Eric Stanton


Can common places, just as maxims, be considered folk wisdom? I hope so, because I am going to spend one of them to introduce you to Eric Stanton, legendary angel of the bizarre. It sounds like this: "If Stanton didn't exist he should be invented". Actually, for a long time, it seemed to be true - in other words that it could just be a nom de plume adopted by a group of artists determined to remain anonymous. More recently this seemed to be the case with other prolific authors of best-sellers, namely Harold Robbins and Wilbur Smith, at least until the two decided to give interviews and to show themselves in public to prove their own existence. Stanton, reserved as he is, has never submitted to such chores with the only exceptions of an exhibition (it still remains unique throughout his career!) at the Danceteria in New York, and some rare interviews. One of these was given to yours truly in 1979, so I can testify to the fact that Eric Stanton exists, is alive and well, and working, if not with us, at least for us. Rumors of his presumed non-existence were based upon his long-lasting activity, covering a period of more than 40 years, and upon his ability to treat with the same confidence all those themes which are commonly labeled "bizarre" Since then, I have met with him at least twice every year and, even though some of his mysteries remain, others have been unveiled, so that I am now working on his biography. It will be the first to be published. Stanton was born on the 30th of September 1926, in Brooklyn, New York, between Atlantic Avenue and Pacific (on the sea as he jokingly says), to a family of Russian origins but with unexpected Italian blood in its' veins (his father's surname was D'Andrea). He was forced to interrupt his studies, during the Second World War, to become a radio operator on a torpedo boat in the Pacific war against Japan. When he came back home he tried various jobs (a well established cliché in every American biography!) - Knife-thrower, waiter, and grave-digger to name but a few - until he finally met Irving Klaw, the 'King of Pin-ups'. He began to work for him, and the collaboration continued until Klaw's death in 1964. Stanton is a self-made man - he only took his first formal drawing lessons in 1952 when he was already working full-time. Actually it was Klaw who convinced him to attend the School of Visual Arts. Stanton repaid him by polishing his style, and by later introducing Klaw to another great, the late Gene Bilbrew, a.k.a. 'Eneg'. After Klaw's death, Stanton became a freelance who only occasionally worked for other publishers, preferring instead to create 'The Stanton Archives', a collection of graphic booklets, photocopies, movies and photo sets that represent the production of more than forty years of artistic activity. This is how he makes his living now - a sort of underground network distributed by mail to his many fans. It works like this: He has some rich buyers, what are traditionally known as patrons, and they place orders for various subjects. (This is how three of Stanton's best sellers were born; 'The Princkazons', 'The Hairy Princesses' and his legendary 'Fighting Girls') When the story is ready what the buyer pays for is not just the right to have it before it is published, but also to keep the original drawings for him-self for many years. What Stanton keeps for him-self are the copies, the same the regular buyers get, and the right to reproduce and distribute them. These photocopies are the only way to get some of his stories, true rarities, sometimes, that will never be widely published. This is how Blunder Broad was born: to satisfy the explicit request of a wealthy and unknown buyer with a penchant for Damsels in Distress. The customer wanted a story about a superheroine who, unlike the other superheroines, "blundered" her way to a "sex"cessful conclusion of her mission. Eric delivered. Neither Stanton nor his writer Turk Winter, who, by the way, is a well-known author of popular novels, are psychologists but their collaboration is a long-lasting one. What was originally intended as nothing more than a divertissement has become a serious commitment in which different themes are presented without discriminations. "Bisexuality? Masochism? Sadism? Bondage? Pissing? Name whatever you like, I have done it. Because they are all important to my readers." he says. Surprise!! The heterosexual Stanton has done several homosexual stories, too. Nowadays, this 'Dallas' of fetishism has reached its' 38th chapter and its' author is working on a new episode: Blunder Broad in Wonderland. Well, now you probably understand why, after being inspired by John Willie, Stanton is considered a master in his own right as well as a source of inspiration for Allen Jones, among others, and also why some of his patrons once compared him (There is a letter to prove this!) to Toulouse Lautrec, who was able to understand and paint the world of prostitution; or to Vincent Van Gogh who struggled all his life with critics' hostility and his financial problems. Long life to Blunder Broad, the heroine who is now celebrating her twentieth birthday of printed adventures and is now making her debut in this elite comic. And let us pay homage to Eric Stanton who ".if he didn't exist, should be invented."

Reprinted from Glittering Images' 1991 Publication "Blunder Broad - A Comix Serial" Author, Introduction: Marco Giovannini. (Edited for content at the request of 'Stanton Archives')

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