My gym has six different locations within walking distance of my house and many more if I take a short ride on the subway. Each of these sites is equipped with the latest and greatest machines, personal trainers and scores of beautiful gym rats. Modern muscle is a lot more convenient than it used to be-so much science and engineering has been invested in it. There is equipment to easily isolate muscle groups and quick digesting liquid proteins that you can immediately feed to your burning biceps after a workout; you hardly need the anabolic steroids that are almost commonplace now. Bodybuilders look dramatically different than they did a hundred years ago.
Before porn was a mouse click away and everyone in Hollywood had definition in their abs, images of half-naked men posing were truly something special.
"Universal Hunks" is David L. Chapman's twelfth book in his incredibly popular muscle and bodybuilding series. With a foreword by cultural and sports historian Douglas Brown, this 352-page book is packed with information and pictures of hot men from over 70 countries, from Zulu warriors to Japanese acrobats and Egyptian athletes. Though each man is remarkable, these guys could be found everywhere: on postcards, pamphlets, comic books and cigar box labels just to name a few. There's always an excuse to put a guy in a posing strap and take pictures of him. The cultures are different, the ethnicities are unique, but the allure is the same.
A hundred years ago, strongmen could only be found in sideshow and vaudeville acts. Eventually, posing became as important as the wrestling or competitive weightlifting that these men built their muscles for in the first place-and the erotic possibilities went wild.
Chapman has amassed a vast collection of fascinating, humorous and alluring "hunk" ephemera from around the globe. He has images of men who are muscular, physically beautiful and sexy beyond the norm, and they promote everything from health and fitness to product appeal, political power, sexual virility and military might.
Particularly amusing is the way Chapman points out interesting (and often snarky) trivia about each of the items in his collection. (For instance, he lets us know that a wartime drawing of a naked prisoner flexing his beautiful ass is actually a Christmas card. Remember your soldier this holiday season.)
8 x 10 | 352 PP | $29.95
Published by Arsenal Pulp Press
Distributed by Consortium www.cbsd.com
by David L. Chapman with Douglas Brown