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Earl Kemp

Illustrated edition of the Presidential Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography
Image sourced here.


Earl Kemp is an American publisher of "sleazy" erotic paperbacks.

He published an illustrated edition of Presidential Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography and subsequently served a one year prison sentence for doing so.

Earl Kemp publishes online at http://efanzines.com/EK/index.html. [Oct 2005]

Illustrated Presidential Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography

I showed Maurice [Girodias] a book I had brought with me. For those who remember, [President Johnson]…had appointed a four-star commission to investigate pornography. Finding it not difficult to find fact to support the obvious, they concluded…that sexually explicit material was at best—like all art—a divine intrusion into human affairs and at worst innocuous clichés and kitsch, solitary masturbation being its predominant effect. Nixon, of curse, denounced…[Johnson’s] commission. But since, by law, the text of U.S. government printed mater is uncopyrightable, an enterprising soul had made a lavish full-color Illustrated Presidential Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography (1970). It was published by Greenleaf Classics, Inc. of San Diego, Maurice’s sworn enemy. Photos of sperm squirting on faces? Yes. Sucking? Yes. Fucking? Yes. Hetero and homo? Yes. Groups? Yes. S&M, B&D? Yes. Whips and chains? Yes. Animals? Yes. Children? Yes. Etc.? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Even underground cartoon strips salaciously ridiculing authority. The mind boggled. All the juice that-is-the-case was there ornamenting a dry summary written by civil servants, academics, clergymen, and judges. Maurice looked through it. Humphed. Humphed again. Finally he had to concede: “It’s a brilliant job. Whoever did this is going to jail.”

And indeed a voice foretold. A short time later I picked up an American magazine and saw a photo of Earl Kemp, the book’s editor, under arrest. He was handcuffed, each arm held by burly federal marshals who were shoving him into the back seat of a car.

--William Levy, “Enter Mr. Maurice,”
American Book Review, April-May, 1993 via http://efanzines.com/EK/eI22/index.htm

SIN-A-RAMA: Sleaze Sex Paperbacks of the Sixties (2004) - Lydia Lunch, Adam Parfrey

SIN-A-RAMA: Sleaze Sex Paperbacks of the Sixties (2004) - Brittany A. Daley, Adam Parfrey, Lydia Lunch, Earl Kemp, Miriam Linna, Jay A. Gertzman, John Gilmore, Michael Hemmingson, Robert Silverberg, Lynn Munroe, Stephen J. Gertz [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

"Earl Kemp edited smut and went to prison for it..." (more)

From Publishers Weekly
Older readers may remember the lurid soft-X-rated paperbacks-titles like Topless Waitress, Lake of Lust, Casting Couch and so on-that crowded the shelves of newsstands and candy stores but more often adult bookstores in the 1960s. What most distinguished these paperbacks wasn't their narratives but their frequently amazing covers, swashes of erotic eye-candy that, as surely as a Warhol soupcan, now define an era. And so the emphasis in this first-rate celebration of these paperbacks is on the covers, with hundreds reproduced in what looks like accurate (i.e., soul-shocking) color.

Most of these reproductions appear in the editors' grouping of sex paperbacks into various themes (Asphalt Jungle, Sex at Play, Butch Swish, etc.) but more show up in the startling essays and profiles that precede these groupings-startling for the several well-known authors profiled (Donald Westlake, Ed Wood, Lawrence Block) and for the praise-going by the illustrations, well justified-for a handful of the star cover artists.

The book opens with overviews of the history of softcore paperback publishing by Jay A. Gertzman and Stephen J. Gertz and, most notably, by acclaimed SF author Robert Silverberg, who in "My Life as a Pornographer" recounts how by 1962 he was "turning out three Nightstand books a month" and earning enough money to buy "an enormous mansion in the finest residential neighborhood of New York City." A catalogue of "sleaze publishers" and a list of author pseudonyms (Miriam Gardner: Marion Zimmer Bradley; Paul Merchant: Harlan Ellison, etc.) close this informative and giddily entertaining book. Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Boston Globe, March 20, 2005: The Golden Age of Sleaze
Deeply satisfying...a lavish tribute to the courageous authors, illustrators, and editors...There is much to admire about SIN-A-RAMA.

see also: Jay Gertzman - 1960s - sin - sleaze - pulp - exploitation - erotic books

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