suter had an explosive temper and a serious disgust for homosexual activity.