Cuba – Sugar, Sex and Slaughter


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Cuba – Sugar, Sex and Slaughter: Cuba and Castro in Men’s Adventure Magazines edited by Robert Deis & Wyatt Doyle

Trade Paperback – New Texture – 2018 – 155 pages

From editor Robert Deis:

This one is a collection of stories and full-color artwork from men’s adventure magazines about Cuba, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, the Cuban Revolution and its aftermath. The wild painting we used for the cover was created by Norm Eastman. It was first used on the cover of MEN IN CONFLICT, February 1962, then reused on the cover of BATTLE CRY, May 1965.

I started thinking about doing an anthology of Cuba-related stories more than ten years ago, when I first got serious about collecting and writing about men’s adventure magazines. As my collection grew, I realized that hundreds of stories about Cuba and Fidel Castro were published in the men’s adventure magazines that flourished in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. They provide a unique written and visual archive that reveals some intriguing things about Cuba and Castro, about how Cuba and Castro were viewed in the United States, and about how men’s adventure magazine publishers capitalized on current events.

In fact, I think they chronicle, illuminate, and dramatize what was happening in Cuba from the ‘50s to the ‘70s in ways no other American print or electronic media did at the time—or since. Many MAM stories display a gut-level appreciation of why the people of Cuba passionately supported the revolution Fidel Castro led against dictator Fulgencio Batista. They also show an understanding of why there was equally passionate opposition to Castro, after he became an iron-fisted dictator himself.  The progression of events in Cuba during the Cold War era and the evolution of American views toward Cuba and Fidel Castro are traced in our book through a selection of stories written before, during and after the Cuban Revolution.

The covers of the magazines the stories come from and the interior artwork and photographs used for them are shown, along with dozens of other Cuba-related MAM covers and illustrations.

There’s also a special section about Eva Lynd, the actress, pinup model and artists’ model.  Eva was one of the favorite models for top men’s adventure magazine artists Norm Eastman and Al Rossi — and for many top pinup photographers whose photos appeared in men’s magazines during the ‘50s and ‘60.

She’s featured in some of the Cuba covers done by Eastman shown in our CUBA book. In 1958, just before Fidel Castro took control of the country, she worked as a showgirl at the famed Riviera hotel and casino in Havana. And, while there, she was photographed by LIFE magazine and the famous artist, jewelry maker, photographer and bon vivant Sepy Dobronyi.

In the “Viva Eva!” section of our book, we feature some of those illustrations and photos, accompanied by a reminiscence Eva shared with us about her career and her time in Cuba.


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