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Absolutely fabulous vintage drag and gay nightclub matchbook covers
09:01 am



Vintage matchbook cover from the Jewel Box Lounge in Kansas City, Missouri.
A few of my DM colleagues as well as myself have posted about vintage matchbooks previously—think of them as folk art—so I was pretty delighted when I came across a large array of vintage drag and gay club matchbooks—some dating back to the 1950s.

Like some of you, I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for matchbooks and have a large collection of them myself that I’ve collected over the years from places that no longer exist like the one of the greatest rock clubs in Boston, The Channel and other clubs and bars that closed their doors long ago. When it comes to the drag club matchbook covers I can’t lie—they are fantastic and as colorful as the female impersonators who graced the stages at venues like the Jewel Box Lounge in Kansas City (one of which is pictured at the top of this post), or the artistic interpretation of the leather boys that hung out at the Ambush in San Francisco back in the day.

Occasionally these kinds of matchbooks do pop up on auction sites such as eBay and depending on their condition can sell for as much as $50. I’m especially fond of the matchbook personalized by drag performer/piano player “extraordinaire” Sir Lawrence Lawson who notes that every time you light your “reefer” with one of his gay matches you’ll read his poetic message reminding you that he’s “thinking of you.” Awww.

A matchbook from the San Francisco gay club Ambush.

The Torch Club, Sacramento, California. The club first opened its doors in 1934.
Many more after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Pulp friction: Vintage matchbooks transformed into tiny pulp novel book covers (and more)
02:46 pm


pulp novels
Jason D'Aquino

Matchbook art by Jason D’Aquino based on the rather terrifying looking cover for the vintage pulp novel ‘The Hungry Ones’ from 1968.
I’ve been a fan of miniature artist Jason D’Aquino since becoming aware of him back in 2008 when I saw some of his artwork drawn on the little wooden spoons that are included in Good Humor ice cream bowls, as well as his detailed matchbooks on which the New York artist incorporates images of everyone from Hunter S. Thompson to Alfred Hitchcock. Since that time D’Aquino has expanded his matchbook art (for which he only uses vintage matchbooks) to include homages to lurid pulp fiction novels featuring bad girls and guys acting as you would expect them to. Poorly.

D’Aquino (who also used his artistic skills in the tattoo business until 2014) has credited Maurice Sendak and H. P. Lovecraft as his inspirations. His most recent matchbook artwork features naughty pulp pinups (including Bettie Page), a few serial killers, Christopher Walken, and an incredible teeny-tiny homage to Gene Wilder in which D’Aquino managed to reproduce a sweet riff on the movie poster for the 1974 film Young Frankenstein, The piece not only included Wilder but also Marty Feldman (who played Igor) and his creation of “The Monster” as played by actor Peter Boyle. I’ve been lucky enough to see some of D’Aquino’s work up close and in-person and can safely say that it is even more magnificent than it looks on your screen. A dizzying array of D’Aquino’s artful matchbooks follow. Some are delightfully NSFW.

A reproduction of the cover of the 1962 pulp novel ‘Blondes are Skin Deep.’

‘Homicide Hotel,’ 1951.

‘Illicit Desires,’ 1949.
More mini-masterpieces after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Sexy vintage matchbook covers
12:40 pm



Parkway Tavern, St. Paul, Minn.
Matchbook covers were the internet of the 1930s through the 1950s. Think about it: Matchbooks were a freely distributed medium available to all classes of society that enabled the end user to find such goods and services as “ice cream,” “package goods,” laundromats, “de luxe cottages,” and “real Cuban rhumba.” Furthermore, matchbook covers used images of sex to entice end users into consuming alcohol and other addictive narcotic agents (nicotine).

Okay, so maybe that argument is a stretch. But clearly, matchbook covers were a very visible part of society during that time, and that isn’t the case today. Smoking rates are surely down since World War II, and people probably spend less time in bars and more time in their smoke-free homes (and hey, bars are smoke-free nowadays too).

I quit smoking a couple years ago, but even when I was smoking I didn’t rely on matchbooks very much, I used lighters and sometimes wooden matches in matchboxes. My dad used to collect matchbooks, but this was in the 1980s or so and they were fancier than these ones pictured here.

James Lileks features this amusing gallery of “Cheesecake Matchbooks” on his expansive website brimming with vintage nonsense. Lileks has published a few books, of which two of the best-known are The Gallery of Regrettable Food and Mommy Knows Worst: Highlights from the Golden Age of Bad Parenting Advice.

I like the text advertisements almost as much as the sexy ladies. I want to know more about Grant Mullinax and Delbert H. Arbuckle and Al Fussner!

Click on any image to see a larger version.

Ace Club, Mattoon, Ill. 

Star Lite Club, Key West, Fla. 
More vintage cheesecake matchbooks after the jump…......

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Looking for a TON of burlesque matchbook covers? Well, you can stop looking.
10:56 am



Judging by their web site, The Match Group seems a fairly run-of-the-mill custom matches concern. Need your logo on a matchbook? They’ve got you covered. You want match boxes instead, you say? Relax, Mr. Connoisseur, it’s all good. Here’s a great excerpt from their About page:

With over 25 years in the industry, company founder, Joe Danon began his career as the North East Regional Sales Manager at the prestigious Universal Match Corporation. He then went on to become the National Sales Manager at Maryland Match Corp. for 13 years. His passion and devotion to the historic importance, whimsy and efficacy of match advertising is unrivaled. His devoted and loyal clientele have long benefited from his “Love of Light,” graphic design expertise and unparalleled product knowledge.

Notice the bit about “historic importance?” The Match Group not only offers over 25 years of hard-won experience in the world of matches, they keep an informative blog full of historical information and trivia about matches and matchbook design, and they’ve maintained an exhaustive Pinboard to assemble an impressively massive trove of design samples from all across the web. It’s broken down into 65 categories. That’s not a typo. But what I’ve elected to share here is a selection from their Burlesque/Pinup collection, because this is the internet, and since they don’t have a set of cat matchbooks, boobies win. (I’d suggest also perusing their “Matches as Art” board, though.) Obviously, little of this is going to be safe for work, but I’ve made an effort to keep the more graphically risqué stuff (read: nipples and buttcracks) for later in the post.





More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment