Pop Culture Paperbacks

I was surprised to learn that author Jack Matcha had quite an interesting (and often sleazy) career – not something I expected from an author of a Tiger Beat Publication!

MATCHA, JACK (B.) 1919-2003. Pseudonyms: John Barclay, John Tanner, qq.v. Born in New York City; degrees from Columbia (1942) and USC (1959). A reporter with the Baltimore Sun; playwright and TV writer in the 1970s. Taught at Los Angeles Southwest College circa 1978.

I did a further dive into the author’s background a while back for my previous blog, Retrospace and was surprised to learn that Matcha’s early work was with ‘Kozy Books’, a publishing firm which specialized in pulp sleaze novels. His first Kozy Books novel was called The Love Seekers (1961). My understanding is that Matcha published several sleazy novels under various pseudonyms like: The Killer Came Naked under the pseudonym John Tanner and Ask for Lois under the pseudonym John Barclay.

During Matcha’s tenure aboard the sleaze publishing express, I guess he teamed up with another pulp sleaze author Charles Fritch, who’d also written under pseudonyms like Christophyer Sly ( 7 Deadly Sinners). Together they started the successful Frimac publications (a combination of the first three letters in their last names; fri + mac) which published various genres of fiction, including porn under the their publication branch Carousel Books.

One good thing that came out of the Fritch-Matcha team up was the science fiction magazine, Gamma. Together with William F. Nolan (the guy behind Logan’s Run) they produced this pretty experimental sci-fi mag which is highly regarded today. However, it made very little profit and subsequently didn’t last long (1963–1965, 5 issues).

Perhaps Matcha’s most successful work was A Rogue’s Guide to Europe (1965) – a must-have for any pleasure seeking playboy bachelor of the sixties. I’m not sure what ultimately became of Matcha. I know he continued to write sleaze under pseudonyms in the early seventies, and also wrote a couple more Brady Bunch novels. Otherwise, it seems he receded into anonymity. If anyone knows any more about this colorful author/publisher, please comment – or correct me where my so-called “research” has erred.

Citizen’s Band by E.M. Corder (1977)

Top of p.103

“She sat down next to a pretty younger woman with jet black hair wearing a prim dress that tried but couldn’t succeed to mask her generous figure.The girl was reading a suspense novel.”

I loved (and still love) 1970s trucker movies and television: Coast to Coast, Smokey and the Bandit, Convoy, BJ and the Bear, and let’s not forget the Charlie’s Angels episode “Angels Go Truckin'” (1979).

And the “fantastic full-color centerfold-out”

Top of p. 103

“She was still pale and shaky when Bobby C. stopped the car in front of her home. She stared at them, examining each of their faces through dazed, wondering eyes. She seemed not to recognize them, not even Tony.”

This film became such a pop culture sensation, with the soundtrack taking center stage, that it’s easy to forget that Saturday Night Fever was actually a quality film; a very real and often dark drama.

The Beatles Trivia Quiz Book by Helen Rosenbaum (1978)

Some rather difficult Beatles trivia courtesy of Ms. Rosenbaum. A sampling (sorry for the gutter blurring – I didn’t want to break the spine)…

Perhaps the greatest thing about this flea market find was the picture I found inside…

Ha! What’s the story here I wonder. The boyfriend of the girl who owned this book? I guess we’ll never know.

2 comments

  1. I have that Brady Bunch book! Checked it out of my 4th grade classroom library and never took it back. Oops. In all the times I’ve read it, I never pictured the author writing sleaze.

    Speaking of CB movies, I caught a good portion of “Breaker Breaker” this morning. Chuck Norris is a trucker. The bad guy asshole character is played George Murdock, who also played Lt. Scanlon on Barney Miller. Ugh, hate that guy, and his hair is so ugly.

    That photo found in the book; he looks like a guy who would end up being one of the less brilliant mugs working for a bottom-rung mob guy, or at a gas station.

    Like

  2. I just watched the “To be continued” 2-parter “Gearjammers” last night. Some fancy driving in that one, even by Jim Rockford! Mostly at the end though.

    I had a Grease novelization AND photoplay or whatever those were called.

    Like

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